Sunday, 24 February 2019

Even More Praise for The Black Fox

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite.

The Black Fox is a fast-paced work of thriller fiction penned by author Gordon Bickerstaff, and forms the third book in the Lambeth Group Thrillers Series. 
In this exciting instalment to the series, Zoe Tampsin takes on the task of hiding and guarding the scientist Gavin Shawlens from US agents who are seeking him out in the UK. Zoe, code-named the title’s ‘Black Fox’ for her superb work in Bosnia, weaves her way through a delicate web of secrets and ever impending threats, even with the haphazard academic in tow. 

Gavin is experiencing memory blocks and terrifying nightmares, but he also holds the key to a devastating conspiracy that the USA doesn’t want uncovered. It’s up to Zoe to keep him alive and finally uncover the truth.

For thriller fans, author Gordon Bickerstaff creates a perfect recipe with all the ingredients needed to please his audience. Zoe Tampsin is a special agent with plenty of skills and smarts, stylized beauty, and an easily imagined prowess that makes her come to life like a Hollywood starlet.

There’s a lot of work put into the emotional components of the tale, which add realism to the blockbuster plot and make the reading experience more credible overall. 
The dialogue was well written and clear in its exposition of the mysteries of the plot, and I found that the conspiracies and answers given were very satisfying to the overall journey.

The Black Fox is certainly highly recommended for fans of high-octane action novels and involved, stylish thrillers.

More Readers' Favorite praise for The Black Fox

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite.

In The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff, scientist Gavin Shawlens has been targeted by the CIA for assassination for holding vital information that could bring the entire country to its knees. MI5 secret service captain Zoe Tampsin has been assigned to keep him alive and takes him underground until he can remember what is so valuable to the US government.

A huge manhunt begins as not only the CIA trawl the UK to find them, but also British special forces who have been promised billions in military upgrades in exchange for Shawlens. 

With few weapons and even her own mentor trying to track them down, Zoe is facing her toughest mission yet and a decision that goes against all her instincts.

But even she doesn't realize how far the intelligence services will go to flush them out. I am not normally a fan of espionage novels but this author's skill in storytelling has certainly changed my mind.

The plot is unique and fast paced with twists and turns throughout. I could not see how Zoe could escape from the dangerous situations, but somehow, she did. 
Every one of the many characters was so realistic, but all with personality flaws which made them all the more believable. The intricate details in the dialogue and narrative showed the author had researched his subject well. The deals that went on behind the closed doors of intelligence agencies were very interesting.

I loved the relationship between Zoe and her brother Michael who knew her character so well; it was clear Zoe only allowed a few people close to her and he was definitely top of the list. Without giving anything away, I thought the scene between Karen and Zoe was a real tear-jerker. 

Zoe and Gavin had a great relationship too. They were complete opposite personalities and their exchanges were quite comical in parts as away from the subject of science, he wasn't the brightest or bravest. The tension and suspense were broken up cleverly with real emotional moments but also humour too.

I highly recommend this novel but be prepared to go on a roller-coaster of never-ending action, thrills and intrigue.

Latest Readers' Favorite Review for The Black Fox

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

The Black Fox is third in author Gordon Bickerstaff’s Lambeth Group Thriller series. Lead character is Zoe Tampsin, a feisty, exceptionally resourceful former British Special Services officer seconded to MI5 (also known as the Security Service), who is asked by her boss, Sir Milton Johnson, to babysit Dr Gavin Shawlens. The scientist has been targeted by the CIA for assassination.

The Company knows he has a secret hidden in the depths of his subconscious which, if it ever surfaced, would cause an international incident of monumental proportions. To justify itself to its British counterparts, the CIA maintains that Shawlens is a national security threat. Things get complicated when Sir Milton tells Zoe that no one, not even colleagues in her own organization, can know the details of her assignment.

As the pressure to find Shawlens intensifies, Zoe finds herself pitted not only against the might of the CIA and resources available to it from other American security and military organizations, but those of her own country as well. 
Eventually, the pair is tracked down by her former mentor and they are surrounded, trapped in their own nightmare. As the hunters move in, Zoe must make the decision of a lifetime. If she is wrong, she will die with the man she has been entrusted to protect. If she is right, she will discover the secret locked in a vault in his memory and become a target for assassination herself.

Gordon Bickerstaff knows his stuff. If he doesn’t, he sure sounds convincing. The Black Fox covers operational matters pertaining to the CIA, Britain’s MI5, as well as military and law enforcement procedures. This is why it is such a riveting read. You tend to believe what’s going on, even though the subject matter is, in fact, unbelievable. 
The Black Fox is a joy to read, particularly if, like me, you are partial to thrillers in this sub-genre. Bickerstaff meanders seamlessly from the Oval Office in Washington to MI5 headquarters in Thames House, London, and to various other geographical locations in the UK and North America, keeping his readers enthralled at all times.

Just when you think you’re getting a breather from this fast-paced thriller, something happens to get your adrenaline racing again. Just one word of caution: there are many characters and a lot of scenes on both sides of the Atlantic so you need to keep your wits about you. But this is a book you won’t want to put down.

Friday, 30 November 2018

News from Author/Publisher Caleb Pirtle III TOP 50 Indie Writers

New from author/publisher, the latest writer to be added to the list of TOP 50 Indie Writers.

