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  • Title: Death of an Angel
  • Author: Derek Farrell
  • Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
  • Publication Date: 27th February 2019

Copy received from publisher and tour organiser for review purposes.

Description:

A woman is found dead in a London street – the evidence suggests she plummeted to her death from a nearby tower block – but did she fall or was she pushed? And why does she have Danny Bird’s name written on the back of her hand?

So begins this 4th magnificent outing for Danny and the gang from The Marq.

In the frame for a murder he didn’t commit, London’s self-proclaimed Sherlock Homo has no choice but to don his metaphorical deerstalker one more time to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about the tragic death of Cathy Byrne. 

With the indomitably louche Lady Caz by his side, Danny plunges headlong into a complex investigation while at the same time trying to be a dutiful son to his increasingly secretive parents, and still find the time to juggle his frustratingly moribund love-life.

My Thoughts:

I was only too happy to catch up with my favourite bar manager/amateur sleuth, Danny Bird in Death of an Angel. Having followed this series since the beginning, Death of a Diva, the Danny Bird books have gone from strength to strength. The characters have developed in ways that I would not have imagined and I’m thrilled to see how their stories have unfolded.

Death of an Angel is different from the previous books, there’s something about the plot that sets it apart from the others in the series, and it’s a fascinating and enjoyable read.
With a strong focus on families and relationships, Derek Farrell gives readers more than a story about crime. The link between family members is a driving force behind many events throughout the plot, the dynamic between characters shows the varied connections that exist and the lengths that people will go to to try and protect those they care about.

So, Danny and Caz are back, doing what they do best … getting caught up in situations that would have most “normal” people panicking, but somehow they always manage to keep things together and get out of awkward moments. Caz, a somewhat delightful yet dipsomaniacal member of the aristocracy, always has a bottle of something in that capacious bag of hers to help her in those situations. I say somewhat delightful because this character is one who causes much hilarity with her sarcasm and cynicism, and smock. But I have a feeling that behind her bluster is a genuinely soft heart, especially when it comes to certain people.
The case that the pair become involved with has some incredibly murky connections, and ones they have to be wary of. But nonetheless, they tackle each obstacle as it appears, uncovering dangerous corruption and ruthless killers. Clever plotting makes this quite a thrilling read, often I found myself trying to guess ahead at how things would all link together, or who was the killer and what their motive was but I was led astray by red herrings.

Characterisation is one of the key things in the books of this series, each of the main characters feels so real and easy to connect with. Readers cannot help but feel some pull towards the lives of these fictitious creations, such is the ability of Farrell to create a realistic cast. Danny’s family have become so real that I think of them with fondness.

A thrilling and clever read that gives the reader much to think about, whilst supplying many laughter inducing moments and plenty to keep them guessing!

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Hello and welcome along to Celebrating Indie Publishing! I am thrilled to be chatting with another fantastic indie author and sharing my review of his latest book. Today’s author is Ian Patrick, a name that I link to intelligent writing, gritty stories and utterly fantastic characters. If you’re not familiar with Ian’s books, I would highly recommend them. His first book, Rubicon was published in August 2017 and has been optioned by the BBC for a six episode series. I read and reviewed this back in May 2018.

Stoned Love is the second book in the Sam Batford series, and I have to admit to loving this book! It’s clever, it’s punchy and it’s downright brilliant!
It was published in August 2018 and is available to buy direct from the publisher or Amazon now!


Book Feature:

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Description:

Detective Sergeant Sam Batford has been lying low at a remote safe house in the highlands of Scotland. He’s doing his best not to attract the attention of the enemies he made, on both sides of the law, during his last under-cover operation but Batford knows he’s just killing time until he’s called to account.

Inevitably the sharks begin to circle and as Batford is called back to front-line action in London he’s thrown into a deadly game of cat and mouse where it seems everyone is out to get him.

After having to endure a frustrating resolution to their previous undercover operation together DCI Klara Winter from the National Crime Agency is determined to prove that Batford has crossed the line into criminality and finally bring him to face justice.

All Sam Batford wants is to outwit his enemies long enough to stay alive and come out ahead of the game.  

