~Blog Tour Review~Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty

Hi everyone,

Today I’m going to be reviewing Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty as part of the blog tour, with thanks to Orenda Books. I read and loved The Evolution Of Fear by Paul E. Hardisty so I was thrilled to be able to read the follow up.

About the author:

Paul Hardisty

Canadian by birth, Paul 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, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation research programmes. He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia with his family.

About the book:

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Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Buy the book:

Out now in ebook, and out in paperback on May 30th, you can pre-order your copy by clicking HERE.

My thoughts:

Reconciliation For The Dead is the latest instalment in the Claymore Straker series and I swear these books keep getting better and better. Filled with hard-hitting and emotive subject matter, they evoke such a wide range of emotions in the reader from beginning to end.

In Reconciliation, Straker is in the midst of Apartheid Africa where he has to testify to the Truth and Reconciliation Comission. During his testimony, he recounts what happened in the lead up to his dishonourable discharge. What follows is an often harrowing and unflinching recollection of one of the toughest times Clay has experienced .

There is something a bit special about these books. Paul Hardisty has the ability to make the reader connect with his characters, and none more than Clay. The reader is inserted into the story right alongside him, feeling both fearful and hopeful at the same time. In the middle of war-torn Africa, we are brought right into the heart of it, through the superbly constructed and wonderfully evocative prose. Every puff of stifling heat, every step in the arid and harsh climate is almost tangible to the reader thanks to the author’s writing.

I don’t want to give the game away on this one. There are so many subtle nuances and vignettes that the joy of this book is discovering them as you read it. Paul Hardisty has written a tense and haunting book, showing the depths of human depravity and the lengths at which people to go to protect what they believe in.

I cannot recommend it highly enough. 
Follow the blog tour:

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The Liar by Steve Cavanagh

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About the book:

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE…

WHO IS DEADLIER …

Leonard Howell’s worst nightmare has come true: his daughter Amy has been kidnapped. Not content with relying on the cops, Howell calls the only man he trusts to get her back.

… THE MAN WHO KNOWS THE TRUTH …

Eddie Flynn knows what it’s like to lose a daughter and vows to bring Amy home safe. Once a con artist, now a hotshot criminal attorney, Flynn is no stranger to the shady New York underworld.

… OR THE ONE WHO BELIEVES A LIE?

However, as he steps back into his old life, Flynn realizes that the rules of game have changed – and that he is being played. But who is pulling the strings? And is anyone in this twisted case telling the truth…?

The Liar (Eddie Flynn #3) by Steve Cavanagh

About the author:

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast and is a practicing lawyer and holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy. He is married with two young children. The Defence was chosen as one of Amazon’s great debuts for 2015, as part of their Amazon Rising Stars programme. In 2015 Steve received the ACES award for Literature from the Northern Ireland Arts Council. The Defence was longlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and shortlisted for two Dead Good Readers Awards.

Steve writes fast-paced legal thrillers set in New York City featuring series character Eddie Flynn.

Steve also hosts the weekly Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast along with Luca Veste.
Find out more at http://www.stevecavanagh.com or follow Steve on Twitter @SSCav

My thoughts:

Regular readers on here will know two things:

A) I am a huge fan of series

B) I love a good legal thriller

So when I heard Steve Cavanagh’s The Liar was on its way, I was beyond excited as I read and LOVED the first two books in the Eddie Flynn series, The Defence and The Plea (those reviews are linked at the bottom of this post). The lovely folks at Orion sent me a proof copy, along with some yummy US chocolate and a lie detector machine, which you’ll have seen me do if you follow my blog on Facebook and Twitter! What a fun way to get bloggers interested in reading a book!

The Liar is without a doubt my favourite book of the series so far. It’s got an absolutely cracking plot, and is filled with the kind of characters I enjoy reading about. In this one, Eddie takes on Leonard Howell’s case. His daughter has been kidnapped, and Eddie knows only too well what horrors this entails as he has been through the same thing (that’s not a spoiler btw, it’s in the blurb!).

