Look Twice (Ingrid Skyberg Book 8) by Eva Hudson – #BookReview – Women’s Detective Fiction

Book Blurb:

Look Twice by Eva HudsonA double agent. A double cross. This time, Ingrid is in double trouble.

When Special Agent Ingrid Skyberg discovers an undeveloped roll of film left behind by her predecessor in the FBI, she isn’t sure what to make of the strange photos he took. A map of Scotland, an out-of-print book, a rare bird, a cluster of Post-It notes, an office party… do these images have something to do with crimes he committed as a Russian double agent known as ‘Skylark’?

Ingrid starts digging and becomes convinced that – far from being a traitor – her predecessor was just another victim of the mysterious Skylark who has killed many times to protect his identity. When a case file she has been using is suddenly deleted from the system, Ingrid knows that Skylark is now watching her… and the race is on to find him before she becomes his next victim.

Look Twice is a high-octane spy thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, flipping the pages to find out if Ingrid can survive her most ruthless opponent yet. 

His Review:

Running for your life with a friend is brutal. Outrunning you best friend is survival. Ingrid had only been a teenager when she and her best friend were running from a killer. She had outrun her friend Megan and now Megan is dead. Guilt still lingers after twenty years. She had only seen a face in the dark and couldn’t identify the killer.

Look Twice by Ava HudsonAndy Scott is on trial for killing a number of young women. Could he be the killer? Her mother, Svetlana, is convinced she should know the killer’s face, even after twenty years! He was the potential candidate for Prime Minister and now is on trial for twelve murders. Svetlana calls at the most inopportune times during investigations. An ignored call is a personal affront from a bad daughter.

Being a successful and efficient FBI agent requires a strong support team. The team goes up and down from your position. Ingrid is very well organized but keeps having her effective assistants transferred from her. Administering her position requires her to keep a constant eye on her support staff. Zeke, her newest assistant, is enduring yet another epileptic seizure. Triggers for epileptic seizure can be something as simple as a faulty electrical connection.

An envelope of old photographs found in the ceiling is a clue to the killer. They refer to a person named Skylark! Who is this unidentified Skylark? The hunt for the identity of Skylark takes many twists and turns. Meanwhile, Svetlana gets more irritated by her daughter’s lack of attention to her phone calls. Can the case against Andy Scott be fully investigated in spite of Ingrid’s distractions?

CE WilliamsAn entertaining novel that will keep you guessing at every turn. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Detective Fiction, International Mystery & Crime, Espionage Thrillers
ASIN: B099NXP3NQ
Print Length: 375 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Look Twice [Amazon]

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Eva Hudson - authorThe Author: Eva Hudson was born and grew up on a south London council estate. Before she started writing full time, she worked as a local government officer, singer, dotcom entrepreneur, portrait artist, project manager, graphic designer, web designer and content editor.

In 2011, her first novel – The Loyal Servant – won the inaugural Lucy Cavendish fiction prize from Cambridge University. She published the first of her chart-topping Ingrid Skyberg Thrillers in 2013 and never looked back.

ABOUT INGRID SKYBERG

One of the toughest Special Agents ever to come out of Quantico Ingrid Skyberg is tenacious, resourceful, virtually indestructible and just a tiny bit out of control. Assigned to the US embassy in London, Ingrid is on the case when an American citizen gets into trouble… or winds up dead… or is accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Whether she needs to wear combat fatigues or a cocktail dress, Ingrid Skyberg always gets the job done.

She’s a strong female protagonist, perfect for fans of action-packed thrillers with a twist.

[NOTE: Eva Hudson died in 2015 of cancer. Her books, this protagonist, this series is being continued by Jo Monroe. Please see her sweet, emotional testimonial at EVA HUDSON.]

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Out of Crisis by Richard Caldwell – #BookReview – #politicalthrillers

Book Blurb:

Out of Crisis by Richard CaldwellIn the not-too-distant future, a radical new movement is poised to disrupt the corrupt two-party political system that has held power in the United States since the 1800s. Politically left of conservative and right of liberal, the new Centrist Party pins its hope for a better future on presidential candidate David Stakley, the former US secretary of state. As David assumes center stage with determination, intelligence, and humility, another kind of disruption rumbles deep below the earth’s surface.

In Yellowstone National Park, one of the world’s two supervolcanoes awakens with an explosive roar from a fitful 640,000-year sleep.

Through the eyes of several different players, author Richard Caldwell weaves a political/natural-disaster thriller around the collision of events that will reshape the physical and sociopolitical landscapes of the United States and North America forever.

His Review:

Envision the next eruption of a super volcano such as Yellowstone. This book looks at three potential crises enveloping the United States at once. The end result is a complete change in the fabric of life on planet earth. Sub-plots are developed to add drama and authenticity to the narrative.

