Author Archives: kirstyes

Witness X by SE Moorhead – Blog Tour Book Review 

About the book
Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.’ STEPHEN BAXTER

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

She’s the only one who can access the truth…

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

About the author

Born in Liverpool, S.E.Moorhead has told stories since childhood and  uses writing as bubblegum for her over-active brain – to keep it out of  trouble. Fascinated by meaning, motivation and mystery, she studied Theology at university.

Over the last twenty five years, apart  from teaching in secondary school, S.E.Moorhead has attained a black  belt in kickboxing, worked as a chaplain, established a Justice and  Peace youth group, and written articles for newspapers and magazines  about her work in education and religion.

She still lives in her beloved hometown with her husband Seán and two sons.

What I Thought 
Crime isn’t my natural genre but I was totally drawn in by the tag line Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. 
Kyra is immediately a loveable heroine who you can see has her heart in the right place. She has developed a mind reading technology that can delve into people’s memories – but it’s not quite ready for public consumption for a number of reasons, and she’s definitely not behind the use of it by force. 
And suddenly the killer is back, along with some horrifying memories she doesn’t need a machine to bring back to life. Kyra has a very personal reason to want them caught, and works with the police to see justice done. 
The writing is great, pacy and thrilling. The characters are intriguing: as well as directly hearing from Kyra we get to delve into the mind of the killer and the victim they are on the clock to save. 
Relationships are a vital plot point and there are a whole host of complex ones explored. 
The book is set in 2035 so it still has relevant references as well as new technology to make it both present and futuristic. And I always enjoy when the ethics of technology is explored well, which it is here.
I found it interesting that the memory device didn’t really come into real play until half way through so we got some “old fashioned” detective work thrown in the mix too. 
With some clever misdirection and just enough of the reader being steps ahead of Kyra this was an on the edge of your seat thriller that I would highly recommend. 
This was published on the 6th February so it’s out now. If crime, psychological thriller, and/or sci-fi are your bag you won’t want to miss this. 
Thank you to @TrapezeBooks  for the gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review. @semoorhead 

#40for2020 Reading Challenge

In the year 2018, the year they turned 40, four friends set up a reading challenge – #40yrs40bks. In 2019 it was #40morebks and now in 2020 it’s #40for2020. As always we are inviting you to join us.

Here are the prompts:

and a spreadsheet for you:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/luu59uu6qw0lvi0/AACLuC70pspArYV9yneBZdIca?dl=0

I still have a few books to go on my 2019 challenge so I’ll do a round up of that when it’s completed. One thing I’ve confirmed this year is that I am very much a mood reader so this time I’m not going to plan out what books I’m going to read and stick rigidly to that but go with the flow.

As ever this is your challenge so interpret the prompts as you like… and Happy New Reading Year 2020.

Who is joining us?

The Blighted Fortress by David Dresner – Blog Tour Book Review



The Blighted Fortress is the second book in The Allies of Theo series by David Dresner.

Summary

This story begins in modern Chicago then moves to fifth-century Transylvania.

 

The teenage protagonists, Glenda and Traveler, are sent by Theo, their sanctuary god, deep into the primeval forests of the Carpathian Mountains. They must locate then neutralize an ancient demi-god called a “fire beast”.

 

The two must also survive the daunting challenges of isolated fifth-century Transylvania. Rome is now in its final death throes and the hoof beats of Attila the Hun echo across Europe. Civilization and Pax Romana are distant memories.

 

Magic, wits, and youthful courage must combine to face the fire creature. Survival, much less winning, is up for grabs.


Author

David E. Dresner was born and raised in rural Ohio. He was an Eagle Scout and later high school president in both his junior and senior years. The social mores, the friendships, and the rivalries of his youth were character building and era defining and have stayed with him into adulthood. Dresner studied physics and mathematics at Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon, earning a B.S. and M.S, before training to become an actuary. Dresner enjoyed considerable professional success, working at major business consultancy firms at CEO and COO level before taking early retirement and starting a family. He has since dedicated himself to giving back to hiscommunity, supporting small businesses, churches and schools by developing their strategic plans, as well as tutoring children in core academic studies. Having travelled extensively and lived in France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, today David and his wife Nancy live in a rural part of Virginia, near Charlottesville. He is currently working on the fourth instalment of The Allies of Theo series; he will publish his third novel in 2020.

What I Thought

Prologues can be tricky things, but in this case it was useful to ground the story meaning that you could read The Blighted Fortress without having to read book one first.

For me, Book One, The Discovered Sanctuary took time to get into. I think mainly, because although publicised as a young adult book, the early part of the story was told from an adult’s point of view (the father of one of the characters). There was also a great deal of tell rather than show.

However the first chapter of The Blighted Fortress, now in the middle of a story shows development. The language seems more authentically teen and the relationship between the main characters show their level of intimacy having already been through adventures together. 

This is a high concept series with a mix of geographical and historical locations. It was full of lots of detail enabling the reader to fully visualise the world created.

My preference is for pacy reads and I don’t always get on with historical language because it tends to slow things down, so the modern day dialogue between the two teens and the humour in their relationship were more enjoyable for me.

I was sent both books for the purposes of an honest review. Thank you to Faye and the publishers for the gifted copies.

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