Posts Tagged ‘Bloodhound Books’

Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for “The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup” by Angie Smith.  I am thrilled to share a guest post written by the author on locations used in books and discusses whether or not to use fact or fiction when it comes to the places used.



Arms dealing. Murder. Corruption. 

In Africa, Taylor Hudson reaches the stark realisation that she is in imminent danger.

Time is nearly up when, out of nowhere, she is thrown a lifeline.  Left with little option, she places her trust in a complete stranger. But who is this stranger and why the interest in saving her?

The answers lie 6,000 miles away, deep inside the British Secret Intelligence Service, where a former, disgraced, senior officer is attempting to work his way back into the heart of the organisation. But what are his real intentions? 

What ensues is a deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff.

You can buy a copy of “The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup” via:


A book about fiction, or is it?

What is it about locations in fiction that grabs your attention? Makes it real for you? Do you like plenty of detail or do you just not care? Then, there is that old chestnut – should locations be real or fictitious? This last question seems to be one which causes a stir among readers.

Recently, I was puzzled to see a scathing write-up about a book I’ve read and very much enjoyed. The main reason for the cutting review was the author’s use of fictitious place names. But why should it matter? It would appear that to some people it does – very much so. I’ve seen accusations of laziness and lack of research thrown at authors.

Coming in for the most criticism appears to be the writer who adopts the hybrid style, a mix of actual and fictitious. Cries of ‘there is no such police authority in [insert place name]’ along with ‘there is no such job as a [insert made up job title]’. It seems the reader who has real places on which to create their imagination struggles to cope with other aspects which are completely made up. Yet – what is a work of fiction?

I suppose I now need to confess that as an author I am absolutely compelled to write about actual places. And almost exclusively I have to visit those places. Why? For me it provides the backdrop for creating atmosphere, flavour, ambience, call it what you like. So, if a reader lives locally or has visited the areas, then they may travel with me. And the reader who hasn’t is provided with sufficient information in order to experience the fineries of the location.

Having polled readers on a book club it would appear some argue that if you write about places which exist, then every single detail must be accurate. I’d agree – having to bear the brunt of criticism claiming that a certain train journey I’d referred to from a) to b) didn’t exist as a direct route! Whilst finding this amusing I was somewhat cross with myself and I was convinced I’d researched it and there was a direct train. Hey ho! But what is it that makes for a brain which will happily suspend belief about murder, espionage, corruption and spies, but cannot handle a minor detail about whether a direct train journey exists?

Of course the other side of the coin, where writers use completely fictitious locations has to have a mention here. As I alluded to above it matters not one jot to me so long as the author has created a vision – they’ve stirred my imagination enough for me to think it’s real. Isn’t that just as clever as writing about existing locations? Maybe they use real places and change the name, but that’s fine with me too as a reader. It all comes down to horses for courses. What works for one reader might not for another. That’s the thing with books – there are so many variable. So much to discuss. What do you think?

Footnote – that reader who picked up the train journey issue is now a good friend.

A huge thank you to Angie Smith for joining me today and also to Bloodhound Books for having me join their blog tour.  Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for fab reviews, guest posts and other brilliant content! Blog Tour(5)

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Hello and welcome along to to my stop on the blog tour for Ice Cold Alice by C.P Wilson, I am so excited to share my review of this thriller with you.

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Published: 12 April 2017

Copy provided by Bloodhound Books


They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them.

A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journaling draws the attention of Police Scotland’s CID.

This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind.

Edinburgh’s DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts. But McGuire might have met her match…

What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands?

Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante?

My Thoughts & Review:

“Ice Cold Alice” was one of those books that as soon as I saw the description I just knew I had to read the book.  Granted one of the main themes of the book may not be the easiest of topics to write or read about, I have to say that the author has done a stellar job.
The theme of abuse is explored well and in doing so Wilson has created a character who is ridding the world of abusive men one by one.
Alice is a character that mesmerises readers, we shouldn’t really like her because at the heart of the matter she is a murderer, a cold hearted one at that but there is something about the way that this character has been created that just makes the reader empathise with her and want to succeed at what she is doing.
Cleverly, this book is more than just a thriller, it also makes the reader think about what justice and punishment is and whether the form it takes is acceptable for society.

