16 April 2012

Killer Bytes by Alan Williams

First let me say thank you to Partners in Crime Tours for including me in this tour and providing me with the book for an honest review.
About the book:
 A killer is stalking London; a banker is already dead, killed in an explosion, and there are more victims in the killer’s sights.
Techno geek and Internet journalist, Wil Jackson becomes inadvertently embroiled in the investigation when he interviews one of the murder victims, and the killer starts communicating with Wil via the Internet.
Can Wil help the police stop the killer before the body count increases further?

Now, in a total departure from my standard review style - I have a rant to get off my chest! Indy authors - LISTEN UP!! There seems to be some sort of trend out there and I've noticed it mostly with self-published authors. For some reason, there is a vital part of the book missing: the author's bio!! I don't know whether it is the inner stalker in me or if my mother was particularily good at instilling in me the need to know something about who I am taking to bed with me (or into the bath, or sharing other quiet and intimate moments with), but I want to know a little about you. A picture wouldn't hurt either. Alan William's bio is conspicuously absent from Killer Bytes. And that is the only negative I have to offer in regards to this fabulous novella.

Knowing this tour was up and coming and considering the blizzard raging outside (yes, this was the end of last week), I picked up Alan William's offering and headed for a hot bath. I opened to the first page where it says "Killer Bytes   a novella of intrigue" and then continued on. Intrigue is right! I was immediately drawn in. This is 'psychological thriller' at it's best. Mr. Williams doesn't use gore or sensationalism; instead he lets the mystery worm its way into your mind. Instead of getting all tangled up in the killings and the killer, my mind was totally involved in the process of catching the bad guy. How was it going to happen? Would it happen soon enough? Are the good guys making the right moves or is this going to get one of them killed as well? I read the entire book in that one 'tub session', got out and realized I'd totally forgotten to shave my legs! 

Kudo's to Mr Williams! Killer Bytes is an enjoyable and involving book. Here's a little about him:

Alan Williams is a UK based writer, environmentalist, naturalist, allotment holder, dog owner and blogger. He is also a reviewer for Partners In Crime Tours!

You can find him here:
     Twitter:  @tontowilliams
As Wil walked up his front path, he heard the gate open behind him and a voice ask, “Mr Jackson?”

He turned. “Yes, that’s right, how can I help you?”

The person asking the question was tall and well-built, although it looked all muscle, not a streak of fat. But for the pink polo shirt and linen trousers over deck shoes, the guy would look quite frightening, as he filled the gateway on his way through it.

“I’m Detective Chief Inspector Price, Metropolitan Police. I’d like to talk to you about a Mr Arthur Trent. Do you know Mr Trent?”

“Yes, but I wouldn’t say that I actually ‘know’ him, as such. I interviewed him a couple of days ago for a piece I’m writing for a website. What’s this all about?”

“It would be better if we spoke inside, Mr Jackson – the situation is a little delicate at this moment in time.”

“Sure, come around to my office; we can talk there. Follow me.”

Wil led the Inspector around the side of his end terrace and through another gate, taking him into the back garden and towards his living-ark office. He unlocked the door and slid it to one side. The cool air from the inside washed across them.

“Seems like it would be more comfortable to talk in there,” Price said. “Air-conditioning?”

“No, it’s all part of the design. Stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, perfect for working in, an office away from home, although not quite. Pretty geeky too, isn’t it? Would you like a cup of tea?”


Wil raised an eyebrow in enquiry.

“Sorry. Yes to the tea, and your shed. Milk no sugar, please.”

“Come in and take a seat.” Wil waved towards a smart red leather sofa centre-piecing a wall of his office. “I’ll put the kettle on.”

Price relaxed into the plush sofa and had a good look around the interior. It was clearly, first and foremost, an office of sorts, although from the outside, it looked a little like something out of a science fiction movie. One wall contained a work bench with monitors, telephone, computers and a printer, as well as a disarray of paperwork scattered across the surface. The side where Price was sitting was mostly taken up by the sofa but also had some bookshelves with a mixture of what looked to be science fiction novels crossed with text books and other works of non-fiction. Price watched Wil as he moved towards the back corner of the room, where there was a kettle and a coffee maker. As with the computer hardware and other paraphernalia in the room, these looked rather sedate, but apparently functional. There were a further two doors on the back wall; Price guessed that one probably led to some kind of bathroom, but had no idea what might lie behind the other. In between th! em stood a wood burning stove with a polished, galvanised chimney, which rose to the ceiling; it was showing some blueing from heat at the joins.

Price continued to watch Wil; he didn’t look to be a very likely murder suspect, more like an out of place schoolboy. Somewhere between nerd and geek, he hardly looked capable of blowing someone up – although appearances could be deceptive, and judging by the amount of technology and other bits and pieces in this one room alone, he wouldn’t be at all surprised if Wil Jackson had more than one skeleton in his closet.

Wil turned from his tea making duties with a cup of steaming brew in his hand, which he passed to Price. After taking a second cup, he settled into his office chair at the work bench.

“Now, what’s all this about Arthur Trent?” Wil asked, raising an eyebrow.

“When you saw Mr Trent, was it in his office, Mr Jackson?”

“It was, down in the Docklands. That big tower, owned by the bank he worked for – great view from forty-four floors up. I still don’t understand what I can help you with, though, Inspector, err, Price, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s right, Gavin Price. Mr Trent is dead, sir – murdered by the looks of things, and we’re trying to establish who he saw in the last few days of his life. That’s why I need to speak to you. It seems as though you were one of the last people to actually see him alive.”

Suddenly it all made sense to Wil; the news report, and now the policeman on his doorstep asking questions.
Character Development         5
Editing                                    5
Sex                                         0
Violence                                  2
Romance                                 2
Readability/Flow                     5


  1. Phenomenal review. Wonderful post. Great job!!
    Love it!!! Thank you!!

  2. Thanks for a great review and hosting me on this tour! Apologies though for the non-depilatory effects of Killer Bytes, but I will be making sure that the sequel contains a suitable bio and photo!

    Really glad you enjoyed Killer Bytes :)

    1. Thank you for the bio and pic. Can't wait for the sequel!

  3. You know I never thought about it but yes no bio!

  4. Wow! All in one bath AND you forgot to shave your legs? That's a good book! I used to read nothing but crime/mystery novels and I'm a little burned out. I can always figure the mystery out long before the characters do and that's always a little frustrating. This one sounds fun, though.

    1. For this one it's more about figuring out the why. And it was hard.

  5. Dana, I always trust your judgement and based on your review, I can't wait to read Alan's book. I'm looking for the next great page-turner to sweep me away for a bit and this sounds like just the thing!

    1. It's short, too. Just perfect for an afternoon.


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