Wendy Cartmell  

 Author of the Sgt Major Crane military crime thrillers   


Vengence Wears Black - Seamus Gallagher

Posted by [email protected] on October 18, 2012 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Jack Calder and his former SAS colleagues at ISP, a specialist security firm, are saved from certain death when an ex-Gurkha is killed smothering a deadly grenade thrown into a lunchtime Chinese restaurant in the West End of London. They learn that murderous turf wars are raging between Asian Triads and Eastern European mobsters vying for control of international fiefdoms of drug smuggling, people trafficking, prostitution and money laundering.

An unexpected visit from the highest levels of international law enforcement offers Jack and the ISP team a means to use their black operations skills to wreak a ruthless retaliation against the drug lords.

Unlikely partners emerge in their onslaught against the gangs as the warring criminal factions threaten an unholy alliance to repel them. The pursuit spins across Europe, Turkey and North Africa before a final reckoning. (Author description)

I came to Vengence Wears Black without reading the author's previous book. However, it simply doesn't matter. This is not only part of a series, but a stand alone book as well. Jack Calder's undercover team are brilliantly drawn characters, who you wholly believe in with a cracking plot that spans continents. I particularly liked the fact that the author explores his characters, their foibles and their flaws, so you really get to know them, whilst still moving the plot forward, because if a character has flaws, you can be sure the bad guys will exploit them! If you like action, adventure and spooks then this is a thriller you won't want to miss.

Available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/VENGEANCE-WEARS-BLACK-ebook/dp/B008H45KJC/ US

http://www.amazon.co.uk/VENGEANCE-WEARS-BLACK-ebook/dp/B008H45KJC/ UK

Wrong Time Wrong Place by David Purlmutter

Posted by [email protected] on October 2, 2012 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (2)

My name is David P Perlmutter and I have a story to tell based on true events. There are moments in the story that I'm not proud of but also there are some that I am. You will have your own opinion of me, like some of the reviewers have stated in their reviews. Thank you for reading my book.

Outline of story:

After successfully negotiating another property deal in London, I meet a friend to celebrate but due to my own reckless stupidity events that night took a wrong turn and I end up losing everything I had worked so hard for. A month or two later I head for Marbella, Spain with its promise of adventure and fun. Little do I know that I’m about to be thrust into the most terrifying time of my life. Wrong Place Wrong Time is a gripping true-life story of an unimaginable nightmare and how my ticket to a new life turns out to be a one way ticket to hell. (Author Description)

I noticed from Mr Purlmutter’s author description that he now lives in Portugal. I’m not surprised, as I doubt he’ll ever go back to Spain! Those who lived there during the time Mr Purlmutter writes about in his true story, knows that both the Police and Guardia Civil took no nonsense. They would throw you in the back of a van and off to prison quicker than you could turn around and that is what clearly happened in this case.

To back up a bit, the author did what many young people do, even today, when you’re in a hole and have nothing to lose, go to a foreign country to ‘work the season’. Luckily not everyone’s adventures turn out the way Mr Purlmutter’s did. Think of him what you will, an idiot, foolish, brave, kind and caring there is no getting away from the fact that this is a fascinating true story. He writes with aplomb, using a great descriptive style that at times is heart wrenching in its frankness. So go on, walk the streets of Marbella with Mr Purlmutter, I promise you won’t be disappointed. A great 5* read.

Now Available on Amazon:





1 Dozen - Short Tales by Milo James Fowler

Posted by [email protected] on October 2, 2012 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

1 Dozen collects 12 flash-sized tales in the slipstream, horror, and science fiction genres -- 11,000 words of weird, wonderful goodness in all. (Author Description)

The very short product description is wholly in keeping with the stories contained in this book. They are all short, strange and at times definitely spectacular in so much as Mr Fowler creates wholly believable worlds in so few words. However, his style of writing loses nothing in the shortness of the tales, which is rich and descriptive. His stories make you quiver, cringe and definitely shiver as the point of each story slowly dawns on you. A masterful collection of flash fiction for fans of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. 4*

Now Available on Amazon:



Zero Sum by Russell Blake

Posted by [email protected] on October 2, 2012 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Present Day Wall Street. Where intelligence agencies and the financial industry are strange bedfellows, and the two worlds are often intertwined in disturbing ways. In this chillingly plausible, controversial scenario of a military/industrial/financial complex run amok, Zero Sum pits Dr. Steven Archer Cross against powerful financier Nicholas Griffen in a conflict that raises troubling questions about our markets and our government. Racing against the clock in a chase that spans continents, one man's battle to expose the Machiavellian machinations of a ruthless Wall Street marauder forces him into a financial jungle populated by every variety of unscrupulous sociopath - rogue intelligence agencies, Russian mafia oligarchs, drug cartels and terrorist networks.

