Friday, December 23, 2022

 Shining A Light On. . .

The Darkest Event

Walsh Ritter. A name synonymous with death and suffering. You’d think that – just for once – fate would deal this gunslinger a better hand. In that, you’d be wrong. . .

As the blurb highlights only too well:


Gun hand and tragic figure Walsh Ritter is tired. Tired of life, tired of all the killing, tired of being Walsh Ritter. So when fate lands him in New Orleans, he is content with the fact that no one knows him, wants to kill or torture him, or wants to bother him. Then one day he meets a woman who is looked upon by society much the same as he is. With this woman in his life, Walsh believes he can finally put away his gun for good and live the life he's always dreamed of living.

He comes home from work to find a crowd gathered outside his home. There has been what the police are calling "an unfortunate accident,” and his wife has been taken to the hospital. At the strenuous request of the local constabulary, Walsh goes to be beside his wife and allows the law to take care of those who have caused his wife harm. Walsh's wife passes away, and the Walsh Ritter that he had hoped was gone for good returns with a vengeance. 

Through Louisiana and Texas, Walsh does what he does better than anyone—he hunts and he survives. Walsh uses all of the skills he has learned to make the final hours of the culprits of his wife’s demise worse than they could have ever imagined, but not so bad as they truly deserved. They learn only too well why you do not take away that which Walsh Ritter cares about. All that we ever suspected might be bottled up inside of Walsh is finally released, and we see just what he is capable of.



Yes, there’s only so much a man can take. And when that man is Walsh Ritter; a man with a broken, tar-black heart, you can bet that vengeance comes on flaming wings.

I really – really – enjoyed this book. Jeff Crawford encapsulates Ritter’s descent back into the pit of death and destruction with a skilled malevolence that is as focused as it is a long trail of sparking gunpowder winding its way off into the dark toward an explosive climax. It’s painful; it’s personal; it’s profoundly moving. So much so that you can empathize with what he’s going through.

But Ritter doesn’t want your sympathy.

There’s no room for remorse; for regrets or mercy. It’s retribution, plain and simple. And while Ritter does distract himself with gentle reminiscent diversions along the way, it’s obvious that he’s accepted the inevitable. Men are going to die by his hand. And because of the nature of their crimes, he’ll make their passing as slow and agonizing as possible. After all, he’s learned a thing or two about endurance and pain over the past five years. Now it’s time to put those lessons into practice.

The Darkest Event, a gloriously satisfying tale that will keep you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page.

Friday, December 16, 2022

 See My Review Of. . .

Dark Scar

Marcus Abshire’s Ways of the Warlock Series goes from strength to strength in this latest outing. And as you can imagine, it involves a concentrated spate of nonstop action.

I’ll let the blurb speak for itself:


I don’t go looking for trouble. Honestly, I don’t. Not that it cares. Trouble still has a way of finding me.

I’ve escaped from the Deep, killed beings of immense power, given up using dark magic, and stopped being a murderous jerk.

Now, I just want to keep things quiet, run my bar, and try to limit the number of horrible monsters trying to kill me. But when do we ever get what we want?

In Las Vegas, the city of sin and land of opportunity or ruin, my old friend Finds has disappeared, and it’s up to me to help. He didn’t give me much to go on before he vanished, just a mysterious message about finding Kressa, whatever the hell that means.

All I need to do is locate my friend, fight off deadly packs of deep hounds and avoid being annihilated by an orcish war party. There’s not too much at stake; just my life, my friend’s life, and the future of the entire orc nation.

When you come to Vegas, you have to be prepared to gamble. You have to believe you can win… and be willing to lose, even if it costs you everything.


Yes, Jakobus Shaw is forced to take on a most frustrating case. One where he must assume the debt of a friend – and a lethal one at that – in order to stand a better chance of rescuing that same friend, who, it transpires, has gone missing under mysterious circumstances.

As usual, I won’t give anything about the plot away.  But what I will say is that every step forward Jakobus manages to take is a waste of time, for he ends up sliding back twice as far. He’s attacked, relentlessly, from all sides, putting those who have chosen to assist him in his quest in mortal danger. As you can imagine, that leads to a relentless cat and mouse chase through the streets of Las Vegas, where it’s never quite clear who is friend and foe.

