April 6, 2018
Katseye is the second book in the Kat’s Gift Thrillers by Harriet Redfern.
Once again, the members of the household staff of Sampfield Manor are gripped with subdued apprehension by the imminent arrival of racehorse trainer Squire James Sampfield Peveril’s distant cousin from Australia. The members’ misgivings, however, dim in comparison with how superstar jockey Merlin ap Rhys feels from the constant arrival of lurid images on his mobile phone. Seemingly, someone is trying to blackmail the popular and confident jockey by sending incriminating videos and still images that might ruin his relationship with his girlfriend. In his attempt to get to the bottom of the convoluted affair, Merlin finds himself accused of murder.
Meanwhile, Sam receives an unexpected call from the importunate owner of ‘no less than’ Katseye, Tabikat’s half-brother. The star Irish racehorse is soon to be the property of Italian aircraft manufacturer Arturo Ardizzone whose face is known to Sam from the news concerning a terrible crash of one of Ardizzone’s advanced aircraft.
As suspenseful as Tabikat, the first book in the series, Katseye is just as intriguing. Unlike the first book which focuses on the ins and outs of horseracing, however, this book depicts the wonder of modern technology and computer software and the potential catastrophe it may bring to the life of a person or to an institution when used by devious, wrathful and vengeful individuals.
Readers familiar with the author’s style may recognize the multiple and seemingly unrelated subplots would surely anticipate how she would unravel the story, identify the victim at the beginning of the book and solve the mystery in an exciting denouement.
Other readers may or may not agree with me but I genuinely love the romance part of the book. It is unpretentious, unforced and matured, showing the potential for a great love story.
However, some aviation jargon, though necessary in this book, may be confusing for some readers. Moreover, there are noticeable errors, mostly typos, within the entire book (like your hardly need my permission and Caldesi instead of Caladesi). Though they do not detract much from the overall reading experience, they are flaws nonetheless.
Congratulations to Harriet Redfern on yet another great and exciting book!
To check out Katseye on Amazon, please click HERE. Or you may follow them on Facebook at:
April 1, 2018
Tabikat is the first book in the Kat’s Gift Thrillers created by Harriet Redfern.
If the unexpected visit from a long time albeit estranged friend of James Sampfield Peveril, the reclusive racehorse trainer and squire of Sampfield Grange, provokes the curiosity of the members of his household staff, the arrival of Isabella Hall as a temporary replacement office manager throws them in a state of suppressed agitation. Apparently, the presence of the ‘outsider’ has an unwelcome effect on each of them, probably for his or her own reason.
Unbeknownst to the staff, James Sampfield Peveril (known as Sam to his fellow trainers) himself is kept in the dark about the story behind his mysterious temporary employee. Sam is normally reserved and indifferent about the personal lives of the people under his employ. However, an intriguing account by his cousin piques his interest and makes him conclude that there is more to Isabella than a woman in need of a job. As if the situation isn’t perplexing enough, Sam receives a request to train Tabikat, a talented racehorse with elusive owners and mysterious bloodline.
With a steady pacing and solid main plot, this is a suspenseful and exciting novel basically about a fight for justice against a crime family. Aside from the main plot, the author introduces other subplots and expertly puts them together in one satisfying climax. Moreover, characters are supplied with ample backstories that it is easy to visualize them as real people with dreams, priorities, weaknesses and flaws. Furthermore, unlike other books in a series with cliffhanger endings and cases unresolved, this book ends satisfactorily enough.
However, the multiple subplots as well as the multitude of characters may be too confusing to other readers. Moreover, though I appreciate the backstories, I find them too detailed and a little overdone.
Still, I enjoyed this book a lot and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I recommend it to fans of crime, thriller and mystery. Violent and sex scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
Congratulations to Harriet Redfern on such a great and enjoyable book! For the next book in the series, check out Katseye.
Check out Tabikat on Amazon.
Or follow Tabikat and Katsye on Facebook:
March 22, 2018
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the fourth book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency created by Iain Reading.
From the land of Vikings, volcanoes and ice, Kitty Hawk now finds herself in the emerald hills of Ireland. After a presentation to promote the grand opening of Wasabi Willy’s Family Sushi Restaurant in Dublin, the company financing her flight around the world, Kitty is approached by a handsome stranger.
