Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd: A Deadly Game of Hide-and-Go-Seek

Godlefe’s CuckooGodlefe’s Cuckoo

by Bill Todd
Series: Danny Lancaster, #6

Kindle Edition, 270 pg.
DLE-Fiction, 2018

Read: December 19 – 20, 2018

He lit another cigarette. Popped the ringpull on another can of Stella.

This was pointless.

He could sit here forever debating the pros and cons like some poncy intellectual while all the time he knew what he would do.

Fuck it, those bastards had to be sorted out.

Anyway, you had to die of something.

So Danny Lancaster is a former soldier, injured in the line of duty — leaving him with one prosthetic (see also, Cormoron Strike). He didn’t seem to know what to do with himself after leaving the army and ended up a small-time criminal who did a little time in prison. Then he started working as a P. I. (I’m not sure if he could have officially done that given his record, but I don’t know). He seems to have skirted the edge of legality through this career — helping the police frequently, but a known associate of noted criminals (see also, Rebus and Big Ger). The picture I get is of a less intellectual, more violent, and less alcoholic Matt Scudder.

Given that this is Book 6 in a series, Danny Lancaster is a pretty established character and the novel doesn’t spend a lot of time exploring the character, mostly it’s just using him. Which makes sense, especially given the plot — but that means I have to rely a bit more than I normally would on extrapolating from what we’re given and comparing him to better known characters.

When the book opens, he’s been missing — presumed dead by many — for months. There are some hoping he’s still alive, who wish the police (or someone) would find him. There are some who are convinced (hoping?) he’s dead, and are fully prepared to leave him this way. And then there’s one person who is convinced he’s alive — and will continue to be convinced until he sees a body — and he’s determined to find Danny.

The problem is that this man is a Russian mobster, with a lot of money, a lot of power — and no patience or much time to live. Shortly before the “accident,” Danny had disrupted this Russian’s smuggling enterprise and he wants revenge. His associates in England pursue a particular strategy to bring Danny out of wherever he’s hiding — they start killing people associated with him, and will continue to do so until it works. They do this in such a way that it takes the police a long time to realize that’s what’s going on (and no one believes the first one to come to this conclusion).

Once Lancaster realizes what’s happening, he takes definitive steps to bring this to an end. Now that the prey has been flushed from cover, it becomes a matter of hunter vs. the hunted (I’m not sure which is which, really). The action scenes are great, and it’s easy to see why Danny Lancaster (the series or the character) have made it through five books already.

Most of the characters, like Lancaster, are clearly previously drawn and established. There are plenty of them, too. Again, if I knew them, I could appreciate their appearance and use. Those characters that are used for the first time I have a strong handle on and appreciate for.

I’m convinced that I’d have enjoyed this more than I did if it wasn’t my first Danny Lancaster book. That said, you can absolutely read this as an entry point to the series — it won’t work as a stand-alone, you’re going to want to read a possible seventh, and at the very least to go back and read the previous five. I just don’t see anyone reading this and thinking, “yeah, I’m done now.” I didn’t fully appreciate everything that happened here, but I could tell that long-time readers would and that there was something about these characters that could inspire loyalty and excitement.

I liked it, I think I should’ve and could’ve liked it more, if I’d only done my homework. Give it a shot — or better yet, read some of the earlier books and you’ll like this all the more.

—–

3 Stars

My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided (including the book).

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the thrilling Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit.

Book Details:

Book Title: Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd
Publisher: DLE-Fiction
Release date: March 10, 2018
Format: Paperback/ebook
Length: 270 pages

Book Blurb:

Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded. Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth. An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man. If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be.

About Bill Todd:

Ruth SuttonI’m a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. Love a good wilderness. I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007.

I’ve written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. I’ve also written three short factual military histories. I live to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.

Bill Todd’s Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Instagram ~ Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links for Godlefe’s Cuckoo:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the aptly named Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit.

Book Details:

Book Title: Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley
Publisher: https://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/
Release date: December 12, 2018
Format: Paperback/ebook
Length: 245 pages

Book Blurb:

Without a motive, how do you identify the killer?

Imagine a quaint little bookshop. Outside the snow is falling. Inside the shelves are stacked with books by authors waiting to be discovered. What could be better?

When Tilly Edgely lands a position working at Ashton’s bookshop in Cambridge she thinks she’s found her perfect job. But one winter’s morning, when she arrives to open up, she discovers the body of her boss suspended from the ceiling, hanging by a rope around his neck.

DCI Barrett and DI Palmer are called to the scene and quickly find themselves searching for a twisted killer whose identity and motive are nearly impossible to trace.

But just when they think they have the murderer in their sights, another body shows up throwing the case wide open…

Who is behind the killings and why?

The police have their work cut out and key to unlocking the gruesome mystery might be found right under their nose.

But one thing is for certain, this killer will leave you hanging…

About Betsy Reavley:

Betsy ReavleyAuthor of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Frailty, Carrion, Beneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.

Betsy Reavley’s Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads


My thanks to Bloodhound Books for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including the book) they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi

I’m very happy to host a Book Tour stop for J. F. Pandolfi’s Mr. Pizza (and not just because it satisfies a category for the 2018 While You Were Reading Challenge). Be sure to click the link below for the Rafflecopter giveaway — but do read the book/author info, too –and then come back later this morning for my thoughts about the book.

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Mainstream Fiction
Date Published: August 3, 2018
Publisher: L&A Publications
 
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Most people make at least one really harebrained decision in their life. Just ask Tony Piza. Deciding he needs a “paid vacation” for a year after college, Tony lands a job teaching at a Catholic elementary school. Talk about the Moby Dick of miscalculations. His pathetic effort is making him look bad, crimping his love life, and leaving him feeling guilty. A new approach, fueled by his irreverent humor, makes him a hit with his students. But it riles the powers that be. A showdown seems inevitable. Whether he can survive it—well, that’s something else.
About the Author

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J. F. Pandolfi went to Fordham University as an undergrad, then taught at a Catholic elementary school before attending Fordham Law School.

Practicing law certainly had its moments, but to call it “utter euphoria”—well, that was a stretch. Plus, the voices that had taken up residency in his head (rent-free, the deadbeats) kept insisting that he share his writing with the world. An award for his flash fiction piece, “Psychology for Dummies”, convinced him that the voices might be on to something. And so he called upon his fond memories as a teacher, which served as a backdrop to his debut novel, “Mr. Pizza”.

J. F. also briefly believed he had won the New York City Marathon. Alas, it turned out to be a dream, apparently brought on by an acute case of restless leg syndrome.

A staunch supporter of the fight to eradicate adult illiteracy, J. F. was accorded a Special Recognition in Literacy Award for his efforts.

Contact Links

Purchase Link

RABT Book Tours & PR

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the thrill-ride Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit.

Book Details:

Book Title: Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett
Publisher: The Book Folks
Release date: August 27, 2018
Format: Paperback/ebook
Length: 227 pages

Book Blurb:

A young drifter is in deep trouble, his sister is his only hope…

Lucy’s younger brother has gone missing. When she sets out to find him, the trail takes her to Night Town. It’s a rural backwater deep in the forests of south western Australia.

Lucy tries to enlist the help of the local police, but she is met with hostility. She befriends a man who might help her cause. Yet he is not quite who he says he is.

As the locals begin to resent her presence in the town, danger quickly mounts. The town has secrets and they seem to centre on the enigmatic Samuel Nightmesser, its wealthy benefactor.

What connects her missing brother to this grim boondock? And why do the townsfolk want rid of Lucy?

As the story unfolds we are immersed in a creepy, claustrophobic drama in which everything is at stake. If you like books with a strong female lead that keep you on the edge of your seat, you’ve found your next favourite read.

About Anna Willett:

Anna WillettAnna Willett is the author of Backwoods Ripper, Retribution Ridge, Forgotten Crimes, Cruelty’s Daughter and the best-selling thriller, Unwelcome Guests. Her new release, Small Town Nightmare is available on Amazon. Raised in Western Australia Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna relishes writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her husband, two children and their dogs.

Anna Willett’s Social Media:

Facebook ~ Website ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links for Small Town Nightmare:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ BookBub


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Her Last Move by John Marrs

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the fantastic Her Last Move by John Marrs. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit (assuming I can come up with something more coherent to say about it than “kermit flail.gif GORUNOUTANDGETTHISRIGHTNOW!!!!”).
(that’s too tiny to read, sorry, click here to embiggen. There are a lot of great writers here — you’re going to want to check out those other posts.)

Book Details:

Book Title: Her Last Move by John Marrs
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release date: November 8, 2018
Format: Paperback/ebook/audiobook
Length: 352 pages

Book Blurb:

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

About John Marrs:

John MarrsJohn Marrs is the author of #1 bestsellers The One (soon to be made into a film with Urban Myth Films), The Good Samaritan (shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards 2018), When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer.

Her Last Move is dedicated to John’s late father, Charlie, who was a police officer for 25 years.

Follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1 Facebook: @johnmarrsauthor Instagram: @johnmarrs.author website: johnmarrsauthor.co.uk

Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Instagram ~ Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Waterstones ~ BookDepository


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided — as well as Thomas & Mercer and the fine folks at Netgalley for the eARC.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT (and unauthorized Giveaway): The Twisted Web by Rebecca Bradley — and

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the gripping and throught-provoking The Twisted Web by Rebecca Bradley. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit. At the end of this post, there’s a giveaway, too. But let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?

Book Details:

Book Title: The Twisted Web by Rebecca Bradley
Release date: September 17, 2018
Format: Paperback/ebook
Length: 401 pages

Book Blurb:

A social media shaming. A killer with a message. A deadly combination.

When the body of a man is left in the city centre set up as a realistic police crime scene, DI Hannah Robbins is forced to enter a world that can break a person, a case and a reputation.

Social media platforms light up and Hannah is pitted against the raging online monster and a killer who has already lost everything.

Can she catch the killer and put him behind bars or will she become part of his sadistic game?

About Rebecca Bradley:

Rebecca BradleyRebecca is the author of four novels in the DI Hannah Robbins series, Shallow Waters, Made to be Broken, Fighting Monsters and The Twisted Web as well as a standalone thriller, Dead Blind.

She lives with her family in the UK with their two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep Rebecca company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.

After 16 years service, Rebecca was medically retired from the police where she finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.

Rebecca now runs a consulting service where she supports crime writers in making sure their fiction is authentic so they can get on with telling a great story. You can find details of that HERE.

Rebecca Bradley’s Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Instagram ~ Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

GIVEAWAY

At the last moment, I decided to add a Giveaway for this book. I’m not that creative, and I don’t want to bother with setting up a Rafflecopter or anything, so we’ll keep this simple. In the next 48 hours (check the post for the time — Mountain Daylight Time zone), leave a comment on this post — include the name of your favorite fictional police officer/detective, and make sure I can get in touch with you somehow. I’ll draw two names for an electronic copy of this book (format of your choosing).

My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.