FOREVER and a DAY – Anthony Horovitz

The birth of a legend; James Bond, shaken but not stirred.

Forever and a day.jpgCommissioned by Ian Fleming Publications, this is a James Bond prequel. There have been many contributions, by at least ten writers, to the 007 extended thriller list. Author John Gardner was the most prolific, as by 1996 he had fourteen novels as well as two novelizations from the films to his credit. American author Raymond Benson took up the mantle with six Bond novels, three novelizations and three short stories between 1996 and 2002.

For my money, Horovitz is surely the most authentic in the Fleming mould. His grip on the Bond reality as per Fleming is less flippant than some representations; especially as portrayed by most of the film productions which tend to colour the subsequent written character.

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz – author

As befits a prequel, Bond is not the hardened operator in this rendition as he is later, and his receiving of the 007 license to kill qualification comes with at least some small anxiety. I really liked his sense of mortality as he accepts the horror of the possible consequences of the acid treatment the baddy hopes to administer when he gets Bond where he wants him.

The exotic, stunningly beautiful, and devious women, the powerful, hideously cruel adversaries and world-threatening situations are here all true to the Bond tradition.

My thanks to Penguin Random House, South Africa, for this review copy.

ISBN 978-1-911-21478-8. Jonathan Cape.

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GOLDEN PREY – John Sandford (Davenport #27)

I was stunned to see that the Lucas Davenport series still ploughs on steadily with this, the 27th offering, and, no, it shows no signs of being dead in the water.

Golden PreyThere is a change of flag in that Lucas is now a deputy US Marshal, due to his friends in high places. So much so that he can select his cases; but that is no excuse for lowering his sights when it comes to hunting the most evil of prey.

Garvin Poole is one such. He’s a bank robber of the worst kind; the leave-no-witnesses kind, and although he had been out of sight for a long time, he recently executed a huge pay-off caper, along with a six-year-old witness. The drug gang whose cash he stole is not about to forgive and forget, either. They send a pair of vicious contractors who don’t mind torturing anyone who might know Poole to find him.

John Sandford

John Sandford

Davenport is one shrewd tracker, but soon finds himself in a race with the gang’s killers who might just find it easier to follow him while they are at it to achieve the same ends. The danger is constant, the flip from pursuers to pursued is cliff-hanging and Sandford is a master at that.

If you are a first-time Sandford reader, what joy to discover he is not only terrific but prolific?

My thanks to Jonathan Ball Publishers for this review copy. ISBN 978-1-4711-7203-8.


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CASHED OUT – By Michael H. Rubin

cashedoutcover1A JIM NESBITT REVIEW:



The main difference between Mike Rubin and all the other lawyers-turned-authors out there writing legal thrillers is that this guy writes like a homesick angel and never lets the law get in the way of a terrific and well-told story.

In Cashed Out, Rubin is note perfect in serving up a down-and-out lawyer with a name you could only find in America’s Banana Republic state, Louisiana. With vivid prose and an effortless familiarity, Rubin also captures the baroque and grotesque essence of the state, from the stench of petro-chemical plants along the Cancer Corridor to the patois of murderous New Orleans greaseballs, the silent ka-ching of politicians on the take and the cultural and political corruption that seems as natural as swamp gas.

The book’s main character, Hypolite “Schex” Schexnaydre, is a fourth-generation Bayou State native living in a rundown house on the ragged side of Baton Rouge, a failed barrister with no clients and an empty bank account until fast-talking, porcine G.G. Guidry shows up at his door to put him on retainer to draw up a quintet of shell corporations that name his mistress as president.

Money is Guidry’s game and he’s made his as a toxic waste disposal hustler. He’s playing a hazardous game of three card monte with state regulators who are about to shut down his infamous plant, community activists tired of getting poisoned and his partners, who include the aforementioned mobsters and Schex’s ex-wife, a hard-driving blonde with the focus of a heat-seeking missile on the money she thinks Guidry owes her.

It’s enough to get a man killed and Guidry gets murdered just a day or so after he puts Schex on retainer. But not before he pays a midnight visit and leaves Schex holding a suitcase bulging with more than $4 million in cash.