My Thoughts:

I was thrilled when I heard that Ian Patrick had written a follow up to Rubicon, his thrilling debut novel featuring DS Sam Batford. This is a character that I eagerly look forward to catching up with, his wit and quick thinking make him such a fascinating character, and there’s something magnetic about him, he draws readers in making them want to know more about him and the various guises he wears as an undercover officer.

Without rehashing the blurb or giving anything away, I will say that this is a very bold and exciting book. Batford is up to his neck in danger, and that’s nothing new there really. However, this time the undercurrent of danger is more like a perilous riptide waiting to sweep our protagonist out into the murky depths.
Any undercover job has the potential to go wrong, but in this case it seems that Batford is working against the clock as well as enemies both seen and unseen.
For fans of Rubicon, the fallout from the previous operation leaves Batford with a price on his head. But fear not, if you’ve not read Rubicon and want to jump straight into this book then you can be sure that the author has included wee details that will quickly get you up to speed with what has happened before without bogging down the narrative for returning readers.

Stoned Love is a fast paced read, the sort of book that you really, really want to race through to find out what happens Sam, his handler and those colleagues around him. The notion that there are investigations within investigations makes this a deliciously thrilling read, making readers wonder who they should trust and what the motivations of certain characters might be. Characterisation is excellent, each of the main personas has been thoughtfully created and appears very lifelike in their quirks and temperaments. I love that the narration swaps between Batford and DCI Klara Winter, giving readers a glimpse into their mindsets, making this a deceptively clever read. It’s clear from reading this that not only has Ian Patrick researched well, but he has lived policing. His experiences in a policing role ensure that this remains credible and realistic at all times without becoming drab or boring.

If you’ve not already got Ian Patrick on your radar, I would highly recommend adding his name now! This is an author you definitely want to keep an eye on, and I know I will be waiting eagerly to see what he writes next!


Author Feature:Ian Patrick Author Photo

Ian spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command in London. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes. Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.

Rubicon is his debut novel published by Fahrenheit Press and Stoned Love the second in the series. Rubicon has been optioned by the BBC for a six part TV series. 

He now lives in rural Scotland where he divides his time between family, writing, reading and photography. 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @IPatrick_Author

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

Having a reader say how much they loved your book. I write to bring joy, entertainment and escape from everyday life. When you get feedback that you’ve achieved that it’s wonderful. It makes me want to do better the next time too. Time is precious and a reader’s time should never be wasted.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

The inability to switch off. Once it has you, you’re captive to its will. It means if you aren’t writing you are thinking about it, making notes, plot ideas arise that can’t wait to be addressed. You get the idea? Sounds great until it prevents you enjoying any downtime! To write is a privilege so I’m prepared to suffer the small irritation. I have an incredibly supportive family so this too makes it easier.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. That book defined a generation and has gone way beyond the written word to be engrained in male and minimalist culture.  The whole concept works on so many levels, it’s just an incredible book.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

See the answer to question 2!  I’m a nightmare to live with if I’m not writing. I have a disability that does restrict me in how much I can do outside the home but I do enjoy photography and taking the dogs out. They trot alongside my scooter so we can get a couple of miles in easily. I’m also a parent so spending time with the kids is important to me too.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

None. I spent 27 years in the Met Police so not having a structure is a blessing. Flip side is it can also be a challenge. Writing is a disciplined art and without some form of discipline you can’t be a writer of novels. If the words aren’t adding up then you won’t have a story. I always try to write each day. Word count doesn’t matter. I just find a space and write.

I’m fortunate that I’m now retired from the police so finding the time is easier. Rubicon was written in the evenings. Stoned Love whenever I could find the time. That would mean carrying my laptop with me and using any spare time I had to write.

I don’t need silence to write, either. Most of Stoned Love was written in The Clachan Inn pub in Dalry. My youngest daughter was at a local playgroup in the morning. The hall she was in had a back room but it was too cold in winter. So cold I could barely type. I was offered the chance to write an article for the local paper on an award the pub had won. The owners’ took pity on my plight and said I could write there each morning. How could I refuse a table and open fire? The rest, as they say, is history.

What’s on the horizon?

