My #Review of #TheRabbitFactor by #AnttiTuomainen @antti_tuomainen  @Orendabooks #Blogtour   #NotTheEasterBunny  

Just one spreadsheet away from chaos…

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.

Thanks as always must go to Anne Cater for inviting me to my first Orenda Books Blog Tour, for which I’m super honoured and thankful.

This was my first read of a book by Antti Tuomainen and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The opening chapter was amazing and had me immediately reeled in, from then on I stayed awake most of the night reading! A fabulous story of Henri a straight-laced Insurance Actuary who lives by mathematics and order, but inherits an adventure park from his dead Brother with the promise to keep it running – enter Henri into a chaotic world!

An amazingly uplifting story of love, crime and friendships… we see Henri thrown into a world of chaos in the YouAndMe Adventure park full of sticky children who leave ‘suprises’ in the tunnels and I don’t mean nice surprises! He has to negotiate criminal’s who are insistent in trying to kill him, plus the staff at the adventure park who all have a quirky edge and then the lovely Laura who changes Henri in SO many ways.

I don’t want to give any more of the storyline away but it is absolutely superb, it took me 2 days to complete I couldn’t put The Rabbit Factor Down! Some utterly hilarious moments made me laugh out loud, a lot of dark humour which I love. The ending is wonderful and to find out that this will be part of a trilogy is THE best news ever!

As always I must praise the translation into English by David Hackston, without these wonderful translators we would miss out on SO many good books!

And finally, praise as always for Orenda Books and the authors they publish, I’ve never read a duff book from their stock, one of THE best publishers in the UK.

I look forward to reading more of Antti’s work and also seeing The Rabbit Factor movie!

A 5 Star Read⭐🔥

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. Palm Beach Finland was an immense success, with Marcel Berlins (The Times) calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’. Little Siberia (2020), was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, the Amazon Publishing/Capital Crime Awards and the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award, and won the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The Rabbit Factor (2021), the first book in Antti’s first ever series,is in production by Amazon Studios with Steve Carell starring.The Moose Paradox, book two in the series is out in 2022.

You can BUY The Rabbit Factor HERE

Follow Annti Tuomainen on Instagram Twitter Facebook

#Guest #Author #JamesMylet @JamesMylet author of #TheHomes @ViperBooks @UA_Books published 22.05.2022

Thank you so much James for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

JW: I’d like to start, by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Homes come from?

JM: Yes I have always wanted to be a writer, from about the age of 16 when I first fell in love with books. I always used to write short stories or ideas and share them with my friends, as if I didn’t get them out of my head they would eat away at me. It took me to the age of 34 to first get published and there were a couple of books I wrote first before then that looking back probably helped me get better at writing.

The idea for The Homes came about because after my father died I moved back in with my mum and we talked a lot more than we had done when I was growing up as there was no longer the burden of parenting any more. She told me about The Quarrier’s homes in Bridge of Weir and it sounded like such a strange and unique place, I hadn’t ever seen a book written that was set there and I wanted to get the story told before that generation who lived it got too old.

Quarrier’s Home’s Children’s Houses on Faith Avenue (Dalry Home nearest Camera) 2005 @ Peter Higginbotham

JW: How hard was it writing from the point of view of teenage girls (Lesley & Jonesy)?

JM: I wrestled a lot with this a lot. I felt weird writing at a 40+ bloke writing as a 12-year-old girl (and originally wanted it to be anonymous or under a pseudonym, in the end, we went with a genderless name), but that girl is essentially my mother at that age and I worked with her a lot to get it right, but I would think it is unlikely I would write in the voice of a teenage girl again, just feels a bit weird.

There is an amazing and hilarious Twitter account called @menwritewomen and I live in fear of ever having my work on there.

https://twitter.com/menwritewomen?lang=en

JW: How important do you think it is to raise the issues children face in care, in the past and today?

JM: The overwhelming thing I wanted to get across was how brave the kids were to make it out of these places, they really had to fend for themselves. The whole book is a tribute to my mum and her friend (who she didn’t meet until after they had left the homes) and the courage and bravery that showed each day.

My mum is a quiet woman and I wanted a book that showed bravery not as a soldier running into a battlefield all guns blazing, but as a small person showing courage on a daily basis to get themselves out of this place.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of Jonesy & Lesley The Homes were to be turned into a TV series or movie?

JM: I never really had ideas for the children’s parts as I don’t know any child actors, but I did think of Peter Mullan as the Superintendent.

