#ThrowbackThursday ~ Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals by @GreenWizard62 #CrimeFiction #Mystery

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 Once Upon A Time In the City Of Criminals by multi genre writer and novelist Mark Barry. I’ve read several of Mark’s books and enjoyed them all.

Continue reading

Top Reads 2017 #Books #Reading #TuesdayBookBlog

I can’t believe it’s that time again! And yet again, the choice wasn’t easy. It’s been a good reading/listening year with lots of fabulous books, and so, after much deliberation and in no particular order, here are my top reads/listens for this year. 

Clicking on the book cover takes you to Amazon UK. Other links are included in the full review. 

The Chalk Pit ~ Elly Griffiths

The Chalk Pit finds Ruth investigating the discovery of bones in the chalk tunnels below Norwich, excavating and testing the bones to calculate their age. They appears to more recent than anticipated and DCI Nelson is called into the investigation. Running concurrently is the police investigation into the disappearance and murders of rough sleepers in the Kings Lynn area. The plight of the homeless, the unpredictable nature of their situation, how they are viewed by others is a main focus of the storyline and was approached objectively, with thoughtfulness. The concept of an underground community and history of the Norwich tunnels is sad and fascinating at the same time and the combination of social and criminal issues, plus historical facts works well.

Full Review

***** Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Hollywood Shakedown by Mark Barry @GreenWizard62

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This week I’d like to revisit Hollywood Shakedown by multi genre author Mark Barry. This is his debut novel written in 2009, and a 5* read for me. Continue reading

A Shiny Coin for Carol Prentice by Mark Barry @GreenWizard62 #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT #Drama

  • Author: Mark Barry
  • Published: March 2017 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Contemporary, Fiction, Drama, Crime, Book Review, Reading

“I swore that I would never go home, 

but in the end, I had no choice. 

I had to confront what happened. 

And them too. 

It was going be icky. And totally scary.”

When Carol Prentice left her home town of Wheatley Fields for Manchester University she had no plans to return. Her father’s death precipitates a change in her and the subsequent return to Wheatley Fields, along with the resolve to address those intimated demons which have blighted her life and made her believe herself to be less than. She had A Plan. Continue reading

2015 ~ My 20 Top Reads ~ #reading #books

A tough choice, I’ve read lots a great books this year and, in no particular order (as they say) here are my top 20 reads. They are all rated either 4.5 or 5 stars. Clicking on the cover links to Amazon UK.

ravenschoiceRaven’s Choice ~ The Replacement Chronicles #1 ~ Prehistoric fiction, based on fact

As Mark finds out, many people including himself, carry Neanderthal genes although he’ll never know for sure the exact circumstances that brought about this occurrence. But it signifies that Early Modern Man didn’t take the place of extinct Neanderthals but rather the races mixed and interbred, which is proved by the presence of Neanderthal DNA in present day man. It’s such an interesting approach to how life might have been all those years ago, and even more so because it’s a very credible scenario. 

A wonderfully researched, dramatic and detailed narrative sets the scene for forthcoming instalments of The Replacement Chronicles, which I look forward to following.

Full review      Amazon US

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]The Dead Lands ~ post apocalyptic, sci-fi, horror

This is a very well crafted story with perfect pacing, the drama unfolds with consistency to keep the narrative flowing effortlessly. The characters are well-developed and real, Lane especially, but all the personalities are drawn brilliantly, whether you love or loathe them. I think this story covers every eventuality with action, of which there is plenty, greed, deception, horror and sadness. Balancing out the negatives are loyalty, a touch of romance and truthfulness. And the promise of satisfactory karma for the villain of the piece. It’s graphic, gruesome, gritty….and great! 

Full review    Amazon US Continue reading

ANNOUNCING winners and runners-up in the 2015 Rosie Amber Golden Rose Book Awards #TuesdayBookBlog

Congratulations to all!

Rosie Amber

Plain Golden Rose

Welcome to the Official Awards Ceremony of the 2015 Rosie Amber #RBRT Book Awards. We had almost one thousand votes. A Huge thank you to all the nominees and their supporters.

