ONE LAST ACT
I began writing in an attempt to help my mother write a novel about her first experience working for the Resistance in Austria during WW2. She called it, "No Time To Play", and it was a factual account of the rescue of 2 children deemed by Nazis to be Jewish. Unfortunately, she was unable to finish the book and I took the elements and turned it into a fictional novel.
This brief foray was a joy and showed me the miriad of storylines that can be developed around a theme. I had a fondness for crime thrillers in my youth and my first novel was, "Better Dead Than Alive", a story in which there is a thin line between heroes and villains. My other books are listed on my website and, contrary to my initial expectations, have turned out to be diverse.
This is a far cry from my chosen career as a civil / structural engineer, mainly involved in heavy industrial structures. It took me a long time to remove the stiffness in my writing having been used to writing technical reports.
I am married to Irene and have 2 children, Sharon and Paul.
Jack and Elsa knew one thing…
Miami was magical—and full of wealthy businessmen just begging to be conned out of their money.
Jack uses Elsa's confidence as an erotic dancer to lure men into embarrassing situations that they will pay generously to escape from.
Could this trick continue to bring in riches for this unscrupulous pair?
When Jack and Elsa target Irish-American tycoon Simon Walsh, Jack believes the payday could well be their last—and he may be right. The scam goes dangerously wrong, and Jack attempts a new form of deceit to extract an even more enormous amount of money from Walsh. His scheme involves his dangerous contacts in the criminal underworld.
Surely being a seasoned con would pave the way for Jack and Elsa to live the rest of their days comfortably well-off.
Or has Jack gone too far?
A GOOD STORY RE-IMAGINED
DEAD SO SOON! How did Elsa find herself holding onto life by a thin, frayed thread and fearing she may not see the day out?
She was too young to become a memory. The con was simple, she and her lover Jack Cates had played the game many times. This was to have been her last time, and it should have gone like clockwork. From being in control, things turned bad and she felt she was to blame by being over-confident. Men were drawn to her looks, which made her complacent.
What would Jack do? He could be a hot head and may want revenge. She hoped he would delve deeper and turn her situation to his advantage. He tries to defy the odds, usually by out manoeuvring the competition, but this time his intention to blackmail an unsuspecting victim had backfired. Since leaving NYPD he had got involved with home grown villains and bigger players in organised crime, and the once honest cop now knew how to bend the rules.
Crime isn’t always easy, as Jack finds out when his straightforward plan suddenly gets very complicated
Will Jack get the payback he wants and come out on top? BUY THIS BOOK TO FIND OUT.
Publisher Caparo Press: 24 Jan 2020
Also available as an audiobook
Narrated by Connor Gough
Fast and Furious
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 March 2020
Five stars because the story has enough twists to draw you in and keep you involved. I’d challenge any fan of murder mysteries to read this first of the trilogy and not want to read the rest! Just waiting for the other two parts to download!
I Look Forward to Reading More From This Author
Reviewed in the United States on 10 February 2020
I love a story that pulls you in right from the start! Superbly written. I hope this does evolve into a series so that we can see how these characters develop over time.
"You'll love this thriller because everyone loves deciding who's the villain and who's the victim in a tale of divided loyalties and twisted characters."
A CONSPIRACY CRIME THRILLER
This book originally started life as, "Better Dead Than Alive", and is the complete story of Jack and Elsa, and the consequences of their criminal deception. The simple con turns sour and drives a wedge between the two protagonists pushing them away from each other. Elsa bemoans the need for her isolation while the authorities think she's dead and Jack wants her to wait patiently until the con delivers.
The machinations of Roland Bannister, the manager of the Blue Cockatoo and Elsa's boss, adds more strain to their relationship. The story takes Jack and Elsa through the full circle of their emotions, drawing them together and pushing them apart.
There are no heroes and villains. All the characters are flawed, but some are more flawed than others!
Trying to separate the good guys and bad guys are is half the enjoyment of reading this book. Don't miss it!
