Category Archives: Fiction

Review of “Airborne”

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Book ReviewsWWII –  “Airborne” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robert Radcliffe (http://www.christopherlittle.net/authors/robert-mawson-aka-robert-radcliffe/). This is the seventh novel published by Mr. Mason(Radcliffe).

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set throughout Europe during World war II. The two primary characters are British Army Medical Officer Captain Daniel Garland and Theo Trickey, a young and heavily injured paratrooper.

The story begins with the risky Operation Market Garden, the airborne invasion that the Allies hope will bring a quick end to the war. The attack fails and thousands are killed, wounded or captured. Among the captured are both Garland and Trickey. The story follows these two and jumps back to their experiences prior to the Battle of Arnhem.

I thought this was an interesting 8+ hour read of 285 pages for this World War II era novel. I liked the characters in the story, and the plot was different. Not so much combat experiences, but what went on with the characters before and after Arnhem. The story did jump around a bit and I thought ended rather abruptly. The cover art is reasonable. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Review of “The Valkyrie Directive”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “The Valkyrie Directive” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1987) and was written by Peter Berresford Ellis under the pseudonym of Peter MacAlan (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/m/peter-macalan/). He is also know under Peter Tremayne. Mr. Ellis published more than 90 books under those names.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the early years of World War II – 1940.

Germany has just invaded Norway and there is a accomplished surgeon, Dr Didrik Stenersen, in Oslo that is wanted in London to treat a critical patient. A small team made up of the Doctor’s niece who had been studying in England, a Norwegian who had recently escaped from Norway ahead of the Germans and a British Doctor in London who had worked with Stenersen are chosen for the mission.

The three are quickly recruited and parachuted into Norway. They must come up with some kind of a plan to contact Stenersen and his surgical team, then sneak them out of the country and back to England. They have to evade the German Army and the Gestapo. They must also be wary of German sympathizers within the Norwegian population.

I thought that this was an interesting read of just under 6 hours for this 294 page World War II Thriller. I have not read much before about the war in Norway. I thought that the characters were well developed and I liked the plot. This novel is a bit unusual in that one character does not truly stand out as the primary. I do not think much of the cover art. Something relating more to the snow and ice of Norway would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Soldier, Sail North”

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Book Reviews – “Soldier, Sail North” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition published in 1956) and was written by James Pattinson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/p/james-pattinson/). Mr. Pattinson published over 100 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set during World War II aboard a cargo ship taking supplies from England to the Russians.

This is the story of the nine soldiers, Maritime Royal Artillery men, who have been assigned to man the anti-aircraft guns and defend the ship. The plan is for the ship to sail from Liverpool to Murmansk, then back to England. The German air force and navy harass them all the way. The men must endure the arctic conditions, the constant strain from enemy attacks and their own demons.

I thought that this 6.5+ hour read of 224 pages was interesting. I had not heard of the Maritime Royal Artillery before. This was far from one of my favorite World War II era novels. The focus was far more on what the men were going through, than on the war. The cover art is OK, but in my mind should have contained more ice. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Lady in the Lake”

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Book Reviews – “Lady in the Lake” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Jason Monaghan (https://monaghanfoss.com/). Mr. Monaghan has published five novels, with this being the 4th in his “Jeffrey Flint Archaeological Mysteries”.

I purchased a copy of this novel when on promotion by the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary England. The main characters are archaeologists Dr. Jeffrey Flint and Dr. Tyrone Drake.

The pair of Flint and Drake are hired to determine the authenticity of a sword. The claim is that the sword is the famous Excalibur. Both are doubtful, though the sword does look ancient.

When the woman who claims she found the sword dies, then they are nearly killed when their care is run off the road, they are sure there is more to the story of the sword. As they investigate there are thefts, lies and more lies.

This was an OK novel, though not one of the best mysteries I have read. The nearly 8 hours I spent reading this mystery were entertaining. I liked the overall plot, but not so much the flippant attitude of the two primary characters. It seemed like a watered down mystery to me. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Executive Order”

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Book Reviews – “Executive Order” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Max Allan Collins (http://www.maxallancollins.com/) with Matthew V. Clemmens (http://matthewclemens.com). Mr. Collins has authored or co-authored well more than 150 novels as well as short stories and comics. Mr. Clemmens has published 25+ novels, and comics. This is the third novel in their “Reeder and Rogers” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the contemporary Washington D.C. area. The primary characters are former Secret Service agent Joe Reeder and FBI Special Situations Task Force leader Patti Rogers.

Four CIA agents are killed in Eastern Europe. The Secretary of the Interior dies from apparent allergic shock. Reeder, a close friend of the deceased Secretary, asks Rogers to look into the death. Reeded is asked by the President to investigate why the CIA agents were in the path of danger when the President had given specific orders to keep people out of the Russian hot zone.

