Book Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Need to Know Karen Cleveland

 

 

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

 

Releases today! Need to Know is available now.

 

 

 

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I absolutely loved this book! Karen Cleveland comes out swinging in her debut novel with CIA counterintellligence analyst Vivian Miller. She discovers a secret so deep it rattles her to the core of every aspect of her life. She then struggles to solve a dilemma that seeks to rip her apart limb by limb. 

I really enjoyed the deep point of view for this type of thriller. I felt gripped by the protagonist’s anxiety, fear, love, vulnerability and moral dilemma. It made the story that much richer. 

 The tension is palpable with juicy conflict, and the suspense is off the charts.

Don’t miss it! It’ll be one of the best of 2018!

 

 

 

Karen Cleveland photo

 

Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, the last six in counterterrorism. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar, and from Harvard University. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young kids.

 

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Murder in the Meadow Blog Tour with Author Faith Martin

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Blog Tour BANNER - Murder in the Meadow

 

 

 BOOK DESCRIPTION

MURDER IN THE MEADOW by Faith Martin

Looking for a brilliant best-selling murder mystery  with a feisty female detective?

Meet DI HILLARY GREENE, a policewoman struggling to save her career and catch criminals.

Wayne Sutton is found dead by a stream in a beautiful meadow. His head has been bashed in and a red paper heart left on his body. The handsome young artist had a reputation as a ladies’ man.

DI Hillary Greene discovers that there were many wealthy married women buying his paintings and taking ‘private’ art lesson from him.  It appears that several of them might have wanted him dead.

Hillary also has a new detective sergeant, Gemma Fordham. Seemingly efficient and pleasant, she harbours a secret agenda.

Can Hillary get to the bottom of a complex case involving jealousy, love, and cold-blooded murder?

This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to finish.

MURDER IN THE MEADOW  is the seventh in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.
Perfect for fans of  Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

 

 

 

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If you haven’t started the DI Hillary Green series then you’re missing out. I always find it fascinating to peer into the point of view of protagonist Hillary. She investigates the mysterious death of a young Casanova who’s left by the river with red heart pinned to his chest. Who had the motivation to kill him? A former lover? A jealous one?

Faith Martin is having such great success by re-releasing this series with Joffe books. Her writing is really entertaining, witty, with great characters and well thought out plots. I recommend Murder in the Meadow and the rest of the series to anyone.

 

 

Review image Faith martin

 

 

THE LOCATION
The pretty iron stone village of Deddington.  Not far from the market town of Banbury (noted for its famous Banbury Cross of the nursery rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a white horse, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes.”)  It has an attractive and unusual church, antique shop and hotel, and several pubs known locally for their cuisine.  Although not a tourist spot as such, it is a picturesque spot.  Water meadows, such as the one where the body is found, are a feature of valleys in the area, and regularly flood in the winter time, adding  nutrients to the soil, making them especially lovely in the spring and summer, when they can flower quite spectacularly.

 

 

 

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THE DETECTIVES

DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.

 

 

 

Investigation image faith martin

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “BESIDE A NARROW STREAM.”

DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES
BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
BOOK 4: MURDER IN THE VILLAGE
BOOK 5: MURDER IN THE FAMILY
BOOK 6: MURDER AT HOME
BOOK 7: MURDER IN THE MEADOW
Books 8-11 coming soon!

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

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AUTHOR BIO

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL. MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY, MURDER OF THE BRIDE, MURDER IN THE VILLAGE, MURDER IN THE FAMILY and MURDER AT HOME are available now. Books 8-11 coming soon!

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

 

 

 

Check out Jill’s Books n All Book Promotions! Crime books, book reviews, blog tours and more. Booksnall.blog

 

Don’t miss Mystery Thriller Week 2018. The new dates for this year are April 12th-22nd. Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Brass in Pocket by Stephen Puleston

Brass in Pocket cover

 

 

 

Brass in Pocket: Inspector Drake #1 by Stephen Puleston

It is the middle of the night …The road is deserted …A killer is waiting …

Two traffic officers are killed on an isolated mountain pass in North Wales. Inspector Drake is called to the scene and quickly discovers a message left by the killer – traffic cones in the shape of a No 4.

The killer starts sending the Wales Police Service lyrics from famous rock songs. Are they messages or is there some hidden meaning in them?

Does it all mean more killings are likely? When a politician is killed Drake has his answer. And then the killer sends more song lyrics. Now Drake has to face the possibility of more deaths but with numbers dominating the case Drake has to face his own rituals and obsessions.

Finally, when the killer threatens Drake and his family he faces his greatest challenge in finding the killer before he strikes again.

