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Archive for November 7th, 2017

The Irregular

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The Irregular: A Different Class of Spy

By H.B. Lyle

Pub date: 11/7/2017

Publisher: Quercus

Format: hardcover

Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9781681440262

London 1909: The British Empire seems invulnerable. But Captain Vernon Kell, head of counter-intelligence at the War Office, knows better. In Russia, revolution; in Germany, an arms race; in London, the streets are alive with foreign terrorists. Kell wants to set up a Secret Service, but to convince his political masters he needs proof of a threat – and to find that, he needs an agent he can trust. The playing fields of Eton may produce good officers, but not men who can work undercover in a munitions factory that appears to be leaking secrets to the Germans.

Kell needs Wiggins. Trained as a child by Kell’s old friend Sherlock Holmes – he led a gang of urchin investigators known as the Baker Street Irregulars – Wiggins is an ex-soldier with an expert line in deduction and the cunning of a born street fighter. ‘The best’, says Holmes.

Wiggins turns down the job – he ‘don’t do official’. But when his best friend is killed by Russian anarchists, Wiggins sees that the role of secret agent could take him towards his sworn revenge.

Tracking the Russian gang, Wiggins meets a mysterious beauty called Bela, who saves his life. Working for Kell, he begins to unravel a conspiracy that reaches far beyond the munitions factory.

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Praise for The Irregular

“With so many books set in the wide world of Sherlock Holmes, it is difficult to come up with a new story that is both original and compelling, but H.B. Lyle has managed it beautifully with The Irregular.”

Otto Penzler, ed., The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

“Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories will remember young Wiggins as the leader of the Baker Street Irregulars. Though Lyle’s debut novel is certainly an homage, it’s not a flat-footed imitation but a crisp, stylish spinoff.”

–Kirkus Reviews

“H.B. Lyle has found the golden thread between Holmes and Bond in a thriller which engages on every page.”

– Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland

“An exciting, action-packed adventure set in London in 1909…takes the Sherlock Holmes legacy in a new and thrilling direction.”

– Stephen Thornley, Shots Magazine

“H.B. Lyle is probably our most talented historical mystery writer today. An author who writes like a veteran but brings a fresh new perspective.”

– Strand Magazine

“It is hard to generate something new in such an avalanche of well-worn tropes, but H.B. Lyle has managed to do that quite cleverly in The Irregular.”

– Crime Time

“A flavoursome smorgasbord that features not only Holmes but also Winston Churchill, this is irresistible stuff.”

– Barry Forshaw, The Guardian

Author’s Bio

H.B. Lyle lives in South London. After a career in feature film development, he took an MA in creative writing – then PHD – at the University of East Anglia, an experience which led to the creation of The Irregular. He also writes screenplays and teaches undergraduates.

My Review

5 stars

It is 1909 and Captain Vernon Kell has the feeling that things are going to go south fast. He wants to start a Secret Service but his superiors don’t see the need for one. So, Kell goes out on his own and finds Wiggins and offers him a job. Wiggins is the leader of the Baker Street Irregulars and trained by infamous Sherlock Holmes. Wiggins does not agree at first but when a close friend is killed, he hunts Kell down and joins.

While in Germany, investigating a munitions factory, Wiggins learns of British military secrets being leaked to the Germans. He meets several character for both sides and continues to pursue the man that killed his friend. This is the proof that Kell need to start the Secret Service, if Wiggins can survive long enough to get the information to him.

This is a great spy story with some great classic characters and real life people mixed together. I love the nod to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This is a great continuation of Wiggins’ story. There is lots of action and close calls to keep you on the edge of your seat. Bela is a great character with a rough past and I enjoyed her role in this story. This is a great start to a new series.

If you like turn of the century thrillers with war and espionage, look no further. You will love this book.

I received The Irregular from Quercus for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Dead Whisper

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The Dead Whisper by Emma Clapperton

Do you love gripping crime thrillers full of suspense? Emma Clapperton’s haunting Dead Whisper is one you won’t be able to put down.

D.S Preston and D.C Lang are sent to investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow. But who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? When they believe their questions have been answered the case is closed.

Meanwhile, Sam Leonard could not be happier – he has a great acting career and a fantastic girlfriend. After being in a previously turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?

For Patrick McLaughlin life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.

But the house that Patrick moves into is not what it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased, and a recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

In order to lay the ghosts to rest questions will be asked but can the house ever let go of its past?

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Author’s Bio

Began writing in June 2010 and completed her first novel in April 2012. Beyond Evidence was released on Kindle in September 2012 and is selling well with great reviews.
Emma is currently working on her next novel.

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My Review

5 stars

Sam Leonard had a rough relationship with Zoe. But then she disappeared and he moved on. Then Sam’s flat-mate hears voices and thinks that it could be Zoe. It seems she is still fixated on Sam. Then her body is discovered and it seems that Zoe wants Sam to solve her murder.

D.S. Preston and D.C. Lang are partners that are send in to investigate the death of a young girl at a manor house. Both work well together but Preston has trouble wrapping his mind around Patrick and his psychic abilities. In a previous case these abilities have helped the detective solve the murder but Preston still thinks it’s fake.

Then there is Patrick. Everything seems to be working out for him and his wife. They just bought a beautiful house and they have a baby on the way. But then they discover that there is a family plot in the back yard and the spirits want Patrick’s attention. Is this going to ruin their perfect life?

I love how these are three separate stories that come together beautifully dancing around and around until a great climax. The story starts out with a ghost looking for justice for her killer. Then you have a great murder mystery with Patrick and his abilities to wrap it all up in a nice little package.

I love Emma Clapperton’s stories and cannot get enough of them. If you like your mysteries with a little paranormal added in, this is a great series for you. I can’t wait for Emma to come up with another book.

I received The Dead Whisper from Bloodhound Books for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

 

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