Michael H. Rubin

Michael H. Rubin – author

That makes Schex an instant target of cops who think he had a hand in Guidry’s murder, a philosophical mob boss and his rebellious button men and the mistress and that conniving ex-wife who both think they have a rightful claim to the dead man’s dirty money. Above them all, pulling the strings, is a crooked patrician pol with his eyes on the loot and the seat of power where Huey Long once ruled.

Schex, the perfect patsy, is on the run, dodging the cops and the button men, relying on his wits to clear his name, keep from getting killed and somehow get his hands on that money to beat them all at their own game. Off-shore oil rigs, Garden District mansions and a gruesome discovery at a processing plant for alligator skin and meat are all whistle stops on this rollicking ride.

Schex is nobody’s angel. But you can’t help but root for this native son of Louisiana, playing the state’s favorite corrupt blood sport. You want him to win it all.


Jim Nesbitt – author.

Jim Nesbitt is the author of two hard-boiled crime thrillers set in Texas and northern Mexico that feature battered but dogged Dallas PI Ed Earl Burch — The Last Second Chance and The Right Wrong Number. Both are available on Amazon, and a third is on its way.


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DAY of the DEAD – Frieda Klein #8 – Nicci French

Day of the Dead JpegAs the last leaf of autumn falls, so comes the final reckoning in Frieda Klein, psychologist’s pursuit of serial killer, Dean Reeve. Of course, just who is pursuing whom? If you like final conclusions, this is a deadly one indeed. It has taken seven nail-biting novels to get here.

Readers of the previous seven will know Frieda, her friends and family well, and will miss them after this final farewell, but even if you start right here, it’s obvious that they are all your old friends, as well. Loyal to a man, or a woman, she misses them as much as they do her, but with Reeve’s intent to destroy those near and dear to her just stepping-stones on the path to cutting her throat, she must avoid them.

Nicci French

Sean French & Nicci Gerrard – authors

A student, intent on writing a dissertation on the enigmatic Klein, steps into the path of the killer. As intent as Klein is on keeping away from her nearest and dearest to keep them from harm, she in turn must keep the student close to protect her. She must simultaneously follow the thread of a trail which the placing of bodies strategically around London indicates,until she can get ahead to lay an ambush of her own. Each new victim is a message. If she can’t interpret it, more may die.

An excellent finale to a great series. Thanks, Penguin Random House, South Africa for this ARC.


Note: Nicci Gerrard and Sean French also write separately.

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WANNA GET LUCKY – Deborah Coonts

Excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed this bawdy, funny, tale of a Las Vegas hotel and casino’s six foot trouble-shooting customer relations gal.

Wanna get LuckyShe answers to The Big Boss, whom she is in awe of. A girl falls out of the Hotel’s VIP helicopter to her death. It knocks Lucky’s world sideways when she discovers that The Big Boss was sitting beside her when she fell. Did she fall, or was she tossed out? The pilot and the other passenger go missing. Lucky takes it on herself to fend off the press, the police and the perps as she juggles the drugged customers, the various weird conventions of wife-swappers and Adult film industry among others, all the while getting to the bottom of the mystery.

Her mother, whom Lucky loves and is in awe of, who runs a high-class brothel in a town nearby, provides a clue or two and lots of advice… There are loads of interesting characters, including Vegas’ famous female impersonator, and the hunk on the security team; both of whom stir Lucky’s libido.

Deborah Coonts

Deborah Coonts

While tongue in cheek and very funny, I did not find it slap-stick. It was non-stop action by way of happenings and trouble for the resourceful Lucky to deal with, rather than violence, per se.

Lucky O’Toole has a new fan. Bravo, Deborah Coonts. An Instafreebie selection – thank you.

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REMORSELESS – Will Patching

RemorselessDoc Powers, is a forensic psychiatrist; now one of a panel of three who must determine whether parental murderer, Leech, is eligible for parole, half a life-time after eighteen year old Leech stood trial. Outnumbered two to one, Doc is troubled to see the psychopath go free, as his testimony helped put him behind bars all those years ago. Judy Finch, beautiful parole officer, wants to give Leech a chance, convinced that he is a reformed man.

