Excerpt: DAYFALL by Michael David Ares (Tor)

AresMD-DayfallToday, we have an excerpt from Michael David Ares‘s new novel, Dayfall. Published by Tor Books, here’s the synopsis…

FEAR THE DAY

In the near future, patches of the northern hemisphere have been shrouded in years of darkness from a nuclear winter, and the water level has risen in the North Atlantic. The island of Manhattan has lost its outer edges to flooding and is now ringed by a large seawall.

The darkness and isolation have allowed crime and sin to thrive in the never-ending shadows of the once great city, and when the sun finally begins to reappear, everything gets worse. A serial killer cuts a bloody swath across the city during the initial periods of daylight, and a violent panic sweeps through crowds on the streets. The Manhattan police, riddled with corruption and apathy, are at a loss.

That’s when the Mayor recruits Jon Phillips, a small-town Pennsylvania cop who had just single-handedly stopped a high-profile serial killer in his own area, and flies him into the insanity of this new New York City. The young detective is partnered with a shady older cop and begins to investigate the crimes amidst the vagaries of a twenty-four hour nightlife he has never experienced before. Soon realizing that he was chosen for reasons other than what he was told, Jon is left with no one to trust and forced to go on the run in the dark streets, and below them in the maze of the underground. Against all odds he still hopes that he can save his own life, the woman of his dreams, and maybe even the whole city before the arrival of the mysterious and dreaded event that has come to be known as… DAYFALL.

Read on for the excerpt…

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Extract: WHAT REMAINS OF ME by A.L. Gaylin

gaylinal-whatremainsofmeukpbToday, we have a short extract from A.L. Gaylin‘s latest novel, What Remains of Me, which has been receiving a fair amount of buzz around the biblio-community. First, the novel’s synopsis:

People don’t need to know you’re a murderer.

They just have to think you could be…

June 1980: 17-year-old Kelly Lund is jailed for killing Hollywood film director, John McFadden

Thirty years later, Kelly is a free woman. Yet speculation still swirls over what really happened that night.

And when her father-in law, and close friend of McFadden is found dead — shot through the head at point-blank range — there can only be one suspect.

But this time Kelly has some high-profile friends who believe she’s innocent of both crimes.

But is she?

Now, read on for a short extract…

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Review: THE BONE TREE by Greg Iles (William Morrow)

ilesg-pc2-thebonetreecaMore evil that men do, only this time with cleverer evildoers…

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancée, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi’s most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn’t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.

The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage — who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him—is either to make a devil’s bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles’ downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years… a place of terrifying evil known only as “the bone tree.”

The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice — now finally pushed beyond his limits.

Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?

The is the middle volume in Iles critically-acclaimed Natchez Burning trilogy. Penn Cage, Caitlin Masters and their allies have overcome one diabolical obstacle, only to be faced by the real power in Mississippi and Louisiana. The Bone Tree is another tale of Southern politics, historical brutality, and the evil that echoes down the generations. Continue reading

Review: NATCHEZ BURNING by Greg Iles (William Morrow)

ilesg-pc1-natchezburningcaThe evil that men do…

Raised in the southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering the African American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses even to speak in his own defense.

Penn’s quest for the truth sends him deep into his father’s past, where a sexually charged secret lies. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only one thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the most powerful men in the state. Aided by a dedicated reporter privy to Natchez’s oldest secrets and by his fiancée, Caitlin Masters, Penn uncovers a trail of corruption and brutality that places his family squarely in the Double Eagles’ crosshairs.

With every step costing blood and faith, Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?

This series past me by, when Natchez Burning was first published. With the highly-anticipated final volume in the trilogy due out later this year, though, I was happy to get the opportunity to take part in the blog tour in honour of that upcoming release. Natchez Burning is a hefty book; packed with intrigue, mystery, secrets and violence. It’s an immersive, gripping and sometimes chilling novel. Continue reading

Excerpt: THIS SAVAGE SONG – “LONELY” by V.E. Schwab

SchwabVE-SavageSongTourStop3

Where his skin was marked with short black lines, hers was covered in stars. A whole sky’s worth, or so he thought. August had never seen more than a handful of real stars on nights when the grid went down. But he’d heard about places where the city lights didn’t reach, where there were so many stars you could see by them, even on a moonless night.

“You’re dreaming,” said Ilsa in her singsong way. She rested her chin on top of his shoulder, and squinted. “What is that in your eyes?”

“What?”

“That speck. Right there. Is it fear?” Continue reading

Excerpt: DESPITE THE FALLING SNOW by Shamim Sarif (John Blake Books)

SarifS-DespiteTheFallingSnowShamim Sarif‘s Despite the Falling Snow is out today, published by John Blake Books. Below, you will find a short excerpt from the novel. Before that, though, here’s the synopsis:

The enthralling narrative of Shamim Sarif’s powerful second novel moves between present day Boston and 1950s Moscow.

After an early career amongst the political elite of Cold War Russia, Alexander Ivanov has built a successful business in the States.

