Five and a Half Tons

By John Bayliss

I really enjoyed this. Springer is quite a character and had me laughing out loud a few times. The plot is well thought out and the end result is diamond!



Not so much film noir as seaside gris. The year is 1962, and Westerby-on-Sea is slumbering through its drab off-season. Life is quiet for J.F. Springer, Private Detective – and, though he admires Philip Marlowe and Sexton Blake, quiet is pretty much how he likes it.

Called in to find a missing woman, he has high hopes of solving the case and getting paid in double-quick time. But for Springer, life is never so simple. Soon he’s embroiled in an affair that involves housebreaking, missing diamonds, threats to his life, an apparent suicide, and a pigeon-fancier who suspects Springer has amorous designs on his daughter.

The police take an interest, first arresting Springer, then warning him off, and finally using him as bait in a trap. To further complicate Springer’s life, Jim Tarbet, the local wideboy, is determined to make Springer repay a trifling debt… Like a famous predecessor, Springer tries to be taller, but all around there are too many goons and not enough brains.’


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Blind Side

By Jennie Ensor

Can you ever truly know someone? And what if you suspect the unthinkable?

I remember reading some of this on Authonomy and thinking how good it was then. It’s even better now!

An excellent psychological thriller and love story – with all the twists and turns that involves. Although, not your everyday love story – the detail of the Russia/Chechnya conflict and the terrorists attacks in London in 2005 were very well done. It conjured feelings of abhorrence, frustration and helplessness. How useless one is in the face of war/terrorism. It takes a good writer to create those emotions.

Good characterisation. Georgie is a well-drawn main character – just the right amount of edge to make her interesting. Nicolai a good support with baggage of his own. Julian is a brilliant antagonist – loved his part in the story, real on-the-edge-of-your-seat stuff.

Descriptive narrative is nicely done, a great sense of place – I could smell London. 🙂

Plot mechanics are excellent and there’s a good twist at the end that I thought worked really well.

Overall, a good story, well written. A very enjoyable read.


Blind Side

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Breaking Protocol

By John Henry

Joe Flanagan should learn to mind his own business

Joe Flanagan should learn to mind his own business

My alter-ego has finally self-published the first in a two-book series. Read update here.

‘Joe Flanagan is a forensic scientist, working with the Metropolitan police and based in Whitechapel.
In his local pub he intervenes in what appears to be a domestic argument. The man head butts him and breaks his nose. The woman takes him to hospital and then home.
A clear case of not knowing when to mind your own business. It’s only when Flanagan returns to work that things take an ominous turn.
Roles change, rules get broken, and Joe Flanagan’s life just got more complicated.’

You can find Breaking Protocol here.

*He hopes you enjoy it and will come back to read the follow-up: Escaping Justice – available soon-ish. 😀

The Sullen Dead

By Pat Black

Beautiful flat. Well appointed, all mod cons. Zombies outside.

A smartly written novella that had me immersed from the start. I’ll certainly be looking at more of Pat’s work.


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In A Cat’s Eye

By Kevin Bergeron

Excellent story-telling; great voice.

In a Cat's EyeAmazon Description:

‘Curious Incident’ meets ‘Catcher in the Rye’ in this crime-noir debut.

The police said Nancy OD’d and she was a tramp. But she wasn’t; she was my friend. I didn’t see her Virgin Mary statue in her room, and I said some guy killed her and took it. Mr. Winkley was in the hallway meowing. The Colonel knew all about crimes. He said, Okay Willy we’ll conduct an investigation… There were a lot of suspects in that hotel.

When a young woman in her locked room is found dead with junk in her veins, three friends follow a twisted trail of clues through the Morpheum – a seedy, crumbling hotel, home to the lost, the forgotten, the dreamers, and a killer.


*You’ll find the book here.

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The Immortality Game

By Ted Cross

If Zoya can survive the day, she just might live forever...

Just started reading this and already I’m hooked. A crime story set in the future. A nice crossover bringing two of my favourite genres together.

“If Zoya can survive the day, she just might live forever …

Moscow, 2138. With the world only beginning to recover from the complete societal collapse of the late 21st Century, Zoya scrapes by prepping corpses for funerals and dreams of saving enough money to have a child. When her brother forces her to bring him a mysterious package, she witnesses his murder and finds herself on the run from ruthless mobsters. Frantically trying to stay alive and save her loved ones, Zoya opens the package and discovers two unusual data cards, one that allows her to fight back against the mafia and another which may hold the key to everlasting life.”


*Highly Recommended*

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The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn

By Kerry J Donovan

I enjoyed this police procedural. Nice tight writing and good handling of a very sensitive subject. I found this author on Authonomy when it was a bustling writers’ site (happy daze) and look forward to reading more of his work.

Amazon description:

‘An empathetic detective and his Swedish-born colleague hunt for the abductors of a teenage schoolgirl—a police procedural set in England and France.

When their daughter fails to return from school, her parents are terrified. Is she a runaway, or the victim of something more sinister?

