MYSTERY/MAYHEM Category in the 2016 Indie Authors of Excellence Awards

This category of MYSTERY/MAYHEM is indeed a “coat of many colours”. In this category, you will find thrillers, mysteries, psychological dramas, war and plenty of blood and gore.As with so many of these categories, choosing just three nominees was an absolute trial, however, in true “eeny, meeny, minny, mo, fashion (just kidding) I have narrowed the field down to the following possible contenders.Our first nominee in the MYSTERY/MAYHEM category is an out and out thriller, reminiscent in many ways, of Ludlum. It is:THE BRODSKY AFFAIR by KEN FRYI’m always innately suspicious when I hear authors being compared to Ludlum or Dan Brown, so after having read the blurb for Ken Fry’s, The Brodsky Affair, I was well prepared to be cynical and if necessary scathing.There was absolutely no need for any of that. I have read most of Ludlum’s novels over the years and I have to say there is indeed a fair bit that is Ludlumesque in Ken Fry’s work. I was surprised and satisfied with my reading of The Brodsky Affair. It is an out and out thriller that lives up to its genre name. The story spans the globe and travels in the upper echelons of the world of fine-art. All the usual suspects were there: the reclusive (misshapen) billionaire art lover who covets his art so badly he is willing to steal, murder or do whatever it takes to gain it; the collection of ex-Soviet Secret Police as henchmen; the honest Russian Copper; and of course, our two heroes Jack and Tamsin. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t all that original then, but I’ll tell you what it was; it was well written, fast-paced and very easy to read, just like a good Robert Ludlum.A few things I particularly liked about this story, that lifted it over its competition – 1/ The flashbacks to the painter’s life (and death), where we met his family and even his future family. That gave great background context to the story. 2/ The clearly well researched (or visited perhaps) locations for the novel setting and 3/ the excellent relationship the author built between Jack and Tamsin. There was great conflict and also great love and concern between them, often in the same sentences, which I felt was great.As I only read “indie” authors these days it was refreshing to come across a “big budget” thriller again. Many “indie” authors seem to think it is a genre one step too far for them and best left to the legacy authors. Ken Fry proves them wrong on that front and for that reason plus the excellence of the read, I’m happy to say great job Mr Fry – Wonderful story.I am sure I will be reading more of Ken Fry’s work in the months to come – Don’t you just love it when you find a new author to follow?The second nominee in this category could well fit into a number of categories: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, and perhaps even Young Adult, but I’ve slotted it into MURDER/MAYHEM, because trust me, there is plenty of that going on. It is THE DU LAC CHRONICLES: BOOK 1 by MARY YARDE.The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde is not normally a book I would pick up immediately. I am a history buff, but books about The Dark Ages in Britain are often focused on the legendary Arthurian period and have been well chronicled by many authors and well read by me. The Du Lac Chronicles, though, is slightly different in the respect its time-period is post-Arthurian (just) and introduces a wide cast of characters who immediately grabbed my interest and attention. The skill of the author in not only grabbing my attention from the very beginning but holding it right to the end and making me thirst for more is what makes this book so enjoyable. I particularly liked the basic premise of the book, which was the idea of the hero (Alden Du Lac), running away with the daughter of his greatest enemy, Cerdic, The King of Wessex.At its heart, this is a love story and a beautifully told love story at that. Both Alden and Annis have every reason to doubt each other’s motives, but neither can deny the incredible attraction between them. One of the best aspects of the story was the famil

Source: MYSTERY/MAYHEM Category in the 2016 Indie Authors of Excellence Awards

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