 

 

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Inspector Drake

Detective Ian Drake is an inspector in the Wales Police Service and is based in the northern division headquarters near Colwyn Bay on the coast. North Wales is a large area that stretches from the coast to the border with England. It is an area rich in history and great scenery.

 

 

Wales

 

 

 

Book 0.5: The Devils Kitchen (a prequel novella)

Book 1: Brass in Pocket

Book 2: Worse than Dead

Book 3: Against the Tide

Book 4: Dead on your Feet

Book 5: March 2018

Amazon Goodreads

 

 

I know good crime fiction when I see it and Brass in Pocket certainly is. Stephen Puleston’s writing has a certain realism that can only be explained by experience. After reading so many books you begin to recognize the author’s craft and things that make them unique.

The story is one thing; but how the story is altogether different from one person to the next. I consider this a kind of “brand” of storytelling which is almost synonymous with voice. I really like how Puleston tells his story.

 

 

 

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Did you think north Wales was a safe place?

Full of castles and glorious scenery?

Then think again.

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR BANNER - BRASS IN POCKET

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Puelston

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

I write mysteries and thrillers.

I have published the first novel in a series featuring Inspector Drake based in North Wales and also the first in a series with Inspector John Marco based in Cardiff. The first Drake mystery is called BRASS IN POCKET and the second WORSE THAN DEAD. The third, AGAINST THE TIDE and the fourth, DEAD ON YOUR FEET.

Before turning to crime fiction I had written three other unpublished novels and you can read about my writing and about Wales, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, on my website http://www.stephenpuleston.co.uk/

I was brought up on the Isle of Anglesey, off the North Wales coast and went to school in Holyhead. After a degree in Theology from London University I decided to train as a lawyer and returned to work in the practice run by my father on Anglesey. For many years I worked as a lawyer in a small practice representing clients in the criminal courts and doing divorce work all of which has given me valuable raw material for my novels.

I still live and work in North Wales where the Inspector Drake novels are set.

 

Connect with Stephen Puleston

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Blog Tour: Murder in the Village by Faith Martin

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Looking for a brilliant best-selling murder mystery with a feisty female detective?

Then meet DI HILLARY GREENE, a policewoman struggling to save her career and catch criminals.

A would-be politician is found battered to death in the kitchenof his expensive home in a lovely Oxfordshire village. His wife’s alibi is full of holes and there’s another woman in the background. And what about his seemingly mild-mannered political rival?

DI Hillary Greene tries to get to the bottom of this perplexing murder. She certainly doesn’t think the prime suspect is as guilty as everyone thinks.

Just as she’s about to make a breakthrough, everything is turned upside down by a fatal development in another case she is working on . . .

Can Hillary find the murderer and will she survive a brush with one of Oxford’s most dangerous criminals? 

This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to finish.

MURDER IN THE VILLAGE is the fourth in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.

 

 

“This is the best book in the series so far.” -Barbara 

“Another page-turning book by Faith Martin, I just couldn’t put it down.” -Viv 

 

 

 

 

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THE LOCATION

The picturesque village of Lower Heyford, set in North Oxfordshire’s Cherwell Valley, nestles close to the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Farming country, the village has been in existence in one form or another for over a thousand years, providing a natural ‘ford’ for oxen over the river since medieval times. A mix of thatched and old stone and slate cottages, it is home to local families and rich ‘incomers’ alike. It’s proximity by train to both London and Birmingham make it a very desirable place to live indeed, and both the Oxford canal and the river Cherwell run close to it, making it haven for walkers, boaters and wildlife.

 

 

 

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“What the Detective story is about is not about murder but the restoration of order.”–P.D. James

 

 

THE DETECTIVES

DI Hillary Greene

An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence.

 

 

 

Detective search

 

 

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow

Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.

 

Review

I’m not sure how to put this, but Faith Martin writes page turners. Every book in the series is delightful to say the least. Every writer is different in how they tell a story, but what I appreciate about Faith Martin’s books are balance with a touch of humor. They’re the perfect balance of character, dialogue, and narrative. This makes for a very pleasurable experience.

 

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DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES

BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
BOOK 4: MURDER IN THE VILLAGE
MORE COMING SOON!

 

Faith Martin

 

Author photo

 

 

Author Bio

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is available now, with the others to very quickly follow.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

Amazon | Twitter | Facebook Goodreads

 

Blog Tour: Fatal Secrets by Janice Frost

 

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Book Blurb

 

THE EAGERLY AWAITED NEW MYSTERY FROM BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JANICE FROST

Two students coming home from a drunken night out see something strange in the river. It is a young woman’s body.

