#Extract from #CodeNameLise by Larry Loftis @LarryLoftis @MirrorBooks #spy #WWII

I was planning on reading this book but unfortunately I haven’t been able to get a copy yet so i will be sharing an extract from ‘Code Name: Lise’ instead. Many thanks to Mirror Books for having me on the tour!

The year is 1942, and World War II is in full swing.

Odette Sansom decides to follow in her war hero father’s footsteps by becoming an SOE agent to aid Britain and her beloved homeland, France. Five failed attempts and one plane crash later, she finally lands in occupied France to begin her mission.

It is here that she meets her commanding officer Captain Peter Churchill. As they successfully complete mission after mission, Peter and Odette fall in love. All the while, they are being hunted by the cunning German secret police sergeant, Hugo Bleicher, who finally succeeds in capturing them.

They are sent to Paris’s Fresnes prison, and on to concentration camps in Germany, where they are starved, beaten, and tortured. But in the face of despair, they never give up hope, their love for each other, or the whereabouts of their colleagues.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

THE FOLLOWING DAY, ANXIOUS to see her beloved France and begin
her work, Odette boarded a Whitley bomber. The plane taxied
to the end of the runway and stopped to wait for the landing of an
incoming aircraft. Odette peered through the window and started.
The landing plane was coming straight at them.

There was a violent collision of metal as the plane clipped the
Whitley’s starboard wing. The pilot immediately cut both engines
and the shouting began. Someone opened the door and Odette
tumbled out. Fortunately, the plane didn’t ignite and no one was
injured.

On September 27 a Lysander became available and Odette
again headed to the airfield. As the plane was warming up, however,
Baker Street received a cable stating that the Gestapo had
arrested her contacts; three had been summarily executed, the rest
soon to be.

Odette returned home, and Buckmaster told her to sit tight
while he coordinated other contacts and searched for another plane.
A week later he called and Odette caught a train to Plymouth,
where she was to depart by seaplane for Gibraltar. As she sat in the
Mountbatten Airport, she watched the Catalina bobbing in the water
as high winds jerked its moorings. Sheets of rain followed, and
it appeared that this mission, too, would be jinxed. After several
hours, an officer from the Royal Air Force came in and confirmed
what Odette expected: the weather would not allow departure.

She returned to London.
The War Office scheduled another flight five days later and instructed
Odette to report to Redruth in Cornwall. From there she
was escorted to a hotel and told to get any sleep she could. An attendant
would wake her at 0100, they said, for a 2 a.m. departure
from Newquay Cornwall Airport. Odette drifted off, and promptly
at one someone knocked on her door with a cup of hot tea.
It was raining.

At the airport she was told there was a slight delay: the Whitley’s
starboard engine had a fuel stoppage, someone said, and mechanics
were addressing it while the luggage was stowed. They’d be under
way shortly.

Finally, the craft was cleared and Odette climbed aboard. There
were no seats, she saw, and the fuselage was crammed to the hilt
with cargo. Finding a small spot on the metal floor, she arranged
herself against a wooden crate and tried to stretch her legs. It
wouldn’t be the most comfortable ride, but at least she was finally
leaving.

The engines revved up and they taxied to the runway. Odette sat
back. It had been a long process: the guilt at Somerset, worry about
leaving her children, the training, the injuries, the false starts. Now
at last she could fulfill the duty her grandfather had encouraged so
many years before.

The Whitley lifted off, dipping for a moment and then resuming
its trajectory. Another dip. Odette swung her eyes to the cockpit.
The pilot was trying to gain altitude, but the bomber was responding
by rising and sinking. Up and down, up and down it went, a
sluggish battle with gravity.
The airframe began to shudder.
Cargo creaked as it slid, then a thunderous burst as the starboard
engine went.
Odette braced herself.
They were going to crash.

#TheVault #blogtour @pbackwriter @angelaontour @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne Cater and the publisher for the tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘The Vault’ by Mark Dawson.

A desperate agent. A petty criminal. An audacious plot.

When Harry Mackintosh is called upon to exfiltrate a valuable asset from East to West Berlin, what could have been an intelligence coup becomes an international embarrassment. Mackintosh’s men and his lover are killed by the East German secret police in a brutal crossfire and he barely escapes with his life. He flees to the West and promises himself that he will have vengeance.

