Hello, Sunshines, I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Rat Island by John Steele. This book sounds brilliant, I can’t wait to share it with you all, plus I have an exclusive excerpt to tempt you with.

Firstly, thank you to Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for the invite tot this tour.

About the Book

Rat Island by John Steele

Genre: Crime Thriller



New York, 1995Cop Callum Burke arrives in New York from Hong Kong, drafted in as part of an international investigation into organised crime.

With the handover of Hong Kong to China only a couple of years away, gangsters are moving their operations out of the territory and into New York ahead of the looming deadline.

Burke’s experiences with East Asian crime and the Triads’ links to the Irish Mob make him the perfect man to send in undercover.

But as he infiltrates these vast and lethal criminal networks, bodies start to pile up in his wake and his conscience threatens to send him over the edge.

And when Burke’s NYPD handlers push him to continue the investigation at all costs, he may have to cross the line from cop to criminal just to stay alive…

Readers of Don Winslow, Michael Connelly, Steve Cavanagh, Richard Price and John Sandford will love this dark and morally complex novel which presents a searing portrait of mid-1990s New York as you’ve never seen it before.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B096W8W32T

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096W8W32T


‘RAT ISLAND speeds and thrashes with the dangerous energy of the Manhattan streets which are so vividly recalled’ Gary Donnelly

‘A nonstop thrill ride… a lyrical, super read filled with plenty of intrigue, action and suspense and sent against an exotic and seldom explored corner of crime fiction’ Gerald Posner

‘John Steele writes with grit, pace and authenticity’ Claire McGowan


In this early extract from Rat Island, two NYPD cops – Georgina Ruiz and Anton Galinski – are watching the apartment of a known dominatrix. A member of an Irish mob which the book’s protagonist, Callum Burke, will infiltrate is expected to show as the dominatrix is his girlfriend. Instead, things take a murderous turn.


Ruiz watched the street wondering how long it would be before she had to take a leak. She’d been on the way out the door in sneakers and those Wranglers Arthur called her mom jeans when little Sammy had dropped spaghetti sauce on her lap. So she’d had to switch to the Levis that were just a little tighter than last year, and then grabbed a coffee at One Police Plaza before picking up the car driving out. A stupid move because she’d probably have to piss soon and the coffee at the Puzzle Palace tasted like shit, anyway. She joined the NYPD over ten years ago. Now she was thirty-one. Arthur still said she was beautiful, still made her feel beautiful on those nights when the kids slept early and she wasn’t exhausted after a shift. But she knew Isabella had added a couple of lines around her mouth, and Sammy etched a few more by her eyes. That was what kids did. But it was the eight years as a cop in east Harlem that gave her the most wrinkles. Then she’d transferred to Intelligence and the world didn’t seem quite so out of control. Now she was back on the street on a task force with the feds and she wasn’t sure she liked it.

She thought Galinski looked tired. Anton wasn’t a bad looking guy, nice blond hair, always tousled just right. He suited the tight black and grey check shirt and leather jacket combo tonight, had a good tight ass. But the dark semi-circles under his eyes looked like bruises on his pale skin. He should stop running after girls ten years younger than his thirty-four years and settle down.

A chopper buzzed somewhere over the East River, perhaps on its way to United Nations Plaza.

Galinski wiped the key on his thigh.

Ruiz tutted.

Galinski said, ‘You hungry?’

Ruiz tutted again.

‘You know what?’ said Galinski, ‘I get enough of this shit when I stay over at Cathy’s place and I wanna’ watch Monday night football. You want I should take a walk around the block, give some more room for your feminine indignation to stink up the car?’

Ruiz, oblivious, said, ‘Does that guy look right to you?’

A man was closing the door of the brownstone housing Nurse Löwin’s studio, checking the street looking east and west. A big guy, he wore a jacket over straight black jeans and rubbed his ass. Then he pulled the jacket over his crotch, took a couple of steps down the stoop and looked up at the front of the building.

‘He look like he just got the shit paddled out of his ass and loved every minute?’ she said.

‘You figure he pulled the jacket down to cover a hard-on? He could be looking up at Nurse Ilsa-The-Wicked-Mistress-of-Yorkville’s place.’

‘You’re shit at movie references, but yeah.’

Galinski said, ‘So if he’s had a butt-plug up his ass for the last hour, where the hell is Paddy Doolan?’

Ruiz gave Galinski a look could curdle cream. When she returned her gaze to the front of the building the man was standing at the foot of the stoop by a silver Porsche.

The crack of the gunshots was echoed by Galinski smacking his head off the passenger window of the Toyota. The man by the Porsche dropped.

Ruiz grabbed the radio and called in a 10-34 while Galinski yanked at his door handle. He fell from the car like spilt cargo, wrestling with his shoulder holster as he hit the concrete. The Glock came free and clattered on the sidewalk and he cursed as he heard another two shots. His hand felt hollow as he grabbed the pistol grip and struggled to a crouch.

Ruiz, her revolver in a two-handed grip, was backing behind the trunk of the Toyota…

About the Author

John Steele was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1995, at the age of twenty-two he travelled to the United States and has since lived and worked on three continents, including a thirteen-year spell in Japan. Among past jobs he has been a drummer in a rock band, an illustrator, a truck driver and a teacher of English. He now lives in England with his wife and daughter. He began writing short stories, selling them to North American magazines and fiction digests.

He has published three previous novels: RAVENHILL, SEVEN SKINS and DRY RIVER, the first of which was longlisted for a CWA Debut Dagger award. John’s books have been described as ‘Remarkable’ by the Sunday Times, ‘Dark and thrilling’ by Claire McGowan, and ‘Spectacular’ by Tony Parsons. The Irish Independent called John ‘a writer of huge promise’ and Gary Donnelly appointed him ‘the undisputed champion of the modern metropolitan thriller’.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @JohnSte_author

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