Without going over the plot too much I will say that Alice is a vigilante, and on paper her alter egos are as far apart as the North and South Poles.  A successful author of YA novels who becomes a stalker and murderer of abusive men at night, and she doesn’t seem overly concerned about people knowing, in fact she blogs about the kills under the name Tequila Mockingbird.   What then follows is a tantalising game of cat and mouse following the vigilante on her murdering crusade and a narrative that draws from past events.  

This was a fast paced read and one that hooked me in from the start, I needed to keep reading to find out what happened next.  A cleverly woven plot with some brilliant characters makes this a must read for fans of crime thrillers.  It’s just an incredibly hard book to review as there are so many things I want to say and have to keep deleting through fear of giving away spoilers.  Take my word for it, this is a book you’re gonna want to read!

You can buy a copy of “Ice Cold Alice” via:

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Published: 4 April 2017



Carl Logan dedicated nearly twenty years of his life to the Joint Intelligence Agency. Now living in a secret location, under the new identify of James Ryker, he wants nothing more than to be left alone, the chance to start a new life away from chaos, violence, destruction and deceit.

It’s not long, however, before Ryker’s short-lived idyll is destroyed when he is tracked down by Peter Winter, his ex-boss at the JIA. Winter brings with him news of the murder of a woman in Spain, Kim Walker, whose fingerprints match those of one of Ryker’s former adversaries who’s been missing presumed dead for years – an infamous female assassin known as the Red Cobra.

A cyberattack at the JIA led to the Red Cobra’s profile being compromised, and Winter believes JIA agents may now be at risk too, Ryker included. But Ryker knew the elusive Red Cobra better than anyone, and when he sees the grisly pictures of Kim Walker’s corpse, he has news for Winter – she isn’t the assassin at all …

So just who is the mystery dead woman? And where is the real Red Cobra?

The Red Cobra is a fast-paced thriller filled with twists and turns and intrigue that will appeal to readers of big-hitting thrillers by the likes of Lee Child and David Baldacci, and with echoes in its plotting and breadth of the globe-trotting spy thriller I Am Pilgrim.

My Thoughts & Review:

“Red Cobra” is the first book by Rob Sinclair that I have read, but I can happily say that it won’t be the last!  This is actually the first in the follow on from the Enemy series that features Carl Logan.  ‘Carl Logan’ is assumed dead, and James Ryker has risen from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix.  Ryker believing he can cut ties to his old life begins again, but is soon tracked down by his former boss and is once again embroiled in the world of secret agents.  His mission, to kill The Red Cobra.

I absolutely love spy and action thrillers, and this book deserves it’s place next to my Lee Child collection.  This was a brilliantly fast paced read, and one I raced through.
The plotting was excellent, the characters were brought to life by the fantastic writing.  Having not read any of the previous books to feature James Ryker (Carl Logan), I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I trusted this character and liked him.  The Red Cobra, well there’s a character that has depth and a backstory.  Her name was enough to cause our protagonist concern when he initially heard it, and rightly so.  She is strong and confident, the sort of female character that audiences are screaming out for.

Skilled writing allows readers to form clear images in their minds of both settings and characters and at times I felt that this played out more like a film in my head as opposed to reading a book – perhaps this book would lend itself well to being on the big screen?

Whilst there is quite a bit of violence in this, I felt that it was well written and remained integral to the storyline without becoming gratuitous.

A brilliant start to a thrilling new series that I will be following eagerly!

You can buy a copy of “The Red Cobra” via Amazon here

My thanks to Bloodhound Books and Rob Sinclair for the opportunity to read this book.

About the Author:

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan. Together the explosive series (comprising Dance with the Enemy, Rise of the Enemy and Hunt for the Enemy) has now sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide. His work has been praised for its relentless pace, multiple twists and breathtaking action.

Although Rob has more Logan books in the pipeline, his upcoming release with Bloodhound Books marks a slight change in direction, moving away from pure action thrills to psychological suspense (albeit still with a healthy dose of action!). 

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Rob’s website is www.robsinclairauthor.com and he can be followed on twitter at @RSinclairAuthor

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Published: 11 April 2017

Copy provided by Bloodhound Books


DCI Bennett faces the most harrowing case of his career. A psychopath, who escaped capture, is hell bent on revenge and executes a series of events that will not only impact on Bennett physically, but will have emotional and professional consequences.         