What I particularly liked about this story is that despite the frantic pace, you don’t get tired out. Abshire manages to keep things fresh and upbeat with great imagination and skill; with down-to-earth wit and dialogue; and with plenty of gritty action. I really enjoyed it, and am sure the rest of the series will progress in a similar five-star manner.

Friday, December 9, 2022

 See What I Thought Of. . .

The Quantum War

I’ve followed Derek Künsken’s Quantum Evolution series ever since reading a review about it on Blackgate Fantasy last year. And needless to say, I haven’t been disappointed one bit, as Künsken’s first to offerings, The Quantum Magician and The Quantum Garden transported me back to the days of my youth, when I regularly emptied the library of every pure science fiction book on the shelves.

And here, in this third book of the series, I was glad to find myself time travelling again,


The war rages onward and the Union’s premier fighter pilots, the Homo Eridanus, start encountering deadly resistance from strange pilots on the Congregate side. Among wreckage, they find that new Congregate pilots are, in fact, Homo quantus, with strange wiring and AI connections.

At the same time, the Puppets come to the Union with offers of an alliance for a dangerous price: the rescue of the geneticist Antonio Del Casal who is a captive on Venus, with over a hundred Homo quantus.

Only one person might be able to break through the Congregate defenses at Venus, and he’s a con man.


So, what do we get?


A hard splash of reality. That’s what!

In a sci-fi novel? Oh yes.

The previous novels cleverly sowed the seeds for what we read in The Quantum War:

And it’s a profound truth. That for all their expansive lebensraum, humanity is a petty, divisive little speck in the cosmic scheme of things. Instead of embracing change and those opportunities that offer a massive leap forward in their evolutionary and technological development, they prefer to hang on to what they’ve got. And not only jealously guard it, but systematically eradicate anything that might threaten their fragile sense of self.

As far as the Congregate are concerned, the Homo quantus are a clear and present threat. One that must be dealt with at all costs.


Now, I’ll leave it to Künsken to reveal how THAT particular conundrum will be dealt with.


But what I can say is that his story grabs you by the throat and punches so hard it’ll leave a hole in your throat. It’s fast; it’s furious; and is as frustrating as it is fulfilling. But you never lose your place. Instead, you’re swept along by a delightfully brutal portrayal of the reality of war, especially those conflicts instigated by bigger, coldhearted bullies seeking to impose their will on those about them.

War isn’t clean, and it certainly isn’t pretty. And there are always casualties that you wish could have been spared.


I really enjoyed it, and tipped my cap to the manner in which Künsken brought things to a fitting conclusion.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

 See What I Thought Of. . .

The Hallowed Earth

As an avid reviewer I get to read a lot of books, most of which I enjoy, due to my knack for selecting material I know I’ll like. But every now and then, I come across a little gem that truly resonates. And, The Hallowed Earth, by Carol Coney, really set my ‘happy bells’ a ringing.

Take a peek at the blurb:


‘Gasping for breath, he closed his eyes, willing it to be over, whilst all around him the spectres resumed their pitiful screams into the darkness.’

In the near future, amid the blood soaked aftermath of a global war and a pandemic known as the Mors virus, Luke Faerona is drowning in the waters of Belfast Lough. Just as he lets go of life, he is pulled from the water and thrown into the freefall of fevered dreams and nightmares that soon seep into his waking reality. Luke’s sanity is tested as he begins to see angels, demons, monsters and faeries lurking in the shadows around him. As his world becomes fractured, will Luke accept that his dreams are real, and with each day that passes Hell is closing in.


Intriguing eh? And it gets better, thanks, in the main to Coney’s skill at weaving her tribute to all manner of faerie folk legends into a post apocalyptic setting, centered in one of the few places on Earth where the mundane and metaphysical are known to overlap: Ireland.

Such is the nature of the story arc that I would be remiss if I tried to share anything of what takes place here, as Coney skillfully reveals the plot through hints, subtext, flashbacks, and world-jumping that I would spoil if I tried to explain it here. So I won’t. You’ll have to witness it yourself.

But you’ll be glad you did, as I can assure you . . . You’ll love it!

I certainly felt that way as I navigated a path that leads you from one level of existence into the next in the most delightful way. It’s hypnotic; ethereal; unsettling and addictive all at once, with a wonderfully oppressive, claustrophobic undertow that permeates the characters’ lives, their temperaments, outlooks and aspirations. Humankind is in danger, you see. But it isn’t just the Mors virus that proves lethal.

