Retribution - Charles R. Stubbs

What can happen when an ordinary member of the public’s mobile phone is hacked?

A student has been murdered in North Wales and the press are hounding her landlord, Gareth Evans. Peter Gray, a reporter, sent up from London to cover the story, tries to protect his ex-colleague Gareth, but becomes embroiled in a murderous plot.

Craig Fletcher, a drugs runner, wants retribution. He plans to torture and kill James Ryan, the man he believes tried to have him killed six years ago and who is now running his former drugs empire in the north-east of England. Fletcher’s plot involves the abduction and murder of IT worker Travis Williams, whose disfigured body in a burnt out car will keep James Ryan’s men off the scent while Fletcher exacts his revenge.

But in its bid to be first with a ‘new angle’ on the murdered student case, a tabloid newspaper conflates the two stories and the result is confusion and chaos. As the body count rises and the journalists, the local police and Travis’s acquaintances, Nick Parker and Ann Butler, try to work out what is really happening, the race is on to find the location where innocent people are being held before more deaths are added to the list.

Their intense experience over three long days drives many involved to question some deeply held assumptions and re-examine their consciences. Ultimately, in various different ways, nearly everyone caught up in the media frenzy becomes a victim of press intrusion and phone hacking.

One early reviewer described this story as “Amazing!”; another as a “Masterpiece of suspense”. See for more.




Sales links (only available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook) are:







About the author

Previously a senior executive in the UK telecommunications industry, since 2001 Charles R Stubbs has earned his living from writing sales and marketing literature for companies, helping them to improve their business performance.

'Web of Deceit' was Charles’s first eBook. A thriller set in North Wales in 1999, it examines how the media can manipulate public opinion, and how the internet has the potential to affect the lives of ordinary people.

In ‘Retribution’, set five years later, the focus is on the activities of the UK press (some of them illegal) that came under the spotlight during a high profile inquiry. The novel shows how innocent people’s lives can be turned upside down by dubious media practices.

Charles lives in the UK in the Midlands. When not writing or working in his garden, Charles likes to go birdwatching, and he has incorporated this hobby into his books. This does make the stories somewhat unique – along with the fact that the action takes place in North Wales!


My review


Although this book can be read as a stand alone, it is the second in the Travis series and I really wish I’d read the first book before embarking on this one. There is no doubt at all that this is a gripping thriller but in the beginning I found it hard to get to know the characters as so many seemed to be introduced without really giving the reader a chance to identify with them. This was further compounded by the numerous pseudonyms that were used throughout with several characters having more than one name. Add to the mix, action that takes place in Wales, Poland, The North-East and that the action is divided into five parts rather than a beginning, a middle and an end, and you can see that it is a recipe for confusion.

Having said that, I really liked the way the author dealt with topical problems such as phone hacking and media harassment. The fact that the newspaper refuses to change its story even after getting the facts wrong speaks volumes about today’s society.

By the end of the story I could admire the way the author brought all the strands together with many unexpected twists and turns. In addition, the character of Ann is very well portrayed and we were given glimpses into what had happened five years ago. Gareth too is extremely well described but I think that the whole story would have been held together far better by reading the first book.

On the whole this is a thrilling story of suspense with some real villains. Personally though I would have preferred fewer characters and more backdrop about the location. I felt the description of Wales worked well but as for Poland, to be honest the setting could have been anywhere as there were few details to relate to. The villains and especially the Russian Mafia did come across as slightly stereotyped at times.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller that will have you wondering about the next twist then I can recommend it- just read book one first!


Best for…. Those who like their thrillers to jump about from country to country and with lots of twists and turns.


My rating



Write a new comment: (Click here)
Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

Yesterday | 22:25

Wonderful review, for a wonderful lady and Author.

Yesterday | 20:12

Great review for an equally great book by Mary

Yesterday | 18:26

When reading all the reviews I just can not wait to read this for myself. I adore stories of hardship and how they unfold and hopefully have a good ending.

Yesterday | 17:22

Another great review for a brilliant author.

You liked this page
Make your own website like I did.
It's easy, and absolutely free.