A body is found with its fingers amputated, then an investigative journalist, embroiled in the pornography and drugs scene, is murdered.

Bennett’s team is faced with some baffling evidence. Hatpins and bicycle spokes become pivotal to the inquiry but the police struggle to connect the evidence.

It is only when a Detective Sergeant from the team is kidnapped that Bennett realises that he is the true target.

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit that this is actually the first book by Malcolm Hollingdrake that I’ve read, there are several on my kindle eagerly waiting to be read but I’ve not managed to get to them yet, so starting this book I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.  But sometimes that’s a good thing, going into a book with no preconceived notions about the writer, their characters etc.

“Game Point” is actually book four in the series to feature DCI Bennett, but I found that I could follow this without having read the previous books.  I enjoyed the way the plot pulled me in and kept me reading on, this was one of those books that when you read it the rest of the world fades to background noise.  This was a fast paced read, so incredibly gripping, and very well written.  The characters were interesting and felt well developed, each of Bennett’s team actively participating in the investigation when one of their own was kidnapped.
I seem to have developed a soft spot for Bennett, there’s something loveable about him that makes him endearing to readers.

The case that the team work on is fantastic, an escaped psychopath who is fixated on revenge sets in motion a chain of events that has far reaching consequences for Bennett, both professionally and personally.
It’s quite hard to not give spoilers for this book, there are so many parts I want to point out so that I can rave about them and say how well they were written etc. but that’s not fair for other readers.

I think based on this book I’ll be going back to the previous three and catching up with DCI Bennett, the style of writing appealed to me, the plotting was superb and the characters were brilliant!

You can buy a copy of “Game Point” via Amazon here.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read this book and participate in the blog tour.

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I am delighted to welcome you along to my stop on the blog tour for “Burden of Truth” by Pete Best and share a piece written by the author.



Egocentric Brent Sandler knows he needs to change his life for the better. He’s hit rock bottom, penniless and in deep trouble as he discovers an awful tragedy lying in wait. The problem is, he knows this tragedy is all down to him and his past actions. Now he’s determined to put things right as the consequences of these actions are rapidly making their mark.

Meanwhile in Bodhgaya India, Peter Cannon has just made a shocking discovery that will change his life forever. Like Brent, he must come to terms with his guilt. But his past, his secret and the woman he loves are slowly hunting him down.

And if they find him, questions will be asked.

The tale of The Burden of Truth is a suspenseful thriller of how these two men are pulled apart and then drawn together as each man tries to fulfil his own quest for happiness. But they are soon to find out this quest is thwart with love, as well as danger, and both are lurking just around the corner.

You can buy a copy of “The Burden of Truth” here via Amazon

A Question of Theme.

Quite a bit back in the local coffee shop a group of young girls doing a project in school wanted to ask me some questions about writing.

At the time I was rather flattered when they approached me so I asked them why they picked on me?

The answer came back because they didn’t know anyone else to ask!

Okay, perhaps I wasn’t so flattered at this point but I was still more than happy to help.

So, the first question from one very keen young girl was, “What makes a good book?”

Well I took a deep breath and started to give the standard answer I normally give to what seems to be a very popular question.

“Okay,” I said. “A good book always has many elements to it. “For example, the story must grip the reader from the start. It must also have some very interesting characters and a very good plot.” I may have slipped in a few others at the time but I think that would have been the general gist of it.

However, at the end of the answer the look on her face told me she was a little disappointed in what I had said. It was obvious she had heard all this before and that perhaps she was looking for just that little bit extra.

I then quickly rattled my brain and tried my best to come up with something else to say about the subject. So the best I could come up with was that, “We also need to bring all of these under one umbrella and give the story a theme.”

She looked at me rather puzzled. Then she asked me to explain what exactly did I mean, the story should have a theme.”

So there I was thinking, what can I tell this young lady about theme?

“It’s the feeling of the story,” I answered quickly. “It’s about what the book is trying to tell us and the idea behind it. Not so much the storyline of the novel but more along the lines of what the message of the book is and what the writer is trying to say to us.”

Now the girl looked a bit happier, however she still asked me to explain a bit more.

