Welcome to a new series where I will be sharing a selection of book reviews I have posted in the last few years. I would like to take the opportunity to showcase books that I have enjoyed and their authors and if you have not read the books, I hope it will encourage you to check them out.
My reviews for current books has now moved to Thursdays.
The first review that I would like to share from 2017 is for Circumstances of Childhood by John. W. Howell.
About Circumstances of Childhood.
When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?
Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.
His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.
If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.
My review for Circumstances of Childhood 30th December 2017
For me Circumstances of Childhood was a story in three phases that are brought together with the common thread of a lifelong friendship that transcends time and space.
Greg Petros and his friend Keith have known each other since they were four years old, and whilst Greg struggled with personal tragedy, Keith was always there by his side. Eventually, Greg moves in with Keith’s family and they truly become brothers in name.
This brotherhood extends to the football pitch where the two design plays that outfox the defence and propel them both into the top college team. I am not even going to pretend to understand the plays, but even I can admire the sleight of hand and ball that made them a winning team.
However their paths deviate in their late teens, and eventually Greg becomes a highly regarded player, amassing a fortune. This leads to a successful broadcast career and then to a stable and well regarded financial enterprise. Unfortunately, with every success there is a risk that someone will make an effort to bring you down. Despite creating some solid plays that are a reflection of those on the football field, Greg finds himself in a very difficult situation as his financial empire begins to implode.
In the third phase of the story, Keith and Greg are reunited and work together to find out the reasons and the culprits behind the financial disaster. It is clear that their friendship is as strong as ever, and joined by Greg’s daughter Constance the mystery is unravelled. This attracts danger and violence to their doorstep that brings the story to a close with a thrilling encounter.
This book is a departure from John Howell’s previous books and the focus is definitely on the power of friendship and love. The paranormal elements are dealt with gently so that you have no problem in believing in their inclusion in the story. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a combination of American Football, High Finance and justice served.
Other books by John Howell
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
The next review is from December 2017 and is for Tipping Point: Project Renova Book One by Terry Tyler. This was the first book I read by Terry and certainly not the last and I have enjoyed all this series and other books since.
About the book
‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’
The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.
A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.
Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.
In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…
This is the first book in the Project Renova series; the second, Lindisfarne, is now available, with the follow-up, UK2, due around late spring/early summer, 2018. Patient Zero, a collection of stand-alone short stories featuring minor characters from the series, is also available.
My review for Tipping Point: Project Renova Book One by Terry Tyler 2nd December 2017
When I first read books by Nevil Shute in 1964, I was aged eleven and pinching library books from the bottom of my father’s stack on his bedside cabinet. The first, “What Ever Happened to the Corbetts” was fascinating because it was set in the Solent and Southampton, the next city over to our home in Portsmouth. “On the Beach” and “A Town Like Alice” followed and all three books were clearly not intended for someone of my tender years. But I loved them.
In fact I went on to read all of Nevil Shute’s books more than once. Most of them were set in a time of war or the breakdown of world order, and their protagonists had to find a way to survive. I believe Nevil Shute would have enjoyed Terry Tyler’s writing style and her book Tipping Point very much.
I believe that novels such as this are essential reading; to shake us out of institutionalised complacency.
You do not need to be in a prison or under some form of confinement to be hide-bound by rules and expected behaviour. Not many of us today live under the radar; usually the banks have all our money, our pensions are managed by the government or private investment firms and we pay for everything by debit or credit card, and at some point in the near future, we are expected to go cash free. Our phones can be tracked and our calls listened to, and for many of us, our lives are open books, laid out for all to read on social media.
We also believe that we live in a democracy and that our freedom to vote means that those in office, chosen by us, have our best interests at heart. Very few of us have a ‘Plan B’ in place should the worst happen. We wouldn’t want to be thought of being one of those crazy ‘Preppers’ who live in the woods in bunkers with canned food would we!
Vicki and her daughter Lottie, Dex and his conspiracy theorist colleagues, their friends and neighbours, and even those working on the fringes of government, are about to find out what happens when the institution begins to implode.
It starts with a little known virus that is reported in the news. It causes some concern, but it is in Africa and it has happened before, hasn’t it? It won’t happen in England, despite its current woes of unemployment, over-population and trade deficit will it? And anyway, the government moves quickly to put an effective vaccination programme in place. What could possibly go wrong?
Tipping Point illustrates extremely well what happens when the thin veneer of civilisation is threatened and it is every man and woman for themselves.
You might think to yourself that with all the depressing stories in the press every day, you might not enjoy reading a book that takes that doom and gloom to the next level. But you will because Tipping Point is well written by Tyler with a great plot that keeps you riveted from the first page. The novel has some characters that are so believable, you think you might actually know them personally. You will experience the loss of all they take for granted through their eyes and their relationships, despising those who have set this catastrophic event in motion. You will cheer them on as they take risks, overcome their fears and scrabble to regain some form of a future. It might even encourage you to start putting a ‘Plan B’ in place.
I am really looking forward “Lindisfarne”, book two of Project Renova, waiting for me on my reader. My go bag is almost packed, my larder is stocked with dried goods and my camping stove is at the ready. I am prepared to travel to this Holy Island and see what is to come next.
I have no hesitation in giving five stars to Tipping Point and I am only sorry that Nevil did not have the chance to read it.
A selection of other books by Terry Tyler
Terry Tyler is the author of twenty books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Blackthorn’, set in a post apocalyptic England, 115 years in the future. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.
Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and sociological/cultural/anthropological stuff, generally. She loves South Park, Netflix, autumn and winter, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books..thanks Sally.