I loved this book, not because its set in my home city of Birmingham, not even because the main character is wonderfully flawed, or because the story is brilliant, even though all of those are true. I loved this book because it is at least three stories in one, all wonderfully woven together to make a story that will stay with me for quite a while.

DI Dani Stephens, what a character, is returning to work in the Homicide Team of the West Midlands Police after two years off following an injury.

Dani is returning after being attacked by a killer, who nearly took her life, and worse still it was her twin brother.

As she returns she is immediately involved in a murder investigation, one of the strands of the story, but she is teamed up with a friend as joint SIO. Is this part of her rehabilitation into the team, or is she just not trusted?

Talking about rehabilitation, that’s the second thread of the story. In flash-back chapters we find out how she was injured, and are taken through her two years of rehab, the first six months of which were in hospital as she recovered from a Traumatic Brain Injury.

The third strand of the story is how she received the injury, the relationship  she now has with her twin brother who is serving a life sentence for murders he committed.

Dani is a great character, fiercely independent to the point of pushing everybody away. Paranoid to the point of hysteria, and mucked up in the head by the medication she is still taking, even though she should be cutting back.

So when she develops a theory about the murder she’s investigating it’s not surprising that nobody takes her seriously.

As Dani carries on her investigation she starts to doubt herself, has the brain injury robbed her of the one thing she loves in life, the ability to do her job; or has she got it all right, and should everybody else actually be listening to her instead of doubting her.

This is a belter of a book.

I love complex, dark stories, that could all so easily be real, and this book sits firmly in that category.


Pages: 394

Publishers: Canelo Hera

Release date:  12thSeptember 2019

Sleeper 13 Rob Sinclair



This is the first Rob Sinclair book I’ve read but it certainly isn’t going to be the last.

For years my favourite author was Robert Ludlum, with books like the Matarese Circle and The Icarus Agenda. Then I found Tom Clancy and his Jack Ryan books. Both of these writers produced brilliant Iron Curtain spy and counter espionage books.

The world has moved on, and the threats from terrorism have taken over from the threats from the Soviet Block.

Rob Sinclair has taken over the Ludlum/Clancy crown at the very top of the suspense novel genre, and writes about the modern day every bit as good as Ludlum and Clancy wrote about the Soviet threat.

Sleeper 13, Aydin, is a young man who as a boy was taken from his London home by his father, and passed over to a Jihad terrorist school, The Farm, where he became one of 13 boys who were taught how to be dangerous terrorists. Then, in the finest fashion of the old soviet spy schools, they were sent back to their own countries all over Europe to wreak havoc.

Living a normal life the 13 sleepers wait for instruction from their leader. Number 1, Wahid a vicious thug who rose to the top because of his brutality at  The Farm.

Rachel cox is a British Secret Service agent who has heard rumours of the existence of The Farm and its 13 graduates and is trying to substantiate their existence.

Working in Syria she has several informants one of them is Aydin’s sister, Nilay, who looking for her brother.

When Nilay is killed in a suicide bombing it’s not just Rachel who’s affected. Aydin sees her death reported on the news.

This is enough for the already conflicted Aydin to break away from his role in the upcoming terrorist attacks and seek out those responsible for his sister’s death. When it becomes apparent that his fellow graduates had ordered her death because she was getting close to exposing them he is left with only one mission. Kill them, but most of all, Kill the man he holds responsible Wahid.

Meanwhile Cox is still having trouble convincing her bosses of the existence of the 13 and the threat they impose.

Working towards the same target, but for different reasons, Cox and Aydin race across Europe attempting to reach members of the 13. Cox is trying to thwart one of the worst imaginable terrorist attacks, Aydin is trying to revenge his sister’s death by killing his “brother” Wahid.

Pages: 432

Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date UK: 1st march 2018.