Find out more here -

Monday, 3 September 2018

Tabula Rasa recognised for excellence in writing

Announced on the 1st September 2018 
by Readers' Favorites 
Tabula Rasa took the GOLD medal in the 
Fiction-Thriller-Conspiracy category

Monday, 13 August 2018

Latest 5* Review and Award for 'Tears of Fire'

Latest 5* Review of 'Tears of Fire' 13 August 2018

Dr Traherene’s exclusive and private clinic for terminal ill patients is not quite what it seems. Neither are the two Nurses, Jung and Seng. They may appear compassionate, but they are anything but…
Where to begin…. Gordon Bickerstaff has done it again. Tears of Fire (A Lambeth Group Thriller) begins like any good Bond film. Our heroine, Zoe, is in trouble. Will she live? Will she die? Will someone hurry up and roll the opening credits…! Boy, what a story. Filled with non-stop action. Very human heroes, and deplorable antagonists. And a storyline that was terrifyingly believable. The only way I can describe this series is that it is James Bond meets Mission Impossible.
Zoe is a female version of Ethan Hunt and dear old Gavin, is definitely Benji Dunn. They work so well together in the other books in this series, and they continue to do so in this story.
The plot, what can I say about it? It had me gripped from the opening chapter. So much happens in this book and the short chapters seem to help keep this momentum going. At times I really began to fear for several of the protagonists. Especially when they got onto the Wensley! Talk about tension.
If you are looking for a truly great crime read, then I highly recommend the Lambeth Group Thriller series. These books just get better and better!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Zoe's own tactics had been used against her with precision execution. Captured, shamed, and manipulated into silence, it seems her only option is to accept death in order to protect those she loves. The people who thought that obviously didn't know her, or her allies, well at all. But her liberation just serves to throw fuel onto an already raging fire. Given the choices that await her, perhaps the hangman's noose would have been preferable. Gavin Shawlens has been recruited to investigate an insurance fraud, but he had not been given all the details. 
Behind a seemingly innocent front, murderers hide in the shadows, seeking revenge, and that revenge is now within their grasp and they will stop anyone who gets in their way, or threatens to expose them. Unfortunately, Gavin's investigation does just that, and he has already made some powerful enemies, but this time he doesn't have Zoe at his side to protect him. 
The clock is ticking before they up their game. Gordon Bickerstaff was born to write this genre. Tears of Fire is the latest instalment in his Lambeth Group thrillers and to date I have read every book in this immersive and tension-filled series, and they just keep getting better and better. They read as stand alone and yet also reward the frequent reader. Twists and turns don't do justice to the complexities of the masterful plot, and it is so involved that revenge, murder, questions, betrayal, and suspense are just the tip of the iceberg. 
Gordon Bickerstaff achieves the perfect balance between a character and an event driven plot. You'll be hooked from the first page to the last, wondering how things will turn out. This is one hell of an involved plot, and a word to the wise as you navigate through the dangerous tale; remember to breathe. A truly masterful and amazing book, written with flair, style, and an intensity that will leave you wanting more. Tears of Fire is, without question, a five star and highly recommended read.
Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite 
Tears of Fire by Gordon Bickerstaff is a well-crafted, tightly plotted terrorist thriller with a lot of potential to entertain readers. They are two orphans turned serial killers. They are rich and they have the means. And now, they are about to up their game — they’ll go after those who killed their parents. Gavin Shawlens, a skilled detective working with the Lambeth Group is getting close to nailing the killers when the two turn their attention to his family. 
Gavin needs his partner, Zoe Tampsin, to stop the orphans before one of the most painful murders is committed. But can the detectives get them before it is too late? Gordon Bickerstaff’s gift for character is exceptional and readers will ponder over the idea of how the orphans became serial killers — is it out of revenge or a perverse nature? The plot is intricately done and the writing is tight and crisp, featuring strong psychological elements that allow readers to understand the minds of psychopaths. 
This is the kind of book that will sit comfortably on the shelf beside James Patterson’s Alex Cross series. This is crime thriller at its best. The author creates awesome characters in Jung and Seng and readers will enjoy the psychological depth of the story. The conflict is deftly handled and I enjoyed the role played by Gavin and Zoe in the narrative. Tears of Fire is a captivating read, balanced and quickly paced. It features intelligently written and focused scenes, and a lot of suspense. This author knows how to woo readers and keep them focused.
 Reviewed by Samantha Dewitt (Rivera) for Readers' Favorite 
There’s no telling what will happen when a soldier finds themselves trapped between doing their duty and doing what they believe is right. For Zoe, that moment came when she discovered the horror that the Silsden family was engaged in. But to protect her own family she’s willing to take control of her own destiny, but nothing is ever that simple. 
There is much more involved in the case than even she could have imagined and it’s all going to tie into something strange and unexpected; euthanasia and insurance fraud. Tears of Fire by Gordon Bickerstaff is a story of more than you could imagine. This book is full of adventure at every turn, because you just can’t imagine what’s going to happen next. There are several characters throughout, but you feel like you really know each of them and you know exactly what they all want. 
It draws you even further into the story and makes you want to turn the next page to see just how the battle will rage and who will succeed in the end. Between Zoe, Gavin and Joss, you never know what to expect, but even Traherne, Toby and the twins are characters that you can’t help but feel absorbed by and you find yourself wondering just who is going to win out in the end. And even if the good guys win, is it really going to save everyone? Or is there something a little dark even in the best of intentions in Tears of Fire.