My #Review of #OpalCountry by @hammerNow published by @Wildfirebks….OUT ON 6th JANUARY 2022

OPAL COUNTRY BY CHRIS HAMMER

Opals…

In the desolate outback town of Finnigans gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable youngsters and billionaires do as they please.

Bodies…


Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner’s death is straight-forward, not even who found the body. Homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.

But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up, and if so, by whom?

Secrets…

As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, and a past long forgotten is thrown into scorching sunlight.

Because in Finnigans Gap, nothing stays buried for ever.

I’ve loved every book so far by Chris Hammer, and am so thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review Opal Country by the publishers Wildfire Books. Thank you so much. 🙏

We start the story in the outback of Australia, at night, with a team of ratters entering a mine in the dead of night, what they find is a hideously crucified, Christ-like, corpse instead of Opals and makes them retreat pretty sharpish!

We then follow Detective Sergeant Ivan Lucic, who as a homicide, detective has travelled from Sydney to investigate the horrible murder.

Chris Hammer manages to weave a really complex storyline involving Opal mining, family, murder, corporate espionage, revenge and the ending of Police Careers, into a phenomenal story, that had me guessing right up to the end as to whom the culprit was, and more importantly why?

The way Chris writes about Australia, the shimmering heat, the oppressiveness of a small town, the community divided by gossip, fears and history is without a doubt brilliant. I could feel myself getting sweaty and anxious in some parts with the relentless sun beating own onto Finnegans Creek.

There are some players from the previous novels in here, even though it’s a standalone, but that just makes it all the better!

And the inclusion of a Map always means it will be a great book in my experience!

Another fantastic 5 ⭐️ start slice of Aussie Noir from the master or Australian Crime Writing, in my opinion.

Finnegans Gap

CHRIS HAMMER – is a leading Australian crime fiction novelist, author of international bestsellers Scrublands, Silver and Trust.

His new standalone novel, Treasure & Dirt, will be published in Australia and New Zealand in September 2021 and internationally, as Opal Country, from early 2022.

Scrublands was an instant bestseller upon publication in 2018, topping the Australian fiction charts.

It was shortlisted for major writing awards in Australia, the UK and the United States. In the UK it was named the Sunday Times Crime Novel of the Year 2019 and won the prestigious UK Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award.

Scrublands, Silver and Trust all feature troubled journalist Martin Scarsden and his partner Mandalay Blonde, while Treasure & Dirt follows Homicide detectives Ivan Lucic and Nell Buchanan.

All four books are notable for their atmospheric Australian settings, range of colourful characters, intricate plots, descriptive language and emotional depth.

Before turning to fiction, Chris was a journalist for more than thirty years. He reported from more than 30 countries on six continents for SBS TV. In Canberra, roles included chief political correspondent for The Bulletin, senior writer for The Age and Online Political Editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Chris has written two non-fiction books The River (2010) – winner of the ACT Book of the Year – and The Coast (2012), published by Melbourne University Press.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Charles Sturt University and a master’s degree in International Relations from the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

Chris Hammer

You can follow Chris on Twitter @hammerNow

Chris Hammer’s website – https://chrishammerauthor.com/

My review of Falling by TJ Newman

You just boarded a flight to New York.l

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight

You know the sign of a good book?

When you can’t put it down and you’ve read it in 2 days!

I’ve read some brilliant books this year, but Falling is absolutely bloody superb…it’s going in my top 5 books of the year!

The story is gripping from the very first page, and honestly, it reads like a full on thriller movie! There may be other books that involve situations on aircraft, but this is by far the most authentic and well written.

I loved the main characters, the flight attendants Jo, Big Daddy and Kellie were so real I could actually picture them in my mind, the Hoffman family and Bill, the Pilot, were so well written, and so realistic!

And the action and surprises and twists just keep on coming, I don’t think there’s any slow moments in Falling at all! I’ve worked in Aviation so was able to really feel this thriller of a book, and it is SO well researched, it really shines through with authentic narrative when on board the Flight 416.

I’m not going to give away any of the plot, but what I will say is this….if there’s one book involving Aircraft you should read, it’s Falling, you will not be disappointed. And to think this is TJ Newman’s first novel! I do hope she has another one on the go, because what a talent she is!

10 out of 5 Stars for me! Brilliant, unputdownable, gripping, thrilling, realistic and a film waiting to be made!


