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Posts Tagged ‘No Exit Press’

I do love Fridays, especially when there’s the promise of good books and sunshine…well up here with the way the weather goes, it may be summer but the sun sometimes forgets to make an appearance!  Today I am delighted to share a review of a book that is part of a superb series, the “Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty” series set in Canada.  The Language of Secrets is written by Ausma Zehanat Khan and has the sort of writing that will move a reader, haunt them and undoubtedly keep them hooked until the very final word!

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** My thanks to Katherine at No Exit Press for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

AN UNDERCOVER INFORMANT HAS BEEN MURDERED… BUT WHOSE SIDE WAS HE ON?

TORONTO: A local terrorist cell is planning an attack on New Year’s Day. For months, Mohsin Dar has been undercover, feeding information back to Canada’s national security team. Now he’s dead.

Detective Esa Khattak, compromised by his friendship with the murdered agent, sends his partner Rachel Getty into the unsuspecting cell. As Rachel delves deeper into the unfamiliar world of Islam and the group’s circle of trust, she discovers Mohsin’s murder may not be politically motivated after all. Now she’s the only one who can stop the most devastating attack the country has ever faced.

The Unquiet Dead author Ausma Zehanat Khan once again dazzles with a brilliant mystery woven into a profound and intimate story of humanity.

My Thoughts & Review:

The Language of Secrets is the second book in the Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty series, a series that I discovered last year and was immediately beguiled by it.  This series is one that challenges the reader’s perceptions and provides superbly intelligent writing that gives pause for thought.

For those new to this series, I would recommend picking up a copy of The Unquiet Dead, the back story of Khattak and Getty makes much more sense once you’ve read the first book and of course, when writing is as good as this then why deprive yourself?
There’s a wonderful connection between these two characters, and having watched it develop and grow since the first book in the series, it was fantastic to see how it evolved and how their working relationship grew.  The details of Getty’s personal life add another layer to her character and I really found it enjoyable to spend more time getting to know more about her after the events of the previous book.
Each of the characters in this book brings their own baggage to the plot which makes for a book that comes alive in your hands and reads like a film reel running through your head.

Khan has a genuine talent when writing topics that require sensitivity, her confidence never seems to waver when dealing with topics that others may shy away from.  She neither sensationalises or belittles the themes woven into her books and for this I am very grateful.  There were some aspects of the plot that I found so genuinely interesting and fascinating that I went to find out more when I finished reading, and once again I found the cultural details in the narrative really interesting and felt they added an authenticity to the book.
The tension woven throughout is absolutely perfect, it slowly creeps up on the reader, building steadily to the point that it will be almost impossible to put the book down.

An astounding addition to the Khattak and Getty series and one I would heartily recommend!

You can buy a copy of The Language of Secrets via:

Amazon UK
No Exit Press (The Publisher)

 

 

 

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As we’re almost half way through the year I figured that it might be a good time to round up some of the great indie books that I’ve featured so far, and some of the great authors who have given their time to take part in the author interviews.

Links to each of the book features and author features are below, alternatively if you want to use the search function at the top of the page just type in the name of the book or author to bring up the relevant page.

The books that have featured:

Book Feature Links:

Goblin – Ever Dundas
The Wreck of The Argyll – John K. Fulton
Blue Night – Simone Buchholz
The Trouble Boys – E.R. Fallon
Last Orders – Caimh McDonnell
Never Rest – Jon Richter
Spanish Crossings – John Simmons
Rose Gold – David Barker
Bermuda – Robert Enright
The Story Collector – Evie Gaughan
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter – Cherry Radford
Rebellious Spirits – Ruth Ball
Ten Year Stretch – Various
The Soldier’s Home – George Costigan
Burnout – Claire MacLeary

 

The authors who have taken part in author features, either alongside a book feature or alone:

 

Author Feature Links:

E.R. Fallon
Derek Farrell
Heather Osborne
Jon Richter
Steve Catto
Mark Tilbury
David Barker
Evie Gaughan
Cherry Radford
Anne Stormont
George Costigan

As always, I am forever grateful to the authors, publishers, and publicists for taking part in my Celebrating Indie Publishing feature.  I’m also deeply grateful to you, the reader for joining me each Friday and sharing my love of indie publishing, joining in, commenting, sharing posts and buying some of these wonderful books.

