Books Review: Hard Place

I read this book way back in June and it was my TBR jar pick of the month! It was called Hard Place by Douglas Stewart and it was a crime thriller.

Synopsis: In this first of series, free-wheeling London detective Todd “Ratso” Holtom is on the front-line against a ruthless international gang that imports drugs into the UK and Europe. His nephew has died from drug abuse and Ratso is obsessed with bringing down the London king-pin who seems immune from arrest. The trail leads to the USA and the Bahamas where he is helped by Kirsty-Ann Webber, a svelte Florida detective who has troubles of her own. Mayfair club-land and the Mediterranean feature as Operation Clam races to a climax in a series of dramatic confrontations. Inspired by the facts of true crime and set against the background of the war in Afghanistan from where the drugs are coming, Ratso enters a political minefield involving London and Washington D.C.

I enjoyed this book for the most part. It was a pretty interesting crime thriller that kept my attention most of the way through. I do think that the book could have been a bit shorter and it still would have been just as good but I can see why the author wanted to have more in there to flush out the detective parts and make it feel like a case was being solved.

The diversity in characters was nice and it made it more fun to follow along with because you got to use all the different perspectives to piece together the puzzle.

I thought it was very funny that the main character is named “Ratso” because they are a detective and they literally have the word “rat” in their name.

I have the next book in this series and look forward to seeing where it goes!

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical paperback format by the author to read and give an honest review.


An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



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