Review by Viga Boland
Rating: 5 Stars
What starts out as a simple scam to extort money from a rich, rather insensitive skirt-chaser quickly evolves into a situation involving murder, imprisonment, scammers getting scammed, innocent women being used or kidnapped, and bleeding bodies here, there and everywhere. This is a classic case of a simple plan turned hugely complex thanks to the ulterior and greedy motives of various players involved in the initial scam...all of which makes Fatal Deceit by Henry Farley near impossible to put down despite its length, lots of characters and plenty of backstories on each of them.
If you love a crime mystery that keeps you turning pages, guessing at what might happen next, only to find twists and turns you never expected, you’ll love Fatal Deceit by Henry Farley. What a skill Farley has for devising a convoluted plot, peopled by complicated characters, both good and evil! As the author states in the description, there are no heroes but a lot of villains, and as readers are reminded throughout, there is no honor amongst thieves. I was impressed by the author’s realistic rendering of his primary characters. They come alive in the well-written dialogues and reflections on what is happening around them and to them, and it’s all believable. Even more impressive is how Farley wove true love throughout such a treacherous plot and that the love actually was credible to the reader. This is truly skillful writing. In the final line of the book’s description, it states the story ends in a showdown in which there can only be one winner. That winner is the person who decides to read Fatal Deceit. Enjoy!
Review by Tiffany Ferrell
Rating: 5 Stars
In No Time To Play, we are introduced to a teenager named Mitzi. Her family was taken from her when Germany marched into Austria. Mitzi’s parents were heavily interrogated because her brother Ferdinand was a member of the Resistance. He had fled the country in 1938, when Mitzi was still a child, shortly before Anschluss to avoid prison or being sent to a camp. In 1939 Mitzi 's Jewish best friend disappeared in the night along with most of the other people of Jewish descent, leaving Mitzi with a haunted outlook on what was to come.
NO TIME TO PLAY
In the dark days of 1941, with Europe ravaged by war, being Jewish was a death sentence. Two young children deemed to be Jewish suddenly find themselves alone in the world, without their parents, and they must rely on the goodwill of others to get them safely out of Nazi occupied Austria. They are taken on a perilous train journey by a sixteen year old girl, Mitzi, who is chosen to aid their evacuation by the Resistance. They travel across Austria while being chased by a fanatical Gestapo officer. In their race to freedom a bond develops between Mitzi and the two children. There was no time to play on the few days of their journey, which were the most perilous of their young lives.
After the Anschluss, the Nazi party closed down the Catholic school Mitzi had attended and at fourteen she had to learn a trade, eventually getting a job at the post office where she oversaw a group of men who managed the parcels coming in and out of Graz. During this time her father passed away and she had to leave the safety of her mother's home to work. She lived close to her Aunt Adelita, who happened to be good friends with her manager Rudy. She is fully introduced into the Resistance when she is asked to accompany two youngsters across the border into Switzerland. Sixteen-year-old Mitzi takes on the task of escorting these two small children in the guise of their aunt, praying they aren’t caught and the children will get past the border alive.
The fact that Henry Farley’s book is based on things his mother accomplished in her life left me speechless. What an amazing woman and an inspiration to all who will read this book. The fact that Mitzi was a real girl made the book so much more appealing to me. I wanted to hear her story. Knowing she was a living, breathing person and not some figment of someone’s imagination made it hard to stop reading. How many of us at sixteen were saving people from certain death under a Nazi regime? I think No Time To Play is an excellent book and gives us a worthy heroine that girls could look up to. It gives us a piece of history that isn't well known.
Many people associate Austria with Germany as all part of the Nazi regime. This book shows that wasn’t the case. Henry also weaves this actual event into a fictional story which makes it very easy to love and become attached to the characters. The story grabs your attention from the beginning. Some historical points that often appear in the story help those who aren’t familiar with Austrian history during the war, besides the overall run-through you get in most WWII history books or in school. After reading No Time To Play, I’m eager to read more of Mitzi’s adventures and accomplishments.
A CHANCE KILLING
After murder there is no going back!
A teenage prank turns sour and a man ends up dead. One of the four boys breaking into a bank lost his head and now they all have to escape!
They getaway by enlisting in the US Army to fight Germans in war torn France in 1918, but they are followed by the son of the dead man, who joins as a specialist officer in the Engineers.
Will Davies wants to find his father’s killer and avenge his death. Lou Macklin having shot his father must face the consequences of his actions. Both men have to endure the bloodiest fighting in history and work together to survive.
The murder of the bank manager is inexcusable, but it’s a mystery how it could have occurred. What could have made Lou Machlin pull the trigger.
Lou is forced to reveal all........
Review by K.C. Finn
Rating: 5 Stars
A Chance Killing is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, murder mystery, and suspense sub-genres, and was penned by author Henry Farley. Our central protagonists are Will Davies and Lou Macklin, and we find them thrown into the tail end of the First World War when the US joins the fight overseas. Lou thrives in the army and jumps at the chance to prove his worth, but the pull of a trigger looms over his head, and he knows that sometime soon his crimes will come to light. What follows is a fascinating case of mystery and a question of what Lou’s motives really were for a tragedy that caused a son to lose his father.
Author Henry Farley has crafted a unique and very interesting work of historical fiction, one which combines the mystery genre with the military storyline really well. One of the things which I most admired about this work was the emphasis on the long-term effects of both the war and the shooting on the lives of men at the time, as Lou in particular is a well-developed and complex character working through a lot of emotions. The atmosphere was also really prominent to keep readers immersed in the past, with clear and accurate research done into daily life at the time, as well as the wider state of the world. Overall, I would definitely recommend A Chance Killing for murder mystery and historical fans alike: a highly accomplished novel with engrossing characters.
Review #1: Review by Rabia Tanveer
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Defy the Odds by Henry Farley is a political thriller/crime novel that has you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting and wishing for more. Set in 2052, the 65th President of the United States, President Tom Mallory, has a good chance of re-election. His main opponent is Mason Lewis, a younger Republican who has foreign support ready to give him funding and make him dependent on them. However, the election campaign takes a terrifying turn when Democratic Senator Ron Quinn turns up dead, and the FBI is involved. Agents Miles Kowalski and James Shaw investigate the death and find a conspiracy that can end the life of Tom Mallory. It is now a race against time as agents Kowalski and Shaw try to figure out who is behind the chaos, what they want, and how they can protect the President from imminent death.
Usually, political thrillers bore me. However, Defy the Odds had me hooked from the very beginning. I have to thank author Henry Farley for this. The prologue offered a summary of the story without giving away the plot. Instead of playing a guessing game with readers, he lays down the facts for them so that they are fully involved from the outset. I love how Kowalski took control of the situation, leading from the front, and was fully immersed in the case. While the author talks about many issues that will become more pressing in the future, he never once loses focus on the plot. The impact of the meat industry, global warming, and carbon footprints are being studied and evaluated, but this novel gives us a good look at what could happen in the future if we are not careful. The pace of the story is fast, but not overwhelmingly so. The readers get plenty of time to adapt to the story, pick a side, and enjoy the ride.
DEFY THE ODDS
The most powerful man in the world is to be elected in 2052
The ban on meat products is a key issue in the upcoming presidential elections and has been in force for 10 years. Opposition to the ban has increased in states that have been crippled financially by it.
The young Republican challenger is behind in the opinion polls and calling for the repeal of the meat ban to gain ground. The head of organized crime in California, William Moore, wants to undermine the incumbent and the meat ban to influence the running of the country.
A prominent Democratic senator, due to make an electioneering address in Los Angeles, is found dead in his hotel room. The cause of death appears to be a heart attack, but the FBI agent, Mike Kowalski, suspects foul play.
Investigations are hampered by the crime lord’s spies in the FBI and in the White House. Moore is prepared to do anything to get what he wants and make the new President beholden.
The plot develops with staggering complexity, even risking the President’s life.
Will the crime lord Defy the Odds and see his candidate in the White House?
Review #2: Review by Jamie Michele
Review Rating: 5 Stars
The President of the United States is ripe for assassination, and all FBI Agent Mike Kowalski has to do is prove it, and prevent it, in Henry Farley's novel Defy the Odds. The events that hurl themselves at Mike from every direction are top-down. Prong one is POTUS Tom Malley and his near-political suicide with a blanket meat ban. Prong two is the backroom machinations of a well-oiled plot to replace Malley with a puppet Republican as leader of the free world. Prong three is the infiltration of operatives strategically placed by a crime boss—including in Mike's own trusted circle—in high-stakes espionage and murder plot. A novel with a rising body count, bombs, spycraft, a nod to the small California city of Walnut Creek that I personally lived in, and... a porn-stache. Defy the Odds is basically my Christmas list in a tidy novel by Henry Farley. I had doubts in the first few chapters when Farley was quick to point out that FBI Agent Mike Kowalski's sidekick James is an FBI mole and saboteur, but as the book progresses it becomes clear this direction is relevant to the plot trajectory and not the spoiler it seems. Surprises are everywhere and there continue to be shockers throughout, namely murders that are real and even one that only pretends to be [enter, the porn-stache]. The prose is tidy when all is accounted for and those pages turn fast. I finished in two days and loved every minute of it. Very highly recommended.
Review #3: Review by Asher Syed
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Defy the Odds by Henry Farley is a political thriller set thirty years in the future, where Democrat Tom Malley is President of the United States, and an election cycle is making its way around again to determine if the people want Malley for a second term. That is if he survives his first. A beef ban has been levied to slow down environmental damage with mixed popularity and massive economic impact. Meanwhile, a senator and his personal assistant are dead and FBI Agent Mike Kowalski is doggedly pursuing the case. His partner James Shaw, however, is not the true blue blood Mike thinks he is. As the pieces start to click together and hazy backgrounds become clearer, Kowalski begins to unravel a tightly woven conspiracy and Shaw is faced with uncomfortable truths about who he really is.
Henry Farley writes a savvy thriller with a cast of diverse characters in Defy the Odds. Honestly, it's the beef ban that got me to pick up the book as it is a fantastic fresh angle to launch a story from. The ban and demonstrations are certainly strong subplots but it is more a catalyst for a perfect storm and, within the framework of the larger plot, it is probably one of the most creative smokescreens I've come across in the political suspense genre. Kowalski is as likable as one would expect from a straight arrow, fallible in his own way but fundamentally above-board. Shaw's conflict is the most riveting and in a testament to Farley's skill as an author, he is also very likable. Like everything in politics, there are pawns, such as the unsuspecting and lamb-like Elle, and there are also those who are set up for collateral damage, whether intended or not. Overall, this is an intelligent, solid body of fiction and I'm pretty sure those smart enough to give it a shot will agree.
Review by Frank Mutuma
Rating: 5 Stars
Malcolm had been brought up in London, and with encouragement
from his teacher, he had made a name for himself in acting. Soon
after, he found himself in Hollywood, where he met Diane, who became infatuated with him, and she suggested that they marry.
Diane had explained to Malcolm why the role of George in "Virginia
Wolf" should be played by an older actor, but he refused to accept
her reasoning. Overly concerned that Diane would get too attracted
to Chris, who had been picked as the actor for the role, Malcolm
went to Las Vegas in frustration. There he indulged in drinking and
gambling and met dangerous people through his newly acquired
friend Nunez. Diane was murdered. To follow Malcolm's and Ray's
efforts to expose the killer, get yourself a copy of One Last Act by
ONE LAST ACT
No one expected to find A-List actor Diane Mckenna’s lifeless body in her bedroom, sending shockwaves through Beverley Hills
LA’s Detective Bannon investigates Diane’s murder and needs the help of the Met’s DI Grant to interview her ex-husband Malcolm Rodgers, a charming and enigmatic actor performing on stage in London
The mystery deepens when an anonymous threat is made to Malcolm, making him a target
The investigators must work together in the race against time to unravel the twisted web of secrets and lies before another victim falls.
If you enjoyed the gripping suspense and complex characters in "Gone Girl," by Gillian Flynn, you won't be able to put down "One Last Act”.
I was glued to One Last Act by Henry Farley from the start. The twists and turns in the cleverly woven plotline kept me on the edge of my seat, and I could not wait to find out what would happen in the subsequent chapters. The Hollywood stars not only interacted with detectives to solve a gruesome murder but also with criminal cartels in Mexico and California. The steady pace of the book and the suspense expertly generated by the author will keep the reader intrigued and entertained. I also loved the vivid descriptions of the unfolding events as well as the emotions of the well-developed characters that give form to this wonderful story. I can't wait to
read more from this talented author.