The Deep Abiding by Sean Black (Ty Johnson Series)

Synopsis: The winner of the 2018 International Thriller Writers Award returns with what readers are calling his ‘best book yet.’
Retired US Marine Ty Johnson is hired as the bodyguard for a young reporter investigating the brutal, decades-old murder of a young African American woman in the Florida Everglades.

The town where the murder took place is idyllic, and the people welcoming, but something sinister lies beneath the surface. It’s not long before the facade begins to crack and Ty finds himself plunged into a living nightmare that will test the very limits of his endurance as he battles to protect the idealistic young journalist

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I am a HUGE Lock fan and must admit when I saw that this instalment was more about Ty, I was a little unsure. However, Mr Black has shown his skill by producing an amazing story which frankly is one of his best books in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong Mr Lock didn’t feature in it nearly enough for my liking but frankly Ty shone all on his own. 

Ty is looking after journalist Cressida King while she journeys down to the town of Darling to investigate a cold case murder from the seventies. Almost from the first page the characters gel amazingly well as Ty tries to keep his focus on his keeping her safe while Cress seems hell bent on involving herself in the heart of the rumours in the town. 

From the get go it’s clear the town is stuck in their ways and in their eyes there is no place in their town for people of colour. This enrages Cress to the point that she is prepared to take chances. Unfortunately for her, also being with Ty who is an African American standing at well over 6 feet tall they don’t go in-noticed. The trouble starts almost instantly for both of them and it produces a real page turner of a book. 

A few chapters in and I didn’t care that Ryan Lock didn’t feature and when he briefly appears in the story I almost wanted him to not get involved because this was Ty’s story to solve and fix the problems. I admit I was surprised just how much I loved this book, it was a fresh take on an old school problem done with class and finesse and showing how a page turner of a book is done! An outstanding book in this series and although this worked I thing Ty and Ryan work best together and produce magic so am looking forward to the next book hugely!

Red Tiger by Sean Black (Ryan Lock #9)

The winner of the 2018 International Thriller Writers Award returns with his latest explosive thriller featuring ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock and his business partner, retired US Marine, Ty Johnson.

When the daughter of a Chinese billionaire is kidnapped from her mansion in Arcadia, California, Ryan and Ty find themselves caught in the middle of a vicious standoff.

Emily Yan is a Chinese ‘parachute kid’, one of thousands of children sent to study in America by their ultra-wealthy parents. Living in a multi-million dollar mansion in Arcadia, California with her hard-partying cousin Charlie, it’s not long before their ostentatious displays of wealth attract the wrong sort of attention in the form of some MS-13 gang members.

But someone else has been looking for Emily, a shadowy figure from back home known only as The Red Tiger. Two very different worlds collide in this explosive new thriller from Sean Black as Ryan Lock and his business partner, wise-cracking US Marine Ty Johnson, set out to save Emily from a violent tug of war between two deadly forces; the brutal members of America’s most dangerous gang, and an equally determined Chinese enforcer called the Red Tiger.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: It’s been WAY too long since I have delved back into my superhero of fictional characters Ryan Lock’s life. This is the ninth book in the series and we are back with Ryan and his colleague Ty. These two are absolutely meant to work together and as much as I enjoyed the last short story featuring Ty on his own, they are so much more engaging when they are working side by side.

Emily the daughter of a Chinese Billionaire and her cousin have been kidnapped so Ryan and Ty are called in to help find them. The only problem is they seem to have been taken by the brutally and well known violent gang MS-13. On the opposite side of the story it seems there is another person also interested in finding Emily and at first there is no clear cut reason why.

This story was fabulous and kept me turning the pages until late into the night. One element which has slightly changed is the fact that Ryan now has a lady in his life and it’s amusing to see how that changes the dynamic of Ryan and Ty’s friendship. I also liked the addition of Carl Galante who featured in a previous book and thought he was a great addition to both Ryan and Ty.

There is plenty of pace in this book and it build up as the story continues. The story of the other man chasing Emily is slowly revealed making it even more tense for all those involved. In short this was another 5 star read and in truth Sean Black can do no wrong in my eyes. This is one of my favourite series and have enjoyed each and every book that has been released. It’s clear Sean Black knows his stuff and I can only hope this series continues for years to come. Hugely recommended and although it could be read as a stand alone, this series is too good to start here. So if you are interested do yourself a favour and go back to the first book and work your way through…I promise you wont be dissapointed

The Deep Lonely by Sean Black (Ty Johnson Novella)

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Synopsis: Ty Johnson has made the transition from the US Marine Corp to a succesful career as a private security specialist. But not all of his former comrades have been so lucky.

