A father waits in Glasgow's Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn't get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.
This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content
Wow! Although I read this book in an entire day, I decided to wait till morning to write my review as I wasn't quite ready to let go of it yet! Strange feeling but I'm sure that a lot of you will understand after you have read this book and you do absolutely HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK! It grabbed hold of me from the graphically described "funeral" on the first page and wouldn't let me go.
Bill, a recent widower, goes to pick his daughter up from the train station in Glasgow on Christmas Eve. She isn't on her train so he waits and meets every train from London until there are no more. She isn't answering her mobile phone or house phone so Bill makes the decision to drive to London to try to find out what has happened to her. What happens next is every parents worse nightmare as the search for Carol takes over Bill's life and leads him into a murky underground world of drugs and organised crime.
This book covers a very real and difficult subject and so is very graphic in its language and descriptions as you would expect. As a parent of adult daughter's myself, I totally got Bill from the first time I met him. That feeling of wanting to protect your child never goes away, no matter what age they are and as I read it I felt very emotional. It brings to home how you never know what's round the corner and how one small decision can change your life's path for ever. And that ending.....!! Made me wish I had never started the book so I could go back and read it all again. It's one of those where you miss the characters as soon as so finish.
I adored Alan's writing and the way he developed the storyline, it made me visualise the book in a way that rarely happens for me. I'm sure I won't be the first (or last!!) to say that this would make an absolutely brilliant screenplay for the big screen and I have to admit that I imagined Bill as Liam Neeson the whole of the way through (I know he is Irish not a Scot so apologies now but my mind saw what my mind saw!).
As this was the first of this authors books I have read (this one was very kindly given to me by Alan Jones in return for an unbiased review) I now need to catch up on the others. If you like authentic gritty crime dramas with a side order of emotional suspense and a sympathetic main character then you are going to LOVE this!
OMFG Alan Jones!! There I was, happily strolling down 4⭐️ lane, thinking #Bloq is a seriously great read. Then #BOOM, you knocked my feet from under me and as I dusted myself off, I suddenly and rightly found myself on 5⭐️ Street! Bloody Superb!
I was given an ARC of Bloq by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Before I start my actual review, I need to point out how freakin’ awesome the cover of this book is. The colours shout out at you and portray a gritty, eery, dark side of the London club scene–which works– as that is exactly what this book is about….kind of!
Have you ever read a book and wondered if the author could deliver the same quality of read as the previous one(s)? This is how I felt when I was asked to read/review this book. You see, despite some pretty gruesome happenings in the first few pages- I ab-so-friggin-lutely loved Blue Wicked. So I was worried that Bloq could be nowhere near the standard I had in my head. I could not have been more wrong!
Set in London, the author takes us on a journey into the seedier side of the London club scene. I was immediately hooked from the get-go. The plot itself was riveting and fairly fast-paced — but not so fast you lost your way. I really struggled to put this book down once I started. The sign of a great read in my books!
Loss, revenge, a search for justice and even love are just some of the themes that have been woven into the story-line. A father’s heart-ache and a sister’s search for the truth- draw these two unlikely souls together. It was, dare I say, beautifully done, full of twists and an unexpected but kick ass ending.
There were various characters within this book that had a role to play in delivering the story. None were insignificant, but a few stood at for me. For instance, the main character- Bill Ingram. He was dedicated, clever and committed to finding/saving his daughter without any concern for himself. I really connected with him. Similar to a #KillerHook, if a character doesn’t grab me, I quickly lose interest. Did not have that problem with this book! I did wonder if the author injected some of his own personality traits into this character…I just had that feeling. Hang on…I may be complimenting the author! Oh no! I can’t have that! #BadNoelle *kidding*
I adored Anna too! She was strong, but vulnerable. Clever but knew how to play that down if the situation called for it. She just rocked! And then there was Aleksander …he just oozed nasty peeps!! I bet his eyes were black holes as this guy was cold. A user of women, owner of the Bloq, a master manipulator…I seriously wanted to kick him where the sun don’t shine many a time!! *shivers*
So as much as I love winding up Mr Jones I have to say that this book was a cracking read and will most certainly make my Top Reads of 2016. I highly recommend you *dance* your way over to amazon and get yourself a copy of what has to be Alan Jones’ best book so far!
I Recieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Outstanding book I knew I was going to enjoy this book after only a couple of pages and boy I sure did . This book drew me really in and I actually thought I was in the storyline as a character such was my emotions reading it. A story of a fathers quest to find his missing daughter takes you on a roller coaster of emotions , I had to remember to breathe sometimes. This book was very cleverly written and although it contains dark parts it also has very tender ones too .im not ashamed to say I needed tissues. Loved it 5 massive stars from me
Bloq is the authors third novel and in my opinion, without a doubt, his best so far.
It is very much a story of a fathers love for his daughter and how far a parent will go for the love of their child.
Bill is just your typical father figure, having recently lost his wife, his daughter is his world. When Carol doesn’t turn up at the train station as planned I could very much feel the panic that was starting to rise in him.
Not only does Bill have the worry of not knowing where his daughter is, he also has to admit defeat where the police are concerned. An adult female going missing just isn’t top of their priorities.
Bill, like any like minded parent goes in search of his daughter. Unfortunately Bill begins to discover things about Carol that give him even more cause for concern.
Through his search for Carol. Bill meets Anna. Both having something in common they strike up a companionship of sorts, which if under any other circumstances, probably would never happen. The bond that starts to form between these two characters is really endearing. In a world of darkness where many of us would give up, they give each other a reason to keep going on.
Bloq is a dark and very tense read. I was so wrapped up in the story that a couple of times I had to put it down and have a few minutes breather. Some parts are so raw and emotional that I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down my face.
Emotional, gripping and powerful. A truly brilliant novel and one I highly recommend.
Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
An intriguing start to Bloq; who are the men and who are they burying?? The prologue is littered with profanities but don't let that put you off. They are highly concentrated in the first few pages and dissipate quite quickly.
The story captured me immediately and wouldn't let me go; I devoured the book in 24 hours which can be hard with two young boys to look after! The more I read, the more I wanted to know what had happened to Carol and what Bill would uncover next!
I hadn't read any of Alan Jones' books before but I had an inkling I would enjoy his writing after reading a rave review of Blue Wicked on the CrimeBookJunkie Book Blog. I've already got Blue Wicked buried on my kindle so it definitely will be bumped up the "To Be Read" list and I'll be getting the Cabinetmaker before long.
A big thank you to the author and the Crime Book Club on Facebook for an advanced copy of Bloq in return for my unbiased review.
‘Grunting and stumbling, they managed to get the plastic-wrapped corpse into the shallow depression, but the feet wouldn’t quite fit, protruding above the level of the surrounding packed earth.’
BLOQ is a novel published in April 2016 by Alan Jones. It tells the story of a father’s sense of complete hopelessness as he attempts to track down his missing daughter and the lengths he will go to, to discover the truth.
Please read on for my thoughts…
Bill Ingram is a man possessed.
After recently burying his wife, Bill awaits the arrival of his daughter Carol at the train station. This is to be their first Christmas without her and Bill was adamant that they would get through it together.
When Carol doesn’t appear at the station, Bill is very concerned. It’s Christmas Eve so he waits for the final train to arrive at the station in the hope that Carol missed her earlier seat. As the station slowly empties, Bill soon comes to the realisation that something is very very wrong.
Bill sets off on the long overnight drive to London with a head filled with what-if scenarios and a fear for his daughter’s safety.
On arrival at her apartment, Bill discovers that Carol has not been here for awhile. There is an air of desolation about the place and Bill finally comes to grips with the fact that Carol is missing. Bill reacts as any parent would and immediately reports Carol missing to the police. Carol is an adult so the police are extremely slow to act, but Bill’s parental intuition has him convinced Carol is in trouble.
Bill makes the decision to search for Carol himself, and it as this search continues, that Bill finds himself caught up in a very frightening world indeed.