Without each of the fantastic people mentioned above, none of this would be possible!

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Today on Celebrating Indie Publishing I am delighted to share my thoughts of a book that was published by No Exit Press  in celebration of ten years of crime fiction at CrimeFest, the international crime fiction festival.

 

Description:

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Twenty superb new crime stories have been commissioned specially to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Crimefest, described by The Guardian as ‘one of the fifty best festivals in the world’.

A star-studded international group of authors has come together in crime writing harmony to provide a killer cocktail for noir fans; salutary tales of gangster etiquette and pitfalls, clever takes on the locked-room genre, chilling wrong-footers from the deceptively peaceful suburbs, intriguing accounts of tables being turned on hapless private eyes, delicious slices of jet black nordic noir, culminating in a stunning example of bleak amorality from crime writing doyenne Maj Sjowall.
The contributors to Ten Year Stretch are: Bill Beverly, Simon Brett, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Jeffery Deaver, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Peter Guttridge, Sophie Hannah, John Harvey, Mick Herron, Donna Moore, Caro Ramsay, Ian Rankin, James Sallis, Zoe Sharp, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Maj Sjowall, Michael Stanley and Andrew Taylor.

The foreword is by international bestselling thriller writer Peter James. The editors are Martin Edwards, responsible for many award-winning anthologies, and Adrian Muller, CrimeFest co-founder.

All Royalties are donated to the RNIB Talking Books Library.

My Thoughts & Review:

I utterly love books like this, anthologies introduce readers to new writers and give them a glimpse into the minds of some very talented authors who can cast a literary spell on their audience in a few pages. This one in particular features some of the top crime fiction writers such as John Harvey, Ann Cleeves, Michael Stanley, Caro Ramsey and Ian Rankin to name but a few.  I have to admit there are names on this list that I’ve heard of but not actually read anything by so it was a great delight to be caught up in their worlds and discover some thrilling reads that had me on the edge of my seat from the opening lines.

I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of Ten Year Stretch from the folks at No Exit Press and when it arrived I opted to flick through it at random, stopping entirely by chance at a story to read.  I was soon immersed in a world of intrigue and held utterly captive by the writing of Kate Ellis in Crime Scene.  This was such a thrilling and exciting story that had me guessing throughout.  I loved that so much detail and atmosphere was was tightly woven into such a few pages, the writing crisp and taut, the characterisation absolutely on point.

Strangers in a Pub by Martin Edwards was another story that grabbed my attention, brilliantly plotted and fascinating reading!  The thing I loved most about this story was the “what if” moment that it planted in my head … what if things had worked out differently in this story, how vastly different this story would have worked out, how things were down to chance.  There’s just something so brilliant about a piece of writing that can get your mind spiraling and thinking along with the story.
Fans of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus will be delighted to know that Inside the Box features the much loved detective in his usual ill-tempered and sarcastic mode.

There are so many fantastic stories in here, some of them I would absolutely love to see expanded into a full length novel.
The skill it takes to write a short story awes me, to grab a reader so tightly with a story that lasts a few pages is amazing and it’s fair to say that each of the writers here have done just this.

What a spectacular way to celebrate a decade of crime fiction at CrimeFest, and even if you can’t make it to the festival this weekend in Bristol, don’t let that stop you picking up a copy of this excellent anthology!

You can buy a copy of Ten Year Stretch via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository
No Exit Press (Publisher)

 

My thanks to Katherine at No Exit Press for my copy of Ten Year Stretch and for being part of Celebrating Indie Publishing!

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As the countdown to 2018 ticks merrily on,  I thought I would extend my Celebrating Indie Publishing round up of the brilliant books and authors who have taken part in this feature by recapping the fantastic books by No Exit Press that I’ve had the privilege of reading this year.

As I’ve mentioned in the previous posts, it really has been an honour to work with some amazing publishers and authors this year, and without them this feature would never have been possible!   I’d like to take a wee moment to say “Thank You” to each of the publishers and authors who have taken part in this feature, who have kindly filled in the Q&A form that I sent out, have written guest posts or have kindly sent copies of books for me to read and review – your support has been invaluable and I truly appreciate you all!

