Blog Tour Review~Absolution by Paul Hardisty

Hi all,

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Absolution by Paul Hardisty today and I’ll be sharing my review with you guys a little further down!

About the author:

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Canadian Paul E Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an
engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs
in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey
(where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the
wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was
bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their
families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a.
Paul is a university professor, visiting professor at Imperial College, London, and
Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation
research programmes. His debut thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, was
shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger and Telegraph thriller of the year, and the sequels, The Evolution of Fear and Reconciliation for the Dead were both ebook bestsellers. He lives in Western Australia.

About the book:

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It’s 1997, and vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker has fled South Africa after his
explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission. On an isolated island off the African coast, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.
In Paris, Claymore’s former lover, journalist Rania LaTour, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human-rights lawyer, have disappeared.

As Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, events lead them both to Egypt, where an act of shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.

Absolution by Paul Hardisty

My thoughts:

It’s hard to believe we’re already onto the fourth Claymore Strayker book, but here we are with the explosive Absolution. It follows on from the events in Reconciliation For The Dead, so if possible, I recommend that you read them in order because they are all linked in some way.

There is something about these books that really capture my imagination as a reader. I become fully immersed in them immediately, and Absolution was no exception. Paul Hardisty is an excellent writer, and his experience really shows in his ability to capture the horror and violence of war and conflict.

In Absolution, Clay is living in self-imposed isolation on an island off the African coast. Afraid to surround himself with people for fear that they would get caught up in the danger that shadows him like a hunter stalking his prey. Sadly, this is exactly what happens.

Concurrent to this, Rania is living in Paris with hr husband and young son. When she comes home to find they have disappeared, this sets in motion a chain of events that will have devastating consequences, reaching far wider than she could have imagined.

Absolution is an emotionally charged thriller from beginning to end. It deals with some of the most horrific acts of terrorism and brutality at the time and it leaves the reader reeling as the events unfold. I found myself feeling very tense at various points in the story, fearful for the outcomes and worried for the characters.

I don’t want to say much more, because I am afraid I may give away something if I go into too much detail. Absolution is a heartbreaking instalment in the series, for many reasons. It is tense, emotive and at times, shocking. I couldn’t stop reading it from once I started, and I can’t wait to read more Straker books!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Evolution Of Fear by Paul E. Hardisty

Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty

 

Check out the tour:

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Obscura by Joe Hart

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About the author:

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Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota, where he still resides today. He’s been writing horror and thriller fiction since he was nine years old. He is the author of eleven novels and numerous short stories, including the books The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Last Girl. When he’s not writing, Joe enjoys reading, working out, watching movies with his family, and spending time outdoors.

About the book:

She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Out May 8th from Thomas & Mercer, click the link below to get your copy:

Obscura by Joe Hart

My thoughts:

After seeing a glowing recommendation for Obscura from Brandon (The Behrg), I bumped Obscura to the top of my TBR and I am so glad that I did. I was hooked immediately, and read it at every available opportunity, including staying up reading late into the night to finish it!!!

Dr. Gillian Ryan is researching a new and terrifying strain of Dementia called Losian’s Disease, and it can affect anyone of any age. Having already lost her husband to Losian’s, when her young daughter begins showing the terrible symptoms, she becomes increasingly desperate to find a cure.

When her funding is cut, Dr. Ryan is given a unique opportunity to travel to a space station, where the crew appear to be exhibiting symptoms of Losian’s. What follows is a nail-biting and extremely tense story. More than once, I found my heart racing a little because Joe Hart has injected this story with dread and menace, and this is amplified when in the complete isolation of space.

Obscura is a very clever novel. It takes the reader on a journey, along with Dr. Ryan, as she tries to find a cure for her daughter she left back on Earth. It is tense, dark, and very suspenseful, and I read a lot of it fearful of turning the page for fear of what would happen!

What I loved most about Obscura is the misdirection that Joe Hart has created. I wasn’t expecting the story to go the way it did, and towards the end I was frantically turning the pages to see what was going to happen.

