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Independent Banking Advisory Service (IBAS)

Book reviews for a good and absorbing read

A Killing in Paradise

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A Killing in Paradise is a very well conceived gritty psychological thriller by Elliot Sweeney, narrated by Elliot Fitzpatrick.

This is my first audio book review.

I found the listening experience quite restful. As a newbie to audio books I found it really entertaining and a very different experience from reading.

Elliot Sweeney has created a very believable story with plenty of twists and some gore.

Really good chilly thriller with psychological insight and slightly flawed characters, up to date details and background information. All of that allows the listener to visualize the people and the places.

A drug dealing fourteen year old thief is stabbed to death in Paradise, a notorious London Estate. The police don't linger on why. To them it's just another murder statistic.

Kasper an ex Met Detective and out of work private detective is asked to look into it. He knows there's a bigger picture and can't leave it alone.

Unpaid and uncertain, Kasper just wants to get to the facts and keeps digging until he uncovers the real reason behind the killing.

But, now Kasper's friends are on the killers radar and more at risk. Plus, the killers always seem one step ahead of Kasper.

Kasper starts to think he is out of his depth but still winds up the pressure and his chief suspect is then found dead. But, he's now in much too deep to just leave this alone.

Will Kasper's gambles lead him to a grisly end?

The listener is kept on edge and totally uncertain as the story unfolds with a well concealed ending..

Thanks to NetGalley for providing the opportunity to listen to my first audio book and provide a fair review of A Killing In Paradise and introducing me to author Elliot Sweeney.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A heart-pounding covert cop action adventure

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Criminal Justice is an edgy, gripping and gritty covert cop action thriller from Ian Robinson showing the underside of covert police work. A really absorbing read and I couldn't put it down.

Sam Batford's been undercover for five years and now back in London covering a ruthless Italian Drugs gang.

Undercover with no back up and little support he's right at the sharp end of the covert operation. A wrong move, reaction or second look means he ends up in a body bag. He was an abused child. He's now reliving his darkest memories and flash backs whilst infiltrating a guns and drug smuggling gang for high stakes and big money.

Under pressure from his NCA boss and the DCI of serious crime team to obtain results for them, his life is constantly on the line ensuring not only his own safety but also that his bosses don't compromise him through lack of manpower.

The Sensitive Log entries remind readers of what going dark is about and evidence a constant tug of war, mixed feelings and motives for the DCI when dealing with a UCO.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me the opportunity to read and provide a fair review of Criminal Justice.


Hard Contact (A Breed Thriller Book 8)

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Hard Contact is the 8th Breed book from Cameron Curtis

Breed is a new character for me and Cameron Curtis is also new to me but this book is a very good read for anyone who likes Lee Child books.

The story is about two billion dollars of gold bullion being stolen at sea. Breed is tasked with finding and recovering the thirty tons of gold by the CIA's deputy director Anya Stein.

The action takes place in the Greek Islands and island hopping takes place by ship and helicopters. There is a feeling of a Bond movie to this one and the Aegean Sea is the backdrop.

Lots of action and some intense feelings as Breed goes about his business tracking down the hijackers in a Bond like manner. Kill or be killed as Hard Contact takes place.

Cameron Curtis is clearly a writer who likes to provide plenty of detail for his readers to understand and visualize every individual scene. I found that interesting and also a little unusual but it works for me.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me the opportunity to read and provide a fair review of Hard Contact.



Hard Power (A Jon Reznick Thriller Book 12)

Hard Power by J.B. Turner

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Hard Power is the new thriller featuring Jon Resnick from bestselling author J.B.Turner.

Hard Power is another really good Resnick book by J.B. Turner and perfect for those who enjoy pacey action thrillers based on current events and for those following Jon Reznick or reading Reacher books.

Jon Reznick ex CIA Delta and black ops contractor has waved his daughter Laura off for a two year contract with the CIA in Indonesia. He receives a call from Trevelle Williams a NSA hacker friend. Travelle tells Reznick his girlfriend has been killed and her brother is in danger. He asks Reznick for help.

Resnick and Williams go to meet Kevin Chang a Hong Kong student-activist in New York Chinatown. When they find Kevin, he's already being threatened by a chinese gunman. Resnick reacts, shots are fired and they flee the crime scene.

Running but now hunted by the agencies and the Chinese, Resnick contacts his Ex Boss Martha Myerstein FBI Assistant Director to protect Kevin from being taken by the Chinese. Resnick's idea to cut a deal is denied by Myerstein and she offers Resnick nothing, so he knows they have to get out of New York if they are to survive.

Trevelle calls an old friend Caroline Sullivan for help. She's an investigative journalist writing a book on the growing Chinese influence in the USA and living in a beach cottage in Madison, New England. Caroline agrees to help Kevin Chang. They all travel to her father's house in Vermont.

Resnick arranges a meet with Martha Myerstein who he trusts but she is wired and he's taken by the FBI. They put a tracker on his transport and then release Resnick. Their hope is he will lead them to the others but Resnick discovers the tracker. He calls in favours from old Delta colleague Ray Diaz to evade agency surveillance and enable him to get back to protect Kevin.

