Category Archives: Fiction

Book Review of “A Blind Goddess”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “A Blind Goddess” eBook was published in 2014 and was written by James R. Benn. Mr. Benn has published 10 novels all in the “Billy Boyle WWII Mystery” series, with this being the 8th in the series.

I purchased this novel and read it on my Nook reader. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in World War II England. The primary character is Captain Billy Boyle, a former Boston Detective. Now Boyle is on General Eisenhower’s staff, handling investigations and special projects that need careful processing.

Boyle is sent to investigate the death of British citizen found outside a small hotel. He is involved, ostensibly, because a US Army Sergeant is romantically involved with the daughter of the owners. Boyle finds though that there is much that has not been revealed to him about the situation.

Boyle also had a side investigation of his own when a former friend from Boston comes to him. One of his crew members has been arrested for a murder he says he didn’t commit. This is complicated because the friend is serving in an all black unit and there are racial issues to be considered. Then Boyle is drawn into the search for a local girl who has disappeared.

Are these three separate crimes or are they somehow connected?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 336 page Mystery set in World War II. While this one had little to actually connect it to the War other than the time period, the US military presence in England is a major factor in the story. I liked the plot and how Benn has woven into his story many facts from the period. The cover art is OK as it relates to one part of the story. 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).

Book Review of “Cry Spy”

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Book Reviews – “Cry Spy” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1990) and was written by William Hood. Mr. Hood published five books, all in the espionage/spy genre.

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 some scenes of Violence. The story is set duing the height of the cold war. The main character is retired American spy Alan Trosper.

The death of Trosper’s friend, Peter Gandy, starts Trosper on the path of finding out who killed him and why. Gandy was a retired spy who was poisoned using methods attributed to Russia.

Trosper follows one clue after another until he finally finds a connection to who he thinks was behind the assassination. This is a story of tactics and well thought out strategies, no high tech toys. This is a story of people and takes a more realistic look at the world of espionage and counter intelligence that is usually seen.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 303 page Mystery/Spy Thriller. It is more of an ‘old-school’ spy tale. It doesn’t have a lot of excitement, but it is a very engaging novel. I thought that the plot was well thought out and did not have many predictable twists. While it was written over 25 years ago, it still reads well. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.2 (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).

Review of “Frame”

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Book Reviews – “Frame” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by A. K. Alliss (http://www.akalliss.com.au). Mr. Alliss has published four novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review.

A young widow comes across information in a photo that makes her believe that her client may be involved with the terrorists that were responsible for her husband’s death. She is able to ‘communicate’ with her dead husband through technology that uses his data to simulate his presence.

I gave this book about 90 minutes of my time and managed to plod about 15% of the way into it. The concept sounded good, but the book itself just did not set well with me, so I called a Rule of 50 and moved on. I give what I read of this novel a 2.4 (rounded down to a 2) out of 5.

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

Review of “Voice of God”

Book Reviews – I came across the blog site “Voice of God” when the author started following my blog. This is a mystery told in a series of short, serial posts. The synopsis is:

Voice of God is a multimedia mystery about a dystopian future of surveillance. Follow Gaia, her crew, and enigmatic Luc as they set out on a journey to learn the value of truth in a society that seems to be doing remarkably well without it.

The first three episodes of this mystery have been posted so far and they begin a compelling story. Each post so far is readable in five minutes or less and they begin an interesting mystery. The story takes place in a dystopian society, in an unidentified country.

The world is in the throws of an economic collapse. Suddenly people around the world have begun to hear a booming voice from the sky that tells them to be good. No one knows the source and it quickly is attributed to the voice of God. People also start going up in flames. Mostly the victims are those who are known to be criminals or who have profited at the expense of others. Again, there is no claim as to who, or why or how it is being done. An act of retribution by God?

I have followed this blog and look forward to the next episode to be published. This may be a site you want to follow too. Go to

Review of “A Divided Spy”

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Book Reviews – “A Divided Spy” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Charles Cumming (http://www.charlescumming.co.uk). Mr. Cumming has published eight novels. This is the third in his “Thomas Kell” series.

I received ARC (a real paper back book) of this novel through the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Violence. The story takes place in current day Europe. The primary character is Thomas Kell, a former MI6 operative.

Kell has left MI6 after a failed mission that led to his girl friend’s death. In a private effort to get revenge on the Russian he thinks is responsible for her death, the sets up the Russian to be trapped into working for MI6.