A terrifying read, but with innately human issues at its core, I loved Obscura. It is thrilling, claustrophobic and really engaging. Not a book I will forget in a hurry!

Highly recommended!

Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley

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*Many thanks to Rebecca Bradley for my review copy!

About the author:

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Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective. She lives in the UK with her family and her two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.

Sign up to her readers’ club for a FREE novella, the prequel to Shallow Waters, the start of the series. Find it on the blog at rebeccabradleycrime.com You’ll also be provided exclusive content and giveaways.

About the book:

How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?

Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.

As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.

But it’s a killer he will never remember.

The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant he feels progressively isolated.

Can he escape with his career and his life intact?

Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley

My thoughts:

Dead Blind is a really interesting read, with a premise that I hadn’t heard of. Prosopagnosia is essentially face-blindness, the inability to recognise a person’s face, and that’s what Detective Inspector Ray Patrick is suffering from in the aftermath of an accident while on duty.

This disorder has a huge impact on Ray’s life, and when he is put on an operation to catch the people responsible for illegal organ trading, it has the potential to ruin the entire investigation for him and his team.

I really enjoyed Dead Blind. Ray Patrick is a good character, and it is hard not to feel some sympathy towards him because of his condition. But on the other hand, I wanted to shout at him more than once because in not divulging his prosopagnosia, he puts so many people in danger.

I read this book with mounting frustration. Not in a bad way, just that the reader can see what is happening but Ray is so stubborn that he ends up with more and more hassle because he is hiding something big. It did add to the tension though, and I found myself willing him and the team on during the investigation.

Illegal organ trading is a tough subject, and I think it was dealt with quite well here. The story is well though out, and I liked the characters too. It was definitely a tense read, and I was eager to get to the end to see how it would all be tied up.

An interesting premise, with a real human dilemma at its core, Dead Blind was an intriguing and dark read.

Recommended for sure!

The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Another review from Ellen today, this time for The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland!

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About the book:

Daisy Burns was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events. Everyone loved Daisy. So why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina?

The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland

Ellen’s review:

Having read Big Flies by Keith Hirshland I was looking forward to reading The Flower Girl Murder.

Daisy Burns (the flower girl of the title) was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events – why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina? With no witnesses and few leads, Raleigh detective Marc Allen turns to the press for help—specifically, veteran news anchor Lancaster Heart.  When Tanner Goochly Jr. a member of a notorious crime family becomes the victim of another point-blank shooting, Allen races to discover the connection between the murders. Could it be that Daisy was somehow involved with an illegal enterprise, or was she hiding something else, another secret to be discovered? As the body count rises the suspect pool is widening. As Allen’s investigation reaches a fever pitch, he realizes that a mother’s choice could have killer consequences.

This is so much more than a story about a murder, it’s about the sleepy town of Raleigh where the murder takes place and how its inhabitants come to terms with the repercussions of the event. Everyone in Raleigh seems to hold a piece of the puzzle and it is up to Marc and Lancaster to make the pieces fit.

I really like the character of Lancaster Heart, an all-round good guy; the addition of his story and engagement to his long term partner Brodie really add some depth and heart to the tale. I also enjoyed the cheeky promotion of Big Flies which happens to be the book Lancaster is reading on a plane journey.

An enjoyable read.

Previous Reviews:

Big Flies by Keith Hirshland~ Ellen’s Review

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

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*Many thanks to Liz Nugent and Penguin for my review copy!

About the author:

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Before becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. In 2014 her first novel, Unravelling Oliver, was a Number One bestseller and won the Crime Fiction Prize in the 2014 Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, went straight to Number One in the Irish bestseller charts, remained there for nearly two months and won her a second IBA. She lives in Dublin with her husband.

About the book:

‘I could probably have been an actress.
It is not difficult to pretend to be somebody else.
Isn’t that what I’ve been doing for most of my life?’

Cordelia Russell has been living on the French Riviera for twenty-five years, passing herself off as an English socialite. But her luck, and the kindness of strangers, have run out.

The arrival of a visitor from her distant past shocks Cordelia. She reacts violently to the intrusion and flees her flat to spend a drunken night at a glittering party. As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. She did not expect the corpse inside to start decomposing quite so quickly . . .