When the news of an armed siege at a nearby emergency room flashes on screen, Ty recognizes Pete Green, one of his old Marine buddies. Ty knows that he has to move fast if he’s to save his friend’s life.

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: Okay people, if you haven’t read the Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson series by Sean Black then there is seriously something wrong…this is one of the best series of books written and is hugely under-rated. I am not necessarily a lover of the short novella type books (in this case a 17,000 word short book) but for these guys…I make an exception.

Not a lot to say about this particular little nugget of a book except that it’s brilliant and will give you an insight into the sort of guy Ty Johnson is. I already know what sort of guy he is along with his partner Ryan Lock and this seems more like something to whet the appetite until the next full length novel comes out (which I think is October). I would highly recommend people read not only this novella but the whole series as it’s awesome! One thing I will say is that Ryan Lock gets more airtime and it’s great seeing Ty get all of the attention. I would always read a book about either character but their strength is when they work together!

Fire Point by Sean Black (Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson #6)

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My Rating: 4/5

Availability: Kindle, Kobo and Nook (Available 18.12.14), 

Synopsis: The sixth novel in the Ryan Lock series. Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson are in Los Angeles and on the trail of an unlikely cult who are planning on taking their message to the world and settling some old scores at the same time. 

My Review: My favourite character crush is back! Ryan Lock and his partner in crime Ty Johnson are back for the sixth book in the series. This time around the pair of them are involved in what seems to be a simple request. A wealthy mum asks them to ‘keep an eye’ on her son Marcus following an ‘incident’ at college. Lock’s reluctance to take the case is cast aside when he starts to try to track down Marcus. 

Marcus and his ‘friends’ are slightly disturbing and before long it’s pretty clear that this case involves more than Lock and Ty ‘babysitting’. Ryan Lock is a character that I love, but in this latest instalment he feels a little bit more detached than usual. I think he needs a good woman in his life! Ty is just about the coolest damn character you can read. He and Ryan work well together and this series just wouldn’t work unless they both feature in it. The tension and drama as always takes a step up as ‘Krank’ and his friends start carrying out their work.

There are plenty of high tension and action scenes packed into this book so fear not, you certainly won’t be bored. There was a disturbing element of truth with the storyline, which won’t go unnoticed by many, but is sadly a result of the world we live in today. Having read every book in this series from the beginning, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite but it’s once again a solid and intriguing read that will keep you hooked from the beginning to the end.

As always I will eagerly await the next instalment, and hopefully I will get to read about Sean Blacks other amazing character Byron Tibor in the meantime. Certainly one the fans will love and a series I would highly recommend not just this book but all the ones prior to it. Sean is an author that is not well known enough for my liking and deserves to be up there with every other bestseller out there. I only have one criticism though, I truly think that Ryan Lock needs to hook up with an amazing woman and I think her name will be Kat!!!

The Innocent by Sean Black (Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson #5)

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My Rating: 4/5

Availability: Soon Released on Amazon click here- Sean Black Amazon Books

Synopsis: When college basketball coach Malik Shaw goes missing after a family tragedy it looks like just another retired athlete gone off the rails. But Malik’s childhood friend, private security specialist Ty Johnson, quickly begins to suspect that there is more to it. Chasing the truth, Ty and his business partner, Ryan Lock, begin to uncover a sinister conspiracy of silence in a sleep Minnesota college town.

It’s not the crime that kills you, it’s the cover up.

My Review: I have been eagerly awaiting the next book in the Lock/Ty series and I was fortunate enough to get a review copy. It took me a day to plough through the latest in the series and I am now back to counting the days until the next one. If you haven’t read any books in the series, fear not…there is enough here to read it as a stand alone novel. Although I must say I think this series is fantastic and deserves to be read from the beginning. Sean Black’s writing style over the past few years has proved his talent to create stories that pull you in and keep you well and truly engaged. This latest book is no different. However, with Ryan Lock being the star attraction closely followed by his partner and ex-Marine Ty it seems the roles have been reversed for this latest book.

Malik Shaw is an old school friend of Ty’s and when he goes missing following a tragedy in his life Ty knows that he has to get to him and fast. We don’t see much of Ty or Lock in the first quarter of the book and I have to say it made absolutely no difference to the story at all. Learning about Malik and the opening few chapters have enough drama to keep you turning the pages. The story itself has only one thread, but there are more suspects than you can shake a stick at which kept the plot moving at a decent pace.