As Bill soon discovers, there is a very ugly and brutal side to humanity as he delves deep into the world of crime and prostitution. He faces foes he never imagined and gets himself heavily caught up in the underworld of Eastern European crime lords.
The descriptions of the violence inflicted on individuals, though quite gritty, were excellently portrayed. As a reader you are taken into a very seedy and very disturbing corrupt world. It’s quite frightening in it’s realism and would make you wonder about what is really going on behind closed doors. Alan Jones has portrayed the harrowing realities of prostitution for many naive young women and it is a terrible reflection of our society how young women can just disappear.
Alan Jones knowledge of IT and computers is also quite intricate and as I have a reasonable understanding of technology I wasn’t baffled by the lingo used.
Where the story lost some of it’s lustre for me was Bill’s story. Bill was a very ordinary man in the opening scenes but as his search for Carol continued I felt his behaviour was a little extreme and for me a little implausible. His actions become quite irrational as the story unfolded. Every parent’s worst nightmare is a missing child, no matter what their age, but how far would you go if it was your daughter?
Well you will just have to read BLOQ yourself to see would you be willing to push yourself as far as Bill……
My first read by Alan. I really enjoyed this book. Bill goes to meet his daughter Carol at Glasgow's Central station. What should have been a joyful Christmas reunion falls apart when Carol fails to turn up. This sets bill of on a crusade to find out what has happened to his daughter. The search centres round a nightclub called Bloq which Carol has been known to frequent.What follows is a trail of intrigue and deception, involving Drugs, prostitution and Eastern European gangsters. A great read and a well deserved 4 stars.
There's been a lot of buzz about this book on my FB book club so, when the shout went out for early reviewers, I was there like a shot. Normally I don't follow the herd with respect to "hyped" books but these are people I know and trust so I was pretty sure I'd be safe with this one! Luckily, when the book appeared on my Kindle, I was "between books" so I abandoned my well worked out TBR schedule and started it straight away. I didn't need to worry about the delay to my TBR because I read this book start to finish in less than a day so hard it gripped me and so quickly engrossed I became in the story and characters. The story begins with a father, Bill, meeting his daughter, Carol, from a train journey for a planned Christmas visit. A visit that, despite, limited recent correspondence between the two, had been arranged for nearly a month. She's not on that train. Nor does she answer her phone when Bill calls to check on her. When the third and last train before Christmas pulls in, also without her, he becomes so concerned that he drops everything and races down to London where she is now living to try and find her. Little does he realise that this course of action will take him to places he never thought he'd visit, put him in situations he never thought he'd ever be in, do things he never thought he'd ever do, and that all this would come at a cost he never dreamed of. This was a very tightly plotted thriller. We follow the action both in the present day as Bill tries to find Carol and also in flashback as we learn more about Carol and the events building up to the situation Bill now finds himself in. As the book progresses, the timelines eventually converge as the truth is slowly uncovered. From then on, the book remains mostly linear but that doesn't mean that the action lets up. If anything, it ramps up several notches as, with the truth out, there are certain outcomes that should have been evident but in reality need more than just a nudge to become realised. One thing that really impressed me about this book is the characterisation. All the characters are very well drawn and feel very real. And when I say all, I really do mean all. Even the bit part / one scene characters are properly fleshed out. I do love that attention to detail. This means that I was easily able to both emote with and relate to the majority of the players and that, for me, means for a much better all round reading experience. Scene setting and description were both succinct in nature. In my opinion, there is not a single word wasted, nor is there anything lacking. Even the latter scenes fit the story perfectly because, when I wasn't desperately wanting Bill to adopt me, I was slowly falling a little bit in love with him myself! When this is coupled together with near perfect pacing, great characters and an intriguingly engrossing storyline, I am at a loss to find anything negative to say about this book... Well, apart from the fact that I actually threw a small tantrum at the beginning of the end of the book. I so did NOT want to go there. But, after calming down, I have to admit that, yeah... that's the way it had to play out. Even if a part of me personally wanted a different ending, I have to concede that the author's ending is indeed the right one for the book.
This is the first book I have read by this author but, after finishing this amazing book, you can be pretty sure that it won't be the last.