Here Are The Results

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Fantasy Sci Fi

Barb Taub with One Way Fare

Barb and one way Fare

  

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Fantasy

John Privilege with The American Policeman

John and The American

 

 

 

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Mystery and Thriller

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Mystery Thriller

Rose Edmunds with Concealment

Rose and concealment

 

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Mystery

Robert Leigh with Any Man Joe

Robert and Any man

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Contemporary

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Contemporary

Mark Barry with The Night Porter

Mark Barry Night Porter

 

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Contemporary

Terry Tyler with Last Child

Terry and Last Child

 

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book…

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Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals

  • cRIMINALS E-coverAuthor: Mark Barry
  • Published: April 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Contemporary Drama
  • five-stars

Terry Valentine, ex-football hooligan and aging, small-time hood spends his nights driving beautiful young escort, Chloe, to her appointments in the urban inferno of the big city and the opulent manor houses of the countryside. Despite himself, knowing full well the madness, he falls in love with her. Hard. And so does Hope Calder, impossibly rich COE of Calder Phoenix, a multi-national financial conglomerate. Someone who has everything a woman could possibly want. Money, status power. Everything except love. When Chloe declines her advances, her driver knows that a simple polite refusal isn’t going to be enough. With her boss, the cunning Neville, manipulating the situation to his own ends, and Hope’s small army of corporate shills lurking in the shadows, Chloe finds herself in mortal danger. And only one man can protect her. Terry Valentine. Loser. Jailbird. Junkie.

Terry Valentine, a middle-aged ex con with an unsavoury past, and a less than wholesome present, is reduced to debt collection and working for dodgy businessmen. It’s all just a job to Terry, he thinks nothing of threatening people and carrying out those threats if he has a need to. Up to now his life has been a long list of lost opportunities and chances not taken, there’s nothing left for him. Continue reading

Upcoming Reads ~ On My Bookshelf/Kindle

There are many books in my review list and I’m looking forward to these forthcoming reads.

TheLoft’50 YEARS OF MEMORIES ARE HIDDEN IN THE WALLS OF THE LOFT…
Annie only needs to find one… the one that will save Oliver’s life.
On the day of their wedding, Annie saw nothing but happiness ahead, but when an accident calls her back to Memory House, her world is changed forever. Ophelia Browne, the woman who taught Annie to find the memories in a forgotten object, is leaving the house and she’s leaving all those powerful memories behind.
After only three nights in the loft, Annie must now find the single most meaningful memory in Oliver’s mind. If she finds it in time, she can save his life, if she doesn’t…well that’s something she can’t afford to think about.
Readers will welcome back the much-loved characters from Memory House and enjoy a few new friends!’

TheAmericanPoliceman‘After everything, there is peace. The Collective took London away from the gangs that terrorised the city after the plague and the slow terror of the Breakdown. The blood on the streets has dried. There is food, water and good housing. Everyone has work. But the meek have not inherited the earth. On a bitterly cold night a woman is brutalised and murdered, shattering the fragile calm of the city. The investigation of London’s first murder in two years falls to Inspector Timothy Conlan and the District team of the New Metropolitan Police. Tim ‘Con’ Conlan serenely navigates the harsh new London. He is dedicated, conscientious and smiling. Around him society is broken. People are traumatised, fearful and wracked with guilt. Now the dark, empty spaces of the city are being stalked by a monster. Con must find and catch a killer who seems to know his every move. At the same time, there is something rotten at the core of the new government. In the very heart of the Collective, massive lies are being spun. There are rumours of war, whispers of betrayal. The Collective is harsh, relentless and utterly unforgiving. The problem for Con is simple: find the killer; stay alive.’ Continue reading

Hollywood Shakedown

  • Hollywood ShakedownAuthor: Mark Barry
  • Published: April 2015 (2nd Edition) by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Thriller, Dark Humour
  • five-stars

Buddy Chinn, the son of a lauded beat poet from the seventies, is happy to follow the dishonourable family tradition of booze, bets, books and broads. Then, at Hollywood Park one winter Saturday afternoon, two tough guys persuade him to join them on a trip to Damascus, a sprawling mansion off Mulholland Drive, a palace surrounded by a forest of imported trees and lush vegetation.There, he meets Mortimer Saxon, a, reclusive obsessive manuscript collector with an edge. A sharp suited zealot searching for Buddy’s dad’s fabled Lost Manuscript; a one-off, a unique piece worth thousands and thousands of dollars, an American literary icon similar in cult magnitude to Hunter S Thompson’s “Call to the Post.” He asks Buddy whether he can help. Buddy hasn’t a clue. Not a scooby. Trouble is, Mortimer doesn’t believe him. Over the finest steak dinner Buddy has ever eaten, the collector makes him a proposition. 

