Category Archives: Fiction

Book Review: “Project Icarus”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author R.D Shah https://rd-shah.com published the book “Project Icarus” a few days ago. Mr. Shah has published six novels so far. This is the first book of his ‘Disavowed’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ as it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The primary character is hostage negotiator Ethan Munroe.

Munroe is urgently called to the scene of a hostage standoff. He is perplexed by being asked for specifically by the kidnapper. This spawns a new life and a series of adventures for Munroe.

Munroe was dedicated to his job. He had served for several years in the army before joining the police. He had made that transition after his wife and daughter had died in a terrorist attack five years earlier. Against protocol, Munroe enters the house where the kidnapper is holding a young girl. That is where he meets a man who calls himself Icarus. The action escalates from there.

Munroe is approached by DS5, otherwise known as the Disavowed. Following the end of WWII, DS5 was formed by the British, French, and US. It has been kept top secret with only a handful in the organization. It was created to counter the anticipated rise of a Nazi Fourth Reich.

Nazi leaders were known to have escaped Germany before the war ended. The new organization, Daedalus, had been scheming for decades. They were on the brink of rising to power. Their plans are somewhat thwarted when one of their ranks becomes a serial killer. That man is Icarus. Munroe is swept up in a modern-day struggle against the Nazis.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 323-page thriller. I thought that this novel had an interesting plot with more than one twist. I do look forward to reading other books in this series. The cover art is OK. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: The Green Alliance

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andrew J. Rafkin https://andrewjrafkin.com published the novel “The Green Alliance” in 2019. Mr. Rafkin has published seven novels. This is the second novel in his ‘ORCA Adventures’ series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The main character is Reef Johansson, who is an agent for ORCA. ORCA is a private security organization engaged by many countries, including the US.

Tragedy has befallen the US as the political leadership has been simultaneously assassinated. The role of the President falls on the Speaker of the House, Carolyn Dupont. She finds herself in a vicarious situation. China is attempting to extend its control in the South Pacific. The eco-terrorist organization Green Alliance is making matters worse. It is attempting to alter the global climate. Fortunately, she is close friends with the Reef & Alexis Johansson and can call on ORCA.

Reef, his fellow agent, and wife Alexis, and the rest of the ORCA team must save the day. Without ORCA’s elite force and advanced technology, all would be lost. ORCA has two missions to accomplish. First, find those responsible for the assassinations. Second, stop the China power grab in the Pacific. Neither challenge is without peril to the ORCA team.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 287-page science-fiction thriller. This is another of those thrillers that are fun as long as you don’t think too much about the plot or science. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as 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).

Book Review: “Deep Cover”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Leo J. Maloney http://leojmaloney.com published the novella “Deep Cover” in 2020. Mr. Morgan has published more than a dozen novels. This is the eighth book in his Dan Morgan Thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review.I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The primary characters are Black Ops agents Dan Morgan and Peter Conley.

Morgan and Conley are in Turkey to free a scientist from being held in prison. They are posing undercover as arms dealers. They have a deadline for their mission. They need to extract him before his missile guidance system knowledge can be traded. North Korea wants it in exchange for nuclear weapon secrets.

After a shootout with police and a high-speed chase, they find themselves held in the same prison. The plan is for their other team members to compromise the prison computer system. That should facilitate their escape. Of course, nothing ever goes by the plan.

I enjoyed the 2+ hours I spent reading this 114-page thriller. This is one of those thrillers that is fun to read. Just don’t think too much about the plot or reality. This is the fourth book by Maloney that I have read (Rogue CommanderDark Territory, and War Shadows). The others were also in the Morgan series and have been consistently enjoyable. This one was a little shorter than previous books in the series. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this novella as 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).

Book Review: “The Dark Shah”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andrew Turpin https://www.andrewturpin.com published the novel “The dark Shah” on the 28th of September. This is the second book in his Jayne Robinson Thriller series and his 9th publication. I was able to interview the author in 2018. You can read the interview here.

I received an ARC of this book through the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’. The primary character of this novel is Jayne Robinson.

Robinson has worked for MI-6. She is now a freelancer. She accepts work for the CIA, MI-6, or other western intelligence organizations. This adventure begins with a drone attack on an offshore gas platform. It is an Israeli development in the Eastern Mediterranean. US, British, and Israeli officials were on the platform at the time. Many are killed or injured.

Factions within Hezbollah have been responsible for the attack. Robinson is engaged by both the CIA and the Massad to track those behind the attack. Robinson and her colleagues find themselves the target of attacks as they investigate. There is little doubt that one of the intelligence organizations has a leak. She also uncovers information about her father’s death. Those responsible for the drone strike are connected to the bombing that killed her father.

