Blog Tour: Truth or Dead by T.J. Brearton







How far would you go to protect your kids?









About Tom Lange

Tom Lange is like a Wild West cowboy who’s been dropped into the modern world. He has to deal with his impulsiveness and anger in ways men never had to reckon with before. If he wants to keep a relationship, he has to open up. If he wants to keep his job, he has to face his past.

Tom isn’t a West Point graduate or a former special ops. He’s a kid from the streets; he grew up in some of the tougher neighborhoods just outside of New York City as a foster kid with his brother Nick. He applies what he learned growing up –how people survive, how they take advantage– to his investigations for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Truth or Dead takes Tom into a world he knows well – the world of gambling and drugs, run by notorious gangster Mario Palumbo. Tom must help protect the life of a woman Palumbo seems to have targeted, though no one can figure out quite why… Heather Moss, it seems, has a past to face, too… 





gambling chips and aces




TRUTH OR DEAD by T.J. Brearton

How far would you go to protect your kids?

On her drive to work, Heather Moss gets a phone call which will turn her life upside-down. If she doesn’t do what the caller wants, they will kill her two little girls.

An inmate dies in the county jail. He was a witness who could have brought down notorious criminal Mario Palumbo.

Special Agent Tom Lange is trying to get his life back together after losing his brother Nick. And he thinks Palumbo was responsible for Nick’s death.

Tom desperately wants the evidence to point to Palumbo, but it doesn’t all add up.

Can Tom protect Heather and bring down crime boss Palumbo? He faces a choice between the truth and getting the result he wants.

Set in Florida, this atmospheric thriller will keep you turning the pages till the tension-packed conclusion.




TJ Brearton Author photo png




Brearton’s fiction first appeared in Third Rail, an underground magazine in New York City. His short stories have been published with The Rusty Nail MagazineOrange Quarterly, Enhance Magazine, Nonsense Society, and Atticus Review, with non-fiction appearing in The Lake Champlain Weekly and Adirondack Almanack. A previous novel, “Rehabilitation,” was published independently in 2009. He attended the New York Film Academy and has worked in film, broadcast television, and freelance journalism. He lives in the Adirondacks with his wife and two children.

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Steve Regan Undercover Cop Series by Stephen Bentley

Who the F am I








Crime Fiction About An Undercover Cop By a Former Undercover Cop

‘Crime Fiction About An Undercover Cop By a Former Undercover Cop’ is roughly how the blurb goes on the Amazon listing for my latest book ‘Who The F*ck Am I?’

The title may be a tad controversial to some, but it is part of the very fabric of an infiltrator. Identity confusion among undercover agents is a medically recognised condition.

It is Book One in a trilogy featuring Steve Regan, a fictional British undercover cop. The action takes place mainly in the United Kingdom but also takes the reader to Miami and Boston in the United States.

The book is available from October 31, 2017 in both Kindle and paperback through Amazon. It will also be available in other eBook formats through Smashwords and at most other online book stores.

The blurb also makes the claim, “This surely has to be a first! Crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop!









From author, Stephen Bentley, comes a fictional undercover cop, Steve Regan, following on the success of his true crime undercover cop memoir ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story.’

Steve Regan, undercover detective, is tempted by the riches of drug smuggling so he can be free of debt, police bureaucracy, and help a loved one. He wonders whether he can go ‘rogue’ and cross the line.

Regan gets involved in one deal with a Miami-based drug lord. But is everyone who they say they are?

Short, fast-paced, high-impact entertainment, from an author who knows  how to suck you into a story.”

This novella was inspired by two gangsters I met in real life while undercover. I harboured thoughts about them for many years and felt obliged to deal with those thoughts in this fictional work. I believe I can safely say that is a first!






Gangster cartoon







As the author and a former undercover cop, I do not profess to know with certainty if my claim about it being a “first” is fact. I mean the claim: This surely has to be a first! Crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop!

I could argue, in line with another former profession of mine (lawyer), that it isn’t a claim at all – merely a hypothesis. Pedants may argue there ought to be a question mark following “has to be first.” Possibly, they are correct.

But in any event, whether claim or hypothesis, it intrigues me. So, a challenge to all readers of this blog post – tell me if I am right or wrong about it being the first fictional work about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop. At least I ask you to leave a comment letting us know your thoughts.

There is a reward for the best comment left – one free copy of the book featured here and a free copy of my bestselling memoir ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story.’

Please note there can only be one winner and the prizes will be provided in any eBook format of the winner’s choice.

The winner will be judged by the author on the basis of the insight provided by the commentator, the originality of the comment, and any tendency to humour gains extra marks 





Stephen Bentley



Notes For The Blog Owner

Stephen Bentley BIO

Former UK Detective Sergeant, undercover cop, barrister (trial counsel). Now a writer, author, and blogs at HuffPost UK.

Author of ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story’ – an Amazon UK bestselling book about his undercover days on one of the world’s largest drug busts.

Lives in the Philippines, enjoys the beaches and a cold beer and follows “his team”, Liverpool Football Club from afar.

Amazon link: Who The F*uck Am I?