Buddy Chinn loves three things; betting on the horses, alcohol and his unreliable girlfriend, Monique. He’s an erstwhile writer, although nowhere near his famous father’s league, and would easily make a good living, if he could be bothered. Thirty eight years old and nothing much to show for it, he’s content to let life pass him by. Until one day at Hollywood Park he’s approach by two hoodlums who take him to meet Mortimer Saxon, a fanatical collector of the work of American writers. Continue reading

Carla

  • CarlaAuthor: Mark Barry
  • Published: September 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Psychological, Romance
  • five-stars

Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer and released mental patient, John Dexter, falls in love with Carla, a fresh-faced environmental student and part-time barmaid, the first time he sees her. He should walk away, he knows he should, but he doesn’t. He can’t. And by falling in love, he sets off a chain of events which are at first heart-warming and inspirational, then bleak and horrifying.

An extraordinary story, fascinatingly and honestly narrated by John Dexter, forty-two years old and from a wealthy background. John has a history of mental illness, or more precisely Borderline Personality Disorder, and has been in and out of psychiatric care for years. The most recent being ‘three years of intense psychotherapy’ with the associated medications, some of which were experimental. Now he’s living alone in a flat funded by his father who, rather than hands on help, prefers to throw money at John and hope for the best. And taking into account John’s mother left when he was at an impressionable age his self abandonment issues begin to seem a little more understandable.

On a visit to one of the local pubs John meets, Carla, the young barmaid and he is immediately lost. John knows the scenario well and he also knows his behaviour is illogical but is powerless to stop. During the course of the narrative he explains in detail how he’s unable to cope rationally and emotionally with his feelings and the inevitably of his doomed relationships.

There isn’t a woman in the world who can love me enough. Yet my clinginess begins at minute one. It does. I fell in love with Nina within four minutes. That’s nutty! I know that! Do you think I’m stupid? I possess a first class degree in Physics. I know it’s mad……………………………….It’s no wonder I ended up on the front page of every newspaper in the South of England and in Cedar Falls.

With Carla, John is able to curb his more extreme inclinations, and to his surprise Carla seems to like him. They share an interest in the environment and take walks together. Their developing friendship brings unwelcome consequences by throwing other characters into the mix and showing Carla to be a more complex character than at first thought.

John’s story is a very individual one, reflective and disturbing, told with no holds barred and in great detail. The writing is brilliant. A raw journey inside the mind of the protagonist and his analysis of the disorder that’s influenced and blighted his life. The daily struggle he faces is heart breaking and described beautifully with a wry humour that charms. It’s a compelling, tragic and sometimes immensely brutal story, with an ending I was not expecting and one that will stay with me for quite some time, I think.

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1My thanks to Mark Barry for supplying me with a copy in return for an honest review as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Author links ~ Goodreads, Website, Twitter

About the author

MarkBarryMark Barry is the author of many works of fiction including the cult football hooligan novel, Ultra-Violence, the seriously reviewed, dark and harrowing romance, Carla, and the feel-good thriller, Hollywood Shakedown.

He lives in Nottinghamshire and has one son, Matthew, who, so far, shows no sign of following in his father’s literary footsteps – though he does fanatically support Notts County (which is a much more important trait).

Mark is also the proprietor of Green Wizard Publishing, a company dedicated to publishing cutting-edge, innovative, and accessible fiction firmly based in reality.

The majority of his books are set in either Southwell (“Wheatley Fields”) or Nottingham (“The City”). It is a proud boast that local people who have read his novels can follow the trail of the quirky characters they encounter inside the jacket covers.