My third book, Fool’s Gold, is with a beta reader. It’s third in the Batford series. Once this is done it will be on its way to Fahrenheit Press, my publisher. Hopefully Chris and his team will like it enough to publish it.

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it?

Stoned Love follows on from Rubicon and explores the life of a corrupt undercover cop, DS Sam Batford. What you will get is crime fiction with a dash of police experience that will take you on a journey you will want to repeat again and again. You’ll find yourself warming to a protagonist you wouldn’t take home for tea but could be persuaded to have a meal with at Claridges.

 

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

Don’t waste time on a book you don’t enjoy (mine included). Life’s too short and there’s some incredible talent out there to discover. Sometimes we pick up a book at the wrong time in our lives. If we’re meant to read it then it will come back. I’d recommend any on the Fahrenheit list. A diverse and talented set of writers. There are also a host of other fabulous independent publishers.

 

My thanks to Ian for joining me today and being so honest, there are so many authors who have said that they find it hard to switch off the writing side of their brains and it’s always interesting to see what they do outside of being wordy rockstars!
I’ll have to keep an eye out for Ian appearing at some book festivals so I can pop along to get some signed books.
I completely agree with Ian, it would have been foolish to turn down the table and open fire in the local pub, purely for the purposes of writing whilst his wee one was at playgroup, that’s the savvy thinking that we’ve come to know from our favourite writers! Fool’s Gold is something to look forward to, and I will be sure to keep an eye on Fahrenheit’s twitter feed/website for news of publication!

 

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The River Runs Red cover

** My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours and Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Berlin is in the midst of its worst winter in decades.

Against the backdrop of freezing temperatures, blizzards and snowstorms, the city refuses to grind to a halt. Lurking within the shadows is a Stasi victim, out for revenge against the former East German informants known as ‘The Ears’. Their dark secrets are about to be exposed.

A mix of ice and water and a single gunshot, provides the ultimate payback.

With the Millennium approaching, Hanne Drais, the criminal psychologist working within the Berlin Mitte Police team led by the irascible Oskar Kruger and his laid-back sidekick, Stefan Glockner, are seeking the perpetrator of these violent crimes.

Who is the man they’ve nicknamed Snowflake?

Who is turning the river red?

My Thoughts & Review:

I absolutely love books with a Cold War setting, something about them just makes for a thrilling and enticing read, and The River Runs Red by Ally Rose is certainly that.

With a plot that spans two different timelines, Ally Rose introduces readers to a Berlin that is rife with danger and suspicion, the Stasi are omnipresent and overpowering, ordinary citizens are turning informant on their friends, neighbours and even family, and those brave enough to defect make life difficult for the ones they leave behind. But the actions of the Stasi and their informants are the catalyst for a spree of killings some years later, someone is out for revenge for having been wronged.

The dual timeline makes this quite an interesting read, readers experience a snipped of the East German way of life, and see events through the eyes of a young man struggling with life after his father’s defection to West Germany. Whilst watching life unfolding for this character, readers also see a more modern timeline where they are privy to the actions of the killer, not the exact motives or the identity of the killer but some of their thoughts and actions as they seek revenge for events from the past.
Interestingly, Ally Rose also gives readers the view of the investigating team through the eyes of Hanne Drais, a criminal psychologist working with the Berlin Police. Drais is a fantastic character, her thought processes and actions make her stand out as someone readers will want to know more about. She is a likeable character, and one that I think many readers will connect readily with.

Plotting and characterisation are well done, the way that the story unfolds is sure to hook the interest of readers and keep them captive trying to work out of they’ve guessed the connections between events and if they’ve guessed the identity of the killer. The pace is good, I found that this was a book that I was racing through, thoroughly enjoying each chapter. Giving readers a variety of characters to get to know makes this such an intriguing read, each is well rounded and multidimensional, an whilst I may not have agreed with the actions of all of them, I definitely felt that I was becoming more invested in their tales and wanted to know more.

Although The River Runs Red is the third book in the Hanne Drais series, this can definitely be read as a stand alone book. Ally Rose gives ample background information about Hanne Drais so that you get to know this character and her history, and don’t feel on the back foot at all.
Now, I think I will go back to the start of the series to enjoy books one and two!

