POLAR BEAR DAWN – Lyle Nicholson

polarbear dawn

A very involved exciting tale, as stockbrokers plot to bump the oil price with pipe-line disruption in the minus forty temperatures of northern Alaska and Canada. There is a huge cast of characters as the baddies commit their heinous deeds and the goodies try to track them down.

Mr Nicholson defies the rules of fiction by not only the huge amount of characters who appear briefly in split side stories, he switches Point-of-View in the blink of an eye. We see more of other characters than we do of Detective Bernadette Callahan who is supposed to be the hero of the piece where this is supposed to be #1 in the Detective Bernadette Callahan Series.

Amazingly, despite these transgressions, and the hugely convoluted plot, this is still a very entertaining read. Thanks to Prolific Works for this free-to-download. https://www.prolificworks.com

BOOK POSTMORTEM does not buy crime fiction, but we do know how important reviews are to authors, and we encourage every reader to give their take on their reads on Amazon, Goodreads and other platforms, especially in recognition of free downloads. Authors featured on BOOK POSTMORTEM are free to send follow-up material to us for review, although we don’t guarantee to review everything.

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in the tickAt the Department of Health’s vector-borne disease division, Matt Malloy is battling a sleep deprivation caused by a bash on the head, but he knows there is something amiss with a concentration of Buffalo Head infections. Nobody believes him, putting his obsession down to his condition.

I enjoyed this unusual tale of revenge and determination. It ticks all the tension and excitement boxes. Ticks?

Murder by disease.

p d workmanThank you for this Instafreebie offering. Please, all you readers out there, especially those who benefit from the free reading pleasure of Prolific Works and similar free offerings, place a review, however brief, on GOODREADS or AMAZON.  For authors starting out, it can make the difference between success and throwing in the towel…

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SMOKE & MIRRORS – Angus McLean

smoke and mirrorsEx-SAS soldier, Craig Archer, in the employ of The Service, starts pursuing links to international terrorism across the world after a planned snatch goes wrong. Soon, he finds he can trust nobody when it becomes evident that the British, the Americans and the Saudis all have their own targets and agendas.

A dynamic action tale of tense action; very readable and pretty believable. Keep going, Angus McLean.

Thank you for this Instafreebie offering. Please, all you readers out there, especially those who benefit from the free reading pleasure of Prolific Works and similar free offerings, place a review, however brief, on GOODREADS or AMAZON. It can make the difference between success and throwing in the towel…

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BECOMING QUINN – Brett Battles

becoming quinnA thriller of note. A cleaner is a person who removes bodies, and other evidence from a crime scene in such a way as to turn a homicide into an accident, or a suicide. My introduction to a cleaner named Jonathan Quinn is this sequel. Jake Oliver is a rookie cop with an overblown sense of curiosity and an eagle eye for detail that disturbs the comfort of the cleaner who has arranged a scene in a burning barn that satisfies the local PD. Drug-buy-gone-wrong, is what they deduce when a body, shot in the face, is found in the ashes.

The cleaner, who under extreme duress has hastily set the scene, is concerned when Officer Oliver keeps probing. His superior orders Oliver’s demise, but the cleaner is reluctant to waste such promising talent, and thus begins the transformation in profession from cop to cleaner.

brett battles

Brett Battles – author

Highly recommended, if you like a nail-biting thriller series. The great thing, for my part, is the thought that there is a whole lot of unread Quinn out there waiting for me. Bravo, Mr Battles. Thanks for the freebie; Book Postmortem does not buy books, but I’ll review all you send me.

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InTheFrameThe Prequel – IN THE FRAME, (Anna Burgin #3)

This tale was a welcome e-freebie which introduces us to budding photography student Anna, accused of stealing two expensive cameras from the stores. A chance meeting with another student, Danny, gives her the only friend who professes to believe in her as she battles to clear her name and understand the skulduggery behind the frame-up. It is a fun piece, although labelled #3, giving the background to the peculiar friendship that develops between the two characters that become fondly, and frustratingly, friends of the reader.


Cold PressThen COLD PRESS, Anna Burgin #1 Reviewed 20/10/2018.


