Douglas Jackson: Enemy of Rome (Review)

Doug

 

Biography of Douglas Jackson

Author web site

Douglas Jackson was born in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders in the summer of 1956. Educated at Parkside Primary School and Jedburgh Grammar School, he left three weeks before his 16th birthday with six O levels and no idea what he was going to do with the rest of his life.

Fortunately, a friend worked in the local employment office and got him a place on a Youth Opportunities Scheme. It turned out to be restoring a Roman marching camp at Pennymuir in the Cheviot Hills and he had a wonderful summer turning turf and dreaming of Romans.

Obviously, he couldn’t do that for the rest of his life. He was good at English and had a voracious reading habit, and his dad pointed him towards an advert for a junior reporter with the local paper – and changed his life. The next 30-odd years were spent working in local and national newspapers before he sat down in 2005 to work on a ‘project’. After a year of writing on the train and whistling the theme to the Great Escape he finally reached The End, and the project became a book. That book was The Emperor’s Elephant, which, with a bit of help from Youwriteon.com, eventually became Caligula and Claudius. which were bought by Transworld for a ‘six figure sum’. When the publishers offered him a second deal to write three more books, he decided with the support of his family to try writing full time. He has now published five historical novels and two thrillers (as James Douglas), with a further five books in the pipeline

Doug now lives in Bridge of Allan, a lovely village on the doorstep of the Trossachs and is married to wife Alison. They have three children who never fail to make him terribly proud.

He enjoys watching rugby, and finds life at its most relaxing by the river with a fly fishing rod in my hand, although he seldom disturbs many fish.

Enemy of Rome (2014)

(The fifth book in the Gaius Valerius Verrens series)

enemy

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In the dry heat of an August morning Gaius Valerius Verrens wakes filthy and bearded and prepares for his last day on earth. Wrongly accused by enemies on his own side, Valerius is destined to die a coward’s death for deserting his legion on the field of Bedriacum. It is the summer of AD 89 and after a year of slaughter and turmoil the Empire remains trapped in the coils of a desperate, destructive civil war. Valerius’ old friend, Aulus Vitellius, victor in the decisive confrontation that left Otho’s armies shattered, sits uneasily on a golden throne in Rome, and his rival is dead by his own hand. But a new challenge arises in the East where Titus Flavius Vespasian has been declared Emperor by his legions. The only way Valerius can survive to reach Rome and be united with his lost love Domitia Longina Corbulo is to ally himself with Vitellius’ enemies. On the way he must battle through a maze of distrust, corruption, bloody conflict and betrayal, with as many perils behind as there are in front. A powerful enemy, a burning temple and divided loyalties all stand in his way, but the prize that awaits has never been more worthwhile.

Review

Doug Jackson, the quiet gentleman of historical fiction. With every book he takes his writing to a new level, the Gaius Valerius Verrens series being an interesting, clever and thrilling mix of story telling, blood and thunder battles, political intrigue and well thought out well written “real” characters.

The main character Verrens, with his almost stiff necked honesty and Roman honour that borders on the suicidal at times, needs a foil, someone to bounce off as a character in the plot, to keep him alive in the reality of the ancient Roman world and to keep the story honest. We get that with Serpentius, who im glad to say in this book is back to being a deadly (but mortal) ex-gladiator, those who read my review of Sword of Rome will remember i was worried that he was becoming a bit super human, but Doug has it perfect in this book, flawed, fallible, but highly skilled, emotional, but tightly wound and highly introspective, one of my favorite characters.

Others that i think Doug writes to perfection in this book; the brief glimpse of Pliny, Marcus Antonius Primus a man who could be an enemy, but is a bigger man. The brilliant emperor Vitellius, corpulent, cowardly, heroic, highly intelligent, and utterly doomed from the start. A character who steals chunks of the book. Given how well he has been written i long to see how Vespasian will grow into the next book.

