Friday, July 29, 2022

 This Week's Review Sheds Light On. . .

Left in the Dark

Set a few months after the events in Afterthoughts, Detective Paige Aldridge is settling into her new routine. One that involves marrying her emerging abilities with work, a new boyfriend, and a burgeoning relationship with a sister she never knew existed.

What could possibly go wrong?

As it transpires, quite a lot:


Paige Aldridge's adventures continue as she learns more of her developing powers, while she deepens her relationships with her partner and her sister. Can she regain control of her own mind before the powers that threaten to tear her apart claim her sanity and the life of a ten year old girl? Past, present, and future all collide with fear in this chilling sequel.X


A canny blurb hides the depth of what Detective Aldridge has to face.

As I mentioned, Detective Aldridge is settling into a new routine. Outwardly, things are going well. She’s learning more about her new abilities and even manages to use them to help an old school friend find her missing son.

Meanwhile, Junna suffers a series of ongoing nightmares. Nightmares involving two other people that are sooo real, she becomes increasingly concerned that someone’s life is in danger.

Spurred on by her success with the missing boy, Paige suggests they try and solve the mystery of the nightmares by hunting down the persons concerned. In doing so, they trigger a series of catastrophic events that reveal new dangers they are not prepared to handle.

I particularly liked the way Lynn Tincher doesn’t give her characters free license to be instant experts omniscient superhuman powers. They’re fragile. Flawed. They have a lot to learn. That makes them vulnerable, adding a sense of realism

Friday, July 22, 2022

 What Did I Think Of My Little Peek Into. . .

The Watchers

In this second Victor McCain Thriller, we find our man of the hour settling into his new role as the Hand of God. A vocation from which he will never have a chance to rest – until his death, that is. So, what remains of his life is bound to get ‘difficult.’

And it does:


For bounty hunter Victor McCain, life is complicated. After losing his soul, he agreed to become the new Hand of God, God's bounty hunter on Earth. His job? Track down and kill the worst forms of evil Satan can dish out. But when an ancient threat resurfaces, soon the hunters become the hunted. In this action-packed sequel to The Hand of God, Victor is closing in on his brother Mikey, who cost him his soul and stole the woman he loves. Soon he discovers his brother's "back up" plan: to unleash beings chained in the darkness from the early days of man in order to bring about the annihilation of the human race. With the help of fellow bounty hunter Winston Reynolds, computer geek Kurt Pervis, and the enigmatic Brother Joshua, Victor is ready to spring his trap and rescue the lovely Samantha when it all goes sideways. Now each member of his team is being targeted for elimination. The only question is, can they stay alive long enough to save the world.


Set three months after the event’s in The Hand of God we find our main protagonists, McCain, Kurt and Winston gelling into a cohesive whole. Which is just as well, because when a couple of over adventurous college kids inadvertently release a group of imprisoned fallen angels, McCain has his work cut out for him. Don’t forget, on top of his normal assignments to rid the world of evil, he still has to put an end his brother. And further distractions abound, due to his ongoing hunt for Samantha, kidnapped at the end of his last adventure.

All in all, this leads into another riotous assembly of fun, fear, and frantic fight scenes. As before, Acree manages this free-for-all rather skillfully, by injecting healthy doses of real-time plot and character development into an ever evolving landscape of danger. It’s well paced, deftly played out – a lot happens, but you don’t lose track of what’s going on, to who, and where – and you can appreciate the work that gone into delivering a polished story. I particularly enjoyed the blunt, dry humor and the even blunter no-nonsense violence when the occasion called for it. (I know, I’m a baaad boy).

And even better, Acree’s use of inner thoughts and dialogue helps you appreciate McCain’s ongoing struggle to put his ‘job’ over personal issues. Issues he often fails miserably to balance satisfactorily.

All in all, great stuff!

Friday, July 15, 2022

 See What I Found In. . .

The Girls Who Were Lost

In this third installment of The Beyond Series, events begin to spiral out of control. Remember, the institute in which all sorts of macabre experiments use to take place is gone, burnt to the ground following Kate’s escape. Yet, Kate isn’t the only one dealing with the aftermath of her actions. As the blurb highlights, the secret of what used to take place there is in danger of leaking out into the real world . . . and THAT is bound to spawn repercussions.


Kate Sullivan disappeared into the Beyond, leaving the Institute burning behind her. Layla, her aunt, will do anything to find her. Luke, who escaped the fire alive, is willing to help but he has problems of his own. His neighbor Hannah’s gone missing and he’s the prime suspect. What Layla and Luke don’t know is that Hannah’s kidnapper is looking to rescue someone from the Beyond and that Hannah might be the key to unlocking the path to the place where the moon is low, and night is eternal.

As Layla closes in on a way to save Kate, Hannah tries to escape, and the lead detective starts to close in on them, they journey back to where it started—the ruins of the Institute. How far are they willing to go to save Kate? What price will they pay? And what does the Beyond have waiting for them?


Yes, with The Girls Who Were Lost, the pace really picks up. A month has passed since the institute burnt to the ground, and nobody has seen sight or sound of Kate since. That hasn’t prevented Layla – her aunt – from looking into her disappearance though. Impressive stuff, seeing as Layla is a corporeal ghost brought back to help is some arcane fashion she hasn’t quite worked out herself yet. Together with Greg, Kate’s father, Layla makes discreet enquiries into getting Kate back.