I received a free ARC of this book from THE Book Club (TBConFB) in exchange for this, my honest review.
Well I pre-ordered this novel well before the publishing date (6th March 2016) determined that I would read it when it was delivered to my kindle but alas I was caught up with other books and it got by me. It was pure luck that I rediscovered it and WOW it just WOWED me! This is the first Alan Jones novel that I have read and it won't be the last. I loved the simplicity of his main character Glaswegian widower Bill. A totally unassuming ordinary man, Bill was getting by day after day going to work and looking forward to his daughter's Xmas visit. But when train after train arrives and Carol doesn't Bill takes himself to London to find out where she is. This is some wicked journey that Bill takes on, what a brilliant character! Alan Jones serves to his readers a character to cheer on, cringe about and cry tears of joy and anguish over. A man determined to find his child (even grown up) no matter what the personal cost, because that is what dads should be like! The bad guys are well pretty terrible and put that tingle on the back of your neck that then runs up and down your spine. Could this story really happen? I doubt it. Did it make good Reading? Darn right it did. And would I recommend it? OMG Yes! Definitely need more Alan Jones.
I was a couple of chapters into a book when Bloq appeared on my kindle and I couldn't resist a sneaky peek – mistake!! After a few vows of ‘one more chapter’ I realised I couldn't put it down and had to keep reading to the finish. This is described as a gritty crime novel and while I can’t argue with that, at the heart of it this is the story of a father’s love and how it drives Bill on his quest to locate his missing daughter Carol. Bill is an ordinary man but quite an extraordinary character and I think every reader will wish that they had a man like Bill in their life. What surprised me most about Bloq was that I cried and had tears running down my cheeks. I won’t say at which point(s) in the narrative for fear of spoilers but I offer this as an indication of how real the characters were. When you are discussing with another reader how you are both missing Bill since finishing reading the novel you know the strength of the writing. This was very different to Blue Wicked and makes me excited to see what Alan Jones has in store for us next. I received a free copy of Bloq in return for an honest review and my thanks to Alan Jones for that.
Bill expects his daughter, Carol, home for Christmas but she isn't on the train. He waits for the next two Christmas Eve trains but she's not on either and he can't contact her. He decides to drive down from his home in Scotland to her flat in London, only to find she has disappeared. Bloq is the name of the night club run by an Albanian who, underneath his undoubted charm, is a thug and a drug dealer. Carol and her friends go there and Carol falls under his spell. Gradually her life changes for the worse. Anna, who works at the club, teams up with Bill to find out what happened to Carol and to Anna's sister who also became mixed up with the gang.
The story is certainly a gripping ride but I couldn't totally buy into it. I doubt very much that an ex-nurse can walk into a hospital in her old uniform and obtain morphine or antibiotics. I also found a love scene towards the end of the book completely unnecessary to the plot. It's rare I skip pages but I did here. Having said that, it was a good story to read. The plot was complex and the writing very good. It's an unusual thriller and I enjoyed reading it.
“Bloq” is another great, gritty crime thriller from Alan Jones! It is a tale of a father’s search for his missing daughter, which leads him through a world of loss, despair, violence and revenge. The intricate plot is well written, with a few unexpected twists, making it a real page turner! Many thanks to Alan Jones for kindly giving me an ARC of “Bloq” in exchange for an honest review. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading “Blue Wicked”, and would highly recommend both books!
Bloq will take you to the darkest corner..It will blow you away
When Billy Ingram goes to the train station on Christmas Eve to pick up his daughter Carol he is confused and upset when she doesn't show up.Billy knows this isn't like Carol and drives all the way to London to her home...But as soon as he steps inside her flat....he knows something is wrong..Billy talks to the police then calls round her friends when one of her friends goes to see Billy he knows there is something very wrong ...His daughter it seemed had a secret life...a dark secret....and then when a young woman approaches him asking for help things get really dark ...Just as Billy turns a corner ...tragedy strikes ..then omg there will be shocks...twists that are just so clever....they will make your head twirl..This story has it all ...sex, greed , a vicious murderer and those that want answers... My God what a read... I saw this author speak at Noir at The Bar...and when he read there was a hushed silence ...This is a book for those who love the darkest side of crime....A Gold Five stars from me...I Loved Bloq..