What follows is an epic game of cloak and dagger. The reader is kept as much in the dark as Eddie is, which makes it all the more fun as we learn things at the same time. From the outset, the tension crackles and it does not let up until the very end of The Liar. I found myself barrelling through the chapters, unable to put the book down until I reached the brilliant and gripping end. There isn’t a single bit of downtime in this book, so be prepared for an absolute rollercoaster of a read.

I love Eddie Flynn, I don’t hide it, I shout about it. He is one of my most favourite characters in recent years. There is something underdog-ish about him, something that makes the reader instantly root for him from the beginning. Beautifully flawed, yet it works in his favour. You shouldn’t underestimate Eddie Flynn. Ever!

I honestly cannot recommend The Liar highly enough. There aren’t enough superlatives in my vocabulary to vocalise how much I enjoy these books. Addictive, thrilling, massively fun, you won’t be disappointed picking up The Liar, or the previous two books either!!!

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!

Bring on the next one, Rogue Juror!!!!

Previous reviews:

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

The Plea by Steve Cavanagh

The Quiet Man (Jefferson Winter #4) by James Carol 

Many thanks to the publisher for my Netgalley review copy*

About the book:

In Vancouver, the wife of a millionaire is dead following an explosion in her own home.

Everyone thinks her husband is responsible, but former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter isn’t so sure. The method is too perfect; the lack of mistakes, uncanny. He’s seen a series of carefully orchestrated murders – once a year, on exactly the same day, a woman dies in a situation just like this one.

That date is fast approaching and Winter knows another victim has been selected. Can he identify the quiet man before he strikes again?

The Quiet Man by James Carol

My thoughts:

Ive read and loved all of the books and short stories featuring Jefferson Winter so I was thrilled to be able to read and review The Quiet Man as it’s been aaaaaages since I’ve read anything by James Carol.
The Quiet Man is another cracking instalment in the Jefferson Winter series. In this one, Winter is tasked with investigating a serial bomber case in Vancouver. Winter is up against the clock as the bomber strikes on the same day every year and he comes into the investigation in the run up to August 5th, the day the attacks usually happen.

The thing I love about these books is that we know Winter is the son of a serial killer, but it is never the main focus of the story. It is always there, bubbling under the surface, alluded to often but rarely mentioned. I love the inner turmoil that this causes to Winter, how he uses what he’s seen and knows from his last in trying to get into the mind of the killer.

Loved the sense of tension and urgency within this book too. And I really liked the characters Winter works with in this one. Laura is an ex-cop who was on the case, now working out on her own and still investigating the annual bombings. A great female lead, strong and unafraid.

One of my favourite book series, and I think that die hard fans of the series will thoroughly enjoy The Quiet Man!

Definitely recommended! 

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

About the book:

Black Echo

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call-out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.

To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

My thoughts:

I’ve decided to go back to the start of the Harry Bosch novels, created by Michael Connelly, as I missed out on a fair few over the years. It was only natural to start at the beginning and re-introduce myself to Detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. My plan is to try to read one a month on top of my review books, so I read The Black Echo in April.

In The Black Echo, we meet Harry Bosch for the first time when he gets a call on his pager to attend the scene of a body that has been discovered in a drainage tunnel. What he finds leads him to believe there is more at play than just a simple drug-related death.

What startles Harry more though, is the fact that he recognises the dead body as someone he served with during the Vietnam War. A tunnel rat called Billy Meadows. Meadows used to run the tunnels and flush out anyone hiding in them, and these tunnels were dubbed the black echo.

What follows, during the course of the investigation, is the uncovering of far more than just one death. Corruption, conspiracy and so much more take place in The Black Echo. I had forgotten how good Connelly is at creating such a strong plot. Whilst it moves at a slower pace, nothing is out-of-place, there is no padding. The whole story fits together effortlessly and is supported with an excellent cast of characters.