Here’s some of the books from No Exit Press that have featured on The Quiet Knitter this year:

 

Reviews of each book can be found by following these links (there are also author features with Howard Linskey and Leigh Russell with the reviews of their books):

Hunting The Hangman by Howard Linskey
The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet
Deadly Alibi by Leigh Russell
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

 

I have been lucky enough to read more than these books by No Exit Press this year, some of them have been regular reads or ones that were part of blog tours … and there are one or two on my radar to read during my January break from blogging.  These guys are bringing some amazing books to readers, check out their website for details of what’s coming up!

I hope that Celebrating Indie Publishing has helped you find some great new books to try this year, or perhaps opened your eyes to other books that you might have missed. It’s certainly been a blast for me and I’ve loved every moment of it!

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** My thanks to the wonderful Katherine Sunderland, the folks at No Exit Press and the lovely Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

Geraldine Steel is reunited with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

My Thoughts & Review:

Having absolutely loved the previous Geraldine Steel novel Deadly Alibi, I was delighted to find out that book 10 was coming out soon and even more excited that I had been granted the honour of reading an early copy.

Class Murder opens with our protagonist having been demoted from her position in London and now she’s in York working alongside her former sergeant and friend Ian Paterson.  Geraldine’s actions in Deadly Alibi were the catalyst for this change and unfortunately for her they caused her career progression to halt inexplicably.  She now has to learn how to work with a new team and how to take orders from superiors who don’t need to trust her instincts or hunches because she’s not earned that position of trust yet.

The case that Geraldine and the team are working on is one that is fascinating.  Who is the killer?  What is the motive?  One thing’s certain, Leigh Russell is the master of spinning a yarn so complex and deliciously tangled that readers cannot help but get caught up.  Whilst reading I was conscious of not falling into the trap of trying to guess who the killer was, whilst we have narrative from the killer’s perspective there are no outward clues as to the identity which makes it all the more intense and exciting as the case hots up and the detectives try to work it out.

The thing I love about Leigh Russell’s books is the fact that there are so many aspects to the plot but they all slot together like a perfectly formed jigsaw puzzle.  The characters are so well crafted,. the settings are so vividly described and the killer, well wow!  I felt so on edge reading about this killer, at one point I did actually go and check that all doors were locked and all windows were secure…that’s how much this killer got under my skin!

There are so many things I want to say about this book, it’s clever, it’s brilliant and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

You can buy a copy of Class Murder via :

No Exit Press (publisher’s website)
Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

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After many years teaching English in secondary school, internationally bestselling author Leigh Russell now writes crime fiction full time. Published in English and in translation in Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, including #1 on kindle. Leigh’s work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with Avalon Television Ltd.
Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series published by Thomas and Mercer.

Black banner LEIGH RUSSELL (1)

 

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It’s a great honour to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Leigh Russell’s tenth novel in the Geraldine Steel series, yes, tenth novel!  As part of the blog tour, Leigh has written some top ten lists to excite and interest fans and today’s list is brilliant, “Geraldine Steel’s Top Ten Favourite Detectives in TV, Film an Book” – so lets read on!

GERALDINE STEEL’S TOP TEN FAVOURITE DETECTIVES IN TV, FILM & BOOK

Sherlock Holmes – Conan Doyle’s creation

Sherlock – as played by Benedict Cumberbatch

Philip Marlowe

Dexter

Morse

Montalbano

Jack Reacher

Kate Burrows

Frost

Dalziel

Now that’s some list, and I definitely agree with many of those on the list and reckon they would appear on my own list!

 

 

 Class Murder cover

Detective Geraldine Steel is back in Class Murder – her tenth case!

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, and reunited with her former sergeant Ian Peterson, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

 

Order your copy via

Amazon: http://bit.ly/ClassMurderAmazon

No Exit Press: http://bit.ly/ClassMurderNoExit

 

About the Author:

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Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She worked as a secondary school English teacher for many years, and is now a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London. She is a Royal Literary Fellow and CWA debut judge.

Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring and Deadly Alibi in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel’s sergeant, Ian Peterson, followed by Race to Death and Blood Axe.