You can imagine my excitement when Alan asked me if I have ever been the first person to read a book, for me to reply saying “no” Alan then to reply by saying “well you have now.” Honestly it was such an amazing feeling you would not believe it. I was literally bouncing off the walls with joy. It's not everyday you get told something like that. And to be the first people to read a corker of a novel I was totally blown away.
This is Alan’s third book that I have read and they just get better and better. Having read Blue Wicked which I loved. Alan has stepped up his game with Bloq and most definitely turned a corner. The is one hell of a read. I have to say what a fantastic cover it totally suits the story. The story starts off with one hell of a gritty prologue where I found myself having an OMG moment smiling to myself thinking this is good this is very good then before I knew it I was plowing through it I couldn't turn the pages fast enough,devouring it in one day.
Having read the prologue where we read about two men and a body. The story then introduces us to Bill Ingram who has lost his wife through breast cancer. Ends up on a mission to find his daughter after not getting off her train at Glasgow station. Leaving the reader wanting to know how these men are linked to the story. And Believe me it's not what I originally thought either. Very clever Alan Jones you had me there is all I am saying. This story takes you on a rollercoaster Journey of emotions. I went from my heart missing a beat to gasping with a sigh of relief. Then I get that lump in my throat feeling. I was like wow wow wow The whole time routing Bill along. Being a parent myself and my child not turning up would be my worse nightmare. And you can totally feel the motions Bill goes through with Alan's excellent writing skills. This is a one very well rounded crime novel.
This is a must read for all crime fans which I cannot recommend enough Giving it 5 massive stars.
Thank you so much Alan Jones for giving me the chance to be a Beta reader.
My first Alan Jones book but certainly not my last!!
The writing, the pace, the characters and the story line were all spot on - I grieved with the main character, championed his fight for the truth and prayed that he would triumph against the evil, evil men who had ruined his daughter's life. I was so completely taken up with this story that I'm sure I forgot to breathe at times!
No spoilers, but if you enjoy a really clever, well told thriller then Bloq is for you - 5 stars!!!
Bloq is an accomplished crime thriller, which pits an unlikely pair of heroes against a particularly vile enemy. The first chapter sets up the tone and style perfectly, with a gang of thugs burying an unknown girl on a building site. You know you are in for a dark ride when the first chapter starts with such a brutal scene.
Bloq is the name of an up and coming London nightclub, run by smooth Albanian businessman Aleksander. Bill Ingram, devoted father and grieving widower, is excited that his only daughter Carol is on her way home to Glasgow for Christmas. He arrives at the station to meet her, but she never turns up. Alarmed, Bill ends up driving all the way to London to search for her. The police are not interested as twenty-five-year-old Carol had recently been experimenting with drugs. In the present day, Bill tries to piece together the last movements of his missing daughter and in the process finds out how badly her life had been unravelling. The novel also jumps back in time and reveals what actually happened to Carol before she went missing. Through Carol's viewpoint, we learn how she became involved with the enigmatic Aleksander. Meanwhile, Bill is approached by Anna, the manageress of Bloq, who reveals that she is actually working undercover there in order to find out what happened to her missing sister Susie, who was also mixed up with Aleksander.
Bloq is full of nail-biting moments of tension, such as the moment when Bill discovers Carol's fate and attempts to rescue her. It's hard to go into the story too much for fear of spoiling it, so I will just say that what happens next is dramatic and explosive for all involved. One moment you sag with relief, duped into believing everything is going to work out, only to have the next scene rip this certainty away from you. You can't help but be drawn into Bill's nightmare, and the story has you wondering what lengths you would go to in order to save your child.