Hours later, a second young woman’s body is discovered on another stretch of the same river.

DS Ava Merry and DI Jim Neal are assigned to both investigations. And they’re joined by a new detective, Tom Knight.

Soon a connection is found between the two dead women. A list of “victims” is discovered in one of their flats. Who will be next and what really happened to the women on this sinister list?

In a thrilling conclusion, Jim Neal fights for his life as the two detectives struggle to solve a complex case involving people with secrets that may prove fatal.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.

 

 

 

THE DETECTIVES

DS Ava Merry is a young policewoman, recently promoted to detective sergeant. She is fitness fanatic with a taste for dangerous relationships. DI Jim Neal is single dad who juggles his devotion to his job with caring for his son.

 

 

 

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DS MERRY & DI NEAL SERIES
Book 1: DEAD SECRET
Book 2: DARK SECRET
Book 3: HER HUSBAND’S SECRET
Book 4: THEIR FATAL SECRETS

 

 

My Review:

 

I found this book to be entertaining and well written. A complex plot with the characters interwoven in some way shape or form. I always enjoy stories that have a strong villain because it makes for a better read. The motivations for the protagonists and antagonists and solving of the crime make this a good read.

 

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Author Bio:  Janice Frost

 

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Janice was born and grew up in West Lothian, Scotland. After completing an English degree at St Andrew’s University, she moved to London where she lived for ten years doing an assortment of jobs. Her passions are reading, writing and walking in Scotland and the Lake District. She lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and two sons.

 

 

 

Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

 

Fatal Secrets Blog tour

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@MTW_2018

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

Audio Forensics Book Review: The Camel Club by David Baldacci

 

Hear the sound wave

 

 

 

 

Hear ye, hear ye!

 

Welcome to another edition of Audio forensics! This is where I attempt to usher you into the marvelous experience of recently assimilated stories. You do… Have them right? Audiobooks? I do! The Camel Club, by David Baldacci is kind of a blast from the ‘recent’ past, published in 2005 by Hachette Audio.

 

 

 

The Camel Club Audio

 

 

 

Written by: David Baldacci

Narrated by: Jonathan Davis

Length: 16 hrs and 10 minutes

Series: The Camel Club, book 1

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 10-21-05

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Audio sample

 

 

 

Goodreads

Existing at the fringes of Washington D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man know as “Oliver Stone,” they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the “truth” behind the country’s actions. Their efforts bear little fruit — until the group witnesses a shocking murder … and become embroiled in an astounding, far reaching conspiracy. Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil — an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

 

 

 

My Rating:

 

 

Awesome Word Rubber Stamp 3D Rating Review Feedback

 

 

 

 

There are books, good books, stories, then there are STORIES. The kind that suck you relentlessly into it’s core and wont’ let you go until the last page! The books of this category are completed at a much faster pace. For an audiobook of 16 hours it’s bit long, but it still felt timeless.

David Baldacci crafts some of the deepest plots I’ve seen of any author, and still maintains characters that are just as deep.

If you’ve never read the Camel Club, they’re kind of a rag tag, quirky group, not to mention the least likely to be heroic. But that’s what makes it so interesting.

 

 

Narrator Performance: 10/10

The narrator Jonathan Davis was excellent. The best narrators catapult you into the core of the story without being noticed at all. And he did just that.  Superb.

 

Story Connection: 10/10

This is where I determine how well the narrator is connected to the story itself. This would definitely include protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, love interests, male and female characterizations etc. Again, Davis did a phenomenal job throughout the book, bringing the story alive.

 

Voice Switch Over: 10/10

This is where determine how well the narrator switches back and forth between characters, genders, dialects and narrative voice. I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this, but it’s just what I call it. This is also where the better narrators are further separated from the rest of the pack. How well they switch from character to character without flaws, mistakes, or drawing attention to themselves and thus away from the story. Believe me, this is no easy feat.

Davis again does a marvelous job. In the Camel Club, there’s male, female, Arabic, polish, and a variation of American voices. Now switching between them, accurately, consistently, and making them believable, is difficult. Those who can not only manage this, but excel at it, are rated higher in my opinion.

 

Sound Quality: 10/10

I’m not sure if this is an old school thing, but this audiobook was sprinkled with touches of dramatic effects. It wasn’t overpowering or distracting and I thought it added to the overall performance. Thumbs up!

 

Overall Performance: 10/10

Highly recommended. Can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series called, the Collectors. 

 

 

What do you think? Are you fan of Baldacci? Have you read the Camel Club? What do you think of my format? Are you a fan of audiobooks? Let me know in the comments!!

 

Benjamin Thomas