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

My thoughts:

I love a bookish baddie. You know the kind. Self-centered, narcissistic, just hateful in general. Well, yet again, Liz Nugent has created a truly terrible fictional human being in Cordelia Russell. Right from the beginning of Skin Deep I found myself disliking her as a character.

But. And there is definitely a but. When we are taken through Cordelia’s early life, the reader learns why she is the way she is. No excuse, I know, but it is a very insightful and eye-opening character development that left me wondering how many more layers Liz Nugent could possibly add to her character.

Skin Deep is a masterful exploration of character and circumstance. It is graphic, raw and unashamedly honest in its portrayal of the lengths to which someone will go to get what they need from others. Selfishness and greed are front and centre in this book, and as we learn more about Cordelia, it is difficult to not have some very real and often angry feelings towards her.

I had been eagerly awaiting this book, and it was most definitely worth the wait. A savage look at the depravity of the human condition, the lengths to which people will go for their own gain, it is a triumph.

Highly recommended!

Blog Tour: My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland

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About the book:

Can a group of true crime addicts take on the police to catch a serial killer?

A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals – the latest victim of ‘The Lover’. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.

As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in to their own hands – to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.

As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.

My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland

About the author:

 

Stephanie Marland has worked in the University sector for over ten years and published research on how people interact and learn together in virtual environments online. She’s an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and an avid reader of all things crime fiction, blogging about books at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com. Steph also writes the Lori Anderson action thriller series (as Steph Broadribb) for Orenda Books.

My thoughts:

When the body of a young woman is found surrounded by rose petals in her room, DI Dominic Bell is tasked with finding the culprit, nicknamed “The Lover” due to their creation of a romantic scene around the victim.

Parallel to this, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime club, and they are convinced they can find The Lover and bring them to justice before the police. Angry at the ineptitude of the investigation, the online group become information vigilantes, infiltrating scenes to see what information they can glean.

Both Starke and Bell make progress on their respective investigations, but neither of them seem to realise they have attracted the attention of the killer. These actions unwittingly put them at the forefront of the action, and could have devastating implications for all involved.

My Little Eye is a really good crime thriller. It will satisfy the appetite of armchair sleuths and crime aficionados alike, as it places the reader in the middle of everything. The pace, action and plot are gripping, and I enjoyed the ride.

Recommended for sure!

Follow the tour:

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The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch #5) by Michael Connelly

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About the book:

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is down on his luck – his house is condemned in the aftermath of the earthquake, his girlfriend has left him and he has been suspended for attacking his superior officer.

To occupy time, he examines the old case files covering a murder which took place on October 28, 1961. The victim was Marjorie Phillips Lowe – his mother . . .

The case forces Bosch to confront the demons of the past, and as he digs deeper into the case, he discovers a trail of cover-ups that lead to the high-ups in the Hollywood Hills…

The Last Coyote (Bosch 5) by Michael Connelly

My thoughts:

Continuing my re-read of the fantastic Harry Bosch series with the fourth book, The Last Coyote. Following on from the events in The Concrete Blonde (which I read but haven’t reviewed), Harry is on leave from the LAPD, and is required to have mandatory therapy with the LAPD’s therapist. This causes Harry to confront his past, even though he is adamant that he doesn’t want to talk to her about anything!

The Last Coyote is a very personal book, with Harry deciding to re-open an old murder case, his own mother’s murder to be precise. This decision takes Harry on an emotional journey into the past, whilst making things very uncomfortable for him in the present.

It is clear to him when he begins to investigate, that somebody covered up some things about his mother’s murder, and he sets out on a journey to figure out what happened. And to find justice for his mother.

The Last Coyote is a gripping read, with vulnerable Harry dealing with his mother’s death, and his suspension. It is a tautly-written and often emotional journey into his past, but it is beautifully done. Harry is one of my favorite characters ever, and The Last Coyote is a prime example for seeing his flaws, and how he tries to deal with everything thrown at him.

The Harry Bosch series is well-written, intricately plotted and full of heart.

Highly recommended, as always.