When Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere runs into Elspeth Fuchs, an old flame, he’s surprised to find who’s by her side. It’s her son, Jacob, and he’s a dead ringer for when Po was a child. His age lines up with when Po last saw Elspeth, before she left him for Caleb Moorcock and a life in a secluded community.
Elspeth and Jacob are now running for their lives from the abusive Caleb. Po and his partner, Private Investigator Tess Grey, offer shelter. But before Po can dive into the boy’s parentage, Caleb snatches the absconded pair and drags them back to their fortified commune.
Has Po dodged a bullet? Maybe it’s best for them all if he never learns whether he’s Jacob’s father. Who’s he kidding? Po resolves to rescue Elspeth and discover the truth about Jacob no matter what . . .
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: Thank goodness! That’s all I can say….
Book 6 in this series was an absolute banger and then book 7 was kind of middle of the road and I was seriously worried about where the series was heading. Thankfully it was heading straight back into the same area book 6 was in which was brilliant! This book leans heavily on the personal side as Po’s old flame Elspeth Fuchs turns up in a town where Po is, and she has a child with her. The difference is that child is a dead ringer for Po as well as being the right age should the boy be his.
What started as an innocent running into an old flame turns out to be a fight for survival for Elspeth and her son Jacob. It turns out that Elspeth is on the run from her violent partner Caleb and they had been living in a secluded and vert controlled community. What I loved about this book was that emotions were what led both Po and Tess as opposed to it being just a job. Is Jacob Po’s son? If it is his son, can Po fight to keep him safe?
As ever the faithful Pinky lends a hand as Po and Tess closest friend and together they chase after Elspeth and Jacob but don’t bank on coming across Caleb and his friends. This makes for an emotion filled but packed with action thriller book with my favourite characters all in attendance. I can’t help but think this series is seriously underrated by many and I think if people gave it a chance and started from book one they would fall in love with these very un-traditional characters. Sadly I have now caught up with Tess, Po and Pinky so will need to wait until next year for the next instalment.
Synopsis: Private investigator Tess Grey feels duty bound to help when the missing girl she has been asked to find becomes involved a high-stakes case of extortion.
Private investigator Tess Grey’s latest case involves tracking down Hayley Cameron, a young girl who has fled after discovering that she was adopted. Tess, aided by her fianc� Po Villere, traces Hayley to the apartment of Madison Toner – one of Hayley’s college friends – in Bangor, Maine.
Despite Tess’s pleas, Hayley refuses to return to her adoptive mother. Both Tess and Po believe there’s more to her running away than it seems, especially when they see Madison’s father bloodied and beaten. Concerned for Hayley’s well-being, they conduct a stake-out.
When thugs turn up to extort Madison and Hayley, Tess and Po feel duty bound to get involved. But what are the girls embroiled in? Who are after them and to what lengths will they go? Tess and Po don’t know it yet, but events are about to grow deadly.
My Rating: 4/5
My Review: After the belter of a book being the last in this series I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed in this latest book. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t as great as the last one I read. This latest case for Tess involves Hayley Cameron and tracking her down as she has run away from her adoptive mother. It is soon uncovered that the girl is caught up in her friend Maddison’s scam which is putting them in the middle of a dangerous situation.
Maddison and her Father become rather central characters in this story but I couldn’t help feeling this was just a bit too run of the mill for my liking. The story was okay just I found it not that exciting. Although we see PO and Pink make their appearances there just seemed to be some of the normal magic from the characters missing in this book. Still a fantastic series but this book didn’t hit the high of the last one. Hopefully book 8 will bring the magic back!
Synopsis: Tess Grey is tasked with investigating a plane crash in the Great North Woods after rumors surface of a survivor… but she and her partner Po aren’t the only ones heading there.
Three field biologists are distracted from their studies when a plane crashes in the Great North Woods. They find two pilots dead only to be confronted by a female survivor. Once they call the authorities, they claim they found only the pilots.
Private Investigator Tess Grey is hired by an insurance firm to investigate rumors another person was aboard the downed plane. She sets off into the woods with her partner Po Villere and friend Jerome ‘Pinky’ Leclerc in order to search the crash site and interview the biologists.
