crime

Introducing… Citizen Kill

Stephen Clark’s debut novel, Citizen Kill, is coming out July 4th 2017 and he’s been kind enough to give me a sneak-peak of the book.

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In a not-too-alternative-present, Citizen Kill tells the story of how a new administration reboots the War on Terror after the president’s young son is killed in an explosion. A CIA program targeting U.S. citizens suspected of radicalizing Muslims, has more than just re-education in mind. In this version of events, these people are presumed guilty as soon as flagged and to save any doubt, approved for assassination.

CIA black-ops agent Justin Raines is among the recruits in the new program, but haunted by a botched assignment overseas, Justin has a developed a healthy scepticism for authority and the new administration. And when one of his targets, turns out to be respected educator, who he believes is innocent, he grows disillusioned. Justin knows, if he doesn’t find a way to prove, beyond a doubt, her innocence, he’ll still be expected to eliminate her. And if he doesn’t, they will both be assassinated.

“Washington stops at nothing to protect the nation from terrorists, while Justin Raines risks everything to protect the nation from Washington.”

Check it out on Goodreads here

http://stephenclarkbooks.com

30492f_b6a0fbd90ae047a481eb9df6567d62cf~mv2.jpgStephen Clark is a former award-winning journalist who served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and as a politics editor for the Washington, D.C. bureau of FoxNews.com.

As a reporter for the Utica Observer-Dispatch, he won a New York Newspaper Publishers Association Award of Distinguished Community Service for his investigation into the financial struggles of nonprofit services.

 

Book Review: Saigon Dark by Elka Ray

UPDATE: This book is on an Amazon 99c deal Sunday 19th March and Monday 20th March. 

The premise – that a single mother (Lily) living in Vietnam decides to ‘rescue’ an abused child who wanders out in the night on the same night as her child of the same age drowns, and then deals with the consequences – doesn’t do the story justice. It’s a tale of motherly love and how it effects the most sensible, well educated and grounded of us all as an obsession and compulsion. It’s also an account of the fragility of human relationships in matters of trust and romantic love and how ‘blood’ or in this case motherly love is thicker than water.

Saigon Dark Review

I don’t do stars, but this book is an easy 5. It’s the best new fiction I’ve read this year (okay, it’s February), but it is still an excellent novel. Saigon Dark is best enjoyed if you have no idea what’s coming. So I won’t get too much into the plot. The best I can do is to compare it to some other well-known books to give an idea of the style and quality.

One such would be Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, in which the story starts off as a romance then veers towards the supernatural before becoming a full-on psychological suspense novel. Likewise, Elka Ray’s Saigon Dark starts off as a story of a woman wishing back her ex-husband, then becomes a little spooky, turns into a tale of a woman living under the constant pressure of lies and then explodes into a classic noir romp full of secrets, blackmail, and murder. Elements of Ray’s story also had the feel of Patricia Highsmith’s, The Talented Mr. Ripley, in that occasionally, the pose becomes quick and economic, rushing through Lily’s intensely focused actions of dealing with dead bodies and the fear of being discovered. There’s also the tense but stylish management of lies and the evolution of Lily into a new person, completely at odds with her previous or professional self.

There are many themes here that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Throughout the book, a thread regarding trust is present. Lily can only trust herself, she has to compartmentalize everything she feels in order to protect herself and her children. There are also ideas of rebirth and renewal and the hope of making something better. Ultimately, there is sadness and tragedy to the story, but it is not of the soppy, anti-climatic variety, rather a more sensitive and empathic approach to noir. And all this wrapped up in a fascinating Vietnamese location and culture that reads as genuine and authentic.

There’s no way this book can be easily described – well written and fascinating subject matter is only the beginning. It could easily become a huge hit and also has all the hallmarks of a noir classic. It should be read, simple as that.

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Crime Wave Press

Elka Ray

Review Policy: Crime, Thriller, Suspense

I’m happy to read and review any books or stories which fall into the crime, thriller or suspense categories, but my preference is for noir or cozy crime – meaning I’m not a huge fan of police procedural stories, but love a good old school PI story. They can be current, historical or futuristic but no super-natural themes, please.

I love reading new and older writing, both traditionally and independently published because I know, a publishing contract is no longer the benchmark it once was. However, I expect the writing quality to be good as I only review the story and style, not the writing proficiency.

You can send me any length of story up to 100k words, but in the first instance, please contact me with a brief note on what the story is about.

I also prefer to read via kindle, so a mobi file is appreciated.

Dead Memories

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Don’t you wish sometimes that you could just close your eyes and start again? With two counts of murder under her belt and Detective Davis after her, teenager Lilly Lessard has done just that. She’s taken her dead friend, Janine Kenny’s ID and scholarship and she’s off to California.

But when a traffic accident leaves her with amnesia and only Janine’s ID in her pocket, things take a turn for the surreal. Her caseworker wants to know why her memories don’t match her history. The hospital candy stripper has noticed her hair appears blonde at the roots when it should be black. And who is this man who wants to help her get to California, who is willing to sneak her out in the dead of night? Can he help her get back some of her dead memories?

“Dead Memories will grab a hold of you from the very first page and won’t let go until you have turned that last page.” Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader)

“I could not put down this page turner” Blogger Dana Busenbark

“A high tension Thriller with a traditional feel” Blogger Tonja Drecker

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