Out of Crisis by Richard CaldwellThere is a group who feel the Constitution has holes in it which need to be amended. The problem is that there has to be a Constitutional Congress to amend the document and this will require ratification by at least 33 states. That task alone is herculean in its’ scope. Chief among the tenets of the proposal is to revise the second amendment and establish procedures for citizenship.

Bubbling under the surface of Eastern Idaho, Southern Montana, and Western Montana is a weak spot in the mantle of the earth. After nearly 640,000 years the volcano at Yellowstone is awakening. Evidence on the surface of the earth shows lava has flowed from near Boise in Idaho east well into Wyoming. Ash fallout is tracked through the states of Colorado and Nebraska.

A group of entitled individuals get together to change the very fabric of the American electoral process and rights of citizens. They are highly educated, affluent and privileged. They begin to groom a candidate to represent them and ostensibly the majority of Americans. Their chief goal is to rewrite some of the basics of the American Constitution. They begin to design a change to the fabric of the United States.

This book is very entertaining if not frightening. Growing up in Southern Idaho I saw the extent of the lava flow from Yellowstone. The area affected and magnitude of volcanic flows cannot be overstated. Many canyons in southern Idaho including the Snake River Canyon are over 400 feet deep and the walls are made of volcanic basalt.

I found parts of the tale a bit redundant and therefore tedious. Along the way the various plots are intertwined and become a bit aggravating because some of the threads are left hanging. The novel, however, is entertaining. 4 stars – CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author through NetGalley. These are my honest opinions.

 

Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars 4 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Political Thrillers & Suspense, Espionage Thrillers, International Mystery & Crime
Publisher: Indigo River Publishing

  • ASIN : B08Z3CS2PR

Print Length: 280 pages
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Out of Crisis

Also find the book at these locations:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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The Author: Mr. Caldwell retired as an Army officer after twenty years service which included combat tours in Vietnam with 2nd Field Forces and D-71st. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with three battle stars, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Airborne Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, and various overseas service awards.

Following his military service, Mr. Caldwell worked for twenty-four years in several hospital administration positions until he retired as COO in 2014. His education credentials include a B.S. in Computer Science, an MBA, and a postgraduate fellowship in Healthcare Administration. Additionally, he is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo, and is an experienced SCUBA diver. He enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson, kayaking, fishing, camping and is a voracious reader.

He and his wife Patricia have lived literally all over the planet but currently reside in Pike Road, AL.

©2021 – CE Williams – V Williams

An Unequal Defense – David Adams Book 2 by Chad Zunker

“The single greatest cause of homelessness is a profound, catastrophic loss of family.”

 Book Blurb:

An Unequal Defense by Chad ZunkerA client with delusions of a deadly conspiracy draws attorney David Adams into a darkness where only the paranoid know how to get out alive.

Former up-and-coming hotshot attorney David Adams left his glamorous corporate law firm to fight for the disenfranchised. With a caseload of petty offenses, a meager office in a crumbling building, and little in the way of compensation, David needs a real case.

When he agrees to represent Rebel, David recognizes this will be the biggest challenge of his young legal career. The mentally unstable homeless man has been accused of murder, and the evidence of his guilt seems overwhelming. But it’s the victim who shakes David’s world: a county prosecutor who just happens to be an old law school friend. Rebel’s murky defense: a paranoid insistence on a CIA plot to silence the derelict.

Aided only by a “legal team” of misfit street friends and a fellow counselor lured into this dark web, David will risk everything to defend his client…who may not be nearly as crazy as he seems.

My Review:

The second book in the series and the first I’ve read of this author. David Adams is a great protagonist, almost immediately empathetic. Up to a year ago, the fledgling attorney was a rising star in an aggressive legal firm strongly focused on billable hours and the almighty buck.

An Unequal Defense by Chad ZunkerBut something happened and he and a partner Thomas Gray (his mentor) left to start their own office, one that would take on cases of the disenfranchised–hoping to make a difference to the community. While his partner seems to be doing pretty well, most of David’s cases have successfully closed with him being owed the legal fees. Thomas is getting nervous.

He’s even more nervous when one of David’s friends, an assistant DA, is shot to death in an alley and he’s asked to defend Rebel, the homeless man in custody. It looks like an open and shut case with the homeless man maintaining he didn’t do it, while blathering about the CIA.

David doesn’t get too far with Rebel his first few meetings with him obviously off his meds, but something just seems even more “off” when he’s confronted with a possible witness who quickly fades into the background. Okay, now he has to know what is going on.

I do enjoy a good legal thriller, though this didn’t seem to involve a lot of legal maneuvering in or out of court more than it did investigation. In the meantime, Rebel is attacked in jail and survives but in the hospital, David trying to get any info out of Rebel sends him further over the top. (DAMN! Where are his meds?!)

