Unsavory Delicacies by Russell Brooks

Published: 11th November 2013Goodreads badge
 Self Published
Pages: 28
Format: ebook
Genre: Short story/Thriller
★   ★   ★   ★   ★ – 5 Stars


For fans of Barry Eisler and Robert Ludlum. A three-course story collection with a side-order of revenge. 

Crème Brûlée
Rogue operative, Monique Beauvais, cons a software genius into selling her a coveted technology that would allow its user to control CIA drones while they’re in flight. And she will go as far as killing him in public in order to have it.

To the Last Bite
A renowned food critic–whose scathing reviews have closed down restaurants–gets a savoury surprise.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe
CIA operative, Ridley Fox, leads a team against one of Russia’s most powerful crime families. He discovers secrets, but not one that he was expecting to find.

Three stories with three consequences. All containing three Unsavory Delicacies.

***Caution*** Readers are strongly advised NOT to eat while reading To The Last Bite.

Note: I was provided a copy of this book for review

Brooks’ short stories, much like his novels, manage to encapsulate the thriller genre incredibly well, even with vastly fewer pages. Just like his novels Brooks upholds the tension and the gripping feeling but this time with less action and more cunning.

The theme of the collection is food, though Brooks takes very different approaches for each and as the title suggest they are quite on the unsavoury side. This does not mean though they are necessarily grotesque in description or in content. And yet while there is a warning for one of the stories, there is no denying Brooks is masterful when it comes to grabbing the reader’s attention from early on and holding on till the last page, dragging it around whereever it needed to be in the process.

Once again Brooks demonstrates creative and clever writing and he uses the short story design and the element of the unexpected to his advantage. The building anticipation in the stories is evident and not knowing where it could end up adds to the enjoyment because anything is possible. As a result, each story is brought to life with uniqueness and the perfect amount of pacing, revelation, and intrigue that a short story and a thriller needs.

With only three short stories, Unsavoury Delicacies is a quick read but it is one that once started you will not want to stop. Brooks’ cleverness is clear and his stories are filled with characters and conclusions that leave you wide eyed and mouth agape. This three course collection of stories are somewhat shocking yet fascinating, and with revelations that fit ideally into the thriller genre. I think it is safe to say that they are enough to suitably satisfy your appetite for the suspense but they also leave you wanting more.

You can purchase Unsavoury Delicacies via the following

Amazon Aus
Amazon UK

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The Demeter Code by Russell Brooks

Published: 4th July 2014Goodreads badge
 Self Published
Pages: 422
Format: ebook
Genre: Spy/Thriller
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars


When two American embassies in northearn Africa are bombed, CIA operatives, Ridley Fox and Nita Parris, are assigned to track down the perpetrators. However, when their top asset is killed in a failed op, the agents suspect that there may be a new threat. Their search for the truth puts them on a collision course with a powerful multinational—which will go to extreme lengths to bury its criminal activities. However, the agents soon learn that someone with a personal vendetta against that company not only knows their secrets, but will expose them in a way that could result in the largest single-day attack against America.

 Note: I was provded a copy of this book for review

The first thing to say about this story is that it is filled with the unexpected and nothing is as it seems. The writing is extremely clever and captivating, and Brooks fills it with numerous surprises. For a story that seems exaggerated and action packed it actually remains quite realistic both in dialogue and events. The characters are also realistic and Brooks demonstrates great knowledge and understanding of government agencies and their practices.

The concept is fascinating and highly possible in real life which adds to the excitement. The fast-paced story is not rushed but it still manages to capture the intensity of the situations and the urgency in the unfolding events. The way Brooks writes makes the scenes play in your mind like a movie; the writing is clear and explained well but not overly so either.

The use of multiple perspectives allows a great chance at understanding and capturing the wider story, while still withholding key details. Every point of view is also a great chance to get an insight into characters minds and personality, villain or hero alike. Brooks manages to express who the characters are through their actions and their thoughts, and it offers a great chance to understand who they are without it needing to be directly addressed.

These multiple points of view along with the retelling of overlapping events work exceptionally well and they are all brought together and cleverly connected in a way you didn’t know they were connected. Brooks makes use of these numerous viewpoints to cover all the angles which adds to the completeness of scenes and events, and it also adds a lot more to the story than just characters recapping everything to one another and not being able to experience it alongside with them.

Brooks’ characters are all different from one another and due to the nature of the narrative everyone comes under suspicion at some point. Key characters Fox and Parris are likable and their friendship and banter is enjoyable. They interact believably as colleagues and it is easy to engage with them and understand who they are. They are each talented in their own right and Brooks explores their range of capabilities nicely and gives them the respect they deserve based on their strengths and abilities.

There is no doubt that Brooks has written a gripping story that brings together a wonderful narrative that explores real life possibilities coupled with an execution that is both mysterious and thrilling, and one that ends up going in directions you never even imagined.

You can purchase The Demeter Code via the following


Amazon AU



Barnes and Noble


Autographed Paperback

Book Bingo Book
Another country