#ThrowbackThursday ~ Blood Money (Georgie Connolly #5) by @LindleyE #CrimeFiction

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

This week I’m revisiting book five of what is a fun crime fiction series with serious, gritty undertones. 

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Blood Money ~ Georgie Connolly Book 5

  • BloodMoneyAuthor: E.L. Lindley
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Thriller, Suspense, Crime
  • five-stars

One phone call changes Georgie Connelly’s life forever when her mother reveals a secret that leads to the pair of them heading to London. They’re accompanied by Georgie’s lover James Finn but it soon becomes clear that the situation is more dangerous than any of them could have anticipated and they’re forced to call on their friends for help. Reeling from the shock of discovering that her father may not have been the man she thought he was, Georgie inadvertently finds herself falling foul of the Triad. The more she digs, the uglier the truth becomes but Georgie has invested too much to turn back. Will putting the past to rest help her to see the future more clearly?

James and Georgie are planning a holiday, although James’ suggestion of  camping isn’t quite what Georgie has in mind. Both of them realise they need some quality time together after the traumas of the last year. But fate, in the form of Marilyn, intervenes with some shocking news for Georgie. She has a half-brother, Simon, the result of her father’s affair with his secretary, which broke up her parents’ marriage. And, it seems everyone but Georgie knew about it. Not content with dropping that bolt from the blue, it appears Simon is missing and Marilyn, in her usual high-handed manner, has promised Serena they’ll go to London and help with the search.  Continue reading

False Allegiance (Georgie Connolly #4) by @LindleyE

  • FalseAllegianceAuthor: E.L. Lindley
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Crime, Suspense, Romance
  • five-stars

When a grieving mother asks Georgie to look into the death of her daughter, she finds herself becoming entangled with a college fraternity and its sister sorority. As she strips away the tradition and elitism, she uncovers a dark core which suggests that the death of the young woman may not have been an accident. Calling upon her friends to help with the investigation, Georgie inadvertently places them in great danger. Rejoin Georgie Connelly in this fourth novel of the series where anything could and usually does happen.

Since the traumatic events of a month previously (A Righteous Path) Georgie is having difficulty shaking off the lethargy plaguing her. James is spending a lot of his time at the office and Danny is in the process of developing his own company and doing quite well. Georgie is feeling at a loss, without direction and in need of a project, something to get her up and back into the world. 

Wanting desperately to escape the house her mother bought, and promptly left Georgie and James to sort out, she tries again to contact her friend and taxi driver, Melvyn.

She didn’t even like the house; it was hideous. All open plan and glass, where Georgie liked walls. It was typical of her mother, to ride roughshod over everybody’s lives, and now, predictably, she was nowhere to be seen.

Georgie has been calling Melvyn and leaving messages for a couple of weeks with no reply and is seriously worried. And with good cause as she soon discovers. Melvin’s lady friend, June, persuaded him she needed money for her sick mother’s specialist care. Now he has lost everything since he remortgaged his house to raise the funds for June. Not quite all is lost, though – Georgie is on the case, determined to find June and hopefully recover some of Melvyn’s money.

Although Georgie and James are living together I’m glad to see not a lot has changed in their world. There’s still plenty of unpredictability in their relationship although I might sense a slight mellowing in Georgie. She is still determined and hasn’t lost her tendency to act before fully assessing the possible outcome of a situation, personal or professional, but she’s as endearing as she is exasperating. Poor James, sometimes he’s not quite sure what hit him. When June shows up at Georgie’s office asking for help Georgie can’t refuse her, regardless of the mixed feelings she stirs up in those closest to her.

The subsequent investigation is fraught with danger, involving attempted murder, marital upset and rich college students whose fraternities and sororities control the campus. An excellent and believable plot plus a great cast of likeable and interesting characters combine to make this a very enjoyable and absorbing read. I like the addition of Martha Chapman and hope she features in future stories. The development of the other members of the cast and their situations is realistic, if sad on some counts. I had to laugh at Marilyn’s attempt at driving and her passengers’ reactions. Looking forward to the next instalment to see how certain situations are, hopefully, resolved.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Author Links ~ Twitter, Blog, LindleyReviews

The Righteous Path (Georgie Connolly #3)

  • TheRighteousPathAuthor: E. L. Lindley
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Romance
  • five-stars

In between projects and waiting for James to return from the Gulf, Georgie is excited when her old friend Sean Collins asks her for help in finding a missing girl.