Peter Mullan

JW: I have to add here that I think Tessa Peake-Jones would be brilliant as Mrs Patterson!!

Tessa Peake -Jones

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

JM: I really didn’t like reading growing up. My dad loved reading and it wasn’t for me, I wanted to be outside playing football. Then one day I read Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh and a lightbulb went on that “Oh books can be like this”

That said my favourite childhood book and the book that I remember my dad reading to me was Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, and I have since read it to my son and he loved it and it felt like passing on a baton.

JW: Which book, that you read in 2021, has been your favourite?

JM: I really enjoyed Andrew O’Hagan – Mayflies and The Young Team by Graeme Armstrong

I should say in the last year I have read a lot of the authors on Viper., the publisher of The Homes, and the standard on that imprint is terrifyingly good. Janice Hallet, Tina Baker, David Jackson, Catriona Ward, every one of the books gives you something more that you were thinking of, every one of them has wonderful extra levels.

JW: Who do you most admire?

JM: Bookwise Iain Banks, Michael Marshall Smith, Steve Toltz.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

JM: I think the friends and family I have, I am fortunate to have such good friends and a lovely family and it’s important to stop and appreciate it, that and the penalty I saved in the last minute of a cup final when I was 10.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

JM: Anfield ’89. I got offered a ticket in my maths lesson at school for £3.50 and we couldn’t go as we were travelling to Scotland that day for the Scotland vs England match the next day.

Football – 1988 / 1989 First Division – Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 The press team sheet list the players for the title-deciding game at Anfield. 26/05/1989

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

JM: Music – I have always loved music. I haven’t been to an event in a long time and saw Father John Misty last week and I have forgotten how much I love it. I have spent a lot of this year trying to listen to albums in full rather than Spotify shuffle.

Father John Misty

JW: If you could invite 4 people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

JM: Amanda Donohoe, David Rocastle, Bill Drummond, David Bowie (the world has gone to pieces since he left us, I think he was holding it all together)

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

JM: Bad news quick, good news slow. If you know or think something is going to be bad, better warn someone and let them know, with good news, make sure you are certain of the good news as it’s the hope that kills you.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on??

JM: I am working on a story called The Herd of Buffaloes, I am 75,000 words into the first draft so there’s a long way to go but after 10 years of starting it I finally have the ending I want for it which is a relief. The hard work starts once the first draft is done.

James Mylet

You can Pre-order The Homes HERE

You can follow James Mylet on TWITTER FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #TheDarkFlood by #DeonMeyer @MeyerDeon @soph_ransompr published by @HodderBooks on sale now!

One last chance. Almost fired for insubordination, detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido find themselves demoted, exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.

One last chance. Stellenbosch is beautiful, but its economy has been ruined by one man. Jasper Boonstra and his gigantic corporate fraud have crashed the local property market, just when estate agent Sandra Steenberg desperately needs a big sale. Bringing up twins and supporting her academic husband, she is facing disaster. Then she gets a call. From Jasper Boonstra, fraudster, sexual predator and owner of a superb property worth millions, even now.

For Sandra, the stakes are high and about to get way higher. 

For Benny Griessel, clinging to sobriety and the relationship that saved his life, the truth about Callie can only lead to more trouble.

Taut with intrigue, murder and suspense, exploding with action and excitement, The Dark Flood is a masterpiece from the author of Trackers and The Last Hunt.

SAPS HQ in Stellenbosch

Thanks must go to Hodder & Stoughton for very kindly sending me a copy of The Dark Flood.

This is the 7th in a series of novels, The Benny Greisall Series by Deon Meyer ( I didn’t know this when I wanted to read The Dark Flood) …. However it works well as a standalone. BUT I will say after finishing it I immediately went and ordered the 6 preceding books as I LOVED The Dark Flood so much!

The storyline starts with a cracking opening chapter and really from that point on it is a gripping, explosive and frankly edge of your seat thriller!

I adored the writing style of Mr Meyer, smooth but so descriptive, I haven’t read any books based in South Africa, and I was totally invested by the fabulous descriptions of real life places in South Africa and also the authors invented places, it had me straight on The Google! You can tell that this is an author that cares very deeply for his Country, which considering the history, is actually lovely, I believe it comes through strongly in his writing that he loves his Country and all its people. I loved that there are words in Afrikaans in the book (there is a handy dictionary at the back!) …. It made it really easy to ‘hear’ the words being spoken.

