The Traveling Man (The Traveler’s, #1) by Michael P. King – My Review!!

The Traveling Man – My Review!!

The Traveling Man Cover

Every now and then, I like to read a crime thriller. I ran across The Traveling Man (The Traveler’s, #1) by Michael P. King and put it on the TBR list. Here is my review!

Synopsis (from the author):

In a life-and-death contest among criminals, even the most cunning may not survive…

The Traveling Man and his wife have built a life for themselves conning criminals and getting away scot-free. But when their latest scheme to sell contaminated land goes south, they find themselves in a cat-and-mouse game with the crime boss who’s turned the tables on them and the partners who’ve betrayed them.

Are you ready to take a walk on the wild side?

What I liked:

The Traveling Man was a fun read! Lots of action, plot twists, great cons, and betrayals kept me guessing what was coming next. Add to the mix the innocents caught up in the game, the oddly ethical bent of the Traveling Man, and it’s a winning combination.

What I didn’t like:

Despite the good parts mentioned above, the book did bog down a few times as The Traveling Man and his plans fell apart. I had issues with some of the dialogue as well.

Overall impression:

The Traveling Man (The Traveler’s, #1) was an enjoyable read. The cons were flawed enough to be believable, the characters’ amoral enough to pull off their scams, yet Rob (the title character) had an ethical side. If you’re a fan of crime novels, read this one. Please note there is sex, violence, and strong language.

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with Michael P. King

Find Michael P. King on his Amazon Author Page and his Goodreads Author Page. While you’re there, check out the rest of his books (and maybe buy a couple) and leave him a comment or a review!

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The Black Fox: Run for Your Life by Gordon Bickerstaff – My Review!!

The Black Fox: Run for Your Life – My Review!!

The Black Fox Cover

A while back, I read the first of Gordon Bickerstaff’s Lambeth Group Thrillers, and gave Deadly Secrets 4 Stars. When The Black Fox: Run for Your Life appeared in my recommendations, I added it to my TBR. Here is my review.

Synopsis (from the author):

Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.

Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.

Run for your life…

What I liked:

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I like thrillers. The Black Fox: Run for Your Life has all the elements for a great thriller. Lots of action, plenty of plot twists, and a large-scale conspiracy blend to make this an excellent read! Zoe is a great character, a believable operative, and her talents are fully on display in the book. Gavin plays a central role as the pair struggle to stay alive and solve the mystery of why the CIA wants him dead. No spoilers from me, so you’ll just have to read this one to find the answers!

What I didn’t like:

I had a couple of complaints about the book. First, Gavin was such a weak persona in this book compared to the first book of the series. Secondly (and admittedly this is personal bias as a former submariner), the submarine parts seemed a bit farfetched.

Overall impression:

The Black Fox: Run for Your Life entertained me from start to finish. With tons of action, good characters, lots of plot twists, and an interesting finish, I enjoyed it. If you like thrillers, try this one! 

My rating:

4.5 Stars (round to 5 Stars)

Connect with Gordon Bickerstaff:

Discover Gordon Bickerstaff and his book on his website and his Amazon Author Page. While you’re visiting, consider leaving a comment or a review. I know Gordon Bickerstaff will appreciate it!

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Lethal Cargo (Nikolai Volkov Book 3) by Julia Gousseva – My Review!!

Lethal Cargo – My Review!!

Lethal Cargo Cover

I’m not sure how Lethal Cargo: Russian Historical Thriller (Nikolai Volkov Book 3) by Julia Gousseva showed up in my Amazon recommendations. I love thrillers, but haven’t been reading many lately. Regardless, I checked it out and added it to the TBR List. Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author):

Nikolai Volkov is a combat veteran of the Chechen war with a passion for finding truth and doing the right thing.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Nikolai embarked on a career of a bodyguard and soon became the best in the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection Agency in Moscow. He excels at protecting his clients and preventing crimes. But this time, his case is personal. His brother calls Nikolai with an urgent plea for help, and Nikolai heads to a small town in Crimea.