The story then takes a different turn, which involved the believability becoming stretched somewhat. Bill and Anna become ever more industrious in their obsession with obtaining justice for Carol and Susie. What put me off at times, were the long sections of narrative where certain procedures and plans, technical or otherwise are explained to the reader. However, I was attached to the characters of Anna and Bill, wanted them to succeed, and dearly wanted to see the bad guys get what they deserved. I was still turning the pages at a steady pace... Read the full review at UndergroundBookReviews.org
A father waits in Glasgow's Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn't get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.
This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content.
We open with a callous burial or rather body dump of a young woman by some, what the reader can only deduce, very dodgy criminals. Hello chapter one, Bill Ingram is waiting in a Glasgow train station for his daughter to come home. As the train comes and goes and time ticks on there is no sign of Carol and no contact. Bill embarks on a one man investigation to find his daughter, putting himself in grave danger and having to face the fact that he maybe didn't know his daughter at all.
The chapters are named so we know where we are and which character it is focused on, Carol and the many folk around her or her situation are in London, Bill initially is in Glasgow then hits London for his quest. Carol's timeline jumps back a wee bit to before Aleksander comes into her life and the path that follows after. A story that demonstrates corruption, lies, influence, the darker side of humanity and how some people will go to any lengths to exploit another.
Relationships carve a huge part of this story, the love of a father for his daughter, partners, friendship, criminal loyalties and family. There are some very dark themes in the book too, addiction, abuse, violence, sexual abuse to name just a few. It isn't for the faint hearted, not so much in brutal graphic detail but enough for the reader to conjure the horrors with just enough information for full impact. The book is a bit like an onion, there are so many layers to it, I loved the family bond some characters had and would stop at nothing for their relative.
Lots and lots of swearing featured, I think given one of the central themes and key characters this was a must, for realism, rather than gratuitous. Depending on your background and family ties, I think this book has the potential to pack a punch and strike some emotive chords with some readers. I have read Jones before and I will read him again, 4/5 for me this time!
This is my first book by Alan Jones but it won't be my last! It totally grabbed me from the start. Bloq follows the emotional turmoil of Bill who is desperately searching for his missing daughter, who fails to turn up at Christmas time. Don't want to give much away as there are so many twists and turns and a very surprising end that I didn't see coming. This is a dark, gritty and tense book!
I'm VERY late to the party on this one - oh boy I wish I had read this sooner. Packs an almighty punch -- page turning, CPID and not quite sure where it will go next. From the seedy world of clubs, drugs and prostitution to the love of a father, Bloq shows us the seedier side of life. It has both heroes and villains, with some surprising developments. In places it's a little too detailed with the gore -- but it really does add colour to the story. Same goes for the sexual antics -- all the details work within the context of the story. Highly recommended 5*
Bloq is the third novel written by Alan Jones and I think it is definitely the best yet! From the opening lines of the prologue “As a funeral, it was nothing much. Only four people were present; one of them was dead and none of the others gave a fuck” the reader is grabbed and hauled in by the throat! Just make sure you have some time set aside when you start this book because you are going to struggle to put it down!
Bloq is a tale of a father’s heartbreak at the disappearance of his daughter, his search through the dark and seedy streets of London with few people willing to help. Bill Ingram is the father and his anguish as his daughter, Carol, doesn’t arrive as promised is heart wrenching. You can feel his pain as he stands in the slowly emptying Central Station on a cold Christmas eve, it was easy for me to picture the scene as a native Glaswegian and my heart went out to him. Bill decides he cannot sit back and do nothing and he makes his way to London, a worried dad determined to ensure that his wee girl is safe.
Meanwhile we are finding out a little about Carol and her life in London since she has left home and we begin to realise that Bill may be right to fear for his daughter’s safety. We are also introduced to Anna the bar manager of Bloq – she is a strong and determined character and her role becomes central to Bill’s quest to find out what has happened to his daughter. However, it is Aleksander who chills you to the bone and I could hear the menace in his voice through the words as the pages turn – a truly evil man!
There is a real and truthful depth to the characters in the book and Alan has a way of making the reader live their emotions throughout the book. There is so much more I could say about the characters in the book but I don’t want to give away too much of the plot!
