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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goodreads/Amazon Reviewer Likes Adventure Book

It's Always Darkestby Steve Spencer
Action-adventure/thriller (self-published)
Available for both Kindle and Nook

Reviewed by Julia Hughes (, originally for Amazon
This ebook appealed to me enormously. The author writes with authority and
deftness. I identified very easily with the main character Paul Mallory,
an easy going journalist content with his lot who enjoys old films and
collects trivia just to perplex a geeky work colleague. Paul is jogging
along in life doing well enough - when the mysterious and vaguely sinister
Bentley Cramer approaches him with an offer he can't refuse.

Quote: "He was large enough and round enough to join the solar system with
no questions asked. The cigar that protruded from the right side of his
mouth would have been a full day's work for the best torcedor in Havana,
and if he was worried about the stadium being a smoke-free location, he
gave no sign of it. Gave no sign, in fact, of ever being worried about
much of anything." Throughout the book, characters are sketched so
convincingly they step from the page and go home at night to their loved

Before Paul can say wtf? he finds himself working for the irrepressible
Bentley and in Russia reporting on a handball competition. But he soon
learns there's something very funny going on. Or at least it would be
funny, if people weren't getting murdered. Before long Paul is on the
trail of a psychopathic killer who would give Fredrick Forsyth's 'Jackal'
a run for his money.

Paul Mallory's point of view is written in the first person, which creates
an immediate bond. When the action moves elsewhere it is described in 3rd
person pov which I appreciated, as some scenes are as you would expect in
a hard hitting thriller such as this, violent.

This book worked for me on all levels. I liked the characters, enjoyed the
action scenes and locations and appreciated the author's knowledge of his
craft. Parts of the book made me smile at the sly humour the author allows
his main character to display from time to time. I felt as though I'd made
a new friend in Paul Mallory and I'm certain I won't be the only one by a
long shot to become a fan.

In case you're wondering, I have a little system in place when reviewing
indie authors. I know how hard it is to get the formatting, grammar etc
correct when you're editing your own work. So any indie ebook
automatically gains points when these are correct, in this book they are
impeccable. I then add points for storyline, originality and enjoyment.
This book scores all five points. If I'm reviewing a book which is
published by a 'house,' I automatically expect some of the money I've paid
to have been spent on an editor.

~Find more reviews by Julia Hughes on Goodreads.
The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

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