But they aren’t the only ones heading into the woods. There are also teams of mercenaries investigating the crash and killers hunting Pinky to claim a bounty that has been placed on his head. Can Tess get to the bottom of what happened at the crash site while they’re also being hunted?
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: I am straight onto this book having just finished book 5. This time there is a plane crash in the Maine forest and it’s a team of biologists who are researching in the area that get to the crash site first. The rumours start about how there was a woman at the scene, but it seems nobody, the researchers included, have anything to say about it. Tess is asked by the insurers to check out the plane crash so she decides to take along her fella Po as well as their long time friend Pinky.
Aside from the issue of them all checking out the crash site, Pinky has a slight worry going on as now he has given up the criminal world of illegal gun trading there is now a bounty on his head. This book I absolutely LOVED. It had so much going on and you were always wondering what was coming next. There is a lot of action, especially towards the end and I was thoroughly engaged from start to finish. Thankfully as I know there are still books ahead of me to read in this series, I luckily didn’t feel too heartbroken that I had finished another of these books.
I absolutely love all the characters that make up these books as they are a fry cry from your bog-standard hero’s, and I have grown very attached to all of them. I can highly recommend this series and can’t wait to move onto book 7!
Synopsis: When an ex-cop goes on the run from his employers, his daughter seeks help from an old friend . . . Tess Grey.
Ex-cop Aaron Lacey is on the run from Elite Custodian Services, a protection service of ex-military and police – and his current employers – and they will stop at nothing to track him down. His disappearance results in his daughter reaching out to her old schoolfriend, Tess Grey. But when Tess’s mother urges her to turn down helping her friend, Tess begins to question why.
Is her mother simply being overprotective, or is there more to her past with Lacey than Tess realises? Why has Lacey gone underground and why are the Elite so determined to catch him?
As Tess and her partner Nicolas Villere get involved, they need to figure out who can be trusted and what secrets they are hiding.
My Rating: 4/5
My Review: I have not had much free time so when I decide to binge read I decided it was high time I caught up with Tess and Po in this series I have come to love. This latest instalment sees an old school friend of Tess named Stella reach out to her with a request. Her father Aaron Lacey who is an ex-cop has gone missing. Aaron was working for a company called Elite Services and it looks at first glance like he has done a runner, the question is why?
Tess and Po decide to help her out and as usual butt heads with people from the get go. Of course no book would be complete without their loveable friend Pinky. I liked this story and as per usual the characters are totally what makes these books so engaging. There is a lot of action and it is reasonably fast paced. It took me only two sittings to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot wait to move onto the next book in the series.
Synopsis: Private investigator Tess Grey discovers that someone from her past is pursuing a deadly vendetta and she could be the next to die.
“If I?m dead, contact Teresa Grey at Cumberland County Sheriff’s Dept. Tell her”
When the body of a young woman is found on a rocky Maine beach, having fallen from the cliffs above, the initial verdict is suicide. But hidden on the dead woman’s social network page is a post requesting that Tess Grey be informed in the event of her death. And why would Chelsea Grace, who was terrified of heights, have chosen to end her life in a way that invoked her very worst fear?
Having not seen Chelsea for years, Tess has no idea why her old university roommate would leave such a message. But, determined to find out what really happened to her, Tess and her partner Po discover that Chelsea isn’t the first of her old university friends to suffer ? and she won’t be the last. It would appear that someone is holding a deadly grudge: could Tess herself be a target?
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I am a massive fan of this series and the characters are hugely appealing to me. Tess Grey a PI who was an ex-copper working alongside her partner and lover Nicholas ‘Po’ Villere. This latest installment starts out with Tess looking into the death of somebody she went to college with. Would her old friend really have jumped to her death when she was afraid of heights? It’s ppretty clear early on that this is something more than a one off and somebody from Tess past is trying to even up the score.