No, you can’t take anything at face value. Because that’s the one sure way you’ll end up dead.

The Hallowed Earth. A most excellent escape from the drudgery of real life.

Amazon Review

Friday, November 18, 2022

 See What I Thought of. . .

The Darkest Secret

With everything that Walsh Ritter has been through, it’s no wonder he longs for a change of pace. That change of pace needs to be somewhere new. Somewhere fresh and different.

He gets new and different alright. . .
Only, not in the way he expected.

Walsh Ritter had sailed for England on the ship, the Belinda Lynn, and was found upside down, nearly dead, and with the lifeboats nowhere to be seen. None of the crew had been spotted. It had left San Francisco three day earlier but encountered bad weather.

Walsh awakes on an island where everything is different and bizarre compared to everything else he has ever known. Scrambling, he used his skills to finally find water and some hope for survival. A sudden pain and all goes black.

Walsh no longer takes pleasure in killing, but neither is he bothered by it. He finds he has grown dark and numb, satisfied to simply exist as long as there is no one else around for him to hurt. He becomes accustomed to the knowledge that he will never live anywhere else but this island and will never again know human contact and begins to believe that it is for the best for everyone if that is so.


Yes, life certainly takes a turn for Walsh. Marooned on an island full of prisoners and unable to speak, he has to tread very carefully to survive. But if there’s one thing Ritter knows how to do, it’s survive!

But there’s more to life than the drudgery of mere existence.

Now, it’s difficult to talk about this particular story without going into specifics. Alas, those specifics would give too much of the plot away. Something you need to do for yourselves by reading the book. So. . .

Despite his best intentions, Ritter is once again forced to face a moral dilemma. To kill, or not to kill. Doing so freely make take him further along a path that leads to darkness. However, if he sticks to his newfound principles in a situation like this, he’ll most definitely end up dead.

So, what does he do?

Entertain us! That’s what, in a profoundly brutal way. Yes, Ritter is a survivor. And like it or not, he’ll do what it takes to ensure he not only escapes, but makes it back to civilization.

But it’ll take grit. Determination. Choices. Things he’ll do with you at his side, for the tenor of this story snares you from the outset; involves you; makes things personal. And that’s what I enjoy about Jeff Crawford’s writing. He makes his characters instantly relatable so you can immerse yourselves in the adventure, and discover for yourself what it would take to make it safely away from a place that has seen the death of so many.

The Gun Hand series: A truly excellent adventure.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

 See How This Dark Series Ends

Where There is Light

Lynn Tincher’s Mind Bending Series comes to a resounding end with, Where There Is Light, and we find Detective Paige Aldridge still searching for answers. As to whether she finds them or not? Well, you’ll find out for yourself. As the blurb highlights, she’s got her hands full:


Junna is gone without a trace. After weeks of searching for her in New Orleans and in the Collective Conscious, Detective Paige Aldridge returns to Louisville to investigate the murder of a fifteen year old boy. Unfortunately, she lands in the middle of something even more dangerous. Meanwhile, Visette tries to help Paige develop her power, but can Paige trust her?


Yes, Where There Is Light brings The Mind Bending series to a fitting conclusion. And I say fitting, because Tincher has wisely avoided the temptation to wrap things up, ever so neatly, in a rainbow colored bow so that everyone can go home, celebrate, and live happily ever after. After all, life isn’t like that, is it?

Think about Aldridge’s journey throughout the series as a whole.

She suffered a traumatic incident in childhood that marked her forever. She inherited a profoundly life changing set of abilities that she’s never really understood; or had a chance to, come to that, thanks to an abusive, evil-minded brother, and a set of mysterious Watchers, reluctant to share information. (even though the sharing of such information would help a great deal).

Not only must she console herself with the realization that she can read other peoples thoughts, but she’s had to contend with the murderous schemes of her own brother, and those like him, who are out to use their abilities for narcissistic ends. An unenviable position to be in, especially as she’s also doing her best to juggle those threats against the everyday hurdles being a detective places in her way as a matter of course. (Oh, and don’t forget, she’s also trying to maintain a budding relationship with someone who has loved her for years, but can’t quite wrap his head around the things she can do).

