Lisa Gordon reveals that as well as a creative and dramatic novelist, she has a great future as a narrator. Her South African accent makes a refreshing change from British or American English, and she manages characterisation of different protagonists exceedingly well.
The story is full of local colour and exotic locations and the cast of characters well drawn and believable.
If you close your incredulity at the almost Shakespearean bed trick or swapping of individuals, you won’t be disappointed by the plot twists and shocking (and unexpected) dénouement.
A bravura first novel that justly won a crime writing award, Lisa Gordon is definitely a name to look out for. She deserves a publishing contract, but congratulations are merited for this self-publishing – and self-audiobook-publishing triumph.
If you are following the Paleo Diet or even if you are on Candida or just going gluten free, you will be hunting for new recipes for bread, rolls and biscuits to make sandwiches and to top with all your favourite meats, cheeses or spreads.
I am very enthusiastic about these recipes and as you read through them you will see why: exciting, wholesome ingredients with new flavours that will make any meal containing bread an explosion of taste and flavour – so much more exciting and indeed healthy than that awful pre sliced white bread you get in plastic bags en masse at the supermarket.
Learn about the amazing ingredients out there other than wheat: buckwheat, coconut, quinoa, chickpea, millet, teff and tapioca.
Experiment with flavour: cinnamon, lemon, honey, pumpkin, onion, chestnut and parmesan. Enjoy bread, but look after your digestive health at the same time.
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
“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.
What inspired me to write the book? The book was partly based on true accounts. When I went to work on the cruise ship which sailed out of Miami, I met a woman called Drinda, when the ship sailed into San Fran she convince me to jump ship, I lived and worked, using my cabins mates Identification, the date was 1982 during the Falklands war with UK and Argentina. Drinda introduced me to her friend, his name was Peter, and for my book I changed his name to Pedro.
A lot of things had happened then and I felt that I had to write about it.
What books do you enjoy? I really enjoy reading books by the author Vince Flynn
What is your next projects? Don’t have a next project of such as yet, too busy running restaurants but in my spare time I may write a follow up to The Assassins keeper
Wouldn’t it be nice to be rich? Not sure about that, I think I would spend all the money too quick, my son James and myself we love to travel business class, might be tempted to upgrade to first class.
Would you ever write an autobiography? I would never write an autobiography, too many secrets
What are your hobbies? When I get it I write, but because I am chef by trade, both my wife and myself enjoy the fine dinning restaurant experiences
Favourite places in the world? Would love to visit Argentina but can’t convince the family. Though Tokyo by far was my favourite
As a chef what do you enjoy eating? Favourite food is French cuisine, but I really would eat anything, if it moves I would eat it. Am afraid thats the chefie attitude in me.
What inspires me? After working in a busy hot kitchen for 14 hours a day, getting home late, relaxing, winding down. With me it’s like shaking a fizzy drink and once it settles you are ready to do it again. Most of the time I write at night which I can reflect on the past and think things through what I want to write about.
What is the best advice you were ever given? Best advice I was given was write about what you know
When Leila and Kimi reignite a high friend school friendship via an on-line exchange some years later, the results are a hilarious batch of frank and feisty emails flying across the Atlantic.
Leila, in London, is single and playing the field with the emphasis on playing. Kimi is in NYC heading for splitsville with her cranky and possibly cheating hubbie. They bare all in their spicy emails to each other about the bad, mad and dangerous to know of the male world and how there is a fine line between love and farce.
A thoroughly modern and quirky tale of life, love and lust in 2015 and how social media has lead to a very new moral or immoral code.
This book tells the tale of two women’s lives via the vehicle of their email exchanges. As the book takes the form of emails it is very in intensive in terms of action as there are no lengthy descriptions or irrelevant waffle it’s just frank banter and heart to heart revelations. The author kinda gets how in the cyber world we reveal stuff and do stuff we would not do in ‘real’ life as somehow what goes down in cyberspace, stays in cyberspace..or does it.
Both Kimi and Leila have rather modern attitudes about love and dating and they certainly don’t take no prisoners. Although this is a light-hearted read, some more serious issues ie stalking, divorce and affairs are tackled in a realistic way.
This is a very lively and pacey book and you will be pleasantly amused by the many unexpected turns.
I know another review criticized the grammar of this book; but I feel that it was written in a highly colloquial way and just how one writes when we write emails – it is not meant to be written like a novel where all the syntax is dead right. It’s conversational. It’s fast moving and very modern. The author does not dwell on things; it’s really about having a laugh and not to be taken seriously like a full length novel.
This is the first time that I’ve read a story that was told entirely through email transactions, and I have to say that I quite liked it! That was definitely a very clever way of telling a story and I think the author executed it well. This is a fun, short, and fast-paced read that can easily be read in one setting (trust me, you’ll want to!). Can’t wait to see more from this author.