T. J. Newman,a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.

My Review of #ShesMine by @AAChaudhuri @HeraBooks @CROSSLANDAM – a superb psychological Thriller with immense twists!

Her missing daughter was just the start of the nightmare

Twenty years ago, Christine Donovan took a call she should have ignored while shopping. In those few seconds while her back was turned, her toddler, Heidi, was kidnapped. She’s never been seen again.

Despite having two other children with husband Greg, Christine remains guilt-stricken that her neglect caused her child to be stolen, while haunted by a secret that consumes her.

Just as she takes measures to finally heal, a note is posted through her door, with the words she has always longed to hear: Heidi isn’t dead.

Christine might finally get the answers she craves – but what she doesn’t know is that finding her daughter will uncover dark secrets close to home.

In seeking the truth, Christine might destroy everything that she loves … so how far is she willing to go to find Heidi?

With a truly jaw-dropping end twist, She’s Mine is a dark, scandalous, and gripping read from a major new talent in psychological thriller writing. For fans of Harriet Tyce, C.L. Taylor and Apple Tree Yard.

I would like to say thank you so much to Alex Chaudhuri and Ania (@bookaholicme) for my gifted copies of She’s mine.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is my first read of one of AA Chaudhuri’s book, but from the first chapter I knew I was in for a fantastic read, and that it had me gripped.

Child Abduction, Depression, Drug Abuse, relationships are all intertwined in this absolutely brilliant psychological thriller.

Alex has written a deeply tense and twisty thriller, and I could not put the book down….nor stop gasping out loud! The emotional writing of this story from several peoples point of view is stunning, so well researched and written that you would think Alex has gone thru this herself!

All the characters are extremely well rounded and really made you feel their emotions like it was coming off the page in waves! Although there are many protagonists, the storyline is clear and easy to follow but be ready for MANY twists and gasp inducing moments!

I am not going to give any spoilers here as I really think its a book that needs to be read to fully appreciate how talented AA Chaudhuri is, if this is her first thriller then holy moley, she needs to get writing more!

This is going to be one of my favorite books this year and will be fighting for position in my top 5 ( I may have to make it a top 10!)

If you like a book that keeps you thrilled and one that you cannot put down, then She’s Mine is one you MUST buy!

5 Star read

A.A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. Born and raised on the south coast, she now lives in Surrey with her family.

Once a highly ranked British junior tennis player, she toured the women’s professional satellite circuit as a teenager, and achieved a world ranking of 650. After returning to full-time education, she gained three As in A-Level History, English Literature and Theology, a BA Honours 2:1 in History at University College London, and a commendation in both the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at the London College of Law.

She trained as a solicitor at City firm Norton Rose, before going on to practise as a commercial litigator at two other City firms, Kendall Freeman and Travers Smith. She left law in 2008 to pursue her passion for writing. She also passed the NCTJ fast-track newspaper journalism course in 2010, in respect of which she was awarded The Oxford University Press Public Affairs Award for the most outstanding public affairs central government paper.

The Scribe and The Abduction were published by Lume Books (formerly Endeavour Media) in July and December 2019. Both books have hit the bestsellers lists in the UK, Australia and Canada, with bestseller tags in Australia and Canada. They will also be published as audio books by Isis Audio in January and March 2021, read by David Thorpe. She currently has four other standalone crime novels in the pipeline.

She has previously self-published two women’s fiction novels under the name Alexandra Sage: Love & Limoncello and the sequel Love & LossLove & Limoncello has sold more than ten thousand copies to date, reaching number 53 in the Amazon Kindle Bestsellers List in October 2014.

She also contributed a short story, The Encounter, to LUME Books’ crime anthology Given in Evidence published in May 2020, and written many articles and short stories for The Crime Writers’ Association.

In February 2021, Alex signed a two-book contract for two standalone psychological thrillers with HERA BOOKS.  The first, SHE’S MINE to be published in summer 2021.

You can follow AA Chaudhuri on Twitter – @AAChaudhuri,

Instagram -@a.a.chaudhuri

Oh website here – https://aachaudhuri.com/

No Honour by Awais Khan

The Blurb…….

In sixteen-year-old Abida’s small Pakistani village, there are age-old rules to live by, and her family’s honour to protect. And, yet, her spirit is defiant and she yearns to make a home with the man she loves.