Social Media links:

leighrussell.co.uk/

facebook.com/leigh.russell.50

twitter.com/LeighRussell

Goodreads Leigh Russell

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Hello and welcome along to The Quiet Knitter! It’s Friday, and that can only mean one thing (well for here anyway!), it’s time for another post to “Celebrate Indie Publishing”.
This week I am delighted to bring you a book from No Exit Press and I thoroughly recommend checking them out both as they have some cracking books to offer! Today’s book in the spotlight is Hunting the Hangman by Howard Linskey and he’s kindly taken some time out to face a grilling for the author feature.


Book Feature:

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TWO MEN. . . ONE MISSION. . . TO KILL THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART

Bestselling author Howard Linskey’s fifteen year fascination with the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the holocaust, has produced a meticulously researched, historically accurate thriller with a plot that echoes The Day of the Jackal and The Eagle has Landed.

2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on a man so evil even fellow SS officers referred to him as the ‘Blond Beast’. In Prague he was known as the Hangman. Hitler, who called him ‘The Man with the Iron Heart’, considered Heydrich to be his heir, and entrusted him with the implementation of the ‘Final Solution’ to the Jewish question: the systematic murder of eleven million people.

In 1942 two men were trained by the British SOE to parachute back into their native Czech territory to kill the man ruling their homeland. Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik risked everything for their country. Their attempt on Reinhard Heydrich’s life was one of the single most dramatic events of the Second World War, with horrific consequences for thousands of innocent people.

Hunting the Hangman is a tale of courage, resilience and betrayal with a devastating finale. Based on true events, the story reads like a classic World War Two thriller and is the subject of two big-budget Hollywood films that coincide with the anniversary of Operation Anthropoid.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Reinhard Heydrich was a figure that loomed largely during WWII, tales of his most evil deeds and thoughts about those he deemed of a lesser standing than himself or members of the Nazi party have been well documented over the years.  His ruthless and evil ways have marked him as one of the most dangerous men in The Third Reich, his desires driven by greed and obstinance.

Howard Linskey has researched his novel well, and in doing so has ensured that he can present a novel that does not shy away from the atrocities and harrowing moments in history, instead it states them in a very matter of fact fashion.
Whilst this is a fictionalised account of Operation Anthropoid, it is still a very interesting piece of work with some of the best characterisation I’ve ever read.  The portrayal of each of the major characters feels incredibly detailed, the way that Heydrich comes across on the pages is downright terrifying.  Linskey did well writing such a in depth and rounded portrayal of Heydrich, showing the many faces that this man possessed.  The way that the reader is privy to his thoughts, hears of his love of his father’s music, sees him as a father jars somewhat with the reality that he was one of “the main architects of the Holocaust”.

The two characters who stole my heart were Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík, from the moment they first appeared they had my full attention.  Watching them come alive through Linskey’s writing was wonderful to watch, but equally the more they came alive for me the more connected to them I felt, the more invested in them I became and in turn the more heartbroken I would become as I read on, aware at what fate awaited them with the mission they’d been tasked with.  It’s rare that I will begin to hope that an author has used artistic license in a book such as this, hoping that they will change the outcome so that characters I’ve become attached to won’t face the outcome that I know is reality, and here I did hope that could be the case.

Such an evocative read, and one that is so intensely powerful.  The writing is absolutely superb and so atmospheric, the sense of foreboding and poignancy that builds throughout is almost breathtaking.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!

 

You can buy a copy of Hunting the Hangman via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository


 

Author Feature:

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Howard Linskey is the author of three novels in the David Blake crime series published by No Exit Press, The Drop, The Damage and The Dead. Harry Potter producer, David Barron optioned a TV adaptation of The Drop, which was voted one of the Top Five Thrillers of the Year by The TimesThe Damage was voted one of The Times‘ Top Summer Reads. He is also the author of No Name Lane, Behind Dead Eyes and The Search, the first three books in a crime series set in the north east of England featuring journalists Tom Carney & Helen Norton, published by Penguin. His latest book, Hunting the Hangman, is a historical thriller about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during WW2.

Originally from Ferryhill in County Durham, he now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Alison and daughter Erin.

 

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

There are so many good things about being an author. I am my own boss to an extent and have escaped the drudge of the commute, the office politics, the need to ever wear a suit again, apart from at weddings and funerals and the insidious pressure that comes with a conventional job. I’m doing what I love and get to see a book with my name and a Penguin logo on it when I am finished, which is a lovely feeling. I get some great feedback from readers too. The very best thing though is that I am there every day when my daughter comes home from school, so I get to spend more time with her than most dads and you cannot put a price on that.

