Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by chapterinmylife

Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by chapterinmylife

#BlogTour: Unforgiveable from Mike Thomas

35004899I am delighted to be taking part in, and indeed closing down, the Blog Tour for Mike Thomas’ #Unforgivable and thank you to Mike and Bonnierzaffre for the ARC and inviting me to take part! Let’s get the show on the road!

What the blurb says:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

My review:

#KillerHook Alert! What a killer hook of a start! With the description of the market in full flow – could almost hear, see and smell the riot of colours, tastes and vibrancy before #BANG it exploded into one of the most explosive starts ever! I can tell you it did not let up at all right until the very last page!

DC Will MacReady and the team are thrown into the midst of what appears to be racially motivated attacks in Cardiff City Centre. While Will wants to be in the thick of the investigation his superiors sideline him to investigate the attack on a young girl around the same time of the bombings. Tensions are running high across the force and it is soon clear that the team might be entering a race against time that they just do not have!

I was slightly hesitant to start when reading the book, I hadn’t read the first in the series and I definitely did miss out on a bit of the back story as to why MacReady was in disgrace and just how complex his personal life really was. However, enough information was given to ensure that I could still follow the plot and not feel like I was missing out.

MacReady has obviously been a bit of a naughty boy in the past and his personal relationships take the Facebook Status “It’s Complicated” to a whole new level. This meant that not only was MacReady investigating an attack which involved liaising with devastated parents: trying to get in on the action on the bombing investigation,  he was also caught smack bang in the middle of a massive relationship crisis and this whole tangled affair made for an intense reading experience!…

Continue Reading…

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Book Review and Giveaway with It’s All About The Books

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Book Review and Giveaway with It’s All About The Books
2017 · BLOG TOUR · BOOK REVIEW

Unforgivable by Mike Thomas #Review #Giveaway @ItDahFiveOh @BonnierZaffre

I’m thrilled today to be on the blog tour for Unforgivable by Mike Thomas. This is the second  book in the DI Will MacReady series. I’ll be sharing my review and further down I have a competition to win one of 3 copies.Unforgivable cover

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

My thoughts

Opening the pages to Unforgivable you are thrown straight into the action, and oh boy is there plenty of action to keep you gripped.

When a bomb is set off in a busy souk there’s pure devastation, utter chaos and sadly very believable scenes. Another explosion is then set off in a Mosque, causing more devastation and to the police, to everyone really it looks like a terror attack and the hunt is on to find the killer. Reading these scenes my heart was in my mouth, I could have been in the middle of the destruction, witnessing it all for real.

There are a few different threads to Unforgivable, so not only is Will Macready on the hunt for the attacker, he has another case to crack as well…

Continue Reading …

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Book Review and Exclusive Extract with Rae Reads

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Book Review and Exclusive Extract with Rae Reads

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Unforgivable by Mike Thomas @ItDaFiveOh #BlogTour #Review @BonnierZaffre

Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for Unforgivable by Mike Thomas I’m delighted to be sharing my review today along with an extract. 

First of all though let’s take a look at the description for the book…

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.

An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.

But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right…

Extract

Just two days after the market and mosque attacks, the city is slowly returning to normal despite the fact the bomber is still on the loose. As MacReady and the team start to make a couple of small breakthroughs in the case, a lone figure walks towards the biggest shopping centre in Cardiff – and he’s carrying a rucksack full of homemade pipe bombs…

So heavy, all this clothing. This rucksack. So hot.

Under cloudless sky he strides towards the entrance, across sculpted lawn and immaculate block pathways, the open space peppered with bag-laden shoppers, with Pret-stuffing businessmen, with giggling teens who sit beneath trees and sup on lattes, on iced drinks, smartphones never more than a few inches from their faces. People forget so quickly. Yesterday, the day after Bessemer, the Al Mahdi, they were fearful. Of enclosed areas, of large gatherings. He saw it on their faces: in railway stations, on buses, in the city centre’s pubs and bars and clubs. A tension there. Anxiety fizzing beneath the surface. Casting sideways glances. Watchful. Nervous. Trying not to appear so.

Now not one of them looks at him. Widens their eyes as they take in his appearance. Reels backward in terror as they push themselves away from him. Even after the news reports this morning, the photograph that is everywhere. There is nothing. Not a flicker of recognition, of anything remotely close to vigilance. Just ignorance and apathy and self-absorption, shocking in their measure, and deserving of punishment.

The skin between his shoulder blades prickles, a square of cold sweat. Head low, tucked into the raised collar. Baseball cap too tight on his head, pinching at hair and scalp. Sunglasses heavy across the bridge of his nose. Hands wrinkled and sopping inside leather gloves that he has jammed into the pockets of his jacket. The hiss of white noise in his ears, growing louder with every step.

Continue Reading…

Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by Breakaway Reviewers

Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by Breakaway Reviewers

 

Unforgivable by Mike Thomas

4 stars
A slow-burner but worth staying with it….