You can buy a copy of The River Runs Red via:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Fahrenheit Press

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the tainted vintage

 

** My thanks to Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

In the small Czech town of Vinice the mayor has been found dead in his wine cellar.

Detectives Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky are called to the scene and soon realise that despite appearances, Mayor Slansky’s death was most definitely not from natural causes.

Almost immediately, the close-knit community closes ranks to try and brush the unexplained death under the carpet with the minimum of fuss.

Dvorska & Dambersky are drawn deeper and deeper into secrets that many hoped would remain buried forever and they’re forced into pursuing an investigation where their own lives are put in danger.

The Tainted Vintage is the first book in a wonderful new series set in and around The Czech Republic, an area rich in history, literature and culture that still remains largely unexplored by contemporary crime fiction fans.

My Thoughts & Review:

When I picked up this book I didn’t expect that it would be such an enjoyable and engaging read, something about the setting, the characters and the plot instantly grabbed my attention and held my attention captive.

I have to admit that The Czech Republic isn’t a setting that I am overly familiar with when it comes to books, and can’t actually think of any recently that I’ve read that even have characters travelling there, but will say that authors are missing a trick! What a fantastic location and the way that Blanchard brings it alive, the landscape, the history … it all becomes so vivid.

The story line is one that inspires intrigue, the town mayor discovered dead in his own wine cellar and everyone apart from the detectives is happy to believe a heart attack was the cause. Paired together are the most unlikely of detectives Jane Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky, who are determined to investigate the matter and find out the truth. But this pairing works, they make for great detectives and I look forward to meeting them in future novels.

History is something that plays an important role in this plot of this book, and I will say that it is written in a way that really gives the reader pause for thought. Tracing back to the war, there are crimes buried in the histories of characters that shock not only those around them but the reader too.

Well written, well paced and a great start to what looks to be a very exciting series!

You can buy a copy of The Tainted Vintage via:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

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It’s a real pleasure to welcome you to join me today to celebrate indie publishing with Saira Viola, her novel Crack Apple and Pop was published by Fahrenheit Press in June 2018, and has been the book of the moment with a great blog tour with damppebbles this week.

 

Description:

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Tony is a handsome young boxer is forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.

Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.

Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.

All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.

Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.

The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.

A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.
Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…

You can buy a copy of Crack, Apple & Pop via:

Fahrenheit Press

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Author Feature: Saira Viola.jpg

Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author ?

The sense of the unknown. You can go anywhere your imagination, and your memories take you.  A little bit of truth dust and boom: You open the doors to different worlds and immerse yourself in the lives of the characters you’re creating  or characters triggered by history,  real people, lurid dreams. Even labels for cat food in supermarket aisles can spark a train of  thought in your mind leading to a  potential story .

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author ?

The horror of sometimes  feeling like a naked trapeze artist balancing a coke bottle on your  head. Fizz fizz pop! You drop -with absolutely nothing to say.

If you could have written any book what would it be about and why ?

Not a book but :

I  wish I’d written, and choreographed the Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky or Marvin Gaye’s sublime classic What’s Going On?

How do you spend your time when not writing?

I’m  always writing unless I’m sleeping when I’m dreaming in cinematic stories!  Much of my work has a visceral, rhythmic feel, and lucid dreams can play a part  in the writing  process. Although dreams tend to be imagistic, a dream can creep into my conscience, and materialize  a line, a sentence, and even a chapter. It seems that everything I do revolves around writing. Even when I’ve volunteered for social causes,  I find myself writing: I have worked as a volunteer helping young adults to read and am part of a grassroots initiative providing books to prisons, reform schools, orphanages, mobile libraries, and  pop up libraries in socially deprived  neighbourhoods. And for years I have been writing  letters to prison inmates for Amnesty International .

Do you have a set routine for writing- rituals you have to observe ?

No. No rituals of any kind.  I snatch whatever time I can, and scribble away.
Writing where I can when I can . Right now I’m  sofa -slumming so I write perched on  a cushion  laboriously punching words onto my phone.  In between subway stops, waiting in hospital corridors (surprisingly tranquil) hoofing to grocery stores. Anywhere -everywhere.  It’s not ideal, and Virginia Woolf’s famous quote from her essay A Room of One’s Own still resonates but I’m making good progress.

