Friday Face-Off – 15th November 2019

Friday Face-Off – 15th November 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a book cover featuring a robot: “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.”

This week I have gone with the work of sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov and his book The Robots of Dawn

Cover A:

robot1

Cover B:

robot2

Cover C:

robot3

Cover D:

robot4

Cover E:

robot5

Cover F:

robot6

Cover G:

robot7

Cover H:

robot8
And the winner is… COVER A!

Another week, another theme that lends itself wonderfully to beautiful, classic sci-fi covers. Once again, I love all of these covers. A just slightly edges it.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that futuristic.

Andorra Pett and her Sister by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett and her Sister by Richard Dee

“When a sister hates you, that really is the end of the world.”

Andorra Pett is back for another adventure, and this time it’s personal!

Trouble seems to follow Andorra Pett, wherever she is in the Solar System.

Andorra Pett hasn’t seen her sister for a while, they never really got on; there was a falling out and they drifted apart.
Out of the blue, Andorra gets a call while on a business trip to London. As if she hasn’t got enough to deal with, it turns out that her sister’s in trouble, big trouble.
There are allegations of drug-smuggling and money laundering, it’s so unlike the staid, respectable life that she remembers her sister leading.
How can she be involved in things like that? And why isn’t her husband, Simon, sorting it all out for her? Could he be part of the problem?
The police have decided that she’s guilty, Andorra is her only hope of avoiding prison. Against her better judgement and without her friend Cy to help her; Andorra starts to investigate.
All she has to do is work out what’s really going on.

At the end of the day; family comes first.

I purchased a copy of this book for my personal reading.

Andorra Pett – space station café owner, scooper pilot and sometimes super sleuth – returns for another adventure. Andorra finds herself on Earth to sort out her ex, Trevor’s affairs following his grisly murder at the hands of a mobster on Mars.
48281875._SY475_Intending this to only be a brief stay to finalise affairs before returning to the space station orbiting Saturn and the comfort of partner Derek. Unfortunately, as ever, trouble manages to find her in the form of her estranged sister Tia. When she is arrested for smuggling through importers and money laundering she calls the only person she can for help – younger sister Andorra.

Suspecting from the start that something is amiss, not least Tia lacking the sense to pull off such a crime, Andorra cannot help but be drawn in to solve the mystery and see that justice is served. Smugglers, corrupt police and a chance run in with Clive – an old face from her first ever mystery – make for high jinks aplenty. He is found running what he claims to be an official Oort Cloud Café tribute bar complete with sleazy Andorra lookalike waitresses and slanderous tales of fictitious romances assuming Andorra will never hear of it way back in space.

Once again Richard Dee has delivered a wonderfully funny murder mystery with a cast of characters new and old to entertain readers. The mystery becomes farcical as it twists and turns to a conclusion. Andorra sees herself in her share of trouble and tight spots all in the pursuit of clearing Tia’s name. This third instalment of the Andorra Pett series is a wonderful addition and only  makes me long for book four in 2020 that much more.

My rating:
goodread

Zombie World by Michael R. Martin

Zombie World by Michael R. Martin

Imagine a video game that let you participate in a post-apocalyptic battleground as if you were really there. An experience so brutally realistic a health check is strongly advised beforehand. Welcome to the future of gaming. Welcome to Zombie World …

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Zombie World is a fun short story based around Virtual Reality and how it may be used in a none to distant version of the world. Zombie World is a fully immersive video game using virtual reality. The game allows players to explore a zombie hunting game overlaid upon the real world.Zombie_World_KDP_Cover_01A stag party group travel to Scotland for a weekend of the most intense and realistic virtual reality game as something new and interesting to try. As a video gamer myself, who has tried VR I enjoyed the concept behind this story. It was a fun, quick read.

The story contained unusual, Matrix-like elements to it when unexplained events occurred involving a few of the players. These could be chalked up to nothing more than software bug. Until similar events seem to occur at other Zombie World locations around the country. All in all, a fun, short story.

My rating:
goodread

The Sixth Wicked Child by J.D. Barker

The Sixth Wicked Child by J.D. Barker

Hear No Evil

For Detective Sam Porter, the words “Father, forgive me” conjure memories long forgotten; a past intentionally buried. For Anson Bishop, these three words connect a childhood to the present as he unleashes a truth concealed for decades.

See No Evil

Found written on cardboard near each body, these words link multiple victims to a single killer—discovered within minutes of each other in both Chicago and South Carolina—clearly connected yet separated by impossible miles.

Speak No Evil

Chicago Metro and the FBI find themselves caught in chaos—a hospital on lockdown, a rogue officer, and corruption at the highest levels. When Anson Bishop, the prime suspect in the notorious 4MK serial murders turns himself in, he reveals a story completely unexpected, one that not only upends the current investigation, but one that will change the lives of all involved.