When Sean Collins rescues Georgie from boredom and her uncertainty concerning James, with the promise of an intriguing project, she jumps at the chance of having something other than her precarious romance to occupy her mind. Sean’s suspicions are aroused when a young girl disappears from a religious cult group based on an estate in Ventura. Georgie is intrigued and envisions the seeds of a conceivably major story. She knows it will make a great documentary and loses no time in getting Danny on board. None of them have the least notion of where their investigations will lead and what they will uncover.

Georgie returned to the office  having agreed to meet with Sean’s damsel in distress just as soon as he could set it up. She had to admit she was more than a little bit intrigued. Sean wasn’t the type to make a fuss over nothing and something about this woman’s story had touched a nerve with him. He had remained tight-lipped when she had pressed him for more details, insisting that she wait and hear it directly from the woman herself. He had been ad adamant about one thing, however, if she was interested, there was definitely going to be a story here.

James arrives home two weeks earlier than planned, to Georgie’s surprised pleasure, and finds her about to throw herself into another potentially dangerous situation. It’s not the greatest of homecomings for James, he knows how Georgie dives in without thinking things through and it doesn’t take long for them to come to verbal blows. Georgie and Julie are still circling each other, which isn’t helping James either. Other relationships are suffering in this story too, which allows the characters more realism, given the dynamics between them all. And to top it off Marilyn makes an appearance with a surprising proposition.

Jed Munroe and the menacing religious cult’s activities makes a believable and very realistic storyline. Although charismatic and apparently sincere, Jed is not all he seems. E L Lindley weaves a tense and well thought out plot that gains momentum all the way to the unexpected conclusion.

I think this story is my favourite so far!  Georgie is still as impulsive and hot-headed as ever and her relationship with James just as volatile. There’s never a dull moment with these protagonists, that’s for sure. It was lovely to be re-acquainted with the great cast of characters from the previous books too. 

This passage taken from E. L. Lindley’s bio on Goodreads says exactly what I most enjoy about her writing ~ ‘Lindley writes in a style which is both light-hearted and fun but with serious undertones, often tackling gritty subjects. In all of her novels, the characters reflect her belief in humanity and the fact that the human spirit will always prevail, regardless of the situation.’

My reviews for book #1 and book#2

About the author

ELLindleyE.L. Lindley is an indie writer and general lover of books in all of their forms. She has written numerous contemporary novels, including the Georgie Connelly series as well as standalone novels. When she is not writing, she is devouring the works of other writers and is delighted by how indie publishing has thrown open the world of publishing. She sees it as a win win situation, allowing writers to publish their work, whilst providing readers with a richer and more varied choice.

Lindley has always loved writing but produced her first full length novel, Business As Usual, when she decided to move on from her career as an English teacher. She now supplements her writing by working on a free-lance basis. This also affords her time to travel and she has been fortunate enough to have travelled extensively throughout the world, using her experiences as a source of inspiration for her writing.

She currently resides in Sheffield in the UK but has lived and worked in many places including, London, Oxford, Southampton, Cheltenham and Brighton. She also studied for a couple of years at the University of Arlington in Texas and has consequently made many extended trips to the USA to visit and stay with friends. Her novels reflect this and tend to incorporate both sides of the Atlantic.

E.L. can also be found on Twitter. Click the book cover for Amazon UK, or here for Amazon US

The Ties That Bind (Georgie Connolly #2)

  • TheTiesThatBindAuthor: E.L. Lindley
  • Kindle Edition
  • Crime/Mystery/Thriller
  • four-half-stars

After a harrowing couple of months, Georgie and James Finn prepare to take their relationship to the next level, only to find their plans scuppered by the arrival of Georgie’s estranged mother, Marilyn, who is accused of murdering her husband. Suddenly Georgie has to deal with issues that resonate back to her troubled childhood. 

Georgie Connolly is back. And although she may have been under the impression she and James Finn could spend quality time together after the traumas of recent weeks and their entanglement in the seedy world of a Russian gangster, a phone call from Los Angeles Defence Attorney, Leonard Spalding puts their plans on hold. Georgie’s mother, who abandoned her when she was six, has been charged with the murder of her husband. Bail has been set and Marilyn is now, much to Georgie’s discomfiture, released into her custody. Georgie hasn’t seen her mother for ten years and initially Marilyn’s self centred attitude clearly shows why mother and daughter are not close and explains Georgie’s reluctance to let go of her deep-rooted feelings of hurt and abandonment.