Mackintosh is the head of Berlin Station but he doesn’t have the staff to compete with the Stasi. He returns to London to plead for the resources to fight back. But instead of the seasoned operatives that he needs, Mackintosh is given a single man: Jimmy Walker, a petty criminal with a record for robbing banks.

Mackintosh takes Walker to Berlin and sets in train an audacious plan that will see them both on the other side of the Wall. Mackintosh and Walker face off against Karl-Heinz Sommer, the Stasi general known as die Spinne – the Spider – a man known for his brutality and ruthlessness.

The plan is already a longshot, and then Walker learns of the riches that Sommer stole from displaced Berliners in the days after the Wall was constructed. Will Walker follow orders or will he find the prospect of the Stasi gold in Sommer’s secret vault too tempting to ignore? Will Mackintosh have his revenge or will he become another fly caught in the Spider’s web?

What does TWG think?

Mark Dawson may be a new author for me, however I have a strong feeling that ‘The Vault’ wont be the last book of his that I read!

I LOVE reading about all things spy, something which Dawson executes brilliantly in this book.

Set with the ‘Cold War’ in mind, ‘The Vault’ tells a story that is tightly interlinked with history and thrilling suspense. Not only that, take a look at the characters names! I mean, the name ‘Spider’ is a belter!

Having not read any of the others authors books, I felt a little bit out of sync in regards to the backstory. I was glad that that didnt lower my enjoyment of the book, however it did make me a little bit more mindful about what each of the characters were doing so that I kept involved in the overall storyline.

Overall I was really impressed by what I read, and I thought the revenge element was such a thrilling addition. Mark Dawson is a very clever author who has intensity down to a fine art and I am very excited to read more. I was definitely NOT expecting this Pandora’s box type read – awesome!

Buy now.

#StasiWinter – I wondered why it felt so cold! @djy_writer @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour

Anyone else feeling a little bit chilly today, as though, erm, winter is rife?

Today I am hosting David Young and ‘Stasi Winter’ as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for the tour invite and ARC.

In 1978 East Germany, nothing is at it seems. The state’s power is absolute, history is re-written, and the ‘truth’ is whatever the Stasi say it is.

So when a woman’s murder is officially labelled ‘accidental death’, Major Karin Müller of the People’s Police is faced with a dilemma. To solve the crime, she must disregard the official version of events. But defying the Stasi means putting her own life – and the lives of her young family – in danger.

As the worst winter in living memory holds Germany in its freeze, Müller must untangle a web of state secrets and make a choice: between truth and lies, justice and injustice, and, ultimately, life and death.

What does TWG think?

If you’re new to David Young’s novels, ‘Stasi Winter’ is book 5 in the Karin Muller series, with each book reading well on their own. Just be mindful that you may not have the full backstory of character relationships if you do read the books out of order.

‘Stasi Winter’ is written well. There is no doubt about that at all. It’s very clear that the author has researched his locations and finer details to ensure authenticity throughout, and I really did appreciate it. For me, however, I found the shell of the story to be a bit confusing and quite slow at times. I do realise that books of this genre require a slow build up to create more tension, and whilst the tension was definitely there, I would have liked the pace to speed up a bit more, rather than the characters to-ing and fro-ing as often as they did.

Despite the slow pace, I still found myself enjoying historical crime elements to the book, and I ended up being quite addicted to the ‘will they wont they?’ parts. It just goes to show that, under pressure, logistics go out of the window and peoples choices can often appear quite selfish.

What I love about this series is the fact that I can dip in and out of the books and still feel as though I’m part of the overall vibe when I come back to the stories at a later date.

Overall, an intriguing, well thought out novel that made Scottish weather seem like Summer!

Buy now!

This Halloween I’m dressing up as #TheGuardianOfLies – what about you? @simonschusteruk @KateFurnivall @ed_pr

Many thanks to EdPr for the blog tour invite and ARC, it is such an honour to be kicking off Kate Furnivall’s blog tour today!

1953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.

Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father’s farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive.
But everything changes when André is injured – a direct result of Eloise’s actions. Unable to work, André returns to his father’s farm, but Eloïse’s sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him.
Eloïse finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloïse is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on?

What does TWG think?

Revenge? Or family loyalties? Eloise has always looked up to her big brother, Andre. When they were children if he could do something, she would go to great lengths to prove that she could do it too. However, now that they’re older, do they know each other as well as they used to?