Resnick knows from his own experience that the Chinese are not finished with Kevin and others like him. Only Resnick's unique experience in undercover ops can prevent Kevin's capture or death and flush out the top level informants within the FBI feeding live and restricted agency information to the Chinese.

Resnick has strong feelings for his country and right and wrong. He displays fast reactions where violence threatens those he protects. He is another Reacher and this book could well be made into an action thriller film. It has some great characters and also a very good current plot which outlines the growing conflict between superpowers and the difficulties of controlling that conflict when they cross the line in a foreign country.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me the opportunity to read and provide a fair review of Hard Power.


Libertyland by Pete Sacks

Libertyland is a Political Conspiracy thriller by Pete Sacks and is rated as my best book of the year with 5 Stars

Carson McCready a former Navy SEAL is under financial pressure from Alimony, banks and the Navy. He needs a normal honest job and a chance meeting on the beach leads Carson to apply for a job working with inmates at SanDiego County Jail.

Carson puts all his energy into the new project, building an inmates team for telemarketing but Carson receives an anonymous tip off about a cyber war and then his prison boss tells him their computers are to have a surprise upgrade.

Carson also learns his telemarketing computers are the gateway for a cyber attack and he's fall guy for the Freedom Society’s home grown terrorist plot.

The terrorists plan to launch a military grade cyber network killer AI which will overcome Government cyber systems. The killer cyber bot's launch needs Liberation Day to be a bloody catalyst, build panic and Carson to be blamed

Their contingency plan is foiled as Carson McCready uses all his experience, skill and help from an ally from his past.

The end game for Cripps is to take charge whilst lining their pockets from cyber security disasters and chaos.

But, as the country remain immobile or impotent following Liberation Day, it is Carson alone who must end this evil power play and rescue his country.

Libertyland’s well blended characters work well in creating the picture of financial blackmail, intrigue and back room politics and where fake news and social media assist the terrorists to lull and coerce the population.

Libertyland is a very well crafted, realistic, absorbing and enjoyable political thriller, written in and for the political climate of today. It's fast moving and thought provoking in today's climate of media warning on data lost or cyber security breaches in large corporations or at National level.

The terrifying scenario of military grade cyber network killer AI bots being used by greedy unscrupulous megalomaniacs to destabilize Government is no longer unbelievable. We should all be disturbed by that.

Libertyland illuminates moral disconnect between decision makers and those delegated to act on their decisions. This appears a common factor in many . Corporate and Government actions today, indicating a growing lack of moral compass in individuals.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing the opportunity to read and provide a fair review of Libertyland and introducing me to author Pete Sacks.


The Black Fire (Eddie Flynn Book 5)

 The Black Fire by Michael Donovan
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Have read all previous Eddie Flynn books. Was a good read and he is a likeable character.
The Black Fire was another good book from Michael Donovan but because I've already read the previous books I was maybe a bit ahead of the plot. But, still a very good absorbing and entertaining read.


A Line in The Sand by Kevin Powers

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Thanks for enabling me to read this Brilliant book. It is the best I have read in a year by a mile.

Could not put it down until it was finished and now wondering what will follow this book up? I was hooked on the characters, the story line and the believability of the plot. Please post my comments for best effect to help this author



Hunted by Alex Knight

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Jake Ellis is a cop who finds himself in survival mode protecting Molly his girlfriend's daughter.
Within minutes of a bloodstained and tearful Molly appearing at his door for help, Jake Ellis sees the Amber Alert out for him on his phone and sees he is named as the major suspect for his girlfriend Rachel's shooting and for kidnapping her 13 year old daughter Molly.

Molly was lucky to escape being shot with her mother (Rachel). But, now she's with Jake.

Jake is a cop. He knows the system and he's seen false information on his computer meant to incriminate him. That makes him an easy target. Somebody has made him the fall guy.

The manhunt starts immediately. Jake knows he has only minutes before they trap him at his home. His only choice is to run to keep both him and Molly alive and find out why he's been set up.

Who is prepared to murder to do it? Jake knows he risks being shot on sight as a dangerous and armed fugitive and kidnapper but he also knows somebody wanted Rachel dead and they were prepared to kill Molly.

Whilst Jake is being hunted by the cops and the FBI for something he hasn't done, Rachel hangs on by a thread on life support and whilst she's still alive is also still a target as she knows it wasn't Jake who shot her. Can Jake put the pieces together quickly enough?

The pace is quick and its easy to read. The reader is involved and kept on edge all the way. The plot is inventive, well planned with good characters. Clever twists keep the reader guessing if Rachel will survive. It all makes for a very good story.

For those who love to find and read different authors in this genre this book is a must. This was an enjoyable book to read and I hope there will be others like it. I will be looking out for them.

My thanks to NetGalley for providing me the opportunity to read and provide a fair review of Hunted and also for introducing me to Alex Knight.



Last modified: 21st March 2024