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Archive for April 27th, 2017

Today is the release day for D.F. Bailey’s Box Set First Four. From now to May 4, 2017 you can get your copy for $.99.

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“Four thrillers that go straight to your heart.
So dark. Yet so full of light.”
First Four is a boxset of D. F. Bailey’s first four psychological thrillers. The collection includes his first novel — a W. H. Smith First Novel Award finalist — Fire Eyes, plus Healing The Dead, The Good Lie, and Exit From America. BONUS: his short story, “Suitcase,” the perfect epilogue to Healing the Dead.

IN PRAISE OF….

Fire Eyes
“Fire Eyes is a taut psychological thriller with literary overtones, a very contemporary terrorist romance.”
—Globe and Mail

“A dynamite read. Combines a remarkable literary finesse with the tightly wound mainspring of a psychological thriller. A new writer of the very best.”
— Andreas Schroeder, author of “Renovating Heaven”

Healing The Dead
“You start reading Healing the Dead with a gasp and never get a proper chance to exhale.”
—Globe and Mail

“The author is not afraid to take a hard look at the darker side of human nature, at the source of fear and violence, and to explore their repercussions with unflinching honesty.”
—Monday Magazine

The Good Lie
“Bailey’s masterstroke is in creating a situation for his protagonist that is so believable the reader cannot help but feel complicit in the guilt and anguish of it all. With compelling, measured prose, he stakes out precious territory in a genre – located somewhere between thriller and psychodrama – that he makes completely his own.”
—Quill & Quire Magazine

“Bailey has crafted a tale that not only looks at a universal theme but places it in a very West Coast context, making this one story that local readers are going to love.”
—Boulevard Magazine

Exit From America
“Another great story of moral revelation, despair and redemption by a contemporary master.”
— Lawrence Russell, author of “Outlaw Academic”

“The writing is extremely good … an exquisitely crafted novel. Reminiscent of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”
— Aaron C. Brown, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

I have been lucky and D.F. Bailey offered me his first book Bone Maker to review along with sharing the sale of The First Four.

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Bone Maker (Will Finch Mystery – 1) by D.F. Bailey

A death in the wilderness. A woman mourns alone. A reporter works a single lead.

If you have an appetite for organized crime series, you’ll love this new crime trilogy. Add a slice of noir novels, the juice of steamy PI mysteries, the zest of a financial thriller series. Soon you’ll be stewing in this new technothriller trilogy — and begging for more.

Following a family tragedy that has broken his spirit, crime reporter Will Finch returns to his news desk in San Francisco eager to reboot his career and renew his lease on life. When he’s assigned to cover the grisly death of a witness to a multi-million dollar bitcoin fraud, Finch discovers some troubling complications: A Mercedes-Benz abandoned in the wilderness. A wounded bear. A cop who rules a remote town with an iron fist. And the witness’s fiancée — a US senator’s daughter — knows there’s something mysterious about her lover’s death. But what?

Inspired by true events, Bone Maker is the first thriller in this series of noir crime new releases — a new crime trilogy that races from coastal Oregon to San Francisco, Moscow, Honolulu and Washington DC. It intersects the worlds of international finance, cryptocurrency software algorithms, and corruption that reaches from the US Senate to Turk Street in the Tenderloin District.

Fans of contemporary noir novels will love this technothriller trilogy. Be sure to read this gripping financial thriller series in order: Bone Maker, Stone Eater, Lone Hunter. All three books are available now.

Amazon    Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 D.F.  Bailey

Author’s Bio

D.F. Bailey is a W.H. Smith First Novel Award and a Whistler Independent Book Award finalist.

His first novel, Fire Eyes was optioned for film. His second novel, Healing the Dead, was translated into German as Todliche Ahnungen. The Good Lie, another psychological thriller, was recorded as a talking book. A fourth novel, Exit from America, made its debut as an e-book in 2013.

In 2015 D.F. Bailey published The Finch Trilogy — Bone Maker, Stone Eater, and Lone Hunter — novels narrated from the point-of-view of a crime reporter in San Francisco. He is now extending the trilogy in a series of stand-alone novels.

