Black Water by Cormac O’Keeffe.

I love Dublin; the atmosphere; the bars; the history and the people. I’ve visited three times twice in the 90s and once in the last five years. One of the best places for the craic and a few pints of the black stuff which does taste better there! I’ve walked down Grafton Street and Molly’s statue but….

Black Water is a different Dublin! It’s not the Dublin I could have imagined before reading this well written and graphic novel about the darker side of the city. It is as billed like ‘The Wire’ with young broken kids doing the dirty work for the gang bosses. They’re also a young local soccer team led by Shay from the community trying to give them a better time.

I initially got lost with the fast pace: different characters popping up in a few pages. A death early on draws in the Garda to investigate. The circumstances around the windscreen wipers are a starting point for Garda Crowe to unravel the threads! She has a possible leak to the gangs from inside Garda to deal with- who can she trust?

Jig for one has drawn my affection for all his flaws and misguided actions. There’s his mates too – impressionable kids – are they already on the social scrap-heap?

Answer them for yourself- Black Water has to be read!

I love this book it’s gripping; page-turning stuff and I give it five stars! Good strong characters and soundly plotted. Looking forward to the next.

Restless Coffins – M.P.Wright

Restless Coffins blog tour banner

So Mistah Ellington, ‘JT’ to his family and friends is back on the trail again after a long logical break and so it seems has this blogger!

I’ve been busy with life and work so books seem to have taken a back-seat of late so when I was invited to read Restless Coffins by M.P.Wright, to attend the London launch and to blog again, I picked up my digital pencil, so to speak, and here we are on the last but hopefully not least of the Restless Coffins blog tour.

I had missed JT and his exciting adventures and this one is the best so far – they all say that don’t they? Well this one is not to be missed. Five Stars!

The Plot – no spoilers!

The Prologue In the prologue we start with a flashback to Joseph’s childhood in Bim.

He and his sister are going fishing at the beach a fair walk from their home and on their way back they discover something they’d rather not have found.

The Present

We then flash forward to JTs present – as usual – 1960s Bristol where racism is still rife as in the rest of the UK. JT receives a telegram – remember those – from his cousin somewhere the other side of the Atlantic ocean containing tragic news which he needs to return to get closure. This stirs him into action and a bloody journey through New York – Harlem and then onto New Orleans with a female companion he finds has an association with his cousin. But if I went on more…….I’d be spoiling the thrills and spills of the book wouldn’t I?

My thoughts…..

As a slight side-track – during the summer last year I read a book by Raymond Chandler that was later made into a film with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. I’d seen the film a number of times and every line of dialogue spoken by the hero of the story rang in my ears of Bogie saying those lines! Well this is where I come back to the JT book.

A famous – look him up on that movie and TV database – Ben Onwukwe has done the audio books of these stories and he was invited to the launch to read from the book. He read the prologue and brought the Bajan dialect to life in front of us. I heard his voice in all the words as I read. I would also suggest  you get the audio book too, to experience this in more dimensions.

The narrative from MP Wright draws you in; I felt as with other books part of the journey, part of the stress and in the settings so wonderfully described by MP Wright. A great story teller and a very clever man.

Again another ***** from me and thanks to Mark and Black & White for allowing me to be part of this book launch and  the pleasure of the read!

ps now I need to go an mop up some of the blood and hide the bodies left behind in the mayhem

2016 in summary

To all the writers, bloggers, publishers, authors, agents and fans out there a Happy New Year and thanks for making 2016 so wonderful with books to escape into…

I’ve read 40 books this year – a big achievement.

I attended launches for Mark Wright and Susi Holliday I’ve read all four of their books and thoroughly enjoyed them and I am looking forward to the next in each series – J T Ellington is being read by a friend on holiday in Mexico as I write.

I’ve caught up with Charles Cumming‘s excellent spy novels in both A Colder War and A Divided Spy. I like a Thomas Kell a lot but I’d love a third Alec Milius … heavy hint.

I picked up on one special favourite writer this year, Graham Hurley and read 16 of his crime novels set in either Portsmouth or the West Country. I was also fortunate to meet a very spritely Mr Hurley (in his 70s) when he visited recently to give a talk. Mr Hurley was nagged to bring Paul Winter out of retirement.

I’ve also read Ragnar Jonasson‘s Blackout but still haven’t read Nightblind – I am fan of chronology so dont want to spoil the series.

I was sent the third @ADGarrett and so read Everyone Lies; Believe No One and Truth Will Out and enjoyed them all a lot especially the chemistry between Simms and Fennimore and cant wait for more of those two.

Last but not least I’ve got to the current end of the Quentin Bates series about Gunhilldur at Thin Ice – all good stories and I look forward to more.

I am currently reading Nutshell by Ian McEwan….. I am in the embryonic stages at the moment but so far very good!

On my list for 2017 already are

Sarah Ward‘s A Deadly Thaw;

Kati Hiekkapelto‘s The Exiled;

Steven Hayward‘s Mickey Take;

– Jim Douglas’s Tokyo Nights;

Ragnar Jonasson‘s Rupture;

Torquil MacLeod‘s continuing Malmo novels.. Midnight is next

Graham Hurley‘s Finisterre

Margaret Atwood‘s Hag-seed

I am sure I have missed someone but before I go I’d like to thank Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Linda MacFadyen at Fledgling Books, plus Laura Nichol and Helen Brown for their inspiration in sending books for review – the pile needs to grow if I am to beat last years list.

Once again dont stop writing and editing and creating as I wont stop reading and blogging…….. love for 2017 to you all.

ps I haven’t read a book of less than 4 stars this year – if I don’t like it I won’t continue with it…

All Through The Night (Detective J.T. Ellington #2) by M.P Wright ***Blog Tour*** — bytheletterbookreviews

Today I am delighted to be the next stop on the blog tour for All Through The Night. This is the second novel in the Detective J.T Ellington series. Heartman is the first novel in the series and you can read my thoughts by clicking here. Book Description: Heartman’s J T Ellington returns… “It’s quite […]

via All Through The Night (Detective J.T. Ellington #2) by M.P Wright ***Blog Tour*** — bytheletterbookreviews