Category Archives: Fiction

Book Review: “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Tom Savage (http://tomsavagebooks.com). Mr. Savage has published 12 novels. This is the fourth in his “Nora Baron thriller” 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. This continues the story of Nora Baron who has joined her husband at the CIA.

This story is about their first mission together. A person of interest, Frenchman Claude Lamont, is taking a Caribbean cruise with his second wife. Nora and her husband are asked to join the cruise and keep an eye on Lamont. Lamont is thought to be funneling large sums of money to terrorists. The CIA thinks he will be making contact with someone on the cruise and the Barons are there to find out who.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 203-page mystery/thriller. This is not an action-filled thriller, but more of a mystery. The plot takes a few twists and turns to end up in a different place than you first might expect. I have now read three of the four (“The Woman Who Knew Too Much” & “The Spy Who Never Was” earlier) Nora Baron novels and have enjoyed them all. If you like a good mystery/thriller without a lot of violence, then you will enjoy these novels. 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: “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy”

51gfXOw8DnL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Tom Savage (http://tomsavagebooks.com). Mr. Savage has published 12 novels. This is the fourth in his “Nora Baron thriller” 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. This continues the story of Nora Baron who has joined her husband at the CIA. 

This story is about their first mission together. A person of interest, Frenchman Claude Lamont, is taking a Caribbean cruise with his second wife. Nora and her husband are asked to join the cruise and keep an eye on Lamont. Lamont is thought to be funneling large sums of money to terrorists. The CIA thinks he will be making contact with someone on the cruise and the Barons are there to find out who. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 203-page mystery/thriller. This is not an action-filled thriller, but more of a mystery. The plot takes a few twists and turns to end up in a different place than you first might expect. I have now read three of the four (“The Woman Who Knew Too Much” & “The Spy Who Never Was” earlier) Nora Baron novels and have enjoyed them all. If you like a good mystery/thriller without a lot of violence, then you will enjoy these novels. 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: “The White Feather Killer “

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The White Feather Killer ” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by R. N. Morris (http://rogernmorris.co.uk). Mr. Morris has published 11 novels with this being the 5th in his “Silas Quinn” mystery 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 1914 London. The primary character is DI Silas Quinn. 

Quinn has finished his recuperation after his last case and has returned to Scotland Yard. He finds that his old team has been reassigned as has he. His Special Crimes Department has been disbanded. Quinn’s new duties are a slap in the face. 

WWI has just begun. Pastor Cardew holds a rally to support the British. The young women of London are urged to hand men not yet enlisted a white feather to ‘urge’ their enlistment. The day after the body of a young woman is discovered with a white feather in her mouth. Initially, Quinn is excluded from the investigation. He sees more in the evidence than those in charge and it is not long before that stirs up more trouble for him. Fortunately, he is not entirely on his own. An arrest is made for the young woman’s killer, but Quinn believes that they have the wrong man. 

Will he be able to find the guilty party and survive at Scotland Yard?

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page mystery. I did think that the book started off slowly. It was not until the 35% point that the murder of the young woman actually takes place. Things, fortunately, pick up from that point until the end of the novel. As you would hope to find in a mystery, there are several twists to the plot. I do like the selected 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: “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Sting of the Wasp”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Sting of the Wasp” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Jeff Rovin, Steve Pieczenik (contributor), and Tom Clancy (listed as contributor though Mr. Clancy died in 2013). Mr. Rovin has published more than 100 novels. This is the 18th Op-Center novel. 

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. The primary character is former Op-Center director Chase Williams. 

A terrorist attack has taken place in New York City abort the Museum Ship Intrepid. The attack has been carried out by Iranian Captain Ahmed Salehi. Williams is relieved of command of Op-Center and it is dismantled. 

Known to only a few, Williams is put in charge of an ultra-secret group known as BLACK WASP. The WASPs are an odd collection – US Navy martial arts expert Lieutenant Grace Lee, marksman extraordinaire Lance Corporal Jaz Rivette, and JAG attorney and criminologist Major Hamilton Breen. This very unorthodox team is loosely led by Williams on the trail of Salehi. 

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 348-page action thriller. I have read many of Clancy’s novels as well as several of the Op-Center novels. While this was not the best, it was an enjoyable read. It was very clearly not written by Clancy. The action was pretty constant in the book. As with so many thrillers, the sequence of events, luck and opportunity fell in line so that the ‘heroes’ prevailed. I like the selected cover art. 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).

Book Review: “Rules of Engagement”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Rules of Engagement” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Bruns (https://davidbruns.com) and J. R. Olson. Together they have published more than 15 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in contemporary times. While the main character is Don Riley who is head of the US Cyber Command, there are many characters in the story. 

Wanted terrorist Rafiq Roshed has fled to North Korea. From there he has unleashed an attack against the US power grid. Not long after that, he puts in motion events to raise would tension to prompt the sales of Russian arms. But he has his own agenda and he not only wants to raise tension in the Pacific, but he was the world on fire. 

Riley leads the effort to find Roshed and stop him before he causes World War III. This is made more difficult by Roshed hiding in North Korea. Roshed has schemed to infiltrate the military communications networks of China, Japan, and the US, Using that access he is causing one incident after another. Making the wrong decision will more the enflamed situation into a shooting war. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 329-page thriller. There were many characters to keep up with in the novel. I did find the depiction of cyber warfare more accurate than most novels. I lick forward to the next novel in this series. I like the selected cover art. 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 “Region 6: What if the Allies had lost?”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Region 6: What if the Allies had lost?” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Ian Krender. Mr. Krender has published two 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 Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate history where Germany won WWII. 

