So. Earlier this year I was looking for something a little bit different to read. Something which would give me a nice little distraction from the everyday. By the wonder of NetGalley, I’d come across a book listed for Bookouture which sounded kind of interesting. A bit of a cat and mouse chase kind of deal. Something a little bit different from the mountain of (very good) police procedurals I’d been reading. I’d read a few Bookouture books and enjoyed them, so figured this was surely a safe bet and duly made my request. Being the generous publishers that they are, Bookouture granted my wish and soon the book was winding it’s way to my kindle.
That book was ‘See How They Run‘ by Tom Bale. And what a book it was.
The Official Blurb
How far would you go to save your family?
In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.
This is no burglary gone wrong. The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw. And they are prepared to kill to get to him.
When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?
One thing is clear – they already know too much.
As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time to breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only one choice:
STAY ALIVE. OR DON’T.
What a book. Truly fast paced, the sense of jeopardy for Alice and Harry swells with every word and practically leaps from every page. The tension is palpable and with each twist in the road, physical and metaphorical, my bum was balancing precariously on the edge of my seat. The bad guys are unnervingly menacing, and even those that Alice and Harry have to rely on, as a reader I knew I couldn’t trust. An absolute corker of a story and I loved it. My full review can be found here (please bear in mind this was a pre-blog just getting into my stride review but I think the essence of me is still in there) and the book can be purchased here for UK Readers and here for US Readers.
Having read and loved ‘See How They Run‘, when I saw that a new Tom Bale title was to be released in September, I had to wonder, can he pull it off again? Being the Bookouture whore that I am (proud to admit it and love my auto-approval status), I was straight over to NetGalley to request. With no wait this time ‘All Fall Down‘ was quickly onto my kindle and I was pretty much straight onto page one. (I don’t believe in self denial.)
The Official Blurb
You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own.
It should have been an idyllic day for the Turner family – until a dying man, beaten beyond all recognition, arrives at their home, uttering the words, HELP ME.
Rob and Wendy Turner and their children try to explain away the horrific scene as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the days that follow their lives are threatened in ways they could never imagine.
The family is unaware that they are being watched by someone with their own terrifying agenda, who will stop at nothing to fulfil their own twisted desires.
But when hidden secrets come rushing to the surface, it’s clear not everything is as it seems in this happy family. Are the Turners a victim of circumstance – or does the key to their fate lie closer to home?
Forced to fight for everything they hold dear, can they save themselves before time runs out – or will their act of compassion see them paying the ultimate price…?
So… ‘All Fall Down‘. Would it live up to expectations? Would I get that same feeling of excitement and tension I got with ‘See How They Run’? Would I be left with that wow factor?
Of course I flipping was. And then some.
From the very opening chapter I knew this was going to be a doozy. Full of deception, misdirection and some of the most chillingly psychotic characters you could ever hope not to meet, ‘All Fall Down’ had me on the edge of my seat and at times not believing what I was reading. Occasionally uncompromisingly brutal, certain elements pushed right towards the edge of my comfort zone, but never so far that I wasn’t completely hooked. The characterisations were brilliant and although it was hard to find sympathy for any of the family as individuals, you couldn’t help but feel for their ultimate plight. And the level of threat and terror towards the end … Oh lordy. These were bad guys who to simply label as psychotic would be a gross understatement. Driven by some misguided sense of righteousness they had absolutely no compassion. Urgh … I loved it.
These books are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Tom Bale’s books and if you want a taste of other titles, they are all listed on his website here.
About the Author
Tom Bale decided that he wanted to be an author from the age of seven but, after another career got in the way, it wasn’t until much later that his dream was fulfilled. After several books with Random House, Tom signed with Bookouture for two stunning ‘everyman’ thrillers.
*** Disclaimer: This blog post is in no way influenced by having met Mr Bale a couple of weeks ago and his having publicly posted on Twitter an agreement to an approximate baker’s dozen of hugs should he be unfortunate enough to see me again in the future. I liked the books before this and I am not that easily bought… It takes at least a bar of fruit & nut to ‘purchase’ a good review from me. NO chocolate has changed hands. All other views are entirely voluntary and unsolicited.***