Alan draws upon the grim realities befalling many young women, he deals with prostitution, drug abuse and the horrors of people trafficking – Bloq is a grim and gritty, hard hitting tale of a father’s quest to find his daughter. As a reader you are horrified, terrified and distraught throughout the book – my heart was in my mouth the whole time. Unlike Blue Wicked, Alan’s second book, Bloq doesn’t contain the same harsh language and Glasgow dialect but still manages to inject a stomach churning feeling of menace and intimidation throughout.
Alan Jones has now written 3 very different books, a testament to his talent as a writer who is able to draw the reader in whether it be through the cementing of a relationship between a Cabinet Maker and the policeman assigned to investigate his daughter’s death (The Cabinet Maker) to the grim and raw tales of drug abuse and misery on grim Glasgow streets to the latest work where he moves to London – each of the books holds a power that draws the reader in and keeps them there. Alan Jones is a hidden Scottish talent and deserves to be discovered. A well earned FIVE mega stars from me for Bloq!
It’s Christmas Eve, and Bill Ingram is waiting for his daughter’s train to arrive from London. When it arrives, he feels the first pangs of concern as she doesn’t emerge onto the platform. He phones her, but there’s no answer. Telling himself that she simply missed her train, he continues to wait, but when she doesn’t arrive on either of the next two trains, he knows there’s something wrong, particularly as he still can’t get hold of her via her home phone or her mobile.
Becoming increasingly worried at her lack of contact, he decides to drive down to London, but when he arrives at her flat, he finds everything covered in a thin layer of dust as though she’s not been there for some time. He reports his daughter to the police as a missing person, but they don't seem all that interested, and so Bill begins to investigate Carol’s disappearance on his own.
Bloq is an extremely well-plotted novel, and Jones steadily builds up the tension throughout. I really enjoyed the structure which initially alternates between Bill’s search for Carol and her own story, which gradually reveals her activities leading up to her disappearance and how she ends up where she does. I won't say any more on this as I don't want to spoil it for other readers – this really is a novel that is best approached with as little prior knowledge as possible.
I thought that Bill’s character development over the course of the novel was brilliant. Faced with a parent’s worst nightmare, and, with the police not showing sufficient concern, he gives up everything – his job, his friends and family – and puts everything he has in to finding his daughter himself. And he’s such a mild-mannered man that I couldn’t help feeling incredibly sympathetic towards his plight, and I even worried for him at times! The supporting cast of characters are also well fleshed out, with some shady, unpleasant individuals, as well as a somewhat unexpected source of help for Bill later in the novel.
This is a story that starts out dark and becomes progressively more bleak as it goes on – and I mean that as a compliment to Alan Jones. If I describe a novel as bleak it usually means that I really enjoyed it, and such is the case here. Whilst it may not be to everyone’s taste given some of the unpleasant subject matter and a few graphic scenes, I recommend all fans of crime fiction to give this one a go. I also think it would make a great film.
Bloq is available to buy now in paperback and digital formats. Many thanks to Alan for providing a copy for review.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Bill Ingram is looking forward to a Christmas visit with his adult daughter, Carol, and is waiting for her train to arrive at the station so he can take her home. The train arrives at the station a few minutes late… but Carol isn’t on it, nor is she on the other two trains coming in from London that night. Convinced something is terribly wrong, Bill goes to the police, but finds little help. Determined to find his daughter, Bill embarks on his own investigation, discovering a secret lifestyle involving a seedy nightclub and unsavory people who led Carol down a dangerous path. Bill is willing to do whatever it takes to find her, no matter what—and the cost will be higher than he ever imagined.
Bloq is a mind-blowing crime novel that hooks you right from the start; a superbly written thrill ride that builds to an electrifying climax. Its fast pace keeps you on the edge of your seat, anxious to know more, and unwilling to put it down.
When I read crime novels, I’m always trying to guess how it’s going to end, and it’s a HUGE letdown when I’m successful at it, because I want to shocked at the ending. Bloq definitely doesn’t disappoint, delivering a conclusion that blindsides the reader with an emotional wallop.
If you enjoy crime thrillers, I highly recommend this one. I’m pleased to say that I consider Alan Jones’ Bloq is a Book Worth Reading.