What’s on the horizon ?

I’m currently writing the closing chapters of a new novel American Scandal . It’s a crime story set in Los Angeles featuring an all female punk band, and a fast -thinking mean- mouthed  street-smart female mobster, and entertainment  impresario. The book looks at the ugliness lurking behind the celebrity fuelled New Age posturing, and post modern spangle. Some of the characters struggle for identity, and there is an eruption of racism that threatens the fairy tale promise of the American Dream .  Everyone’s making deals, and payoffs . Venal reaming makes the world go round. Whether it’s law, sex, or money they all  hunger for their fifteen minutes- but riches, and status- changing fame always come at a price.

Any pearls of wisdom for your readers?

Ha! Wisdom comes from experience, not interviews. Just pray your liver holds out!

What’s your current book about and why should we read it ?

Crack Apple and Pop (published by Fahrenheit 13 an impress of Fahrenheit Press) is a prime slice of Brit  Noir.  A crime story set in the glitzy streets of London.  A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine -dusted starlets, demi -celebs, and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling, and everyone’s getting high. A city where money creates its’ own morality.  It may intrigue, disgust, and shock ! Like discovering a bleeding  pinkie  in a velvet -ribbed chocolate box.  Lurking beneath the flashy real estate,  high end boutiques and bright lights are some of the most debauched,  dangerous and dirty  parts of subterranean London . The novel offers a back stage pass to the sleazy machinations of the city’s connivers puppeteers and fixers. Reading about it imminently more fun than living it!

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sairaviola

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saira.viola/

Website: http://sairaviola.net/

Amazon Author Page

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There are some brilliant sounding books out there in the world at the moment, and I’m kicking myself for not having enough time to read them all!  Today I am thrilled to share a guest post by Seth Lynch about his writing process, and I have to say I am amazed, and a little exhausted just thinking about it!

A Dead American In Paris cover

Description:

Paris. 1931.

Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter.

He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.

As Salazar gets to grips with the case he’s dragged reluctantly into an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder.

Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.

Seth’s books can be purchased directly from the publisher, Fahrenheit Press:

A Citizen of Nowhere (Salazar Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_citizen_of_nowhere.html

A Dead American in Paris (Salazar Book 2): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_dead_american_in_paris.html

The Paris Ripper (Chief Inspector Belmont Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_the_paris_ripper.html

 

Guest Post:

After writing my first complete novel, A Citizen of Nowhere (Salazar #1), I wanted to keep on writing. I settled on a simple plan, write daily and don’t look back until the end. It is pretty liberating, but I was writing with absolutely no plan at all. I had a few vague notions, a scene or two that I wanted to include, but nothing else. So I ended up with a first draft that was not only badly written (who cares, it’s a first draft) but the crime didn’t make sense, the solution didn’t make sense and a lot of the characters were wooden. Rather than solve these problems I ignored them and wrote Salazar #3 using the same method. No prizes for guessing that the result was pretty much the same.

I eventually decided to re-write Salazar #3 without Salazar. This meant developing Chief-Inspector Belmont from a secondary role into the main character. I gave Belmont his own team, a boss who doesn’t like him, a wife with some dubious sexual morals and a lover she shares with her husband. I added in a back story for Belmont and a side story to complement the main theme. The finished book contained about 10% of the original Salazar #3 draft. I renamed it The Paris Ripper and it’s available through Fahrenheit Press.

I then went back to Salazar #2, A Dead American in Paris. Belmont makes his first appearance in this book but I now knew him and his team. I started the novel again with the original draft as a guide. I’d say about a quarter of the first draft remains and the book is a lot better for losing the other three-quarters. But writing an entire novel only to use it as a synopsis is not an efficient way to work.

I still like the idea of just sitting down and writing but it’s a lot easier if you know where you’re going first. I’ve written another novel since A Dead American which, hopefully, should be out via Fahrenheit later in the year. I wouldn’t say that I planned it all out in advance, but I did have a sketched outline before I began. When I came back to re-work that first draft I could concentrate on improving the text and not cutting way whole chapters while desperately filling in the plot holes.

