Impeding Justice by Mel Comley

Impeding Justice

You know when you discover a new book and then find out there’s a whole series of them just waiting for you to devour? Well that’s what happened to me when I read Prime Justice by Mel Comley. And so, of course, I just had to go get the next, and the next and the….well, you get the picture.

Impeding Justice is the second novel following DI Lorne Simkins. It’s about a year since the end of Prime Justice (think I’ve got that right) and this time, Lorne is tracking ‘The Unicorn’ an evil terrorist who she’s been trying to capture for eight years. Eight long years. But every time she gets close, he slips through her fingers.

The novel opens with Lorne, once again, having cornered ‘The Unicorn’. She and her partner have him trapped in an alley, but backup is too slow to arrive and without the ability to return fire with fire, The Unicorn escapes. But not before he’s put a couple of bullets in her partner, Pete.

With her confidence shaken at the death of her partner, Lorne remains nonetheless determined to bring down this ruthless killer. But then her daughter, Charlie, is kidnapped.

My Review

After finishing Impeding Justice twenty-four hours ago, I’m still struggling to organise my feelings and calm my pulse. Brutal. That’s the word which immediately comes to mind to describe the mill that Mel Comley put me through reading this book.

The Unicorn, at times, comes across as almost a caricature of a villain, but he is far, far from that. Evil isn’t a strong enough word to describe him, and Mel Comley does not shy away—not one little bit—from the hard stuff here. She deals with the reality of a heinous criminal and the lengths these type of people will go to in order to continue their life of crime.

I’m trying to write a review which won’t give away any spoilers, but it isn’t easy. I’ve written and deleted several paragraphs which some reviewers may not have an issue with, but for me, they just give away a little too much. The twists and turns and downright shocks come thick and fast as Lorne gets closer and closer to reeling The Unicorn in. But this is no ordinary criminal. He’s several steps ahead of Lorne at all times. And he has a personal vendetta against her, one he’s going to make sure she suffers through.

And the ending…..I’m shocked and saddened…and shocked some more.

Lorne isn’t your average cool, calm and collected police detective. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s real. She reacts, at times when she shouldn’t, but she doesn’t apologise for her faults. She uses them to drive her, to ground her, to keep her moving forward.

I can already see this series is going to get better and better. I need a break. I need to recover. And then I’m diving straight back in.

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#GuestReview : Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall

Recently, the wonderful Emma Welton over at damppebbles.com gave me the chance to review one of the long list of books on her TBR. After she kindly sent me the list, I chose Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall.

If you want to read my review, here’s a link to Emma’s blog. Review of Nowhere Girl by Tracie Delaney

And while you’re there, have a look around. Emma’s reviews are awesome!

My heartfelt thanks once again goes to Emma for inviting me to be part of her blog.

Enjoy!

Review Time – Hard to Protect by Incy Black

hard-to-protect

Hard to Protect is the third book in the ‘Hard to’ series by Incy Black and I, for one, have not been able to wait to get my hands on this book.

Will Berwick, leader of the Assassins at The Cube, a plausibly deniable secret team hidden deep within British Intelligence is given the unenviable task of breaking down Angel Treherne, a psychotherapist who The Service believe hold the key to finding her brother, Rhys, a brilliant scientist who has developed a potentially explosive drug that could transform how soldiers fight.

Angel is also tasked with breaking down Will, of getting inside his head to make sure he’s fit for active duty after he was almost fatally shot. Problem is, Will’s for the ‘Sorry, sweetheart, only way you’ll get inside my head is when I’m no longer breathing’.

But that’s not the only problem.

Angel, icy-cold, bitter, desperately trying to keep a hundred balls in the air all under a cool exterior – and that exterior is beginning to crack.

My Review

Hard to Protect is fast-paced, abundant with twists and turns and sexual tension between Will and Angel.

Angel is not a warm character – at first. She’s holding a bunch of secrets which she has, over many years, figured the best way to keep is to come across as hard, icy, bitchy even. But I loved her from the beginning because Ms Black drops in these little nuggets which, if you’re paying attention, give you a brief glimpse behind the veneer Angel is living under. She’s sassy, brilliant, beautiful, and as her secrets unfold, your heart bleeds for her. What a woman!

Will, my goodness, what can I say about Will….in Ms Black’s previous novels, Will comes across as a bit-part player, and certainly in Jack Ballantyne’s book, Hard to Forget, he seems something of a gofer. How wrong can you be!

Will oozes sexuality from the very first line in the book. He is complex, deep, has more chips on his shoulder than my local chip shop serves in a week, and he is horrible to Angel at times – but – he is hot, hot, hot. And, in the same way Ms Black slowly reveals Angel’s character, the same can be said of Will. Everything he does is for a reason, and this is why you forgive the actions he takes and the way he goes about his business.

When you put together two people, very different, both wanting—no needing—things from each other that neither one is willing to give, then you have conflict in abundance, which makes you keep turning those pages faster and faster.

Ms Black is one of the most unique voices out there. Even if her name had not been on this book, I would have instantly recognised Hard to Protect as one of her novels. Her style – deep third Point-of-View – is some of the best I have seen. She puts you right in the characters heads; you share every thought, every action as it is happening which is incredibly difficult to achieve and yet she makes it look easy.