“Think of it this way.” I continued, “A story may be about a certain plot. For example a crime novel may be about an unfortunate murder and the detective is trying to solve the case. A very simple plot sure, but that is what the story is about. However, part of this story may be about the thoughts of the detective. Perhaps there may be a strong sub plot be running on the lines of the detective’s fear of failure and what he does to overcome this fear. Or perhaps something like the murderer having some sort of illusions of power over his victims. Both of these examples could easily give the writer an opportunity to put messages into the story. Now we can say these messages could be considered a story theme.”

So at this point I was quite happy with the answer I had just given, however the young lady was still not fully satisfied. She then went on to ask, “Well, how do you start to write a theme into a story?”

Okay, I thought to myself this is now going to be trickier than I thought. Anyhow I started to give some sort of an answer back.

“First you start with the main character of the story. Obviously the main character is the backbone of the story. The writer has to make sure that the reader must understand this man (or woman.) fully. Not just the physical side of him but also what he does, how he thinks, everything about him. The reader must know this character inside and out.”

I then continued quickly before the young girl butted in to ask for a deeper explanation.

“Now let’s go back to our detective’s fear. It’s his own conflict in the story. Now in this case, the writer must make sure that the reader fully understands how and why he has this fear of failure. This part can be built up through the first part of the story. However, towards the end of the story the writer must show how this fear of failure is resolved; providing it is resolved! Remember this is the theme we are talking about not the storyline. It may be that the detective may have caught the killer but perhaps his fears still remain. Towards the end of the story the writer must start to wrap things up and then show how the detective is now feeling.

Perhaps he is now happy he has solved the case. Perhaps in a way he has won some sort of contest with the murderer. However, despite his success his fear of failure still remains, so he has not won his own personal battle.

Now while all of this is going on the writer could then write some message into the story. Perhaps something like; even if one is victorious he might not have progressed in life. He may have been successful in capturing the murderer but in doing so he may still be fearful that he may not be able to solve his next case.

Therefore the message and theme of the story could then be about hollow victories and then pose the question; is being victorious always a good thing?

Well, now I looked at all the young girls writing furiously in their notepads. Strange thing was, I starting to look forward to the next question and I was not disappointed. However, I’ll tell you about that some other time.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for some amazing reviews and guest posts by the author!

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Published: 28 February 2017

Copy provided by author


The past is never far away.

Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up from a coma in hospital suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.

With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.

But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

The Abattoir of Dreams is a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse

My Thoughts & Review:

Mark Tilbury is an author I am familiar with, having thoroughly enjoyed “The Eyes of The Accused” and “The Revelation Room” and to say I was excited when I was offered the chance to read and review his newest book is a little of an understatement.

There are so many things I want to say about this book, there are so many “bits” I desperately want to point out ‘watch out for X’ or ‘keep an eye on Mr so-and-so’, but this is a book that cannot be spoiled, it should not be spoiled.  It’s hard hitting, fast paced and utterly brilliant!  Seamlessly blending multiple genres is a task that many authors struggle with,  but Tilbury has made it seem effortless here, cleverly giving the reader horror, suspense, romance, thrills a plenty and a wonderful supernatural slant.

Characterisation is superb, protagonist Michael is so strong despite his current predicament….he is shrewdly intelligent and along his quest to regain his memory the reader cannot help but be drawn to liking this character, feeling sympathy towards him.  Contrast this with the strong emotions felt towards the wretched “bag guys”, the way in which the descriptions of characters are crafted astounds me.  When an author can evoke such loathing and  hatred towards a character with only their words I am always impressed, but here I actually felt like I needed to go out into the fresh air, get the wind to blow away these awful people from my head….powerful writing!

A gritty read, and one that will absolutely set your head spinning.  There are topics that may make for uncomfortable reading and yes, it does feel a little like sitting on the edge of your seat reading this.  The intensity of this book makes it a terrible choice for bedtime reading, firstly you don’t want to put it down, but it also stays in your head….tangents springing off in all directions of “what if” or “I wonder what might happen”

You can buy a copy of “The Abattoir of Dreams” here

About the Author:

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria,although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused. He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is currently working on his third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar,and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!16797644_10155064449251255_527956284479287531_o

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