The well-paced mystery, thriller is a fairly simple read. While the plot might be complex, there are red herrings sufficient to drive interest and gradually expands from unreliable witness to political conspiracy. But wait! How far up the chain does it go? Who can you trust? The author introduces great support characters, including Dana Mitchem and Kate at the appropriate point in time, and while plunking in possible new dodgy motives, adds tension to the ever-widening plot. Dana is…what…a romantic interest? But more than that–feeding him just a tad of insider information. I don’t know if Dana was involved in Book 1, but feel she’ll absolutely be around for Book 3. (Awkward…) There might have been greater fleshing of Dana in the first, as well as Thomas and Doc, but I missed it here.

Easy to follow, short chapters, genuine dialogue, interchange between David and his partner exhibiting an easy familiarity. David comes off as sincere, you’ll root for him as well as Rebel. There is a surprise in the conclusion that left the reader with a knowing chuckle that provided a fast read with a pleasant ending.

I received this digital download from the publisher through NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Fun, fast-paced legal, espionage thriller that’ll interest you in proceeding to Book 3. An Unequal Defense is out now. The timing is perfect.

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Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ASIN: B07S7Q1ZGC
Print Length: 247 pages
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: An Unequal Defense (Amazon)

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4-stars

Chad Zunker - authorThe Author: CHAD ZUNKER is the author of the David Adams legal thriller, An Equal Justice, as well as The Tracker, Shadow Shepherd, and Hunt the Lion in his Sam Callahan series. Chad has worked for some of the country’s most powerful law firms and serves at Community First! Village, a 51-acre master-planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. He lives in Austin with his wife, Katie, and their three daughters, and is hard at work on his next novel. For more information visit http://www.chadzunker.com.

©2020 V Williams V Williams

When Sally Comes Marching Home by Richard Milton – a #BookReview

When Sally Comes Marching Home by Richard MiltonTitle: When Sally Comes Marching Home (a Sally Honeychurch spy thriller) by Richard Milton

Genre: Espionage Thrillers

Publisher: Bowater Books

  • ISBN-10:1790392268
  • ISBN-13:978-1790392261
  • ASIN: B07R897F32

 Print Length: 350 pages

Publication Date: April 19, 2019

Source: Direct author request

Title Link: When Sally Comes Marching Home

Book Blurb:

In 1945, World War II is ending. For Major Sally Honeychurch the war is just beginning.

Major Sally Honeychurch has spent two years as an agent behind enemy lines. Now the war is over, the women who risked their lives are no longer needed. Sally is back in civvy street, haunted by the French Resistance lover who died in her arms.
When terrorists smuggle an atomic bomb into London, The Head of MI6 urgently summons her for one more mission. Sally has inside knowledge few possess. She was there when the first atom bomb was assembled and detonated.
Sally is the only woman among hundreds of soldiers and intelligence agents hunting the terrorists. And she uncovers a clue to their identity that will rock the establishment to its foundations. To save London, she must not only track down the conspirators, she must also battle the prejudices of the men in charge.

My Review:

When Sally Comes Marching Home by Richard MiltonYou don’t have to read a horror story to be scared out of your wits by a book because there is nothing scarier out there than the possible annihilation of humankind or the destruction of the planet. Just how close we’ve come, earlier than you might have guessed, more seriously than you thought possible, and more non-fiction than you’d have ever been afraid to consider.

Thank you, Nina, of The Cozy Pages for your referral of author Richard Milton to me, thinking it might be something I’d consider reading and reviewing. It would appear I’ve been hitting historical fiction lately, many of World War II. Reading books into which so much research has been dedicated is eye-opening and as the author of my last historical fiction, Mary Lawrence, posed in her book, “…historical fiction must first be grounded in reality, then allowed room for creative interpretation.” Gees, Nina, this one scared the socks off me!

Having parachuted down behind enemy lines in France, Major Sally Honeychurch is no novice in espionage and trained in combat is more than capable of taking care of herself. She spent two years under the crushing tension of possibly being exposed and arrested by the Gestapo. Sally is also experienced driving in extreme conditions, successfully so, and as a result is invited to drive to and witness the first atomic bomb explosion dubbed Trinity in New Mexico. While she has an amazing file and important contacts, still faces extreme gender prejudice in any military circumstances.

Following the end of the war, most men in her position are recruited into the secret service, while the women were relieved of duty and sent home. Sally is teaching when she receives a call that compels her return. Statuesque at 5’11”, blond, and light eyes she commands attention, but not usually of the respectful variety. Still, she’s intelligent and a self-starter and when the investigation begins swings into her intelligence persona to ferret out the terrorists.

