A murder mystery tackled from the point of view of a lawyer rather than a detective with the culprit becoming clear during the course of the trial. There are four murders: one premeditated; one attempted; one self-defence and one revenge and they all have different perpetrators and all get their comeuppance in a circle of power and corruption. Valda has scrapes of her own and never fully comes clean despite her complicity – hence the book title. Tim Logan
The highlight of this book for me was the trial, which was written with great legal accuracy as well as with forensic detail and a fair share of drama, put downs and wit as in any real life trial. Money is the root of all evil, as goes the cliché, but it is very true in this book – other than Jack who is an honourable character, all the others live by the money-sword and die by it. The characters are true to life, but not in a way that gives you faith in human nature. A good read, free flowing, with excellent use of language and vernacular. Got a real feel for the locations as well. Vicky Anne
I really enjoyed Not Guilty Not Innocent. The opening sequence in Belfast had me hooked straight away and I wondered what the lawyer was doing there and then I found out he was bailing out some London émigré Russian’s gangster’s moll and I just knew this was going to get tasty. I didn’t quite get how Valda, the rock and roll singer, got to meet the lawyer, Jack, and maybe there is just a shade too much coincidence in the fact that they meet in Belfast and they are both involved in one way or another with the same gangsters back in London. But it all made for a rattling rollercoaster of a ride once they’d crossed the Rubicon and those gangsters were coming after them. OHSoccermom
Now this is a real thriller with interwoven plots and enough edginess to keep you turning the pages. The two main characters, Valda Kramer and Jack Lauder, come from entirely different molds and I never would have suspected those two to get together. The author did an incredible job in developing their relationship with enough steam, tension and verity to keep me pulling for both of them.
Jack is out of the same mold as Indiana Jones and Valda, well, I’d peg her as a cross between Amy Winehouse and Kinsey Millhone. Separately and together, they take us through a complicated murder that involves British politicians, a Russian mobster and a full cast of dubious, eccentric and impish characters and witnesses. The trial itself is strained with enough tension to keep even the most skilled criminal defense attorney guessing.
All in all, I can’t recommend this book enough! Paul H Landes – Bestselling Author
Valda is on trial for murder and it’s the biggest scandal since Profumo.
Murdered singer Renee Porter is the link between a Russian oligarch and a key political player – what she knew was dynamite. Can Valda work out what it is before she pays the ultimate price?
Lawyer Jack Lauder is in Belfast dealing with the case of a young well-heeled Russian woman at the special request of up and coming Labour MP Dustin Stanhope acting on behalf of his ‘friend’ oligarch, Oleg Lagunov.
Valda and her band, The G-String Girls, are performing in Belfast as part of a UK tour. Was it the hand of fate that led her to Jack that night or does she have another agenda? Can Jack ever be entirely sure that Stanhope wasn’t behind this coincidence? Although he does not yet know it Valda and her band mate, Renee, are also tied up with Stanhope and Lagunov, two of the London high society power brokers who quaff Moet in their clubs whilst they decide the fate of others.
When Renee is found dead in the bath, Valda is branded the “jealous femme fatale” and charged with her murder. Jack puts his reputation and his life on the line to defend her; he is fast falling for this enigmatic singer even though he knows she is not always 100% honest with him.
Meanwhile the Fleet Street hacks salivate at the prospect of the Trial of the Century. Valda and Jack have little time to gather the evidence which will save her whilst carefully watching their backs as Oleg Lagunov plays only for the highest stakes.
Readers who enjoy John Grisham and Sidney Sheldon will find this book right up their street.
“This book is reminiscent of the macho detective heroes of the 80’s. In many ways it reminded me of Charles Bronsen in St Ives. Pedro has that ultra cool, unflappable Bronsen swagger. John, too is a man’s man. This is no messing, hard hitting detective fiction. No fluff, no frills just getting on with the action.”
“The excellent dialogue in this book made it a hit for me. The author knew his characters well and was able to keep the dialogue entertaining and authentic. Good use of the politics of the time to create an unusual plot line.”
