Sunday 10 November 2019


Another intriguing half a dozen books that look like the dog's doodahs......three from Amazon and three from very generous publishers/authors....

Doug Johnstone - Breakers (2019) - Amazon purchase 

An author I've enjoyed previously but not for a few years now - Smokeheads (2011) back in October, 2012.

Another Kindle offer on Amazon and secured for less than a pound. I have more from this author on the TBR pile, but never seem to remember him when planning my forthcoming reading.


A pulsatingly tense, deeply moving psychological thriller from the number one best-selling Scottish author of Fault Lines.

A toxic family...a fight for survival...

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh's most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people's homes by his bullying older siblings, he's also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that's just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh's biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger's house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation...unless he drags her down too.

A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland's finest crime writers.

R.D. Sherrill - Red Dog Saloon (2013) - Amazon purchase

Not too sure how this one ended up on my radar, but it does sound good and it was a cheapo (possibly free) purchase. Another one with decent reviews to its name.


They thought they'd gotten away with their heinous crime, that their sins had been buried forever. Now, more than twenty years later, someone or something has come for vengeance for the deeds they committed at the old country tavern in the foolishness of their youth. The words Red Dog Saloon are written in their own blood at the scenes of the crimes, reading like writing on the wall to the guilty. They will do anything not to be the dark man's next victim, even if it means sacrificing an old friend to save their own skin. They discover that for some acts there is no redemption.

Will Carver - Good Samaritans (2018) - Amazon purchase

Billy bargain on Amazon - 99p at some point in the month. Great reviews, interesting premise. Hopefully I won't enjoy it too much otherwise I'll feel compelled to hoover up all his other books!


Shortlisted for Best Independent Voice at the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards

Longlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize


‘Totally addictive. Like Fight Club, only darker’ S.J. Watson

‘I loved this book. Dark and at times almost comical, a great blend of crime thriller and the darkest imaginable domestic noir’ Sarah Pinborough

Dark, deviant and disturbing domestic noir … one of the most entrancing, sophisticated and page-turning psychological thrillers of the year…

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach…

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.

But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…

And someone is watching…

Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

Rob Pierce - Tommy Shakes (2019) - review copy from Chris @ All Due Respect Books

Love pretty much anything the guys at All Due Respect put out and I seem to be on their friend's list. Long may it continue.

Rob Pierce's Uncle Dust was enjoyed back in 2017 - thoughts here.

More sits on the TBR pile from the man (just never enough time is there?) ..... Vern in the Heat, The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet and With the Right Enemies.


Tommy Shakes is a career criminal, and not a very good one. He earned his name as a heroin addict. Now he’s just a drunk, drinking so much that he spends much of his time in bathrooms, exploding from one end or the other.

He’s in a marriage he wants to salvage. He convinces himself that his wife, Carla, will allow him to stay with her and their teenage son, Malik, if he can bring home enough money. She tells him that won’t do it, he needs to quit crime altogether, but Tommy gets a crack at a big heist and decides to pull the job.

The job is ripping off a popular restaurant that runs an illegal sports book in back. A lot of money gets paid out on football Sundays; the plan is to pull the robbery on Saturday night. The back room has armed guards but, according to Smallwood, Tommy’s contact on the job, there’s no gang protection.

Tommy recons the job and finds two problems: Smallwood’s plan will get them all killed or up on murder one, and one security guy works for a local gangster, Joey Lee. Tommy’s desperate for money and figures he can make his own plan. As to the gangster, there’s enough money that it’s worth the risk.

They pull the robbery but one gang member gets gun happy and it turns into a bloodbath, which includes killing Lee’s man. Now they’re wanted for murder, and the law is the least of their problems.

Praise for TOMMY SHAKES:

“With his pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, his knack for crisp pacing, and his unerring eye for what might be called the milieu of functional dissolution, Rob Pierce has revealed himself in story after story as a poet of the luckless, the bard of the misbegotten. In the hero of his latest and best, Tommy Shakes, he has found his Frankie Machine.” —David Corbett, award-winning author of The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday

Heleen Kist - Stay Mad, Sweetheart (2019) - review copy from publisher - Red Dog Press

A #MeToo drama - a bit of a slight divergence from my usual reading, but it seems a very intriguing book and I'm always bemoaning the fact I don't read enough female authors.



Data scientist Laura prefers the company of her books to the real world – let alone that cesspit online. But when her best friend Emily becomes the victim of horrific cyberbullying, she makes it her all-engulfing mission to track down the worst culprits.

Petite corporate financier Suki is about to outshine the stupid boys at her firm: she’s leading the acquisition of Edinburgh’s most exciting start-up. If only she could get its brilliant, but distracted, co-founder Laura to engage.

Event planner Claire is left to salvage the start-up's annual conference after her colleague Emily fails to return to work. She’s determined to get a promotion out of it, but her boss isn’t playing ball.

As the women's paths intertwine, the insidious discrimination they each face comes to light. Emboldened by Emily’s tragic experience, they join forces to plot the downfall of all those who've wronged them.

But with emotions running high, will the punishments fit the crimes?

A pacy and suspenseful novel with its feet firmly in the #MeToo era. 9 to 5 meets Suits with a dash of Black Mirror.

Janet Roger - Shamus Dust (2019) - review copy from author via publisher Troubador Publishing Ltd
One I have heard good things about and am looking forward to ....

HARD WINTER COLD WAR COOL MURDER ..... how could you not?


Two candles flaring at a Christmas crib. A nurse who steps inside a church to light them. A gunshot emptied in a man s head in the creaking stillness before dawn, that the nurse says she didn t hear. It s 1947 in the snowbound, war-scarred City of London, where Pandora s Box just got opened in the ruins, City Police has a vice killing on its hands, and a spooked councilor hires a shamus to help spare his blushes. Like the Buddha says, everything is connected. So it all can be explained. But that s a little cryptic when you happen to be the shamus, and you re standing over a corpse.


  1. These look interesting, Col. There are a couple I might try, myself, especially Breakers. That one especially piques my interest...

    1. Thanks Margot. You can't beat a bit of Edinburgh crime. I hope you like it if you give it a whirl.

  2. I am an avid reader and recently turned writer too. I recently published my first book and getting reviews was very difficult. I tried netgalley and goodreads, but what a time drain ! worked for me to get reviews, the reviews took 3 weeks to come, and I am gearing up for the Christmas season ! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Dora, good luck with your book.

  3. I could definitely go for the Janet Roger and the Doug Johnstone.

    1. Happy to find something which grabs your attention, sir

  4. A lot of new-to-me books here. Thanks for the heads up, Col.