Sunday 22 November 2015



FIRST CONTRACT: A decade ago, JJ Stoner was a soldier. He killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand, he over-stepped the mark. Men died in compromising circumstances; too many men for an easy explanation. Faced with a dishonourable discharge and accusations of murder, Stoner accepted an offer from a stranger who represented an intelligence agency. Suddenly, Stoner found himself half a world away and about to execute his first private contract…

FIRST CONTRACT, a quick thriller, introduces the central character from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series. As well as a complete, stand-alone story, First Contract includes an excerpt from ‘A Last Act of Charity’ and a sneak preview of the sequel, ‘The Corruption of Chastity.’

‘A Last Act of Charity’, is available in paperback and ebook.

Please note that FIRST CONTRACT is intended for an adult audience and contains explicit scenes of a sexual and/or violent nature.

‘It launches you straight into the mayhem and, like its protagonist, JJ Stoner, takes no prisoners.’

‘Sharp. Staccato. Smart. Lovers of long, luxurious, lyrical prose should read this to see how the other half writes.’

‘The tightly-written prose has more than a touch of the Elmore Leonard about it – sparse, sharp and often witty as well.’

A short story and an introduction to JJ Stoner. We meet Stoner initially in an Iraq desert. A short time later after 5 Iraqis are executed, Stoner’s suddenly surplus to army requirements. However, as one door closes another one opens and Stoner is recruited into the school of black ops, dark arts and total deniability.

His first contract seems fairly straightforward. Receive instructions, identify target and eliminate. A Dublin mission, but what if the wrong person gave you the information? Cue one wrong dead guy. 

However, Stoner’s unfazed and adaptable.

Not your typical buy one, get one free supermarket deal, but at the end of our tale we’ve a couple of corpses and our man waiting for his next mission.  

Author Frank Westworth packs a lot into 25-odd pages. Some background, history and context to our main character. A glimpse of his talents – cool under pressure, efficient and despite a shaky start, he appears capable and reliable.

4.5 from 5

I’ll be interested in sampling the other Westworth – Stoner shorts, before embarking on the author’s longer work.

The JJ Stoner short stories continue with:
Two Wrongs
Third Person
Four Cornered

His novels are A Last Act of Charity and The Corruption of Chastity.

Frank Westworth has a website - Murder, Mayhem and More

Catch him on Facebook here.

I received a copy of this one from the author.


  1. Sounds like an interesting look at what happens when soldiers try to make the adjustment to a peacetime life after war. I'm not surprised that contract work comes up, Col. Glad you enjoyed this.

    1. More of a thriller than crime, I reckon, but I enjoyed it and am interested in reading more from the author.

  2. Thanks for the review, Col. Short stories and especially by new writers are always welcome.

    1. I do like them as a lead-in to a new author's writing. Plus they help keep my numbers ticking over!

  3. Definitely interesting, with that high marking. You need to read more and report back....
    BTW, very much liking the new positioning of the archives! Thank you! I got Rich to change the Past Offences header picture recently, I am going to be completely power mad soon.

    1. I enjoyed it. I'll read another one of his short offerings and then go for something longer.
      Re organising everyone - that's how Maggie Thatcher started out. It's not going to end well if you persist....

  4. On behalf of Frank-the-author (currently working flat-out on another deadline!) would like to say a massive THANKS to Col for shining a spotlight on the Stoner stories. Much appreciated.

    As several people have commented and seem to like the sound of Stoner's world, we figured it'd be nice to do 'something extra' for Col's regular readers. So we've arranged to you good people to each have a complimentary ebook of First Contract so you can try it for yourselves...

    Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Happy to oblige!
      Thanks for offering this one around - happy days!