All of this fantastic characterisation is portrayed in Douglas Jackson uniquely detailed yet fast paced style that lifts the reader from the first page, thrusts a Sword in one hand, a Shield in the other and slams you into the shield wall of Battle. But more than just swords and sandals it has you creeping and spying, exploring the motives and streets of Rome, there is simply no let up in this tale (or the entire series), Book 1 Hero of Rome still holds the best written scene in any book, with Verrens battling Boudicca, that writing skill and talent just grown and grows and will keep me coming back for more.

Highly Recommended (in the do not miss category)

(Parm)

Rufus
1. Caligula: The Tyranny of Rome (2008)
2. Claudius (2009)
Caligula: The Tyranny of RomeClaudius
 Gaius Valerius Verrens
1. Hero of Rome (2010)
2. Defender of Rome (2011)
3. Avenger of Rome (2012)
4. Sword of Rome (2013)
5. Enemy of Rome (2014)
Hero of RomeDefender of RomeAvenger of RomeSword of RomeEnemy of Rome
 Glen Savage mystery
War Games (2014)
War Games

As James Douglas

Jamie Saintclaire
1. The Doomsday Testament (2011)
2. The Isis Covenant (2012)
3. The Excalibur Codex (2013)
4. The Samurai Inheritance (2014)
The Doomsday TestamentThe Isis CovenantThe Excalibur CodexThe Samurai Inheritance

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John Connolly: Conquest (Review)

John Connolly

jc

Ireland (1968 – )

John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

Conquest (2013)

(The first book in the Chronicles of the Invaders Trilogy series)

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The first in a stunning new science fiction trilogy, Conquest introduces a world where humanity has been conquered by a powerful alien rulership – unless a group of young rebels can unlock their powers and help rescue humankind from its terrible fate.Earth has been invaded by the Illyri – a beautiful, civilized, yet ruthless alien race. The Resistance grows stronger against the invaders, for it is up to the young people of the Earth to lead the battle and save humanity.

Syl Hellais, conceived among the stars, is the oldest alien child on Earth. The daughter of one of the planet’s rulers, she has hidden gifts and powers that she does yet fully understand.

But all is not as it seems. Secret experiments are being conducted on humans, the Illyri are at war among themselves, and the sinister Nairene Sisterhood has arrived on Earth, hungry for new blood. When Syl helps a pair of young fighters escape execution, she finds herself sentenced to death and pursued by her own kind. Soon, she even risks breaking the greatest taboo of her race by falling in love with a human.

Now the hunter has become the hunted, and the predators have become prey. And as Syl is about to learn, the real invasion is yet to begin…

Review

This book forms part of my objective for this year to “Step out of my reading comfort zone” Conquest is the first book in a new series and as any first book in a series it’s main objective is to set the scene, introduce the characters and explain the history.  For that reason i feel it come across somewhat slow at the start, and with a significant amount of info dump. As your familiarity with the characters grows the book feels like it speeds up and you find yourself bonding with various characters, and immersing in the world being created.

If im 100% honest this first book has a feel of teen drama rather than a grown up book, and that’s not too derogatory, because there are many great YA series out there that show a great deal of maturity in the writing, but are geared to a younger audience, and some that are multi spectrum, this one just feels geared to the Younger audience rather than “ald fellas” like me, but its also one that shows a great deal of promise.

That said Conquest builds to a finale that leaves the story wide open for a sequel and I will certainly read the next in the series.

(Parm)

CHRONICLES CHAMPION BADGE

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Andy McDermott: Kingdom of Darkness (Review)

Author: Andy McDermott

Andy McD

Andy McDermott is the international bestselling author of the Nina Wilde/Eddie Chase series of adventure thrillers, the first of which, THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS, became a New York Times bestseller on its September 2009 publication in the United States. He is currently working on his twelfth novel.

