Saturday 9 March 2019


Hmm, the less said about book embargoes the better, I think.....

Stephen Jay - The Tow Rope and Other Stories (2017)  - Amazon FREEBIE purchase
Popped up on one of my Facebook groups "as currently FREE."
WTF - looks goods, not too long and I'm not averse to trying new  authors

Five stories about troubled people, all very different. A highly strung worker in a DIY store, a suicidal man who doesn't like sex, a doctor who enjoys hurting people, and two others. Read how life's events affects or even solves their problems.

Attica Locke - Bluebird Bluebird (2017) - Net Galley

Plenty of buzz about this one, this year, last year and probably the year before. Ok two years after the event - I'm on it!

A powerful thriller about the explosive intersection of love, race, and justice from a writer and producer of the Emmy-winning Fox TV show Empire.

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules - a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the Lone Star State, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. 

When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders - a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman - have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes - and save himself in the process - before Lark's long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. 

A rural noir suffused with the unique music, color, and nuance of East Texas, Bluebird, Bluebird is an exhilarating, timely novel about the collision of race and justice in America.

Greg Levin - Sick to Death (2016) - Amazon purchase

Another new-to-me author and another one I do like the sound of. He has a couple of other beauties to his name - In Wolves' Clothing and The Exit Man


When Gage Adder finds out he has inoperable pancreatic cancer, things really start to look up for him. He leaves his soul-crushing job, joins a nice terminal illness support group, and takes up an exciting new hobby: Beating the hell out of bad guys. 

Gage’s support group friends Jenna and Ellison don’t approve of his vigilante activities. Jenna says fighting never solves anything. Poison, on the other hand… When the three decide to team up and hit the streets, suddenly no rapist, pedophile or other odious criminal in the city is safe.

They are the sickest of superheroes. Their superpower is nothing left to lose. But what happens when one of them takes this power too far and puts at risk the lives of hundreds of innocent people? Where does one draw the line when dying to kill? 

Eamonn Griffin - East of England (2019) - Amazon purchase 

Pretty sure I saw some love for this one from the on point - Raven Crime Reads. I'll blame Raven if it all goes wrong, but I don't expect it to.

Dan Matlock is out of jail. He’s got a choice. Stay or leave. Go back to where it all went wrong, or just get out of the county. Disappear. Start again as someone else. But it’s not as simple as that. 

There’s the matter of the man he killed. It wasn’t murder, but even so. You tell that to the family. Especially when that family is the Mintons, who own half of what’s profitable and two-thirds of what’s crooked between the Wolds and the coast. Who could have got to Matlock as easy as you like in prison, but who haven’t touched him. Not yet.

Like Matlock found out in prison, there’s no getting away from yourself. So what’s the point in not facing up to other people?

It’s time to go home.

Mike McCrary - Hard Hearts (2019) - Amazon purchase

I've read and enjoyed Mike McCrary before, though I have a hard time keeping up with him. Truth be told I have a hard time keeping up with anyone. Hard Hearts is his 10th novel if I've counted correctly.

Genuinely Dangerous and Getting Ugly appear to be the only ones I've read, though I'm fairly sure I read one of his Remo books, maybe not.

She may be a hostage. But she’s no damsel in distress…

Becky Rant is off the grid and out for blood. Faking her own death so she can fulfill her promise, the mission leads her on the hunt for a mysterious man with a violent past. But with her sights set squarely on her target, she falls for an ambush she never saw coming…

Bound and beaten for information, her only path to freedom lies in outwitting her cruel abductors. But surviving her captivity and keeping her secret will mean placing her trust in the dangerous man at the center of her crosshairs.

Can Rant fulfill her deadly oath or will her promise get her killed?

Hard Hearts is an adrenaline-pumping thriller. If you like badass heroines, fast-paced action, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, then you’ll love Mike McCrary’s edge-of-your-seat read.

E.A. Aymar - The Unrepentant (2019) - Net Galley

Not an author I've yet read, though there's a few from him on the pile. Hopefully I'll get this one read in the next month or so.

Eighteen-year old Charlotte Reyes ran away from an abusive home only to end up tricked, kidnapped, and taken across the country by criminals. Charlotte manages to escape with the help of a reluctant former soldier named Mace Peterson, but she can’t seem to shake the gang or the crooked cop paid to bring her back—alive or otherwise. With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, Charlotte realizes she only has one option. She has to fight.

Set in the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. triangle, The Unrepentant combines page-gripping action and black comedy, and provides a no-holds-barred, necessary examination of the dark corners of the human mind.


“A gut-wrenching crime thriller. Readers who appreciate depth of character alongside gritty nonstop action will be rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly

“Savage, nuanced, and infused with Aymar’s signature dry wit, The Unrepentant is an enjoyable hard-boiled tale that pulls no punches.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Creep and Wonderland


  1. Nice choices, Col! I'm especially interested in Bluebird, Bluebird. I like Attica Locke's work, and I've been hearing excellent things about that one.

    1. I haven't tried Locke's work before, but from what I read online this one seems a very powerful book, Margot.

  2. The Locke and the Aymar are the two that jump out at me, but they all look good. I see your resolve about not acquiring books is proving as, um, resolute as ever.

    1. Nice to have something to tempt you with. Err, the less said about my resolve the better probably.

  3. I look forward to seeing what you think of East of England, Col. (I almost bought it last month, but in the end I went elsewhere with my February e-book purchase!) Also, Bluebird Bluebird was great.

  4. I have Bluebird, Bluebird on my Kindle... I'm not betting on which of us will get to it first. It does sound good and has had rave reviews. And sounds like it might be one of the points where our tastes collide.

  5. Col – Bluebird sounds like a good one (the title throws me, but the description is good). East of England also sounds intriguing.

    1. I'm wondering at the title's significance, I'll find out soon enough hopefully. Looking forward to Eamonn Griffin's book as well, Elgin