She is teamed up on this mission with two Massad agents. While her romantic partner Joe Johnson has a minor role, this venture is all up to Robinson.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 444-page thriller. This is the fourth novel by Turpin that I have read. The others are The Last NaziThe Kremlin’s Vote, and The Afghan. They have all been consistently enjoyable. This novel can be read stand-alone, but I would recommend reading The Kremlin’s Vote first. Even better, start with The Last Nazi as the Joe Johnson and Jayne Robinson books are tied together. The author has regularly created very believable and engaging thrillers. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as 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).

Book Review: “Flight of the U-463”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Timothy Donald Pilmaier published the novel “The Flight of U-463” in 2019. This is his first publication.

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 violence, mature language, and mature situations. The primary character is Peter Teufel.

Teufel is just finishing an engineering degree in Stuttgart when the story begins. He is the son of a US diplomat and has lived in both Japan and Germany. Teufel was in each long enough to be very familiar with the languages and customs. Against the wishes of his parents, he remains in Germany to finish his degree when they return home to the US.

Teufel graduates in December of 1939 and decides to spend some time touring Europe. He cannot imagine being in any danger from Germany. Teufel is fluent in French and finds a job in a French vineyard. When the Germans invade, they believe he is a native.

He is conscripted with other Frenchmen to work in Germany. After helping to build U-boats, he is drafted into the Kriegsmarine. He ends up serving aboard the vessel he has recently helped build. His language skills lead to his assignment to a U-boat heading to the Pacific. With this, his true adventure really begins. In all this, Teufel even has time for a little romance.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 299-page WWII thriller. The 20-year-old Teufel character meets important people. He also has one far-fetched adventure after another. I thought that the novel was a fun read! The cover art is a bit dull but reasonable for the story. I rate this novel as a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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


If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Enola Holmes”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Nancy Springer https://www.nancyspringer.com published the book “Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche” in 2021. This is the seventh book in her Enola Holmes series. This book was released today, August 31, 2021. She has published more than 50 works.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The primary character in the book is teen Enola Holmes. The much younger sister of the famous Sherlock and Mycroft.

As young as she is, Enola is a very independent woman and every bit as smart as her older brothers. She has also inherited her brothers’ intelligence and powers of deduction. A young woman, Letitia Glover, shows up asking for Holme’s help. Glover received a letter from her brother-in-law that her twin sister had died. She has been unable to learn anything from the widowed Earl of Dunhench. Glover wants to know what happened.

While Holmes does not seem overly interested, Enola jumps into the investigation. She is soon undercover in the Earl’s household. She discovers that the Earl’s first wife also died under unusual circumstances. Enola is sure that there is something amiss.

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 259-page period mystery. The book is short. The book is more of a novella than a novel. The book does read much like the original Sherlock Holmes stories. But this mystery is not too difficult. Ms. Springer mostly targets young adults so that can be somewhat expected. If you have access to Netflix you will find their production of an Enola Holmes mystery movie. I do like the chosen cover art. 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).

Book Review: “The Afghan”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andrew Turpin (https://www.andrewturpin.com) published the book “The Afghan” in 2019. Mr. Turpin has published eight novels. This is the prequel or book #0 of his Joe Johnson Thriller series. I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Turpin in September of 2018. You can read it here.

I received a copy of this book through a promotion by the author. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains violence and mature language. The primary character in the novel is CIA operative Joe Johnson.

It is 1988. Johnson has been with the CIA for three years and is assigned to an office in Afghanistan. The CIA is routing assistance through Pakistan to the mujahideen. These Afghani tribesmen are fighting the Russians who have occupied their country.

The Russians seem on the verge of pulling out of Afghanistan. US Stinger shoulder-launched missiles have been sent to the mujahideen through Pakistan. Johnson is tasked with identifying who has stocks of these weapons. He has also been ordered to get access to Russian equipment. Both a Russian Mi-24 attack helicopter and one of their communications vans is on the wish list.

He must go into Afghanistan to make the needed contacts for this information. Crossing the border and making direct contact is against the wishes of the Pakistani government. The Russian KGB is also aware of him and they want him dead. He realizes that he is working with a mole. The Russians always seem to know what his plans are. Johnson must survive these obstacles to get his job done.

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 212-page thriller. This is the third of Turpin’s thrillers that I have read. I have really enjoyed them all. Unlike so many thrillers, his characters and plots are very believable. It is readable on its own, though I would read it before the other six in the series. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book 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).