Born in Halifax, England, and a graduate of Keele University, Andy now lives in Bournemouth, where he works as a full-time writer. Previously, he was an entertainment journalist and the editor of such magazines as DVD Review and the iconoclastic film publication Hotdog, where his lifelong love of movies (and vast knowledge of movie trivia) finally became a useful job skill. He has also worked as a cartoonist, graphic designer and videogame reviewer, and written for the award-winning British sci-fi comic2000AD.

Author Web Site

Kingdom of Darkness (2014)
(The tenth book in the Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase series)

Kingdom of darkness

 

Buy the book

“What’s the connection between a dig in Alexandria for Alexander the Great’s tomb and a wanted Nazi war criminal?

Nina and Eddie about to find out as they go on a search across the globe, from Egypt to Argentina and Italy to Iran, to find the truth. They have located the most exciting archaeological treasures the world has ever known – they have found Atlantis and walked in the Garden of Eden, they have wielded Excalibur and seen the vast sums of gold in El Dorado.
Could they now be about to find the greatest prize of all – the secret to eternal life?

Full of his trademark action, thrills and humour, this is Andy McDermott’s most exciting novel to date and marks the 10th novel featuring his brilliant series leads, Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase.”

Review

I’ve always been a little astounded by the books from Andy McDermott, first that he could write so fast, these are not small books, but look at his track record, his first six books were published in three years, in 7 years Eleven novels (Stunning). Each and every book has been a epic thrill ride, worthy of any Hollywood studio / film writer. Which brings me to my amazement that none of these books have been made into a big budget film.

So Kingdom of Darkness, probably the least OTT of the series, but this is a series you read for the wild thrill ride, not plausibility. That said its also well researched, down to some very fine detail (both the modern and the historical) and always remains just within the bounds of possible. This time, throw in Nazis’s, Alexander the Great and a secret to eternal life and you have an absolute winner.  With any great thriller, to talk to much about the plot is a spoiler, and same about the back story. Needless to say for those who read this series Eddie Chase is his usual puntastic self, Nina gets them into the thick of trouble with her single minded pursuit of legend and along the way there will be wild chases, explosions, bullets galore and twists and turns so mind bendingly good you will be guessing all the way to the end.

In summary: An excellent thriller, exhausting, Laugh out loud funny and gobsmackingly heartbreaking.

If you like high octane thrillers then you CANNOT miss this book.

(Parm)

 

 

Series
Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase
1. The Hunt for Atlantis (2007)
2. The Tomb of Hercules (2008)
3. The Secret of Excalibur (2008)
4. The Covenant of Genesis (2009)
5. The Cult of Osiris (2009)
aka The Pyramid of Doom
6. The Sacred Vault (2010)
aka The Vault Of Shiva
7. Empire of Gold (2011)
8. Temple of the Gods (2011)
aka Return to Atlantis
9. The Valhalla Prophecy (2014)
10. Kingdom of Darkness (2014)
The Hunt for AtlantisThe Tomb of HerculesThe Secret of ExcaliburThe Covenant of GenesisThe Cult of OsirisThe Sacred VaultThe Sacred VaultTemple of the GodsThe Valhalla ProphecyKingdom of Darkness
Novels
The Persona Protocol (2013)
aka The Shadow Protocol
The Persona Protocol

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Christian Cameron: Force of Kings (Review)

Christian Cameron

Christian Cameron

Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto (that’s Ontario, in Canada) with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice, currently age seven. He attends the University of Toronto when the gods move him and may eventually have a Masters in Classics, but right now he’s a full time historical novelist, and it is the best job in the world.

Christian is a dedicated reenactor and you can follow some of his recreated projects on the Agora . He’s always recruiting, so if you’d like to try the ancient world, the medieval world, or the late 18th century, follow the link to contact us.