Andrew presents Kitty with an ancient envelope containing two equally ancient items: a newspaper article with an unfinished crossword puzzle and a postcard with a black and white photo of the doomed luxury steamship, the RMS Titanic.
Just like the previous three books, this is a treasure trove of fascinating, albeit some of them tragic and some even horrible, information. I particularly enjoyed the retelling of the ill-fated maiden voyage of one of the most famous ships in history. Moreover, I appreciate the lessons on the ancient Egyptian writing, the Hieroglyphics, as well as the stories about the scariest and most notorious serial killer of all time, Jack the Ripper.
I find the pacing of this fourth installment faster and the plot more suspenseful than the first three and I absolutely love it for that. Kitty, bolder and more daring, is appropriately described as ‘the incredible and remarkable young female pilot.’ I couldn’t pick a favorite from any of the new characters not because they aren’t likable. Quite the contrary, they are all endearing in their own ways. I love Andrew, Professor Flynn, Katherine and Richard for their passion: Andrew for his passion for the truth about his ancestor, the professor for the Titanic, Kate for history and Richard for Jack the Ripper. I like Ellie for her truthfulness and helpfulness and even Thomas for his tenacity. Finally, though the solution to the puzzle was as much as I expected, I still felt good that the book ended the way it did.
Needless to say, I love this book and I enjoyed it a lot.
However, I was a little disappointed that Kitty’s plane played a very minimal role in her adventures this time, though it was apparently understandable. Moreover, other readers may have misgivings about Kitty’s non-conforming behavior. Though I personally take as a trigger to the suspense, others may consider it inappropriate that might send a negative message to people Kitty’s age.
March 19, 2018
Hello, everyone! Today, I am so happy to share with you a piece of good news about the amazing author of the hilarious mystery and paranormal book series Madam Tulip, Mr. David Ahern. I had the honor of reviewing the first two books in the series and I love both of them: Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery and Madam Tulip and the Knave ofHearts. The good news is that David is releasing the third book on April 12, 2018 and the book, Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is now on presale in Amazon. Once again, I am fortunate to be given a chance to read this third installment.
David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.
Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern's first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.
David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.
You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info
Connect with David Ahern on Facebook:
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter
-from David Ahern’s Amazon Author Page)
Q: How do you set yourself from normal mode to writing mode? Do you have any rituals or patterns that you follow?
A: I sit at my desk first thing, check my emails and start. No excuses allowed.
Q: Who has the greatest influence on your writing?
A: Probably the late, lamented Patrick O’Brien, the great writer of sea stories and one of the finest storytellers ever.
Q: Do you have a favorite writing spot? Where is that?
A: My desk in my office. I can’t write anywhere else.
Q: How long do you develop a character for a story?
A: I don’t. they just walk onto the page, and I go hi.
Q: Do you name your characters after people you personally know?
A: Never! I’d get sued.
Q: Do you prepare outlines and follow them?
A: A little bit as I go.
Q: Do you have any celebratory ritual every time you finish a book?
A: I’ve still to get that part organised.
Q: What is your ultimate goal for your books?
Q: If ‘Madam Tulip’ is turned into a movie, who would you like to play Derry O’Donnel?
A: Jennifer Laurence! She’s got a great sense of humour.
Q: If you are given a chance to write a book with another book author, who would he/she be and why?
A: No way! I’m a control freak. Pistols at dawn.
Thank you very much, David! Good luck on MadamTulip and the Bones of Chance!
March 13, 2018
Eyes Don’t Lie is an exciting thriller by Crystal Dawn Mason.
Unloved and abused as a child, Keith craves for the love he didn’t receive. Desperately hoping to find that love, he pursues curly haired brunettes with blue eyes but if he doesn’t get it, there will be hell to pay.
Then along comes McKenzie, a grocery store cashier who has the ability to see evil through a person’s eye.
This is a fast paced, suspenseful and exciting thriller that will keep the readers at the edge of their seats. The plot, though not very original, is quite intense. The author is able to create the perfect antagonist: cold, brutal, ruthless, and trying so hard to fight a seemingly losing battle. The interrelationship between various characters is apparently well thought and heightens the suspense. Finally, though I usually go for a different type of ending, I appreciate how the author concludes this book. I find it ingenious and appropriate.