The town is quiet and picturesque, but dark forces are at work behind the scenes. Murders, illegal smuggling, and suspicious arrests challenge Nikolai’s detective skills and put his life in danger.

What I liked:

Lethal Cargo had all the elements I like in a thriller. Sinister figures, shadowy conspiracy, action, intrigue, and really cool characters. Nikolai played the good guy perfectly, and the story, driven by his actions, moved along nicely. Entertaining plot twists and a satisfying end made it a fun read.

What I didn’t like:

To be honest, there wasn’t much to dislike about Lethal Cargo.

Overall impression:

Lethal Cargo: Russian Historical Thriller (Nikolai Volkov Book 3) by Julia Gousseva was a great read. The story moved at a nice pace. With realistic and believable characters and gritty action, the book was a quick read and an entertaining novel. If you like thrillers, try this one!

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with Julia Gousseva:

Find out more about Julia Gousseva on her Amazon Author page or her website. While you’re visiting, consider leaving a comment or a review!

Connect with me:

Find me on social media and let’s connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Say hello and let’s start a conversation!

Deadly Secrets: The Truth Will Out… – My Review!!

Deadly Secrets: The Truth Will Out… – My Review!!

Deadly Secrets Cover

Thrillers used to be one of my go to genres and I still enjoy them on occasion. When Deadly Secrets: The Truth Will Out… (A Lambeth Group Thriller) showed up in my recommendations, I jumped on the opportunity to read it!

Synopsis (from the author): The truth will out…

Gavin’s life will be turned upside down. He joins a company to work on a product that will revolutionise the food industry. His initial gut instinct is to walk away until he discovers one of the company directors is the former love of his teenage life.

The financial implications are global and incredible. Powerful individuals and countries are prepared to kill as they compete to seize control of the company. Corruption at high levels, a deadly flaw in the product, and the stakes jump higher and higher.

Against overwhelming odds, Gavin must rescue his former love from the hands of an evil cult as they prepare her for a living nightmare.

What I liked: Deadly Secrets hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. Fast-paced, full of action, and loaded with twists and turns, the book grabbed me and kept my attention throughout. I liked Gavin, and Emma, and the BARSCO organization was the sufficiently evil antagonist. The science added nicely to the story, and the attempt to corner the market on a food additive believable. Overall, a nice solid thriller!

What I didn’t like: The various competitors for the food additive didn’t add to the story for me – especially the Russians. Additionally, for a shadowy government agency tasked with protecting Britain, the Lambeth group seemed a bit lost. Though it emphasized his human side, Gavin in action was a bit of a disappointment.

Overall impression: Deadly Secrets: The Truth Will Out… (A Lambeth Group Thriller) was a good solid read. The action, plot, and characters made the story enjoyable. I recommend this one to any thriller readers!

My rating: 4 Stars

Connect with the author: Find out more about Gordon Bickerstaff and his books on his Amazon Author page or his website. Please consider leaving him a review for Deadly Secrets or any of his other books you’ve read!

Connect with me: Let’s connect on social media! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest, so find me and say hi! You can also leave me a comment on the blog or drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com.

The Weight of Shadows (Shadow Series #1) by Karl Holton – My Review!!

The Weight of Shadows – My Review!!

Weight of Shadows Cover

I don’t know the algorithm Amazon uses to send recommendations and sometimes it’s hit or miss. When I received the recommendation for The Weight of Shadows (Shadow Series #1) by Karl Holton, I was surprised. Normally not a reader of crime fiction (though I have read a few), I decided to give this one a shot. Good call!

Synopsis (from the author):

When you have spent your life in the shadows, what would you do at the dying of the light?

Three years ago the best murder detective in London is blamed for the death of his colleague and kicked out of the Met.
A man with secrets buried in the past and present returns to London, the city that started the mysterious career which made him a billionaire.
The two need each other.
But they have no idea how much.

What I liked:

I enjoy stories that twist and turn and keep you guessing. The Weight of Shadows had plenty of that and more! The protagonist, Danny Benedict, is a complicated man with a world-weary air about him. His colleagues make for a nice backdrop for the tale, and the millionaire who seeks Benedict’s help adds a good mysterious element to the book. Overall, an entertaining read with nice pace.