Not only is Leech determined to avenge himself on Doc for putting him behind bars, he is fixated on Judy, convinced that she will be his own. The author paints a believable and scary portrait of the deranged serial killer.

As Leech prepares to cut down members of the team that incarcerated him, including his own brother, Doc is fighting his own nightmares. Fearing for his sanity, drinking too much, enduring guilt over the death of his pregnant wife, Judy becomes a rock in his unstable world. For all his training, Doc is a little less convincing in his despair and Judy almost too good to be true, but that doesn’t spoil the empathy.

Will Patching

Will Patching – author.

As the purported no.1 in a series, and a partnership between Doc and Detective Inspector Jack Carver, we hardly see much of Carver until the last quarter, but supposedly, that gives us something to look forward to in the series as it grows.

This is promising. Except for the odd wobble, I enjoyed the read and have no doubt this is a series that will go from strength to strength. A great eyecatching cover, too.

This Crime Fiction was chosen from Instafreebie for the sole purpose of exposing emerging and little known authors to the public. All received from Instafreebie that meet a rating of four-stars or more will be reviewed, along with chosen ARCs from Penguin Random House and other reputable publishing houses who choose to request reviews from Book Postmortem


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Death & DeceptionDetective Inspector Dan Hellier returns home to Exeter afraid that he might not be up to standard in a force critical of a young newcomer from London. Especially nerve wracking is the soon-to-retire DI who he feels is always looking over his shoulder.

He and his team must swing into credible action when the body of a young woman, a talented singer, is found in the woods. How is a school music teacher involved? Does the recording studio where she sought fame have any connection to her death? Why is her fellow student, Jamie May on the run? What does a Latvian gang have to do with it?

B.A. Steadman

B. A. Steadman – author

This is a credible start to B.A Steadman’s writing career as we are led on a tense path of intrigue and mystery to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. Hellier is a warmblooded character, vulnerable, but easy to like and root for. Likewise, the supporting cast are well portrayed; the flow is smooth and there was no moment when it was easy to put this down.

I choose Crime fiction from Instafreebie for the sole purpose of exposing emerging and little known authors to the public. All received from Instafreebie that meet a rating of four-stars or more will be reviewed, along with chosen ARCs from Penguin Random House and other reputable publishing houses who choose to request reviews from Book Postmortem.


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COLDWATER – Samuel Parker

Another extraordinary thriller from the author of PURGATORY ROAD, testing our belief in the physical manifestations of the powers of the devil.

ColdwaterA man returns, after twenty years in prison for murder, to his home town. To the rotting home he halfway grew up in, where his foul deed as a jealous child destroyed his family, to live alone. He is hated and feared by the folk of the backwoods town to an extent where six vigilantes try to bury him alive because they do not have the courage to kill him.

The evil force-field that has taken possession of him also protects him and has the power to destroy his attackers. A woman with a gun comes from the city to expunge him from the world for shattering her family, and finds herself at odds with the gang that pursue him for the same purpose.

Samuel Parker

Samuel Parker – author

When you get your head around the esoteric aspect, this is an exciting tale told in a prose that is almost poetic. The characters are many-fold; the meek, the bullies, the evolving, all believable and real.

The action unfolds on edge of civilisation, where the dense forests and hills envelop the reader, and the protagonist on the run, like a straight-jacket.

The sense of doom is overwhelming, although you can’t help but hope that there might be salvation before he is consumed by the evil that inhabits his soul.

 For more details and an extract, visit

My thanks to Anne Rogers [ ] for this ARC

ISBN 9780800727345
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A BLACK SAIL – Rich Zahradik


A Black SailWhen you pick up one of Rich Zahradnik’s Coleridge Taylor mysteries, get ready for a taut and gritty tale wrapped in the perfect time capsule — New York City in the 1970s and all it’s violent, bankrupt, crumbling and corrupt splendor.

