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paul nelson

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Betron B-25 Noise Isolating in Ear Canal Headphones Earphones with Pure Sound and Powerful Bass for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Nokia, HTC , Mp3 Players etc (Silver-Black)
Betron B-25 Noise Isolating in Ear Canal Headphones Earphones with Pure Sound and Powerful Bass for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Nokia, HTC , Mp3 Players etc (Silver-Black)
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great value headphones, 28 Dec. 2015
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No complaints pretty decent sound and look great.


Carissima Gold 9 ct White Gold Red and White Cubic Zirconia Flower Cluster Stud Earrings
Carissima Gold 9 ct White Gold Red and White Cubic Zirconia Flower Cluster Stud Earrings
Price: £47.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little earrings, 27 Dec. 2015
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Missus likes them so all good.


An American Outlaw (The Whicher Series Book 1)
An American Outlaw (The Whicher Series Book 1)
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars You pick up a gun, plan a robbery, everything's gonna change, 7 Dec. 2014
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'You took up a gun, your world could turn upside down in a heartbeat. A bank. A gas station. A patrol, the other side of the world. Or a robbery, the fields of Texas. You stepped off, the fall could be an inch, a mile—unending. Nobody to save you, nobody there.'

An American Outlaw is a stunningly stylish dose of southern American crime fiction and you know when you enjoy reading something so much you're practically buzzing when you sit down to write a review. Well that's how I'm feeling and all from looking at James Lee Burke on Amazon and clicking through customers also bought section. Certainly glad I took a punt on this.

What captured the atmosphere, the characters and a chase laden plot perfectly was John Stonehouse's style of writing and all this in a debut novel that's left me eagerly waiting for his next offering. You know I like my quotes so there's a couple scattered through the review.

The style of writing is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, it's short, sharp, sparse and not a wasted word in site. There's no beating around the bush and it takes a little while getting used to, it's not for everyone but you can say that for every book ever written. I'll give you an example of a direct prose that borders on cutting but at the same time a mite refreshing.

‘I faced a lot of things. But I couldn't look her in the eye, the girl I met in second grade. Freckles and the chestnut hair. If every bone in her body had gone, she couldn't have looked more broken. Crushed. She told me she could sit on that porch, not a soul could see her—not a soul could hear her ask the world why it took everything. The boy she loved from eight years old.’

To the story a group of ex-marines plan a robbery spree, on the day of the bank job Gilman Francis James, a descendant of the infamous Frank & Jesse James is left stranded as a power blow out robs him of petrol and the ability to phone his partners. Their plans plunge into catastrophe and pretty soon it's all down to improvisation and the unknown as they become wanted fugitives at large. Every man and his dog on their case.

On The hunt US deputy Marshal John Whicher, four main strategic points, four towns and 'thirty thousand square miles of desert and mountain and honest to god wilderness.'

And just what Gil didn't need when lying low, a hard headed young woman with plans of her own and a shotgun. Tennille needs cash, needs an out for her daughter, escape from a partner and Gil drops into her lap like a tainted gift from God.

Right is forever broken, compromised, wrong takes over until finally the boundaries between good and immorality fade into obscurity as everyone's reasons come to the fore.

Atmospheric I guess would be the perfect word to describe this, bleak and harsh conditions, the mountains, the trails, the rain and the desert almost taking on the role of a vengeful character, providing help them wrenching it away in a storm of indifference.

'Dust is everywhere, he screws his eyes tight against it. He holds his jacket across his mouth in the choking haze, sand scattering, the ground shifting. Like smoke beneath his boots.’

Apologies for the long review but I did like this and I think it shows. A read with plenty of depth, an ending that just felt right, one the reader could appreciate and even applaud if you’re of an excitable type. Three compelling characters that surprisingly you find, at some point you’re actually rooting for all of them.

Recommended


Bloodeye
Bloodeye
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Craig Saunders Rocks, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Bloodeye (Kindle Edition)
Bloodeye is another novella from Craig Saunders that I have to say I quite enjoyed in places, Craig first came to my attention when he became a Darkfuse author and his first release was the superb Deadlift which I rate very highly.

