Cover Image: Silenced For Good

Silenced For Good

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Member Reviews

Review for 'Silenced For Good ' by Alex Coombs

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Blackwood Books

This is the first book that I have read by this author. This is the only book he has written under the name Alex Coombs but he has 4 books in the DI Hanlon series under a different publisher and under the name of Alex Howards. He also writes light hearted crime fiction under the name HVCoombs. 

I was originally drawn to this book by its intriguing cover and blurb.  

This novel consists of 36 chapters which are medium length so good if you want to read 'just one more chapter', not that I ever end up doing that, more like two or three. 

The story is set in the UK and had has a strong female lead which is always a bonus for myself being female and British. 

The plot is quite interesting and there are scenes in the beginning, middle and end that had me on the edge of my seat but the majority of the book was a slow burner. 

The book is well written with good descriptions. I liked the Scottish dialect as it made me feel like I was 'in' the book more but there were times when I did struggle to understand what some words meant. 

There was a good mix of characters and most of them were realistic. However, I did find Hanlon to be quite blunt and rude. I don't mind the bluntness so much but can't abide rude people, places and thank you doesn't cost anything, so I struggled with her character in quite a few places although she did grow on me in the end. 

Unfortunately, I cannot say I was completely surprised by who did what which is a shame. However others may not work it out as there were quite a few red herrings thrown in. 

If I was to recommend this book it would be to fans of crime and mystery. 

288 pages

Free on kindle unlimited or 99p to purchase on kindle. I think this is a good price for this book. 

Rated 3/5 (It was OK) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

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DCI Hanlon was accused of excessive force on a suspect at work so was told to go on a break. A holiday like never before, she found a body to contend with. Murder found its way to her, so she had to solve it.

My first book by this author, though fifth in the series. I loved Hanlon; she was tough and brassy. The story was quite twisty with many suspects and action packed all due to the protagonist. Quite graphic in its speech, the story was one rocking ride. Not for the faint-hearted.
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DCI Hanlon has had a rough go of it. Accused of excessive force when arresting a suspect, even her typically supportive fellow officers are not closing ranks around her. Her psychiatrist insists that she take some time off while the investigation sorts itself out. Leave London. Go to Scotland. Avoid crime!

Easy, right?

When Hanlon arrives at her destination, a body is waiting for her. Lying on the beach, apparently drowned by the nearby whirlpool, a young woman is found by locals. Police believe it was an accidental drowning. But when a second young woman also disappears, later found in the ocean, Hanlon suspects something else is going on. With the help of an attractive local police officer, Catriona McCleod, Hanlon tries to uncover the criminal before more bodies turn up–and before she herself becomes a victim.

This is the fifth novel featuring DCI Hanlon, but the first written under the name Alex Coombs (previous books were written under the name Alex Howard). Having read this one I can unabashedly say, count me in for the long haul! Coombs has written a marvelous book, complete with a complex protagonist, a clever plot full of twists, more than one surprise built in, and a nice set-up for a sequel or sequels. DCI Hanlon is tough. She thrives on violence. A boxer and triathlete, she is up to any challenge. She is also unabashedly bisexual, an identity seldom addressed in mainstream fiction.

Coombs also paints a beautiful picture of the Scottish island setting of most of the book. You can almost see the maelstrom, feel the wind in your face, hear the birds calling, smell the scent of the trees in the mountains. When the story moves to the “mainland” of Scotland, a very different and dark urban setting is just as carefully described. Hanlon moves effortlessly between the beautiful rural island and the gritty urban decay, and wherever the story goes the descriptions flow with it.

More than merely a procedural, Coombs spends a lot of time allowing Hanlon to search within herself. What are the reasons she is so drawn to violence? Why has she essentially thrown away her career for the rush of blood? She is allowed to question herself, her motives, her decisions. Internal conversations between Hanlon and her psychiatrist (absent in person but present in Hanlon’s thoughts) continue throughout the book. The journey Hanlon takes within her own character growth is easily as far as the distance from London to Scotland, and as difficult as finding a murderer who is unafraid of leaving a trail of bodies.

