Book Review- ‘Toxic Spirits’ by Mani (Mystery, Multicultural) 3.5 Unique Stars!

Mani

Thank you to NetGallery for my free copy, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. There is some beautiful writing here, and I very much enjoyed this unique novel I was pulled in. However, I found the plot a little hard to follow and got lost…I feel like I need to read it again later, as I am sure there’s a five star reading experience for me here. Let’s get into the review.

Blurb

For fans of John Burdett (Bangkok 8) and John Le Carre (The Constant Gardener): Toxic Spirits is a highly atmospheric thriller set in Thailand, a playground for colorful expats, beautiful women and limitless skullduggery. Narrated with insightful meditations on nature and biodiversity, interspersed with macabre violence and dark hilarity, the novel is also a brilliant, genetics- and AI-inspired take on multiculturalism and personal identity.
Toxic Spirits is the first volume of a TRILOGY dealing with the effects of unfettered venality on marginalized Southeast Asian communities. A teaser for the second book is included at the end. Advance Praise:

  • “A complex and enthralling international intrigue with a treasure of remarkable detail neatly packed into a short novel that dances on the edge of John le Carré territory. A rich read from start to finish.” Frederick Barthelme, author of New Yorker stories and eleven novels including There Must Be Some Mistake.
  • “Mani writes Thailand beautifully with heart and a lot of souls.” Colin Cotterill, author of The Coroner’s Lunch, from the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series, and sixteen other novels set in Laos and Thailand.
  • Toxic Spirits is a striking debut. Its prose, fluid, will tug you along; its dialogue, rendered gracefully, sparkles with authority; its plot is loaded with much to love, plenty to leave you in the kind of wonderment your soul has sought in books.” Mark Wisniewski, Pushcart-prize winning short story writer and author of Watch Me Go.
  • “A fabulous writer whose sensuous and affecting prose both beguiles and transforms.” Tom Vowler, author of story collection The Method and novel What Lies Within.

Synopsis: Benton, a widowed African-American intelligence analyst from Washington D.C., retires to Thailand. At an expat bar, he is captivated by Siri, a beautiful tribal singer. When Siri disappears, he discovers that she had been speaking out about the side-effects from drug trials conducted on her hill-tribe. Benton’s investigations draw him uncomfortably close to Pierre, the seriously disturbed Indo-Cambodian doctor running the trials. Becoming an unwilling guinea-pig in the trials, Benton is transformed by the genetically-engineered drugs and falls in love with Mimi, a stunning and gifted young Thai-Australian. As the genetic manipulations spiral out of control and spread to the botanical treasures of Thailand’s Golden Triangle, the forces of tribal healing, high-tech medicine, and love battle to determine who will survive.

Kim’s Review 3.5 ‘unique and interesting stars!’

After browsing the multicultural section on NetGallery it was the cover, and title that drew me in. Reading the blurb I found it intriguing. And that’s how I would sum up the reading experience, very intriguing. There is an awful lot I like about this book. I think the author does have a beautiful descriptive style. I appreciated this as a reader, especially as I love location based stories in far away places. I also really loved all the characters, they all jumped out and really are well developed. The main character himself Benton, he was really funny at times and like-able.

I also loved that this novel has such a multicultural feel, it’s set in Thailand yes, but characters are from as far as Scotland and all over the world. I loved it.

I also really loved the uniqueness and how the story unfolds around a demographic of people. The Palin and their history, from a scientific and historical POV.

I did find the story engaging, I did whip through the first fifty percent, but it got a bit challenging. By this I mean, we are  introduced to LOTS of characters early on, at first I could not understand the ‘link’ to the plot, then it started to tie up. By then, I kind of was a bit lost in what was happening. I do pay a lot of attention as a reader, especially when it’s a complex plot such as this, but I still got a bit lost in the overall structure. Like I said, I would re-read it and try to absorb it better. It’s a trilogy and I would read more from this author for sure. I love his writing style and ability to create some great characters…not to mention a very complex plot!

If it were a little more easier to read through first time, I think I would say I had a five star reading experience. In all honesty, there is nothing I dislike! It really boiled down to getting a bit lost at times. Which resulted in it taking me much longer than average to read a book of just 250 pages. Overall, 3.5 unique, engaging stars! I’d read more.

 

Out Now On Pre-Sale & Kindle Unlimited- Release Date 6th February 2020. #amreading #romance #kindleunlimited

Would you risk a second chance, 4,000 miles away in paradise?

Chances, A Puerto Rican Love Affair is book three of the Romance Set In Paradise Series. Of romantic, steamy and suspenseful stand-alone novella length stories, all set in exotic locations around the world. Each one can be read as a stand-alone book.  Out now on pre-order and Kindle Unlimited Amazon Links—-)   http://bit.ly/2Lzdnpt

Chances ebookThirty-one year old Gabby from Barcelona, Spain has a love for the finer things in life including successful men. She finds herself in need of a change of scene. Opportunity knocks when the European company she works for as a successful estate agent, selling properties to elite clientele expand. Giving her the chance to take a one month work sabbatical, in the beautiful vibrant Caribbean island Puerto Rico. She snaps up the chance to leave Europe behind. Here her path crosses with thirty-five year old Puerto Rican born Mateo Sanchez. A former ‘bad boy’ turned entrepreneur. They touch each other on a physical and soul level, the two become connected. Thing is, while the passion, heat and romance builds between the two, the pair’s love affair becomes caught up in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal from the past.

Mateo and Gabby fight hard for their blossoming relationship, and against the drama that keeps following them. But there are decisions and sacrifices to make if they are really going to make it work. There’s nothing that Mateo won’t do to show his growing admiration for Gabby, even when the police get involved and he’s in the hot seat. His hand is forced he’s pushed to make moves he promised he would never do again, due to past events and to move forward with Gabby. Gabby is faced with the decision over what sacrifices she’ll make, and where she really sees her future. Back in Spain, London or 4,000 miles away in Puerto Rico. Romance, soul mate connection, heat, lies, betrayal and brushes with the law await readers in this exciting multicultural ‘second chance’ romance.

I am so proud and pleased guys! National Novel Writing Month 2019’s baby here. I still can’t believe I completed the challenge. I loved every moment of writing this book, all 63,000 words!  This is so different to Havana Heat and Lover’s Retreat- books #1 and #2 of the series. You can pre-order now and yes, I’ve included this title in Kindle Unlimited so members can read free!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR PRE-ORDER!

RELEASE DATE 6TH FEBRUARY 2020

Book Review- ‘PATCH LANE’ (Thriller), by S.F Barkley. 5 STARS! **Page Turner Alert** @barkley_f @btwnthelinespub @RRBookTours1 #PatchLane #BlogTour #Thriller #RRBookTours

Tour Banner.jpgThank you to R and R Book Tours for my free copy, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.This is the second ‘debut’ psychological thriller I have read in one month, all I can say is ‘girl, that’s how it’s done! Good job’ Let’s get into this 5 star review!!

Blurb

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Patch Lane

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

Genre: Thriller

Sarah Hastings is a rookie cop who works the night shift in Amber Forest, a small rural town nestled in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. After repeatedly responding to an abandoned and allegedly haunted farmhouse for 911 hang up calls, she discovers a dead body in a secret room. The forensic investigators determine that the body has only been dead for three to four days, but the case takes an unexpected turn when Sarah runs the victim’s fingerprints and finds that her Jane Doe actually died 20 years ago.

The murder investigation is complicated with a sloppy autopsy and delayed forensic reports. When the US Marshals and FBI join the case, Sarah realizes that she is caught in a web of jurisdictional politics that seem to care less about the victim and are more concerned with a larger confidential case. Sarah soon realizes that she may be closer to the victim than she thought and finds herself drawn deeper into the case, threatening not just her career, but her life.

Kim’s Review 5 ‘that’s how it’s done’ stars!

The book blurb got me as soon as I read it, twenty years ago the victim died?? I thought, okay this should be good, and it was. This is the author’s first full novel from what I understand, from my reading experience she is talented, and I would for sure read more thrillers from her. Here’s what I loved.

Characters- all very believable in my opinion, especially Sarah herself. At times I forgot she is only twenty-five, she came across as more than a ‘rookie’ cop. Her whole persona as a character really did shine through.

The other detective she works with later ( no spoilers) Matt, he is really cool as well. I mean that literally, when dealing with suspects he had that ‘smoothness’ about him. But the scene where he literally losses his s*hit and said ‘that b*itch is lawyering up’  when he was interviewing a suspect, had me rolling in laughter. Because the whole thing was written so well, the tense atmosphere I could feel it while he was questioning a suspect trying to be cool,  then lost it when he left the interview room. Here, I gave the author a high five  as a reader because I felt the whole scene of tension as a reader.

The other characters really surprised me, and I liked that this author factored in a major real life ‘situation’ around mental illness, and even sixth sense ability.  It to me appeared to be accurate how the characters behaved and well researched. Overall, great character line up.