As such, Aldridge can never really switch off or relax. Those she is close to either suspect her motives, or are permanently in danger from forces beyond their control. Forces so warped and dangerous that they contradict belief, and always seem to find new ways to make life difficult.

It’s never-ending!

No wonder, then, that this latest case brings certain issues to a head. And a breakthrough!

What that breakthrough is, exactly, you’ll soon discover. But it comes just in time to prepare her for yet another twist in her topsy-turvy life.
And that’s what I’ve enjoyed about The Mind Bending Series. Paige Aldridge’s journey isn’t the superhero rocket ship blastoff you’d see in other paranormal adventures. The author has kept things balanced by concentrating on the changes such abilities would bring in a normal person’s life. The challenges too. And in doing so, presents us with a tidy set of murder-mystery-whodunnits, that are as entertaining as they are a journey of discovery for the reader.

And better yet, Paige Aldridge still has a way to go. She still needs to grow. To discover. To put certain issues to rest. And that will no doubt come in the future.

The Mind Bending Series. A superb lesson in how to keep your characters real.

Friday, November 4, 2022

 A Dish That is Far From Cold


Here we are, rounding off the first Victor McCain Thriller Series, with the fourth Book: Revenge. And I have to say, it’s been a blast. One I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. So, how does Tony Acree bring everything to an end?

Here’s a clue. . .


Victor McCain, God's bounty hunter, knows how to hunt down the world's most evil beings and remove them. Permanently. In Revenge, the thrilling follow up to The Speaker, Victor learns what it's like to be the one targeted for death.

With a $10,000,000 bounty on his head, assassins are finding their way to Louisville to try and collect on the contract of a lifetime, including Black Ice, the world's top killer. But he is not alone.

An old foe has returned from the dead to seek revenge on Victor by destroying those he holds dear, including a new love. To save her and the others close to him, he must avoid the assassin's bullet and the efforts of an angry cop intent on putting Victor away for life and unravel a trail of kidnapping, torture and murder.


As if life wasn’t complicated enough, Victor has to go the whole hog and turn the whole world against him. Fallen Angels; vampires; senators; ghosts; demons; cops; the undead. Oh, and a seemingly endless queue of assassins, keen to add an extra ten million to their bank accounts. Yes, everyone wants a piece of Victor.

So, how does he handle it?

With his usual – strap in, hang on, and stab – shoot – and blow up everything that moves aplomb. That’s how (obligatory witty banter included). It really is that frantic. And the great thing is, you’re never overwhelmed. Mad burst of action are interspaced with sound plot development. Our main characters continue to evolve, and if anything, improve. And the dialogue is as sharp as ever.

I absolutely loved it!

For a final book in a series, it keeps things tight, focused, and rounds the story off in a thoroughly satisfying way. An excellent example of how to keep your readers hooked.

Friday, October 28, 2022

 This Week, I Faced Up To My Own. . .

Dark Fear

This second book in Marcus Abshire’s Ways of the Warlock Series sees the pace and mayhem increase exponentially. Jakobus and Melandra are edging ever closer to finding out who it was that ordered the slaughter of the white witch, and, subsequently, trying to frame Jakobus for that deed. The trouble is, the closer they get, the more frantic things become. As the blurb highlights:


White witches can’t be trusted, and anyone with any sense knows that. So that either makes me an idiot or a fool to do so. I’ll let you decide which.

I have a good reason, though. A sister of the white witch coven wants revenge for a murder she thinks I committed. Problem is, I didn’t kill anyone. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve killed people, lots of people, just not this one. Melandra says she wants to help, wants to keep her coven sister from corrupting her soul by sending a monster made from magic to kill me. But it’s not that simple. Things usually never are.

I need to clear my name and keep from getting killed. Hopefully, in the process, I can save Melandra’s friend from falling into darkness, and while I’m at it, avoid a lethal assassin and an insane Immortal, both with their own reasons to see me dead. I thought that if I stopped using black magic, my life would get less dangerous… Turns out, I was wrong.


Yes, things get rather fraught as Jakobus and Melandra home in on the assassin; the one who sent her; and the actual reason why their respective worlds are turning upside down. And uncovering the truth doesn’t make things any easier. Mistrust and doubt still exists, especially among the witches who insist on treating Jakobus like a murderous villain. Of course, this has the potential to lead to complications. Exactly the thing they need to avoid if they’re going to survive what’s coming. History is unraveled. Secrets are revealed. Sides are chosen. Risks taken. And consequences set in motion.