Silenced for Good is a very good novel. I truly hope a series is in the offing, and I hope I will get to review future adventures of (probably ex) DCI Hanlon. In the meantime, I may have to check out Google Earth for some pictures of Scotland. Thanks to Alex Coombs, I feel like I’ve already been there.
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Suspended from the police force for assaulting a suspect, Detective Hanlon is told to take a vacation while the powers that be figure out what to do with her. She decides to visit the Scottish Island of Jura, where an old friend is now living.

One of the last things she was told ... do NOT go looking for trouble.  But wherever Hanlon goes, violence and death are sure to follow.

Staying in a rather rundown inn, one of their staff is found floating face down in the sea.  Local police want to call it an accident, Hanlon has other ideas.

As  usual, Hanlon decides to investigate on her own.

Addicted to the violence of her chosen profession, she enjoys the rush, the danger that losing control allows her.  She's been at this for a really long time and her gut tells her when something isn't quite right.

In this newest adventure, the something not quite right extends to a possible crooked cop, a bartender who has spent time in jail, a chef who's wanting the owner of the inn where she's staying to see out to him, and various other possible suspects who randomly roam these pages. Several twists and turns keep the action non-stop  until the very last explosive page.

Author Alex Coombs has written more of this series under the name of Alex Howard. This is the 5th in the series and reads well as a stand alone.

Many thanks to the author/ Boldwood Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction.  Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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Detective Hanlon is addicted to violence. She likes the rush, the danger, the losing control..When Hanlon is suspended from the force for assaulting a suspect, she escapes to the remote Scottish island of Jura, home to the mysterious whirlpool. However violence seems to follow Hanlon wherever she goes..
Unfortunately, I just couldn't get involved in this book. I've seen lots of really positive reviews for it, but it just didn't click with me.
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This is such a good read that pulls you in from the first page.

We are all used to reading or watching detective series where the Detective has a flaw. It seems to be an unwritten rule, well Detective Hanlon has a flaw but it is not the usual, gambling or alcohol. She is addicted to violence, the thrill of confrontation, hurting someone, the buzz it gives her. You would imagine that would make her an unsympathetic character, but I really enjoyed learning her about character.

When she is suspended from the force in London, she is advised to get away from everything so she can evaluate her position, her therapist’s words are ‘Stay away from crime.’

Little does she know when arrives on the remote island of Jura, a body has just been found, and it’s not long before another body surfaces. Instead of relaxing, she finds herself drawn in to a murder inquiry.

This is an excellent read that had me hooked from the beginning.
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Sometimes when you think you can escape it all, your life will still find you in the strangest places.  This is true of Detective Hanlon.  She escapes on holiday to escape her life, but still crime will find her.  Very well written and thrilling from beginning to end.  Recommended.
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An unsettling, claustrophobic and terrifying thriller that will send many a chill scuttling down readers’ spines, Alex Coombs’ Silenced for Good is a dark, twisted and satisfying crime novel that is deliciously addictive.

Detective Hanlon is not your typical police officer. A woman who thrives on danger and violence, she is not easily cowed or subdued which is why when she found herself in a sticky situation, she didn’t hesitate to use all of her physical strength to ensure that the suspect didn’t get off lightly. However, Hanlon’s actions have serious consequences for her career. When she finds herself suspended from the force, she is absolutely furious. Yet, there is nothing she can do except wait it out and try and distract herself and keep some of her anger in check. A trip to the remote Scottish island of Jura seems to be just the distraction she is desperate for. Yet, on her arrival at The Mackinnon Arms, she senses that something is not quite right…

The staff are acting shifty and although she cannot quite put her finger on what exactly is going on, her gut instinct is telling her to be on her guard and not to trust anyone – and it looks like Hanlon’s suspicions are proved right when a body is found floating in the sea. A body which just happens to belong to a member of staff of The Mackinnon Arms. Hanlon might be suspended, but that doesn’t stop her from investigating. While the local bobbies might have written this death off as an accident, all of Hanlon’s finely honed skills are telling her that there is something far more sinister going on here.

As Hanlon begins to put the evidence together, she finds herself uncovering dangerous secrets and shocking revelations. But will she be able to find out who is the murderer on the island before another body is found?

