In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.
This post is dedicated to the Thriller genre so here are some books I highly recommend:
‘The Silent Betrayal’ by Momus Najmi
‘Original, eloquently written and thrilling. A tale of deception that reads like a spy thriller but carries a much deeper meaning…’
Heavy themes and issues make for a dark but thrilling tale…
Natalija has a dark and secretive past that comes back to haunt her in a twisted and somewhat unexpected way. Being a victim of a graphic attack some years previous her trauma is resurrected as the one who inflicted it upon her returns and he is back for more.
“Ask him what he did ten years ago on the beach, how he spent his vacation…”
A game of cat and mouse along with discovery ensues as old wounds are opened with a story that has no limits. It’s brutal and violent in places – not for someone who would possibly be triggered by such but still I found myself gripped and turning pages. Kristina Gallo has succeeded in telling an original, dark and sometimes triggering tale that will take readers down the rabbit hole of the unexpected. These are themes that are uncomfortable and in your face but the execution here is what makes the story vivid, dramatic and page-turning.
Will there be justice for those who have committed such violent and brutal acts? You’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.
A tale full of twisting suspense about those on the fringes of society…
Kristina Gallo delivers a thriller full of page turning intrigue with shades of a sinister soap opera. It’s gritty and raw and we are introduced to civil servant ‘Viktorija’ who finds herself linked to some less than desirable characters while being on the receiving end of abusive threats. After all she is the deciding factor on whether or not migrants to her native Zagreb are given asylum, a status many would do anything for. ‘Jamal’ just happens to be one of those successful candidates and although he is a husband, father and provider, he is also unfaithful but of course like many of Gallo’s stories this is the just the tip of the iceberg. An affair between these two characters paves the way for murderous implications while we meet a host of characters all on the fringes of an underworld ruled by deception and crime. We meet the trodden down wife, the determined law woman and even a disgruntled ex lover all of which could be behind a pair of murders.
“The underground world was cruel. One day you could be an attractive woman with expensive clothes and powerful men were around you. The next day, the forensic team could be examining your corpse…”
Just who is carrying out these murders and who is behind the threats? The guessing game will keep your interest until the dramatic end by way of twists and turns that make for an immersive experience. I’ll admit it only took a few sessions to finish reading this book as it gripped me about halfway through.
4 Stars– another good addition to Kristina Gallo’s growing backlist of thrillers.
Exploring unique voices in writing can extend across different languages from many places all over the world. For this Hall of Information Interview we speak with an author and blogger who faced the challenge of learning English and succeeded. Her ambition to express feeling through writing has made for some great stories and it’s even been an opportunity to help others. Kristina Gallo has taken the time to share her story so join us as we dive in to the words…
Q1. Let’s start with talking about Language. English is not your native language but that hasn’t stopped you from writing some great books which is impressive. Please tell us your story and how you learned English? Where did your writing journey begin?
“I have been learning English in elementary school and in high school. English is the main foreign language in Croatian schools. We have basic education 12 years and after this we choose the university. I learned English in my University too. But, the real challenge happened when I started to write a blog in English language. I wanted to express my feelings in the internet, to my foreign friends to understand me. I started blog Rebellious rules by Kristina Gallo, that is still active. Four years later, I decide to collect this blog articles in self-help book, because I had reactions of people, they motivated me to write a book. In the year 2018 I hired an American editor. I wanted to write and publish in Amazon, and I start collaboration with editor. So, now I have nine books and book number 10 is on the way.”
9 Books with 10 on the way, that’s impressive!
Q2. All of your fictional books carry many different messages and lessons. Are these inspired by real experiences and people? Can you share more about your books?
“Yes, inspiration is based on real events and people. I passed through bullying and some traumas. My country was in the war during 90’s. Also I had some painful relationships. Some books are based on real events but names are changed and circumstances are modified.”
Some of the best books out there contain some element of truth that’s modified slightly.
