Tag Archives: Thriller

Review Wednesday – The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor

9B7B0633-09DC-4705-B56A-C8C7420E9633Twelve year old Eddie and his mates are like any other group of kids; friends but with a healthy dollop of rivalry and leg-pulling thrown in. A much anticipated visit to the fairground is a chance for the friends to go out together without parents in tow, but the night ends badly and has a life-changing effect on them and Eddie in particular. 

When one of the group receives a bucket of chalks for his birthday the kids begin to use what was at first regarded as a naff present to leave one another secret, coded messages. It’s a great game, but leads to a gruesome discovery in the woods and once again the children’s lives are touched by tragedy. 

The story runs on two timelines, 1986 when the fairground incident occurred and present day when Eddie is forty two years old. The ramifications of what happened in 1986 have never been forgotten and when chalk figures begin to appear the past is brought back in a rush of memories and events that must be confronted. 

There are a lot of twists in this book but, for me, rather than make it more of a page turner, that was its downfall. It’s a good book and an absolutely intriguing premise but in an effort to keep the reader guessing, the author, I think, introduced too many plot lines. The result, for me, was that it stretched my belief too far, particularly the very last twist which seemed to serve no purpose at all. 

Having said that, there were some very good moments; when Eddie goes to see Mr Halloran for the last time, the results of his actions are clear and chilling. 

I enjoyed The Chalk Man but, in this case, a slightly more simplified plot may have been more effective. 

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24 Days by Jacqui Murray

Today I am so pleased to feature Jacqui Murray on the blog hop for her new title in her explosive Rowe-Delamagente series 24 Days. This is the second book in the series and follows To Hunt a Sub where all the main characters are introduced. These are exciting, action packed stories with quirky characters and tech details that give the narrative a genuine feel without ever becoming  too overpowering.

Here is the blurb for 24 Days :-

 

An Unlikely team is America’s only chance! 

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

And my review:-

As I have only recently read To Hunt a Sub it was great to be able to dive back in and read the ongoing adventures of Kali, Zeke and the rest of the ‘crew’. This time two lethal nuclear subs are hijacked by terrorists and with the latest technology at their disposal are almost impossible to find.

As the days go by the involvement of Kali and Zeke’s old nemesis becomes clear and the stakes become ever higher.

I love stories that have a ‘countdown’ format to them, building the tension as the hours and days go by. And there is certainly no lack of tension in 24 Days. There is quite a bit of technical detail and naval terms that may be too much for some readers but, for me, they added to the feeling of authenticity. Jacqui Murray has a technical back ground that clearly shows through in this series but she also adds a generous cast of characters with all their expertise and failings building a human story as well as a taut thriller that rattles along at the kind of pace that entirely suits the story. I will look forward to more from Kali and Zeke and the increasingly adorable Otto in the future.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty- four Days. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Visit Jacqui at her website  https://worddreams.wordpress.com for all the latest background info and chat.

Review Wednesday – To Hunt a Sub by Jacqui Murray

To Hunt a Sub gets off to a great start with the disabling of a nuclear submarine. The vessel is lost to the authorities who control its movements and the consequences for the crew are dire. Being able to locate and control the American fleet of subs would be a devastating terrorist weapon and this is what one group are attempting.

It’s been a while since I have read a book in this genre but I have read enough to know the format and was expecting a lone deniable agent out there tracking down the terrorists or a team from special ops. However To Hunt a Sub takes a different and surprising slant on this scenario into the world of academia.

Kali Delemagente (you do have to get your tongue around some unusual names in this book) is a research student who has developed an amazing programme to track the progress of early man out of Africa. I won’t pretend to understand all the tech science behind this story but it felt well researched and feasible, if not actually possible. When the true power of her research becomes evident to those who would use it for nefarious purposes Kali and her loved ones are suddenly in danger.

There are plenty of good supporting characters, good and bad and as the action hots up each must decide who to trust

This is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller, a great adventure and, a bonus for me, the first in a series.( I often seem to come into them half way through)

The next book in the series, 24 Hours, has just been published and I am looking forward to reading more about Kali and the adorable Zeke Rowe.