The most important part of the book, for me, is the subtle emphasis on the importance of parental love on children as well as the lasting effects of the lack of love and affection on children's character.
However, I find the backstories, somehow, insufficient. It seems like there are too many questions left unanswered. Moreover, I find the characters, except for the antagonist, to be underdeveloped which makes it difficult to connect with them. Lenny, for instance, who plays an important role in the story, is not given enough backstories that it was hard to decide whether to like him, dislike him or to pity him. The same goes with Kate and Casey among others. Furthermore, I find McKenzie’s gift somehow downplayed. I was actually expecting more scenes displaying her gift if only to match the ruthlessness and cunning of the antagonist. In addition, I feel that the climax of the story came too soon or probably just sooner than I’m used to. Finally, there are several noticeable errors within the entire book including incorrect use of words and misplaced apostrophes.
Despite my issues, I enjoyed the book immensely. It is suspenseful and intense with an extremely creepy character that will make female readers more wary of people they just meet. It is easy to read and understand and I recommend it to readers who enjoy suspense and thriller novels.
Congratulations to Crystal Dawn Mason (@crystaldawn79_) on such an enjoyable book!
Eyes Don’t Lie was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day on March 10th, 2018. You may check it out at Online Book Club.
March 5, 2018
Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is the third book in the Madam Tulip Book Series created by David Ahern.
Irish-American actress Derry O’Donnel and her friends Bruce and Bella, once again find themselves out of work. So, after careful consideration of a surprise role in a movie, Derry and Bruce are packed and off to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands.
An attentive banker, a cheerful film producer, a seemingly indifferent wife, an ambitious PA and a charming estate manager are only among those whom Madam Tulip, celebrity fortune teller, gets a chance to meet. As unexpected events happen, as they do in movie sets, Derry is yet to know what her cards, her crystal ball and the bag of bones, have to say about the whole affair.
This is another hilarious and suspenseful Madam Tulip book. Told in easy to read, casual-conversational tone, this third book is a page turner just like the previous two. Unlike the two, however, I find this installment highly and remarkably unpredictable that it seems like all my deductions are way off the mark and they, indeed, are. Moreover, the romance is assimilated very smoothly and seamlessly. But I learned my lesson in Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts (Book 2) and read with extra care and reservation.
Needless to say, I like this book a lot. Though I think the paranormal stuff tends to be minimal compared with the first two books, the suspense and mystery make the reading an enjoyable experience. As I already mentioned in my review of Madam Tulip, AnIrish Cozy Mystery (Book 1), Jacko was my favorite character (he still is) flaws and all, but he comes neck and neck with the ever dependable and reliable Bruce.
February 21, 2018
Contract Pending: A New York Mafia Crime Family Novel is the first in the Frankie Fiore books written by Al Marsiglia.
Louie Marsiglia is a shoe repair shop owner in Brooklyn and his son, Frankie, works for him. Young and impressionable, Frankie Fiore is easily recruited by the local mob boss to do collections. Mentored by an experienced ‘made’ man, Frankie finds himself in the boss’s good side in just a short period of time. Soon, he and his new partner are given their own contracts as they continue to prove themselves capable of doing the job. Then, his partner takes it upon himself to ‘touch’ the boss’s money and Frank finds himself on the run leaving his family exposed and vulnerable.
This is an exciting crime thriller with a touch of romance. More than the life of a mobster, the book highlights family values focusing on the things people are willing to do for their family and for the people they care about. The romance part lightens up an otherwise violent story. The author creates well-developed characters taking time to supply sufficient backstories to make the characters relatable. There are many likable characters in this story including Louie Fiore and Peggy, but I find Biff, Frankie’s mentor, my favorite. He is tough, strict and reliable. But most importantly, compared with other mobsters he still has a sense of right and wrong.
However, since the Mafia has been used as subject of so many popular novels already like The Godfather by Mario Puzo and The Firm by John Grisham, some readers may find this book somehow cliché. Moreover, though I sincerely like the plot especially the ending, other readers may find it somehow predictable.
Still, I enjoyed reading the book and I recommend it to crime and thriller fans. Violent and gory scenes, however, may not be suitable for your readers.
February 17, 2018
The Bridge in the Fog is the exciting third installment in the Magora Series created by Marc Remus.
