Tag Archives: psychological thrillers

Alana Woods’ book reviews: LUNA RISING, the full saga, by Claude Nougat

I’ve read other works by Nougat and know that among her many talents she’s an artist. Believe me when I say she’s an artist with words as well as paints and brushes. LUNA RISING proves it.

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Luna rising

New York computer whizz-kid, Tony Luna, is burnt out at the tender age of 19. Working since his mid-teens as a video games developer he makes the sudden decision—against his mother’s wishes—to quit and investigate his late father’s Sicilian aristocratic ancestry.

So far, nothing unusual. As far as the story goes, anyway. The writing is a different matter. It’s lovely. The language embraced me and took me into the story, away from my own setting and into Tony’s.

This book is not a quick read. Originally three novellas the author has rolled them into one very-satisfyingly long read. I love a big book and much to my regret these are now hard to find.

Mind you, to keep you reading big books need to be good.

And this one is good. I found the phrase ‘tour de force’ playing around in my mind and I don’t think I’m wrong.

It has so many elements in its exploration of the present entwined with the past that presents lessons that Tony needs to learn for the future that I find it hard to put it into any genre. I notice that in Amazon’s best-selling lists it’s categorised under Visionary, Metaphysical, Horror, and Occult. One could add Fantasy, Computing, Crime—and probably more than I can conjure up.

This is a story that defies easy labelling and that’s part of its beauty and appeal. There is so much going on it totally occupies the mind.

LUNA RISING, the full saga on Amazon

Read my interview with Claude Nougat

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Alana Woods’ book reviews: DEAD CHARMING by Ian Jackson

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My books on Amazon   Imbroglio  |  Automaton  |  Tapestries  |  25 Writing Tips

Dead charming

This is the debut novel by English author Ian Jackson, and it’s a cracker of a contemporary psychological thriller.

If you’re a squeamish reader I give you warning now: there are some disturbing scenes that you may want to skim. You won’t lose the plot by doing so.

Set in Manchester UK it tells the story of newly-qualified criminal profiler Jenny Foster as she starts work with the Manchester Metropolitan Police Serious Crime Squad and is dropped in the deep end of a serial killer case on her first day.

Among other things it’s a story of degradation, torture, manipulation and deception.

Told from multiple points of view—the victims, the killer, Jenny—it takes you intimately into their lives and their minds.

The story is well told and doesn’t lose its way at any point. Jackson keeps the anticipation mounting as the police close in on their quarry and Jenny has to contend with problems at home while hoping her observations about the killer are accurate.

And then there’s the ending! I’m not going to spoil it by saying anything about it.

If you like taut psychological thrillers you might want to give this one a go.

DEAD CHARMING is available at Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and all good book stores.
Go to Ian’s website and follow the buy links.

Take this link to my interview with IAN JACKSON

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