Ever since I discovered ebooks I've been searching for freebies to download and read, first on my iPod Touch, then later on my Kindle and my Cybook Odyssey. Most of those freebies have been - to put it charitably - ok for a freebie, some even exceptionally bad.

Fortunately, I have also come across a few really good ones.

Two books by an author named E R Mason belong to the latter category. I'm amazed that this writer is giving away his books for free.

I grew up reading the classics among fantasy, sf and horror. I never took to horror stories (except for some ghost stories) and though I enjoyed the classics, I never really liked modern sf until a few years or so ago when I discovered To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (a time travel novel). And suddenly I was enjoying science fiction again. A little later I came across a Swedish book called Alba about a young woman who is among a group of people exploring a distant planet. It seemed I was on to something. Not that I stopped reading fantasy, mysteries and the other genres of books I enjoy, but it was unusual for me.

And I now I'm getting to E R Mason's two novels Fatal Boarding and Deep Crossing. There are some aspects of the books I don't like so much, but in general I love both books. Though I normally prefer mystery to suspense, these books have both and they're very well written (except for needing a bit of editing). I'm amazed that these two books are available for free. I'd happily have paid to read both of them and now I'm going to read the other books by the same author.

The first book is set aboard a space ship where the main character Adrian Tarn is chief of security. Not long into the journey the ship runs across a wreckage drifting dead in space (thank you, Star Trek, for that phrase). It's decided that a team will investigate. That's their first mistake...

I could describe this book as a thriller set in space (and in the future) but in any case I think my dad, the major sf fan, would have enjoyed it.

The second book is also about Adrian Tarn, this time on an expedition to a very distant star system. There's some suspense in this book too, but mainly it's fascinating. I had no idea where the book was heading at the beginning.

I can really recommend these two books, to anyone who enjoys science fiction or thrillers.