This was indeed a gritty crime thriller, just the sort of book I like!
There was a lot going on in this book: a man who has had to deal with the loss of his wife (via death) and then of his daughter Carol as well (she just vanished). What happens during his search for his daughter is the focus of this book, and I like the way that the story is also told from Carol's point of view as well. There is mention of drug use, violence and sexual abuse but it is an intrinsic part of the story and not added for shock value. Even though I have no personal experience of inhabiting the world that Carol does, thanks to Alan Jones' masterful storytelling, I feel like I can imagine myself there.
I found myself a little bit in love with Bill Ingram, because of the lengths he goes to in order to find out what has happened to his beloved Carol. That is true love, right there.
Towards the end of the book, I got a bit of a shock but even that was ok because it was all part of the story as well. This book just flowed, there werent issues with grammar or spelling and the characters were very real and believable.
I would give this a 4.5 stars and a highly recommended read.
With thanks to THE Book Club and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
My actual rating is 4.5 This book started out very interestingly which is what I like, the first page has got to grip me and it just seemed to get better and better. I found myself immediately liking Bill and he reminded very much of my own father in parts! There was just enough sex, violence and drugs to make the story realistic and work well without it being overdone or becoming predictable. In truth I couldn't put this story down and I was up at 6am today reading as I was desperate to find out the ending. I did find it got a bit complicated towards the last few chapters but that could have just been the early hour! I didn't quite, but *almost* shed a little tear right at the end and it takes a lot for a book to be able to make me do that! Overall I found this book immensely enjoyable, the writing style flowed nicely and it was fast paced enough that it kept me page turning (or tapping as I read on the kindle) right to the very end. I think I would like to read more from Alan Jones. Thank you to Crime Book Group and to the author for the advanced copy in return for an honest review. I'm so glad I requested to take part.
This is the third novel from Alan Jones and it is a cracking read from start to finish. Read Bloq And Tackle (!) issues such as drugs and prostitution, missing persons and family loyalties. I was hooked from the moment Bill arrives at the station on Christmas Eve to meet his daughter who is due to spend Christmas with him and she fails to appear. There are many revelations and unexpected turns in the course of the novel and the reader is willing both Bill and Anna, another character he meets in the pursuit of truth, to reach a desirable conclusion. The only thing that made me award four and not five stars is the excessive detail the writer feels compelled to include, whether in the setting up of IT systems or the description of sexual relations!
I received this as an arc from the book club (tbc) on fb in exchange for an honest review. Glasgow man Bill Ingram waits in the city's central station to meet his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the Last train pulls in, and she doesn't get of it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why? Wow. OMG. Wow. Absolutely amazing read. I loved the story and the characters. I loved Bill Ingram. He didn't stop looking for his daughter. I wasn't sure of Anna at first. Then I warmed to her. Aleksander I did not like at all. And wow didn't expect that. Wow. I loved the ending. This is most definitely a must read and I would highly recommend it. Definitely worth more than 5 *.
I received an Arc of this book from the online group TheBookClub (tbc) This was the first book I have read by this author and I am not a big crime reader so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The story is well researched and edited. It flows at a sedentary pace fooling you into thinking you know exactly what will happen. But Alan Jones novel is not as straight an arrow to the end as you might think. The structure and attention to detail gave this story credibility and realism, and at times the narrative is disturbing. This story didn't have me on the edge of my seat, but it is one of those stories that creep up on you, masquerading themselves as something gentler and more straight forward than it really is.
Another good tale from Alan Jones! This is a gritty crime novel with sexual content. Alan hits on the hot topic of slavery/human trafficking in this book. Not a pleasant subject, but that seems to be Alan's speciality!
It took awhile for me to connect with a character in this one, but by the middle of the book I was invested with the character of Bill, the father. I was really impressed with the amount of technical knowledge used by Bill to track the doings at the Albanian mob owned nightclub Bloq! The lengths Bill goes to find his daughter are amazing. Another WOW twist ending in this one too! I love those kinds of endings! Alan has it perfected!