A Citizen of Nowhere (Salazar #1), The Paris Ripper and A Dead American in Pairs (Salazar #2) are all available through Fahrenheit Press. The Paris Ripper is a standalone book but the events occur after those of A Dead American.

 

About the Author:

seth lynch

Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.

With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethALynch

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seth-Lynch/e/B00E7SZ3FS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sethlynchauthor/

 

Dead American Paris

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Rubicon Cover

** My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours & Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.

Sam Batford is an undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.

DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.

Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.

My Thoughts & Review:

Rubicon is a book that you pick up when you have a free day, it’s the sort of book that once you start, you will not want to put it down again.  It’s gripping, it’s dark and it’s utterly thrilling!

The narrative is seen from the perspective of two characters, DS Sam Batford and DCI Klara Winter, and for all intent and purposes they are on the same team but their end goals are vastly different.
Batford is an undercover agent with Metropolitan Police, and the impression he gives through his somewhat narcissistic narrative is that he’s a renegade, a damned good one though.  He’s a bit of a loose cannon, but he seems to get results, even if he doesn’t follow the rule book.
Winter on the other hand is the polar opposite, she follows the rules, she works as part of a team, and there’s no question as to whether she may be rogue or not.  Through a series of diary/journal like entries, the reader is privy to her frustrations and anger at how the current case is progressing and the politics between police departments.

It’s clear from the snappy writing that the author has experience of policing and his ability to say so much without overdoing it is superb.  The plot is pacy and taught, the characters are the sort that you almost want them to be caught out, you almost want to see Batford get caught out at times … even just to see him talk his way out of it.

It’s an action packed, thrilling read that grabs the reader from the outset and leaves you wondering who exactly the bad guy is.  It’s clever, the plotting is great and characterisation spot on!
Ian Patrick is an author I will be keeping an eye on from now on and Rubicon is highly recommended!

You can buy a copy of Rubicon via:

Amazon UK
Fahrenheit Press (Publisher)

 

About the Author:

Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.

He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.

Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.

Ian’s Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IPatrick_Author

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ian-Patrick/e/B075VB1MP4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

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The TV Detective cover

 

** My thanks to Emma at damppebbles and Chris at Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it.

Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it, so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution. Sadly for Dan it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.

With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is notorious local businessman Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.

As tensions rise Dan comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.

The TV Detective is the first book in a classic crime series from Simon Hall, who until recently was the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area.

My Thoughts & Review:

I do love a crime thriller that veers away from the typical mould and The TV Detective does exactly that.  The lead investigative character in this book is a journalist who up until recently was happy covering stories about nature and the outdoors, but a new assignment to crime completely throws him into the deep end.

Some quick and ingenious thinking sees journalist Dan Groves liaising with Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen and his team on the murder of much hated local business man Edward Bray, a baptism of fire for Dan as he grapples to learn the ropes of police work and limitations of evidence.

This is a case that twists with no shortage of suspects, but the evidence never seems to point the detectives in a true direction.  And as the investigation opens up, it soon becomes clear that the team have their work cut out for them.  Edward Bray was a much hated man, and it would appear that years of his despicable actions left many connected with him aggrieved and out for vengeance if the opportunity ever presented itself.
By using a journalist as the leading character, the investigation opens up for readers, allowing them to experience the case as it moves along, the typical police procedural path being ignored for a more exciting and interesting route in storytelling.

The depiction of Dan Groves is an interesting one, readers see hints towards a troubled past, something haunts him and lingers in the shadows of his mind and readers can only guess what taunts him on his dark days but it’s clear that he has found a way to live with his past.  The relationship, bond, companionship … whatever you want to call it, that develops between Groves and Breen is interesting, the characters work well together and despite initial issues between their professions.

The plotting is clever and slick, the readers are kept very much in the dark about the who and why, Simon Hall only revealing details when he’s ready to shock the audience after lulling them into a false sense of security.

An interesting and enjoyable read in what I hope is the first of a long series!

You can buy a copy of The TV Detective via:

Fahrenheit Press (Publisher)
Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

Simon Hall is an author and journalist.

He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

His books – the tvdetective series – are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.

Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets (find him @thetvdetective ) and studying pop lyrics.

