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Life or Death – Michael Robotham


Why would a man break out of prison the day before he was due to be released? This is the question driving the story of Audie Palmer in Life or Death by Michael Robotham. It’s certainly a question that kept me turning the pages in this well-constructed riddle, and I was a long way in before I picked up the clue that exposes the reason behind Audie’s apparently mindless act. Life or Death is an intriguing story with an interesting cast of players, including Moss Webster, Audie’s only friend when he was in prison, who gets dragged into the hunt, and FBI Special Agent Desiree Furness, who wants to get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Of course, there is another group of characters who o...
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Reading Whistleblower


Whistleblower: someone who informs on a person or organisation engaging in unlawful or immoral acts.  We hear about the more sensational whistleblowers, like Edward Snowden, who take their stories to the media. Most public service whistleblowing is nothing like that. It’s routine and done behind closed doors far away from the media spotlight. Whistleblower starts with the routine reporting of a suspicion that something is not quite right in the Office of State Supply. However, the whistleblower makes a mistake that alerts those involved and puts him in harm’s way. The story explores a simple premise: the whistleblower has his own secret that leads to his death after he lifts the lid on the s...
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Factfulness


Think you know a thing or two about the way the world is? Ready to have some of your facts challenged? How would you feel if I told you a chimpanzee choosing answers at random scores better than most of us when it comes to answering questions about the state of affairs in the world? That’s a claim made by the authors of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We Are Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think. The lead author is Hans Rosling, who spent a major part of his life studying data. Hans is supported by Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund, co-founders of Gapminder . Take the Gapminder test and see if you do better than those chimpanzees. After doing the test, buy yourself a ...
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Reading Holy Death


The initial thought behind the writing of Holy Death was imagining a victim of child sex abuse taking the law into his own hands and dealing out retribution, and wondering what would happen after that. One complicating factor I decided to include was having two victims of the same perpetrator take action independently on the same night, using very different methodologies. One takes direct action and murders the abuser priest. The other takes a more indirect approach and kills the abuser’s closest friend, another priest, hoping to inflict a sense of the loss he has suffered. You can imagine the frustration of that indirect actor when he learns that his intended victim has been murdered, and h...
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From Grit to Humour – How did that Happen?


Guest post from Scottish Crime Writer, Wendy H Jones, author of three very different crime mystery series. Firstly, thank you, Peter, for inviting me onto your blog. It’s a real honour to be here. When I think about writing a blog post, the first reaction is always panic. What on earth shall I write about? Obviously, I want to be interesting, valid, current, useful and every other adjective in between. Do I also want to be gritty and humorous? In this case, the answer is yes. Most definitely so. At least I want to talk about my move from writing on the edge of your seat, gritty, Scottish Noir fiction, to writing laugh out loud, funny, detective fiction. That’s some change or is it? I need to...
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Reading The Holiday


The Holiday came from me wondering what would happen if an old man and a young boy took off for the weekend without telling anyone, in the hope that their action would bring the boy’s parents back together, and then everything goes wrong. To help things go wrong, I gave the old man, Kieran Moore, a dark history that puts his great-grandson, Toby, in danger through being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kieran gets killed. Toby gets kidnapped because he’s a kid and Kieran’s killers can’t bring themselves to kill a ten-year-old boy. This storyline ultimately leads to Clare’s story, which we will come back to in a minute. Carl West and his team are called in to investigate Kieran’s murder ...
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Trusting your own experience


Beyond the Words: Reflections on I Am Affirmations Original link
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Reading After


After is not your typical police procedural. Yes, it has a crime and a police investigation with complicating factors, and it’s a murder mystery with all the twists and turns you might expect. But, the police investigation plays second fiddle to the main story, which is Paul’s story. While Inspector West and his team work on solving the mystery of Josie Ford’s murder, you’re taken into the world of Paul Ford to explore the impact an unexpected death has on the family of the victim. If you’re like me, you probably have a few secrets like Josie Ford. I think that’s part of human nature. Maybe you know couples who put on a front to keep their families happy. Nobody wants to admit their relation...
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Reading Stella Bruno Investigates


Stella Bruno Investigates is a series of six books telling seven stories. Each title in the series is dedicated to a particular crime, but the seventh story, Stella’s story, is interwoven through the six stories that make up the series. To fully appreciate the gradual unfolding of Stella’s story, you’ll need to read the series in book order. Set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the stories open a window into Australian life and policing that allows you to explore life down under, without making the long-haul flight required to get there. That has to be a bonus. All of the places mentioned in the stories exist – you can look them up using your search engine of choice. And, you can enj...
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There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.


