Double Identity has had itchy feet...

Is it really fair? Double Identity went on tour round a series of respected blog hosts and I’ve been stuck at home, curfewed at 7pm. Well, that’s what we have to do at present. But where has lucky Double Identity gone? Here’s her road trip and some of the complimentary things her hosts said.

Click on the blogger’s name to read the full review.

Nevs Book Cave
“I fell in love with Mel instantly – she’s strong willed and able to take care of herself. You don’t want to get on her bad side as one of her fellow officers finds out… I found it very difficult to put down. It flows so easily and contains plenty of action. There’s plenty of twists and turns that keeps both Mel and us on our toes.”

Lucy at Bookworm Blogger 
“Double Identity was action packed from the beginning…It was great to see the inner workings of an undercover team and whilst I had guessed the big revelation the final scenes were explosive and packed a punch. I’d be interested to see where Mel’s story takes her and if she gets into anymore mischief!”

“This is one of those perfect thrillers that you just cannot put down and you keep turning the pages until you get to the end. Mel is a wonderful new protagonist who is as intelligent and tough as any of the male protagonists out there in other thriller series.”

Stefanie at The Magic of Wor(l)ds
Ran an interview when I talked about writing habits, meeting Mel, silence and pinching characters from real life (You have been warned!)

Feel The Read
“Mel’s character is a very strong, independent & confident one, someone who takes charge of their life without any other person’s assistance. I loved every bit of her.” and “The language is lucid with a rich vocabulary & few French phrases here & there. Expect a lot of action. Some parts of the mystery & its unraveling were unputdownable.”

“This was a really enjoyable, intelligent thriller with an interesting protagonist and full of intrigue and double crosses.

There’s lots of action but also lots of sifting through tedious CCTV and paperwork, making this feel a lot more realistic than some thrillers where they just know who all the players are with no work!”

Scintilla Connect
“…a high speed thrill ride of a novel, racing from twist to turn, throwing caution to the wind and characters to the wolves and readers better hold on and brace themselves” and “I found the action of the book exciting, but I also found the dilemmas faced by Mel’s heart to be compelling.”

Bookish Jottings
“Reminiscent of Evelyn Anthony’s classic tales of espionage and suspense, Alison Morton’s Double Identity is an expertly crafted and highly satisfying thriller readers will find hard to put down.”

Red Pillows
“I truly love how the characters are created in this book and Mel’s character was inspiring. She is a fresh new face and someone who is strong and can stand up for herself. I admired this in her and in the way the author made her the focus of the story.”

A Quintillion Words
“The French feel of the book was brilliant and you can instantly tell the author is from France with just how perfectly written dialogue is (not that I know any French!) This gave the book such a refreshing feel, and this didn’t seem to stop the more we get into the book. The way characters are questioned and the way the investigation played out was rather addictive to read, and the author’s character creation continued to impress me….A stunningly well put together thriller with just the right balance of action, suspense and even emotion. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!”

Wild Writing Life
“I’ve read it in one sitting without taking too much care of what was happening in my immediate reading and non-fictional reality. I simply could not give up following Mélisende´s search for the reason and the person who killed her fiancé”

David’s Book Blurg
“Something I’ve always enjoyed about the author’s work is the use of strong female leads and boy, does Mel pack a punch! There’s more than one bruised male ego in this tale..

For me it just worked, just the right amount of twists to keep you engaged, just the right amount of characters to not overwhelm you and detailed enough to allow you to fall in love the characters and their development.

Another cracking read from Alison Morton!”

“The story was fast paced and left you hanging at the edge of most chapters – it was so hard to put down.”

Jessica Belmont
“Double Identity by Alison Morton is a book I really couldn’t set down. I definitely made the mistake of starting this one before bed, and stayed up too late trying to finish.

Mel is an awesome heroine. I love how feisty she is. She’s skilled in self-defense…. However, she’s gusty, and really intriguing to read. Underneath her hard exterior, she is vulnerable. The kind of lead I enjoy reading.
This is a fast-paced thriller. Alison Morton‘s writing is tightly knit, with the attention to detail being really impressive.”