He again employs the use of different timelines, starting in the present and then flitting back in time to tell the story of Keane Reid, a man who runs, frequently and for miles. Not as a hobby, not for the fitness aspect, no he runs to escape from his past and from the demons that haunt him.

The second timeline is seven years in the past, where we meet Keane’s wife, Teresa and witness her murder, the perpetrator, now this is where the story gets interesting. Through Keane’s eyes we meet brother shadow, a beast that lived in the hard, dark places in his soul. A creature that hides in his shadow.

This is where the author asks the questions, does Keane have a shade, a shadow or demon that detaches from his soul, is the stories protagonist hiding behind this excuse in his mind, unwilling to admit the truth, not even to himself or is it some mental disorder such as schizophrenia. I know what my moneys on and there’s a few clues littered about when he takes his wife into the cave, into the dark where no shadow can rise.

I do like the style of Craig’s writing, it’s not straight forward and easy to follow, you have to put the pieces together, form your own opinion and this for me was one of darkness, one man’s fight against the demons in his mind. The chapters are short, high impact, never allowing you to settle in a rhythm and this can at times lead to confusion, affecting the pace but it’s a read that tests your levels of scrutiny, one that demands a slow approach or a second read.

I received Bloodeye from Darkfuse & Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2014 3:11 PM BST


Sunblind
Sunblind
Price: £3.21

5.0 out of 5 stars SUNBLIND is Superb, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Sunblind (Kindle Edition)
I’ve now read eight books by Michael McBride and he’s become a definite must-read, be it horror or thriller, doesn’t matter he’s a damn talented author who writes some seriously good stuff and deserves to be massive.

Sunblind is another thriller which skirts into psychological horror and I just know I’m going to get a book that encompasses microscopic attention to detail and levels of research that are sometimes staggering. Every book I’ve read from McB, I always have to flip over to google at some point and research some word or phrase that’s in there begging for an explanation, it’s become almost a sabbatical and my thanks for learning all these new words and bits of vegetation.

Sunblind gives us two protagonists the first and main character is Mayra Visari, who pays a large sum of money to join a group of illegals hoping to get across the Sonoran desert of Mexico and into America. Along with a coachload of other passengers they embark on an ill-fated trip that soon turns into a nightmare that threatens all their lives.

On the side of America we have border patrol agent Christian Rivera who comes into the story at the start of the book but at the end of Mayra’s journey as he discovers her barely alive by the roadside.
He and a team of agents get medical assistance and start to backtrack her trail.

The chapters then advance with Mayra and her fellow travellers as they trek through the mountainous desert, stalked by an unknown assailant, killing the party one by one and BPA Rivera as he explores the path and the apparent violence of her fight for freedom. As both parties encounter something unbelievable, something that’s made its home in the mountains and only comes out to hunt.

The pace and tension that Michael McBride brings to the table are nail biting at times and this is another thoroughly enjoyable story that puts you right there in the thick of it.

I received Sunblind from Darkfuse & Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Fearful Symmetry: A Thriller
Fearful Symmetry: A Thriller
Price: £2.80

5.0 out of 5 stars A top draw thriller from Michael McBride, 24 Aug. 2014
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In Fearful Symmetry, Michael McBride drags you chillingly terrified into an atmosphere that is so taut and harsh, you almost feel the need to massage the warmth back into your fingers and constantly look over your shoulder into the trees. You can sense something watching, waiting and you just know it’s a prelude to violence.

In 1938 a team of Nazi scientists ascended into the Himalayas chasing the origins of Germanic ancestral heritage, Himmler’s infatuation with the Aryan race, the mystical Nordics that escaped the sinking of Atlantis. What they encountered could radically revise the trunk of the family tree of man itself, the origins of man and only one survived to keep its secret.