Once Ty realises that the situation with Malik is turning sour he ups the ante and heads straight over to the college town in Minnesota. There are, as usual quite a lot of action packed moments, but certainly less tension that some of the previous books. This is by no means a negative, but this story is written slightly differently to previous ones in the series. I actually liked the fact that we see more or Ty in this book as previously he has always taken second place. It makes me feel I know him better, although this may only be because I have followed the series from book 1. Ryan Lock does make his appearance eventually and he is a great character to read about. He and Ty work so well together and this book cemented that with Lock working to help a friend of Ty’s.

Without adding spoilers, it was also nice to see references to how Ryan Lock is getting on with his personal life without too much detail. In a previous book there is a life changing event for him and it’s certainly mentioned here which makes for great continuity. Although I really enjoyed this book it didn’t quite have the same impact on me as say Gridlock or The Devil’s Bounty, but still a solid read and I for one will be eagerly awaiting book 6 in the series (no pressure Sean).

Post by Sean Black (Byron Tibor #1)

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I recently interviewed Sean Black and asked him about his new book Post. I finished his new book Post yesterday and was blown away!

MY RATING: 5/5

Available: Online now on Kindle

Synopsis: THE WAR IS COMING HOME

Exhausted by years of combat, and haunted by the ghosts of his past, nothing is going to stop special forces operative Byron Tibor returning home to the woman he loves. But is Byron who he appears to be, and why is American government determined to stop him?

From the blood-soaked mountains of the Hindu Kush to the glittering lights of Manhattan, via the dark underbelly of the Las Vegas Strip, POST is the story of one man’s struggle to retain his humanity – before it’s too late.

Kat;s Review: I am a huge fan of the Ryan Lock series by Sean Black and was looking forward to testing the waters with his new stand alone thriller Post. I have to be honest and say that when I read the synopsis I was a little worried. You see I’m not particularly a fan of the kind of war books that this one seemed to be on the surface; especially not the ones that involved Government type conspiracies. <BIG sigh> how wrong could I have been?

Byron Tibor has spent years in Combat and serving his country. The first few chapters of this book kind of took my breath away. We fall straight into a combat situation where Byron is working as a lone operator. The sheer energy and exhilaration I went through when reading this reminded me of that feeling you get when you watch a really intense film! I was amazed (and I don’t mean that to sound disrespectful), a woman that doesn’t read this type of book and I just HAD to carry on reading.

When I did carry on reading I began to get a little confused. Had Sean Black made a major error in the storyline? Why didn’t it make any sense? Well, I now realise that’s the whole point in the beginning; you need to question it as you go along. This whole book centres on the US Government and their new programme which involves inserting an implant into their best soldiers to create a ‘guilt free and enhanced’ soldier. I know that some people will be shaking their heads at this description. Believe me, I am normally one of them so I totally get that. However, this story is one of those that will get your brain ticking. I’m certainly not somebody who believes in far fetched ideas; however there is a real ‘Big Brother’ syndrome with this book.

Aside from that aspect of the book we get to see Byron Tibor, who is by the way an awesome lead character, fight his way through his battle to get to the truth about himself. I went through varying emotions when reading this, but the overlying emotion was one that meant I didn’t want to stop reading. I was actually pretty sad to get to the end and couldn’t believe how amazing I thought this book was. Yep, many people will think ‘well the author gave her a copy so she would say that’. I need you to understand something though. I review because I love books, I don’t get paid one single penny to do it, and I’m certainly not shy in coming forward (which I’m sure some authors will happily confirm). I can be very critical when needs be, but in this case Sean Black put me firmly in my place.

Finally, I just wanted to touch on the genre of this book. It’s pegged as a thriller and it certainly falls into that category. But some people may say it should fall into Science Fiction. If that’s the case I need to change my standard “I don’t read Science Fiction” line, to “I don’t read Science Fiction, but I do read Sean Black”.

Sean Black has proved that you need nothing and nobody to produce an amazing book, just the talent. For the price of this book (less that £2 on Kindle) you really should give it a try. This was an amazing book that took my breath away and left me with more questions than answers. I sincerely hope that this is the start of what looks to be an amazing series.