Veteran Detective, David Jones, head of the Midlands Police, is tasked to find her. His team soon discovers a link to convicted sex-offender, Ellis Flynn, whom Jones suspects of grooming the naive teenager. A difficult case is made more personal when Jones sees a photo of the missing girl, Hollie Jardine. She is the spitting image of his God-daughter! Jones has difficulty separating the two in his mind.

With Hollie’s chances of survival fading, Jones and his Swedish-born colleague Alexandra Olganski, risk their careers and their lives when they ignore protocol to follow Flynn’s trail across the Channel into France.

What they discover in an idyllic backwater will stretch Jones’ detection skills to the limit.

Ultimately, Jones faces an impossible decision – give himself up or the girl dies — do nothing and the girl dies.’


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The Jodan Ju

Found this book on Authonomy, started reading and got swallowed up. Excellent research throughout, from an author who certainly knows his stuff and how to keep the reader reading. I highly recommend it.


Amazon Description:

‘David Turner, geologist and SAS Vietnam veteran, discovers a covert mine deep in outback Australia. Not the legitimate operation of Japanese conglomerate Tanada Industries at all – strange Asians are extracting and enriching high-grade uranium. The mine boss is a tall young Eurasian, Jimmy Shan – polite, ruthless…and a lieutenant of the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuza.

Pursuit by Australian Intelligence, with Turner and physicist Leonard Lee, leads to Japan and the influential Tanada family. The subsequent ritual suicide of the patriarch and his son unveils the sordid blackmail behind the affair and links to events of the 1930’s…a violent generational clash as the old world of the Samurai was swept aside.

The Intelligence agencies accede the lead to Oishi Okimura; supreme martial artist, cop and avowed enemy of the Yakuza. Only he can penetrate the top echelons of the crime families – powerful men cowed in fear of a sinister force now controlling the Golden Triangle drug trade.

Israel’s Mossad, pursuing missing Arab and Russian nuclear scientists, joins the hunt into the steamy highlands of Burma and the jungle village of fugitive WW2 war criminal Shiro Mitani. Their ominous findings initiate a man and weapon hunt across the US and Japan. Mitani and Shan’s motives seem clear – revenge and retribution. Not so – Shan has a very personal agenda with the current President of the United States.’


You can find the book here.

Find out about the author here.

The Sister

By Max China

Amazon Description:

The Sister is a fast-paced epic story. Suspenseful, and thrilling, it is a mystery that unravels over time, following the lives of a group of seemingly unconnected people, as they struggle to bring an unusually talented serial killer to justice. 

CORNWALL, ENGLAND. In the summer of love, 1967, two children witness a murder. One, a seven-year old boy, views it from fifty yards – the other, a young Irish girl, from miles away… 

LONDON, 2006. With retirement looming, DCI John F Kennedy reopens the only unresolved case in his career, the disappearance of a young nurse, Kathy, twenty-three years earlier. The broadcast appeal for information on the missing teenage runaway, Eilise; is followed by a cold-case reconstruction of Kathy’s last known movements. A new witness comes forward, and Kennedy – now set on the trail of a serial killer – unwittingly sparks a sequence of events that lead back to himself, threatening his own, very private existence. 

As the investigation unfolds, it becomes apparent that the murderer is no ordinary adversary. Resourceful and cunning, he has been operating undetected for over forty years, and it seems that only the original witnesses from 1967 can stop him. 

But they have yet to meet… 

The Sister is much more than just an ordinary thriller. It is the story of a lifetime…The book is a two part pilot episode with resolution, but left open to a series of planned spin-off self-contained episodes involving a selection of characters from the original story, the first of which is due for release in late spring.’


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The Convictions of John Delahunt

By Andrew Hughes


‘On a cold December morning in 1841, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. But when the people of Dublin learn why John Delahunt committed this vile crime, the outcry leaves no room for compassion. His fate is sealed, but this feckless Trinity College student and secret informer for the authorities in Dublin Castle seems neither to regret what he did nor fear his punishment. Sitting in Kilmainham Gaol in the days leading up to his execution, Delahunt tells his story in a final, deeply unsettling statement . . .’

Dublin in the mid-19th century was a city on the edge – a turbulent time of suspicion and mistrust and the scent of rebellion against the Crown in the air.

Beautifully written, brilliantly researched and with a seductive sense of period and place, this unnervingly compelling novel boasts a colourful assortment of characters: from carousing Trinity students, unscrupulous lowlifes and blackmailers to dissectionists, phrenologists and sinister agents of Dublin Castle who are operating according to their own twisted rules. And at its heart lie the doomed John Delahunt and Helen, his wife. Unconventional, an aspiring-writer and daughter of an eminent surgeon, she pursued Delahunt, married him and thereby ruined her own life. And as for Delahunt himself, we follow him from elegant ballrooms and tenement houses to taverns, courtrooms and to the impoverished alleyways where John Delahunt readily betrays his friends, his society and ultimately, himself.

Published by: Doubleday Ireland.

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