Pace and storytelling- ohhh this author knows how to tell a tale in ‘beats’, I was taken on a journey as a reader.  I personally feel in the thriller genre, as a reader this is what I want, it excites me when I can’t put the book down, because the author has me like ‘ but hold on, what happens next?’ I felt as a reader it started out moving quickly, I got into the story straight away from the first few pages. Then, it came across like a cosy mystery as things were unfolding at a slower pace, hints of things were sprinkled through the story to keep you thinking. In the end it all tied up.

Then about just over half way BOOM!!! The red herring,  the part of  the author’s plot to throw me as a reader came in. As I read this new twist in the  plot, I turned the page and said in my head ‘damn, I never expected that, so who was it then?’ Then, the character ( the detective), said the same thing I just said to myself. He said it as I  the reader, learned what he just learned  as the detective the ‘plot twist.’ Again, I high fived the author, because the twist was cool, and the way a character voiced what I was thinking as a reader to me was really cool too.

Overall, in my reading experience Patch Lane is a thriller in its true sense of the meaning, no BS, not underdeveloped and no plot gaps or predictable. In addition, it is a great story very enjoyable and engaging, and delivers what’s on the blurb. I really really really enjoyed it and found it hard to put down. Also, it’s just 200 pages, and it’s 200 pages of a plot that moves! Not drags.  I loved it, 5 stars I would recommend Patch Lane to all thriller, crime, and detective ‘cosy mystery’ lovers. Me, I’m waiting impatiently for the next one to drop, I can’t wait to read it. Well done S.F Barkley!

Author Pic 1.jpg

S.F. Barkley is a former police officer who uses her law enforcement knowledge and experience along with her love for all things creepy to create short stories and novels. She had several eerie experiences as a cop, including having discovered secret underground tunnels and responding to 911 hang up calls to an abandoned industrial building. She has published short horror stories in various anthologies and is publishing her debut mystery novel, Patch Lane, in October 2019. She was raised in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her husband and their rescue pup.

S.F. Barkley | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

Here Come The ‘Naughty’ Bunch!- 6 Erotic/steamy Authors! Try a New Author on Kindle Unlimited or .99p #amreading #erotica #kindleunlimited

erotica authors.jpgHe he.. I’m saving my guilty pleasure genre until last. Here are six different steamy and erotic authors, waiting to pleasure you… on Kindle Unlimited of course. If you’re not a member some might be just .99p. Please be over eighteen years old, I don’t want no one’s mama coming after me for being a bad influence. Grab your naughty reads, try something new.

CLICK THIS LINK TO HEAD TO THE BEDROOM, I MEAN BOOKS!

OMG! The ‘Dark & Twisted’ Author’s Take over- 31 Authors, All Genres on Kindle Unlimited or .99p #amreading #kindleunlimited @didi_oviatt

Dark and Twisted.jpgAwww wee! This group looks interesting. Join Author Cora Clark’s book club, here are thirty one different authors who have their ‘dark and twisted’ tales, across all genres to share with you. Free on Kindle Unlimited or some .99 cent! Grab them until the 30th December 2019.

CLICK HERE TO BE TRANSPORTED TO ‘HELL’ (LOL)  WHOOPS I MEAN BOOK READING HEAVEN.

Ayeee! It’s The Crime, Thriller, Suspense & Mystery Author’s Take over. Kick-Ass Authors! #amreading #kindleunlimited @didi_oviatt

Suspense Author's take Over.jpgThat’s right, they’re taking over for sixty days on KU… who-dun-it?, What happens next? The twists, turns and suspense awaits you. Here are eight ( at the time of me posting there may be more added), great authors and books free to read on Kindle Unlimited. If you’re not a KU member, some may even be .99 or free during the promotion time. Take a peek on the link below and discover them.

CLICK HERE TO END YOUR SUSPENSE, DISCOVER A NEW AUTHOR

What Ya Reading?- Try A New Series, Here’s 34 Different Genre Authors! on Kindle Unlimited #amreading #kindle

ku SERIES.jpgI’m a sucker for a page turning series, I’ve found a few good ones via my own Kindle Unlimited membership. Even if you’re not on KU,  some books are just .99 cent!  But if you are a KU member, then it’s your lucky day. Here are forty seven different books, from a page-turning series every genre is here, there’s something for everyone… take a peek on the link below, try a new author while they are on offer until 29th January 2020.

CLICK HERE TO BE TRANSPORTED TO BOOK HEAVEN