Beyond the Books
“A story that incorporates plenty of different threads. International criminals, blackmail, fraud with a multi-agency investigation from France, the U.K and Brussels creating a whirlwind read packed with action and thrills. I do hope there is another book to come as I think we have only scratched the surface of Mel.”

I’m thrilled out of my socks that bloggers and readers are enjoying Mel’s adventures so much. A prequel The Sand Beneath Her Feet is available as an exclusive gift when you sign up to my newsletter and a second novel is in draft…


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers.

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Double Identity awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion!

B.R.A.G. logoThe Book Readers Appreciation Group (B.R.A.G.) are a tough lot. When my first book, INCEPTIO, went forward in September 2013 for their consideration, they were rejecting 90% of submissions.

Luckily, I didn’t know that at the time or I might have been a GREAT deal more nervous. But Carina would have told me to ‘gather up my grit.’ And I have no reason to think they’ve changed from that. So, despite all six full-length Roma Nova novels having won the medallion, when I submitted Double Identity to them, I did chew my lips more than a little.

Double Identity‘s Mel is both so different and so similar to Roma Nova’s Carina and Aurelia. Would the readers take to her? This is what they said about her first adventure:

Title: Intriguing, forceful, appropriate to the story   5
Cover: Striking, professional looking, appropriate to the story   5
Plot: Original, compelling, engaging, coherent   4
Characters: Interesting, appealing, believable   5
Dialogue: Authentic, quotable, advances the story   5
Writing Style: Distinctive voice, pleasing rhythm, evocative   5
Chapters: Logical flow, advance the story, build momentum   5
Copy Editing: Grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice   5
Content (Developmental) Editing: Structure, coherence, continuity, accuracy   4
Formatting: Front matter, layout, font   5

Additional Comments
“I have read three of this author’s Roma Nova series, all of which I loved. The author is clearly a very prolific and talented writer; however, while I enjoyed this book, I did not like it as much as the others I have read. The main criticism I have is that I found the story overly expository. Although the author has an admirable history of military service, it seemed to me that she was trying too hard to demonstrate this experience and knowledge through the action and dialogue. Having said that I liked Mel and felt she was believable. In conclusion, this is a very good book and certainly deserving of the B.R.A.G. Medallion, but in my estimation, it falls a bit short of the usually high caliber of the author’s work.”

“Truly superb writing! Characters, dialogue, the building of tension, all are handled masterfully by author Alison Morton. Her detailed knowledge of military matters in both England and France is very impressive. And the richness of her imagination in producing twists of plot is breath taking. Some American readers may find her use of English slang daunting, but Morton captures an authenticity of tone that places this work into the realms of literary reality with the very best of mystery writers.”

“Excellent thriller! Exciting, well written, memorable characters, no plot holes, minimal typos.”

I think I can live with this! 😉

This is a high honour in the world of indie publishing.The time and trouble IndieBRAG readers devote to the process is self-evident. And Geri Clouston leads them with professionalism, friendliness and deep understanding of the book world. I am honoured to belong again to a select group of authors and delighted for Double Identity to be featured on their website.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers.

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Thriller, mystery, action adventure, suspense, or what?

What’s in a genre? More precisely, what’s the difference between the genres in the title? Are there any hard lines between them?

And what do we, as readers, get from each of them?

Action stories feature a lot of movement-heavy exciting scenes including but not limited to fights, shootouts, car chases, foot chases, explosions, fast flying helicopters – you name it – and more than one. Sometimes they feature one character, but more often an ensemble each with different functions or expertise.

However, these stories and films tend to have simple, obvious or sometimes hardly any plot, even huge plot holes and lack of continuity. The fun is in the fast and furious pace and in films, heart-stopping CGI sequences. such as Mission Impossible.

Adventure stories are essentially about an exciting experience or mission/quest at the centre of the tale and sometimes have old-fashioned tone as H. Rider Haggard’s classic stories, spy stories such as by John Buchan, Ian Fleming and Eric Ambler, or an epic one as in space opera  such as the Vatta’s War series by Elizabeth Moon.

Such stories often feature exotic locales and several puzzles/riddles/challenges that may or may not be physical. A good supporting team  of trusty locals, comrades, experts and ‘elder statesperson’/guru is in the mix. The ‘good guys’ usually win, although there may be bitter loss or sacrifice along the way.  Confusion arises these days with the label if books are called ‘adventure’ when they may only be a day out or a family road trip; these are really dramas, I’d say.