What I didn’t like:

In spite of how much I enjoyed the book, I had a couple of issues. First, the investigation into the mobsters and the millionaire’s needs made it a bit difficult to keep up with events. Secondly, the opening encounter implied to me that Benedict would die (he obviously did). How he survived was never explained.

Overall impression:

The Weight of Shadows (Shadow Series #1) by Karl Holton is a good read. Plenty of action, a realistic plot, and intriguing characters add up to a book I enjoyed. I recommend this one to any fans of crime thrillers!

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with the author:

Find more about Karl Holton on his Amazon Author Page or his website. While you’re there, please consider leaving a review!

Connect with me:

Find me on the socials on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. I enjoy meeting new friends so say hi, drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com, or leave me a comment! Thanks for visiting!

Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) – My Review!!

Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) – My Review!!

Nefarious

 

 

As my blog readers know, I’m reading at least one book per month from a Georgia author. This time, it’s Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) by Steven F. Freeman. This one’s a thriller, so read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When Army Communications Captain Alton Blackwell takes a hit to the leg while on active duty in Afghanistan, his self-confidence and his leg are equally shattered in the explosion. Assigned to a desk job while recovering, Blackwell manages to prove his resourcefulness as he matches wits with Al-Qaeda operatives in the dangerous regions of Kabul. Unable to fully heal, he resigns himself to the abrupt end of his military career as well as any hope to win the affections of the beautiful and intelligent Lieutenant Mallory Wilson.

Upon returning state-side, the quiet civilian life is quickly left far behind when Blackwell’s colleague Zach Lambert calls him from a weekend camping trip in the throes of a devastating illness with forbidding implications. In a story out of today’s headlines, Blackwell and now-FBI Agent Wilson explore the possible diversion of a biotech’s project to develop an improved vaccine, scouring leads at the CDC and biotec company, putting their Army and professional skills to the test, and narrowly escaping agents with a murderous agenda at every turn. The closer they come to the truth, the quicker the bodies pile up, along with the suspects. To get to the bottom of the sinister scheme, can Blackwell still use wits when his body has failed him? And will he survive long enough to tell his colleague of the feelings for her he has long kept secret?

What I liked: Nefarious is a good story! The trials Alton Blackwell goes through set the stage for his later career, his interactions with the locals in Afghanistan, and his guilt over the death of a high school friend all helped me identify with the character. As a real-life supply chain professional, I liked Mallory’s Army occupation, and her character added the love interest. The bond one finds among service members rang true, and the plot, as it evolved over the course of the story, made for a good read.

What I didn’t like: Captain Blackwell’s antagonist in the Intelligence group and their “rivalry” was too clichéd for me. Similarly, some of the intelligence gathering seemed contrived to me.

Overall impression: Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) by Steven F. Freeman was a solid and entertaining read. Good characters, a believable plot, a conspiracy, and a good writing kept me engaged throughout. If you need a new thriller series to read, try this one!

My rating: 4 stars

When do you plan to read Nefarious? Soon, I hope! When you do, please consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and lets authors know they’ve reached their audience. While you are reviewing, why not stop by Steven F. Freeman’s Amazon Author page or his website, say hello, and check out Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) and his other books!

Since you’re already surfing around the web, why not visit me on the socials and connect? I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, and subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post!

The Eighth Circle of Hell by Gary Dolman – My Review!!

The Eighth Circle of Hell – My Review!!

Circle

 

I really stepped outside my normal reading boundaries with The Eighth Circle of Hell (Atticus and Lucie Fox) by Gary Dolman. It was dark, disturbing, and not for the faint of heart. Read on for my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): In the 19th century, when the British Empire was approaching its zenith, the Victorians began to believe that, with their power and their fabulous wealth, they could do anything. Certain gentlemen became convinced that they could indeed do anything…and get away with it.

A noted Harrogate philanthropist is found murdered, the victim of a brutal and frenzied attack. His apparent killer, a frail and elderly workhouse ‘imbecile’, had fled his house as a child.

