Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: heist
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-12 13:33
If you enjoy well-researched international thrillers and love team-spirit, don’t miss this one.
The Violin Man's Legacy - Seumas Gallacher

I had read Gallacher’s Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales (you can check my review here) a while back and had several of his books waiting to be read but had not managed yet. But when his first novel, The Violin Man’s Legacy became available in audiobook format, I knew I had no excuse.

Although I tend to use the text-to-speech facility on my e-reader, I haven’t listened to many audiobooks (mostly my own) so I was intrigued by the experience. I found the narrator, C.C. Hogan, engaging, able to hold my attention, and very good at keeping the characters separate (and there are quite a few!) and individual. He is also very good at accents and managed the international locations and names without faltering. Unfortunately, my Kindle is quite old by now and could not accommodate the Whispersync option, that would have made it easier to check some things (like names and details), as I also had a copy of the Kindle version of the book.

I’m not a huge reader of spy novels, and although this book is classified within the crime and suspense thriller category, this international action-thriller reminded me in style of many spy/international conspiracy novel, although with a more European feel, and less frantic in pace than many American spy thrillers. There is plenty of action, and even some sex (and yes, the main character is incredibly skilled, can fight like the best of them, and outwit his opponents, although the brains behind the operation is his boss), but there are also slower moments when we learn the back story, not only of the main characters, like Jack and his teammates, but also of some of the people they collaborate with, and even some of their enemies. This allows us to get to know more about the players and to understand how they got to where they are. (The story behind the title and the way it relates to Jack’s past is particularly touching).

The book is narrated in the third person, from a variety of points of view. We mostly follow Jack Calder (as it should be, as this is his series), but we also are party to the thoughts of many other characters, although there is no confusing head-hopping, and even in the narrated version, it is clear which point of view we are being privy to at any given moment. This helps create a more complex story, with layers of information and to get a better grasp of what the different players have at stake. There are those who are only interested in money, others involved in power games and politics, and others for whom reputation and loyalty are the main objects.

The story takes us from London to Amsterdam, Hong-Kong, and South America, and the author is meticulous and well-informed, providing credible settings and a detailed exposition of the procedures and operations that brings to mind the best police procedural novels. But although we follow each detail of the investigations and the operations, there are always surprises to keep us on our toes.

Jack Calder, the central character, is a breath of fresh air in a genre where heroes are almost superhuman and can fight entire wars single-handedly. Although Jack, an ex-SAS captain, is indeed great at his job, he is traumatised by a family tragedy; he is self-deprecating and knows when to give credit where credit is due. He can follow orders and acknowledges his bosses’ superior planning skills. He is also a friend of his friends, and a loyal team-player and the novel highlights how important good relationships and contacts are in the world of international security firms and businesses.

I loved the fact that the characters talk like real people talk (yes, they use clichés sometimes, make bad jokes, and sometimes are lost for words), and, although there is violence and terrible things happen (justice and law are not always on the same side of the divide), there are also very funny moments.

The writing style is fluid and the pace ebbs and flows, with moments that are fast-paced and others that allow us to catch a breath and learn more about the ins and outs of the businesses and the characters involved. Readers need to remain alert, as there are many characters, locations, and plot threads, and, it is important to pay attention to the details.

I recommend this book to those who love spy and international intrigue thrillers, especially to readers who like complex situations and stories with plenty of twists and turns, but who don’t mind stopping to take a breath every so often. A great first book in the series and many great characters I hope to meet again.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-21 18:31
Artemis - Andy Weir

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

I loved “The Martian”, so of course I was bound to request this one. To be fair, I didn’t enjoy it as much, but it was still a good, fun read in several ways.

I found the characters in general likeable enough, in definite ‘shades of grey. The ‘heroes’ of this story are seldom all white, and go about their business with good intentions and shady ways. The businessman who moved to the moon to help his ailing daughter, but is a crook on the side. The economist who almost single-handedly set a whole country as the only entry point to the Moon, and won’t shy away from closing eyes on criminal deals as long as they help keeping Artemis afloat. The city’s policeman (Artemis has something like 2,000 inhabitants, minus the tourists, so Rudy does the job) who’s keeping order by breaking a few arms at times if he deems it’ll be a better punishment than prison. And, of course, Jazz Bashara herself, porter by day, smuggler by night, of sorts, running her little operation with no one the wiser.

(Granted, not everyone is a complete a-hole here, Jazz’s father for instance is a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t want anything to do with his daughter’s shady side; on the other hand, Jazz clearly has him to thank for her own ethical side, the one that makes her never renege on a deal, and puts her in the (trustworthy criminal’ category, so to speak.)

