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
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
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!
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
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
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.
Two serial killers have been getting away with murder for
years. For them, it's a well-paid hobby while they bide their time. It's about
to stop when everything slots into place for them to leap to the next level.
Payback for the people who destroyed their family.
Lambeth Group investigator, Gavin Shawlens, has started on
their trail. But all is not as it seems and he is pushed way out of his depth
when the killers turn on his family. Gavin's Lambeth Group partner, Zoe
Tampsin, is cut off from him and fighting her own battle to stay alive.
They need to connect but Zoe will face an impossible choice.
Stop the killers before they pull off the most audacious murder that will shock
the world and change it forever. Or, rescue Gavin's family from the jaws of
THE BLACK FOX (Lambeth Group Thriller Series #3) by Gordon Bickerstaff is a nonstop thriller that has hairpin plot twists, action-packed scenes that keep you turning the pages and characters that are complex, intense and memorable beyond the pages.
Zoe Tampsin has been ordered to take Dr. Gavin Shawlens into hiding.
The United States has deemed Gavin a national security threat of the highest order and to send the CIA and Special Forces onto English soil to find and eliminate him if the English will not hand him over.
The British government wants to hand him over, but to also find out what Gavin knows that is worth billions and an international incident. Zoe is a highly decorated and trained British Special Forces captain. She is tasked with keeping Gavin alive and hidden until he can remember what memories are so important to the Americans.
On the run, Zoe displays why she was code named the “Black Fox” in Bosnia. Friends old and new come to her and Gavin’s aid. The run to the climax is filled with ingenious tricks and strategic brilliance on Zoe’s part that just keep ramping up the suspense to a climax that gave me chills.
Mr. Bickerstaff has demonstrated his ability once again to write a thriller that grabs your attention and imagination. This is a fast paced read that surprised me many times with situational plot twists that I did not see how Zoe and Gavin could survive and a climatic secret that had me stunned.
Zoe is brilliant, in deeds, action and character. Gavin is also brilliant, but in a very different way which makes the pairing work and these two characters fascinating. This book can be read as a standalone on-the-run thriller, but the depth of the characters is better appreciated by reading at least the previous book, Everything to Lose.The Black Fox needs to be a “Must Read” on your TBR thriller list!
Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by The Book Club on Facebook and the author in return for a fair and honest review. All views are my own.
This is the fifth book in The Lambeth Group thriller aka Gavin Shawlens series – I must be honest that when I dived into Tabula Rasa I had not read the previous books and had no knowledge of the main characters. So the first thing to tell you is that this can be read as a standalone book.
The thriller launches straight into the territory of the underworld and secret agents, and an introduction for new readers, or a reunion for old to Zoe Tampsin – A Special Forces trained agent now working for The Lambeth Group. There is a description of extreme sexual violence at the outset, but don’t be put off as this is important in setting the story up. Her mission is to investigate the death of a government scientist and the mysterious “abduction” and guardianship of his son by a family of aristocrats, the Silsdens. This is where Zoe’s partner from previous cases, scientist Gavin Shawlens comes in to play as he is a personal friend of Lord Silsden’s son.
Odd couple Zoe and Gavin go undercover as an engaged couple to try to unearth the secrets of the Silsden family business but someone wants to stop them at every turn. The mysterious phrase Tabula Rasa is brought to their attention – can Gavin’s knowledge of the world of science help them to understand what it means?
I don’t intend to give any spoilers away here. But I will tell you is that this plot moves in so many directions and has twists and turns that are so unexpected that I defy you to be able to put it down! I hadn’t met Zoe Tampsin before, and whilst the books seem to be labelled the Gavin Shawlens thrillers, for me Zoe is the stand out character.
Gordon Bickerstaff has created a strong woman with a great sense of self-worth, duty and loyalty. She has grown up in the military with a serving father and brother, has served an exemplary career herself and is a natural leader. I love the way that she can slip so easily into and out of character, doing whatever needs to be done, fooling even those who know her, and yet her love and loyalty for her family and closest comrades is uncompromising. Her strength of character is tested to the extreme both mentally and physically in this book – she is the ultimate survivor and a wonderful female protagonist.
Based on this book alone I felt that I didn’t get to know Gavin Shawlens particularly well and he at times feels the weak link when put alongside Zoe and her team. It feels that Mr Bickerstaff is asking us to question the need for Shawlens and whether he can be relied upon to remember which “side” he is working with. The attention to detail of the science is superb, and I really like the fact that not everything goes to plan and the characters have to think on their feet, make life changing instant decisions and show their vulnerability. This feels like real life, if in a world very removed to my own!
I could not put this book down and felt exhausted when I did reach the end. For me there were so many things that I just did not see coming – the sign of a great thriller, surely? My first thought on completing the book – “WOW!”. My second…..well, let’s just say it involved a certain online book store and I now have the first 4 books sitting on my Kindle too – I loved it that much!
Five stars from me!