Andre has asked Eloise for help and his life, and possibly her own, are now in her hands. However, one bad move led them both to a hospital bed. With scars shining on their bodies like beacons, and the guilt eating at Eloise from the inside out, she is determined to put things right. But at what cost?

Accidents happen and, even though I could empathise with the frustration from both parties, Eloise didn’t do it on purpose so why was Andre channeling his anger towards her, and not the people who actually set out to end his life? Maybe maybe maybe she’s there and they’re not? Andre’s life has changed and it’s only natural for him to feel angry that he can no longer carry on with his duties. I just felt quite sorry for Eloise.

‘The Guardian Of Lies’ is such a devious and compelling novel, and I LOVED the addictive nature of the entire storyline! The way in which Kate Furnivall kept the secretive tendencies at the height of the story for the duration of the book was incredible. There were no slip ups, no pregnant pauses, no padding out the story with unimportant information – it was, in my opinion, utterly flawless.

Eloise’s journey definitely made me think as she had to choose between seeking revenge and being loyal to her family. That said, with her wanting to seek revenge, surely that was her being loyal to her family anyway? Personally, I thought that there were a lot of bad apples in the book and that Eloise was taking the brunt of their bad decisions! I cannot deny that it made for excellent reading though!

I am envious of anyone that gets to read this for the first time – you’re all in for a sublime, compelling treat that will question your own loyalties and integrity. Fabulous read.

The Guardian of Lies by Kate Furnivall is out now, published by Simon & Schuster, priced £8.99 in paperback.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #The Nursery by Asia Mackay (@abmackster) @ZaffreBooks @MidasPR

The Nursery Blog Tour Banner (2)
Huge thanks to MidasPR for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Nursery’ by Asia Mackay, as well as the ARC. I am so excited to be sharing my review today – enjoy!

IMG_20190906_114906
Lex Tyler is trying to have it all, but being a working mother is so much more difficult when you’re a secret agent for an underground branch of the security services.

Platform Eight have been tasked with tracking down and eliminating the traitor in MI6 who has been selling information to the highest bidder through a headhunting website for the criminal underworld that connects intelligence operatives with all manner of bad people with a simple right swipe.

Deals get made. Secrets get sold. Missions fail. Agents die.

It’s down to Lex and her team to identify and eliminate the traitor before they assassinate China’s Minister of Commerce and ruin relations between the UK and China forever. But when your husband doesn’t know exactly what your job entails and the future of the intelligence services rests on your shoulders, can one working mother save the day?

This is one mission that Lex cannot afford to fail.

What does TWG think?

Right, I didn’t realise this until afterwards, BUT, ‘The Nursery’ is the second ‘Lex Tyler’ novel, with ‘Killing It’ being the first. Do you need to read the previous book in order to enjoy the second? Well, seeing as I had absolutely no idea that this was a series, I can hand on heart say that, no, you do not need to read the books in order. That said, if you’re anything like me once you’ve read books out of order’ you will no doubt go and hunt the other books in the series….

Anyway, back to ‘The Nursery’. If you’re a fan of undercover, spy type thrilling read, then you would just LOVE this one. I didn’t know what to expect at first, I mean, would the characters be an updated version of the program ‘Rugrats’ what with the title being ‘The Nursery’? I had hoped not, simply because I wouldn’t be able to stand Angelica all over again….

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lex Tyler’s escapades and learning about where she keeps her weapons! As well as being a cut throat and dark novel, ‘The Nursery’ was laced with such on point, slapstick humour that you wouldn’t usually find in a novel full of assassins. I think the fact that Lex has a young daughter blindsided me at times, because one minute Lex is hunting the bad guys down by chucking glitter in their face, and then the next she is picking up her little girl from nursery as though she was on route to do that all along. I thought it was absolutely brilliant and such an unexpected storyline which paved the way for much hilarity, many ‘what the…..’ moments, as well as brilliant tips for a bag of teddy bear crisps. And no, I don’t mean eating them…

Asia Mackay has such a unique and memorable talent which has made, for me, ‘The Nursery’ a serial to keep in my eye line. I hope there will be many more Lex Tyler novels to come, as I am certain that her story is nowhere near finished.

Honestly, I really do recommend reading this book if you’re fancying something a little bit different. I absolutely loved every iota of ‘The Nursery’, and Asia Mackay is a talent worth celebrating for sure.

Buy now from Amazon