I really wanted to like this book. It’s written by someone who has first-hand experience of front-line police work and is based in Cardiff and Penarth; places I know well from the 50s and 60s. My heart began to sink though after the first couple of chapters as I couldn’t relate to either the main character or indeed the constant reminders by the author of the effects which budget cuts have had on police numbers and effectiveness.

Things looked up quite quickly though and when they did it was quite a journey.
DC Will MacReady has returned to active duty after being involved in an incident which led to the death of one officer and the serious wounding of another. Many are unwilling to welcome him back and feelings run high in the team although he does have the support of his Inspector and Sergeant. All this becomes secondary though when a bomb explodes in an ethnic market, shortly followed by another at a mosque in Penarth.

Although the author might initially focus a little too much on the way in which the police are overloaded, one effect of this is to introduce a sense of reality. I loathe those crimebnovels where the investigating officer trots off just to deal with the crime in hand with no other pressures. MacReady’s workload is too much for one man to manage effectively and overtime is at a premium. He also has external pressures not only within his personal and private life but also from more senior members of the team…

Continue reading…

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for The Quiet Knitter: How a Bit of Cheek Got My First Novel Published (or ‘Mugging a Publisher’)

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for The Quiet Knitter: How a Bit of Cheek Got My First Novel Published (or ‘Mugging a Publisher’)

The Quiet Knitter

Hi and welcome along to my stop on the blog tour for “Unforgivable” by Mike Thomas.  This is the second book to feature Will Macready, the first in the series was “Ash and Bones” which I would thoroughly recommend reading (my review of this can be found here).  I’m absolutely delighted to be able to share a guest post today that has been written by Mike, and it’s very inkeeping with his sense of humour, and remember ladies and gents, there are other supermarkets out there if you would prefer their bags….

UnforgivableDescription:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker…

View original post 1,380 more words

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Review by Crime Book Junkie

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Review by Crime Book Junkie

Unforgiveable Blog Tour: Review

Can I get a Hell Yeah?

It’s my stop on Mike Thomas’ Unforgiveable blog tour! Woohoo!  My thanks to Emily Burns of Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley for an ARC of this book.  So enough of the chit chat- let’s find out more about the author and this book!

About The Author

Mike Thomas was born in 1971 in the Welsh town of Caerphilly, famed for being the birthplace of comedian Tommy Cooper, its ‘deliciously’ salty cheese, and its castle with a tower which allegedly leans at a sharper angle than the more celebrated one in Pisa.

His teenage years were spent breakdancing, spraying graffiti around the town’s walls and office blocks and just about staying on the right side of the law, until his early twenties when, inexplicably, he joined the local constabulary and began locking people up for spraying graffiti around the town’s walls and office blocks.

While working as a plod in Wales’ capital city of Cardiff, Thomas continued with his childhood passion: writing. As a freelance he produced articles for local newspapers, various websites and national travel magazines, while in 2007 he was one of the winners in the annual Rhys Davies Short Story Competition organised by Literature Wales. After completing a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Wales between 2007 and 2009, Thomas published his debut novel, Pocket Notebook, in 2010 with William Heinemann/Penguin Random House.

The author was on the prestigious list of Waterstones’ ‘New Voices’ for that year, while Pocket Notebook was longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year and optioned for television by Carnival Films, the producers of Downton Abbey. His second novel, Ugly Bus, was released by Heinemann in 2014 and is currently in development as a six part television series with the BBC. Both novels deal with the uglier side of policing.

Thomas left the police in the spring of 2015 and grew his hair and a pathetic attempt at a beard. He currently lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife and children. Alongside chopping wood, cementing crumbling house walls and trying to find somewhere that sells his beloved Marmite, he continues to write articles and web pieces for a variety of sites and publications, and is contracted to London’s Bonnier Publishing for three new novels, the first of which – Ash and Bones – was released August 2016. The second in the series, Unforgivable, is due for publication in the summer of 2017.

Continue reading…

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Review Guest Post: My Cardiff: the places that inspired locations in ‘Unforgivable’

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Review Guest Post: My Cardiff: the places that inspired locations in ‘Unforgivable’

The book review café

IMG_2340

Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on the Unforgivable by Mike Thomas blog tour. Not only do I get to share my review for this thrilling book, but I also have a fabulous guest post from the author about the places that inspired the locations in Unforgivable. Interestingly enough my son and his wife had their wedding photographs taken in Roath Park one of the settings the author mentions.

