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Tabula Rasa (A Lambeth Group Thriller)

4.75  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A hundred years ago, a wealthy family of visionaries prophesied the devastation that global warming would bring to world food supplies in the 21st century. They decided to prepare for the worst, and embark on an ambitious plan of revolution.

Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, prepare to investigate the unusual death of a government defence scientist. Some
ebook, 363 pages
Published May 15th 2017 by Amazon (first published May 14th 2017)
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May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Looking at my ratings, I give this series more ratings as it progresses. I really enjoyed this one.
The series may be "Gavin Shawlens" but it's more Zoe Tampsin's series now. Her character is much more developed than Gavin's - he's very much a wimp in this story.
I want to say this is a jet setting action adventure, but they don't go far, yet it feels like it.
Connie Lacy
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The heroine of this book is like a real-life Wonder Woman. Only she’s a lot rougher around the edges. Totally enthralling thriller with action and tension that mounts and mounts right up to the final pages. And the author’s education in biochemistry helps him create a believable, scary scenario.

As someone concerned about climate change, I was pleased that issue reared its head in this novel. How it’s woven into the story leads to a truly alarming threat that Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens must u
Max Power
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cracking thriller this and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Straight to the action this is a classy book. Not my first Gordon Bickerstaff book and it certainly wont be my last. A good thriller needs to maintain tension and the plot must move at the right pace. I have read several lately that I had to put down so this was by comparison a delight. If you like to be entertained, this is the book for you. 5 stars
Bill Ward
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great addition to the series. I love Zoe, who ranks alongside Lisbeth Salander as my favorite female characters of recent years and I was pleased the author put her front and center of this book. The author writes exciting thrillers with a bit of a science based plot. There is a rich mix of characters and although there are great action scenes, there are also some more thoughtful aspects to the plot regarding the future of our planet and the human race. The exciting first chapter grabs ...more
Melanie Lewis
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, oh my, oh my! This is a 5 great, big, shiny, STONKIN' stars book. I loved the story of the feisty, female Zoe Tampsin saving the world from the bonkers, billionaire and his scallywag scientists. Loved it! The first night I started reading I was forced to admit defeat at 6am, I had to get some sleep but didn't want to put it down. Full of action, super hero characters and thoroughly despicable baddies, this book has it all. Absolutely thrilled to recommend this to everyone. ...more
Iva Kenaz
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story starts with a torture of a woman who we think is Zoe Tamsin, but ends up being her friend, who a group of professional brutes confused her with. A story of revenge and striving to survive unfolds, driven by a very persistent, stubborn Zoe, her colleagues, among which stand out particularly her brother Michael, and someone she begins to develop a crush on, Gavin. Of course, there’s also finding out what the group that wants Zoe dead are after and what the Tabula Rasa really is.

I usually
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy action thrillers this is a must-read.
Bickerstaff is an absolute genuis at putting his characters in impossible situations and somehow getting them out of them.
The story is imaginative yet the plot is so well thought out I was totally immersed in the read and believed the dreadful scenerio was very possible.
Intelligent, thought-provoking, fast paced, intriguing, believable characters and crammed with suspense. What more could a reader ask for?
Brilliant read.
Bernadette Robinson
My thanks to the Author via TBConFB for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this an 8/10 or 4 stars.

This is the first book that I've read by this Author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found Zoe Tampsin to be a modern day agent in the tradition of a female James Bond. I could see this playing out like a Bond film. With a great mix of goodies and baddies with an interesting thought provoking premise to boot.

This book is a roller coaster of a ride that will take you along with i
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tabula Rasa by Gordon Bickerstaff starts out at a fast paced non-stop flurry of action with intruders (a woman and three men) breaking and entering then proceeding to threaten and beat to a woman to a pulp. There is mention in the interrogation about a Tabula Rasa, to which the woman responds she knows nothing about. We later discover that the woman was mistaken for the story’s protagonist, Zoe Tampsin, and is her close friend. There’s no lack of intrigue in the first few pages that glue the rea ...more
Joss Landry
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing

All the time I’m reading Gordon Bickerstaff’s work, I’m thinking. What do chemists, biochemists, engineers and IT people know that we don’t? Although I realize this is fiction, somewhere I’ve always suspected, fiction emerges from reality. Worse, what if reality mimicked the scariest fiction you could find? More late nights for me, for one, and then the terrifying sensation there is too much happening about which we are misinformed—or not informed at all.