It’s a bygone era before Google, smartphones and the 24-hour news cycle. It’s a time when cops and reporters had to use shoe leather and a telephone to do their sleuthing. And it’s a city on the verge of fiscal collapse and the hysteria of the Son of Sam killings.

The New York of this era is the magnificently rotten motherland for Taylor, a hard-nosed and marvelously obsessive police reporter who gets jicky when he hasn’t had a scoop in a couple of days. Zahradnik masterfully distills this throwback New York essence without turning his third Taylor mystery, A Black Sail, into a sepia-toned period piece.

The book’s title is partly a nod to the big event that serves as a backdrop — the parade of tall sailing ships in New York harbor to mark America’s bicentennial. But a black sail is also the lethal street trademark of potent Chinese heroin that sends Taylor on a dark and difficult voyage, doggedly chasing a scoop that stays just out of reach and might just get him killed.

Rich Zahradnik

Rich Zahradnik – author

Taylor is an ink-stained hard news guy who hates the fluff story he’s been assigned to do on the tall ships and worries about his future working at a dinky city news service that gave him a job when his paper folded. Hard news comes knocking when the police boat he’s on fishes the body of a housewife out of the water with bricks of heroin wrapped around her waist.

The victim isn’t just any housewife — she’s the daughter of an Irish mobster and the wife of an Italian wiseguy’s son. The heroin is the stepped-on stuff of French Connection infamy, the brown junk the wiseguys sell. This is a murder meant to send a message and Taylor is convinced he has stumbled upon the opening shot of a war between the wiseguys and the Chinese tongs that want to muscle in on the city’s lucrative drug trade with China white branded with the stamp of a black sail.

Like a bloodhound tracking a strong scent, Taylor charges ahead, ignoring the rough terrain and frequently placing himself in harm’s way. Just as frequently, he’s bailed out by his tough, gun-toting girlfriend, an ex-cop named Samantha Callahan.

Taylor is a different kind of tough — as in, he’s a guy who can take a punch. Good thing, because he gets smacked around a lot by tong foot soldiers and wiseguys. He’s also menaced by crooked cops and a power-mad FBI honcho.

In the end, he learns the twisted truth about the housewife’s murder but can only write about bits and pieces of it. He survives, just barely, ready to chase his next scoop.


Jim Nesbitt – author & reviewer

Jim Nesbitt is the author of two hard-boiled crime thrillers set in Texas and northern Mexico that feature battered but dogged Dallas PI Ed Earl Burch — The Last Second Chance and The Right Wrong Number.

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IF THE BED FALLS IN – Paul Casselle

He is a man in two minds; are either of them his?

If the bed falls inThis question is an excellent summary of this action-filled tale of extraordinary originality. A tale of two personalities linked by drugs. Flabby, middle-aged photographer Tom Friday is under psychiatric care to try to cure the damage done by a long cocaine habit. Highly trained secret agent Miller has lost parts of his memory due to a too-heavy dose of truth drug administered by a combination of MI6 and the CIA agents who tried to get at the details of the suspected plot. Having escaped, they need to re-capture him to find out how he is involved with a band of men who call themselves the Bedfellows.

The purpose of the Bedfellows is rooting out the Bankers of the New World Order in order to try to break their hold on the system they have manipulated for more than a century. Miller needs to evade their agents while trying to remember his role as the Bedfellows assassin and exactly what their mission was.

As Tom, he is ill-equipped to deal with the world of espionage and murder. As Miller, he must not only battle the forces arraigned against him, but the flip-flop nature of his psychological alter-ego.

Paul Casselle

Paul Casselle, author

I was prepared for a struggle to find some sort of order eventually in the confusion, but soon I was wrapped up in the convolutions without stressing too much about whether I would understand it or not. The writing is entertaining and fluid, even if the plot is baffling. Go with the flow, and enjoy the first in a three-book series with the One-Percenters, or New World Order, as a back-story.

Plucked at random from INSTAFREEBIE, I made a lucky choice. Thank you, Paul Casselle!


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