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

The fretting. There is quite a lot of that. For example; is this book I am writing any good or is it the biggest pile of excrement ever dreamed up by any author? Then there is; will anyone stock this book, closely followed by will anyone buy the blooming thing if they do and then will they actually like it? Somehow it always seems to work out all right in the end but I have come to realise the fretting will never quite stop no matter how much progress I make. I’ve had seven books published now and it never seems to get any easier on the fretting front.

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

I find it hard to pick my all-time top-ten books, let alone single just one out, but if I absolutely have to, I will go for ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ by John Le Carre, which is a beautifully written novel about betrayal that also works as a mystery and a whodunnit, all wrapped up in a cold war spy story. There’s some wonderful dialogue and a wholly satisfying conclusion too. At his best, Le Carre is a marvellous author.

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

Procrastinating mostly. Authors are world champion procrastinators. ‘Why put off tomorrow what we can put off today, tomorrow and most of next week’ should be our motto. Every day starts with such good intentions on the writing front but by the time I have read The Times, replied to emails, gone on Facebook and twitter, read the latest horrifying news about Donald Trump’s behaviour and checked to see if Newcastle United have finally signed a player, I have often lost hours. I then panic and have an intense burst of writing, powered by guilt. Somehow it’s quite effective and it works for me. I’ve come to realise too that even when an author is out walking the dog, driving or having a shower they are never quite off-duty and those are the moments when ideas usually come and begin to germinate. That’s my excuse anyway.

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

One of the things I like about being an author is the flexibility to do things when I am in the mood to do them and not on a nine-to-five basis, so as long as I have a few hours each day and the opportunity to write a 1,000 to 1,500 words, I don’t really mind when and where this is. Sometimes I work at home, either in my office or somewhere comfy with the lap top on my knee but, if I get stir crazy and need people around me, I like to pop out and work at the local library or in a café. I even do my edits in the pub with a pint of bitter close at hand. That’s definitely one of the perks of being a writer unfortunately the beer is not tax-deductable.

 

A huge thank you to Howard for taking part and for sharing some more about himself, it’s always nice to get to know the person behind a book.  And i have to agree about Le Carre, a genius when it comes to writing and one author who’s books I cannot live without.
If you would like to know more about Howard and his books, check out the following link:

Website: http://www.howardlinskey.co.uk/

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Hello and welcome along to The Quiet Knitter! It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another post to showcase an independent publisher and one of their books!
This week I am delighted to bring you a book from No Exit Press, these guys are fast becoming one of my favourite publishers with the fantastic selection of books they’ve published this year!  So many that I may end up having to do a top ten books of the year from each indie publisher at this rate!!


Today’s book in the spotlight is The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet.

Description:

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A FROZEN BODY.

A MURDERED BIKER.

A LAWYER WITH NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE.

In the depths of the Norwegian winter, a woman s frozen corpse is discovered in the garden of a notorious ex-lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death.

A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by the lawyer, is found dead in suspicious circumstances.

Thygesen starts receiving anonymous threats, and becomes ensnared in a web of violence, crime and blackmail that spreads across Northern Europe.

Does the frozen woman hold the key?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

As a fan of Nordic Noir I was really keen to read this book after seeing the description, it jumped out to me as something I would enjoy and sounded very intriguing.

Interestingly , the plot of this book encompasses more than just the frozen woman, there is blackmail, politics to consider too, and as the opening chapter develops we also encounter biker gangs.  With so many strands to the plot I did wonder how this would all fit together and certainly the style of writing makes a reader work for the answers.  The author manages to weave together the different aspects of the plot whilst slowly revealing bits and pieces without giving the game away, almost like one of those crazy blurred images that slowly comes into focus as you watch it.  And once you see the full picture you feel a great satisfaction at being able to finally see the whole thing.   As ever I am trying very hard not to give anything away about the plot, I hate spoilers and would hate to ruin this book for others.