Who lives and who dies?

Ah, for that, you’ll have to face your own dark fears. So, settle in for the ride and take delight – as I did – in the relentless action; the pieces of a complex puzzle falling into place; and the epic conclusion that sees Jakobus facing off against an unkillable creature.

All in a day’s work for a former warlock.

Friday, October 21, 2022

 See My Review Of. . .

Rise of the Titanosaurus

As soon as I laid eyes on the cover of Rise of the Titanosaurus – Book One of the Primal Roar Series, by John Grover, I thought . . . Oh, I’ve just GOT to try that out.

And do you know what? It’s darn good fun. Check out the blurb:


By the time you hear the roar, it's already too late...

In the near future, a powerful earthquake wreaks havoc on San Francisco, California but that is only the beginning of the city's troubles. From beneath the Earth and from the depths of the ocean rises something ancient, something gigantic, something... enraged. A dinosaur unlike anything in the history books challenges mankind to fight or face extinction. A dinosaur with a roar so powerful it can decimate entire city blocks. It's only a matter of time before the entire city is torn apart.

It's a race against time, a fight for survival, and a story of redemption as three storylines intersect in a final showdown with the unimaginable. The Titanosaurus is here!


All I’ll say is, if you want to spend some time enjoying a darn good romp through the rubble of a devastated city, then THIS is a story that will take you there and keep you grinning all the way.
Seriously, I caught myself smiling on multiple occasions as I was reading, it was so relatable. Think of the atmosphere created by Cloverfield, mix it with the mayhem of King Kong vs Godzilla, and add a dash of the ‘death & destruction all around’ plane scene in 2012, where they fly through falling skyscrapers, and you’ll encapsulate the frantic pace Grover has threaded throughout his story. Yes, it’s time to take a breath and hang on. Don’t miss it!

Friday, October 14, 2022

 The Darkest Acts

The Darkest Acts

I’ve become something of a Walsh Ritter fan over the past several months. And in this, his third outing, Jeff Crawford takes us along slightly different tack. A wise move, as it not only helps to keep the storyline fresh, but allows a continuation in Ritter’s evolution.

Read the blurb and you’ll see what I mean:


Weeks following his escape from the mountain hunting cottage where Walsh Ritter had put an end to the Victorrio bloodline by killing Angelina Victorrio, he has made his way to what he believes to be the most serene town he had ever passed through, the town of Pleasanton, Wyoming.

The mountain fortress where he had been held captive for so long would have broken nearly any other man, and then his experience with Angelina had just about been more than he could bear. He needed a place with clean beds, peaceful streets, good food, and no one trying to kill or torture him. Walsh Ritter could not have been more wrong about a place to take his sabbatical and possibly begin his retirement.

Secrets are revealed that prove Pleasanton and its residents to be the most vile and heinous place and people Walsh has ever encountered. All of the pain and anger and misery that has built up over the past five years is about to be let out and the town of Pleasanton will see what real brutality and darkness looks like.


Yes, after surviving a prolonged catalogue of abuse, Ritter has every intention of putting the past behind him; going somewhere quiet; settling down; kicking back and just taking life easy. A wise choice, seeing as he’s carrying an unholy array of physical and mental scars that would see a lesser man in an asylum.

Yet it seems fate can’t forgive the brutality of Ritter’s past. No sooner does he try to do the right thing, than it comes back to bite him in the posterior. How, exactly, I’ll leave to the flair and skill of Jeff Crawford’s storytelling, which portrays Ritter’s predicament with an aplomb that will keep you riveted from beginning to end.

(If you’ve followed Ritter’s journey from the beginning – as I have – you know exactly what he’s been through). You can empathize with his earnest desire to blend into the background and disappear. So much so, that when trouble rears its ugly head? Ah, you’ll appreciate his self control. For all his black heart, he really is a man of his word. He has a personal code that he will not waver from . . . even if it digs him a deep hole with a personal invitation to jump in.

And THAT is what this story is all about. Ritter’s determination to see things done, even when the whole world – or in this case, town – is against him. He suffers for his principles. Hugely, as you’ll see. But unbeknown to his abusers, the secrets of the past 5 years have prepared him for this moment. To survive. To keep focused. To wreak a terrible revenge that will never be forgotten.