I can’t recommend Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch series highly enough. A must for crime fiction readers! I can’t wait to pick up the next book. Hopefully I can sneak it in during May. 🙂

 

*Blog Tour* Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Watching The Bodies by Graham Smith, along with Abbie from Bloomin’ Brilliant Books. I’m sharing my review with you all today!

About the book:

Watching the Bodies

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive.

Watching The Bodies by Graham Smith

About the author:

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Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

He is the author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and one book, WATCHING THE BODIES in a new series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

Links:

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

TWITTER

AMAZON

My Thoughts:

I’ve read a couple of Graham’s books before, so I thought I knew what to expect when I started reading Watching The Bodies. I was wrong! Firstly, WTB is set in the USA so extra points from me as I love a good thriller from across the Atlantic! Secondly, the author has introduced us to Jake Boulder. I love a good macho/manly character, the Jack Reachers, the John Miltons of the world, and now, Jake Boulder is definitely another one for me to follow.

Boulder is tasked with investigating the death of Kira Niemeyer alongside the Police Dept and what he discovers, nobody was prepared for. There is a serial killer at work, and they have some seriously twisted methods of killing up their sleeve. It is literally a pick’n’mix as to how the killer selects the method, as they are selected from a jar filled with ways to kill. However, the victim selection is far more unusual. I’ll leave you guys to read that for yourself. Tis a good ‘un though!

I read Watching The Bodies really quickly. It’s the kind of book that you don’t want to put down as each turn of the page makes the reader say “one more page and I’ll stop”, and for me especially, I end up devouring the book super-fast! WTB was no different!

A belter of a start to a series. High stakes cat and mouse games with a twisted killer and a really likeable protagonist. Definitely one to add to your TBR if you enjoy fast-paced action with plenty of twists and turns!

Highly recommended!

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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman 

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About the book:

Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently. . .

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

My thoughts:

Firstly, big thanks go to the wonderful Gordon at Grab This Book and Tor Books for my copy of The Invisible Library. Gordon kindly suggested I should be introduced to this series, and Tor Books agreed so I was thrilled to be sent a copy.

The Invisible Library is brilliant. It’s so far removed from anything I would normally read but I found myself completely and utterly immersed in it from the beginning.

An excellent cast of characters, magic, mystery and so much bookish wonderment make The Invisible Library and absolute treasure to read. I loved every element of it. The world-building is superb, and it really makes the reader’s imagination go to work as there is so much beautiful detail within its pages.

The beauty of reading a book like The Invisible Library is knowing that it’s the first in the series. There is so much more scope for the characters, so many avenues that the author can take the reader down. I cannot wait to read the next few books and get lost in this fantastic universe again. 

Highly, highly recommended! 

~Night Market by Daniel Pembrey~ Blog Tour~ Guest post

Hi everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the lovely Daniel Pembrey, author of Night Market, his latest novel in the excellent Henk van der Pol series. Daniel has done a great post for today’s stop, which you can catch further down. Here’s all of the important bookish information first!

About the book:

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When Henk van der Pol is asked by the Justice Minister to infiltrate a team investigating an online child exploitation network, he can hardly say no – he’s at the mercy of prominent government figures in The Hague. But he soon realises the case is far more complex than he was led to believe… Picking up from where The Harbour Master ended, this new investigation sees Detective Van der Pol once again put his life on the line as he wades the murky waters between right and wrong in his search for justice.

Sometimes, to catch the bad guys, you have to think like one. . .

Night Market by Daniel Pembrey

About the author:

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Daniel Pembrey grew up in Nottinghamshire beside Sherwood Forest. He studied history at Edinburgh University and received an MBA from INSEAD business school in France. Daniel then spent over a decade working in America and more recently Luxembourg, coming to rest in Amsterdam and London — dividing his time now between these two great maritime cities.

