Oh wow. James Stoddah has really leapt forward with the times, by writing one of the first, (I believe), interactive novels. The best thing about this novel is not only the gripping, fast-paced, addictive storyline, but the mystery is also a reality. James Stoddah has created two websites, one from the story itself and the second, another, real life, treasure hunt for readers to participate in and enjoy. (I will put links to the websites below).
The characters are extremely likeable, even the villains, which surprisingly, I felt sorry for some of the antagonists. There is a clash of opinions and emotions between all the characters with a couple of unstable bad guys thrown in the mix, making this story very intriguing indeed. You have a family of mafia style, casino owners, who feel that they have been wronged by Professor Jason Chadwick’s parents, and therefore are willing to take their bad feelings a step further due to the fact that Jason is a very rich man. However with Jason’s mysterious death and his own bad, or lack of feelings towards his two sons, he leaves his legacy behind in the form of an online treasure hunt. As soon as the villains find out about this, they are laughing, and they will do anything they can to get their hands on Jason’s money, including kidnapping, blackmailing, and murder.
Don’t despair you romanticists out there! This story isn’t all about crime and mystery. Detectives Thomas Riley and Lucy Bridges develop a beautiful type of forbidden romance throughout the story. Their jobs prevent them from having a relationship, but despite the risk of losing their jobs hanging above their heads, they cannot deny their feelings. Thomas can only see one solution which suits them both, and he needs money to build their dreams, so when Jason’s treasure hunt lands in their department, he is willing to try anything to get his hands on just a little piece of Jason’s legacy. However as Thomas gets more involved, so does Lucy, and they eventually find themselves trapped between their work and the villains, as they try and figure out the clues which Jason has left behind.
There are also strong references to Greek and Roman mythology, and stenography techniques, adding depth and interesting details that the reader can follow. This story is not complicated like so many mystery, thrillers out there. This is a treasure hunt that everyone can follow, even those who are not technophiles!
READ THIS BOOK! There are very few reviews but they are all very good, so we need you, book-lovers, to read and share your opinions. James Stoddah is a relatively new author and he is most definitely one to look out for.
Join the real treasure hunt at… http://www.melodema.net/
Have a go at the treasure hunt in the story at… http://www.melodema.com/
From the current reviews…
The Good: ‘witty and fast-paced’, ‘superb detective adventure’, ‘thrilling and entertaining’, ‘extraordinary realistic’, ‘prose is easy going, yet relentless at the same time’, ‘a master of plot and characterization’, ‘characters are well crafted and original’, ‘a compelling read’, ‘unforeseen plot twists’, ‘an intelligent and elating labyrinth’, ‘adrenaline pumping’, ‘intellectually stimulating’, ‘unique’, ‘an ingenious, brilliantly executed conclusion’, ‘Very clever book. Fantastic read and keeps you engrossed into the book. I didn’t want to put it down.‘, ‘I won’t be surprised to see this being made into a film, especially with the link between England and America.‘, ‘James Stoddah has put a lot of effort into the research and planning of each stage of this gripping tale.‘, ‘trust, love, family, injustice and the desire to put the bad guys behind bars and keep them there.‘, ‘This book is difficult to put down because it offers much more than most fiction‘, ‘a gripping crime drama that sucks readers in from the first page to the last’, ‘An intelligent, elating labyrinth‘.
The Bad: ‘perhaps a bit heavy handed when discussing technical details.’
The Unicorns: ‘Intriguing stenography techniques and the stunning manner in which the protagonist (s) interweaves and interprets them is a tour de force’. ‘This book will appeal to anyone looking for a rare, thrilling page-turner that is easy going and relentless’, ‘Best thing ive read this year‘, ‘ I had previously only bothered with mythical stories of werewolves and witches, but James Stoddah has converted me into the ways or crime and thrillers.. It was like watching a movie in my head, just incredibly written!!‘.
Kindle Rating: (4.8 Stars) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-Conscience-James-Stoddah-ebook/dp/B00LI91M9K
Goodreads Rating: (5 Stars) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22597991-ring-of-conscience
Release Date: 30th June 2014
Age Range: 15 +
Contains: Descriptions of Extreme Violence (murder), and small amounts of Explicit Language.
Genres: Crime Thriller & Mystery. (Fiction)
On the back cover: Professor Jason Chadwick, co-developer of the World Wide Web and son of a man who revolutionised casino security in Las Vegas, is found dead in his Cornish mansion. Amy Pearce, his PA, is convinced that he was murdered. All she has to remember him by is his Ring of Conscience, with its ancient Melodema symbol. Police detectives Thomas Riley and Lucy Bridges discover that Jason left his multi-million pound fortune to anyone who could solve a series of internet clues that explore mythology, ancient history and architectural mysteries. However, a criminal organisation that Jason’s father helped to convict years earlier is monitoring their investigation. Amy goes missing and Riley and Bridges find themselves under intense pressure to solve Jason’s puzzle. Can they solve the final clues before the hunt turns into a blood-bath…? ‘An ingenious mystery. Well-paced and full of twists. You don’t need to be computer literate to understand the plot. Brilliantly executed conclusion.’ – U.K. Bookworm. Ring of Conscience is also an interactive novel. The website in the book exists and is set up so that readers can follow the clues and try to solve the puzzles before the characters do, if they fancy a challenge!
Where to Buy?
Amazon Kindle Price: £4.22 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-Conscience-James-Stoddah-ebook/dp/B00LI91M9K
Amazon Paperback Price: £7.99 (new) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-Conscience-James-Stoddah/dp/1910077038/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
About the Author:
James Stoddah grew up in Kent and was educated in Cumbria before settling in Lancashire with his three sons. He resisted higher education in favour of following a passion for music writing. For a number of years he worked in the music industry as a writer-performer – successful enough to earn a living without being burned by the media spotlight.
James has always been fascinated by mystery. Much of the creative inspiration for his books stems from games he created to entertain his children as they were growing up. Treasure hunts with clues to treats in the house expanded to physical clues he would leave over hundreds of square miles for daytrip adventures.
Keep up to date with James Stoddah’s work by following the links below!
Disclaimer: The reviews and opinions above are either from public sources or my own, and have been collaborated together for the ease and benefit of potential new readers. All ratings have been collected from the date of this blog’s publishing, and will potentially change in the future.