Today it is my great pleasure to be opening up the blog tour for The Unbroken, the brand new thriller from Alex Caan and Hera Books. Now I have always loved reading Alex Caan’s books and when I heard that he was releasing a brand new thriller series, I was really excited to read it. A big thank you goes to Sarah Hardy of Book On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to join the tour and to publisher Hera Books for providing an advance copy for review.
About the Book
Millie didn’t get time to think. The car door was pulled open and she was dragged out, her screams loud and raw, as she kicked and fought. She called out for Oscar, again and again, screaming for help.
But he never came.
It was the wedding of the year. Millie Beaumont marrying billionaire playboy Oscar Hayat, the eyes of the world watching.
But the dream turns into a nightmare when Millie and Oscar are brutally abducted while on honeymoon. Millie is killed, her body dumped in London. Oscar is still
Enter DS Moomy Khan and DI Sarah Heaton – not your typical police officers. Moomy is running from her own troubled past, while Sarah is having to live with the hard choices she has made. Yet they will stop at nothing to find Millie’s murderers and track down Oscar. Only a family as high profile as the Hayats have enemies lurking in every corner – have they taken the ultimate revenge, or is someone else behind the death and kidnapping?
And can Moomy and Sarah find Oscar – before time runs out and he suffers the same fate as his wife?
The first book in the gripping, fast-paced new Khan and Heaton crime series, The Unbroken will thrill fans of A.A. Dhand, Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza.
The Unbroken is a really intriguing read, starting in quite spectacular style as it does with the abduction of a newly married couple at the start of their honeymoon. The results of this abduction are tragic, the story that unfolds of the family, the couple and their complicated lives, compelling and full of suspense. It is a read that drew me in and held me rapt, but perhaps not in the ways you are expecting.
This is not a fast paced story, in spite of the almost startling opening scene which sees Millie and her husband, Oscar, fall prey to an ambush. This is a far more contemplative read than the previous two thrillers from Alex Caan, and although different in their tone perhaps, equally as enticing to read. The reason? Quite simply the characters that he has put into this story, and the way in which he has chosen to portray them. A large portion of this cast, including the two lead Detectives, are female, and far from being the shrinking violet victim types, they are strong, independant and with authentic and powerful voices.
The two main Detectives make for a really interesting pairing. One is a lapsed Muslim who in the search to find who she is and where she belongs has lost her family, her love and her faith. DS Moomy Khan’s story is one that I think many people will be able to relate to, whether Muslim or not, but especially for anyone who has come from a predominantly patriarchal community. She is spiky and her introduction to the story is almost shocking, but in a sly smile on your face kind of way. She is not your conventional Detective in any sense, but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her and the more I understood her. Some of her character traits I can relate to, others felt like a case of acting up after a very restricted upbringing.
Her absolute polar opposite is her boss and possibly closest friend, DI Sarah Heaton. Sarah is a white woman who has turned to Islam as a way of finding reason, peace and perhaps penance, in her life to recover from a very dark time. She was harder to get to know than Moomy, a little from staid in character, but as the story moves on we do come to learn more about her than perhaps even I expected. She has a complicated past with one of the key witnesses in the story, one which helps the reader to understand her better, but also see the conflict that still exists within her between what she desires and what her new found faith permits.
The main story, that of the abduction, leads the pair to the door of a very rich and powerful family, a blend of old money and new, one where everybody seems to be covering up some kind of lie. It is easy for suspicion to fall upon each of Oscar’s family in turn for what comes to pass, many, especially his youngest brother, Victor, who makes no attempts to hide his contempt for his family. I loved the internal conflict, the feeling that they were hiding not only from the police but from each other too. It added another layer of suspense and tension to the story and kept me guessing as to who was really behind the abductions.
This is very much a family led story as everything, from the abduction to the lives of the main investigative team, is shaped by their combined or individual pasts. It seems to be a slow discovery of just how far people will go to support or protect the people they love. Of the sacrifices they are willing to make for them. Yes there is a murder at its heart, but the book is very much more than that and I am really looking forward to seeing the author develop the main characters further as this is one of the strengths of his writing – creating people you believe in and are happy to go on a journey with. Definitely one to read if you like to see a strong, female led, family based drama unfurl.
About the Author
Alex Caan has spent over a decade working in Information Systems Security for a number of government organisations, and is currently specialising in Terrorism Studies. A lifetime passion for writing was sparked by the encouraging words of an English Teacher in school, and eventually led to Alex successfully completing an MA in Creative Writing, and write CUT TO THE BONE.
Cut to the Bone has been a Kindle Number 1 bestseller, was picked as a WH Smith ‘Everyone’s Talking About’ book of the week, chosen as Sainsbury’s best of summer reads and was Angela Marson’s pick for crime novel recommendation of the year. Alex Caan was also a rising star on Amazon in 2016.
FIRST TO DIE, the shocking sequel to Cut to the Bone, was released June 14th 2018.
Alex then took a different direction for his next novel, writing as Alex Khan, for the scandalous BOLLYWOOD WIVES, which was another Kindle Number 1 bestseller.
His latest novel is THE UNBROKEN, which is released in March 2020.
Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more information.
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