Book Review: “The Kremlin’s Vote”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andrew Turpin (https://www.andrewturpin.com) published the novel “The Kremlin’s Vote” in 2021. Mr. Turpin has published eight novels. This is the first in his ‘Jayne Robinson Thriller’ series. I had the chance to interview the author in September of 2018. You can read the interview here

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence and mature situations. The book is set in 2015. The primary character is Jayne Robinson. She was working for MI6 and is now an independent intelligence operative. 

Robinson learns that the husband of her good friend Simone Steyn has been murdered. He was the Secretary of State for New Hampshire. As the days pass, more Secretaries of State are killed. The killer seems to have a link to Russia. While this is going on the CIA contracts Robinson for a mission. They want her to slip into Russia and make contact with a double agent. 

Not only does the CIA want to establish contact, but they also are looking for answers. Why are US State officials being killed? The Russian plot is somehow tied to the upcoming US presidential election. Of course, Robinson’s plans are short-lived. She has been in Russia only a short time before her presence is discovered and a hunt ensues. 

Without spoiling the plot it is difficult to say more. So many open questions surround Robinson’s mission. Will she be able to escape Russia? Will she be able to contact the double agent yet keep their identity a secret? Can she discover why the killings are taking place? Can the killer be stopped before more people die?

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 456-page thriller. I have read two books by the author. The first was The Last Nazi. I have enjoyed them both. This book has a very logical flow of events in the plot. There is none of the common ‘super spy’ stuff. This book is very believable fiction. Made more so by allegations of foreign interference surrounding the 2020 election. I like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Tidal Rage”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author David Evans published the novel “Tidal Rage” in 2021. This is Mr. Evan’s first publication. 

I obtained this novel through promotion by the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature situations, and mature language. The story is predominantly set on cruise ships. The primary character is Max Cutler an experienced Secret Service agent. 

Sebastian McKenzie is a very odd man. He is also a brilliant musician so his eccentricities are overlooked. He is part Asian and has an unusual look. He has spent years at sea being the star performer on one cruise ship after another. He doesn’t stay too long on any one ship. He isn’t very social but that isolation suits him well. He is an accomplished serial killer that no one knows exists. His first murder was of a neighbor girl as a child. Now his victim tally is in double digits. He has discovered that deaths at sea fall into a gray area. The next port of call handles the investigations. Missing passengers are often attributed to suicide or just wanting to disappear. The cruise lines just want any bad publicity to go away.  

Cutler has been working in Europe with Interpol. The case he is completing has put ex-Stasi agent Josef Werner behind bars. Werner has been making millions counterfeiting US currency. Cutler’s work on the case is disrupted when his 18-year-old sister Elisa disappears. She has been on a cruise with their parents. Cutler takes a leave of absence and flies to Alaska to meet his parents. The gray area on crimes at sea emerges as he begins his investigation. He resigns from the Secret Service and forms his own investigation agency to focus on crimes at sea.

Werner uses his organization and wealth to arrange an escape from custody. Cutler’s attention is fixed on the tragedies his family has suffered. Even with the disappearance of his sister he has not forgotten about Werner. He has a new employee looking for Werner. Cutler and his team must face challenges from many fronts. He wants to bring both Werner and those behind his sister’s disappearance to justice. He has no idea when he begins his quests that these two vastly separate investigations will come together.

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 297-page thriller. There were a few ‘technical errors’ in the story and the writing is not the best. That said the story is a very enjoyable thriller and a quick read. The selected cover art is appropriate to 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).

Book Review: “Deadly Driver”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author J.K. Kelly (https://jkkelly.com) published the novel “Deadly Driver” in 2021. The author has thus far published six books. I was able to interview Mr. Kelly in September of 2019. You can read that interview here

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 contemporary times at locations all around the world. 

The primary character is Bryce Winters a world-class Formula One driver. He has a darker side as a CIA operative. He didn’t want to be a spy, but they had evidence against him. He had little choice but to comply. 

His celebrity status from F1 racing gets him near many powerful people. This lets him make hits for the CIA without drawing too much attention to himself. He is willing to serve his country, but not while under the CIA’s thumb. He struggles to find a way to leave them behind. He travels around the world from one Formula One race to another. Beyond his work for the CIA, he faces danger from racing and those associated with it.  

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 265-page thriller. The book reminds me a lot of Flemings’s ‘James Bond’ thrillers. The main character is repeatedly ending up in trouble. He also falls into bed with beautiful women and dispatches his foes. The Winters character is far from a hero wearing the white hat. While he repeatedly comes to the aid of damsels in distress, he is ruthless. Author Kelly mixes his interest in racing with writing thrillers in this novel. This is the fifth book by Kelly that I have read. They are consistently enjoyable, though a little rough around the edges. They are an entertaining and fun read! The selected cover art is engaging and has the feel of 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).