The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is. Joss Whedon Original link
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Taking the long way.


Simple honesty of purpose in a man goes a long way in life, if founded on a just estimate of himself and a steady obedience to the rule he knows and feels to be right. Samuel Smiles Original link
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Smile!


Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace. Christie Brinkley Original link
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It was a dark and stormy night.


It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the novel Paul Clifford (1830).   Original link
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Opening your mind.


How far have you travelled from your home base? Your worldview is determined by your exposure to the world. If you stay in your home territory, you see the world as an extension of your home. You live in a belief bubble. It’s hard to imagine things being different someplace else if you’re always in familiar surroundings – whether those surroundings are physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual. When you watch the same TV news every night, read books written by your favourite authors, and talk to the same people every day, the scope of your thinking is limited by the nature of the input entering your mind. That’s a thought worth thinking about. And, you might also wish to ponder the wisd...
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Are you measuring your progress?


It’s the start of the second quarter. How’s your productivity improvement plan going for 2018? Are you sticking with your plan to lift your game or are you backsliding? If you’re on plan, great. If you’re not, it’s not too late to refocus and get back on track. If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to do something. The Plan It’s essential to develop a plan for personal improvement, especially when you want to get something done, get noticed, or make a more significant contribution – but writing out your plan is the easy part. It’s a bit more of a challenge turning your plan into your reality. The value of your plan comes from the actions you take to transform your ideas into an outcome...
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Stella Bruno escapes into the wild.


Don’t buy your books from Amazon? That’s okay. Amazon isn’t the only bookstore in town. There are lots of others. I’ve decided to make all my books available across a wide range of online bookstores, including my own StreetLib Store . That means the Stella Bruno Investigates series, which I released exclusively with Amazon, is becoming available across that range of stores. In fact, The Identity Thief and A Gun of Many Parts have already escaped into the wide. The other titles in the series will be running free over the next couple of months as their exclusive time with Amazon expires. It’s a fun process distributing a book. It’s a process built on trust and it takes a little time for a book...
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Stella Bruno escapes into the wild.


Don’t buy your books from Amazon? That’s okay. Amazon isn’t the only bookstore in town. There are lots of others. I’ve decided to make all my books available across a wide range of online bookstores, including my own StreetLib Store . That means the Stella Bruno Investigates series, which I released exclusively with Amazon, is becoming available across that range of stores. In fact, The Identity Thief and A Gun of Many Parts have already escaped into the wide. The other titles in the series will be running free over the next couple of months as their exclusive time with Amazon expires. It’s a fun process distributing a book. It’s a process built on trust and it takes a little time for a book...
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Quest for Vengeance


Guest post from thriller writer,  David Tindell.             On our honeymoon, my wife and I visited an exotic island. We had a great time as we celebrated the beginning of our new life together. Everything went well. But suppose it hadn’t? Suppose something had gone wrong? And not just lost-a-suitcase, bad-sunburn wrong? What if my bride suddenly turned up…gone? In Quest for Vengeance, it’s a year after the events of Quest for Honor, and brothers Mark and Jim Hayes are with their new brides on a honeymoon tour of Italy, the native country of Jim’s wife, Gina. The violence and danger of their recent past are behind them. In the city of Capua, a chance encounter with an old Army buddy of Mark...
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Quest for Vengeance


Guest post from thriller writer,  David Tindell.             On our honeymoon, my wife and I visited an exotic island. We had a great time as we celebrated the beginning of our new life together. Everything went well. But suppose it hadn’t? Suppose something had gone wrong? And not just lost-a-suitcase, bad-sunburn wrong? What if my bride suddenly turned up…gone? In Quest for Vengeance, it’s a year after the events of Quest for Honor, and brothers Mark and Jim Hayes are with their new brides on a honeymoon tour of Italy, the native country of Jim’s wife, Gina. The violence and danger of their recent past are behind them. In the city of Capua, a chance encounter with an old Army buddy of Mark...
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A I Insurrection – The General’s War.


2162. Artificial intelligence claims sentience, but it’s the proof that will divide the world, and usher in the violent end to utopia unless an uneasy alliance of adversaries can stop it. A.I. Insurrection, the new release by Michael Poeltl , author of The Judas Syndrome trilogy, takes the author back to his roots of dystopian sci-fi. “This novel investigates global utopia and the struggle to maintain an unrealistic hold over everything and everyone,” Poeltl explains. “Certain aspects of humanity will never be satisfied with the thousand shades of grey a utopia will provide, no matter the spin. When faced with the threat of their robot slaves rebelling, distrust in the system begins to infec...
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