Interview with Author Ben Hammott




Concealed in a remote area of the Amazon jungle is something the Mayans thought so dangerous they built a secret prison to entomb it. It remained undiscovered for centuries.  When a maverick archaeologist hears rumours of a mysterious lost city, he heads into the Amazon jungle, determined to find it.  He soon learns that some things are best left unfound.  The dangerous past the Mayans tried so hard to bury, is about to become our terrifying future.



Ben Hammott


Ben Hammott


Author Bio




What part of England did you grow up in?

Hertfordshire, the land of rolling fields, farms and markets.


What’s it like going from Germany to Spain?

A lot warmer. Germany is a nice place to live, but its winters are long and cold, or were when I was there, which is why I decided to head for warmer climates. I packed up my motor home, headed for Spain and didn’t stop until I reached Malaga.




Three-dimensional map of Spain. 3d




Who do you get your love of traveling from?

I’ve no idea as no one else in my family has the travelling bug. I guess it’s from reading adventure books and watching documentaries about amazing places.



Name your favorite destinations.

Spain, I love it here. It is warm, people are friendly and the way of life here is so much more relaxed and stress free. Also I have a place in the hills, looking down a valley to the sea. Peaceful and an ideal place to write. However, now doubt I will get the traveling bug again in a year or two and move to another country.




Spain button




Did you travel to the Amazon for Sacrophagus?

I wish. It wasn’t possible at this time, but one day, hopefully.



What sources did you use for your research?

For Sarcophagus I already had enough information on the Amazon jungle from my research when I wrote my El Dorado books. I talked to people who have been there, watched documentaries and read non-fiction books about the Amazon jungle. I also used the Internet, which, if you are selective and double check everything, is a very handy and a rich source of information.








Do you have a certain approach when researching?

Not really, as I use different methods for different books, depending on the level of research needed. Sarcophagus was relatively easy compared to my books like El Dorado, which featured details of Colonel Fawcett’s ill fated 1925 expedition, and my novel about America’s first serial killer, H. H. Holmes, which required extensive research. (Some of the research I had gathered about Colonel Fawcett was used in a PBS TV documentary aired in America.)

It is important when involving historical people or events in your writing, to get your facts right. Researching Holmes was particular difficult, as there were a lot of conflicting information of when and where he did certain things. It took me almost two years as I had to construct a timeline of his life before I could even begin writing An Insatiable Thirst for Murder.




How do you know when you have *enough* research?

When the migraine clicks in. Again, it depends on the story. I usually have an idea of what I want to include and the plot, so as soon as I sense I have enough information to achieve those goals, I stop. If something else crops up during writing I will do more research.

As an example, If, like Sarcophagus, the story is set in a time period, then I have to ensure everything I mention or is used by the characters was actually available at that time. As an example, I wanted to use flashlights in the story, but wasn’t sure if they were invented so I did some research and discovered the first dry cell batteries were invented in 1896 and in 1899 English inventor David Missel invented the first flashlight that was powered by three D batteries.








What impresses you about the Mayans?

I am impressed by all the Mesoamerican civilisations, Maya, Aztec, Inca, etc.. Their ability to build massive stone constructions and cities without the aid of any mechanical devices, even the wheel, and usually in inaccessible locations, and survive. Not so impressed with their tradition of cruel human sacrifices though. “Interestingly, the Maya used the wheel on children’s toys but not for transportation, preferring to use drag carts on.



What are some fascinating facts about the Amazon Jungle?

Even today there are areas of the Amazon rainforest that have not been explored. As little as a few years ago, a new tribe was discovered in the Amazon by an airplane flying directly over their village. If it had flown a route a few hundred yards either side, the tribe might still remain a mystery.

Over a quarter of the medicines we use today have their origins in the rainforests – and that’s after only about 1% of rainforest plants have been examined for their medicinal properties. Imagine what else could be there?




sunset in the brazilian rainforest of Amazonas





What can you tell us about the archaeologist? What drives him?

Kramer is driven by the unknown and the undiscovered. Fame and recognition for his discoveries mean little to him. If he has funding to finance his archaeological expeditions, he is satisfied.

The other archaeologist in Sarcophagus, Greyson Bradshaw, is the opposite of Kramer. Fame and to be acknowledged and admired by his peers is what drives him.



Is the Lost City truth or fiction?

That is the question.

Machu Picchu was a lost city before it was re-discovered on July 24th , 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Bingham was searching for lost Inca cities when he came across a prospector who informed there were numerous ruins on some nearby mountains. Bingham traveled there and found what we know today as macho Picchu.

My character Kramer is loosely based on Hiram Bingham and his discovery of Machu Picchu.



Search binoculars




Name the most challenging aspects of writing this book.

If I had to pick something, I would say linking the Amazon Lost City section to the London museum section. A first draft had Greyson leaving the lost city with the sarcophagus and artefacts and then the following chapter was the Maya exhibition opening night.

I wanted something linking the two continents, so I shortened the first and last sections and added a middle section about what happened on the cargo ship transporting the artifacts.


What are some interesting things you learned that aren’t in the book.

Never, ever, open a sarcophagus discovered in the bowels of a long-lost city deep in the Amazon jungle.