 

Force of Kings (2014)

(The sixth book in the Tyrant series)

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force of kings

Twin monarchs Satyrus and Melitta have worked hard, seen much blood shed and many good friends die to secure their fertile kingdom on the Black Sea. But as the colossal conflict between Alexander the Great’s former generals to inherit his empire rages from one end of the known world to the other, sitting on the sidelines is not an option. If their kingdom is to have a future, Satyrus and Melitta must join forces with one of the contenders, knowing that making the wrong choice could mean disaster. And with Ptolemy, Antigonus-One-Eye and his son Demetrius ‘the Besieger’, Lysimachus and Seleucus all massing their forces for one last battle, the stakes could not be higher. But with the wily Athenian schemer Stratokles, the courtesan-spy Phiale and Satyrus’s lover, the power-hungry Briseis, daughter of the Tyrant of Syracuse, also determined to secure the spoils of victory for themselves, the twins find themselves caught in a deadly web of intrigue that could cost them everything.

Review

I makes no bones about the fact that I’m a Christian Cameron fan, his books top my annual must read list every year, and are often competing for my book of the year award. This latest book Force of Kings is no different, although its a bitter sweet experience, the final book in a series going back to 2008 and the debut book in this series, a series that has helped give me a deeper love of ancient Greek culture, respect for that culture and respect for the author as one of the smartest most driven, nicest guys i know.

None of that tells you about force of Kings, as ever i hate to and wont give away the plot of a book in a review. What i will cover is: the totally immerse history, so well researched and written the reader is sucked back in time to live, breath fight and die hand in hand with Satyrus and his friends and enemies. My favorite underlying part of all Christians books is that there is no real good guy/ bad guy dynamic, he paints the shades of grey, weaving reality into the plot but without losing the wonder of the age.

The history is romantic and idealised, at times poetic, but that comes across as the authors love of the location and the period. None of it corrupts the plot, the woven intricacies of Stratokles, the machinations of “the doctor”, the self assured megalomania of Demetrius ‘the Besieger’ and the quiet self assured nature of Satyrus, always searching to be a better man, and running headlong into any fire going to do the right thing.

I love the way the author plays out his script, and at the same time makes the reader explore their own inner self, own decisions and the reasons behind them. I’m always left with some form of self examination afterwards, both myself and going back over decisions by characters, should they have made that choice, would i have made that choice. For me its the sign of a great book that challenges you to reread, to explore deeper and more thoroughly the plot and the people. A book that educates while it entertains.

This is the second book this year from this prolific author (great king already out and been an outstanding read) The Long Sword the second William Gold book is out in November 2014 and there are 3 more Tom Swan books due out also.

this is in my top 5 for this year, and will be competing for the top spot come the end of the year. A writer who makes you love history the way he loves it, seen through his eyes, and sharing his experiences. (visit his web site and you will see how intimately he will share the privations and wonders of Ancient Greece, and his commitment to learning the martial skills.)

Highly recommended

(Parm)

 

Tyrant
1. Tyrant (2008)
2. Storm of Arrows (2009)
3. Funeral Games (2010)
4. King of the Bosporus (2011)
5. Destroyer of Cities (2013)
6. Force of Kings (2014)
TyrantStorm of ArrowsFuneral GamesKing of the BosporusDestroyer of CitiesForce of Kings
Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon: Freedom or Death (2011)
3. Poseidon’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
Killer of MenMarathon: Freedom or DeathPoseidon's SpearThe Great King
Tom Swan and the Head of St George
1. Castillon (2012)
2. Venice (2012)
3. Constantinople (2012)
4. Rome (2013)
5. Rhodes (2013)
6. Chios (2013)
7, 8 & 9 due (2014)
CastillonVeniceConstantinopleRomeRhodesChios
Novels
Washington and Caesar (2001)
God of War (2012)
The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
The Long Sword (2014)
Washington and CaesarGod of WarThe Ill-Made KnightThe Long Sword

 

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Robin Hobb Fool’s Assassin (2014) (The first book in the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy series)

Robin Hobb

hobb

A pseudonym used by Megan Lindholm

 

 

Robin Hobb is a confirmed believer not just in research, but in attempting to experience the things she is writing about. When, at the age of ten, she moved with her family from California to Alaska, it shaped her as a writer more than any other experience in her life. In the early stages of her writing career she established herself as an author under the name ‘Megan Lindholm’, creating such fine works of modern fantasy as Wizard of the Pigeons, Harpy’s Flight, The Windsingers, and The Reindeer People. In 1992 she decided to embark upon something of greater epic scope. To mirror that change, she chose a new name, ‘Robin Hobb’ under which she has, to the present day, written three trilogies: the Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies. She is Voyager’s fastest-selling author in backlist and has now sold over 1 million copies of her paperbacks

Fool’s Assassin (2014)
(The first book in the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy series)

robin hobb fools assassin

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.