But they have to tread carefully.


Well, the billionaire who financed the experiments taking place at the institute, Lance Van Ott, invested more than mere cash in this dark venture. The lead doctor, Kerry Sullivan, (Kate’s mother, Layla’s sister, and Greg’s ex-wife) – see how complicated things are? – is missing. And as they now know, he will do anything to protect his interests. They have to tread very carefully, so as not to attract his attention.

Hard to do with a police investigation buzzing away in the background.

A young Nurse, Hannah Parker, has gone missing in suspicious circumstances. And for some reason, the detectives leading the case seem to thing luke – who survived his injuries and the fire – is the culprit.

Yes, things are spiraling out of control . . . which makes for rather an exciting adventure. One that I enjoyed immensely. Best of the series yet.

Friday, July 8, 2022

 Better than a Nice Cold Pint Down at the Winchester!

Dead 4 Life

When it comes to what I read, I can’t stress enough how much I like things that are different. And all the more so when it comes to the subgenre involving zombies. I mentioned that last year when I started following Greg Stumbo’s Generation Zed series. And the thing I especially loved about it? We’re not looking in on a bunch of ex mercenaries or military guys out to put their mark on a post apocalyptic world. Oh no, we’re talking about a group of nerds who would find it difficult to survive a game of dungeon and dragons without pulling a muscle or succumbing to some other form of couch potato induced injury.

Yes, we’re talking major incompetence here, as you might guess from the blurb:


Clark has a few choice words for the guys at Coventry Pointe. If you thought that apocalypse chores were bad before, well, life isn't getting any easier. People go missing, new people show up, there are a lot more not people who also show up. Then there's an emotional gut punch from left field.

Needless to say (but I'm going to say it anyway, because that's what those words mean), our band of can't-be heroes are in for a serious ride. Well, as serious as one of Chris' bad jokes. Between meetings at Zed Master D's house, and using Chris' “easy” plans, things are bound to go haywire one “Dude!” at a time. But at least there are guitar lessons and whiskey! Because, let's face it-our guys have their priorities straight


They’ve got their priorities straight alright, because, how do you expect to survive the zombie apocalypse without guitar lessons and whiskey? I mean, stuff like guns, ammo, water – to drink and keep sweaty stinking bodies clean – a good defendable stronghold, fuel for vehicles, etc, come way down the list of necessities.

Until you’re in desperate need of them, that is . . . and then you’re screwed!

And don’t forget, the Z community is getting bigger with every passing day. Everyday stuff is becoming scarce. And when other people – those who aren’t as nice and nerdy as our team – begin to realize that ‘being friendly’ just doesn’t cut it? Well, our intrepid band of would-be heroes soon discovers that simply sticking your hands in the air in surrender is rapidly losing its appeal.

People are going to get hurt. But who, how, and when?

Ah, for that you’ll have to delve into the mayhem that is, Dead 4 Life, and just pray your sanity lasts out until the bitter end. It should do, because Greg Stumbo ensures to deliver the same heady brew of criminal-level ineptitude and geek-fueled disaster as before, reminding you that in real life, the zombie apocalypse would most probably be less The Walking Dead as it is –  Shaun of the Dead meets the San Clarita Diet – down at the Winchester.

Dead 4 Life: A story with bite . . . and a nice cold pint thrown in J

Friday, July 1, 2022

 See My Review Of. . .

The Cursed Clones

I’ve been following Adam Hulse’s Tales of Tupuqa from the beginning, as I was drawn to his premise of what might happen if a nest of unholy, predatory creatures was ever discovered by those unwise enough to think they can control them . . . or worse still, by those who are foolish enough to think it’s okay to conduct scientific experiments on them, with the aim of making them more efficient killers?


Enjoy a taste of what’s to come:


Major Glover’s cloning farm is in full swing. The creatures are deadly, but the military only sees an asset. What the major and his team don’t realise is that the only thing capable of controlling such beasts are the voices of pure evil that call to them from the underworld.

The survivors of the caves of Tupuqa have been in hiding, haunted by nightmares from beyond, and hunted by Major Glover’s men.

It’s time to make a stand and bring the whole thing down.

Evil watches on, intrigued…


A recipe for disaster in the making eh?

You see, Major Glover is something of an egocentric despot. A man too used to getting his own way and thinking he won’t ever have to face the consequences. The thing is, his experiments really have taken things too far, as not only are the test subjects in his care being enhanced beyond the limit of their own already considerable lethality, but, their intelligence quotient also seems to be ramping up too. A development nobody anticipated.

No spoilers here, but as you can imagine, absolute mayhem ensues. (Of the vast amount of blood n’ guts variety). And those poor unfortunates like Swift, Foss, Hetherington, Ifetayou and Nadir who survived their initial encounters with these creatures are thrown back into the pit, where it’s a no-holds-barred, fight to the death.

As before, you can expect a high octane, fast and ferociously furious pace, in which heads – and numerous other parts of the human anatomy – fall, while the body count rises. But will it be enough to see an end to these creatures and the curse they seem to inflict on everyone around them?

As the saying goes: It’s not over till the fat lady sings. . .

And while the tenor of this story does end on a high note, you can be sure our intrepid heroes won’t be feeling all that melodic any time soon.

Primal entertainment at its best!