Instagram and social media platforms are a greatly positive way of connecting with people who share an interest of yours and it is also an easy way to get in contact if you have a product or service to recommend or offer. Using these tools very much applies to new and upcoming authors, who’s books you might not come across in the more conventional avenues and it’s important that their stories get discovered, read and talked about – because they are so good!
I was very excited to receive a message from Alex Cage asking if I’d like to read his latest novel, which was Book 2 in the Orlando Black Series, but I always prefer to start at the beginning with a new author, because I love seeing how the author grows in them-self and how their writing and characters develop. So, he mailed me Book 1, titled “Carolina Dance” and after opening my book-mail package, absorbing the blurb, opening the glossy cover and reading the first few chapters, I was hooked!
The first big event in the storyline is when Orlando Black, an Ex-Special Forces operative is walking back home from getting a morning cup of coffee from a local cafe when he is suddenly surrounded by police cars and taken to the police station! He gets mixed messages from the officers about the circumstances and what’s going on, and then as his day goes on it becomes more apparent that there’s a much bigger scenario going on and he’s found himself involved in the middle of the drama. The plot has a traditional well thought-out plan and I like that as it’s not too far-fetched or drawn out and the links as the case progresses work well. Although Black is no longer a serving officer, he clearly knows the law and police procedure, which hint to his intriguing past and definitely make me want to read the next book in the series.
I enjoyed the unusual martial-arts training aspect to Black’s personality and how Alex Cage initiates the scenes; they almost played out in slow-motion (reminding me of the fight scenes in the recent Sherlock Holmes films where each move is predicted ahead in frozen time, then played out in full speed). I found having the protagonist in a freelance/consultant position, but using hands-on combat skills to remain at the forefront of the action was a great balance; a fresh approach to a police-procedural thriller. Whilst Black constantly wishes he wasn’t involved and just wants to return to his quiet, peaceful life he does manage to control the investigation which shows great leadership even though he has an aura of a lone-wolf. The thought-processes Black goes through give great insight and even at the big finale scene his intuition tells him there’s a twist, and then there’s a secondary big finale! I loved reading the action and espionage and could really imagine it playing out exactly as describes, which owes to how well Alex Cage sets the scenes and locations.
It seems, no matter where Orlando Black goes, trouble sure does follow! I can definitely recommend Alex Cage as an upcoming author and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more of this work in the future. Carolina Dance is a great action-packed 1st novel and the interactions between all of his characters kept me engaged. I liked the co-operation between the mix of agencies and departments because it helped the story evolve and added vamped-up tension where needed. Alex Cage is a diverse author who gets you right in the middle of the activities as if you’re really there. – GJ
Extra information below:
3 short stories featuring Orlando Black were published in 2019: Queen City Ruby, Sunshine Scandal and Once You Go Black.
Expected out in July 2020 is the second novel in the Orlando Black series: Bayside Boom.
Alex Cage’s books are available for e-readers and Kindles in various formats, including from Amazon.com.
Check out Alex’s website at http://www.alexcage.com or connect with him on Instagram @alexcageauthor.