“This is detective work 80’s style and it makes a pleasant change. It you grew up in the 80’s or just remember that time, you will get a warm feeling from this book as memories of 80’s cop shows return.”
“Many other characters will enter the plot like the treacherous Sue West, the mysterious dance school owner Rosa and ‘insufferable ass’ Edward. However, it is John’s contentious relationship with Pedro which is central to the book and which never ceases to take surprising twists and turns. The author has created distinctive and real characters who carry the plot very well.”
“The Assassin’s Keeper is written very much like a TV series. What I mean by that, is that the action could easily be broken up into a ten part series. The book has all the elements of good TV detective drama with red herrings, punch ups, murders, back stabbing and intrigue all dotting the path to the explosive conclusion. A highly original work written in a slightly unusual format. This is not a who-dunnit or a quest for justice type thriller; it examines a rather complex and drawn out plot of revenge in which the stakes could not be higher.”
An interesting blend of detective fiction and international espionage. This book is lively, entertaining and modern. The language is accessible and the pace is very good throughout. The author is efficient with words, in terms of being able to set the scene well without laborious descriptions. I agree with the other reviewers about the authenticity of the characters. Nice read.
The author’s forte is in his characters and dialogue. Many authors of fiction are so immersed in complex plots that the characters are secondary and the dialogue is wooden and poorly thought out. I found the characters jumped off the page and did have a real feel to them – especially the men. I did find Drinda rather intriguing and it was a pity she never continued later into the book.
Conflict is vital in any crime thriller and there is no shortage of conflict between these characters. The dynamic between John and Pedro is fascinating. While John is always on the back foot in terms of his relationship with Pedro, he is man enough to stand up to the suave Argentinian and tell him off or tell him to go to hell. John thinks he is merely doing detective grunt work for Pedro, but he wants out, his marriage is suffering and he cannot keep up with running his restaurant and doing Pedro’s dirty work and then he hears something…a name…chills run down his spine and suddenly it all falls into place and it is more shocking than he can ever imagine.
Grab it now before the price goes up on Thurs May 12.
The Assassin has been patient – a one man sleeper cell, waiting for the perfect time to exact his nation’s revenge in spectacular and shocking style.
Pedro Garcia is a veteran of the Argentine Inteligencia and US covert operations, a consummate professional, he can smell a skeleton in a closet and is a master of using this ability to blackmail and manipulate. Pedro’s job is to ensure The Assassin is kept safe and is able to carry out his mission successfully.
Pedro moves to San Francisco where his first recruit is Drinda, a sassy and duplicitous young woman recently acquitted of murdering her boyfriend. With Drinda’s help, Pedro will lure London Chef John into their circle; making sure John is primed for the pivotal role he will play in London one day.
Duped into a compromising position where he finds himself framed for murder, John must flee San Francisco. Back in London he rebuilds his life, getting married and preparing to start a family, until one day, Pedro arrives.
Pedro holds the key evidence which will ensure John returns to the US to face two murder charges, unless he plays ball.
John will find himself embroiled in the biggest scandal to hit the United Kingdom establishment since Guy Fawkes, will he risk everything he has worked for and blow the whistle?
Read this exciting and action packed novel to find out.
A series of supposed drownings all bear an eerie hallmark and young lawyer Gaby is the first to link them as the handiwork of a ruthless and conniving serial killer; a killer with a mask of respectability and success, a killer she knows only too well.
Recently married and on the brink of partnership at her firm, Gaby should be on top of the world, but she has stumbled upon something which will make her enemies in high places and will tear her personal life to threads. Who will believe her? Who can she trust?
Gaby joins forces with former detective, Robbie Baggio and they race to gather the evidence and bring down the web of evil protecting this serial killer. However the killer’s instincts alert him to danger and when those closest to the Gaby start turning up dead, she must rely on both her legal skills and grim determination to ensure justice is served.
Conspiracy at the top levels of the judiciary and corruption weaving its way right to the heart of family life; there is more to Gaby’s mission than unmasking the murderer.
A thriller that will make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again and the safe answer…..is NO.