Even the deadliest criminals leave a trail…
When a psychotic policeman drags the young, ambitious thief, Danny Felix out of bed, he could not imagine he was about to be plunged into the robbery of a lifetime.
Corruption and coercion follow the corrupt Detective Inspector Harkness everywhere he goes and now he has Danny just where he wants him.
But Harkness isn’t the only officer with Danny in his sights. Christine Chance is getting closer to him while doing her best to be a mother to her seriously ill daughter.
Can Danny escape Harkness with his life intact? Can he avoid detection by Chance? And does he have what it takes to use the streets of modern-day London to pull off the theft of the 21st Century?
Danny thinks he can…but there will be bloodshed.
Many thanks to the publisher Bloodhound Books, author J A Marley and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC copy of Standstill in return for an honest review.
Crime thrillers are a massively popular genre, which makes it difficult for any book to stand out among the thousands published each year. To succeed it needs to have an element that makes it different in some way from all the other highly enjoyable thrillers that the reader has to choose from. One such component is that the ‘hero’ is meant to overcome the ‘bad guy’ after a thrilling series of chases and deadly encounters and this is what makes Standstill stand out! The ‘good guy’ Danny, is in fact not so good himself, he is in reality just significantly less bad that his nemesis Detective Inspector Harkness.
Don’t get me wrong Standstill has all the traditional elements of a thriller, it’s fast paced, gritty and violent. It starts with a bang. The villain is evil and determined to cause trouble on a scale London has not seen in a while. The stakes for many of the characters are high enough. Potential for death is littered within its pages, while the ‘hero’ is determined not to allow the villain, to derail his plans to pull off an audacious robbery. It is full of twists and turns and is a first class thriller, with an anti hero, you will find yourself wanting to succeed, even though you know that he is flawed and a criminal.
This is why I enjoyed Standstill so much, it stood out and keep me reading well past the time I would normally be snuggled up under my duvet.
I could see this as a TV programme and a great one at that! It grips you and draws you into London’s criminal underworld and the world of an unhinged Police officer, who cares little for the role of protecting the public from people like Danny.
Importantly I forgot the world around me and was lost in the fantasy of the book, which dared to take the traditional elements we expect in a thriller and twist them to give the story an original and exhilarating feel.
I can heartily recommend Standstill to existing thriller fans and those looking to discover why thrillers have so many dedicated readers.
John A. Marley’s writing career started with a poem about two brothers who both liked sausages, their names were Butch and Dutch and his Primary School teacher Mr. Murray liked it so much it made the main noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Child Primary School in West Belfast. A little older but none the wiser, he ended up as a film journalist in his native Northern Ireland, contributing to local newspapers, BBC Radio Ulster and latterly writing as the main film critic for the glossy magazine, Northern Woman.
John’s love of good stories came from the Irish predilection for telling a good yarn and the fact that there was nothing quite like sneaking away his Dad’s battered paperbacks to read even though he knew they were meant for adults and not kids. And so pulp fiction such as The Edge Westerns by George G. Gilman, the adventure novels of Alistair MacLean and the thrillers of Jack Higgins all served to whet his appetite for a good story told at pace.
These days, his reading tastes still focus on thrills, spills and good plot and he can’t walk by a James Lee Burke or an Elmore Leonard without pausing to read a few pages…even if it is in a busy bookshop.
John A. Marley is also a TV producer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming and formats for both a UK and international audience. His eclectic portfolio of high-profile shows include Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAF, Britain’s Flying Past, Staraoke, Best of Friends, Skatoony, Noel’s House Party, Through the Keyhole, SMTV:Live/CD:UK, How Euro Are You? and live coverage of “The Oscars” with Barry Norman.
John runs his own production company Archie Productions which he launched in 2008. Prior to setting up his own indie, John enjoyed a wide and varied career in television with creative roles at Talent Television, Planet 24, Carlton Television and Walt Disney UK. John’s broadcast media career started in his native Northern Ireland as a radio host.
J A Marley can bee followed on Twitter.