This is a book that requires attention and time when reading, I found that there were a few times that I paused my reading to go back a page or two to be sure of what I was reading, or in one particular case to double check a character name because I’d gotten confused, but I suspect that this is due to the complexity of the names and my irritating need to try and sound them out (and mispronounce them atrociously) whilst I read.  There were a couple of things that I did feel passed me by, especially about the political conditions in Norway, perhaps they read better in the original Norwegian and something was lost in translation?

Characterisation was very good, Stribolt is a character that I think some readers will relate to, especially the unsent resignation letters.  However, I felt that I didn’t get much of an understanding or connection to Vaarge.  

Overall an interesting plot, well written and keeps the reader guessing with twists and turns cleverly scattered throughout.

 

You can buy a copy of The Frozen Woman via:

No Exit Press (publisher)
Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

** My thanks to Katherine Sunderland at No Exit Press for my copy of this book and for taking part in Celebrating Indie Publishing **

 

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Hello and welcome along to The Quiet Knitter!  It’s Friday, and that can only mean one thing (well for here anyway!), it’s time for another post to “Celebrate Indie Publishing”.
This week I am delighted to bring you a book from No Exit Press and I thoroughly recommend checking them out both as they have some cracking books to offer!  Today’s book in the spotlight is “Deadly Alibi” by Leigh Russell and she’s kindly taken some time out to face a grilling for the author feature.


Book Feature:

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A hand gripped her upper arm so suddenly it made her yelp. Biting her lower lip, she spun round, lashing out in terror. As she yanked her arm out of his grasp, her elbow hit the side of his chest. Struggling to cling on to her, he lost his footing. She staggered back and reached out, leaning one hand on the cold wall of the tunnel. Before she had recovered her balance he fell, arms flailing, eyes glaring wildly as he disappeared over the edge of the platform onto the rails below. . .

Two murder victims and a suspect whose alibi appears open to doubt… Geraldine Steel is plunged into a double murder investigation which threatens not only her career, but her life. And then her previously unknown twin Helena turns up, with problems which are about to make Geraldine’s life turn toxic in more ways than one.

For fans of Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza

Look out for more DI Geraldine Steel investigations in Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring and Deadly Alibi

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s only fair to admit that I broke my own rule with a series….I started this series on book 9!  But I will be going back and binge reading the previous 8 as soon as I can as I loved Geraldine Steel and want to know more about how she got to this point in her life and career.  So rest assured, if like me you are impatient to read this book, it can be read as a stand alone.  Leigh Russell has included ample detail to give readers a good grounding of DI Steel as well as the events surrounding her to make this an enjoyable read for new audiences but adds in details that will delight fans of the series.

To rehash the plot in this review would do this book an injustice, suffice to say that I don’t think I could without giving mammoth spoilers!  There is so much going on in this book that it’s like being on a rollercoaster.  One moment you’re gently putting the pieces together to try and work out who’s behind the heinous acts and the next you’re on the edge of your seat, frantically speed reading to find out what’s going to happen next!  It’s the sort of book you need to give all your attention to, and I was fortunate that I managed to read this in one day so I could feel the tension woven through the plot, become immersed in desperation and frustration being felt by the characters as they were led into a whirlpool of doubt caused by the suspicions around them.

A superb crime thriller with so many exciting and intriguing plot points, the case that DI Steel works on fast becomes addictive reading, and as readers try to piece together the clues it’s impossible not to start jumping to conclusions.  I will admit to being fooled by the red herrings that were cleverly placed in the plot, I thought like the police initially and could have kicked myself once I realised…..fantastic writing!!.

I would absolutely recommend Leigh Russell’s DI Steel series based on this one book alone, it’s fair to say she’s secured a new fan!  Now off to No Exit’s website to buy all the other books!

You can buy a copy of Deadly Alibi via:

No Exit Press (publisher’s website)
Amazon UK


Author Feature:

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After many years teaching English in secondary school, internationally bestselling author Leigh Russell now writes crime fiction full time. Published in English and in translation in Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, including #1 on kindle. Leigh’s work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with Avalon Television Ltd.
Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series published by Thomas and Mercer.

 

 

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

What I like most about being an author is not having to get up early to go to work. I love writing. Nothing will stop me when I’m feeling creative – or if I have a publisher’s deadline looming – but now I can start my working day in bed if I feel like it. For me, that is pure luxury, especially on a cold winter’s morning.

