SOOT ANGEL – M.A.Petterson

Soot AngelI found this story of a highly qualified forensic fire expert, Dr. Anja Toussaint, to be a good inter-weave of the informatively technical, the tensely exciting and mysterious. Although the perpetrator was soon a valid suspect, their motives were puzzling until the last pages.

A handful of well-described and disparate characters form a rag-tag firefighting unit with one ancient fire truck, while across the county another unit with all the mod cons and the latest in training gear look down on them. An arsonist setting old warehouses alight for unknown purposes might not seem like a big deal until a small child’s crispy remains are discovered in the cinders of one such, haunting Anja until she tracks the perpetrator down and discovers a horrific plot far greater than the mere safety of the county.

She is hindered by the power and secrecy of the city’s most prestigious law firm, but cannot find the link until it is almost too late, when a shipload of stolen government warfare drugs sets sail from the harbour.

A well-written, exciting read, with several more of the series available right now. Thank you to the author for the Instafreebie copy. An author pic seems to be unavailable.

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 meets 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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WELCOME to the HOTEL YALTA – Victoria Dougherty

I seldom read short stories and it should have been glaringly obvious that WELCOME TO THE HOTEL YALTA was one such when I snatched it off Instafreebie without really reading the blurb, but liking the cover artwork.

Welcome to the hotel YaltaNo regrets, though; I read the six loosely interwoven Cold War-set espionage tales without pause. I liked the un-jarring style and the brilliant descriptions of the mostly sleazy characters with confusing motives, killings and liaisons. It could easily give me a complex that I am just too thick to understand, of course. That’s not to say that, a week later, I could even tell you what the stories were about. I can’t. All open-ended oddities with a curious selection of vaguely possible conclusions…

Victoria Dougherty

Victoria Dougherty, author.

The brilliant writing is the only reason I would still snatch up any of Victoria Dougherty’s work if it came my way, and certainly not be expecting any neatly parcelled package.

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NEED TO KNOW – Karen Cleveland

If ever a novel should come with a HEALTH WARNING, this is it. Not for the fainthearted; the tension is excruciating.

Need to Know.jpgNever have I read a comparatively slow actioned tale that has wound up so much nerve wracking , breath robbing, heart pounding intensity as this story of a CIA analyst tasked with finding Russian sleeper cells embedded in the USA. Her algorithms are on the verge of breaking into some really meaningful data, when she captures pictures of five sleepers.

She is deeply in love with one of them.

Someone is counting on her love and devotion for her family. Someone is relying on that fact to get her to plant a program inside the high security computers in the CIA to which she has access. Loyalty to her country, or her family?


Karen Cleveland, Author

Cleveland ticks all the boxes. Authentic back story drawn from her own world frames a novel of extreme power. Unbelievable tension notched ever tighter, warmblooded human believable characters, crafty motives, ruthless maneuvering, and a vicious twist.

What’s not to love, if your dicky heart can stand it?

Thank you, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE South Africa for this ARC.

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HELLBENT – Orphan X #3 – Gregg Hurwitz.

A well-worthwhile five-star thriller combining totally murderous mayhem with a brutal assassin learning to care for a teenager.


#1, Orphan X. A US Government project where kids with promise are trained to become assassins. Spymaster Jack Johns becomes not only Evan Smoak’s instructor and guardian, but a surrogate father.

#2, The Nowhere Man. Going rogue from the Orphan Program, Evan becomes a force for good and a deadly help for the totally desperate, one case at a time.

And now #3, Hellbent .

Jack is murdered by an Orphan, the man in charge of the remaining Orphans, and the team of killers at his command, given the task of wiping out every remaining trace of the Orphan Program. Jack manages to warn Evan and gives him a task – find and protect a teenage girl who has escaped the Orphans.

Sixteen year old Joey is clever, an innovative hacker, and she’s dangerous. And she doesn’t trust Evan. Their rocky relationship is a big part of the story as this killer, untrained in the subtleties of the psychological approach to any teenager, never mind a highly disturbed one, struggles to keep her safe as their trackers close in.

Gregg Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz, author

Technically competent, or at least convincing to a layman, I enjoyed the tracing, the counter measures, escaping and trying to turn the tables as Evan evens the odds.

Evan’s socially inept character is acceptable, coupled to his conflicting needs; for human warmth, and for keeping his distance.

A racy thriller, indeed.

Thanks to PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE SA for the ARC. ISBN 978-0-718-18547-3.

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MISSING PERSONS (DCI Morton # 5.) – Daniel & Sean Campbell

Missing PersonsLongboats on the London waterways – often moving berths to save money, or to avoid people you don’t want to find you – can be a headache to the law when your are trying to locate a murderer. When a girl from DI Rafferty’s past asks for help to find her boyfriend, she doesn’t hesitate to help look for him, as long as she doesn’t annoy her boss, DCI Morton. Until his body turns up in a canal…

Suffice it to say that this Instafreebie top-to-toe is well readable, but the first I’ve read in the DCI Morton Series. It was a decent stand-alone, so if they are all that way, there are more good reads out there waiting. It is an exciting police procedural with a team of varied, mostly believable, characters. It seems to keep up with modern technology and raises again the current debate of just how much surveillance is for our own good and how much is an invasion of privacy.


Campbell, authors

Over-many POVs are inescapable in most crimefiction, currently, especially when there is a team of cops and a handful of suspects, but any possible pruning would be good.

This copy was an Instafreebie selection, chosen by chance. Not all of those selected are chosen for review. Indeed, not all are finished, although most are. Good luck to all Indie authors; please support each other by way of reviews. We all want reviews but are not always prepared to give them in return.