As James listened intently the attorney explained the situation and it wasn’t good. Georgie’s mother had married a man called Charles Beck, seven months ago and had actually been residing in Beverley Hills. He was left reeling by the idea that all this time Georgie had no idea that her mother was living here, in LA.  He could have quite happily strangle the woman on Georgie’s behalf.

James and Julie Sellars have become partners in a private investigation and security business and have decided to take on Marilyn’s case. James has serious doubts about the validity of the accusation levelled against Marilyn after speaking to Detective Sean Collins, his and Georgie’s very good friend and newly promoted Lieutenant in the Hollywood division. As James and Julie’s investigation deepens the case becomes ever more involved.

Callie Delaney, Georgie’s best friend, has offered to have Marilyn to stay at her house, much to her husband Eric’s chagrin. Georgie, on the other hand, is grateful and guilty in equal measure. She decides to put her time and effort into research for the job at hand. Little does she know this, along with her mother’s situation, will lead her into peril from the world of gang culture with its appalling and sordid crimes.

I’m really enjoying this series and the way the books are written, with serious and sometimes deadly implications as well as a light-hearted and humorous slant. Thank goodness Georgie and James’ unpredictable relationship gains ground eventually, with both ready to admit their feelings although even then, nothing goes smoothly. They’re each too good at disrupting the balance and it doesn’t help that James is struggling with life after the Marines and Georgie is focusing more on making her documentary about the public schools system. 

E.L. Lindley has created a great cast of likeable and realistic characters. Georgie is fortunate in her supportive network of friends and I love that she has her own personal friendly cab driver. Georgie is still as impulsive and liable to put herself in dangerous situations however, and this instance is no exception. 

Business As Usual (The Georgie Connolly Stories, Book 1)

  • BusinessAsUsualAuthor: E.L. Lindley
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Crime, Mystery, Romance
  • four-stars

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

 

A thrilling crime novel, introducing Georgie Connelly a feisty protagonist along with a cast of loyal and likeable characters who surround her. If you enjoy novels that have heart and humour why not give it a try.

Many thanks to E.L. Lindley for sending me a copy as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team.

As we meet former teacher, now a Los Angeles based documentary film maker, Georgie Connolly, she is about to start a stint of community service. Due to an embarrassing mix up she was convicted of driving under the influence. Her penance is to teach media studies to decidedly uncooperative students one day a week. Georgie is a volatile character, with an explosive temper, and sometimes (a lot of the time actually) acts before thinking things through properly, landing her, and sometimes the people around her, in precarious situations. But underlying her irritability and tendency to jump in with both feet, she has a good and caring heart and is quite sensitive. 

James Finn, an ex Marine, is hired, albeit reluctantly on James’ part, by his friend, Eric, who is also Georgie’s boss and her best friend’s husband, to protect Georgie from a white supremacist, out for revenge and sending death threats. Georgie exposed the group in a previous documentary and as Georgie bounces from disaster to disaster James is in turn infuriated with her and trying to deny the spark of attraction growing between them.

“Stay there,” he ordered, disconnecting the call. He didn’t need to tell Georgie that he would be there as fast as humanly possible. More and more, she was coming to rely upon James’ strength and his innate sense of always knowing what to do and, for the second time that day, she had an uneasy feeling, wondering what her life would be like once he had moved on. 

When one of Georgie’s students goes missing, Georgie’s attention is drawn to Maxim Petrov, a questionable Russian and suspected abductor, with ties to ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ and the seedier side of life. Not one to let an opportunity pass her by, Georgie decides to investigate Petrov by making him her next documentary subject, not realising just how dangerous and corrupt he is until it’s too late. 

I like the twist of Georgie making documentaries instead of being connected to law enforcement. The cast of characters surrounding Georgie are all interesting, real and easy to identify with. The relationship between Georgie and James had me wanting to knock some sense into them both at times though.

This is a fun and entertaining read, even though there are darker aspects and menacing connotations involving corruption, prostitution and trafficking, both in drugs and girls. This adds to the drama, and the action and suspense is kept on the boil throughout. The story flows, and is paced well. I look forward to following more of Georgie’s adventures.