The well-plotted storyline moves at an even pace, gradually increasing the tension over the chapters as it introduces the support characters, Mac Mackenzie, her old buddy now a Scotland Yard Police Inspector, being one. Sally is well-developed, lesser so the support characters, though it is Sally as the main character that is the driving force behind the plot-driven novel. She’s been through enough of the prejudiced male reaction to her station to know how to neutralize her response.

Intelligence has determined the materials for an atomic bomb have been delivered to London and they must figure out who is behind, find, and defuse the bomb in a race against time. The author carefully ramps up the characters and their roles in supplying the bits and pieces Sally uses to determine the source and location. Who is behind the plot flies in the face of their theories and she must battle them as well.

Successful infiltration may be just the beginning when confronting a fanatical Nazi supporter. So many historical details shared here regarding the theories, beliefs, doctrines of Hitler himself that permeated those around him, infesting them with the dogma and runes commonly worn by the SS and polluted the people with Nazi ideology and mysticism.

Scary? Oh yeah! Terrifying? Oh yeah! Sometimes the line blurred between that of fiction and non-fiction making it all the more horrifying. You don’t need zombies or vampires, sometimes reality is more petrifying. The build-up is worth the tailspin and the conclusion comes as a huge relief allowing you to breathe again.

The dialogue certainly harkened back to post WWII and scenes of military and the London streets rang some bells. Sally is a realistic WWII female spy hero (as many unsung women were) and the Nazi antagonist detestable. Teddy Buckingham was properly charismatic. Historic notes following the conclusion is enlightening and corroborative.

Did I have niggles, other than the chills and goosebumps? Actually, a few minor details–like (I’m sure a typo) describing a rifle that didn’t exist in 1945, a driving scene with Miss Sally (I’m sure wouldn’t have bothered anyone else), and just a little disbelief in her tenacity in the face of pain (but a little adrenalin will go a long way in keeping you going), and this thoroughly engaging book keeps you flipping pages.

I was given this ebook download in response to acceptance of the referral and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review this remarkable historical fiction slash espionage novel. Highly recommended.

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars Four point Five of Five Stars

Richard Milton - authorThe Author: (Amazon) Richard Milton is a British writer, journalist and broadcaster. He currently freelances for The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers. He is the author of a dozen books – both fiction and non-fiction – all now available on Kindle as well as in book form.

Read his blog and latest book news at – http://bit.ly/1Bm0twR

His non-fiction books are highly controversial. “Bad Company”, which The Sunday Times chose as its Business Book of the Week, sets out to explain why large corporations sometimes behave in self-defeating and even insane ways. Richard Milton - author

His equally controversial “Shattering the myths of Darwinism” caused some members of the scientific establishment to start chewing the carpet and foaming at the mouth, by daring to demand real empirical evidence in support of Darwinian beliefs, in place of conjecture and pseudoscience. “Alternative Science” (also published as “Forbidden Science”) examines how and why good science is sometimes thrown out with the bad for purely ideological reasons.

His book “Best of Enemies” looks at Anglo-German relations through two world wars and charts the origins of modern propaganda. The book is currently the subject of a TV film of the same name to be broadcast on German and British TV later in 2015.

His latest non-fiction book, “The Ministry of Spin”, reveals for the first time the story of how the post-war Labour government secretly held onto the wartime Ministry Of Information: how they buried this powerful propaganda machine deep in Whitehall: and how they turned its wartime propaganda powers on the British Parliament, media and people in order to push through their peacetime political programme.

In fiction, he has published three mystery thrillers and a book of short stories.

“Dead Secret” is a paranormal mystery thriller. Investigative journalist Tony Gabriel stumbles onto his biggest ever story when he inherits the papers of a long-dead historian – and finds himself the target of an ancient secret society. Are they just rich, powerful people playing an elaborate game, or have they truly gained paranormal powers to see into the future?

“The Glass Harmonica” is a mystery thriller. Concert pianist Julia Franklin is heir to an inheritance worth a billion dollars – enough to bankrupt America’s oldest bank when the trust matures. Miles Bartholemew, of Bartholemew Equity and Trust, has to find the heirs of the Franklin trust and deal with them permanently, before his family’s bank is ruined.

“Conjuring For Beginners” is a crime thriller. When legendary con-artist Ferdy Daniels dies alone and penniless, his daughter, Rosa, inherits his victims, who are convinced she was his partner in crime. To keep one jump ahead of them – and stay alive – Rosa must unravel Ferdy’s web of deceits. But to re-trace her father’s footsteps, she must learn to become as quick-witted and cunning as Ferdy, the master magician.

“True Stories: Mysteries of Crime and Punishment” is a collection of short stories with a difference. Every story in the book is true – except one. Some tell of crimes that have gone unpunished by the law. Some are crimes against laws that are unwritten. And some are crimes that exist only in the mind.

©2019 V Williams Blog author