The storyline is fantastic, I’m not giving anything away but let’s just say it had me gripped…the undercurrent of anxiety totally kept me reading! The ending was also gasp making! It also had moments of humour which had me laughing out loud….for instance….

“Griessel and Cupido watched Sandra Steenberg drive away in the EcoSport.

“Benna she’s so hot, she gives me heat rash. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well I thought you have Desiree already and so …”

Partner, I’m a one woman man. I’m just saying. I feel like phoning the fire brigade about that hotness…” This had me laughing SO hard!

So in conclusion I would say if you like gripping, crime fiction, Thrillers and you haven’t discovered Deon Meyer yet, then you NEED to go out and buy his books now, and outstandingly great, award winning author! And one I’m hooked on! Bravo Sir!

Church Street, Stellenbosch
A former journalist, advertising copywriter, Internet manager and brand strategist, Deon has published fifteen novels and three short story collections. His books have been published in more than 40 countries world-wide. Two of his books — Dead Before Dying (as Cape Town) and Trackers) — were turned into international TV series.
He has also written two series for television, and four screenplays for feature films, and has produced and directed movies in his native Afrikaans.
Accolades for his books include Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (2003) and Le prix Mystère de la critique (2004) from France, the Deutsche Krimi Preis (2006, 2009), the Swedish Martin Beck Award (2010), the ATKV Prose Prize (2000, 2003, and 2004), the ATKV Suspense Fiction Prize (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2019), the M-Net Award for Most Filmic Novel (2009, 2012), and the Barry Award for Best Thriller in the USA (2010).
Deon was born in Paarl in 1958 and matriculated in Klerksdorp in 1976. He studied at the Universities of Northwest, Free State and Stellenbosch, and holds a Masters’ Degree in Creative Writing.
He lives in Stellenbosch with his wife Marianne, and is passionate about South Africa, Mozart, mountain biking, cooking, photography, and Free State Cheetahs and Springbok rugby.

Deon Meyer on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Deon Meyer WEBSITE

My turn on the #FatalHate by #BrianPrice @crimewritersci #BlogTour published by @HobeckBooks OUT NOW!

DC Mel Cotton is back with a new case to solve, the murder of Duncan Bennett, an unassuming worker at a local confectionary warehouse.

As Mel’s team investigate, one key question remains… who would want ‘boring’ Duncan dead? And the case soon becomes far more complex and dangerous than expected, threatening to overwhelm Mexton’s small police force.

With terrorists, a paedophile network and a hitman in town, Mel and her colleagues face their greatest challenge yet. Mel’s own courage will be tested to the limits and no-one is safe. Who is stirring up hatred and violence in the area?

And can Mel prevent herself from becoming too involved and putting her life in severe jeopardy?

Thank you to Hobeck Books for inviting me on to the #FatalHate #BlogTour and sending me both books Fatal Trade and Fatal Hate.

I read Fatal Trade in a few days so I was looking forward to getting started on DC Mel Cotton’s next case, Fatal Hate by author Brian Price.

I was not disappointed at all, Brian Price is a talented writer of Police Procedural/Thrilling Crime Fiction books. We follow DC Mel Cotton and her team whilst they try to solve a murder of a somewhat unliked and dull victim, the twists and turns are excellent, and I didn’t see them coming which is always fabulous! I love the way Brian injects humour ( Cops always have dark humour, it helps cope ) into Fatal Hate and considering the themes involved, it really works and makes for a gritty and gripping read.

I love the cast of characters and how each event interacts with them and leads us through the twisty turning plot to its thrilling conclusion. And Mel Cotton is like a cat with 9 lives, getting into situations and luckily coming out safely!

A really solid read, and with each book you feel the author is really getting into his stride with the characters and DC Mel Cotton. I look forward to book 3 in the series!

A 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read.

Brian Price is a writer living in the South West of England. A scientist by training, he worked for the Environment Agency for twelve years and has also worked as an environmental consultant, a pharmacy technician and, for 26 years, as an Open University tutor.

Fatal Trade is his first full-length novel but he has contributed a number of short stories to a local writing group’s anthology, called Cuckoo. He is the author of Crime Writing: How to write the science, a guide for authors on the scientific aspects of crime. He has a website on this topic (www.crimewriterscience.co.uk) and advises crime writers on how to avoid scientific mistakes in their books. Brian also has a website about his writing (www.brianpriceauthor.com).

Brian reads a wide range of crime fiction himself and also enjoys Terry Pratchett, Genevieve Cogman and Philip Pullman. He may sometimes be found listening to rock, folk and 1960s psychedelic music. He is married and has four grown-up children.