He is the author of the Henk van der Pol detective series and several short thriller stories, and he contributes articles to publications including The Financial Times, The Times and The Field. In order to write The Harbour Master, he spent several months living in the docklands area of East Amsterdam, counting De Druif bar as his local.

To receive occasional email updates and offers of free exclusive content, please sign up at http://www.danielpembrey.com. Daniel is also on Twitter, @DPemb.


KM: You just interviewed Michael Connelly for The Telegraph, [Investigate a different side of Los Angeles by Daniel Pembrey]  – and Titus Welliver, who plays Bosch *swoons*! Was Bosch a big influence on your own detective fiction?

 

DP: Very much so. I pretty much conceived my character as a Dutch Harry Bosch – which is sort of ironic, given that Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter – but I couldn’t find that type of police detective story when I began living in Amsterdam, so decided to write what I wanted to read.

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Michael Connelly in Los Angeles

 

KM: I have to ask you right away: what is Titus Welliver like?

 

DP: Very down to earth, for a prominent Hollywood actor. I visited the night time set where they were filming an outdoor chase between Bosch and the bad guy in remote, wooded terrain; in the story, it takes place on an island off the coast, but it was in fact shot in LA’s Griffith Park. Titus was calling his wife between takes, saying goodnight to his kids. He’s clearly a big family man …  a seriously cool guy.

 

KM: Bosch began 25 years ago, a lot younger, but your character, Henk, starts off close to retirement. Why did you make that choice?

 

DP: Generally I’m more interested in older characters. They have life experience, and mental scars, and tend to be more complex. It’s more engaging when they have to use their cunning and street smarts to take on a villain. It’s the same with Ian Rankin’s Rebus character: a physically imposing guy who was in the SAS, but who is now older, who has to use his contacts and wiles. That’s a more interesting character to write. How do you feel as the reader?

 

KM: Well, I agree … though a physically in-shape man has a certain appeal too!

 

DP: Henk van der Pol can still look after himself, physically. But your point is a good one, so I can reveal for the very first time here (*drum roll*) that I’m working on a new story – a novella, to start with – in which Henk is at the start of his career, in 1983. He’s a young man in a hurry, chasing after the woman, Petra, who is to become his wife, and working on the infamous Freddy Heineken kidnapping that year. The working title is Henk 83.

 

KM: Ooh, I like the sound of that! Has it been done before – writing an earlier version of an established detective character?

 

DP: I also just interviewed Jørn Lier Horst in Norway (coming soon to another newspaper near you!), and his latest book, When it Grows Dark, takes his William Wisting character back to 1983 too. Mankell did a similar thing with Wallander, in The Pyramid.

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Jørn Lier Horst in Stavern, Norway

 

KM: Fab. So when will ‘Henk 83’ be out?  

 

DP: All being well, later this year. Hopefully in time for Christmas. It takes a lot of of research. I’ve tracked down one of the police detectives who ran the Heineken case. I’m also watching ‘80s Dutch films; it was a different city then, much more edgy. There was open drug use in the streets, people lived in squats. Canal-side houses, which now go for millions, are vacant.

 

KM: The location is key for you?

 

DP: It really is. This was something else I learned from Connelly and his use of Los Angeles for Bosch, which I wanted to explore in that Telegraph article. Rankin, Edinburgh and Rebus; Horst, Vestfold County and Wisting. These characters not only inhabit their settings but also grow organically from them.

 

KM: Can location be restricting?

 

DP: Possibly, eventually. Connelly rotates his characters – he has Haller, the defense attorney, and a couple of others. For me, it was important that my character could get out and rove around the Benelux region (and beyond). So his investigations take him to Brussels, Antwerp, London, and even Norway – William Wisting’s beat, as it happens.

 

KM: But he returns Amsterdam.

 

DP: He does. It’s his beat. And it’s a great beat to have.

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Photo by Dirk Bakker