The two primary characters are Thomas and Stephen. Thomas has grown up in Region 6, what we know as the UK. He is part of the working class and has experienced first hand the ruthlessness of the Nazi occupiers. Stephen has led a privileged life in Region 6 since her father is part of the Gestapo. He has followed in those footsteps and joined the Gestapo himself. 

Thomas has joined the resistance movement. Stephen is sent in as a spy to make friends with Thomas and find out more about what the resistance is planning. Stephen though is disillusioned by what he learns. That, and a growing relationship with Thomas persuades him to help the resistance. 

I found the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 272-page alternate history interesting. I generally like alternative history novels and almost anything dealing with WWII. When I selected this novel I did not realize there was a significant LGBTQ component to the story. I came close to just ditching the book with a Rule of 50 at the 66% mark. As far as the resistance thread to the plot goes, that seemed realistic, but the end of the novel was less believable. The cover art is reflective of the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (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: “Layover”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Layover” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Bell (https://davidbellnovels.com). This is Mr. Bell’s ninth novel. 

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 in the US. The primary character is Joshua Fields. 

Fields is flying all the time for his job. While waiting for his connection he meets the lovely Morgan. They have a drink together and seem to connect, but then she leaves him to make her flight. Fields is infatuated with the girl and disrupts his plans to follow her. But when he approaches her on the flight, she acts if he is a stranger. 

She at one moment is pushing him away or running from him, while in the next is jumping into bed with him. Her erratic behavior continues as he discovers that Morgan is sought by the police. 

Fields is strongly drawn to her, but her actions leave him wondering about her. The more he learns about her the more he questions how much truth there is in what she has told him. 

I thought the nearly 7 hours I spent reading this 414-page mystery were interesting. I liked the overall plot. The ‘mystery’ felt very weak to me. Almost more about relationships and finding the way in your life. The cover art is OK. 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).

Book Review: “Tangle’s Game”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Tangle’s Game” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Stewart Hotston (https://stewarthotston.com/). This is Mr. Hotston’s third novel.

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 a near future. The primary character is Amanda Back. 

Back gets swept up into something she didn’t see coming. A former boyfriend sent her information that many want and are willing to go to any length to obtain. She sets off to find out what the information is. 

I was disappointed with the 2.5 hours I spent reading this 235-page science fiction thriller. It took me only 2.5 hours as I simply called a Rule of 50 at that point and put the novel down. I don’t do that very often, but I just couldn’t get involved with this novel. To me, it seemed chaotic with a lot of political preaching. The cover art is an interesting choice. I give this novel a 2 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “War of Shadows”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “War of Shadows” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Leo J. Maloney (http://leojmaloney.com). Mr. Maloney has published more than ten novels. This is the 7th of his “Dan Morgan Thriller” 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 in the contemporary US. The primary character is Special Ops veteran and Zeta agent Dan Morgan.

Morgan is approaching his home when it suddenly explodes. He fears that his wife might have been caught in the blast. That begins a cross country journey evading agents that are out to kill him. Unsure of whether there are any other Zeta agents surviving the wide ranging attacks he struggles to survive with his daughter, the only other surviving Zeta agent he is aware of. Making his survival even tougher are the advanced weapons that are being used against him and his daughter. He only sees survival and vengeance on those who took his wife. 

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 269-page thriller. This is a very action packed novel. Morgan and his daughter seem to slip from one life threatening situation to another. Is some respects it reminds be of the ‘James Bond’ movies with Roger More.  This is the third Maloney novel I have read and I have found all of them enjoyable. While this novel would be better if you had read the previous books in the series, it is a good stand alone read. I like the selected 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 Sky Above Us”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Sky Above” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Sarah Sundin (https://www.sarahsundin.com). Ms. Sundin has published a dozen Drama/Romance novels with the stories taking place during WWII. This is the second of her “Sunrise at Normandy” 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 ‘G’. The story is set primarily in England in 1944. The primary characters are Red Cross volunteer Violet Lindstrom and US Army fighter pilot Lt. Adler Paxton. 

Paxton has fled from home because of a dispute with his family. Eventually he enlists in the Army. Lindstrom wants to be a Missionary and serve in Africa like her aunt. She goes to England with the Red Cross expecting to help children, but is posted to a US Air base. Neither wants to find a relationship, but they are drawn together. 

Paxton flies many dangerous missions, engaging German aircraft and loosing close friends. Lindstrom is in charge of the Red Cross Aeroclub at the airfield where the 357th, Paxton’s unit, is based. She faces not only the ongoing relationship with Paxton, but the responsibility of running the Aeroclub.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 383-page christian romance. This book is pretty far outside my normal reading scope. I added it to my reading list because I follow Ms. Sundin on Twitter. She  Tweets nearly daily about WWII and I wanted to give her novel a chance. It was well written with bits about WWII history injected here and there in the novel. I doubt I will read any further of her novels as Romance is not my genre, but if you do like romance, then I would certainly recommend her writing. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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


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

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 340 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.