You can BUY Fatal Hate HERE

You can follow Brian Price on TWITTER

#BlogTour #BreakneckPoint by #TOrrMunro @TinaOrrMunro @HQstories

CSI Ally Dymond’s commitment to justice has cost her a place on the major investigations team. After exposing corruption in the ranks, she’s stuck working petty crimes on the sleepy North Devon coast.

Then the body of nineteen-year-old Janie Warren turns up in the seaside town of Bidecombe, and Ally’s expert skills are suddenly back in demand.

But when the evidence she discovers contradicts the lead detective’s theory, nobody wants to listen to the CSI who landed their colleagues in prison.

Time is running out to catch a killer no one is looking for – no one except Ally. What she doesn’t know is that he’s watching, from her side of the crime scene tape, waiting for the moment to strike.

Breakneck Point is a dazzling read. I absolutely flew through the book over 2 days. The writing is exceptional and very easy to read. I loved the lead character of CSI Ally Dymond, in the first chapter we find out that she is a straight down the line employee of Devon Police, and this sets the stage for a thrilling plot and a feisty storyline involving Ally.

The plot is SO good ( I refuse to give anything away!) but let’s just say that it had me on the edge of my seat and at times shouting “NO” at Ally Dymond, yes she’s one of those characters!! A great cast of supporting characters that don’t confuse the reader but make the plot and story sing!

And let’s not forget the descriptions of the settings for this book, they were wonderful and made me feel like I was really there on the beach in North Devon!”

This will be the first in a new series, I believe and I shall look forward to reading the second book. If you like taught, anxiety-ridden thrillers with so many red herrings that I did not see the end coming, then Breakneck point is for you. I must also say that I saw the book cover and just knew I would love this book, so full marks to the marketing team!

A fabulous 5 star read.

My debut crime novel – Breakneck Point – is due to be published 14 April, 2022. Breakneck Point introduces the character of Ally Dymond, a tough, but flawed Crime Scene Investigator (or Scenes of Crime Officer) consigned to minor crimes in a North Devon backwater after blowing the whistle on corruption. I hadn’t read many novels that had a CSI as their main protagornist and as I used to be a SOCO many years ago (long enough ago that it was more Sherlock Holmes than CSI Miami!) I decided I would write one.
I am a massive fan of urban crime, but I specifically wanted to set Breakneck Point in North Devon. North Devon is area that is very close to my heart. I grew up there in the 70s and had what I call an ‘Enid Blyton’ upbringing in a tiny village called Wembworthy. I now live in Barnstaple with my own family. It is as beautiful as the postcards show you, but I wanted to write crime a novel that shows the reality for many of living in a rural area, a reality that is often at odds with those stunning views. I hope Breakneck Point will be the first of many novels featuring Ally Dymond

You can buy Breakneck Point HERE

You can follow Tina Orr Munro on Twitter or Instagram

My #Review of #SecretIdentity by #AlexSegura @alex_segura published by @Flatironbooks

From Anthony Award-winning writer Alex Segura comes Secret Identity, a rollicking literary mystery set in the world of comic books.

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book. 

That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living. 

Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel–hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.

Thanks have to go to the very Alex Segura for posting me a copy of Secret Identity to review. ❤️🙏❤️

Ok, I am a bit of a comic book nerd, many years ago in the late 1980’s my Ex-husband and I used to go to a Comic Shop in our local town and spend our adult money on Comics…..well I left the comics with said ex-husband and have regretted it ever since! So when I saw Secret Identity I just knew I had to read it!

And I absolutely loved it from the first chapter. Firstly our lead character is Carmen Valdez who is a lowly assistant at Triumph Comics, the comics industry is struggling just like the size of Carmen’s flares as this is 1975! And from a young girl Carmen has lays wanted to write a comic, her Daddy (a Cuban immigrant ) learnt English by reading comics and passed his love of them on Carmen. But not only has she run away to New York because of her past, she is just seen as a woman assistant and in the mid 1970’s men really didn’t think women were able to do much especially writing comics!

So the scene is set for a darkly rich gritty noir novel, set in the middle of the 1970’s in New York where the younger generation like Carmen are finding themselves thru their sexuality, I LOVED that Carman is a Lesbian as I can totally identify with her being one myself and I didn’t know this before reading Secret Identity so I was really pleased to have a strong kick ass female lead like me! Well apart from I’m a lot older and would put a hip out if I kicked ass!! 🤣

There is a great mixture of really rich male and female characters, Alex has a fabulous talent for writing a person who literally jumps off the page into your mind as a fully rounded live person, you can see why he writes fantastic comics! The plot involves the Murder of Carmen’s friend Harvey and her dangerous journey to find the truth of why he was murdered and what is making her and her friends a target to the offender!

