Tag Archives: thriller

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck – a review

I was given a copy of this via netgalley, and have to admit it did kind of fall off my reading radar until very recently.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck starts with Audra and her two children driving across Arizona, in an attempt to flee her abusive husband. When she gets stopped by the police she is clearly nervous about being caught. However she soon realises that she is in more trouble than she could possibly have dreamt of.

This was an interesting novel that certainly kept my attention. However I must admit I didn’t think it was the most original storyline. Without wishing to give away too much information the story itself was relatively predictable, the motives behind the crime will probably be obvious to most avid crime fiction fans early on. However despite that, this book was an absolute page turner.

Books are often described as ‘roller coasters’ and without wishing to sound clichéd this is a perfect description for this novel. As soon as the police stop Audra you know that bad things are going to happen, and when they do the reactions of the characters will have you on the ‘edge of your seat’.

Cliches aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The writing is superb and I really liked the way that this was a story that relied on good writing to push it along, not just throwing in twists and turns at every moment. The descriptions of the characters and the emotions they are going through are gripping. The overall premise is about a woman and her fierce desire to protect her children, no matter the danger to herself. The sheer determination of Audra will keep you turning the pages.

To me this felt different from a lot of novels written about women protecting their children. Audra was a person who teamed up with a man. Yet she didn’t expect him to rescue her or her children, she was going to do that herself.  There is violence and some disturbing details in this story, but it is all relevant to setting the atmosphere.

Haylen Beck is the pen name of Stuart Neville, yet it is only the name that has changed not the superb writing. This was a great, if disturbing read that I’m glad came back onto my radar.


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The Seven Trials of Cameron-Strange by James Calum Campbell – A review BLOG TOUR

 I was sent a copy of this book by Impress books and am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour.


The Seven Trials of Cameron-Strange was an intriguing book advertised as a thriller with a medical twist. Being a big fan of Lisa Gardener and Tess Gerritsen this sounded right up my street so I was very pleased to be asked to review.


The novel starts with Dr Cameron-Strange being tried for manslaughter of one of his patients. We then go back in time to find out how he arrived in this situation. Having returned to New Zealand following an event from the previous novel (which I hadn’t read but this didn’t detract from the the story) he is soon tracked down by two British agents. They want him to look into the death of a man who collapsed whilst taking part in a reality TV show owned by American Business man Phineas Fox.


I read this on a train ride down to London and back after having had a pretty bad morning waking up to snow, cancelled buses and worst of all the news that Donald Trump had been elected  as the US President. Ironic then that I should chose this day to read The Seven Trials of Cameron Strange where one of the main characters within the story – the millionaire Phineas Fox – would seem to be closely based on him.


This is probably not my usual type of thriller if I’m honest but I did still enjoy it. Cameron-Strange is a medical doctor, who seems to be a cross between James Bond and Kay Scarpetta. As well as saving people’s lives with medicine, he is a qualified pilot, a runner who likes to run up volcanos for a past time and has an amazing abililty to escape predicaments. This is all lucky as he needs it to escape from seven trials set by the hideous Fox who is hoping to run for President.


This was a fast paced novel, that certainly made the train trip pass by quickly. Cameron-Strange is a likeable character, that you do actually feel has been accidently thrown into a world he was trying to avoid and so I almost felt sorry for him. The novel is well written and I enjoyed the fact it was set in some unusual places. Definitely one for fans of Lee Child and action films.


To hear what others thought of this novel head over to the other stops on the tour:


Damp Pebbles: https://damppebbles.com/tag/the-seven-trials-of-cameron-strange/

Never Imitate: https://neverimitate.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/book-review-the-seven-trials-of-cameron-strange/

Best crime books and more: http://www.bestcrimebooksandmore.co.uk/2016/11/blog-tour-kats-review-of-seven-trials.html

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Live and Let Die by Bianca Sloane – a review

I was sent a copy of this by Bianca and it was one of the first books I read on my holiday.

The story starts with the murder of Tracey. She gets killed whilst out jogging, and her body is discovered a few days later. She leaves behind her husband, her film maker sister Sondra, and her parents. The story follows Sondra a year after her sister’s death. She is still trying to come to terms with it and decides to make a documentary about the differences between the way black and white woman are treated when reported missing. This leads her to start to uncover what actually happend to Tracey in the months leading up to her death.

The other side of this story follows couple Philip and Paula. They are an odd couple, and you soon get the feeling that something is not right. Philip is hugely controlling, and Paula keeps herself to herself, not even mixing with the neighbours. However its not long before the cracks show and things start to get out of hand.

This was a really good book. What starts out as being a simple murder mystery and seemingly a bit run of the mill soon becomes a cross between ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ and an superb murder mystery. This was a story that kept me turning the pages to the end (well pressing the arrow button as it was on my kindle) The first part of the mystery is actually solved pretty early on in the book, however at every step just as you think things are beginning to tidy themselves up something else will happen.

The story is well written and with hindsight you can see that despite all the numerous twists and turns  everything is tied up at the end which I do like in a story. I did find the main character a little annoying and wooden right at the start, however this didn’t last long and I was soon urging her to keep digging around.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bianca Sloane’s debut novel and look forward to reading her next one.


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