When the unthinkable happens, Abida faces the same fate as other young girls who have chosen unacceptable alliances – certain, public death. Fired by a fierce determination to resist everything she knows to be wrong about the society into which she was born, and aided by her devoted father, Jamil, who puts his own life on the line to help her, she escapes to Lahore and then disappears.

Jamil goes to Lahore in search of Abida – a city where the prejudices that dominate their village take on a new and horrifying form – and father and daughter are caught in a world from which they may never escape.

Moving from the depths of rural Pakistan, riddled with poverty and religious fervour, to the dangerous streets of over-populated Lahore, No Honour is a story of family, of the indomitable spirit of love in its many forms … a story of courage and resilience, when all seems lost, and the inextinguishable fire that lights one young woman’s battle for change.

I had seen a lot of reviews for No Honour by Awais Khan, and although its not my normal Genre, I know that Orenda Books never publish a doozey, so i ventured in.

From the first page i was utterly gripped and appalled, this is not a book for the faint hearted, its a hard hitting, emotional story of female honour killing in modern day Pakistan.

I found it compelling and harrowing at the same time, I’m not sure that I’ve read a book that manages to write such beautiful prose about such awful events and activities before, but the further i got into it, the more I knew this is a masterpiece of our time!

It feels weird saying what a superb book No Honour is when its such a sad hard-hitting subject matter, but if we don’t write about these things then nothing will change, and if there’s one thing I’d like to see happen from Awais book, its that it helps change the ancient ways to a more equal society for women.

I was really taken by the lead character’s of Abida and Jamil, their inner strength and love for each other is so well written, you could almost feel their pain and love coming off the pages in waves. And the thing that I liked the most was the ending!

I did have to take breaks from reading No Honour as I found it, in parts, very harrowing, but its not written to shock, it is integral to the storyline.

I’m so glad I read No Honour, it is definitely a 5 star read, and opened my eyes to how other cultures live, which lead me to Google to find out more!

Awais Khan

Awais Khan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Durham University. He has studied creative writing with Faber Academy. His debut novel, In the Company of Strangers, was published to much critical acclaim and he regularly appears on TV and Radio. Awais also teaches a popular online creative writing course to aspiring writers around the world. He is currently working on his third book. When not working, he has his nose buried in a book. He lives in Lahore.

Books by this author

You can buy No Honour from Orenda books here – https://orendabooks.co.uk/product/no-honour

Evaders by E.C Scullion (Tom Holt 2)

A crime has been uncovered. Clare Buchanan has been missing for almost twelve years.

Former security manager Tom Holt knows that the man responsible for her disappearance goes by the name of Capricorn.

On the run in South America, Holt’s life is in danger.

In London, journalist Nash Akinyemi discovers the story that could make her career; a chance to finally step out of her mother’s shadow.

Talented thief Becca Wylde has worked for Capricorn her whole life; now it’s time to break free.

Together, Holt, Nash and Becca must risk everything to expose Capricorn’s secrets to the world. Yet Capricorn has his own weapon. Anton Merrick has a dark past, and he will stop at nothing to keep them all silent…

From the streets of London, to the shores of Chile, to the tropical islands of Panama, the race is on to expose the truth, before the truth gets buried. The second novel from the author of the bestselling Intruders.

Phew I am totally breathless after finishing Evaders the second in the Tom Holt series by the super talented Emma Scullion.

Following on from Intruders we are on another exciting thrill ride thru South America on the hunt for justice with Tom Holt and some trusty sidekicks.

This second book almost reads like a family saga, with all the characters and connections, I loved this as Intruders had left me with many questions and in Evaders we get the answers to those. The underlying romance between Tom and Becca is so compelling, and both these characters are now fully rounded and extremely likable….I really want them to get together 🤣🤣!

As usual the descriptions of the places Evaders takes us on out thrilling journey are impeccable, and again left me googling to see where they were and some real photos. In fact my only suggestion would be to include a map in the beginning of each book ( because who doesn’t love maps in books!), the tension and storyline just grows and grows as the book continues, and several times I was on the edge of my seat holding my breath in anticipation!

In short, Evaders is a fantastic follow up to Intruders, I am really looking forward to Book 3 ….hurry up and write it please Emma!

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Read.

You can buy Intruders and Evaders from https://www.reddoorpress.co.uk/products/evaders