The Eighth Circle of Hell follows strands of lust, love and revenge as they twist together and stretch across that most notorious of times: the Victorian Defloration Mania.

What I liked: Despite the obvious horrible and disgusting subject of the book, the story was very well-written and didn’t sensationalize the material. Gary Dolman treated the villains as monsters and they deserved the loathing I felt for them. The victims drew my sympathy. Atticus and Lucy, our erstwhile detectives, were a civilized counterpoint to those they pursued. While I can’t truthfully say I enjoyed to story (the topic was much too disturbing for that), it does offer insight into the times and psychology of those who feel they are above the law.

What I didn’t like: I would have liked to have seen Atticus and Lucie more disturbed by their investigation than they seemed. Perhaps it was the stiff upper lip of the British, but they didn’t come across as appalled by the actions of the “gentlemen.” Outrage would have added some authenticity to the story.

Overall impression: The Eighth Circle of Hell (Atticus and Lucie Fox) is a story of brutal lust, predatory men, and revenge. It handled a horrible subject as delicately as possible, and had a few twists that kept me guessing the outcome. Well-written, the book was filled with characters I won’t soon forget. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fictional insight into the darker side of Victorian society. Beware, though, as I mentioned before, it is deeply disturbing and not for those under 18.

My rating: 4 Stars

What did you think of The Eighth Circle of Hell by Gary Dolman? You can tell me by leaving a comment. Consider letting the author know by leaving a review. You can also connect with Gary Dolman on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit and find out more about him and his books! I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

If you enjoyed your visit to my site and/or this review, subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any posts. If you’re on the socials, connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Lastly, you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I love to meet new friends!

e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) by Joan C. Curtis – My Review!!

e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) – My Review!!

e-Murderer Cover

As a Georgia author, I like to read, review, and promote my fellow Georgia authors. I set a goal to read one of my colleagues’ books each month. I’m starting with e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) by Joan C. Curtis!

Synopsis (from the author): On this anything but typical Monday morning, Jenna Scali, who works part-time for a shrink, opens an email that depicts the brutal death of a young girl. On that same day the police uncover a dead coed two blocks from Jenna’s house. The e-murderer’s description creepily echoes the death described in the newspapers.

When Jenna receives other emails, she takes what she knows to the police and thus begins her journey in the path of the e-murderer. Her curious nature impels her from e-messages to dead coeds to a ring of prostitutes. With the help of her quirky friends, Jenna learns that she’s more than a conduit for the killer. She’s his target.

THE E-MURDERER is a race to find a psychotic killer before he kills again.

What I liked: First, many of you know I’m a huge University of Georgia fan. e-Murderer is set in the beautiful home of the Dawgs, Athens, GA. That was a great start! Secondly, Joan C. Curtis spins a nice mystery full of twists and turns, a little romance, and enough memorable characters to keep my attention. Lastly, it kept me guessing until about three-quarters of the book before I finally figured it out. All those things add up to an entertaining read!

What I didn’t like: A couple of the characters didn’t seem to have a reason to be in the story except as maybe a red herring. While I appreciate the attempt to keep me guessing, the eventual culprit made them seem unnecessary add-ons.

Overall impression: e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) entertained me! Although I’m not a mystery fan in general, this book had enough twists and turns, interesting characters, and a style that seemed almost a cozy mystery. All in all, an excellent read!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Have you read e-Murderer by Joan C. Curtis? If so, please consider leaving a review. Reviews are important to authors and lets them know what readers think about their work. And don’t limit yourself to one book. Joan C. Curtis has more and you can find them at her website or her Amazon Author page!

If you liked (or didn’t like) my review, leave me a comment and let me know. I appreciate the feedback. If you want to catch all my reviews, subscribe to the blog. in addition, I’m always open to connecting on the socials. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest and say hello!

The Lazarus Succession by Ken Fry – My Review!!

The Lazarus Succession – My Review!!