The story itself starts in a fairly typical way for heist stories: Jazz needs money, her criminal activities aren’t bringing in as much as she needs, nor quickly enough, so when a dangerous but particularly juicy deal comes her way, she shoves her qualms in her pocket and accepts it. Only it turns out she’s bitten more than she could chew, and finds herself embroiled in an almost conspiracy, forcing her to gather all her wits, resources and allies in order to find a way out. All in all, the kind of story I like to read: maybe not the most original, but with high potential for action, fun, quirky characters, and, well, capers.

There isn’t as much technical detailing in this novel as there was in “The Martian”, so it’s definitely not hard to follow. The whole caper(s) resting on scientific knowledge and using the moon’s gravity and peculiar sides to work within the plan, that was really interesting for me. Maybe the welding-related descriptions were a little too long at times, though; at least, I didn’t care as much about those as I did about other scientific explanations.

I liked the overall diversity in Artemis. This small city has, from A to Z, a multicultural side that I think worked well, and didn’t rest on the usual ‘Western world colonises space’ (Kenya and its space company holds the entry door to the moon, Artemis’s administrator is a Kenyan woman, the policeman is Canadian, Jazz and her father are from Saudi Arabia, many of Jazz’s contacts are Vietnamese or Slavic, etc.).

I wasn’t totally on board with the way Jazz told the story, though. The wit didn’t work as well here as it did in “The Martian”, mostly, I’d say, because there’s too much of a dichotomy between Jazz’s ‘voice’ and her age: sometime in the middle of the story, we learn she’s 26, but from her tone, attitude, expressions and way of being, I would’ve thought her late teens/20, and not older. There -is- an immature side to her character, so in itself it’s not like her voice doesn’t fit at all, yet it didn’t feel ‘right’ either.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. Disregard the author’s previous best-seller, take this story as it comes, and enjoy the heist parts, the assembling of Jazz’s motley crew, the description of Artemis, and the outings on the Moon in an EVA suit that can spring a leak just any time due to the characters attempting bold moves and daring rescues.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-11 19:08
The Sapphire Heist
The Sapphire Heist - Lauren Blakely

This is a continuation of book 1 (they really should have been 1 book IMO). Steph and Jake both have moments where they don't trust the other. I didn't think much of the moment Steph didn't, because, hey it made sense. Either way, they talked about it and moved on. Jake's moment, on the other hand, I didn't like and I thought Steph handled it well. 
Overall, this was decent, pacing is good and the "chase" is well played. The thief doesn't change throughout the book, even though there was a brief moment where I thought it could have been someone else. I do think this and The Sapphire Affair should have been 1 book. I think it would have worked better combining the 2.
Both of the books are available through Kindle Unlimited.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-20 09:39
REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - A Cunning Heist (Sloane Harper #2) by Astrid Arditi
A Cunning Heist - Astrid Arditi

Sloane Harper has sworn off men—for her sanity, and her safety. But with or without men, trouble always seems to find Sloane.


When her ex’s ex-mistress comes knocking for help, Sloane does what she does best : she helps way more than she should. As she investigates London’s art scene, Sloane runs into a very handsome but very shady artist, a quirky bunch of thieves, and a cunning old flame. 
Perhaps Sloane should have sworn off playing private detective instead of men.


Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/07/review-tour-giveaway-cunning-heist.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-02-27 10:00
Blog Tour and Giveaway for Jack Trumps Ace by Debbie De Louise
When Jack Trumps Ace
by Debbie De Louise
Genre: A Romantic Comedy Jewel Heist Novella
 Jackie Riordan's in trouble . . .

When her jewel-thief father is caught in the
middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to
his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace
, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of
Chicago. What she doesn't count on is falling in
love with him and becoming his partner in
crime. She also doesn't expect to compete with
Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who
causes her allergy attacks
All bets are off . . .
After Jackie discovers clues left by her father
which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have
stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should
she trust Ace and believe her father gave him
the money, or head home to her mother, a
religious hypocrite who would have no qualms
about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?
Things that sparkle aren't always Diamonds . . .
Before Jackie can decide who the good guys
really are, she finds herself atop the Willis
Tower carrying her father's ashes in her pocket
and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his
life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie's only
choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or
face imprisonment. 
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author
and a reference librarian at a public library on
Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-
Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat
Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English
and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island
University. Her three published novels include
Cloudy Rainbow, A Stone's Throw, and Between
a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice Publishing,
2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller
list for cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written
articles and short stories for several
anthologies of various genres. She is currently
working on the third Cobble Cove mystery and
a psychological thriller. She lives on Long
Island with her husband, daughter, and two
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?