As a white-collar game of chess transitions into a lethal real world cage-fight, Steven finds himself in a deadly showdown, where hunters can quickly become the hunted and blood is the ultimate currency. (Author description)

This is the first Russell Blake book I’ve read and it won’t be my last. I found Zero Sum to be riveting, enthralling, believable and it’s the first in a trilogy!. This is classic good guy/bad guy stuff, asking the question, can good triumph over evil? No matter what the baddies throw at him, our hero perseveres. However, Zero Sum is more than a generic thriller. It has the backdrop of money laundering on a massive scale, through middle men and Wall Street transactions. This makes the book realistic, detailed and interesting. A fantastic 5* read

Now Available on Amazon:





Bluewater Killer by Charles Dougherty

Posted by [email protected] on October 2, 2012 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

A peaceful journey under sail on a classic yacht turns into a gut-wrenching nightmare for a beautiful, manipulative, and not-so-innocent young woman. A distraught father enlists the aid of some shady characters from his past to find out what happened to his footloose daughter.Mike Reilly's escape from his horrific past to the soothing environment of Caribbean yachting comes with some baggage. (Author description)

Mr Dougherty paints wonderful pictures of the islands in this well crafted thriller. The book is set in the blue waters of the Carribean and boy does the do a good job of making you want to visit them. His knowledge of the islands is extensive, as is his knowledge of boating. He uses the technical and correct terms in the scenes on the boat, but I must admit to being mystified by some of the jargon and in the end I just had to accept that I didn't know what he was talking about and became determined not to let this detract from my enjoyment of the book. The plot is intricate and just when you think you've worked it out, the author throws in another twist. A solid enjoyable read, particularly if you want to know about the Carribean Islands. 4*

Now available from Amazon:





Assassin's Village by Faith Mortimer

Posted by [email protected] on October 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Assassins’ Village” by the acclaimed author, Faith Mortimer, introduces, Diana Rivers, writer, sometime actor and amateur sleuth.

When an expatriate theatrical group gather to discuss their next play there will be murder. A blackmailer stalks their picturesque Cypriot village. The group is riven with jealousies, rivalry, sexual tension and illicit affairs.

Unbeknown to each other they all attempt to find solutions to their problems. Some believe it lies in murder. Can they find the blackmailer? And can they find that all important ‘little black book’ – the chronicle of their misdeeds.

A body is discovered and Diana turns detective to draw up a suspects list. After the police get involved one of the suspects is found hanged – is this another murder or suicide? Was he indeed hanged? A visit to a villager’s home uncovers an ancient assassin’s device. Could this be the murder weapon? Is it possible that an assassin lives at the heart of this formerly peaceful and idyllic mountain village?

Love, hate, murder and high drama all feature in this classic historical detective story. With a long list of suspects, some dramatic twists and the odd red herring, the reader is left guessing until the final curtain. (Author description)

This is not just a ‘who done it’ but also a wonderful picture of ex pat life in Cyprus. Ms Mortimer brings all her ex-pat characters alive with a sure touch and a deft stroke of the pen. But she doesn’t just stop there. She also gives us an insight into the Cypriots as well. Their way of thinking as well as their way of life.

Her characterisation is the reason this book works so well. It is so well written, the book it is an easy read, as not one word is out of place or unnecessary. A tour de force of the ‘Who done it’ mystery genre.

Available from Amazon:






The Rocking Horse Garden by Maggie Silwood

Posted by [email protected] on October 2, 2012 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Fife, Scotland, the mid-nineteenth century. A young woman sees a sinister shape out at sea. Soon after, a series of tragedies occur. Melbourne, Australia, the present day. A diary is discovered, detailing both an epic journey and the horrors which occurred more than 150 years before. Could the two be linked in some way to a rocking horse, left to decay in a weed-filled garden? (Author description)

The Rocking Horse Garden is a sweeping historical novel set on the east coast of Scotland in the 19th Century, where we follow a family who work as fishermen, herring gutters and domestic servants. Their harsh life is painted sympathetically showing the ups and downs of family life in that era. The novel then grows to encompass emigration to Australia, where the author shows us in vivid detail that terrible, precarious journey. Silwood then closes the circle and we meet with Shona in modern day Melbourne. In her riveting debut novel, Maggie Silwood takes readers on an unforgettable journey filled with mystery, entrapment and release. 5*

Available from Amazon:



The Puzzle Peggy A Edelheit

Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2012 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)


I had to make a decision, but I didn't know at the time my future and life hung in the balance with my choice. Do I continue making excuses for inaction and accept my fate? Or do I set in motion something that sort of scared the hell out of me; go back to Highlands, North Carolina and solve the puzzle of who killed my husband, Stephen? But once there, I find that I am caught up in a web of intrigue, lies and cover-ups and end up in my own novel. Even as an author, my laptop couldn’t type me out of this one. I had to finish writing my book without the benefit of knowing how all of it would end until I wrote the last page. I had two unanswered questions. Where was the missing piece that completed my puzzle? And would I live to write about it? (Author description)

I found book to be an easy read. The voice of Samantha comes through loud and clear. The book flows well and we are introduced to a variety of characters, all of whom could be the one who is trying to stop Samantha find out the truth about why her husband was killed. Ms Edelheit paints a wonderful picture of small town life in the US and also describes Samantha's surroundings well. The reader is instantly transported into her world and her vivid descriptions bring to life the harshness of the winter she is struggling to survive and the problems of living in an isolated wooden home.