If you like fast paced thrillers with believable sexual tension between alpha males and strong, capable women, then Incy Black’s novels will not disappoint.

Hard to Protect is out on 20th March 2017.

Ms. Black’s other novels, Hard to Forget and Hard to Hold, are available right now.

Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for an opportunity to read Hard to Protect. I absolutely loved it!

 

Warped by Marissa Farrar

warped

Before I start my review, I’d just like to say “Wow” to that cover. How gorgeous is that, and how very Vee!

Warped is the second novel in the Mercenary Series. If you’d like to read my review of the first in the series, Skewed, you can do so  here.

Note – the following review contains spoilers of the first novel – Skewed – but no spoilers of Warped. If you have not yet read Skewed, you may not want to read this review.

 

The novel begins right where we left it at the end of Skewed. Vee and her sister are now being protected by Tony Mancini, a rival of her father, after Vee’s sister, Nickie, decided to take matters into her own hands and reveal their Witness Protection identities. Tony has vowed to keep them safe until Vee can testify against her father; problem is, what happens then?

X, who was shot by Tony at the end of Skewed, turns up in hospital, lucky to be alive, but with everything intact – except his memory. He might not remember who he is, but he knows one thing; he’s not your run-of-the-mill individual.

When a man called Harvey turns up at the hospital claiming to know who X is and offers him a place to stay while X recovers, X is understandably suspicious, but realises he has little choice as he grapples with the dark space where his memories should be.

I loved being back with Vee and X again. Vee is the same tough, independent character she was in the first and X is just as mysterious and sexy, although we do get to see more of the man beneath the stone heart in this one, which I loved.

Sadly (for Vee), Nickie is still the same selfish, irritating and downright frustrating girl she was in the first novel. I wanted to hit her in that one, but in this one, she takes my intense dislike of her to a new level. Vee is a better girl than me; if Nickie were my sister, I’d have cut her from my life long ago.

Marissa’s writing is as wonderful as ever, with prose that almost sings along the page. She has a fabulous way with words; her descriptive text is enough to draw you a detailed picture, but not so much that you find yourself skipping paragraphs, and her dialogue is punchy and informative.

If I had one criticism about the book, it would be the character of Harvey. His offer to help X, and potentially put his own life in danger just didn’t seem to have enough motivation for me. This wasn’t someone offering to do your shopping or pick your kid up from school. This was volunteering to get involved with someone who could get you killed. Perhaps if X had something over Harvey, that Harvey owed him a debt of gratitude in some way, then it wouldn’t have jarred as much as it did.

However, that is a minor gripe in a book that I otherwise thoroughly enjoyed.

Link to purchase Skewed can be found  here

Link to purchase Warped can be found  here

Link to preorder Flawed (the third book in the Mercenary series) can be found  here

 

Silver by Mark L Fowler

silver

I saw this book on THE Book Club on Facebook (TBCONFB) in their spin off review group, and the premise was so interesting to me that I volunteered to read it.

Two authors have died in the same gruesome way as their book endings, and yet the police don’t suspect foul play. When a third author, Joy Haversham, dies, her manuscript “Silver” is unfinished, and this time, unlike with the other deaths, a man—Gil Ray—is charged and convicted of causing Joy’s death. At the prison where Gil is being held, guards begin to fall ill and, in some cases, die in mysterious circumstances and as Gil’s release date gets ever closer, Joy’s husband, Roger, starts behaving rather oddly and her daughter, Grace, turns to former journalist, Nick Slater for help and support. Could “Silver” hold the answers to Joy’s death?

Nick Slater is a one-time successful novelist, although his second book was poorly received and his third one doesn’t look like it will get off the ground either. Nick covered the original Joy Haversham trial and as the killer gets closer to being released from prison, Nick finds himself, once more, embroiled in the Haversham family.

My Review

This book could have been great. As I said at the beginning of this post, the premise is very interesting, but the book didn’t hit the mark for me. It took quite some time to get into it – at least a third of the way – before it began to mildly pique my interest.

I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and I think it was because the writing style was very much ‘narrator’ rather than inside the characters heads. The style created too much distance for my personal tastes, almost as though a third party was watching the events unfold and reporting on what they saw. As the book reached its climax, I would have loved to have been firmly in Nick’s head, seeing and feeling things from his perspective, but alas, it was not to be.

The narrator style also created quite a bit of head hopping without a definitive scene break, especially where the author wanted to get something specific across, and I found some of the transitions clunky which, in turn, jerked me from the story in a very uncomfortable way.

I should also mention that although this is marketed as a thriller, there are supernatural elements to the story which definitely add mystery, although I don’t feel the explanation as to how they came about was fully fleshed out.

I also found the character of Christine, a work colleague of Grace and ex (of sorts) of Nick Slater to be superfluous and not really adding anything to the story. If her character was completely removed, nothing would have changed in the story.

This is Mark L Fowler’s first novel. On the positive side, he shows promise. But in his next novel, I’d like to see his writing much deeper, getting right into the characters heads and having a good old poke around, which, in turn, will give the reader more chance of connecting deeply with the characters – and ultimately caring about what happens to them.