Now aged 95 Dr Brandt with perhaps his final throw of the dice engages a team of four evolutionary anthropologists with very diverse areas of expertise to find and bring back his greatest discovery, finally scientific advancement has progressed to reap the potential rewards. They must travel into the harshest terrain known to man and face unimaginable dangers in a place they were never meant to go.

The first chapter begins somewhere near the end of the story, when tension is almost at the top of the scale, we then intertwine chapters from the expedition with the start of the story and finally with the Nazi scientists tale as the terror that awaits becomes a relentless onslaught.

The descriptive writing of the conditions endured by the team on this expedition was some of the best I’ve read, you felt the cold wind with them, felt the rain and then the sudden change in humidity and finally the all-out terror as night falls. A tale of one man’s secrets, one man’s lies, shocking discovery and the ultimate betrayal.

I always comment on how thorough Michael McBride’s research is and his level of detail beggars belief sometimes but he’s outdone himself with Fearful Symmetry, this time we touch on genetic engineering, evolutionary biology, anthropology, DNA sequencing & cloning, hominin or human ancestry and the physiological effects of viruses on human evolution. Certainly not to the point of being over-whelmed but you can appreciate how much effort goes into an epic thriller of this magnitude.

That’s the barest slither of the story, to give more away would be a crime and this without doubt is one of the best I’ve read from Michael McBride, he’s definitely on a roll following the excellent Sunblind and Ancient Enemies, all three highly recommended.

Fearful Symmetry is Highly Recommended.


Earthly Things
Earthly Things
Price: £3.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful & emotional tale, 14 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Earthly Things (Kindle Edition)
Earthly Things is a powerful, emotionally gripping tale of a young love cruelly cast to the wind. A story of a broken family, devastated by loss, ruined by a cold blooded murder and the slow, painful journey of reckoning.

Set in Kingston, Michigan, the story is told through the eyes of 14 year old Dexter Bestwick, we live his life, explore the connection with his brother and town hero Adam, and the devastation the family go through as tragedy strikes. The first person narrative puts you in the story, when I say we live his life, I mean just that, the characterization is bare, uncovered and agonizing at times.

Devastation comes in the form of a car accident that claims the life of his brother, Dexter starts to spend more time with close neighbour, Jamie a girl 2 years older than himself, as their relationship gradually becomes more familiar, demonstrated perfectly with a quote ‘She stole my heart long before I ever knew I’d want to give it away’.

One month is all the time they get together before Dexter is brutally murdered but that doesn’t end the first person narrative, through his passing he remains to endure the loss of those who knew him as suspicion finds an undue quarter.

Julian Vaughn, no big secret is the pen name of Lee Thompson and Earthly Things is his second foray into crime fiction and I really enjoyed it, more so than A Beautiful Madness which was top notch. Loved the twist in this, wasn’t anywhere near it, but the standout feature for me was the portrayal of Dexter both before and after his death.
This could well be the start of something big in the world of crime fiction, you never know, there’s a raw emotional darkness to Lee’s work that’s compelling and this deserves to be a big hit.

Highest Recommendation.


The Customer Is Always...
The Customer Is Always...
Price: £0.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff, 12 Aug. 2014
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At just 68 pages The Customer Is Always… packs a punch akin to a brutal right hand from George Foreman in his heyday. This is a story you will read in one sitting, it’s impossible not to, a seriously gripping read that ramps up the tension almost immediately and leaves you a little bit unsure of who to root for at times.

On one hand we have Alan Pierce whose car insurance was prematurely finished early and of course he’s involved in a serious car accident with fatalities involved. Disgruntled customer might be one of the biggest understatements you’ll ever hear as Mr Pierce takes it all very personally indeed.

On the other hand there’s Vincent, he works at the call centre for the insurance company and his day, along with quite a few other peoples is about to be more than ruined, it’s going to be completely shattered in devastating fashion.

All starting when Mr Pierce, policy number 6321142B rings up and in calm voice asks to know why his policy was cancelled, things don’t remain calm for much longer, I assure you.

A 4.5 Rating.

Recommended.