But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…

On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.

Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?

Suddenly Fitz’s violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe

Review

Reviewing one of the giants of the genre is always difficult, if you don’t like the book or even find the slightest negative you can expect to be flamed to a crisp by the fan base. Fortunately I really enjoyed the book, if i had anything negative to say it would be that it was slightly longer than needed, any lesser known author would not have been given the latitude to express the depth of emotion or description and would have been pushed to go for more pace. BUT: that comment cannot detract from what is another exceptional book by Robin Hobb. Of all her books, books i have loved each (except the Soldier son series), this new one feels different, like coming home after years away, finding all your old family and friends a little older and wiser, but still the same deep down.

The whole book (all 640 pages) is a deeply emotional ride, a voyeuristic view into the emotions and diaries of Fitz and his orbiting family and friends, Robin Hobbs talent is telling it in a deeply compelling and non invasive style. I read this emotional roller-coaster of a book over several days, reading long past 1am each night, when i knew i had work the next day, i just could not put the book down. Unlike many fantasy books there are no great battles, no great mission, this is life, life in a tough world full of intrigue, assassins and dark history, all of this breeds paranoia, paranoia at life, family, motives both your own and those of others. Its this depth of writing , character exploration and plot that makes Robin Hobb such an exceptional writer, someone who can write a book that will effect the reader so much that days later the plot and its characters are still spinning around your head and leaves you not only wanting the next book but also to read this one again.

I miss Fitz, Bee and the rest of the family already, a year before the next book seems like an eternity (odd considering its been so long since we last saw or heard from Fitz)

very highly recommended

(Parm)

 

Farseer

1. Assassin’s Apprentice (1995)
2. Royal Assassin (1996)
3. Assassin’s Quest (1997)
Words Like Coins (2012)
The Farseer Trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice / Royal Assassin / Assassin’s Quest (omnibus) (2013)
Royal Assassin / Assassin’s Quest (omnibus) (2013)
Assassin's ApprenticeRoyal AssassinAssassin's QuestWords Like Coins
The Farseer Trilogy:  Assassin's Apprentice / Royal Assassin / Assassin's QuestRoyal Assassin / Assassin's Quest
 Liveship Traders
1. Ship of Magic (1998)
2. The Mad Ship (1999)
3. Ship of Destiny (2000)
The Liveship Traders: The complete trilogy (omnibus) (2012)
Ship of MagicThe Mad ShipShip of DestinyThe Liveship Traders: The complete trilogy
 Tawny Man
1. Fool’s Errand (2001)
2. The Golden Fool (2002)
3. Fool’s Fate (2003)
The Tawny Man Series Books 2 and 3: Golden Fool / Fool’s Fate (omnibus) (2013)
The Tawny Man Trilogy: Fool’s Errand / Golden Fool / Fool’s Fate (omnibus) (2013)
Fool's ErrandThe Golden FoolFool's FateThe Tawny Man Series Books 2 and 3: Golden Fool / Fool's Fate
The  Tawny Man Trilogy: Fool's Errand / Golden Fool / Fool's Fate
 Soldier Son
1. Shaman’s Crossing (2005)
2. Forest Mage (2006)
3. Renegade’s Magic (2007)
The Soldier Son Trilogy Bundle (omnibus) (2012)
Shaman's CrossingForest MageRenegade's MagicThe Soldier Son Trilogy Bundle
 Rain Wild Chronicles
1. The Dragon Keeper (2009)
2. Dragon Haven (2010)
3. City of Dragons (2012)
4. Blood of Dragons (2013)
Rain Wilds Chronicles (omnibus) (2014)
The Dragon KeeperDragon HavenCity of DragonsBlood of Dragons
Rain Wilds Chronicles
 Fitz and the Fool Trilogy
1. Fool’s Assassin (2014)
Fool's Assassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James Wilde: Wolves of New Rome (Review)

