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5***** – Fast-paced page-turner: don’t read it before bed.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So in the name of honesty I must begin by saying I don’t usually read this genre, which is an excellent way of keeping my opinion unbiased. It’s also good not to have expectations before start reading the story.
Anyway, that was the case here and was I positively surprised mainly considering this is the author’s debut novel! He did a great job of fleshing-out characters whose backgrounds and/or present day activities aren’t exactly role model material. But this kind of character is usually the most realistic one, in my opinion. And Michael Ross proves he know how to deliver a realistic story.
I particularly liked the way he introduced the characters and built the plot. More specifically, I loved the use of the third person omniscient POV because it’s something the big publishers and editors have been refusing to do for a long time. I’ve had problems convincing my editor to let me use it for my second novel and ended up agreeing with her and changing for third person restricted POV. It wasn’t as gratifying for me as an author so I applaud Mr. Ross for going with that. As a reader, it’s my favorite kind of POV and I don’t care if the publishers call it old-fashionable. LOL For a thriller like this one, it fits like a glove. Finally, I liked the puzzle-like quality of the author’s way of introducing the characters and their storylines. It was creative and engrossing.
I recommend this book to all fans of thrillers and suspense novels who are seeking a new, promising writer. Mark my words: Mr. Ross is going places! Just don’t start reading it too late at night because you risk not getting up on time the next morning.
When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…
Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.
Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…
Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.
The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…
Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was.
In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…
Several lives depend on it.
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She did not recognise the number coming up on her mobile and hesitated slightly before answering, “Hannah speaking.”
“Why just the person, and how are you today, Hannah?”
A cold shiver ran from the back of her neck down to her ankles. She tried to keep her voice neutral. “Hi. I thought you were abroad just now.”
“Who says I’m not?”
A tremor of relief briefly visited her. “Oh, I see.”
“Actually, I’ve come back. I missed the old haunts. I can’t seem to get the place out of my blood.”
Was it her imagination or did those two words, “haunts” and “blood,” seem to resonate in her head? She needed to sound in control, and so her reply was firmly delivered, “And you rang me because?”
“Just to say hello, Hannah, just to say hello.”
With that, the phone went dead. Hannah’s immediate reaction was anger at the caller’s obvious attempt to unsettle her. She hit the recall button and redialled the incoming number but the other phone was already switched off. She was well aware that anger is sometimes a protective shield behind which lurks blinding terror, but sitting alone in her car, Hannah recognised that she had lost that shield and a fearsome terror instantly slewed through her entire body.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.
Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.
This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.
I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.
Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.
Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.