For more on Simon, see his website – www.thetvdetective.com

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SimonHallNews
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Simon-Hall/e/B0034Q7NPC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1523989492&sr=1-1
Website: www.thetvdetective.com

TV Detective

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Whilst I’m taking a few days off for the school holidays I thought that it might be nice to showcase some wonderful indie authors and shine a blinding spotlight on them.

I am so excited to put one of my favourite crime fiction authors in the spotlight and share my love of his books with you.  The author in question is the lovely Derek Farrell who has written the Danny Bird mysteries series (Death of a Diva, Death of a Nobody and Death of a Devil).

Derek Farrell’s are published by Fahrenheit Press and are available to buy now!


Author Feature:

Derek Farrell_Fotor

Derek Farrell is the author of the Danny Bird Mysteries, ‘Death of a Diva,’ ‘Death of a Nobody’ and ‘Death of a Devil,’ which centre on the denizens of The Marquess of Queensbury Public House in Glamourous South London.

He was educated in Dublin, and, whilst waiting to become a writer of fabulous crime novels has passed his time being a burger dresser, bank cashier, David Bowie’s paperboy, and an Investment Banker in New York’s World Trade Centre (a bit like The Wolf of Wall Street, only with fewer hookers and more midgets, since you ask).

He is married and divides his time between London, West Sussex and Dublin.

Derek loves to hear from his readers, and can be contacted via Twitter: @derekifarrell or at his website Derekfarrell.co.uk

His books can be purchased as paperbacks or ebooks direct from the publisher Fahrenheit Press at: http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_fahrenheit.html

Or from Amazon:

Death of a Diva

Death of a Nobody

Death of a Devil

Death of a Diva is now available as a deluxe edition Hardback limited to only 50 Copies worldwide.
Purchase it here.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

The best thing about being an author is realising that I have a tribe of readers who love escaping into my world. I LOVE the idea of telling stories and knowing that there are people I’ve never even met who are on trains and busses and on holiday or in the kitchen wondering what’s going to happen to Danny and the gang next.

Plus, the parties are epic. There was this one time Wilbur Smith came into Studio HB54 on a White Horse…

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  

Writing. To quote one of my writing Heroines Dorothy Parker, “I hate writing; I love having written.” Every time I sit down, the fear kicks in, and you wonder if you’re about to be rumbled. But you press on, and hope that, when it’s finally done, it will resemble the idea you had in your head all along. And so far, I think I’ve gotten away with it…

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Can I have two?
“The Aggravations of Minnie Ashe” by Cyril Kersh was the first book I ever read that left me unable to breathe because I was laughing so hard.

It’s the everyday story of a Widow in East End London on the edge of WWII and her ongoing battles with the council, the neighbours and the ‘thieving tradesmen who’d rip the eyes out of a widow’s head’ as told by her long suffering son.

The cast of characters – mum, uncles, aunts, random neighbours – didn’t so much influence The Danny Bird Mysteries as provide an (admittedly unconscious) blueprint for how to make the every day both fascinating, funny, and tragically poignant. If I could write that funny and that humanly, I would be a very proud and happy author. This and its sequel are out of print nowadays, but well worth hunting down.

The Thin Man” by Dashiell Hammett.  I read this one at least once a year, along with ‘Gatsby,’ which is also a Talisman of mine. Hammett here manages to move the Noir novel into a space that’s a little more cerebral, a little more cosmopolitan, a lot more humorous. TTM isn’t a huge book; it relies on a couple of questionable turns; but it is like a perfectly constructed Martini: Simple, genuine, and far more complicated than it looks at first glance. Plus, it features GALLONS of booze. I mean it. GALLONS. At one point, I worried that Danny and Caz in my books were drinking too much to be (a) functioning and (b) feasible. Then I did my annual reread of TTM, and actually added more gin.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

Travelling, reading going to the theatre, drinking Chardonnay and Gin and stressing about the fact I’m (a) not writing (b) drinking too much and (c) as a result of (b) getting too fat go fit into my knockoff Prada onesie.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

My number one ritual is: Travel.

All my first drafts are at least partially written en route to my day job.