Tess and Po are the characters that make this story (especially Po). Although this time around is isn’t just Tess who has problems. Po’s bar is being targetted and he is determined to get to the bottom of the who and the why with his own unique style! Meanwhile as Tess begins to dig through her own memories of the past she begins to see a pattern forming. The great part of this book is we see how and why the crimes are being committed before Tess does. Although I love this series I felt there was a little something missing. Maybe it’s because I see Tess figuring out other people’s problems as opposed to her own? That aside, this still made for a fantastic read.
My one small niggle was that we didn’t see the appearance of Po and Tess good friend Pinky until far too late in the book. As usual he wades in with every ounce of his being to do what he can to help his two friends. The later part of the book was a little more pacey and I enjoyed it more than the first half because the action was ramped up to the maximum.
As ever another cracking read in this series that I love. I literally cannot wait for the next book as this series is firmly in my Top 5 of must reads. With original and engaging characters, and a storyline that will keep yu turning pages you can’t really ask for too much more!
Synopsis: Tess Grey and Nicolas Po Villere return to Louisiana to confront Po’s tormented past. Ex-con Nicolas Po Villere has no love for the mother who abandoned him as a child. Yet when she asks to see him on her deathbed, he returns home to Louisiana with his partner Tess Grey to try to reconcile their troubled past.
But Po is not prepared for the news his mother gives him: that he is not the last of the Villere family line. He has a younger sister, Emilia, whom he’s never met. But Emilia is missing, and Tess and Po must track her down before it s too late. Tess and Po aren’t the only ones looking for Emilia. As they are to discover, Emilia has disappeared for a very good reason and if Po has any chance of finding her alive, he must join forces with his most hated enemy in order to prevent his little sister becoming the next victim of a deranged, cannibalistic killer.
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: I absolutely love the characters in these books and although the two lead characters are Tess Grey and Nicholas ‘Po’ Villere I have to say that Po is the start of the show. In addition their friend Pinky is an absolute corker of a character and he has to feature in this series on as permanent a basis as the main two characters. I think part of my attraction to these characters is that they are original and reading about them and the way they talk and their background is so refreshing. Po is an ex-con and Tess is an ex-cop and somehow they just make a perfect team. Not only are they a team they are also partners. Thankfully not in that ‘romance gets in the way of a good story’ kinda’ way!
Po receives a phone call from his estranged mother who is on her deathbed but is reluctant to disclose what she needs to see him about. With a bounty on Po’s head if he returns to the area, he of course…returns to the area. Alongside him is Tess and Pinky. What he didn’t account for was the revelation that he has a sister Emilia he has never met before. Unfortunately she also happens to be missing. What ensures is an absolutely brilliant and captivating story line which sees Po Tess and Pinky all fighting against more than one group for the safe retrieval of Emilia.
I was totally and utterly absorbed in the story and it caught me from the very first chapter. Full of villains you love to loathe as well as plenty of action. I have grown to love this series and think this is the best one so far. It reveals a lot more on Po’s history and cements both his and Tess relationship as well as the strong bond he and his friend Pinky have. I think having read this 3rd book I need a friend like Pinky in my life!
There are a number of ‘bad guys’ featuring but the way that Cleary was written literally had me shivering. The last quarter of the book is packed full of action and I read the last part of the book in one sitting. I had read for so long I didn’t realise my room was in complete darkness as I hadn’t moved. An outstanding read and a series that is original and fresh feeling, I absolutely loved it and cannot WAIT for the next book in the series.
Synopsis: PI Tess Grey and her partner Nicolas Po Villere have been hired by Margaret Norris to find her granddaughter, Jasmine Reed, who has been missing for sixteen days. But if Tess is to have any chance of finding Jazz, she needs to know the truth about the young woman s troubled past. What is it that Margaret Norris isn’t telling her?
Tess and Po aren’t the only ones looking for Jazz. With shady local businessman Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak also on her trail, as well as a mysterious and violent stranger, Tess prays, for Jasmine s sake, that she and Po find her first. But it s only when Tess uncovers a link to several other missing girls that she begins to make headway in the investigation and finds herself in a desperate race against time to track down Jazz before it’s too late
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
Kat’s Review: I’m thrilled that I bumped this book up my to read list as it was much better than I expected. I LOVE it when a book surprises me like this. I read the first in this new series and although I enjoyed it, I thought it was a little slow and I struggled to connect with the lead character Tess Grey. Following on with this book, clearly I was walking through sludge with the last book as with this book I fell in love with Tess and her ex-con Partner Po.