OutOfTheRedfollowed by OUT OF THE RED (Anna Burgin #2)

The enigmatic Clare Woodbrook reappears in the lives of Danny and Anna, to the latter’s resentment as it is evident that Danny has always been smitten with his ex-boss, whose position in the investigation unit of the Echo newspaper he now holds.

DCI Graham March is alive and well and reinstated in the Metropolitan Police where he can manipulate evidence to suit his own agendas, with his fingers very much into all sorts of illegal pies including people trafficking. His determination to exact revenge on Danny is matched only by Danny’s pursuit of the bent copper, except that, without Clare’s help and dubious resources, Danny would not have a prayer against the ruthless cop with friends in high places.

FadeToSilence.jpgThe series completed, presumably, by FADE TO SILENCE. (Anna Burgin #4) although I would not place money on it.

Clare Woodbrook, the mysterious manipulator of millionaire gangsters, semi-good and mega-bad alike. Walks a tightrope in her negotiations with several forces from the Balkans and Germany, and their go between, DCI Graham March, who smugly plays one of them against the other. And, once again, Danny and Anna are caught in the middle.

When a banker is murdered, March quickly arrests the widow, but Danny is not convinced. Hounded by his Echo editor to leave his vendetta against March alone and bring in copy for other investigations, he and Anna try following the cop to find out what he is really doing. He in turn employs some pitiless killers to get rid of the pair.

And in the meanwhile, a huge shipment of weapons is heading for Britain…

Frustratingly, and almost beyond belief, Danny is still unaware that Anna is madly in love with him, convinced the relationship is strictly platonic. In desperation, Anna dates a seemingly accidentally-met man who has orders to get rid of her. (A spoiler, I suppose, but, come on! Who wouldn’t guess?) Still, the whole series is riddled (haha) with twists, so who knows?

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The BAD SHEPHERD – Dale Nelson

The Bad ShepherdIf there is any scenario that has my heart rate doing double time, it is treachery and betrayal, especially when the characters have wormed their way under my skin. Tight as a drum, this is the tale of two LAPD undercover narcotics detectives; fast friends until an incident fractures their mutual trust. One takes the fall and gets dismissed from the service, but he can’t let go of his obsession to take the drug gang down. He can’t do it alone and needs his ex-friend to make it happen. The suspicion and tension between the two men is brilliantly handled as they edge towards the explosive finale.

Some place a higher value on the David & Jonathan scenario than others. Mr Nelson appears to be one such, and the emotional impact of a friendship under threat is very well explored here. His talent is on the threshold of great impact in the world of thriller fiction.

Dale M. Nelson

Dale M. Nelson

This was an Instafreebie gift, so thanks to them and the huge contribution they make to us thriller junkies. We authors appreciate reviews immensely. They can make a world of difference to make or break success in our chosen passion. Book Postmortem does not buy books, but crime authors needing a review may request one and send the material. If the tale impresses, it will find its way here.

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PAST TENSE (Jack Reacher #23.) – Lee Child

Not as good as The Midnight Line, but I did enjoy this Reacher tale more than a few previous which I felt were just a tab flat.

Past TenseTwo story lines eventually collide; but actually the non-Reacher thread was more gripping that that of our super hero.

A Canadian couple heading for a new start in California in a semi wreck of a car, grind to a halt at a motel in the forests on New Hampshire. The owner and his three helpers assess the couple and decide that they are perfect for their purposes. Young and sturdy and fairly resourceful, they slowly realise that they, the only guests there, are not going to be allowed to leave.

Lee Child builds these two characters beautifully as we get to know and like the solid Shorty and the brighter Patty. Their love and loyalty for each other becomes apparent as their efforts to escape are thwarted one by one. Then other guests begin to arrive, and the reason for their incarceration comes into focus with horrifying detail.

Who? Oh, yes, Reacher.

Well, the big dangerous hero is in the nearest small town, trying, out of curiosity, to find out more about his father, Stan Reacher, who, now dead for thirty years, was believed to have come from there. His research leads him, via some more interesting characters, to an overgrown tin mill where Stan’s father had been a foreman in the 1930s. He has a run-in with some guy, molesting a woman near his room in the middle of the night. This guy gets the Reacher treatment and some broken bones, which attracts the attention of some Boston hoodlums as well as the local police who want him to leave town before more trouble starts.

