Friday, April 12, 2013

January Justice by Athol Dickson (Review & Guest Post)

Today we welcome author ATHOL DICKSON and another of his great books.
If you like suspense, you can't miss this one!

January Justice (The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs #1)


Release Date: November 29th, 2012.
Genre: Murder Mystery. 
Formats Available for Purchase: Paperback, Kindle, PDF

The book is PG 13. Very little sex and nothing explicit in any way. There is some violence but again nothing graphic: gun shots, etc…


Reeling from his wife’s unsolved murder, Malcolm Cutter is just going through the motions as a chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood’s rich and famous.

Then a pair of Guatemalan tough guys offer him a job. It’s an open question whether they’re patriotic revolutionaries or vicious terrorists. Either way, Cutter doesn’t much care until he gets a bomb through his window, a gangland beating on the streets of L.A., and three bullets in the chest.

Now there’s another murder on Cutter’s Mind.
His own.


I was looking forward to reading this book especially when I discovered the author was returning to the mystery thriller genre. No one can weave a story, create real live characters and make someone enjoy the English language as much as Athol Dickson can. From page one I was hooked. The story was intense and deep. The plot was complex but I never felt lost. We stayed right with the main character Malcolm Cutter as he deals with his wife's death, re-cooperates from a near death experience and tries to get his life back together while undergoing a deep international plot to clear a terrorist organization of wrong-doing.

Never before in a book have I ever become so well-acquainted with a person who was never in the book but only mentioned in a past tense. It could only have been pulled off by an author that understands human nature and how we think deep inside.   - Steve Taylor-


I paused to look at Simon and Teru, wishing there were some way to avoid it. I said, “The village we went back to on that second day was Laui Kalay.”
Neither of them reacted at first.

Then Teru said, “Oh no.”

Simon rose and carried his teacup to a sink. I watched as he carefully washed out the cup with a soapy cloth. He rinsed the cup, then placed it on a wooden rack beside the sink. When that was done, he didn’t return to the table. He stood still, looking down into the sink.

Teru said, “You were there? When they cut off all those fingers and knocked out all those teeth? You were really there?”

I said, “The court-martial found me guilty.”

“But I remember that video like it was yesterday. That marine with the knife, chopping off the corpses’ fingers for their rings. The others breaking out dead people’s teeth for gold. All those marines cracking jokes. They must have showed it a thousand times on television.” Teru looked at me. “You weren’t in it.”

Still staring down into the sink, Simon said, “If memory serves, the sergeant in command was convicted of filming the unpleasantness with his cell phone, so of course he was not shown in the video.”

“Holy mother of God,” said Teru. “You’re that guy?” – Chapter 8

My Review

What a completely captivating suspense novel. The author had me hooked from the get-go to the very last page. This is definitely a novel that will keep you entertained while keeping you thinking throughout.

This story has a very solid background. Everything builds on something else, leaving no holes in the story or the backdrop to it. The author makes a journey down memory lane seem realistic and completely normal in many circumstances. He uses this to fill the reader in to the background without putting a damper on the story’s progression as a long narrative would. This author has the ability to throw out minute details that you don’t notice at the time but that become important later in the story. This is a very informative story, but is also quite fast paced and keeps you engaged even with, or perhaps because of, these random tidbits of information throughout. Even as fast paced as the bulk of the story is, the intensity level ramps way up near the end. The author does so in such a way that you never feel that the story is racing to a conclusion willy-nilly. Rather, the intensity stems from the plot and intended action sequences. The storyline itself is also built on a very solid plot. You are never left wondering how or why something happened. Everything has a place and a purpose in this story. As a whole, the novel is very well written with a nice flow and it kept me entertained throughout.