For forty years, he has buried the tragic memories surrounding his charismatic late wife, Katya — or so he believes. For into his life come two women — one who will open up the heart he has protected for so long; another who is determined to uncover what really happened to Katya so long ago. The novel’s journey back to the snowbound streets of post-Stalinist Moscow reveals a world of secrets and treachery.

Shamim Sarif’s elegant writing delicately evokes the intensity of passionate love and tragic violence.

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Quick Review: TRACER by Rob Boffard (Orbit)

BoffardR-TracerUKAction-packed space adventure!

IN SPACE, EVERY. SECOND. COUNTS.

Our planet is in ruins. Three hundred miles above its scarred surface orbits Outer Earth: a space station with a million souls on board. They are all that remain of the human race.

Darnell is the head of the station’s biotech lab. He’s also a man with dark secrets. And he has ambitions for Outer Earth that no one will see coming.

Prakesh is a scientist, and he has no idea what his boss Darnell is capable of. He’ll have to move fast if he doesn’t want to end up dead.

And then there’s Riley. She’s a tracer — a courier. For her, speed is everything. But with her latest cargo, she’s taken on more than she bargained for.

A chilling conspiracy connects them all.

The countdown has begun for Outer Earth — and for mankind.

This is one fast-paced novel. From the very beginning, Tracer maintains the an impressive momentum. We’re given a quick introduction to Outer Earth, and are easily located in this reality and the lives of his characters. In many ways, this is a mash-up of space station survival story and Hollywood space action movie. We frequently feel the characters’ sense of peril, as they career from one threatening situation into another. Riley’s an interesting protagonist and a good guide to Outer Earth and the life of a tracer (the couriers of the station). It’s well-crafted, interesting and engaging. Continue reading

An Interview with LUCY HOUNSOM

HounsomL-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Lucy Hounsom? 

I am a hopeless dreamer who spends half her time in other worlds and the other half inside her own head… which is pretty much the same thing. I used to get told off at school for not listening except when we studied English or wrote poems/ stories. You know that loner you saw squandering their lunch break in the library reading Dragonlance? Yeah – that was me. Before then, I was training to be an actress and a dancer at theatre school and I worked a fair bit in the industry. I can’t imagine being an actress now, but that’s what might have happened had I not discovered how much I loved telling stories. Today I live in East Devon on the shores of the Jurassic Coast, dividing my time between writing and bookselling. And occasionally playing the piano.

Your debut novel, STARBORN, was recently published by Tor Books in the UK. How would you introduce the novel to a potential reader? Is it part of a planned series?

Starborn is the first book in a trilogy called Worldmaker, a traditional fantasy with the flavour of Eddings and Canavan. It’s the story of a young woman called Kyndra who discovers that she (and indeed the world as she knows it) might not be all they appear. After a disastrous coming of age ceremony, she finds herself fleeing her home in the company of two strangers, who take her halfway across the world to a hidden subterranean citadel – the home of the fabled Wielders, who can draw upon the energy of the sun and moon. It’s here she begins to uncover a truth long forgotten by everyone except a fanatical sect living in the depths of the citadel and their mysterious leader – a truth inextricably bound up with her own destiny. Continue reading

Excerpt: TAMARUQ by E.J. Swift (Del Rey)

SwiftEJ-AuthorPic3Tamaruq is the final volume in E.J. Swift‘s well-received Osiris Project science fiction trilogy. As part of the blog tour to celebrate it’s release, Del Rey UK have given me this excerpt to share with you. But first, the novel’s synopsis:

Fleeing from her family and the elitist oppression of the Osiris government, Adelaide Rechnov has become the thing she once feared, a revolutionary.

But with the discovery of a radio signal comes the stark realization that there is life outside their small island existence. Adelaide’s worries are about to become much bigger.

Meanwhile, as rumour spreads on the mainland, many head to the lost city of Osiris with their own devious objectives. But in a world where war is king and only the most powerful survive, there can only be one victor…

Tamaruq is out now in the UK. The first two novels in the series, Osiris and Cataveiro are also published in the UK by Del Rey.

Also on CR: Interview with E.J. Swift; Inspiration in Translation Guest Post Continue reading

“Created: The Destroyer” by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir (Sphere)

MurphyW-D01-CreatedTheDestroyerUKLong-running, mega-selling pulp thriller series makes it over to the UK

One legendary hero. One epic series.Sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, ex-cop Remo Williams is rescued from the electric chair at the eleventh hour and recruited by a secret government organisation named CURE. From this moment, he ceases to officially exist.From now on, he will be an assassin, targeting criminals who are beyond the law. Remo’s trainer is a grouchy old Korean named Chiun, whose mastery of the terrifyingly powerful martial art of Sinanju makes him the deadliest man alive.Together Remo and Chiun set forth on their epic, impossible mission to vanquish every enemy of democracy – every bad guy who thinks they can escape justice.This is a new era in man’s fight against the forces of evil.This is the time of the Destroyer.

According to the press release, this series (which clocks in at 50 books!) has sold more than 50 million copies. That’s pretty impressive. First published in 1971, Created: The Destroyer is an interesting first book in an early government assassin thriller series. A literary ancestor of Vince Flynn et al, the novel was interesting and, sadly, disappointing. Continue reading