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SERENITY – Craig A. Hart

Serenity - HartRetired to his old hometown of Serenity, Michigan, aging ex-boxer, Shelby Alexander’s latest troubles, and our exciting warmblooded read, start from page one when the sister of a local drug-dealing family gang dies in his yard on a freezing cold night. A Detroit gang are muscling in on the local action, catching Shelby, and his loyal friend and lover, in the middle. Shelby is tough and stubborn, and when the local sheriff, a dubious character in his own right, ignores his appeal for justice, he and his old friend Mack McIntyre, retired cop, have to deal with the problem, if only they can survive, in their own way.


Craig A. Hart

Craig A. Hart, author.

The main characters are the sort of folk you’d like as friends and as backup. They take both seriously. It’s a feel-good, nimble paced thriller with a convincing plot. Being #1 in the SELBY ALEXANDER SERIES, I not only recommend it highly, I will review any more in the series that Craig A. Hart cares to send to BOOK POSTMORTEM. (.mobi ebook preferred)

This copy was an Instafreebie selection, chosen by chance. Not all of those selected are chosen for review. Indeed, not all are finished, although most are. Good luck to all Indie authors; please support each other by way of reviews. We all want reviews but are not always prepared to give them in return. Cast your bread upon the waters, etc.

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FORGOTTEN – Neven Carr

ForgottenAn enjoyable read, the first in the exciting ‘Araneya Series’, involving a ruthless band of Italian-Australian ex-Vietnam Vets out to silence a child witness when it appears that her trauma-induced lost memory might be returning.

Young teacher, Claudia Cabriatti does not think it strange that all children have no memory of life in early childhood, but hers begin at age eight. Then a woman is shot and killed in the grounds of Claudia’s home; a strangely familiar face…

Then she senses that she is being followed, and when a second killing takes place, her world of family warmth and trust begins to fall apart when she realises that her beloved Papa is also not what he seems to be. Secrets begin to shatter, and ruthless men will go to any lengths to prevent them breaking open altogether.

Can she trust a secretive man called Saul Reardon who is supposed to be keeping her safe?

Neven Carr

Neven Carr author

Beautifully written emotions, haunting motives; this is a brilliant start to The Araneya Series.


Keep ‘em coming, NEVEN CARR. Thank you for this Instafreebie copy. I only select the best of any possibly intriguing titles for review, so, if you would like to, send me more of the same, direct, and FOLLOW this blog.


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The Atlantis RiddleEnjoyed this, #2 in the Dan Kotler Series. I found it more credible than the first, which I did indeed enjoy, where Viking ships were discovered to have sailed down an underground river in the central USA. This one involves Thomas Edison and the sacking of an island which is a remnant of the fabled city of Atlantis.

Kevin Tumlinson is a writer to watch for.

With a weakness for powerful friendships, I was taken with that of his central characters. Their friendship and trust for one another has solidified. The historical adventurer, Dan Kotler, and the FBI Agent Roland Denzel set out to help Gail McCarthy unravel the secret of the engraved half-stone that she has inherited from her wealthy grandfather. Her grandfather’s old war-time buddy has a map and needs the other half of the stone, but there are more ruthless forces at play here and we are slung from one deadly crisis to the next with breathless velocity.

Kevin Tumlinson 1

Kevin Tumlinson

Thank you KEVIN TUMLINSON for this Instafreebie copy. Like the first in the series, we only select the best of any possibly intriguing titles for review. Take it as an invitation to continue sending us these adventures direct.

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TYPHOON FURY – Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison

Typhoon Fury.jpgA novel from the Oregon Files. This Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the hi-tech ship Oregon thriller is a match for the best of the series. Hot-paced and violent to the extreme, you half wonder how the action missed the recent headlines.

Salvadore Locsin is the leader of a force intent on taking over not only the Philippines, but any other country that stands in his way, and with the super-drug he has discovered in tunnels left over from the Japanese occupation during WWII, it is likely that he could indeed do just that. However, some stolen paintings in his possession will help fund his secret laboratory and the captive scientists there to manufacture enough of the drug to supply his army of super-soldiers on a continuous basis.

It is in trying to locate the paintings that Cabrillo catches a glimpse of the impending catastrophe and only he and his team have any hope in trying to prevent it.

The plot is, to my mind, unnecessarily complicated by the appearance of a South African mercenary who tries to get the drug for himself.

Another brilliant Locsin weapon is a swarm of highly explosive guided water-skimming drones designed to take out any offensive shipping that gets in his way. Needless to say, when used against the Oregon, desperate measures are called for.

If you can swallow the amazing powers of the wonder-drug, you will enjoy another rip-roaring Oregon adventure.


ISBN 978-0-718-18467-4

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Raging a t StormHarry Beck used to run a fishing and boat hire service in the Bahamas. Used to; now he’s a wreck since an assassin killed his friend and business partner. His grief is destroying his marriage as well. Let’s not mention the businessman who would like to see him dead. To compound his problems, the assassin’s target arrives back on the island followed by the assassin and one mother of a storm. Harry had better get his ducks in a row, fast.

I enjoyed the first in the Bahama Series and reviewed it on BOOK POSTMORTEM awhile ago. This offering by the voracious pair of writers, Maynard and Sims, is no less of a masterpiece of a gripper.

Maynard Sims

Maynard (&) Sims

The flow is great, the plot not beyond the bounds of feasibility and the characters are totally believable. When Harry finally gets his act together, he is a gritty hero with a good sense of the right thing to do and the guts to try and get it done.

Thanks to Mick Sims for the review copy. Hats off.


  • ISBN-10:1629898414
  • ISBN-13:978-1629898414


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