Following his birth in Montreal, D.F. Bailey’s family moved around North America from rural Ontario to New York City to McComb, Mississippi to Cape May, New Jersey. He finally “landed on his feet” on Vancouver Island — where he lives next to the Salish Sea in the city of Victoria.

For twenty-two years D.F. Bailey worked at the University of Victoria where he taught creative writing and journalism and coordinated the Professional Writing Cooperative Education Program — which he co-founded. From time to time he also freelanced as a business writer and journalist. In the fall of 2010 he left the university so that he could turn “his pre-occupation with writing into a full-blown obsession.”

Website

My Review

4 stars

Will Finch is an investigative journalist that is sent to Oregon to report on the upcoming hearing on a US Senator. But when he looks into the death of someone mauled by a bear, Will learns that the victim was dating the Senator’s daughter and going to provide evidence against him. The more Will digs into this story the more barriers he runs into namely a sheriff that wants him gone. But the more he finds the harder Will digs to get to the truth.

Will has had a rough go and his first story when he returns to work is the death of a man via bear. He has his own issues and I hoped this story will help him out. Although the beginning is a touch slow, I found myself easily slipping into the story and caught up trying to figure out what was going on.

This is a great story that had me guessing the whole time. Although the ending resolves the mystery it is a great lead into the next book. If you like thrillers and mysteries you need to check this book out. It’s a quick read that will leave you wanting more.

I received Bone Maker from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Secrets of Death

Secrets of Death

by Stephen Booth

on Tour April 3 – 30, 2017

Synopsis:

Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth

Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets.

A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire’s E Division into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts — with no way of predicting where the next body will turn up. Meanwhile, in Nottingham Detective Sergeant Diane Fry finds a key witness has vanished…

But what are the mysterious Secrets of Death?

And is there one victim whose fate wasn’t suicide at all?

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Fiction
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0062690353 (ISBN13: 9780062690357)
Series: Cooper & Fry #16 (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

And this is the first secret of death. There’s always a right time and place to die.

It was important to remember. So important that Roger Farrell was repeating it to himself over and over in his head by the time he drew into the car park. When he pulled up and switched off the engine, he found he was moving his lips to the words and even saying it out loud – though only someone in the car with him would have heard it.

And he was alone, of course. Just him, and the package on the back seat.

There’s always a right time and place to die.

As instructed, Farrell had come properly equipped. He’d practised at home to make sure he got everything just right. It was vital to do this thing precisely. A mistake meant disaster. So getting it wrong was inconceivable. Who knew what would come afterwards? It didn’t bear thinking about.
Last night, he’d experienced a horrible dream, a nightmare about weeds growing from his own body. He’d been pulling clumps of ragwort and thistles out of his chest, ripping roots from his crumbling skin as if he’d turned to earth in the night. He could still feel the tendrils scraping against his ribs as they dragged through his flesh.

He knew what it meant. He was already in the ground. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Wasn’t that what they said at your graveside as they shovelled soil on to your coffin? The dream meant his body was recycling back into the earth. In his soul, he’d already died.

Farrell looked around the car park. There were plenty of vehicles here. Although it was the middle of the week, a burst of sunny weather had brought people out into the Peak District in their droves. They’d come to enjoy the special peace and beauty of Heeley Bank, just as he had.

Of course, in many other ways, they weren’t like him at all.

He let out a sigh of contentment. That was the feeling this scenery gave him. The green of the foliage down by the river was startling in its brightness. The farmland he could see stretching up the sides of the hills was a glowing patchwork between a tracery of dry-stone walls. Cattle munched on the new grass in the fields. Further up, a scattering of white blobs covered the rougher grazing where the moors began.

The sight of those sheep made Farrell smile. He’d always associated them with the Peaks. This landscape wouldn’t be the same without sheep. They’d been here for centuries, helping to shape the countryside. And they’d still be here long after he’d gone.

It really was so green out there. So very green.

But there’s always a right time and place.

A silver SUV had pulled into a parking space nearby. Farrell watched a young couple get out and unload two bikes from a rack attached to their vehicle. One of the bikes had a carrier on the back for the small girl sitting in a child seat in the car. She was pre-school, about two years old, wearing a bright yellow dress and an orange sun hat. Her father lifted her out, her toes wiggling with pleasure as she felt the warm air on her skin. The family all laughed together, for no apparent reason.