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My Cardiff: the places that inspired locations in ‘Unforgivable’

It’s safe to say I know Cardiff like the back of my hand.
The nice regions and the dodgy areas, the best route to take to avoid rush hour traffic, the lanes and parks and alleys where gangs from rival estates used to meet for a rumble on a Friday night (Birdies Lane, if you must know). Where you can get stolen electrical equipment for a very low price…

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Unforgivable Blog Tour: Book Review and Exclusive Extract with Not Left On The Shelf

Unforgivable Blog Tour: Book Review and Exclusive Extract with Not Left On The Shelf

IFINDOUBTREAD

TITLE: UNFORGIVABLE

AUTHOR: MIKE THOMAS

PUBLISHER: BONNIER ZAFFRE

PUBLISHED: JUKY 27 th, 2017

Welcome to my stop on the #Unforgivable blog tour! Follow the amazing bloggers involved every day by checking the tour banner above! HUGE Thankyou to Emily and the publisher for the arc copy and for the opportunity! Xx

ABOUT THE AUTHORimage
Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff’s busiest neighbourhoods. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

Mike has previously had two novels published and was longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year and was on the list of Waterstones ‘New Voices’. His second novel, Ugly Bus, is currently in development for a six part series with the BBC.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife, children and a senile dog who enjoys eating furniture.

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Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by bytheletterbookreviews

Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by bytheletterbookreviews

bytheletterbookreviews

61prERnTlGLBook Description:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation. 
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside. 
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . . 

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . . 

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman. 

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what…

View original post 246 more words

Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by Little Bookness Lane

Book Review: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas – Reviewed by Little Bookness Lane

Little Bookness Lane

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

Publication date: 27th July 2017

A very happy publication day to author, Mike Thomas!

When a malicious spectre’s intent is merely to inflict indiscriminate damage to innocent lives their actions are Unforgivable.

From the immediate tone of the story and an accompanying eye-witness report you would naturally assume that the suspect’s actions were racially motivated. As new evidence materialises complications ensue and it becomes clear that the action during the first chapter is just the beginning. So sit tight, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride…

There’s no doubt it’s an explosive beginning, both literally and metaphorically. The search for the culprit may be extensive but it’s supported by inadequate manpower, which lends an insight into interesting police procedures and few absurd errors of judgement by investigators who are, after all, only human too – solving the case of this magnitude relies on heavily…

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BlogTour | BookReview: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas

BlogTour | BookReview: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas

Hello. My name is Emma and damppebbles is my baby. I’m in my…ahem…late thirties and live in South Oxfordshire with my husband and two young children (my 3 year old son gives me a run for my money in the book loving stakes).

Emma says: “… Quite possibly my favourite guest post, EVER!  Seriously, how good was that?  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Mike.  My thanks for such an interesting true crime/crime fiction focused piece!…”

damppebbles.com

Unforgivable.jpg“Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.”

View original post 2,643 more words

Lad by Andrew Webber – Reviewed by Mike Thomas

Lad by Andrew Webber – Reviewed by Mike Thomas

Danny Small has it all: flash car, string of girls, nice pad and a job as an estate agent – which allows him to coin it in with his on-the-side property sale fiddles. It’s all boys’ trips to Marbella and banter-filled booze sessions and acrobatic bedroom antics until stupid o’clock in the morning, washed away the next lunchtime by a few pints of Stella tinged with vodka. And then the merry-go-round starts again. And Danny is loving living it large. But slowly, it’s starting to unravel and his past is about to catch up with him…

With ‘Lad’, author Andrew Webber has pulled off the difficult feat of making a thoroughly unlikeable – to say the least – character wholly believable and fascinating to read about; think Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson in Filth or Kill Your Friends’ Steven Stelfox. Danny is a man-child, a creature very much of another time who has failed – for reasons which become clear as the book progresses – to mature, and who is rapidly being left behind by friends, workmates and worried family. He is vulgar, crude yet occasionally witty (although not as witty as he thinks he is) and possesses a complete lack of self-awareness: where he thinks he’s an iconoclast, he’s actually a sad individual, a throwback to another era, one of Loaded and FHM and shouting lager-lager-lager while bedding as many women – who, of course, he mentally rates out of ten as soon as he meets them – as is humanly possible.

This is a car crash in action – you watch, wincing, rubbernecking with eyes almost squeezed shut, as Danny hurtles onwards, blissfully unaware of how his life is falling apart around him, and how he is treating the one woman who actually loves him unconditionally as a casual, easy-going ‘thing’ to be discarded for booze and betting Saturdays with the other ‘lads’. This is done with some considerable skill, and therein lies the tension of the book: Webber cleverly allows us to see it coming, and our ‘hero’ simply cannot, and despite him being a loathsome creature we feel for him, such is his utter inability to comprehend what his happening to him.

But it’s not all ‘birds and booze and bantz’, because there is an undercurrent of melancholy beneath the bawdy humour and often cringe-inducing incidents, as Webber hints at what has gone before, and the events that made Danny become the unreconstructed man he is today. These allusions are neatly and subtly woven into the narrative, and only towards the end of the novel – in a particularly moving chapter – do we learn the true extent of Danny’s previous problems – when, after so many pages of gawping at his uncouth behaviour, we finally understand why he is such a damaged individual who deserves our sympathy.

With ‘Lad’, Webber has crafted a terrific cautionary tale and an excoriating study of the culture, wrapped in a compelling, fast-paced read. The final chapters are hold-your-breath great, and you find yourself in the strange position of rooting for a person you should never be rooting for, hoping that at last things will come good, and Danny will turn his life around.

Thoroughly recommended.