Action: Pulse Pounding Tales Volume 1

ACTION - Pulse Pounding Tales
ACTION - Pulse Pounding Tales Volume 1

Published today is Action: Pulse Pounding Tales Volume 1. Why do I mention this? Because I have a story in it!

It’s an anthology of stories based on action heroes. Harking back to the characters and tales of the 1970’s when political correctness was second in line to plot, explosions were bigger, bullets only caused flesh wounds in the good guys and everything screamed along like the finalé to a Hollywood summer blockbuster.

Authors include Matt Hilton and Stephen Leather, plus a smorgasbord of other established talent and a bunch of newbies like me.

It’s a bargain at £2.56 (Kindle only, I’m afraid), and for the first month of release Matt is donating 50p per copy sold to the rather worthwhile Help For Heroes charity.

Clicky links for purchase are as follows:

Amazon UK and Amazon US

Spread the word!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Rough Justice by Stephen Leather

Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd, #7)Rough Justice by Stephen Leather
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once upon a time I was lucky enough to receive a quick email from Stephen Leather when I popped a review of Long Shot on my blog. It was from a cybercafe in Thailand or somewhere so I couldn’t reply him. Shame.

Leather has consistently written good thrillers including The Chinaman, one of his first and still one of my favourites of all time. This is the 7th Spider Shepherd novel and I *think* I’ve read them all to date. I’m not sure, which is one of the reasons I joined GoodReads! I need to keep track…

Rough Justice is very much a crime thriller of modern times. Spider is drafted in to try and discover which corrupt policemen in a special unit attached to the Met happen to be taking the law into their own hands – castrating rapists, shooting gangbangers, hanging paedophiles and the like.

As Spider infiltrates the group, he also has personal issues at home with his son threatened and his old army Major looking for his own form of revenge when his nephew is murdered.

As such, the book throws up the same question from three viewpoints – when it justice just? And how far should you go? Is it OK when it’s your family to step over the line? Or a close friend? Or when it’s society that’s taking the brunt of a poor justice system?

This is definitely the best Shepherd novel and one of Leather’s best overall. Highly recommended for pace and delivery. I particularly like the way that little nuggets of well-researched trivia are dropped into the text and dialogue in a way that won’t patronise the reader.

Great stuff. I have at least one more Leather in my “to-read” pile and I’m looking forward to it.

View all my reviews

Enhanced by Zemanta

Are kids’ books just for kids?

I’ve not done much about books recently, and partly that’s down to the fact I’ve not had a lot of spare time to get through the huge pile of novels I want to read. Between (ab)using my cinema pass, studying and this collection of evil electrons called The Internet I’ve let my enjoyment of the written art slip slightly.

The last three books I’ve read have all been part of the same series – the Alex Rider novels by Anthony Horowitz. Yes, they’re “kids'” books but do note that the author has also worked on adult television screenplays and that there is a whole genre of books that didn’t exist when I was younger.

Way back then, shortly after the invention of the printing press, books went from “children’s” to “adult” with no real middle ground. Partly due to the maturity of the Harry Potter content, there is now an enormous collection of books filling that gap. With detailed plots, mature content, interweaving plot strands and characters you can really identify with these books are worth reading by anyone. Simply take a decent “adult” novel, strip out the sex and bad language and a lot of these books could be confused with something for a more mature audience.

The Alex Rider collection are consistently good quality. I’ve not read the Young James Bond novels, but I can’t see them being anywhere near as good as this series, simply as the protagonist doesn’t want to be a spy. The detailed background Horowitz has created means that the character develops as he learns a little more about his past as each book is released. And not all of it is good.

The research given to each title is superb, allowing Horowitz to throw facts at readers and educate them while entertaining at the same time. Everything from how to walk a tightrope to the effects of basic physics on maneuvering in zero gravity have come up in the (so far) seven books. I was surprised to see that Horowitz had met fellow author Stephen Leather (of whom I am also a huge fan) in Bangkok during his research for Snakehead. Leather writes what are, to all intents and purposes, adult Alex Rider books. These are the novels I would say kids would walk right into if they enjoy Alex’s stories.

The fact that I mentioned one of his books (The Long Shot) in a blog post several years ago and received a “thank you” email from him has no influence on how much I like his work. Honestly.

I just ordered another book, Gone by Michael Grant, after I saw it in the children’s section of Waterstones recently.

Don’t miss out on some great reading simply because it’s not in the grown-up’s section of the library or bookshop. See what the teenagers are reading these days and jump on their bandwagons.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]