A page-turning crime thriller full of twists readers will not see coming, Silenced for Good is a nail-biting chiller that is gritty, action-packed and so compulsively readable putting it down is simply not an option. Hanlon is a terrific creation – she is bold, fearless and intuitive and her unconventional methods are sure to keep readers on their toes and desperate to find out what she uncovers next.

Pacy, tense and heart-pounding, Alex Coombs’ Silenced for Good is not to be missed.
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I always seem to be drawn to a good looking crime novel & the cover did it’s job of pulling me in far enough to read the blurb. 

DC Hanlon is an officer with a temperament that doesn’t always do her any favours. Suffice to say she has p*ssed off the powers that be & she is under investigation for an excessive force complaint. So under the circumstances she leaves behind her usual stomping grounds in the city & heads to the remote island Jura off the coast of Scotland for a break which may or may not allow her to relax while awaiting the verdict.

This is where we the reader discover what Hanlon is really like, she is no shrinking violet, well we knew that from the force charge but add in she needs or craves violence, the lure to investigate, any hint of a crime & she will be there. She is a tough cookie who loves boxing & competing in triathlons, she comes across as leaning towards masculine tendencies which support her character flaws possibly. She is volatile but observant, she takes everything on board & it becomes obvious this is a skilled DC with a decade or two’s experience chomping at the bit to get back to her job.

I think she has inner turmoil & this break away from it all could have been beneficial but as ‘luck’ would have it she seems to have landed amidst a mystery .. a body shows up on the beach, further events make her question what is going on & without long she seems embroiled in something she would really rather not be. 

Prepare yourself for a well thought out story complete with all the ups and downs associated with an intriguing plot, several characters to get your teeth into and enough going on to keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

A well paced story with a strong female character all points to a decent read for me. I enjoyed the internal conversations she has in her head with her  therapist’, but above all it is the description of beautiful Scotland that intrigued me. Being housebound myself I appreciate losing myself out in nature where I can ‘see’ the magnificent scenery, hear the birds calling, feel the weather & happily wend my way into a magical world, made even better if there are a few criminal events along the trail!

I read Silenced for Good voluntarily & I’d like to thank Rachel from Random Resources, the author, BoldWood books & Netgalley for my copy..
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This is the first book in a new crime series. It took me a while to get into it but I am glad I persevered. I loved the magnificent setting of the island of Jura and the cast of odious characters.Detective Hanlon is not very likeable and the dilapidated hotel was a bit unbelievable but overall, I enjoyed this book, would recommend it to friends  and would read another installment. Murder, corrupt police and violence all neatly wrapped up. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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Today is my turn on the blog tour for Silenced for good! 
Thank you to @rachelsrandomresources for inviting me on the tour.

Detective Hanlon is addicted to violence. She likes the rush, the danger, the losing control...

When Hanlon is suspended from the force for assaulting a suspect, she escapes to the remote Scottish island of Jura, home to the mysterious Corryvreckan whirlpool.

But wherever Hanlon goes, violence is sure to follow.

As soon as she checks into The Mackinnon Arms, Hanlon senses something isn't quite right about the staff at her home for the week. 

Sure enough, within days of arriving, the body of a member of staff is found floating in the sea. While police believe she was claimed by the local whirlpool, Hanlon isn't so sure. 

This book sadly wasn’t for me, I didn’t find it particularly gripping however I have seen brilliant reviews for it so please do go and look at those too!

I did like how it is set in Scotland and has a very strong lead character and I believe that it would be a fantastic book for any body who is a lover of the crime genre.
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I read it as a stand-alone novel and found it easy to get stuck in. Detective Hanlon is the main character and star of the series. She isn’t your rule-abiding cop, shes hard and I found her to be arrogant. Her tendency to be violent gets her into loads of trouble on a case so she’s forced to take a holiday.

Of course, she’s a person that has trouble following her, even to her time away on a Scottish Island.

I found Silenced For Good a pretty good read, I’m not keen on the character of Hanlon, but the way she is makes this an edgy crime series pushing boundaries all the time. And that’s what I do like about a crime series! The description of the stunning scenery on the island makes you wish you were there.