In book one (Blood Tracks) I can now see that this was meant as an extremely good base for getting to know these characters. With this book there is no need for that as the readers have already seen Tess reasons for making her way as a Private Investigator instead of a cop. Although book one is an excellent base, I guess this book can be read as a standalone, but I always feel like its best to start a series at the beginning. In this latest instalment, Tess and Po have been hired to find the granddaughter of Margaret Norris. Jazz has been missing just over 2 weeks so Tess and Po get started on trying to trace her.
It becomes apparent pretty quickly that Jazz is also being searched for by Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak, Tess and Po want to know why and the story really starts to pick up pace. It becomes clear pretty quickly that there is a lot more to Jazz being missing than a simple runaway scenario. The book has a great hold over the reader and with each chapter it seems to gain momentum, tension and pace. When their old friend Pinky appeared I rejoiced as he was such a brilliant character in the first book I was hoping he would make an appearance in the second.
This book was everything a great thriller should be and I thoroughly enjoyed every single page. I can imagine this would make a GREAT film, although quite who would play these characters who knows. What I will say is that although the Joe Hunter series of books by Matt Hilton is hugely popular, this new series seems to have fallen short and I cannot work out why. This is an absolutely amazing book and a series that I will continue to read. Hugely enjoyable and massively under rated, if you haven’t tried Matt Hilton before then these books are a great place to start!
Synopsis: Introducing private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers. When her local District Attorney offers her a considerable sum of money to track down state witness Crawford Wynne, private investigator Tess Grey is in no position to refuse. Wynne is one of the few men still alive who can help the State nail vicious drug lord Alberto Suarez. But Tess is not the only one trying to track Wynne down. Suarez’s psychotic brother Hector has been hunting and butchering anyone who is a danger to his brother. Tess needs help and there’s only one man she can turn to: Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas Villere, known to all as Po. Po always gets his man, but he has never been teamed with a woman before. Both have their own agenda for taking on this case, and neither fully trusts the other. But of one thing they are sure: if they don’t cover each other’s backs, they are both going to die.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I must admit to having never got started on Matt Hilton’s successful series of books featuring Joe Hunter. I also realised I was so far behind that it would take me ages to catch up, so when I saw he had a new series out I thought it was a great opportunity to sample his writing. The two main characters in this new series are Tess Grey, an ex-copper turned Private Investigator and Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere who is an ex-con. I have to admit now I have finished the book that I struggled to get into it. Tess seemed a little dull and by the book for my liking. However, when Po turned up (GREAT lead character nickname by the way) things got a bit more interesting.
On reflection I think with it being a new series the slow start is because you are getting a feel for the character Tess. There are reasons relating to her past as to why she is the type of woman she is now. When she is given the opportunity to work for Emma Clancy as a PI she jumps at it and is introduced to Po as a man that can help her track her target down. Tess and Po need to find Crawford Wynne and bring him back as a State Witness. The story started off a little slowly and I felt like Tess needed a bit of a kick to liven herself up. Thankfully the charming ex-con Po more than made up for her as a character in the beginning.
The other character I cannot help but mention is an old friend of Po’s named Pinky. This guy HAS to make a comeback in future books as was absolutely brilliant! As the story progressed it became clear that Tess was becoming much more herself the longer she spent around Po. By the last quarter of the book we see the real Tess and it was a complete turnaround. There is the requisite bad guy and his helpers with a big dose of violence and some good old fashioned gun fighting going on. For a book that was a bit of a slow burner I ended up being totally captivated by both Tess and Po. The storyline picked up it’s pace and the last quarter was full on and I was practically speed reading. Plenty of action, thrills and two cracking new characters…what more could you ask for?
I must say this is a brilliant start to a new series and I really can’t wait to see what book 2 holds in store for them. I will certainly be getting the next in the series as soon as it’s available, and who knows maybe now I will be more inclined to get started on the Joe Hunter series. Overall I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to the next one.