Lee Child 1

Lee Child – author

I liked the interaction between Reacher and a female cop, an ex military policeman like Reacher himself, as well as the local lawyer, the helpful file clerk, and the elderly census specialist whose loyal assistance goes well beyond the call of duty.

Eventually, looking for a place to spend the night, Reacher is directed to the same motel, in time to affect the outcome, of course…

Sadly, a contradiction or two spoil a good story just a little, but far be it for me to spoil that for the reader. See if you can spot them?

Thank you, Penguin Random House, South Africa, for this ARC.

ISBN 9780593078204

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REVENGE – James Patterson & Andrew Holmes.

It seems that BOOK POSTMORTEM is not the only one to have a teeter-totter relationship with the James Patterson factory output, seemingly so variable in the choice of co-author.

REVENGEHowever, this liaison is a great one! Supposedly a stand-alone thriller, except for a novella introducing ex-SAS officer David Shelley, it does tick all the boxes. Reader-protagonist empathy, action, tension, surprises and twists, treachery and pay-back, and the destructive power of revenge.

The present is linked to a fourteen year-old past when Shelley is asked by the grieving parents of a young woman suicide, a victim of drugs and cam porn, to track the gang behind her death. As a child, Emma had been protected by, and had in turn befriended, Shelley; a child who had left a permanent mark on the tough, and at the required times, ruthless soldier.

However, it is with great reluctance that Shelley agrees, regretting that decision strongly when it becomes evident that the millionaire father is obsessed by revenge on the gang behind his daughter’s death. The gang are the British branch of a Chechen network that has become linked to a ruthless British gang-boss and his daughter who has a score to settle with both the millionaire and his wife, and with Shelley himself.

Andrew Holmes

Andrew Holmes – co-author

Not only is the protagonist character well developed, but the antagonists, and other, seemingly lesser players, have acceptably real depth in both convincing backstory and motive.

Five stars, Andrew Holmes & JP.

Thank you, Penguin Random House, South Africa, for this ARC. Herewith, as usual, an honest review.

ISBN 9781780899169.


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COLD PRESS (Anna Burgin #1) – David Bradwell

Talk about twists!

Cold PressThis was a great read involving a fashion photographer, Anna Burgin, whose flat-mate and friend, Danny, an investigative journalist’s researcher is searching for his boss. He had an appointment to meet up with her, leading British tabloid’s Clare Woodbrook, but she is a no-show and her car is found abandoned. The police investigation into her disappearance is headed by DCI Graham March, the very person whose corrupt doings were being investigated by Claire.

Assisted by Anna, Danny tries to find Claire and avoid the ever bullying March at the same time. Danny seems totally unaware that Anna is in love with him, which, told from Anna’s POV, makes for a very funny situation, especially when they are forced to share the same bed, several times.

David Bradwell

David Bradwell – author

The characters are lively and convincing. The plot is a squash ball of surprises; you don’t know which wall it will next hit. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

I chose this free tale from BOOKFUNNEL with no regrets. Thank you, David Bradwell. Keep going.

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SHADOW TYRANTS – Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison.

(The Oregon Files #13)

Shadow Tyrants.jpgThe Boyd Morrison/Clive Cussler combo had me worried when I reviewed TYPHOON FURY, #12 in the Oregon Files Series, a while ago when I found it to be just too much to swallow, exciting as it was. Shadow Tyrants is, for me, a much more believable plot. It, of course, also involves the past butting brutally into the present; in this case when an Eastern Emperor avoids an assignation attempt and entrusts the nine scrolls of wisdom to nine trusted families, known as The Nine Unknown Men, who carry the knowledge faithfully for hundreds of years to the present day where the wheels fall off. Some of the Nine want the ultimate power that will be unleashed by combining the scrolls once again and eliminating the opposition.

Boyd Morrison

Boyd Morrison


Clive Cussler

Knife edge stuff, of course, and it’s up to Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon to thwart the threat to the world. The characters we know and love, as well as the baddies, are well sketched, the action is so tight, it’s almost a relief to know that Juan and his crew will make it through with just a few bumps and scrapes to fight again – and entertain us! – another day. Er, volume.

Thank you to Penguin Random House, South Africa for this ARC. ISBN: 978-0-241-34953-3.

A Penguin/Michael Joseph Imprint. www.penguin.co.uk

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