James Wilde

james w

James  is a Man of Mercia. Raised in a world of books, James studied economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure.
He was unable to forget a childhood encounter in the pages of a comic with the great English warrior, Here ward. Wilde returned to the haunted fenlands of Eastern England, Herewards ancestral home, where he became convinced that this legendary hero should be the subject of his first novel. Wilde now indulges his love of history and the high life in the home his family have owned for several generations, in the heart of a Mercian forest.

Visit author web site

Buy From Amazon

Buy From Goldsboro Books (signed)

Wolves of New Rome (2014)
(The fourth book in the Hereward series)

Hereward WONR

1072 – The great battle has been lost. King William stands victorious. And for the betrayed and abandoned English rebels, the price of their crushing defeat is cruel: exile.
Cut adrift from family, friends, home, their hopes of survival lie with one man, their leader Hereward. But can even that now-legendary hero navigate a safe course across a world torn by war? Their ultimate destination is the jewelled heart of the Christian emperor in the East, the New Rome – Byzantium. Here the English hope to find gold and glory by joining those pledged to protect the emperor, the elite and savage Varangian Guard. But this once-mighty empire is slipping into shadow. Beyond the vast walls, the endless Turkish hordes plan for an attack that could come at any moment. And within the sprawling city, rival factions threaten bloody mayhem as they scheme to seize the crown.

Here begins a new chapter in the stirring tale of England’s forgotten hero. But now the enemies are hidden, their methods bloodier, the battlefield and weapons unfamiliar and to stay alive in this cauldron of plot, betrayal and murder, Hereward and the English must fight as never before.

Review

Its that time of year again, Hereward is back and every year he gets better and better, the book and the writing at least, Poor Hereward himself seems to find himself in bigger and bigger sh!t every book. This book is no exception, its also not glorious trouble, its just the mad bad and crazy world of 1072, its a hard bitter world, life is cheap and its truly rules by those with power and money and the strength to hold it. Hereward and his crew have the will and the skill, but they don’t seem to have the luck to hold on, they have been battered by the winds of fate, by the sweeping plague that is the Norman conquest, a group of singularly nasty, single minded tough, uncompromising nation hell bent on conquest.

This the fourth book in the series see’s our group away from England and travelling to Constantinople, to join the fames Varangian Guard, somewhere they can be lauded for their prowess , gain wealth and start to mend the wounds or their lost home of England. Only fate has other plans, the grass isn’t greener, and their are worse people out there than Normans.

James Wilde is one of the nicest people i have met since i started going to reading events, signing etc, a truly generous chap, always willing to spend time and energy having a conversation and boosting confidence to “have a go” myself at writing, always appreciative of a nice comment about his books, and accepting of any criticism. With this book i have nothing but nice things to say. To say i was lost in the book, doesn’t do it justice. From first page to the last i was member of Herewards crew, i suffered every mile , every mishap and every setback, I was rewarded with the camaraderie of his men and belonged with them fighting my way to and in Constantinople. Thats the joy and experience of his books and writing, that you become part of the book. The only thing wrong is its an experience that ends too soon and then there is a year to wait for the next one.

So thank you James for one again giving me a unique, immersive truly historic experience.