I loved that there are actual graphic comic segments that really added to the storyline, the descriptions of New York in 1975 have been well researched (or lived thru!) the music, the clothes, the restaurants, the society that Carmen lives in were amazing and really took me there, so much so I could smell the pizza and sweat!

In conclusion this is a dazzling and exceptional novel , it’s not just for comics fans, it’s a darkly gritty historical thriller with many twists (I did not guess the ending which is always great, thanks to the red herrings,) that will take you away from todays issues into a better time and make you want to rush out and buy some comics!

5 Stars ⭐🔥

Alex Segura is the bestselling and award-winning author of Secret Identity, which the New York Times called “wittily original” and named an Editor’s Choice. NPR described the novel as “masterful,” and it received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist. Alex is also the author of Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall, the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery series, and a number of comic books – including The Mysterious Micro-Face (in partnership with NPR), The Black GhostThe Archies, The Dusk, The Awakened, and more. His short story, “90 Miles” was included in The Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories for 2021 and won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story. By day he is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Oni Press, with previous stints at Archie Comics and DC Comics.
A Miami native, he lives in New York with his wife and children.

You can visit Alex Segura’s own Website HERE

Follow Alex on Twitter Instagram Facebook

You can buy Secret Identity HERE

My #Review of #TwelveSecrets by @books_gold @LittleBrownUK

A SMALL TOWN. A SHOCKING CRIME. 
YOU’LL SUSPECT EVERY CHARACTER. BUT YOU’LL NEVER GUESS THE ENDING.

Ben Harper’s life changed forever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s family and their idyllic hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.

Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.

Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will do anything to keep the truth buried . . .

So I’ve been looking forward to reading Twelve Secrets by author Robert Gold and by Jove it didn’t disappoint!

A fabulously gripping and smoothly written thriller. I loved the storyline and the setting was really authentic, albeit a fictional town of Haddley. The main character of Ben Harper, an investigative journalist, is plunged into the past when he starts to look into his brother’s terrible murder and his mother’s suicide. I’m not going to go into the plot anymore but I will tell you that I read this in 2 days! I could not put it down at all!!

Each chapter brings in new twists and turns that I loved! I thought this was a superbly well-written thriller for a debut author. If you like a good plot, with meandering spins of story, then Twelve secrets is for you!

Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer ASDA, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert now lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016, he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series.

You can find Robert Gold on FACEBOOK TWITTER

You can BUY Twelve Secrets HERE

My #Review of #TheHouseboat by #DaneBahr published by @CounterpointLLC

Local outcast Rigby Sellers lives in squalor on a dilapidated houseboat moored on the Mississippi River. With only stolen manikins and the river to keep him company, Rigby begins to spiral from the bizarre to the threatening.

As a year of drought gives way to a season of squalls, a girl is found trembling on the side of the road, claiming her boyfriend was murdered. The nearby town of Oscar turns their suspicions toward Sellers. Town sheriff Amos Fielding knows this crime is more than he can handle alone. He calls on the regional marshall up in Minnesota, and detective Edward Ness arrives in Oscar to help him investigate the homicide and defuse the growing unrest. Ness, suffering his own demons, is determined to put his past behind him and solve the case.

But soon more bodies are found. As Ness and Fielding uncover disturbing facts about Sellers, and a great storm floods the Mississippi, threatening the town, Oscar is pushed to a breaking point even Ness may not be able to prevent.

I saw this and bought it The Houseboat on impulse as the cover is superb and it drew me in!


A fabulous creepy story from Iowa in the 1960’s involving a strange outsider and Detective Edward Ness from the big city of Minesotta ….. a cat and mouse game in the swamps and heat and rain of the little township of Oscar, involving death, sex, weirdness, personal tragedy and a mystery…I loved it. Dane Bahrain writes in an almost poetic style describing the setting for The Houseboat, I loved the literary feel to this creepy story.


A short novel but one that’s full of atmosphere. A 4 Star read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#BlogTour #TheChemist by Lewis Hastings @istheauthor @HobeckBooks Release Date UK 22.02.22

“Then, with his wrist trembling under the pressure, he carved the names of two men into the paper, ripping the surface…

Jack…

The Seventh Wave organised crime gang is long defeated, its members dead or jailed. Their London-wide campaign of terror a fading memory.