Q3. You’ve also written some self-help books, what subjects are they about?
“One book is about breakups, these are problems that many women are dealing with. How to forget an ex boyfriend and find a new one, how to get out from the toxic relationships. Another book is how to survive in the society if you are rebellious person. Also I wrote a book about dangers in the virtual world. The last book had advice about seducing in a satirical way. I wanted to make a parody to magazines like Cosmopolitan, because they share advice about good looking and nice clothes, like this is enough to find a boyfriend. I focused on inside qualities and how to use logic instead of makeup.”
They sound both fun and insightful. Of course many magazines these days set unrealistic expectations.
Q4. What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
“I am working on mystery suspense thriller. It should be released in December.”
Sounds good, you can expect a review sometime after the release!
Q5. Your highly active across many social media platforms and support many different authors.
How important is the writing community to you?
“The writing community is very important to me. I could not get readers without my friends, I get a lot of useful information and reviews. I am grateful for their support.”
Q6. Do you have any interests outside of writing?
“I am working my job in the office , I love movies and football. I am big fan of nature and swimming.”
Q7. Tea, coffee, beer or wine?
“Coffee and beer.”
Q8. Can you name three films or television shows that have inspired you?
“John Wick (all parts)”
Great films, Basic Instinct is a classic and everyone loves some Keanu!
Q9. Back to books. Do you have a short list of must-read books that you would recommend?
“Yes I have.”
“Jitters – Ken Stark“
“The Novice Ghost hunter – Martin J. Best“
“Broken – Donna Siggers“
“The ghost beside me – Lee Hall“
“Best kept secret – Elsa Joseph“
“The Drain – Victor Villestone”
These are some truly excellent choices and recommendations, of course thank you for mentioning mine…
Q10. And finally, a question I like to ask at the end of every interview.
If there was any advice you could give to someone with dreams of becoming a writer, what would you say?
“I would recommend every person who wish to become a writer to use their free time for reading books at first. Then, such person should connect to other writers and learn from them. After that, every future writer should hire an editor.“
“I would also recommend everyone to tie their ego and accept critics. I made progress in my writing because of my reviews that motivated me what to fix and what to avoid.“
Great advice and coming from an author with a unique voice we would like to thank you Kristina Gallo for sharing an insight into your world of words.
A thrilling page turning story that will keep you immersed from the start….
English isn’t Kristina Gallo’s native language but that is certainly no disadvantage as she tells an immersive dramatic tale of the unexpected that grabs you from the start.
We’re thrown into the seedy world of gambling where main character ‘Silvija’ loves to spend her time and money. With her focus on trying to win she suddenly discovers a body and that’s when the journey of twists, turns and a sinister history begins. To the police she might just be that ‘blonde chick’ but soon enough the revelations come and she just happens to be linked.
Those revelations intertwine through a story that switches back and forth in time with a pacy page turning style and for a shorter read the author manages to include multiple themes from mystery, thriller, tension, deception and even with some erotic tones. There’s a lot going on in a short space of time giving readers a sense of urgency to read it all the way through because as soon as you start this book, you’ll want to read the whole thing.
4 – Stars, the newest read from Kristina Gallo makes for a great escape!
Everyone who has been through the struggle of fitting in at school can relate to this short story about teens in Croatia during a time of transition for the country. Teachers from the previous political regime don’t help, parents cannot relate and the popular kids don’t help. If you’re not one of them it’s difficult. Even if you attempt to get in on the social scene it involves going to a seedy club where ‘whoever survives could make a story’ which works as a metaphor for the wider environment this story is set.
‘Helena’ like a lot of teens has potential but is otherwise engaged, for this she is berated by the school while also made to feel invisible. She’s not a bad student but perhaps she attracts bad things and then the dreams begin…
‘I will Kill You in My Dream is an engaging and satisfying short story with a supernatural edge about the struggle of being a teen.