Lock and Load by Sean Black (Ryan Lock Short Story)

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Fresh from a stint undercover in Pelican Bay Supermax prison in Northern California, close protection operative Ryan Lock and his business partner, Ty Johnson, are in Los Angeles, tasked with protecting a young Hollywood actress from an abusive movie star boyfriend who refuses to accept that their relationship is over. But as Lock knows only too well, and Ty is about to learn, keeping someone safe from harm can be harder than it looks, and damage can come in unexpected forms.

My Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: People who have read my previous reviews will know that I have a bit of a character crush with Ryan Lock the man featured in the series of books written by Sean Black. I discovered his books from the first release and have not been let down once since then. His series of books featuring Ryan Lock and his partner Ty are absolutely brilliant. Sean Black has managed to integrate himself with the other major Crime players out there such as Coben, Lee Child etc. When I realised that he had released a short story in the Lock series I immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle.

Yesterday lunchtime I settled with my lunch and began to read. It took me less than a chapter to be thrown back with Lock and Ty. This short story features them protecting a young Hollywood actress from her rather violent and abusive Movie star boyfriend. As usual Lock and Ty fall into their usual banter and it was like seeing old friends again. This book does however (I am almost positive) go back in time a little bit to just before Gridlock. People who have been reading the series will probably have noticed this too. Don’t get me wrong it didn’t make the story any less enjoyable, it just threw me slightly!

The only problem I had with this, and it’s a major problem for me, is that it was finished by the time my lunch break came to an end! For this reason alone I was not a happy bunny. I do believe Sean that you are a bit of a tease! How dare you flaunt my favourite lead male character and then whip him away again!?!? All I can do is console myself with the fact that a new book in the series should be due next year. For all those Lock fans this is a little teaser, and people that haven’t read the series, a cheaper way to try before you buy if you like. I don’t think you will be disappointed! <sighs heavily> I guess I will wait with baited breath until the next release before I get too excited again.

The Devil’s Bounty by Sean Black (Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson #4)

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THE DEVIL’S BOUNTY – HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO FOR JUSTICE?
Convicted of a series of horrific crimes against young college students in upscale Santa Barbara, wealthy playboy Charlie Mendez has fled across the US border into Mexico. 

As one bounty hunter after another meets a grisly end at the hands of the murderous drug cartel his family have hired to keep him safe, it seems that Mendez is one fugitive destined to remain beyond the reach of the law. Or at least that’s how it looks until one determined victim persuades high-end security specialist Ryan Lock and his partner, retired Marine Ty Johnson, to go after him

My Review: 5/5

Kat’s Review: Okay Ladies and Gents, meet Mr Sean Black. His first book was released in 2009 and featured Ryan Lock an ex-soldier turned Bodyguard and his partner Tyrone Johnson. I picked the first one up and if I’m being 100% honest didn’t expect all that much. Just how many more characters like this could my mind take? As it turns out, my mind was very open to Ryan and Ty and now let me introduce you to my latest character crush!

I have read each of Sean Black’s 3 books in the series so far and was really looking forward to this book which is the fourth instalment in the Lock series. Ryan Lock and Ty make a brilliant team and have been through the mill with various assignments going wrong. Ryan and Ty are currently doing the security for a rap group when trouble comes to find them for a change. A young girl approaches Lock and tells him that he is the only one that can help track down the wealthy playboy Charlie Mendez who has been convicted on a number of crimes but has fled the US over the border into Mexico.

The story takes less than two chapters to get going with a pretty fast paced scene kicking all the action off. It seems that a few Bounty Hunters that have tried to hunt Charlie Mendez down have ended up dead, so Ryan and Ty make it their mission to bring him back to the United States. There is a sense of real authenticity in Black’s books and you realise when you are reading that he has certainly done his homework. Knowing that Sean does things like a 24 day Intensive Body guarding Course makes you realise he takes his research seriously. Even more so when you find he spent time in Supermax Prison Pelican Bay also in the name of research!

With the story being fast paced the whole of the first half, I expected it to slow down a bit towards the middle but it kept up its suspense and we were thrown plenty of curveballs and surprises along the way. You can certainly read this book as a stand alone but for those that have read all the previous Lock books you will see Ryan try to move on from the issues he was dealing with at the end of the last book and this case seems to be a good way of moving forward. This book has plenty of action and suspense to keep you reading and although I loved every page of it I am looking forward top the next instalment more. That may sound strange but I want to see what happens next for Ryan and Ty, especially regarding their personal lives.