His trap works, but Kell finds that he likes the Russian more than expected and comes to realize he was not the one responsible for his girl friend’s death. He learns through the Russian of a terrorist plot that is about to play out in the UK. He tries to warn MI6 of it, but they are not taking the word of the Russian seriously. Kell must pursue the terrorist on his own and stop him before he strikes.

The nearly 11 hours spent reading this 367 page Spy Thriller were interesting. The story was slower than I typically like, with both Kell and the Russian spending a lot of time contemplating their careers as spies. The cover art is OK, but has little connection 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).

Review of “Death’s Door”

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Book Reviews – “Death’s Door” eBook was published in 2012 and was written by James R. Benn (http://www.jamesrbenn.com). Mr. Benn has published 10 novels in his “Billy Boyle World War II Mystery” series. This is the seventh book in the series.

I purchased this novel through Barnes & Nobles for the Nook reader. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in and around Vatican City during 1944. The primary character is Billy Boyle, an American Army Lieutenant.

Rome is occupied by the German army, but the Vatican City has not been invaded. An American monsignor living in the Vatican is murdered. Boyle, along with his sidekick, Polish Baron Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz, are smuggled into the Vatican under orders to find the murderer. This is a windfall for Boyle, as his girlfriend, Diana Seaton, who had been undercover for the British as a nun at the Vatican, has been arrested. Boyle sees the assignment as an opportunity to rescue her, as well as solve the murder.

Boyle finds the Vatican to be far more complicated than his time as a Catholic alter boy prepared him for. There are many different factions within the Vatican. Not all support the liberation by the Allies. Boyle also finds himself confronted by German agents and old adversaries .

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this World War II Mystery. I have now read the first seven books in the series and have enjoyed them all. I like the characters of Boyle and Kaz, as well as the other continuing characters in the series. The cover art does give the impression of intrigue between the church and Germany. 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 “Battle for America”

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Book Reviews – “Battle for America” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Mack Maloney (https://mackmaloney.wordpress.com). Mr. Maloney has published 38 novels. This is the 18th novel in his “Wingman” 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, Mature Language and Mature situations. The story is set in the near future US. The Russians have beaten the US in World War III and are now landing an army unit to occupy New York City. The US as we know it is in shambles.

The primary character is former US Air Force Major Hawk Hunter. Hunter has gathered a rag tag collection of patriots sworn to drive the Russians from the US. They have little in the way of supplies and must take big risks to carry out their plans.

Will Hunter and his followers survive and take action in time to prevent reinforcements from making the Russian hold on America permanent?

This was an interesting 7.5 hour read of 336 pages. This was a Thriller with non-stop action resulting in one cliff hanging situation after another. I thought the story was kind of crazy with outlandish plot elements, but it worked for a pure Thriller where you don’t think to hard about common sense and facts. The cover art is OK as the main character did fly a jet. I give this novel a 3.6 (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).

Preview of “The Alienist”

Trailers – The TNT channel has announced a new series called ‘The Alienist’ based upon the book of the same name written by Caleb Carr. This is a period mystery set at the end of the 19th century. The official synopsis is:

The psychological thriller drama is set in 1896, when a series of gruesome murders of boy prostitutes has gripped the city. Newly appointed top cop Teddy Roosevelt calls upon Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl), a criminal psychologist — aka alienist — and newspaper illustrator John Moore (Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret. Joining them in the probe is Sara Howard (Fanning), a headstrong secretary at Police Headquarters.

Based upon this preview, this may be a very good series. Unfortunately, there is no date set yet as to when we will be able to begin watching.

Review of “Power Game”

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Book Reviews – “Power Game” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Christine Feehan (http://www.christinefeehan.com). Ms. Feehan has published an impressive 100 novels. This is the latest of her currently 13 Ghostwalker series 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story takes place in the swamps of Louisiana and in South East Asia. The primary characters are Captain Ezekiel Fortunes, a genetically enhanced special operations operator, and Bellisia, also genetically enhanced to act as an assassin.

Bellisia escapes the man who is controlling her and spies on Fortunes and his family. When Fortune is kidnapped, she pursues and saves him. Once they meet they feel a bond that quickly grows into a deep desire for one another. Bellisia is quickly adopted into Fortunes family circle. Soon she and the others must defend the family compound from those coming to take Bellisia back.

I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 400 page Science Fiction Romance Thriller. There was quite a bit of action and some very heated romance depicted. I liked the plot with the enhanced soldiers, each having different levels and types of enhancements. I would certainly read other novels in the series. This one, even though the 13th in the series, read well as a stand-alone novel. The cover art is OK, but really does not reflect much in the novel. I give this novel a 3.9 (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).