This is a first for Confessions of a Reviewer! A double review! Enjoy!
Publisher: The Cosmic Bike Company Ltd
Publication Date: 22nd June 2014
A copy of First Contract (JJ Stoner short story #1) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Frank Westworth in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.
Never ever heard of Frank Westworth before. I’m very sorry to say that. Firstly because I always think it’s an insult to an author when someone say’s they have never heard of them. So, sorry Frank. But hey, we can’t know them all eh? Secondly…..well I’m going to give you a piece of advice now. Right now. After only reading this forty four page short story. If you like thrillers, get to know Frank Westworth’s writing.
JJ Stoner has left the army. He had to. There was an incident in Iraq. He had two choices. Be dishonourably discharged or go to work for the “Hard Man”.
He has no idea who the Hard Man is or who he works for. He only knows two things. Number one is he will leave the Army without a question being asked. Number two is he will be working for the Hard Man. To be more precise he will be killing for the Hard Man.
That is of course if he survives The First Contract.
Eh…..wow. JJ Stoner. I’ll bet my mortgage on this guy against anyone. Bond. Reacher. The Expendables (all of them together). This guy has it all. Let’s face it he is effectively a hired assassin. No idea who he’s working for and he doesn’t care. He also doesn’t care about who he kills. Give him a gun and a target and he will do the job. Simple as that. Sounds horrible doesn’t he? Someone you should hate and abhor and boo every time he comes on screen? Well I say arse to that! This character is superb. Brilliantly written. Straight to the point with no messing about at all. You cannot help but like him.
The plot is simple in this story. Or so you would think. He has been hired by the Hard Man but has to prove himself on the first contract. Simple. Nope, not so simple. Things don’t go totally to plan. That’s all you’re getting. I can’t tell you any more about the plot without giving stuff away but it is one hundred miles an hour from start to finish.
I honestly feel like I have read a six hundred page novel and not just a short story. Frank Westworth has an undeniable talent for writing thrillers and packing a story full of all the punches it needs. You get dragged in from the first paragraph. It has all the qualities you need in a thriller. It has intrigue. It has beautiful women. It has guns. It has murder. It has mystery. It has a hero (make your own mind up as to whether he is a hero or not) and it has the power to make you want to come back for more.
To summarise: short story. Thriller. Absolutely brilliant. James bond eat your heart out. In fact JJ Stoner would probably have it for breakfast. Brilliant character. Can’t wait to read more of him. In fact – let me just grab my Kindle again!
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer then please consider using the links below to buy First Contract or any other books from Frank or indeed anything at all from Amazon. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.
FIRST CONTRACT: A decade ago, JJ Stoner was a soldier. He killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand, he over-stepped the mark. Men died in compromising circumstances; too many men for an easy explanation. Faced with a dishonourable discharge and accusations of murder, Stoner accepted an offer from a stranger who represented an intelligence agency. Suddenly, Stoner found himself half a world away and about to execute his first private contract…
And now for the second in this double header!
Publisher: The Cosmic Bike Company Ltd
Publication Date: 10th August 2015
A copy of Four Cornered (JJ Stoner short story #4) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Frank Westworth in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.
Second short story of Frank Westworth’s I have read in a row. And I literally mean in a row. Finished First Contract about an hour ago, wrote the review then read Four Cornered.
JJ Stoner is still working for “The Hard Man”.
His latest operation is a surveillance job, watching four undesirables locked in a hotel room. He has no idea why. He doesn’t really care. He will do whatever he is told and whatever it takes.
He is on this job with Shard. Another cool character who follows the rules and follows Stoner. What are the four people in the hotel room up to? What will Stoner and Shard have to do to stop them?
This one is a bit more serene than First Contract if that is the correct term to use when JJ Stoner is in a story. I absolutely love this character. He is super cool, super dangerous and just doesn’t give one shit about anyone.
As well as Stoner in this one we have Shard. Now I haven’t read books two and three so I suspect they have worked together before but the chemistry between them is fantastic. Full of very dry humour and intelligent wit but with a seriousness attached that you know they will get the job done no matter what. Not so much of the Hard Man in this one which is a shame because he is also a superb character.
Like I said earlier this one is slower than First Contract but that in no way takes away from the thrills and tension in the story. Frank Westworth is a master at writing something that totally draws you in from the first page and to be honest if these two characters just sat in a room and talked about basketball all night he would find a way of making it tense, fun and thrilling.
To summarise: it’s a JJ Stoner thriller. Just get it and read it. You will love this character. His wit, his toughness, his whole attitude. Just brilliant. Very easy to read because everything just flows perfectly and even though it jumps to a couple of sub plots along the way, doesn’t feel disjointed in any way.
★★★★★ again brilliant.
★★★★★ and again.
If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer then please consider using the links below to buy Four Cornered or any other books from Frank or indeed anything at all from Amazon. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.
An action-packed short story featuring covert operative JJ Stoner, who uses sharp blades and blunt instruments to discreetly solve problems for the UK government.
In FOUR CORNERED, a static stake-out rapidly escalates into live fire, but Stoner is distracted by two killer women. Suddenly, what should have been a ‘routine conversation’ with a disenchanted weapons inspector veers into violence…
FOUR CORNERED is a quick thriller, an hour’s intrigue and entertainment.
Frank Westworth shares several characteristics with his literary anti-hero, JJ Stoner: they both play mean blues guitar and ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Unlike Stoner, Frank hasn't deliberately killed anyone. Instead, Frank edits a monthly classic motorcycle magazine (see RealClassic.co.uk) and has written extensively for the UK motoring press.
Frank's 'Killing Sisters' series starts with 'A Last Act Of Charity' and continues in 'The Corruption Of Chastity'. However, you can start with any of the books in the series; they're written to be enjoyed if you come in halfway through...
You can also meet key characters from the Killing Sisters series in the JJ Stoner short stories, which begin with First Contract.
Please note; the Stoner stories and Killing Sisters series are intended for an adult audience. They're violent and explicit and contain the occasional intellectual challenge.
And for more about Frank, visit his site or find him on social media: