Richard T. Burke Author Blog

Thrillers with a twist

Richard T. Burke books

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My books are thrillers with a twist. Click the picture of the book below to learn more.

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Bitdefender (Paypal) Scam

This article is not about books, but hopefully it will help to highlight the scandalous behaviour of Bitdefender and may help you to prevent money being taken from your Paypal account without authorisation.

I use Bitdefender for antivirus protection. The product came recommended, and I have no complaints about the technical side. About a year ago, I renewed my annual subscription and paid using Paypal. What I didn’t realise is that Bitdefender also set up an automatic renewal at the same time. Later in the year, I responded to an offer and extended my subscription.

Last week, I received an automated email from Paypal stating that 2Checkout (the company that manages online payments on behalf of Bitdefender) had taken £49.99 from my account. At first I thought it was a phishing email, but when I checked my Paypal account, it was genuine. The money was for another year’s extension of my Bitdefender subscription.

When I checked my Bitdefender account, I still had 209 days remaining on the license. That’s nearly 7 months.

So, I investigated further; what I found left me shocked that a company that purports to protect you online would behave in this underhand and dishonest manner. In no particular order, here is my list of issues:

  1. It certainly wasn’t clear when I renewed using Paypal that Bitdefender had somehow also set up pre-authorisation for future payments. In effect, this allowed them to take money from my account at any point in the future without my permission. If you use Paypal, you should check what companies you have given permission to pillage your account whenever they feel like it. To do this, click the settings icon, select Payments then Manage your automatic payments. Any company listed under pre-approved payments can take money from your account without informing you beforehand.

2. Even if you are comfortable with automatic renewals (really?), what on earth are Bitdefender doing taking money more than 200 days before the subscription expires?

3. Wouldn’t you expect a reputable company to give you prior notice that they were about to take money from your account? Not Bitdefender. Not a peep from them. No, they just took £49.99 without so much as the courtesy of an email before or afterwards. What appalling customer service!

4. What about rewards for customer loyalty? You can currently (early December 2020) buy a one year subscription on Amazon for £20. So, automatic renewal is costing me £29.99. That’s a fine reward for sticking with this despicable company.

There you have it. Would you do business with a company that behaves like this? In some ways their behaviour is worse than the scammers their product is designed to protect you from.

I strongly suggest you find an antivirus product from a reputable company. Bitdefender certainly isn’t!

Coming Soon – Termination: The Boy who Died

It’s been a while since the publication of Decimation, but finally, I’m pleased to announce that a sequel is on the way – and hopefully a third book too.

The story picks up three years after the events of Decimation. Here’s a first draft of the blurb:


Antimone Lessing returns in the second book of the ground-breaking Decimation trilogy.

Nearly twenty years after the Orestes virus swept across the earth, finally there is hope. Women are no longer dying within seconds of giving birth. For the first time in two decades, the global population is on an upward trend.

As the world returns to normal, Antimone is back on the athletics track and a single race away from achieving her lifetime goal of winning the Olympic 1500-metre Wheelchair gold medal.

But a deadly new threat has emerged, one that could reverse the fragile recovery and spell the end of humanity’s time on the planet. Could Antimone’s unique biology once again provide the vital clue in developing a cure?

When the details of her past become exposed, ruthless forces prepare an audacious plan to kidnap the first woman in a generation to survive childbirth. Now, the only hope for her survival and that of her young family may rest with the same scientist responsible for creating the Orestes pandemic.


I’m expecting a release during late autumn. If you are interested in reading this sequel, please sign up to my mail list to receive news and special offers.

Assassin’s Web: free for a few days

Welcome to the new year and a new decade. I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2020.

By way of a present to my readers, I have made Assassin’s Web free for the 5th and 6th of January 2020.

You can get a copy here or by clicking the picture below.

The Rage Refresh

In the last week, The Rage has undergone a refresh. The Kindle version is still available for the same £0.99/$0.99 price at Amazon.

Here is the blurb:

What really killed the dinosaurs? What if the same organism that wiped out the greatest beasts to walk the earth survived into the present day? The residents of the quiet rural village of Netherwell are about to find out first-hand.

Alice Dean becomes concerned when her husband, Dennis, fails to return from a walk in the woods. Her worst fears are confirmed when their dog returns home with a human finger in its mouth.

Over the course of the next two days, the once peaceful location is rocked by a series of horrific murders and descends into a spiral of escalating violence.

But the ancient evil lurking beneath the trees may not be the only source of danger. As the residents battle to stay alive, they begin to question the motives of those whose duty it is to protect them.

You can get a copy here or by clicking the cover below.

Assassin’s Web is now available

The Kindle edition of Assassin’s Web is now available for pre-order from Amazon at £0.99 / $0.99. Release date is 22nd August.

The print edition can be purchased now.

Assassin's Web

I should never have read the note.
I certainly shouldn’t have logged in.
Now they want to kill me.
Schoolteacher, Alex Parrott, discovers a scrap of paper containing the address, username and password for a site on the Dark Web. He gives in to temptation and learns that the website deals in assassination contracts.

The Dark Web is supposed to be anonymous, but somebody knows what Alex has seen. Within hours, a ruthless hitman is hot on his trail. To make matters worse, the police issue a warrant for his arrest, identifying him as the main suspect in a string of horrific murders.

Unsure who he can trust, Alex must stay alive long enough to uncover the truth and clear his name.



Assassin’s Web

A Dark Web Thriller

Out 22nd August, 2019

I should never have read the note.

I certainly shouldn’t have logged in.

Now they want to kill me.

The Colour of … Your Engineering Team?

It’s certainly not true that all authors earn huge amounts of money and lead a life of leisure. Whisper it quietly, but I don’t make enough as a writer to live in the manner to which I have become accustomed. That means I have a day job, which pays the vast majority (in fact all) of the bills. I try to keep the world of work—in which I am a Software and Systems Manager—separate from my life as an author.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when the two worlds collided, and I received a message to my work email address referencing one of my books in a lot of detail. With the sender’s permission, I have quoted the exchange below:

#BLOGTOUR – Shadows of Regret by Ross Greenwood

In today’s post, I am delighted to announce the release of Ross Greenwood’s latest book, Shadows of Regret.

About the book

If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption or take revenge?

From the #1 bestselling author of Fifty Years of Fear, SHADOWS OF REGRET is the unforgettable story of a woman’s struggle to rejoin society.

What’s coming next?

It’s been a few months since the release of my last book, The Colour of the Soul, so I thought it was worth writing a few words about what’s coming next.

One of my short stories, The Offer, is included in The Corona Book of Science Fiction. You can buy it from 15th October 2018.

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