The cast of characters in this novel was quite unique. They were such diverse individuals that it was like stepping into the real world rather than into a novel. Although the main character was an individual who had lived a very different life from myself I still found that I could relate to him in some ways, making it easier to immerse myself into his world and to feel for him throughout his trials. I appreciate the sheer amount of real life issues that this character has to deal with. I also enjoyed the fact that although the main character did take the spotlight throughout the story, the supporting cast didn’t necessarily take a backseat to him. They were all very strong characters in their own right who could have stepped up to become main characters in their own stories. It was nice to see this level of development in multiple characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was a brilliant combination of fiction and reality. The suspense was phenomenal and yet not overpowering. This is one of those rare novels that keeps everything in balance while still keeping the readers very entertained.

Guest Post - Why I Write Murder Mysteries

Recently I read a fascinating article in The New York Times about what may well be the first true murder mystery novel ever written. Conventional wisdom holds that the honor belongs to Wilkie Collins, who published The Moonstone in 1868, but the author of the Times piece discovered a novel written six years earlier called The Notting Hill Mystery, which he claims has all the ingredients of a modern murder mystery, and deserves the credit as Whodunit Number One.

The novel was published in serial fashion in a periodical, as was common in those days, and the author used a pseudonym. But apparently there’s good reason to believe The Notting Hill Mystery was written by Charles Warren Adams, one of the publishers of the periodical. Hopefully, Adams will one day receive the full credit for his invention of my favorite genre. It was a monumental achievement.

But intriguing though this is to a mystery aficionado like myself, the real meat of the article for me come almost as an aside near the end, where the Times piece says, “Adams was also notably religious, which points to an unexpected characteristic of the first detective novel: it’s profoundly moral. It asks not just how evil exists, but what is to be done about it. Detective novels, like sermons, can offer gratifyingly simple answers to those questions, or thoughtful and troubling ones.”

It seems to me we love a good murder mystery because in the end they’re the stories which touch most directly on death and justice. Death is the ultimate mystery of real life. What is it, exactly? Why must it exist? What should we do about it? Even the best of murder mysteries can’t answer those questions completely, but the best murder mysteries all explore the possibilities.

And when we start exploring death, something in us cries out that it isn’t right. We all long for justice, don’t we? That’s the other thing a good murder mystery delivers: a little imitation justice. The bad guy gets his in the end, or else someone has the guts to stand and rage against the second greatest mystery of all, which is why injustice exists in the first place.

I love that about murder mysteries. It’s why I’ve read, oh, about a thousand of them. And it’s why I’m writing “The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs.”

The Author

A master of profound suspense.

Athol Dickson's mystery, suspense, and literary novels have won three Christy Awards and an Audie Award. Suspense fans who enjoyed Athol's They Shall See God will love his latest novel, January Justice, the first installment in a new mystery series called The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs. The second and third novels in the series, Free Fall in February, and A March Murder, are coming in 2013.

Critics have favorably compared Athol's work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher's Weekly), Hermann Hesse (The New York Journal of Books) and Flannery O'Connor (The New York Times). Athol lives with his wife in southern California.

Find more about Athol Dickson at:

The Giveaway

The prizes are 2: an e-copy of the book and a $20 Amazon Gift card.
Open Internationally.


Tour Schedule 
First Part of the tour:
March 18: Black Lion Tour Blog: Introduction.
March 19: Cheryl's Book Nook: Guest Post.
March 20: Tina's Book Reviews: Guest Post.
                 Lindsay's Scribblings: Guest Post.
March 22: A Writer's Life: Caroline Clemmons: Guest Post
March 23: 
Laurie's Non Paranormal thoughts and Reviews: Interview.
March 24: 
Makayla's Book Reviews: Guest Post
March 26: I know that Book: Interview
March 27: My Devotional Thoughts: Review.
March 28: MK McClintock Blog: Interview

Second Part of the tour: 
April 3: Deal Sharing Aunt: Review.
April 4: 
Libby's Library: Review.
April 6Books, Books the Magical Fruit: Guest Post.

April 7: Kimberly Lewis Blog: Guest Post.
April 9: Marketing Cafe': Guest Post
April 12: Pure Jonel Blog: Review and Guest Post.
April 14: BK Walker Books Etc.: Interview
April 15Bookworm Babblings: Review.
April 16: Bunny Reviews: Guest Post.
April 17: Black Lion Tours Blog: Wrap- Up.

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