Holly, together with her friends Brian, Rufus and Amanda, is back in Cliffony Academy of the Arts in the fantastical land of Magora. Her return is fired by her burning desire to learn more about her Grandpa Nikolas and her gripping fear that she might be the rumored daughter of the Duke of Cuspidor. Her search for information about her grandfather leads her to the mythical and enchanted bridge said to be closed forever and is hidden behind an eternal fog by its creator, the Wise Man himself, her Grandpa Nikolas.
This third book in the series, though not as suspenseful as the second book is, I can say, much more eventful and therefore just as intriguing and exciting. The search for the Woodspeople and the Land of the Ledesmas through the Bridge in the Fog, the rumors about Cuspidor’s daughter; and a photograph of a library from another world are among the things that the readers will look forward to in this installment. Moreover, the author introduces new characters including Professor Amranranputran and Professor Parsidor, new creatures like the Woodspeole and the Halogumpters in addition to a lot of surprising revelations.
However, I’m not a fan of cliffhangers but I suppose the ending of the book is necessary for a smoother transition to the next and much anticipated Book 4, The Uprising.
February 6, 2018
Smith is an exciting and suspenseful paranormal thriller written by Sam B. Miller II.
Rob Goddard represents the Harvard Department of Archeological Projects in the investigation of the latest claimed discovery of King Solomon’s Temple in Israel. With him is his eighteen year-old son Jake. Being an American in Israel is not easy for young Jake who spends most of his time defending himself from the townspeople who want him out of their land.
Bored from lack of anything to do besides playing video games, Jake, together with his friend Avner, follows a handwritten map he found on his father’s desk and sneaks to the new digging site. Running away from a possibly fatal encounter, Jake drops into a hole and unearths an aged leather pouch that contains a heavy gold colored ring with strange markings, King Solomon’s Ring of Power.
Shortly after putting the ring on his finger, Jake hears the voice of Smith, the interface whose essence is imbued into the ring. He, then, finds himself in possession of an object of immense power.
This is a fast-paced and action-filled thriller written in casual and conversational tone making it an easy read. The suspense is kept in high level right from the first up to the last page. Moreover, the plot is written in a way that even the readers find it difficult to decide whom to believe and trust. Furthermore, the author created two well developed characters that while Jake proves himself to be more than just an ordinary and naïve teenager, Smith who sounds like a funny, fun-loving and lighthearted disembodied voice proves himself to be capable of something else. My favorite character, however, is Inspector Nava Kilman. She is smart and brave, and she shows strength of character despite her youth, a real queen material. In addition, though the twist is, somehow, predictable, it is still a twist and it adds to the excitement of the already exciting story. Finally, the ending is exactly how I want it.
However, I find the back story on Smith and the creation of the Mouth of Truth a little bit vague.
Still I enjoyed this book immensely and I recommend it to readers who enjoy suspense and thriller novels with a touch of paranormal. Gory and violent scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
February 4, 2018
The Xeno Manifesto is an exciting thriller novel by Brysen Mann.
Frank Smirnov has always known he is different. Not only is he an orphan who is oblivious of his roots, but he also displays ‘Powers’ he doesn’t comprehend especially when he is in a fit of rage. An unexpected friendship sparks his interest in mystical ‘Beings,’ an interest that leads him to a mind-blowing discovery that might question everything he knows about the world and the origin of mankind.
This is an exciting and suspenseful book and the author successfully keeps it interesting until the last page. In addition to a very promising premise which is introduced in a fast paced series of events, the characters are thoroughly portrayed in ample back stories. The mystery is suspended as the author shifts the plot by introducing another set of characters with equally ample back story. The excitement continues as the plot converges in a surprising and unexpected twist. This is, indeed, one exciting and enjoyable suspense thriller.
However, other readers may find the timelines a bit confusing. Moreover, though the back stories are ample, too ample in fact that some readers may feel being thrown off the plot, and seemingly sufficient, there are details that sound ambiguous. Furthermore, I find the ending inconclusive which leaves some questions unanswered. Finally, there are too many noticeable errors within the entire book that can easily be fixed by another round of editing.
Still, I enjoyed the book and I recommend it to fans of suspense, thriller and science fiction. The most important part of the book, for me, is the moral issue in instigating mass destruction to save the planet. I think that is one thing everybody should think about.
Congratulations to Brysen Mann (@brysen_mann) on such an exciting novel.