It kept me reading till the end, as I needed to unlock the puzzle, which took me a bit by surprise! I look forward to reading more in the Samantha Jamison series.

Nice easy read 4*

Now available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Puzzle-Samantha-Jamison-Mystery-ebook/dp/B003PPCSTI/ US

http://www.amazon.com/Puzzle-Samantha-Jamison-Mystery-ebook/dp/B003PPCSTI/r UK

Book Review: The Folks at Fifty Eight

Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2012 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Crème de la crème of spy novels 5*

Gerald Hammond is the exception to the rule; an honourable spy, whose lofty principles have brought him nothing but loneliness and isolation. Catherine Schmidt is the stunning young daughter of an assassinated spymaster, whose murderous quest for vengeance has left her at the mercy of the infamous Head of Soviet State Security.

On a covert operation, in Soviet-occupied Germany, Hammond has no knowledge of the unseen forces that sponsor and oppose his mission. He only knows that he must somehow save her to save himself, but, as ever-more disturbing revelations come to light, begins to wonder which poses the greater threat; the enemy he runs from, or the friend he runs to?

Set against a factual background of government conspiracy, and one of the most audacious espionage coups in history, the Folks at Fifty-Eight is a beautifully-paced tale of seduction, betrayal, blackmail, and murder that blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. (Author description)

The Folks at Fifty Eight, seems to me in many ways like a traditionally written British spy thriller a la John le Carre. The difference being the author is writing about the CIA rather than the British establishment. However, one reviewer commented that it also has elements of Harold Robins about it, which is a very valid point. The sex is steamy and unusual and I believe is written in to emphasise that sometimes people are not always what they seem to be. Everyone in the novel has secrets and they are therefore in a position to be blackmailed and/or taken advantage of.

The twists and turns in the novel build slowly, so you are able to relate to each character in turn, before their flaws are revealed. Marriages that on the surface appear to be working are shown to be not only a sham but an ugly nest of malignancy, vitriol and obsession.

The only person not flawed in this way is the reluctant hero. However, he is flawed in other ways and to a certain extent this is a coming of age novel for him as he learns to accept the past, present and future of his life.

The ‘other side’ as it were are also extremely well drawn characters and it is interesting to see what their lives were like in Russia at the time and how they related to each other. The backgrounds, marriages and friendships are again explored, including how they manipulate not only the Americans, but also each other.

A tremendous book - a definite page turner. I couldn’t put it down and when I had to looked forward to continuing the story later, as if visiting an old friend. I do hope there are more books and it turns out to be a series.

Now available from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Folks-at-Fifty-Eight-ebook/dp/B007X5KN5C UK

http://www.amazon.com/The-Folks-at-Fifty-Eight-ebook/dp/B007X5KN5C US

Book Review: the Schliemann Legacy D A Graystone

Posted by [email protected] on August 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The Schliemann Legacy 5*

1873 — Heinrich Schliemann discovered ancient treasure in Turkey which proved the existence of Troy.

1943 — the treasure disappeared from Nazi Germany.

1981 — Henri Mardinaud, international information broker, discovers the treasure in the possession of Friedrich Heiden, ex-commander of Majdanek, a Nazi extermination camp. Using his network, the master gamesman positions his players in a race for the treasure and the Nazi:David Morritt, recently retired Mossad agent and survivor of Majdanek.Katrina Kontoravdis, a disgraced Greek intelligence operative hoping to redeem herself. Duman, a vicious Turkish terrorist who will do anything to achieve his objectives. From Europe, to Heiden's fortress in Colombia, to a secluded estate in Jamaica, Mardinaud uses the hatred between Greece and Turkey and the horror of the holocaust to fuel his twisted game. More than the treasure, survival becomes the ultimate prize in this battle of haunting memories, revenge, and love. (Author description)

The novel opens at an archaeological dig in Turkey in 1873 and from that first page you are hooked. The first two paragraphs set a high standard of writing which is never lost throughout the remainder of the book. All Mr Graystone’s characters are multi-faceted and riveting. The personal stories of the characters are told in inventive ways and at times you even feel sorry for the ‘baddies’! I loved the premise of several characters being manipulated by one man, all vying for information and jockeying for position. But in the end, as with all good storytelling, one couple emerge as the true heroines. This is a definite page turner, worthy of its 5* rating.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Schliemann-Legacy-ebook/dp/B0058DVXTQ/ UK

http://www.amazon.com/The-Schliemann-Legacy-ebook/dp/B0058DVXTQ/ US