Most of the 2nd half of Death of a Diva was written on a ship crossing the Atlantic. For five days my fellow passengers played Bingo, Quoits, or lounged on deck, whilst I – regularly supplied with Martinis – sat in the Library from dawn to dusk and wrote.

A good chunk of Death of a Nobody was written sitting by a swimming pool in New Zealand, and Death of a Devil was finished somewhere between Venice and Montenegro. The book I’m currently working on was plotted in a cottage in Wales and started on a Caribbean Island.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

Danny 4. That’s – honestly – all I’m allowed to tell you.

But if you press me (and since you’ve promised me gin when we finally meet) I’ll add: LONDON in capitals, and a mix of smart, funny, sad, angry and – to be frank, having just written a scene with a dead pig and a celebrity chef – surreal. In other words: Danny & Caz  are at it full blast.

All I know is that, this time around, there will be tears.

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?  

One? You know me better than that, surely?

Stop thinking you should only read X or Y: Read whatever the f*ck you want to read, and – if it’s not working for you – stop, no shame no guilt, no judgement. Also: Review on Amazon, Goodread etc. Authors need these reviews. Not, obviously, the “It made my eyes fall out and my house burn down” type, but any genuine honest review is a brilliant thing. And tell your friends if you loved a book. Hell, if you loved a book, tell even the people you’re not that fond of. A personal recommendation is worth a billion dollars.

 

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? hardback_spread1_Fotor

Death of a Diva is being reissued in deluxe, shiny glamorous extremely limited hardback edition. It’s the first of the Danny Bird Mysteries, and introduces us to a bloke and his best mate, the crazy denizens of the bar they end up in charge of, the gangster who runs it, and the world that thousands of readers have come to love. It’s been described as “Like M.C. Beaton on MDMA,” “A classic whodunit full of red herrings,” and – by Monty Python’s own Eric Idle – as “Quite Good.”

If you like Gin, Gangsters, Diamond Geezers, Dolly Birds,

Murder, Mayhem, Pearls Poison and Profanity, then I think you’ll like Death of a Diva.

And if you don’t, then there’s something not right with you.

Danny Covers

 

My thanks to Derek for being so much fun and taking part in Celebrating Indie Publishing, I’m so intrigued by the sound of book four and cannot wait to read it!  Now to see if I can squish myself into one of Derek’s suitcases for his next holiday……

 

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It’s time to finally set in stone the books of the year, a list that I have created, edited and ripped up mentally for the past few days…..When you’ve read so many books over the year it’s hard to narrow down a top 5, a top 10 or even a top 20, but I will attempt to share my top books of 2016.

Top Indie Books:

In no particular order:

  • Death of a Nobody by Derek Farrell (Fahrenheit Press)
  • The Mine by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda Books)
  • Summoning The Dead by Tony Black (Black and White Publishing)
  • A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone (Orenda Books)
  • A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh  McDonnell (McFori Ink)
  • Casing Off by P.I. Paris (Black and White Publishing)
  • Death In Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson (Urbane Publications)
  • Doorways by Robert Enright (Urbane Publications)
  • The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda Books)
  • The Cleaner by Elisabeth Herrmann (Manilla / Bonnier Zaffre)

Top Crime Fiction & Thriller:

I really tried to keep this to 10…..but well I just couldn’t…..

In no particular order:

  • Strangers by Paul Finch
  • Dark Water by Robert Bryndza
  • Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge
  • The Killing Game by J.S. Carol
  • Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
  • The Dead House by Harry Bingham
  • All Fall Down by Tom Bale
  • Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
  • Blood Lines by Angela Marsons
  • Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell
  • The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
  • In The Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride

Top Books of Brilliance or Smile Inducing Wonderment:

In no particular order:

  • The Accidental Dictionary by Paul Anthony Jones
  • How To Find Your (First) Husband by Rosie Blake
  • The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland by Julia Stuart
  • The Life Assistance Agency Thomas Hocknell
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig
  • A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn
  • 183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan
  • Christmas Under A Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin
  • A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh
  • Christmas At The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

What books would you rate as your top ones for this year?  Have you read any of these ones?  Let me know your thoughts below.


And just because I can, here’s ones I think will be top books for 2017….

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