When a story, any story like
K.J. Simmill
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
When they attacked Zoe Tampsin in her own home they made the worst possible mistake of their lives. Zoe had received a mission directly from the PM, she was the best of the best. None of them gave a thought to how easily they had subdued the renowned and feared woman. Now she is on the hunt for revenge. Her attackers didn't realise they had provided Zoe with intel even she was unaware of. The words Tabula Rasa. It is time for Zoe to get to the bottom of this once and for all. Her mission had bee ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read thrillers but picked this one on a whim when a call came out to review this book. I'm so glad I did! Bickerstaff takes us on a roller coaster of events with sly unexpected twists...with the result that I came out of this journey feelings more than a little dazed and elated.

Tabula Rasa is part of the Gavin Shawlin series; in this one he partners with Zoe Tampsin, a special forces agent, part of the Lambeth group. Although the series is ostensibly about Gavin it is Zoe who is
Grant Leishman
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
Tabula Rasa (Clean Slate) is the latest Gavin Shawlens' thriller from the pen of Gordon Bickerstaff. There are a few authors who's new books I wait for and pounce on as soon as they come on the market. Authors like, Jana Petken, Ken Fry, Paulette Mahurin, Ellie Midwood AND Gordon Bickerstaff.
I was taken by the Shawlens' thrillers from the very first book of his that I read and I've been a fan ever since. Across the five books, it has been possible to watch Bickerstaff grow as a writer and a stor
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by The Book Club on Facebook and the author in return for a fair and honest review. All views are my own.

This is the fifth book in The Lambeth Group thriller aka Gavin Shawlens series – I must be honest that when I dived into Tabula Rasa I had not read the previous books and had no knowledge of the main characters. So the first thing to tell you is that this can be read as a standalone book.
The thriller launches straight into the territory of the unde
Ellie Midwood
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Having read all of the previous installments in this series, I immediately grabbed “Tabula Rasa” as soon as I saw it hit the shelves. And as always, it didn’t disappoint.
This time the storyline concentrated mainly on Zoe, a former military commando now working for the government, with Gavin Shawlens as her sidekick. I actually welcomed such a change for two reasons: one, I got even better acquainted with Zoe as a character, and two, the plot was even more fast-moving and enthralling due to the
Holly Barbo
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I purchased Tabula Rasa- A Gavin Shawlens Thriller #5, I didn’t realize I’d purchased and read the first book in the series several months ago. I’ve read many books. Gordon Bickerstaff is a good writer. I need to now pick up the rest of the series as I know I’ve enjoyed #1 and #5.

Though Gavin plays a strong secondary role in the story the main character is Zoe, a highly trained agent working undercover on behalf of the British government. The story starts out as a reasonably simple investig
C.J. Harter
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel risked turning me off at the outset by opening with a scene of sexual violence. Fortunately, it became clear very quickly that this was not gratuitous but is the driver of the entire plot, and I was drawn into the fast-paced twists and turns as wonderful action hero Zoe Tampsin lays waste to all who get in her way. Refreshing to have a female protagonist who rows her own boat, never relies or falls back on a man, is prepared to lie and kill to get what she wants, is not concerned alwa ...more
Susi Wright
Aug 11, 2017 added it
Recommends it for: Anyone
9/10- I thoroughly enjoyed this. First, I was intrigued by the 'conspiracy' driving this well-written thriller: the premise, that a group of super-scientists could fix the state of the world when politicians have failed. The ideal was believably attractive, and at the start I wondered if the governments were intent on eliminating the threat to their power. The plot had tension and twists that kept me turning the pages right to the end. The characters were engaging. I really liked Zoe, the agent ...more
Louise Jackson
Absolutely superb book!

Although I have read these out of order I am now going back to the first book in the series as I need to know more. Taula Rasa can be read as a standalone but obviously benefits from knowing all the characters a little better.

It's an action packed thriller with an exceptionally fast-paced plot that doesn't disappoint and there's plenty of detail and in-depth characters. Loved all the secret society intrigue involving the nobles and the situations Zoe had to fight her way
Jana Petken
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Tabula Rasa” two words that set Zoe, her colleague, Gavin, and brother, Michael into a quagmire of intrigue and danger.