Farrell had observed people doing that before, laughing at nothing in particular. He’d never understood it. He often didn’t get jokes that others found hilarious. And laughing when there wasn’t even a joke, when no one had actually said anything? That seemed very strange. It was as if they were laughing simply because they were, well . . . happy.

For Roger Farrell, happy was just a word, the appearance of happiness an illusion. He was convinced people put on a façade and acted that way because it was expected of them. It was all just an artificial front. Deep down, no one could be happy in this world. It just wasn’t possible. Happiness was a sham – and a cruel one at that, since no one could attain it. All these people would realise it in the end.

With a surge of pity, Farrell looked away. He’d watched the family too long. Across the car park, an elderly man hobbled on two sticks, accompanied by a woman with a small pug dog on a lead. She had to walk deliberately slowly, so that she didn’t leave the man behind. The pug tugged half-heartedly at its lead, but the woman yanked it back.

These two had probably been married for years and were no doubt suffering from various illnesses that came with age. Did they look happy? Farrell looked more closely at their faces. Definitely not. Not even the dog.

He nodded to himself and closed his eyes as he leaned back in his seat. His breathing settled down to a steady rhythm as he listened to the birds singing in the woods, the tinkle of a stream nearby, the quiet whispering of a gentle breeze through the trees.

As the afternoon drew to a close, he watched the vehicles leave one by one. People were taking off their boots, climbing into cars and heading for home. All of them were complete strangers, absorbed in their own lives. They could see him, of course. An overweight middle-aged man with a receding hairline and a distant stare. But they would never remember him.

A few minutes later, a young man jogged past on to the woodland path, checking his watch as he ran, as if he knew the time was approaching. A black Land Rover eased into a spot opposite Farrell’s BMW, but no one emerged.

And finally, the lights went off in the information centre. A woman came out and locked the front doors. She took a glance round the car park, seemed to see nothing of any interest to her, and climbed into a Ford Focus parked in a bay reserved for staff. Farrell watched as she drove away.

When it was quiet and there were only a few cars left, he leaned over into the back seat and unzipped the holdall. Carefully, Farrell lifted out the gas canisters, uncoiling the plastic tubing as it writhed on to the seat. He placed the canisters in the footwell. They looked incongruous sitting there, painted in fluorescent orange with their pictures of party balloons on the side.

It had taken him a while to find the right brand of gas. Some manufacturers had started putting a percentage of air into the canisters, which made them quite useless for his purpose. That was when things went wrong, if you didn’t check and double-check, and make sure you got exactly the right equipment.

Still, you could find anything on the internet, as he well knew. Information, advice, someone to talk to who actually understood how you were feeling. And the inspiration. He would be nothing without that. He wouldn’t be here at Heeley Bank right now.

And this is the first secret of death. There’s always a right time and place to die.

Farrell said it again. You could never say it too often. It was so important. The most important thing in the world. Or in his world, at least.

He reached back into the holdall and lifted out the bag itself. He held it almost reverently, like a delicate surgical instrument. And it was, in a way. It could achieve every bit as much as any complicated heart operation or brain surgery. It could change someone’s life for the better. And instead of hours and hours of complicated medical procedures on the operating table, it took just a few minutes. It was so simple.

With black tape from a roll, he attached the tubing to the place he’d marked on the edge of the bag, tugging at it to make sure it was perfectly secure. Everything fine so far.

Farrell had spent days choosing a piece of music to play. The CD was waiting now in its case and he slid it out, catching a glimpse of his own reflection in the gleaming surface. He wondered what expression would be in his eyes in the last seconds.

Despite his reluctance to see himself now, he couldn’t resist a glance in his rearview mirror. Only his eyes were visible, pale grey irises and a spider’s web of red lines. His pupils appeared tiny, as if he were on drugs or staring into a bright light. And maybe he was looking at the light. Perhaps it had already started.

The CD player whirred quietly and the music began to play. He’d selected a piece of Bach. It wasn’t his normal choice of music, but nothing was normal now. It hadn’t been for quite a while. The sounds of the Bach just seemed to suit the mood he was trying to achieve. Peace, certainly. And a sort of quiet, steady progression towards the inevitable conclusion.