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

This is a hard question to answer as I genuinely love everything about the writing process, from typing the first words of a new book, to completing final edits. It can be hard. Sometimes a plot doesn’t work out in a realistic way, a character refuses to behave as I had intended, or my editor points out a gaffe, and I invariably have to spend time sorting out my muddled timelines. But on the whole I love every aspect of writing and consider myself extremely fortunate to have fallen into a career I enjoy so much.

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

That is an impossible question to answer, as it’s equivalent to asking which is my favourite book. There are so many to choose from that I can’t pick just one.

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

Is there ever a time for a writer when he or she is not plotting a book? Eugene Ionesco said “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of writing or thinking about writing.” That tends to be my experience. Other than that, I love spending time with my family.

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

When I started writing I had essential rituals, certain pencils, and particular locations, but with fifteen books to my name, I have become far more relaxed about external props. All I need is my ipad, my keyboard, and my ideas, and I can write anywhere. I have a desk at home where I do most of my writing, but I’m equally happy writing on a train, a plane, a beach, in a coffee shop, in bed, in my garden – because I carry my writing space with me in my head. And when I’m writing, I’m not really in any of those external locations, I’m thinking and feeling as a character in a fictitious world. I’m Geraldine Steel, puzzling over enigmatic clues, or a killer working out how to dispose of a body without being caught….

 

A huge thank you to Leigh for taking part and for sharing some more about herself, it’s always nice to get to know the person behind a book.
If you would like to know more about Leigh and her books, check out the following links:

On Twitter:  @LeighRussell @LeighRussell
Website: http://www.leighrussell.co.uk/


 

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Hello and happy Friday!  And you all know what Friday brings, yes,  its time to share another post to celebrate Indie Publishing and this time it’s No Exit Press, part of the Oldcastle Books Group in the spotlight!   Today I have a review of “The Unquiet Dead” by Ausma Zehanat Khan.


Description:

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One man is dead.

But thousands were his victims.

Can a single murder avenge that of many?

Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto: the body of Christopher Drayton is found at the foot of the cliffs. Muslim Detective Esa Khattak, head of the Community Policing Unit, and his partner Rachel Getty are called in to investigate. As the secrets of Drayton’s role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims surface, the harrowing significance of his death makes it difficult to remain objective. In a community haunted by the atrocities of war, anyone could be a suspect. And when the victim is a man with so many deaths to his name, could it be that justice has at long last been served?

In this important debut novel, Ausma Zehanat Khan has written a compelling and provocative mystery exploring the complexities of identity, loss, and redemption.

Winner of the Barry Award, Arthur Ellis Award, and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel

My Thoughts & Review:

I don’t think I was fully prepared for the journey that this book would take me on when I started reading – it’s such an powerful and evocative read.
Beautiful descriptions of locations and the fantastic settings juxtapose perfectly with the brutal realities expertly woven throughout the plot.  Some aspects of the plot do make for difficult reading but these are important and perhaps due to my unfamiliarity of the massacre mentioned within in the pages of this book I found it all the more harrowing.

Fascinating characters really bring this book alive, each character is so vastly different from the next and their back stories are tantalisingly intriguing that I could not help but devour this book in order to find out more about them.

Khan handles the topics within this book with a sensitivity and confidence that never sensationalises or belittles the facts of what has passed.  Her writing evokes great emotion from readers in the way she deftly weaves together a plot with many strands and characters, somehow she manages to keep everything tightly bound so that the reader is kept utterly entranced by each page.
The cultural and religious details that are included within the narrative are fascinating and add a feeling of authenticity to the characters involved, I found that I was almost taking notes of things to look up once I’d finished reading to find out more.

The plot is well constructed and despite there being so much going on in this book it works so well.  This is an expertly crafted novel that has readers trying to follow the clues along with the detectives to join the dots but never quite managing to beat them at their own game.  Including quotes at the start of each chapter from the various documents such as witness statements, testimony from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and historical documents makes this stand out and is such an incredibly powerful tool to use. 

A haunting and moving book with a story that will stay with you long after you’ve put the book away.

 

You can buy a copy of The Unquiet Dead via:

Amazon

My thanks to No Exit Press for sending me a copy of this book to read and enjoy.

 

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