I absolutely loved it, and can’t wait for the next installment of . . . The Gun Hand series.
Seriously, do yourselves a favor and saddle up. This is one series you don’t want to miss.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

 I Left Nothing Unturned in My Review of. . .

The Stone of the Under God

Jim Colton’s dreams of settling down are almost within his grasp. Now back in the Rockies – a place intimately familiar to him from when he was growing up – he’s keen to reacquaint himself with places that will help him do just that. Alas, it would seem there’s one last obstacle standing in his way.


Jim Colton has returned to the West. Seeking to connect with his roots, he endeavors to find his old family home in the mountains of northern Colorado. When a freak blizzard delays his travel, Colton is forced to take refuge with a strange group called the Order of Chthar. The Order is made up of the rich and influential, but they welcome Colton as a guest to wait out the storm.

The longer he stays at the castle, the stranger it gets. He is plagued by terrifying dreams that seem all too real, and then there's the matter of the sounds that only come at night.

Colton must solve the riddle of the castle or risk losing his sanity and maybe his life.



I DO like it when a blurb doesn’t give you any clues as to what’s coming. It makes discovering the plot for yourself all the more interesting. And interesting just doesn’t do justice to what happens to Jim Colton as he regains his bearings as a guest of the creepy cult that have secreted themselves away from the rest of society in their mountain stronghold.

Of course, you suspect from the outset that their intentions aren’t really benevolent; that their kindness and courtesy must serve an ulterior motive; that their earnest desire to see him well is nothing but a charade. Yet Jon Dobbin’s gradual peeling back of the ‘layers’ is a treat to behold, drawing you into his dilemma as much as it makes you impatient to see things rectified.

No spoilers! I never do that. But this is a polished ‘gem’ of a story with oh so many facets to it . . . And better still, not everyone gets to walk away unscathed.

Treat yourself, and dig a little deeper into the world of Jim Colton. You’ll be glad you did.

Friday, September 30, 2022

 This Week, Victoria Helped Me Review. . .

The Secret Name

This is the second book in Sam M. Phillips’ Dead Sun Chronicles, in which the exploits of a troubled young man – Ryon Barker – are expounded in infinite detail. As well they should be, for as we remember, young Ryon, one of the refugees left over from the end of life on Earth, has been chosen to fulfill a special, very specific destiny. . .

Whether he wants that destiny or not.


Seeking direction and meaning on his journey through the cosmos, Ryon Barker must commune with the demonic beings which prowl just beyond the scope of his reality. But what do the eldritch gods of space want from him? And where are they guiding his ship? As they continue to whisper in his ear, he descends into madness, his whole life enslaved to the will of the Beast From Beyond. Fleeing into drugs and sex, Ryon seeks to escape, but he’s only playing further into the hands of the insidious cult which has infiltrated the ship.

Will he break free of their grasp and find a destination for their voyage? Or is the ship as lost as Ryon is himself?


Remember, Ryon is something of a pariah among his contemporaries. His mother is the ship’s captain; his father, the chief medical officer. And far from making the most of his privileges, he seems to go out of his way to squander them and alienate people. Just as well, then, that his mishap within the void engine room produced a side effect that opened a door in his mind through which another reality has revealed itself.

And that reality is more insidiously profound than he can possibly imagine, for it has been influencing his life’s course – and that of other crew members, it would seem – from the outset. To what ends, remains to be seen.


It’s not often that the second book in a series is a marked improvement on the opening volume. Yet – in my opinion – Sam Phillips has managed to do just that. A refreshing change from the norm, and a pleasant surprise for someone like me who reviews soooo many novels.

Ryon’s predicament becomes much more profound in The Secret Name; his interaction with other crew members more animated; and, as his understanding of what’s happening to him increases, his determination to take action grows stronger.

Yes, he still makes mistakes and ends up in a whole load of trouble as a consequence of not thinking things through properly. But now he’s a player, not a bystander. He’s starting to connect and make active decisions. And that makes for a much better story. I particularly liked the way Phillips manages to incorporate aspects of Through the Looking Glass and Eyes Wide Shut, with Outland. It makes for an engaging story that engages you very quickly and keeps you involved until the cliffhanger climax.

Yes indeed.

A cosmic game of chess is in play. But what will the next move be?

Friday, September 23, 2022

You Need to Dig Into This One. . .