Hanlon gets on with getting herself involved with what’s happening around her in the hotel. There are some strange and shady characters for sure. You are kept guessing and thrown on different tracks with twists and turns. Which of course I’m not going to spoil for you!
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I absolutely love discovering new authors and Alex Coombs is certainly a new author for me.  I read the synopsis for 'Silenced For Good' and it certainly sounded like an interesting read.  So without further ado, I grabbed my copy of the book, grabbed a cup of tea, sat down and started to read.  Oh boy 'Silenced For Good' is a cracking read and then some.  I thoroughly enjoyed 'Silenced For Good' but more about that in a bit.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of Detective Hanlon at first and if I am honest she slightly scares me.  She certainly has some anger management issues and she gets her kicks from using violence- often excessive violence at that.  She's the sort of woman, who I wouldn't want to upset or meet down a dark alley, but then I am a bit of a wimp.  Unsurprisingly Hanlon's conduct does not go down too well with her superiors and she is suspended from duty.  So she tootles off on annual leave and gets away from it all.  Hanlon can't escape the day job and something doesn't feel quite right to her.  Hanlon starts investigating and secrets and skeletons come tumbling out of the closet.  What happens next?  Well for the answers to that question and so much more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves t find out as I am not going to tell you.
It didn't take me long at all to get into this book.  In fact, as soon as I started to read I knew that this would be one book that I wouldn't be able to put down for very long at all.  As a character Hanlon intrigued me and I had to keep reading to see if she was spot on about something not feeling quite right when she gets to her temporary accommodation.  The pages turned over increasingly quickly as I got further and further into the story.  I found that I had focus on the book alone as there was that much going on and I didn't want to miss a vital clue.  Normally, I find it extremely difficult to concentrate for any length of time but not with this book.  'Silence For Good' was one seriously gripping read, which kept me guessing and which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
'Silenced For Good' is extremely well written.  The author certainly knows how to grab your attention and much like a fisherman or fisherwoman landing a catch, he reels you in.  At least that's how I felt.  Once he has your attention he will not let you have it back until the moment you read the last word on the last page.  Alex uses such vivid and graphic descriptions that I did feel as though I was part of the story myself.
In short, I really enjoyed reading 'Silenced For Good' and I would recommend it to other readers.  I will definitely be reading more of Alex's work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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Dead bodies start turning up and the owner of the hotel she is staying in is 1 bad dude. Will she be able to figure out what is going on and will her instincts be right.

A good solid read. Here and there I found some phrases a bit repetitive but that's a minor thing that will not bother most people. The ending has a good twist that most people won't see coming.
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This is one heck of a twisty ride, guys! We follow DCI Hanlon as she takes a much needed break from London and the accusations of police brutality. She travels to the remote island of Jura off the Scottish coast to focus on an upcoming Ironman Triathlon only to find that violence is everywhere, even in the middle of nowhere.

There is no real reason for DCI Hanlon to doubt the official ruling of accidental death in the hotel staffer’s death, but she does. And because of this, she uncovers a Gordian knot sex, drugs, betrayal and deceit. There are twists, turns, and dead ends in this investigation , as well as a red herring that is nearly Hanlon’s undoing! I never suspected the true villain, and was kept on my toes to the very end!

Hanlon is a beautifully complex character, both horribly flawed and incredibly strong. She knows her own mind, and can acknowledge when that leads her to make poor decisions (usually internally voiced by her therapist); I honestly cannot wait to see what new adventures await her!
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In this gritty, gripping Scottish crime thriller, DCI Hanlon is driven and on the edge, as she battles addictive anger issues.  An enforced break on the Isle of Jura, one of the Western Isles, finds her embroiled in a series of grisly crimes.

Hanlon and politically correct are at opposite ends of the spectrum, She's arrogant and hard. Character traits that get her in trouble with her bosses at the Met. Told predominately from her point of view, this story is insightful. The plot is simple, with enough possible suspects and twists to keep it interesting. I did guess the major twist, but it's a good story, with a memorable detective, with scope for more cases.
 
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Silenced For Good is the newest instalment in an intriguing exciting crime thriller series by author Alex Coombs although he has written more of this DI Hanlon series under the name Alex Howard. It took a little more time than I am usually used to in order to be completely gripped but you should give it a little extra time to become addictive as it's worth having patience. I feel the reason that it took more time than most to be engrossed was because Coombs was busy not only setting up the cast of characters and plot for this opening instalment but also the rest of the series which is unavoidable really.