This is a cracking good thriller, which gripped me right from the beginning. It’s a good time to publish a book like this because of the global warming danger facing the planet.

The characters are very detailed, complex to a certain extent, and compelling, especially Zoe, who really holds every thread together.

There are enough action and mystery to match the human side of the st
Alex Breck
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this fast-paced thriller and I'd be happy to read more books with the strong female lead character, Zoe Tampsin. This book has almost everything in it; espionage, international adventure, a potentially apocalyptic finale and several well-constructed characters. I liked the way the author introduced several deeper themes to give the reader something to chew on, over and above the riveting action. I hadn't realised it was part of a series and I will now go back and read the others ...more
Joanie Chevalier
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action, crime
This is an action-packed thriller with an author who knows how to write! Zoe is a badass and when I grow up, I want to be just like her.

"Zoe stopped just in front of him, and rocked the phone up and down on her fingertips. She raised her hand high, and slammed her arm down...He squealed...clutching his crotch... Zoe leant close and said, "Now you know why God put my balls on the inside, and your balls on the outside." You just gotta love it!

This is a meaty suspense story, full of action, suspens
Lucinda Clarke
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. Gordon’s writing blew me away and I honestly think that he is now as polished as the top traditional writers ref James Patterson, Peter James and others in the same genre. It was tight, the characters delightful – wow, Zoe is one tough lady and I so love Gavin, he’s my kind of hero, a bumbling almost idiot I can relate to. No hesitation in recommending this book if you enjoy a good adventure / spy story. I’ve read all Bickerstaff’s other books and this one
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A tight thriller that will keep you reading late into the night. It has a fast moving intricate plot, a conspiracy that will raise questions on your mind and a likeable kick ass heroine that will make you root for her. All in all a refreshing thriller, that touches some actual world problems, the responsibility of the powerful etc. As for the characters, the cast is fairly large and events move with the speed of light. The interactions between Zoe and Gavin are fun and sexy, I’d loved to see mor ...more
Dawn Brookes
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had me hooked from the first page. It is fast paced and a real page turner, I read it over three very busy days and found myself engrossed. The main character, Zoe is strong but likeable and the author weaves an interesting conspiracy plot throughout that leaves you guessing. The baddies are an interesting mix with the very bad Sarah along with the rest of the believably misguided secretive Silsden family. A great read for thriller fans and I would certainly read other works by Gordon ...more
C.A. King
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I probably should have read the first four books in the series before this one - nonetheless I found this an enjoyable action packed read. Zoe is a strong main character. Secret societies, intrigue and a message are all included.

Make no mistake this is an adult read and I must add warnings of scenes of rape, violence and strong language.

Strong writing style and a great plot earn this read 5 stars.

I'm going back to read the other books in order!
Ian Hunter
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

My favorite book in the series so far. This one wastes no time getting off to a frenzied start. Political intrigue, government special ops missions, and a secret team working at odds with other departments in their own government. Great characters, plenty of action, and a lot of worthwhile social reflection. Throw in some hard-hitting environmental concerns—global warming forcing food rationing on all countries around the world—and this is a heck of a fulfilling read.
Sue Ross
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! My first book by this author and I have a lot to catch up with for this series. For me, this story worked well as a stand-alone, but I need to read more. What a timely subject matter, as we face the possibility or probability of global warming. I felt for the main character as she was a victim early in the plot. But boy did she come out fighting! Her conviction, integrity and sheer bravery shone through via the author’s hand. There is real danger amid secrets and conspiracies. A great book!
Karen Ingalls
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fast paced, action-packed story of intrigue, murder, and a new order for the planet Earth. Zoe, her brother Michael, and friend Gavin all work together to save most of the earth's population from annihilation by a group of scientists.
Well written and highly recommend this book.
May Panayi
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started in the middle with this series, Toxic Minds being my first, now this. It didn't matter at all, well written and stand alone; which is great because I often read books in the wrong order. This thriller grabbed me from the outset and did not let go until the end. I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting- there went that day! It was excellent, everything you want from a thriller; gripping, thrilling, fast paced, great characters. Yup, well worth the five star rating. ...more
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I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. I spent over 30 years as a university lecturer and 25 years as an Open University tutor before I retired to write fiction. I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, psychopaths, serial killers, mystery, murder, and intrigue exists mostly in my mind.

I write the Lambeth Group series of standalone crime/conspira

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