Tag Archives: suspense

New Release & Review – Drawing Dead : An Urban Fantasy Thriller by SM Reine @smreine

Book & Author Details:

Drawing Dead: (Dana Macintyre Must Die) (Volume 1) by SM Reine

Published by: Red Iris Books

Publication date: June 21st 2017

Genres: Paranormal, Supernatural, Suspense

drawing-dead-2-682x1024The vampire slayer is turning into a vampire? Over her dead body.

Dana McIntyre has been bitten by a master vampire. She’s infected with the venom. And after killing hundreds of vampires to keep Las Vegas safe, she’d rather die than turn.

There might be a cure. But the only way to get it is through Nissa Royal, a vampire with close ties to the masters of Las Vegas. Nissa is dangerous — too dangerous to be allowed to live, much less work alongside.

But if Dana dies, vampires win Vegas. If she doesn’t die, she becomes one of the bloodless. The cure’s her only chance. In this deadly game of hold ’em, Dana’s drawing dead, and whatever happens next, there’s no changing her losing hand. Dana only knows one thing: If she’s going down, she’s taking as many vampires as possible on her way out…

review

What’s that?  Sara Reine has a new series out and would I like to read it??? There is really only one answer to that – a resounding YES!!!

Relatively short, at 230 paperback pages, this book, whilst set in the richly detailed Descentverse, has, to my mind, a very different feel to it.  The other books are all about finesse, magic, politics and intrigue, much like the lead characters.  They have a giddying level of plot complexities that I just sometimes can’t keep up with.  Not so with this one.  Much like Dana herself, this book is much more straightforward, more blunt and to the point.

Now, don’t get me wrong – this is absolutely not a criticism.  Far from it.  The different narrative voice works very well for this particular story line.  Dana, whilst on the surface one of the more crude characters that the author has gifted us, is nevertheless every bit as complex as one might expect from Ms Reine’s characters – she’s just got different wrapping.

 

Ms Reine continues to produce fresh, entertaining stories.  Long may that trend continue.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon Universal

About the author

smreineHi everyone! My name is Sara, and I write urban fantasy and paranormal novels as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). It’s a good day when those three things have nothing to do with each other.

If you would like to know the instant my next book is available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! We have a wicked cool secret handshake, but you’ll have to sign up to learn it. 😉 Check it out — Army of Evil

author links

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

Review – The Fourth Monkey by J D Barker @jdbarker

Book & Author Details:

The Fourth Monkey by J D Barker
Publication date: 27th June 2017
Genres: Crime, Thriller

fourth monkey.jpgFor over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

review

“Se7en meets Silence of the Lambs”? Not quite.  But very close.

There really is a lot to like about this book.  From the very opening page to the dramatic, tantalising conclusion this is a book which will grab your attention and hang onto it with grim determination through every twist and turn.

Porter and his colleagues are wonderful points of colour against the darkness of the serial killer. The counterpoint of the diary against the current day narrative works particularly well, and the cutouts to the victim only serve to intensify the very tangible threat which pervades the book.

The pacing is excellent and drives the story forward. At no point did my interest wane of falter.

A word of warning – this can be a little graphic, though not gratuitously so.  The explicit nature of the narrative is, in my view, perfectly pitched to elevate the storyline.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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Pre Order Links

Amazon (Universal)

About the author

J.D. Barker (Jonathan Dylan Barker) is an international bestselling American author whose work has been broadly described as suspense thrillers, often incorporating elements of horror, crime, mystery, science fiction, and the supernatural.

Biography

Barker was born January 7, 1971 in Lombard, Illinois and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A staunch introvert, he was rarely seen without a book in hand, devouring both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series by the age of six before moving on to classics such as the works of Dickens and Twain. The discovery of Shelley, Stoker and Poe fueled a fire and it wasn’t long before he was writing tales of his own which he shared with friends and family. These early stories centered around witches and ghosts thought to inhabit the woods surrounding their home.

At fourteen, Barker’s family relocated to Englewood, Florida, a climate better suited to his father’s profession as a contractor. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989. Knowing he wanted to pursue a career in the arts but unsure of a direction, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, one of his writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus Magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel Magazine where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson. Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture and by 1991 Barker branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called Revealed which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences. While he often cites these early endeavors as a crash course in tightening prose, his heart remained with fiction. He began work as a book doctor and ghostwriter shortly thereafter, helping others fine tune their writing for publication. Barker has said this experience proved invaluable, teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s popular fiction. He would continue in this profession until 2012 when he wrote a novel of his own, titled Forsaken.

Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King’s Needful Things in the novel. Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit several major milestones – #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Award. After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Bram’s original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public.

Barker’s indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.

Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Dayna.

author links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE

Review – Bitter Thirst (Preternatural Affairs #8) by SM Reine @smreine

Book & Author Details:

Bitter Thirst (Preternatural Affairs #8) by SM Reine

Published by: Red Iris Books

Publication date: March 27th 2017

Genres: Paranormal, Supernatural, Suspense

bitter thirst.jpgCèsar Hawke works for the Office of Preternatural Affairs, and until now, his detective work has been a secret to the nation. But a Senator has been publicly assassinated in Washington DC…by a demon. Now America knows that the preternatural are real. Everyone knows it’s real.

The doomsday clock is ticking. A change is coming. And if Cèsar doesn’t stop the Apple cult from sating their bitter thirst for power, then all Americans will end up fodder to feed hungry angels.

review

 

Sometimes I just want to curse my brain for not being able to keep up with the complexities of this huge, amazing world that Ms Reine has created. The various plot bunnies chase off and intertwine like a map of the British waterways.

This book not only has the threat from the Apple, but also issues with family AND a complicated romantic situation.  The last two are reasonably straightforward, but it is with the Apple where the waters become most definitely muddied.  And what appeared to be black and white in terms of good guys and bad guys from other books in this universe, with this volume, we are presented with varying shades of grey.

As always, Cesar seems to be (along with me) a little bit off the leading edge of the curve.  I quite like that – it makes him more relatable, but also makes the plot reveal much more organic.

I derive great enjoyment from these tales, despite my occasional inability to keep up.  Ms Reine continues to produce books which both entertain and enthrall.  And long may that state of affairs continue.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon Universal

About the author

smreineHi everyone! My name is Sara, and I write urban fantasy and paranormal novels as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). It’s a good day when those three things have nothing to do with each other.

If you would like to know the instant my next book is available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! We have a wicked cool secret handshake, but you’ll have to sign up to learn it. 😉 Check it out — Army of Evil

author links

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads