Recommended Reads: Ratcatcher by Tim Stevens


This book was recommended to me by Kate from the Roughseasinthemed blog. As she is very discerning about the books she recommends (ahem), I didn’t think twice before downloading it, which goes to show that personal recommendations are always the best way to promote a book.

The Description

Purkiss’s job is straightforward. Track down agents of the intelligence services who are taking kickbacks, committing crimes, or otherwise abusing their positions. And bring them to justice.

Straightforward doesn’t mean easy…

After a renegade British former spymaster, Fallon, is sighted in the Baltic city of Tallinn on the eve of a historic summit meeting between the Russian and Estonian presidents, Purkiss is despatched to investigate, and uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to tear Europe, and the world, apart.

But Purkiss has personal reasons for going after Fallon. Four years ago, Fallon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Purkiss’s fiancée, a murder Purkiss himself witnessed.

Now, in an atmosphere of treachery and sudden violence, as the countdown begins to a potentially catastrophic conflict between Russia and the West, Purkiss must keep his desire for revenge under control for the sake of the world’s – and his own – survival.


The Review

Sent to Tallinn to hunt the man who killed his fiancée, John Purkiss finds himself ensnared in a post-Soviet terrorist plot which if successful, could start another world war. But what can one man do? Quite a lot it turns out, if the man’s name is Purkiss.

As spy thrillers go, Ratcatcher is less Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and follows very much in the tradition of James Bond. It is pure entertainment from the start and the main character, Purkiss,  is an unabashed alpha male fantasy figure. When faced with an easy or hard option, Purkiss will always take the one with most danger, and while the gadgets may be very much based in the real world, the action is pure fantasy. However Stevens while some suspension of disbelief is required, Stevens manages to introduce enough realism for each situation to maintain its plausibility.

The only criticisms I have with the book is that Stevens uses passive voice a lot (a particular bugbear of mine) and I found some of the fight scenes overly descriptive, but none of this takes away from the overall fun you’ll have reading this book. If you’ve read every Bond and are looking for a modern replacement, Ratcatcher is the book for you. Highly recommended.



To buy Ratcatcher from click here

To buy Ratcatcher from click here


Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.


13 thoughts on “Recommended Reads: Ratcatcher by Tim Stevens

  1. Discerning? Just Lol! I read anything and everything to take a break from what I’m editing, whether it’s spy books or BDSM erotica. I don’t care, I just need a change. Which isn’t to denigrate your work at all. I just read widely.

    I confess, I do like spy/mystery/thriller sort of things. And I like Fleming, Le Carré, Deighton etc. It’s sort of fantasy that’s real, probably why I like your books, they aren’t unreal, we tell ourselves it’s fiction, but it’s not.

    Tbh, I’m not into passive is bad, show not tell unless the book is so slow I fall asleep. I only look at that as a cause if I find myself thinking to do the washing up. Not actually doing it, thinking about it.

    I’m reading a series at the mo which is fascinating. Starts off as a straight catch the baddies, but seriously morphs by the third and fourth books. Review up on Monday.

    I’ve not read any other Purkiss novels. No idea how I found time for that! It would be interesting to see how Stevens plays it out with his other books. Incidentally, he self-edited. In terms of proofing it was well good.
    Isn’t the classic advice speed up the slow scenes and delay the fast ones, or something like that, so generally speaking, I would agree with you about we don’t need every kick and blow described, can’t remember about RC now though.

    • Ha! I meant you were particular about what books you recommend. I know you’re a genre floozy like me – or well-rounded reader as I prefer to be called. Although I love speculative fiction I also love a good thriller, and I’d been on a bit of a sci-fi roll for a few books so it was time for a change. The series you’re reading sounds really interesting. I look forward to the review.

      • Well rounded. Of course. That’s what I meant. No time for Dostoevsky these days though. Still haven’t finished Les Temps Perdus either. Or whatever it’s called. I like to tackle long books so I’ve always got something on the go.

        I’ve been working(beta plus edits) on memoir/spec fic/sci-fi/short stories, so a change really is good. And I love books of whatever genre that make you think. That, is a classic good book, Mr Absent Souls. How goes Gen Red?

      • Gen Red is about to go to beta readers. I’m quite pleased how it’s turned out but I’m sure if there are issues I’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.
        In the mean time I’m plotting my next book, not related at all to the last three. I’m at the giddy, kid-in-a-sweet-shop stage.

      • Geoff’s post about betas was interesting. I enjoyed doing it, but, I did get paid. I know it’s not accepted but I don’t have the time to do I for free. OK, I don’t have the inclination either.

        A change will be good. And, very challenging … but I’m sure you’ll hack it. 🙂

      • I fully understand. A beta read is really a form of developmental edit, so to expect you to do that for free, when editing is your profession, is unfair. I’m lucky as I’ve got a nice mix of wonderful beta readers who don’t pull punches.
        I will, however, be in touch when I’m near the end of the edit, for your professional help.

      • Eek, sorry Dylan, that wasn’t meant to sound like a pitch, but you are right it is a dev edit or an MS appraisal, so yes, I don’t do it for free. I think there are good beta readers out there, but as you say, you need the honest ones. Sometimes PR has to go out of the window.

        We can cross that bridge later …

  2. I’m with you on passive voice, Dylan. But have you noticed how many successful writers use it? Sometimes I wonder if it’s mandated by the Big Five publishers, and I wonder how many readers who don’t write would have the first idea what you’re talking about . . .

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