My Review of

Buried Deep

Set six months after the events of Left in the Dark, we find Paige Aldridge’s life is chaotic as ever. Balancing her life as a detective with that as a special ‘consultant’ working with the FBI isn’t easy. Yes, her new powers are coming along nicely; yes, the team has enjoyed a pleasing amount of success in the cases they handle. But as for their personal lives?

Ah, the strain is taking its toll.

Bearing that in mind, let’s take a peek at the blurb:


The drama continues as Paige and Junna are summoned to New Orleans to investigate a double murder. From the moment they arrive, they find themselves in a whirlwind of death and devastation. Paige foresees the viscous murder of a beautiful young woman as she falls victim to this serial killer. Is she in time to save her? Meanwhile, Junna gives in to the dark powers that surround her in the back alleys. Is Junna in too deep and is she lost forever?


On the face of it, this is just another case. However, it turns out to be pivotal in the lives of our team. For one thing, it makes them take stock of the strain their caseload is putting on their relationships’. When you add to that the fact that Paige and Junna finally discover more about a so-called prophecy involving Readers and Watcher and a balance between opposing forces of good and evil? Well, something has to give.

What that is, exactly, you’ll need to discover for yourself in yet another rather nifty little story of murder, mystery and the mayhem invoked when you start calling on powers that simply shouldn’t exist.

And once again, I found myself rather enjoying the way Tincher allows her characters to evolve at a natural pace. Yes, they are powerful. Yes, they can do remarkable things. Yet they’re not omnipotent, and are just as prone to all the foibles and weaknesses of everyday life as the ‘ordinary’ folks about them.

And that’s what I like about this series. The interaction between the main players is as you’d expect from a close team, some of whom are intimately involved. Their reactions to the things they uncover are ‘normal’. It makes the supernatural events depicted in the story arc ‘real’ and relatable. And THAT takes skill. You often forget you’re reading a paranormal story, as you get sucked into the investigation itself, the personal revelations encountered by each member of the team, and the interjections of frantic action that make it so darn enjoyable.

And the delicious twist as you go into the final portion of the story? Ah, it rounds the story off in a profoundly satisfying way.

I can’t wait for the next installment!

Friday, September 16, 2022

 Listen to My Review of. . .

The Speaker

If there’s one thing you need to do with a series, it’s ensuring your characters evolve along with the actual plot. And in The Speaker, Tony Acree does just that in a profoundly satisfying way.

Let’s set the scene:


Tracking and killing demons is all part of the job for the Hand of God, Victor McCain, God's bounty hunter. In this fast paced sequel to The Hand of God and The Watchers, Victor learns facing his inner demons may be deadlier than the real ones. Turning to the bottle to drown out the memories of a lost love, he begins to take risks which could get him killed. One night, drunk and alone in a bar in Tennessee, he's ambushed by members of the Church of the Light Reclaimed. He would have died in the attack, if not for a beautiful stranger named Elizabeth. Later he learns the attack was orchestrated by an old nemesis, Preston Deveraux, and Cyrus Tyler, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives. Victor must lean on the alluring Elizabeth to find the truth behind their plans-only she has secrets of her own which could doom them both. When yet another player shows up on the scene hunting Elizabeth, Victor must find a way to convince the two of them to work together to help him stop Tyler from reaching his ultimate goal: to throw the world into chaos and war.


Yes, the pressure is getting to Victor, causing him to drop his guard in the most insidious of ways: his personal habits.

It doesn’t sound all that bad, does it? Letting things slide a bit here; slack off there; perhaps enjoy that extra drink after a meal. Except when you’re the Hand of God, that is, and danger can strike at any time without a moment’s notice.

And when it does?

Ah, then it’s time to lick your wounds and man-up! Not as easy as it sounds. The women is Victor’s life are complicated, you see, and prone to making decisions that create huge repercussions. An environment Victor would prefer to avoid, seeing as how Satan’s plans are stepping up three gears and becoming ever more complex. Hell, it’s even getting harder to distinguish friend from foe.

As you can imagine, this makes for a rather interesting story. And once again, a great set of characters; sharp dialogue; cutting, no-nonsense humor; and well paced action, helps you navigate Victor McCain’s world without ever losing you place.

As always, a thoroughly entertaining dark thriller that sets the bar for others to aspire to.

Amazon Review