Overall, another solid read from Sean Black and he shows no signs of the series slowing down, it just appears to be getting better. As usual, having finished the book I was left with that disappointed feeling, I have to wait another year to reacquaint myself with my latest character crush. Mr Lock, we will meet again!

Gridlock by Sean Black (Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson #3)

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Adult movie actress Raven Lane is one of the most lusted after women in America, with millions of fans to prove it. But when a headless corpse turns up in the trunk of her car, she realizes that fame carries a terrible price.
Fearing for her life, and with the LAPD seemingly unable to protect her, Raven turns to former military bodyguard Ryan Lock for help. As events spiral out of control, Lock is drawn into a dangerous world where money rules, sex is a commodity to be bought and sold, and no one can be trusted, least of all his beautiful new client…
My Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I read Sean Blacks first and second books and absolutely loved them. Ryan Lock is an ex-military bodyguard who has worked private security and has now set up his own company that can be called upon for any type of job. He has a partner Ty Johnson who is an ex-marine who Ryan met whilst in Iraq. Together they make a formidable team and seem unafraid to take on any type of work.

In this book, Ryan and Ty are asked to work for famous adult movie actress Raven Lane. Raven is lusted after by many people across the world and has an army of fans, however, when a headless corpse turns up in the boot of her car she feels compelled to get Ryan and Ty in for her private security. Before long what seems like a simple stalking case gone wrong, turns into a horrific crime spree by what looks like a cold blooded killer.

Sean Black is now on his third book and you can tell that he is pushing himself and the book came across even better than his first two. The book is very fast paced, and this is a lot easier to read as things start off relatively simple but before long the pace picks up and you are thrown along with the characters as things progressively get worse.

The one major difference between this book and his previous is that the murders and crime scenes are a lot more graphic and descriptive. In my opinion this made the book a lot better because you then start questioning who is on the right side of the law and who isn’t. There are quite a lot of twists and turns too and I must say that I was shocked and saddened by the ending. Although shocked, it is an absolutely first class platform for the next book which I cannot wait to get my hands on. Sean Black is certainly coming into his own in this genre and I think this is his best yet, I can only hope that they continue to be this good.

Deadlock by Sean Black (Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson #2)

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My Review 4/5

Sean Black released his debut novel Lockdown in June of 2010 as this was the beginning of a series featuring Ryan Lock. His follow up book Dead Lock was released a month later.

I read Sean Blacks first book and absolutely loved it. Ryan Lock is an ex-military bodyguard who has worked private security and has now set up his own company that can be called upon for any type of job. He has a partner Ty Johnson who is an ex-marine who Ryan met whilst in Iraq. Together they make a formidable team and seem unafraid to take on any type of work.

Their latest task at first seems to be quite straightforward. All they have to do is keep a prisoner by the name of Frank `Reaper’ Hays alive for a week. He is a very important witness for the states prosecution against the white supremacist gang the `Aryan Brotherhood’. What they soon realise is that the job is a little more difficult than they first realised. Frank Hays is a prisoner inside Pelican Bay Super Max prison. For them to protect him, they need to do it from the inside.

They enter Pelican Bay as supposed convicted felons that have been sentenced to twenty years. The only people that are aware of the truth are the FBI and the prison warden, or at least that’s what they hope.

The Aryan Brotherhood is responsible for the killing of an undercover FBI agent and his family and the FBI are determined to see the group brought to justice. However, Hays is not a willing participant when he realises Ryan Lock has been assigned as his cell buddy and protector. It is soon very clear to both Ty and Ryan that looking after the prisoner was not their main problem in prison, it was staying alive themselves.

The story itself was great as was the pace of the book. I loved the fact that we are now in the midst of a character series where the reader waits to find out what happens to the characters. However, as much as I enjoyed the book I only found myself grappling with one element. The character Chance is a woman that is involved in the plot and is very much on the side of the Aryan Brotherhood. I have no issues with the fact that this woman was running around killing people but the fact that she was heavily pregnant while doing it smacked of a certain `disbelief’ element. Aside from that, the rest of the book was as good if not better than his debut.

The characters Ryan and Ty are explored a little more although I am looking forward to finding out a bit more about both of them in the next instalment. The end of the book wasn’t bad at all and the prison element of the story was first class. It shocked me to read at the end of the book that the author had actually `done time’ at Pelican Bay in the course of his research. Not only is he a brave man, but an incredibly clever one. The scenes in the prison were written by somebody that `really knew’ what it was like to be inside those walls. Overall a fantastic read that has made me look forward to his next book.