(Parm)

 

Hereward
1. Hereward (2011)
aka The Time of the Wolf
2. The Devil’s Army (2012)
aka The Winter Warrior
3. End of Days (2013)
4. Wolves of New Rome (2014)
HerewardThe Devil's ArmyEnd of DaysWolves of New Rome
Also writes under the name  Mark Chadbourn

Novels

  • Underground (1992)
  • Nocturne (1994)
  • The Eternal (1996)
  • Scissorman (1997)

The Age of Misrule

  • World’s End (1999)
  • Darkest Hour (2000)
  • Always Forever (2001)

The Dark Age

  • The Devil in Green (2002)
  • The Queen of Sinister (2004)
  • The Hounds Of Avalon (2005)

Kingdom of the Serpent

  • Jack of Ravens (2006)
  • The Burning Man (2008)
  • Destroyer of Worlds (July 2009)

The Ghost Warrior

  • Lord of Silence (July 2009)

Swords of Albion

  • The Silver Skull (November 2009, UK (Title: “The Sword of Albion”: April 2010)
  • “The Scar-Crow Men” (February 2011, UK: April 2011)
  • The Devil’s Looking Glass (UK: April 2012, US: tbc)

Novellas

  • The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke(2002)
  • Dr Who: Wonderland (2003

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Alex Connor: The Bosch Deception (Review)

Alex Connor

Alex C

UK

Alex Connor is also known as Alexandra Connor and she has written a number of historical novels. This is her first crime thriller. She is an artist, and has worked in the art world for many years. Alex is also a motivational speaker and is regularly featured on television and BBC radio. She lives in Sussex.

Description

Buy from Amazon

Bosch D

A TRUTH CONCEALED. Brabant, 1473. A clandestine brotherhood hides a secret that could bring down the Catholic Church. Their chosen hiding place – the art of Hieronymus Bosch. A TERRIBLE CONSPIRACY. London, 2014. An excommunicated priest approaches both the Church and the art world, claiming to possess an artefact that will destroy their reputations. A TICKING CLOCK. This man, Nicholas Laverne, is poised to end over 500 years of silence and injustice. Yet, unknown to Nicholas, he has just summoned a killer intent on silencing him.

Review

After the high that was the Caravaggio Conspiracy i had some very high expectations for this new book, possibly too high. The story as ever with an Alex Connor book is a little dark, very twisty and packed full of unexpected surprises. What i felt it lacked was a clear central character chasing down the clues, it needed Gil Eckhart. Don’t get me wrong it has characters that peck away at the clues, who try to unravel the plot, who search for the meaning and the answer, but me personally i like to have that single character pulling it together, Nicholas Laverne could not do that because he had another role to fill. It does though still have the great characters that Alex Connor is known for and the powerfully twisting plots she is known for.

A major bonus with this authors crime thrill rides is the education, there are not many thriller writers who leave me feeling i have learned something, before this book i knew nothing about Hieronymus Bosch, the book has led to finding out more, just as the last book led to learning more about Caravaggio. Any books that inspire that response is a winner in my book (pun intended).

As an avid reader of Historical Fiction and Fantasy i always need my secret (or not anymore) pleasure on hand, and that’s a great thriller. Alex Connor as ever falls into that category, based on my rating of the last book this one is a 4/5 but that’s probably because she knocked it out of the park with  The Caravaggio Conspiracy, once again a winner for the author and for Quercus, i look forward to the next book.

(Parm)

Novels
The Rembrandt Secret (2011)
aka The Other Rembrandt
The Hogarth Conspiracy (2011)
aka Legacy of Blood
The Memory of Bones (2012)
Isle of the Dead (2013)
The Caravaggio Conspiracy (2013)
The Bosch Deception (2014)
The Rembrandt SecretThe Hogarth ConspiracyThe Memory of BonesIsle of the DeadThe Caravaggio ConspiracyThe Bosch Deception

Novellas
Unearthing the Bones (2012)
Blood on the Water (2013)
The Forger, the Killer, the Painter and the Whore (2013)
The Garden of Unearthly Delights (2014)
Unearthing the BonesBlood on the WaterThe Forger, the Killer, the Painter and the WhoreThe Garden of Unearthly Delights

 

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Filed under Crime, Historical Fiction