Reeder, Rogers and their small team are soon in the cross hairs of a group of wealthy and powerful Americans who want to put America “back on track”. The group will stop at nothing to see their very conservative goals achieved. A few Americans being sacrificed to achieve their desired ends is worth the price.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 318 page Thriller. Even though there are two prior books in the series, this novel reads well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot. The fact that significant characters die in the novel is unusual. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “7”

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Book Reviews – “7” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Van R. Mayhall Jr. (https://vrmayhalljr.wordpress.com). This is Mr. Mayhall’s third publication and the third book in his “Cloe Lejeune” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean. The primary character is Dr. Clotile “Cloe” Lejeune.

Lejeune is associated with LSU and is in the New Orleans area working on piecing together and interpreting writing on ancient scrolls obtained in the second volume of the series. The world seems to be coming apart at the seems with more violence and disorder every day. Lejeune, along with her son US Army Captain J.E. Lejeune and Monsignor Albert Roques, are called to Rome by the Pope.

As the world turns to chaos around her, she, and her team, must fight the manifestation of evil that is trying to destroy the Catholic Church and humanity. The fear is that evil is re-emerging after 1000 years and the End of Times as described in the Book of Revelations is upon us.

A group of people from all over the world, of different ages and backgrounds are drawn to New Orleans to join with Lejeune in the fight. These 7 have been touched by an angel and are the “good” God has sent to combat the rise of evil.

This was an interesting read of 6 hours for the 329 page Religious Thriller. I liked the characters and the plot, but they seemed weak and watered down to me. I’m not sure what the cover art has to do with the story. To me it was a poor choice. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Fallen”

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Book Reviews – “The Fallen” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Lustbader has published more than 45 novels. This is the second in his “The Testament” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in Europe with the primary character being Braverman “Bravo” Shaw, head of the Gnostic Observatine sect.

A series of events take place that seem to herald the End of Days. A man finds the long hidden Testament of Lucifer in a remote Lebanese cave. Shaw, along with his blind sister, Emma, and Fra Leoni begin the chase to retrieve the Testament and stop the End of Days.

I enjoyed the nearly 11 hours I spent reading this 352 page Paranormal Thriller. I have been a long time fan of Van Lustbader, but this novel seemed to fall short for me. It felt a little “raw’, in the need of “polishing”. While the second in a series, this novel stood well on its own. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really give a feel for the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Rest is Silence”

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Book Reviews – “The Rest is Silence” ebook was published in 2014 and was written by James R. Benn (http://www.jamesrbenn.com). Mr. Benn has published twelve novels, all in the “Billy Boyle WWII Mystery” series. This is the 9th novel in that series.

I purchased this novel from the Barnes & Noble (Nook) bookstore. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in World War II England, just weeks before the Allied invasion of France. US Army Captain Billy Boyle is the primary character.

An unidentified corpse washes ashore on a beach being used for secret rehearsals of the D-Day invasion. Boyle is sent to find out who the dead man is, more importantly to determine that he was not a German spy observing the secret activities.

Boyle and his friend and associate Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz stay at the estate of an old friend of Kazimierz which is located near where the body was found. The family they are staying with seem to have their own secrets and intrigues going on.

On top of their investigation hundreds of US military are killed during a German attack white they are practicing for the invasion. “Operation Tiger” (depicted in the story) was a real life disaster for the Allies while preparing for D-Day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 hours I spent reading this 336 page World War II Mystery. I have read all nine of the novels up to this point and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. I like the characters that author Benn has created in Boyle and Kazimierz. I also like how he weaves real history into his stories. The cover art is a good selection. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hong Kong Black”

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Book Reviews – “Hong Kong Black” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Alex Ryan. This is Mr. Ryan’s second novel and the second in his “Nick Foley” thrillers.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in today’s China. The primary character is former US Navy SEAL Nick Foley.

Foley has tried to leave behind his Special Operations experiences and now works for a non-profit working to bring clean drinking water to rural Chinese. He has already been drawn into one operation where he helped to save China from a bio-terrorist attack. Now he is being drawn in again.

A Chinese working undercover for the CIA has disappeared and Foley is asked to look into it. What should have been a simple task draws him and those closest to him into another life-and-death situation and a conspiracy of global proportions.

As Foley is investigating this disappearance, his beautiful and close friend Dr. Dazhong “Dash” Chen of the CDC is involved in identifying what is behind a series of mutilated bodies that are washing ashore. Before long their investigations merge into a more serious problem than either would have conceived possible.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent with this 362 page spy thriller. Event hough this is the second in the series, it read well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot. It is a bit of a different take, US operatives working closely with Chinese operatives to save the day. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t relate much to the story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer for “Red Sparrow”

Trailers – This new thriller is scheduled to be out in March of 2018. The synopsis (per IMDB):

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. But her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

This looks like another spy thriller that has possibilities.