Jason…

Or is it? An old foe is released from his maximum-security prison cell, with dreams of revenge and a score to settle.

…You. Just. Watch.”

He calls himself ‘The Chemist’, and he’s determined to make anyone who’s crossed him pay. To him, death is just a game of chance, and he’s stacked the odds in his favour. Can Jack Cade save those closest to him from the twisted plans of The Chemist?

Firstly I must say thank you so much to Hobeck Books for letting me join in The Chemist Blog Tour and supplying me with the paperback.

Secondly, although this is part of a series, this is the first time I’ve read a Lewis Hastings book, however it did not detract from the storyline.

Where to start! Well this is a fabulous crime fiction thriller and I urge everyone to buy a copy and read it, you won’t be at all disappointed. It is gritty, dark, fucked-up and totally brilliant! I was sold from the first chapter. I love the way Lewis Hastings writes, it is extremely raw and dirty, but it’s exactly what The Chemist is! If you like edge of your seat thrillers with a host of fabulous characters and quite possibly THE most EVIL and fucked-up criminal of all time (Worse than Hannibal Lecter!!) in a book that I’ve read, and I’ve read a LOT of crime books!

Remember the name Constantin Nicolescu because Lewis Hastings has invented a mammoth of a criminal here, the research that has gone into how The Chemists psychopathic mind works and the games he plays with his victims (of which there are many) is breathtaking and at times had me reaching for the sick bucket! Think Chris Carters style of writing only better! The plot revolves around Nicolescu and the chain of awful events that he wrecks on an elite team of Metropolitan Police Officers, dubbed The Orion Squad. Every chapter just draws you in further and makes you gasp!

I really don’t want to give any of the plot away but I must also mention the attention to detail that Lewis has taken in writing the Police characters in The Chemist. As an ex Police Civvy from the 1990’s, I always find a book hard to read if the language and black humour of Police Officers and Detectives in books is wrong, no fear of that here, the writing is super realistic and for me spot on, I think that’s also part of the reason why I loved The Chemist so much. You can tell when an author has been a Police Officer, it makes for realistic writing!

And finally I must draw attention to all the research that must have gone into writing The Chemist, from the effects of drugs and poisons on humans, to the settings in London and also to homeless people and especially ex-Forces homeless, it is absolutely solid gold and I commend Lewis Hastings on this!

This is a big book 500+ pages and it kept me entertained all the way through, the story was complicated but I was able to follow it easily, I was gripped by the darkness that is in The Chemist, and there’s car chases, and edge of your seat moments! The Chemist has it all!

This is one of those books that would very easily lend itself to television or film, and I for one would love to see that happen! And if not then at the very least it needs to become a bestseller or prize-winning novel!

An absolute book banger and a definite 5 ⭐️ read from me!

Lewis Hastings is a pseudonym. His real name is far more, real.

Born as a product of the long, harsh and miserable winter of the early nineteen sixties in southern England he soon shot to fame for his child acting, embellishment and love of justice and propensity for injury. His catalogue of injuries and their research has actually proven to be of use, particularly when describing some of the medical events within the book. The sensation of pain, often clinically described, is based upon real-world events and countless hours in Accident and Emergency Wards. His relationships with the many nurses, doctors and specialists is acknowledged.

Above all Lewis is a passionate and caring soul who always puts the needs of others before his own, a career in law enforcement was therefore a logical path, having drifted helplessly on a sinking rudderless ship that saw him involved in many diverse occupations, including but not limited to selling, border security, exotic dancing, prostitution and people trafficking*.

He joined the British Police in April 1990 and was posted to an upmarket suburb of Nottingham where he learned the art of policing; investigation, intelligence and communication. Along the way he dabbled in many varied branches of policing and worked for seven years in one of the toughest inner-city areas in Britain. Some of the key events and people are brought back to life in the early segments of the story that are set in Nottingham, again, to protect those still serving their names have been changed.

Having spent his formative years both living and working in the United Kingdom he was offered what for many would be the chance of a lifetime. Clutching his worldly goods, his family and his reputation he took the leap of faith and now lives on the other side of the world in a house, with the same wife and a lake-loving Labrador.