Lazarus Succession Cover

I love a good thriller with religious conspiracy connections. Ken Fry’s novel The Lazarus Succession fits the bill perfectly! Read on to discover my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): The Lazarus Succession takes readers to the ancient scene of Christ’s greatest miracle, to medieval Spain, and back to modern-day Europe. In typical Ken Fry style, nothing is as it seems and a surprise awaits at every turn of the page.

According to legend, Annas Zevi, an artist who witnessed the raising of Lazarus, was told by Christ to paint what he saw. Over the centuries, his completed works has vanished, along with every other painting depicting Lazarus’ resurrection. They were rumoured to be sacred icons with miraculous powers.

International Art Recovery Experts, Broderick Ladro and Ulla Stuart, are hired by a disgraced High Court judge, Sir Maxwell Throgmorton, to locate a long lost medieval painting by Spanish artist Francisco Cortez. Like Zevi, his work is said to be divinely inspired.

Throgmorton’s client, a wealthy Spanish Condesa, is terminally ill and the icon is her last hope. She will pay and do whatever it takes to find the missing work of Cortez.

Unbeknown to the Condesa, Throgmorton seeks to make a vast personal fortune from the discovery of the paintings, and use it to reclaim his place in society.

Ladro and Stuart learns of Throgmorton’s deceit and attempts to thwart his plans. As they delve deeper into the mystery of the missing Cortez painting, they discover a secret that changes their lives forever.

Just as it changed the lives of everyone it touched across the centuries. 

What I liked: This story drew me in immediately! The story started with a bang and kept up a great pace throughout. Brody and Ulla were great, Throgmorton was an excellent though odious player, and the Condesa was the perfect sympathetic character. All told, I thoroughly enjoyed The Lazarus Succession! Full of religious symbolism, action, and a mystical end, the book entertained me!

What I didn’t like: My only complaint was Throgmorton’s end. A little more mysticism would have played better to me given the way the story ended. I would say more, but then I’d have a spoiler and I don’t do that!

Overall impression: The Lazarus Succession was everything I wanted in a religious-themed thriller. Great characters, plenty of action, mystical happenings, and great pace made it a most enjoyable read! Well done Ken Fry!!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

When do you plan to read The Lazarus Succession? Soon, I hope! If you do read it, please consider leaving a review and let Ken Fry know your thoughts. I’m sure he will appreciate it. If you want to check out Ken Fry’s other books, you can find them on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit and maybe buy a book or three!

Connect with me:

If you want to comment on my review, leave a comment on the site, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, of find me on the socials! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Shares, likes, and feedback are always welcome and appreciated!

 

Acts Beyond Redemption by Suzanne Burke – My Review!

Acts Beyond Redemption – My review!!

Acts Beyond Redemption Cover

I admit I love a good thriller, so when I read the blurb for Acts Beyond Redemption by Suzanne Burke, I wanted to give it a try. And I must say, it was a good choice!

Synopsis (from the author): Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly, journey.

Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

The team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.
Their nightmares are stripping them to the bone.

Nothing has prepared them for this.
Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from an incomprehensible and shattering truth.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?
Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?

What I liked: This was a twisty story. The brutal killings, the burned-out FBI agents, and the prime suspect all make the story work. I liked the character development, and the story allowed me to use my imagination to try to identify the killer. All told, Acts Beyond Redemption was a harrowing tale of murder, political cover-up, and Sheila (the prime suspect) is a wonderfully evil operative. But, no more from me as I won’t spoil anything!

What I didn’t like: Only a couple of complaints from me. First, there were times when British/Australian terminology sneaked into the story (calling cookies biscuits, for example) and jarred me out of the story. Secondly, the use of coarse language was, in my opinion, excessive. I understand the need for it at times, but it seemed a bit gratuitous.

Overall impression: Good characters, a twisty plot, and a good ending make Acts Beyond Redemption an excellent thriller. I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys an action packed thriller!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read Acts Beyond Redemption? If so, please consider leaving a review. It’s always great to know what readers think! If you want to know more about Suzanne Burke and her work, you can find her on her Amazon Author page!

Connect with me:

If you liked (or disliked) my review, feel free to leave me a comment. We can also connect on the socials! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr, so say hi. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a post, subscribe to the blog!