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Blood Eagle Tortures

crypt-1By: Andrew Hammond

CRYPT bk 4

Some parts of the coast of England are full of exciting things for divers. Dan Summers is one of those divers, he loves the sport, the thrill of the hunt and right now he he excited for the biggest find of his life. In disturbing what he has found he may have caused greater unrest than he could ever imagine. Dunwich used to be a Viking colony long before it was the modern town that marks the location now. When a body turns up with some of it’s insides on the outside it looks as though someone may have to go to Denmark. Luc and Grace are happy to take that part of the assignment whilst Jud and Bex are in Dunwich. These missions always have an element of danger but none of them could guess at how this mission could change things for them forever.

Jud is in a dark place in this story. His past, which he has so carefully kept hidden is struggling to push to the surface more than it has before and it’s not only Professor Bonati who has noticed. Bex won’t allow Jud to keep her out of what it going on in his mind when it is so obviously starting to affect his work. As if it wasn’t bad enough someone from Jud’s buried past surfaces unexpectedly and looks as though he might try to mess things up for all of CRYPT.

As always the historical aspects of these stories are fascinating. The Vikings were a powerful and gory race and as such their history is custom made for Hammond’s series. The details are gruesome as ever and bound to appeal to those who like the grosser and darker side of things. Hammond creates a detailed setting, full of bleak details that really draw you in, you want to find out what happened, both what stirred the paranormal up but also the darker parts of history that give the story its grounding.

The characters have gone from strength to strength as they have developed throughout the previous three books. It’s been interesting to see their flaws and strengths work in them all to give more detailed and complex relationships. The ending hit me from kind of nowhere and I am really looking forward to see where Hammond takes things.

Publisher: Headline Publishing

Published: 13 Sept 2013

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Adventure, Crime, Vikings, Horror, Ghost

ISBN 13: 9780755378241

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Mask of Death

cryptBy: Andrew Hammond

CRYPT series Book 3

It seems to start in a hospital with a masked figure moving determinedly towards a quarantined patient. A nurse dies and she is just the beginning. And just what does a new and very exclusive jewellery shop have to do with any of this. CRYPT are busy as it is but with this new outbreak of paranormal activities they are stretched thin. Jud and Bex start in London but the trail eventually leads them to Venice, and the horrible secrets it still keeps about it’s history. The Black Plague is back and these mysterious figures are doing what they have always been tasked to do – deal with it. It is up to Jud and Bex to find the source and figure out a way to give these ghosts rest.

The Black Plague was a dark time in history and some of the things about that time are even more unsavoury than might be expected. Jud is proving to be not just a good agent but also a very instinctive investigator, with Bex to balance him out they make a good team. Jud has his own issues as always to do with his past and he is still managing to keep them close to his chest, though Bex is beginning to notice things. The history of these events is fascinating and Hammond does a credible job of packaging them into a modern context. The story is gruesome in it’s detail and quiet graphic in some of its horror, but that is why we read stories like these. Bex is more level headed than Jud but it is often Jud’s gung-ho nature that pushes things along. The creepy imagery encapsulates the darkness of these moments in time and if you like horror books then I definitely think you should give these a go.

(But shhh don’t tell anyone who reads it that they may learn something.)

Publisher: Headline Book Publishing

Published: 11 December 2012

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Adventure, Horror, Ghost

ISBN 13: 9780755378234

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Traitor’s Revenge

I received a copy of this from the publisher

By: Andrew Hammond

CRYPT bk 2

Strange things are happening but when you are a CRYPT agent that’s not so unusual, in fact it’s what keeps you employed. Senior agent Jud gets pulled away from movie night to go and investigate something odd is happening in the tunnels underneath the Houses of Parliament. What he doesn’t expect is to get arrested for the ghost’s actions. It soon becomes clear that someone is determined to cover up what is really going on, but why and who has that kind of power?

London isn’t the only place the ghosts are stirring and Bex is sent to York to check out a couple of strange sightings. There Bex experiences a sensing event like she never has before, something whispered about by agents called hypersensing. Other agents are soon bought into the case in London while Jud is sent to York to assist Bex. THings in both locations heat up and it seems certain that an event a long time in the planning is finally coming to fruition. Can the CRYPT agents figure out what is causing such a disturbance before many more lives are lost.

This is the second of the CRYPT series and it is just as gruesome and engaging as the first. Jud still struggles with the issues from his past, some of which are ripped to the surface in this book. He also still struggles to control his anger but he continues to be a top agent because of his ability to sense and figure out what is really going on, and he instinct to act. I like that he is a flawed hero, prone to stuffing up, it makes him more real.

Bex is a tough character in her own right, she is resilient, smart and willing to step up when she needs to.

The ghost story at the heart  of this plot is an historical event many should at least be vaguely familiar with, though perhaps not the story behind it. I like the way Hammond has blended the modern with a good old fashioned ghost story. I also like the historical detail in this case. The resolution is something the team has to work to, they have to research and fit it all together like a proper investigation it doesn’t just all fall in their laps and there are costs to the agents along the way. The result of this is an entertaining if gruesome story that doesn’t insult it’s readers by thinking they need the characters to be immune to all the stuff they deal with.  I think this is a solid series and well worth a look if you like things on the scary side. It’s better than you might think just by looking at it.

Publisher: Headline Book Publishing

Published: 01 March 2012

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Adventure, Action, Horror, Ghost

ISBN 13: 9780755378227

Purchase: here or use link on side of page to Booktopia

The Gallows Curse

By: Andrew Hammond

CRYPT series Bk 1

CRYPT stands for Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team. This team is affiliated with MI5 and are the people called in when a crime is committed and  police are at a loss. It is their job to figure out if something paranormal is going on and if so what it is and how to stop it.

Jud Lester is CRYPT’s star agent, also one of their liabilities, for Jud has a secret past. This new case is a big one, a 17th century highwayman wreaks havoc on the underground, the police have no idea what to make of it. Then people go missing and yet others are viciously attacked. The thing these attacks all have in common is that all the culprits appear to be from the 17 century.

Jud is unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex and together they have to work out what has caused these dangerous spirits to return to London’s streets. More to the point can they find out how to prevent the violence escalating, or stop it all together.

After a very brief history of the CRYPT organisation this book throws you right into the gruesome action and I do mean gruesome, some of the descriptions are quite graphic. The story itself is tight and entertaining, with just enough layers to provide a good number of twists.

Jud is a troubled young man with plenty of issues, this is what makes him something of a liability but also makes him interesting. Bex is a solid counterpart to him, tough enough to stand on her own two feet and stubborn enough to go out on her own if she feels it’s the right thing to do.

This is a fun ghost-busting read. The story behind the ghosts mixed in with a modern corruption keeps you interested. This is full of action, moves at a brisk pace and will be enjoyed by readers of other action fueled young adult series.

Publisher: Headline Book Publishing

Published: 01 September 2011

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Horror Action Ghosts

ISBN 13: 9780755378210

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of the page


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