A Beautiful Madness
A Beautiful Madness
Price: £3.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Thompson Genius, 11 Aug. 2014
A Beautiful Madness sees one of my favourite authors Lee Thompson delve into crime fiction in a riveting, character driven mystery and easily up there with his best to date.

The story centres on the Woods family, Eddie is the disgraced former Governor of Texas and the Father, while sitting with a beer one night on the porch, a neighbour’s 17 year old son and friend of his daughter, badly beaten stumbles on to his yard with his killer behind him. Eddie’s lawn will be the last place he sees, never to rise, as his killer disappears into the rain soaked night leaving the boy dead.

Enter detective Jim Thompson, a good guy with a good heart and a case that rapidly builds the pressure. Who is the killer? And what’s the connection to Eddie Woods and his three children.

The obvious answer is Sammy Woods, drug dealing son and the protagonist and narrator of the story. Told in first person through Sammy’s eyes, it took me a while to get used to this as Sammy describes events and the feelings of characters even when he’s not present. I can’t recollect reading a story where this method is used, usually a first person narrative is weaved with other characters described in third person, that’s not to say it didn’t work, it just took a few pages to wrap my head round it. That’s just me though.

Sammy’s got a lot going on, the Faulkner brothers are rumoured to be moving in on his business, his brother Andy’s trying to fix him up with a girl from work and his sister Dee has disappeared off the radar, just at the wrong time. On top of that his Father tells of witnessing a murder, is it the truth? Is it a message? He needs to find out exactly what’s going on.

The killer is known as The Wolverine and is a complex individual with a history that pulls on the emotions. Wanting only one thing and possessing the capacity, single mindedness and sheer tenacity to do anything to get it back. Once the Wolverine’s story is laid bare, in a twist that changes the whole perspective of the story, well let’s just say it’s impossible to put the book down from there.

A Beautiful Madness is an intuitive and subjective character focused story, the people portrayed are real, they all have flaws, you have intense feelings for them all, whether it be disdain, empathy or compassion. When an author can make you care about characters that appear only fleetingly and are just as quickly gone, then you’re fully invested in the story and I certainly was in this.

For example Eddie Woods was a shadow of his former self clinging onto the last vestiges of life, one day he snapped and beat his wife with a metal pipe, that one action changed his and his family’s life forever and I desperately wanted to know all about it. A small part of the story but I found it compelling along with everything else that was going on.

There is a fair degree of violence and it’s a necessary tool of the story as each twist and turn builds the tension to a frantic pace. I particularly liked the ending, not everyone makes it but it was satisfying and hopefully we don’t have to wait to long for Lee’s next release.

I do like my quotes, so I’ll end on one here’s one of my favourites when the young boy dies on the lawn.

‘Some people think that’s the beauty of violence, that it leaves a person so shaken, so essentially battered, that the act committed strips the victim of their masks and leaves only the core, stark naked, defenceless and pure.’

Highly Recommended.


The Cabin
The Cabin
Price: £1.80

4.0 out of 5 stars This is scary with a capital S, 9 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Cabin (Kindle Edition)
The Cabin is another gripping horror novella by Matt Shaw in which he scares the s**t out of you in the old fashioned way, there’s no gore, no extreme violence this is pure atmosphere and psychological horror that prays on some of your inner most fears.

Craig, his wife Susan and their two daughters set out for a weekend away at his Cabin, once his Fathers, he’s not been there for a long time and they’re hoping for a peaceful break.

Craig is entertaining with a dry, sarcastic humour, his daughters Ava, at the age where ‘Dad are we there yet’ is just starting to grate on his nerves and Jamie the ever sullen teenager in a permanent bad mood. Along with his wife who can seemingly sleep through anything but still provide a tongue sharp enough to quell any outburst or argument approach the trip with mixed feelings and it’s not long before disaster strikes.

Craig is forced into staying the night at the dilapidated cabin on his own, which to add to the atmosphere is a short walk from the former Vermont Asylum, built by the patients in the late 1800’s and long since abandoned. What follows is a terrifying night of panic and distress concluding in the usual WTF, jaw dropping ending.


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