Action-adventure is a hybrid in which both action scenes and puzzling challenges are combined. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a good example of an action-adventure film since it contains both strong physical action scenes as well as a defined quest. Raiders includes fights, stunts and shootouts along with period settings, travel, historical puzzles and death-defying challenges.

Suspense stories have danger but not necessarily action. Much of the danger and tension come from the unknown or apprehension of potential danger. The protagonist acts in a state of excitement, misplaced hope, anxiety and/or uncertainty about what is about to happen. Readers often know something the characters don’t and hold their breath as the characters’ dread increases. Should a vulnerable, young character venture upstairs to find out what’s making those noises in the attic? We know they shouldn’t and we have a pretty good idea why they shouldn’t.  We may possibly know EXACTLY what’s waiting for them up there…

Mysteries have, er, mysteries, a puzzle or sometimes a seemingly impossible quandary to understand or explain. It often relates to a crime like murder, and includes hidden elements, a cover-up and a sleuth/detective, and the answer is revealed only at the end. Agatha Christie specialised in this. Traditional authors like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett mixed mystery and suspense. The best mystery stories often explore people’s unique capacity for deceit—especially self-deceit. This is usually considered the most cerebral (and least violent) of the crime/mystery/thriller genres.

Thriller stories are more nuanced than action stories and build more on tension and complexity of plot. Traditionally, the plot appears more important than the characters, but the best thriller writers develop both equally fully. Often, something bad happens to the protagonist externally, e.g.they are mistaken for a criminal, kidnapped, attacked by ‘persons unknown’ or are betrayed by the authorities or seeming colleagues – anything to ramp up the tension. Equally often the only solution is for the protagonist to act alone at great personal risk or in certain danger. Internal conflict, illness and psychological pressure and self-doubt add to the tension.

Thrillers use plot twists and devices to create excitement, while action and adventure stories use their action scenes and risky situations. In crime thrillers, the central characters are involved in crime, either in its investigation, as the perpetrator.

According to International Thriller Writers (and who am I to argue?), a thriller is characterized by “the sudden rush of emotions, the excitement, sense of suspense, apprehension, and exhilaration that drive the narrative, sometimes subtly with peaks and lulls, sometimes at a constant, breakneck pace.”

A few types of thrillers and some examples
Classics: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Count of Monte Cristo, both strip away civilisation and reveal cruelty of people to others, the first more of a psychological thriller, the second a story of vengeance and redemption.

Legal thrillers: Anything by John Grisham who has made the sub-genre his own.

Intellectual or pseudo-intellectual thrillers: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is a prime example. Using a professor as protagonist gives an essence of credibility (but not much), but it does attract readers by delving into a mystery most people would love to know about, and moves very fast.

Epic/high-concept thrillers: These deal with terrorism, trained assassins or space opera. A ‘pull out all the stops’, ‘save the world’ genre. Tom Clancy’s Executive Orders would be a good example of this.

Socio-political thrillers: Frederic Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal is one of my favourites!

Espionage thrillers: Le Carré is, of course, the master here with The Spy Who Came in from the Cold as an excellent place to start. Mick Herron is another terrific spy story writer, with anarchic insight into his cynical protagonist Jackson Lamb and team of competent incompetents of Slow Horses.

Techno-thrillers: Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October and Clear and Present Danger. Both are fast-paced and with sympathetic and complex main characters.

Historical: My favourite is Lindsey Davis’s Roman detective Falco and the spin-off series featuring Flavia Albia. Ellis Peters’ 12th century Brother Cadfael series is a a well-loved classic.

What ifs: Fatherland by Robert Harris remains my favourite alternative history, although there are many more here. Oh, and there’s the Roma Nova thriller series with stories set in a Roman society in the 20th and 21st centuries full of betrayal, rebellion and ‘tough gals’… 😉

And my own new contemporary thriller (if I may mention it 🙂 ) Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy thriller with a Franco-British ex-special forces solder, Mélisende, a dead body and grumpy British cop, McCracken.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers.

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.