It pulls no punches in that it’s really quite brutal, profane and, at times, graphic so is by no means suitable for those who enjoy their thrillers tame as it’s not for the faint-hearted. This is a series that certainly shows promise and I indeed hope that Ms Coombs continues it and that it continues to progress and go from strength to strength. I look forward to the next instalment being even better. Many thanks to Boldwood Books for an ARC
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Detective Hanlon is addicted to violence. She likes the rush, the danger, the losing control...

When Hanlon is suspended from the force for assaulting a suspect, she escapes to the remote Scottish island of Jura, home to the mysterious Corryvreckan whirlpool.

But wherever Hanlon goes, violence is sure to follow.

As soon as she checks into The Mackinnon Arms, Hanlon senses something isn't quite right about the staff at her home for the week.

Sure enough, within days of arriving, the body of a member of staff is found floating in the sea. While police believe she was claimed by the local whirlpool, Hanlon isn't so sure.

As she pieces together the evidence, dark secrets begin to unravel. Can Hanlon work out what is going on before another floating body is found...?

Reading this blurb I knew I had to read this book. I love thrillers. I love crime thrillers even more and this had all the ingredients to make it to the top of my reading list for sure. 

So I liked the story but did not love it. The plot  is a good one and I loved the setting but somehow the characters did not resonate with me. I was not invested enough in them to feel for them. Having said that I must add that this is still a good solid read. These were just reservations which I had but I still liked the story and will read more of the series. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Detective Hanlon is the kind of person who would have been incredible as a sheriff in a Wild West town. Unfortunately, her style of policing really isn’t suitable for a modern cop in the Met, and her methods have landed her in trouble with the higher-ups. On mandatory leave, she heads for the remote Western Isles of Scotland to try and get her head together… and finds herself neck-deep in trouble without even trying.

As Hanlon investigates, she finds evidence of money laundering, drug dealing, at least one police officer mixed up in things up to their neck… and a mounting body count. Constitutionally incapable of walking away, Hanlon is determined to find the killer, but the killer might have found her first!

It wasn’t until late in the book that I finally figured out what was going on, despite the author leaving a decent trail of breadcrumbs. Almost the entire book is told from Hanlon’s PoV, with just a couple of chapters here and there in others, and to be honest I think those could have been dispensed with as they were mainly used to give the impressions other characters had of Hanlon, and we just didn’t need it. We’re in Hanlon’s mind, we know her heart. We don’t need to know that certain characters find her attractive, or intimidating, or both.

I liked Hanlon and her no-nonsense approach, I liked the beautiful setting on the remote Scottish island of Jura and the other characters introduced, and I thought the plot was intriguing. Nevertheless, I can’t quite give this five stars because of the issues I had with the unnecessary PoV switches; a good editor should have told the author to cut those and stay with Hanlon, a reliable narrator if ever there was one. Four stars for a solid story which just needed a few more tweaks.
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I didn’t realise until I was putting this post together that there are other books from this author that feature DI Hanlon, luckily though you definitely don’t need to have read them to get stuck into this one, it can stand on its own and be well understood.

With the opening chapter you really get a feel for Hanlon, on the outs with the service and facing an investigation for using excessive force, I knew that she maybe wasn’t going to be the most likeable character but could be very compelling given the right storyline. Her character attributes, aggressive tendencies and a willingness to skirt the law, I would say are generally seen more in male characters within this genre so it was quite refreshing to get that angle and I did actually come to appreciate her frank nature and determination.

On the whole the story was engaging, I have to say I was drawn to it because of its setting, rural Scotland has so many qualities that when used properly can only enhance the suspense in a book, and it did lend itself here. I did find on a few occasions reading this book that there was a lot of extra information that I didn’t really feel was needed, I only mention it because at these points the pace started to suffer and I did find myself wanting to flick ahead to the next relevant part.

However, the storyline kept my interest I was eager to find out what was going on and who was behind it. There was a very eclectic cast of characters and most of them were a bit shady, I will admit to having a few of my suspicions turn out to be correct but there were parts that I would definitely have not predicted, it certainly made for some entertaining reading as Hanlon has to decide who on the island she can trust.
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