Do No Evil

With unrelenting tension and pulse-pounding suspense, the past unravels at breakneck speed as the truth behind the Four Monkey Killer’s motive is finally revealed in this masterfully crafted finale.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

This review is a bittersweet one for me. In writing it, it means I have just read the final part in possibly the best crime thriller trilogy I’ve had the pleasure of reading. On the other hand it also means the end of the road for me with what has been an utterly gripping journey. The first two books piled mystery upon mystery, and were filled with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.
46433688._SY475_Well I can confirm The Sixth Wicked Child is the twistiest, turniest book in this wonderful, dark trilogy. This book follows form with its predecessors – hopping around to tell the story in real time from the perspective of the various characters. The diaries make a reappearance chronicling the childhood of Anson Bishop. This time around we learn more about the past of Detective Sam Porter, a troubling past that may have serious implications for his freedom.

The situation for Porter deepens further with this third book, revealing some truly troubling events. But how much of this is true and how much is constructed by the evil mind of Anson Bishop? The murders continue to stack up but the perpetrator becomes even less distinct – spread out across state lines, staged in a way not entirely consistent with 4MK, and more evidence seems to point to someone else being the culprit all along.

Just when you think you are getting a handle on where the story is going, who the guilty party is Barker manages to keep the mysteries flowing. Right until the end the truth is cleverly shielded from view and even the finale leaves things in some degree of question. What an incredible read this book was, and what an incredible ride the whole series has been. It’s not often I wax lyrical about a book or a series of books, but the 4MK trilogy has been a joy to binge back to back, and it truly sated the darker corners of my mind.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 8th November 2019

Friday Face-Off – 8th November 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a book cover featuring an explosion: “big badda boom!”

For this theme I’ve picked The Great Explosion by Eric Frank Russell.

Cover A:

explosion1

Cover B:

explosion2

Cover C:

explosion3

Cover D:

explosion4

Cover E:

explosion5

Cover F:

explosion6

Cover G:

explosion7

Cover H:

explosion8
And the winner is… IT’S A DRAW!

Covers D and E take the win for me. With cover D, I loved the colours and the mass exodus with all the space craft leaving the planet. Cove E is wonderfully simple with the two black silhouette planets and the red explosion. In all fairness, I love all of these covers, the old classic sci-fi vibe that seems to permeate through all of these covers.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that features a robot: “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.”

Friday Face-Off – 1st November 2019

Friday Face-Off – 1st November 2019

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s theme is a book featuring a cover that is mostly grey.

For this theme I’ve picked The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund.

Cover A:

grey1

Cover B:

grey2

Cover C:

grey3

Cover D:

grey4

Cover E:

grey5
And the winner is… COVER A!

The simple monochrome design with pop of blue is very eye catching. Cover E takes a close second place for me this week, dark and intriguing.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that features an explosion: “big badda boom!”

The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

In the thrilling sequel to The Fourth Monkey, a new serial killer stalks the streets of Chicago, while Detective Porter delves deeper into the dark past of the Four Monkey Killer.

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

I have to say, I thought the bar was already set high in The Fourth Monkey. The follow up, The Fifth to Die takes the bar and lifts it even further. I loved the first book so much I had to read this book immediately after. For context, I think the last book series I really felt a need to binge one after the other was The Dark Tower by Stephen King, a firm favourite in my book. With the fiasco that became of the Four Monkeys Killer case, the FBI swoop in to take over this case as a seemingly new killer hits the streets of Chicago.35682475._SY475_The team work hard, trying to figure out who is responsible, what are their motives. And the biggest questions of all, is 4MK involved this time around and what connects the victims together? All the while Detective Porter is plagued by what Anson Bishop achieved and how he had fooled them so easily. Once again Barker has crafted a book with intensity and pace, a breathless roller coaster that left me constantly saying to myself “just another few pages, just another chapter…”. It was all I could do to stop reading long enough to go to work.

The crimes perpetrated are dastardly and dark, the perpetrator troubled and deranged. While the rest of his team close the net around the unsub, Porter’s ever deepening obsession to ensnare Bishop sees him travel between Chicago, New Orleans and South Carolina. From Bishop’s childhood home, to the scene of his earliest crimes, and on to a prison in New Orleans, Barker manages to really paint a picture of him as a dark and tormented figure. Once again, diaries are used to illustrate Bishop’s early life, a wonderful device that helps break up the breakneck pace of the action.

If the murders depicted in the first book were despicable and dark, the crimes put forward on this second outing take things to a whole new level. The concept that the crimes are being used to punish others for perceived transgressions continues as a theme, as does the charming menace from the protagonists. Barker has developed links and threads between his characters that neatly tie things together that make for an engaging narrative filled once again with more questions than answers. A fantastic follow up to The Fourth Monkey, The Fifth to Die ups the ante and I am so happy I have the third book in the trilogy on-hand to immediately start on.

My rating:
goodread