Having headed across the world, his law enforcement career – not unlike Jack Cade’s – would take an unexpected turn and soon he found himself building a capable and worthy team at an international border. The thirteen years that followed saw him carve out a reputation as a subject matter expert in port security, document fraud and international border intelligence, particularly the influence of travelling European criminals. He now acts as a government liaison officer – connecting law enforcement units throughout the Five Eyes community. He hopes for the chance to meet another “Theodora” – tired, afraid but agenda-driven and with her own unique story to tell to someone prepared to listen.

He has two amazing children, one adorable granddaughter, an equally adorable grandson and a long-suffering, incredibly patient wife who meets all of the cliched aspects of a redhead.

* The author was never involved in selling.

You can purchase The Chemist HERE

You can follow Lewis Hastings on Twitter Instagram

Lewis Hastings Website HERE

#GuestAuthor #LewisHastings @istheauthor author of #TheChemist @hobeckbooks release date UK 22.02.22

J; Thank you so much Lewis for being a guest on my blog

LH; My pleasure!

 J; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea for The Seventh Wave Trilogy come from?

LH; I fell in love with writing in the 1970s, when my English teacher, the brilliantly named Theodora Bruton told me I had a gift for​storytelling. My parents felt that this meant I daydreamed or told lies! Needless to say, Theo Bruton was right. I so wish she was alive now to read my work. (Of possible interest my old school approached me and asked me to be a writing ambassador for the current generation – I was thrilled!)

 The Seventh Wave Trilogy was a real-life event. I was the duty officer at an international airport when a mysterious Bulgarian female asked to see an Interpol officer. I was the nearest we had. Over six hours she told me her story. That story formed the Seventh Wave (Terribly, as she was telling me, I couldn’t help but see a movie series…)  I tracked her for a week then lost all trace of her somewhere in Thailand as contrary to what we knew she’d managed to get hold of a false passport and slipped off the radar. I have no idea where she is now but I hope she’s OK…she was the woman behind Niko Petrova.

J; How much research did you need to do before writing The Chemist?

LH; Very little. Again, the characters are all very real or based upon real people I have either worked with, followed, or taken into custody. A lot of the chemistry/toxin work was self-researched, but the more complex stuff is down to two men; Mr Brian Price, a fellow Hobeck author who has far more knowledge in the forensic space and a dear friend, Jeremy Batchelor, one of the most gifted organic chemists I’ve ever met. What he doesn’t know about making things explode isn’t worth knowing!

J; Constantin Nicolescu is probably THE most fucked up criminal in any book I’ve read, where did the original ideas for his murders come from? 

LH; Thank you. I think…I’m smiling nonetheless. Constantin was mentioned by Nikolina, (she’s the mysterious Bulgarian woman), as being the cruellest man that she’d ever met. From there I just let my mind inhabit his and considered what I’d most like to do to the few enemies I have in the world. The centrepiece in the old music hall (again a very real place, you can find it on Google maps if you know where to look!) was purely my imagination.

J; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Nicolescu, Jason Roberts, Jack Cade and Carrie O’Shea ( or any other of your great characters) if The Chemist was made into a movie (I hope it is!)

LH; Ah the eternal question. Here goes, and this may surprise you. I would LOVE someone to make them into films, I am told repeatedly that the books are cinematographic which is humbling – to be told that they drew a colourful picture in the mind of a reader who has aphantasia (Google it..) was possibly my greatest achievement.

Jack. he’s the difficult one. Possibly an unknown like Daniel Craig was relatively speaking when he became Bond. Someone like a Rupert Penry-Jones with a rougher edge.

Nicolescu the same. An unknown, or someone who can really get into a character. Who knows perhaps Michael Sheen – he’s yet to put a foot wrong!

Michael Sheen

Jason Roberts – I’m smiling but you need to know the real Jason. I’d possibly go a little off-piste and choose Eddie Izzard.

Eddie Izzard

Carrie. Easy. Vicky McClure (sultry, sexy, but with attitude.) I’ve thought about this. I just need Adrian from Hobeck to bribe Jed Mercurio…

Vicky McClure

Bridie would be someone like Jessica Raine.

Jessica Raine

Colin Firth would make a good JD.

Colin Firth

J; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

LH; Famous Five, Secret Seven that sort of thing. Adventures, for the young mind! TV was very much BBC oriented, so Blue Peter rather than Magpie and Swap Shop instead of TISWAS…

J; What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

LH; The Body – Bill Bryson. I love his style and research – humour meets science head-on. 10/10.

J; Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

LH; I love Peter James’ books – he was my early inspiration and we stay in touch now. He wrote back to me whilst in Jamaica doing some research (him, not me…) and even offered to have Seventh my first novel read by the real Roy Grace. It meant a lot. (‘Roy’ loved it..)

That said, my favourite books of all time are probably Papillon (Henri Charriere) and Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks).

J; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why? 

LH; Christmas Eve 1914. To witness the truce. To stand and watch my dear grandfather as a young man and to listen to him tell the tales of the Great War. I was never allowed to ask later in life when as a boy I was fascinated by his bravery. It was never mentioned again. He was one of the most highly decorated members of the Royal Tank Corps as a 26-year-old Corporal on the Western Front.

    “The night wore on to dawn – a night made easier by songs from the German trenches, the pipings of piccolos and from our broad lines laughter and Christmas carols. Not a shot was fired.”

J;  If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why? 

LH; My grandfather to finally listen to those tales. My Dad. I flew 10,000 miles to read my autobiography to him in a hospice in Kent (this may sound familiar if you have read The Angel of Whitehall) just so I could tell him I’d made it as an author! Something still so powerful that even typing that sentence brings a tear to my eye. For selfish reasons, Kate Beckinsale and for cinematic reasons Vicky McClure to discuss her role as Carrie. And I’d pay for my family to sit on the next table as they’ve all endured my endless book conversations…

J; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

LH; I’ve been lucky to have travelled very well with work and privately. Cape Cod appeals. I flew over it after enduring a hurricane off the coast of Newfoundland once, and we nearly had to divert there. Looking down it really appealed. Or Bora Bora with Kate Beckinsale.

J; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

LH; Never go back!

J; Do you have a hidden talent? 

LH; Many. I can’t play the guitar in any key. And I’m a mimic, having turned down a fair amount of voice-over work.

J; Are you currently writing another book?

LH;  I am, yes. It’s the sixth in the Jack Cade series and features three places with the same name. I have a seventh in development already which may be a standalone and will introduce a new character which I think will be a first in literature.

Then I have another which is like nothing else I’ve ever written. A love story like no other set initially in sixties London among the publishing world and the British Army. Hobeck might not find a place for it, but like all my books, it will have a twist.

In closing, I’d like to thank you for what you do for people like me Jude, for supporting me and above all reading my books. They are subjective, like people, that you enjoyed them means more than you could ever imagine.

Lewis Hastings is a pseudonym. His real name is far more, real.

Born as a product of the long, harsh and miserable winter of the early nineteen sixties in southern England he soon shot to fame for his child acting, embellishment and love of justice and propensity for injury. His catalogue of injuries and their research has actually proven to be of use, particularly when describing some of the medical events within the book. The sensation of pain, often clinically described, is based upon real-world events and countless hours in Accident and Emergency Wards. His relationships with the many nurses, doctors and specialists is acknowledged.

Above all Lewis is a passionate and caring soul who always puts the needs of others before his own, a career in law enforcement was, therefore, a logical path, having drifted helplessly on a sinking rudderless ship that saw him involved in many diverse occupations, including but not limited to selling, border security, exotic dancing, prostitution and people trafficking*.

He joined the British Police in April 1990 and was posted to an upmarket suburb of Nottingham where he learned the art of policing; investigation, intelligence and communication. Along the way, he dabbled in many varied branches of policing and worked for seven years in one of the toughest inner-city areas in Britain. Some of the key events and people are brought back to life in the early segments of the story that are set in Nottingham, again, to protect those still serving their names have been changed.

Having spent his formative years both living and working in the United Kingdom he was offered what for many would be the chance of a lifetime. Clutching his worldly goods, his family and his reputation he took the leap of faith and now lives on the other side of the world in a house, with the same wife and a lake-loving Labrador.

Having headed across the world, his law enforcement career – not unlike Jack Cade’s – would take an unexpected turn and soon he found himself building a capable and worthy team at an international border. The thirteen years that followed saw him carve out a reputation as a subject matter expert in port security, document fraud and international border intelligence, particularly the influence of travelling European criminals.

He now acts as a government liaison officer – connecting law enforcement units throughout the Five Eyes community. He hopes for the chance to meet another “Theodora”  – tired, afraid but agenda-driven and with her own unique story to tell to someone prepared to listen.

He has two amazing children, one adorable granddaughter, an equally adorable grandson and a long-suffering, incredibly patient wife who meets all of the cliched aspects of a redhead.

You can find Lewis Hasting’s Website HERE Twitter HERE

Instagram HERE Facebook HERE