As the sun set in the west over Bradwell Moor, a shaft of orange light burst over the landscape, transforming the colours into a kaleidoscope of unfamiliar shades, as if the Peak District had just become a tropical island.

Farrell held his breath, awed by the magic of the light. It was one of the amazing things he loved about this area, the way it changed from one minute to the next, from one month to another. Those hillsides he was looking at now would be ablaze with purple heather later in the summer. It was always a glorious sight.

For a moment, Farrell hesitated, wondering whether he should have left it until August or the beginning of September.

And then it hit him. That momentary twinge of doubt exploded inside him, filling his lungs and stopping the breath in his throat until he gathered all his strength to battle against it. His hands trembled with the effort as he forced the doubt back down into the darkness. As the tension collapsed, his shoulders sagged and his forehead prickled with a sheen of sweat.

Farrell felt as though he’d just experienced the pain and shock of a heart attack without the fatal consequences. His lips twitched in an ironic smile. That meant he was still in control. He remained capable of making his own mind up, deciding where and when to end his life. He was able to choose his own moment, his own perfect location.

There’s always a right time and place to die.

Roger Farrell took one last glance out of the window as the light began to fade over the Peak District hills.

The place was here.

And the time was now.

***

Excerpt from Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth. Copyright © 2017 by Stephen Booth. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Stephen BoothA newspaper and magazine journalist for over 25 years, Stephen Booth was born in the English Pennine mill town of Burnley. He was brought up on the Lancashire coast at Blackpool, where he attended Arnold School. He began his career in journalism by editing his school magazine, and wrote his first novel at the age of 12. The Cooper & Fry series is now published by Little, Brown in the UK and by the Witness Impulse imprint of HarperCollins in the USA. In addition to publication in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, translation rights in the series have so far been sold in sixteen languages – French, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Romanian, Bulgarian, Japanese and Hebrew.Stephen left journalism in 2001 to write novels full time. He and his wife Lesley live in a village in rural Nottinghamshire, England (home of Robin Hood and the Pilgrim Fathers). They have three cats.

In recent years, Stephen Booth has become a Library Champion in support of the UK’s ‘Love Libraries’ campaign, and a Reading Champion to support the National Year of Reading. He has also represented British literature at the Helsinki Book Fair in Finland, filmed a documentary for 20th Century Fox on the French detective Vidocq, taken part in online chats for World Book Day, and given talks at many conferences, conventions, libraries, bookshops and festivals around the world.

Catch Up With Stephen Booth On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

My Review

4 stars

Recently in the Peak District several suicides have been discovered and it is starting to look like Suicide Tourists are in the area. But things change when a card with Secrets of Death on it is discovered by Inspector Ben Cooper, it seems that there is much more happening than simple suicides. Meanwhile, Sargent Diane Fry is on the case investigating multiple murders when her main suspect disappears. He is rediscovered as a Suicide Tourist.

This story is set in the picturesque Peak District. This alone drew me into the story, I just wanted to see it for myself. And knowing that I could see it becoming a destination for vacationers and those that might want a beautiful view before death. Creepy as that might sound, it also sounds like a semi-rational thought. And what better way to disguise a murder than to make it look like a suicide.

This is my first Cooper and Fry story so I have all of the background between these two characters. Overall I enjoyed the story. Since the mystery revolves around suicide there is a lot of discussion of this. I liked the mystery and thought the ending was good. I didn’t expect who the killer was.

As for Cooper and Fry, clearly there is some bad blood here and I am curious to find out what I have missed in the prior books. But I have to say that when your characters are split as far as these two and one of the main characters doesn’t really make an appearance until the halfway point of the book it makes the story seem forced. I’m curious to see if these two will reconcile since this is a series about them but I also got the feeling that they are done. I liked Secrets of Death and will definitely be checking out the previous books in this series.

I received Secrets of Death from Partners in Crime Virtual Books Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Tour Participants:

Stop by these blogs to follow the tour and learn more about this awesome thriller!

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Stephen Booth and WitnessImpulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth. The giveaway begins on March 30 and runs through May 1, 2017.

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