Category Archives: Fiction

Book Review: “Die Again, Mr. Holmes”

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Book Reviews – “Die Again, Mr. Holmes” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Anna Elliott (http://www.annaelliottbooks.com) and Charles Veley (https://sherlockandlucy.com). Ms. Elliott has authored or co-authored more than a dozen novels. Mr. Veley has authored or co-authored eight novels. This is the eighth novel in the “The Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mysteries” 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 in 1898 England. The primary characters are Sherlock Holmes and his young American daughter, Lucy James.

Both Holmes and James have missing person cases they are working on independently. James though has the complication of also having to protect her 10-year-old sister-in-law Becky from her estranged criminal father. Then the news that devastates them all – Holmes has died! Will James and the faithful Watson be able to protect the young Becky and find the missing woman without Holmes?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 471-page Sherlock Holmes mystery. This is the second novel in this series I have read (the other “Remember, Remember” I read back in late 2017). I have thoroughly enjoyed them both. The mystery definitely has the feel of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories. I think that the cover art was well chosen. 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).

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Friday WWII Flix: “Rauch”

WWII – In this short (13:06) film a lone American Paratrooper encounters a  lone German soldier on what appears to be D-Day. The film was uploaded to YouTube in June of 2012 by Ethan Harman. The synopsis:

A WWII story of two men, known only to each other as ‘the enemy’, who have a brief encounter in an isolated woods, France, 1944.

Not the best WWII short, but not bad.


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

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Friday WWII Flix: “Bombs Over Burma”

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WWII – A few weeks ago I watched the WWII era movie “Bombs Over Burma” from my movie collection. This Black & White movie was released in 1942. The synopsis per IMDB:

Chinese girl risks her life on espionage mission against the Japanese in World War 2.

This isn’t the best war movie, but it is typical of many of that period. A Chinese woman is dispatched on a bus on a mission against the Japanese. One of the other passengers on the bus is working for the Japanese. It received a 5.3/10 rating on IMDB. The movie is available to rent or buy from Amazon.


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

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 200 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Review: “Cyber Countdown”

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Book Reviews – “Cyber Countdown” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Terence Flynn. This is Mr. Flynn’s 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 scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the near-contemporary US. The primary character is James Jordan, the current Federal Chief Information Officer of the US.

Jordan had been the CEO of the Cyber Security firm VSI but had stepped down when asked to be the Chief Information Officer. Now his former partner at VSI Philip Wu is dead. The resulting investigation reveals that Wu had been doing classified work for the US government.

The US is plagued with cyber attacks coming from China. Among the students behind the attack is a North Korean naval officer Kim Kwon-Mu. Kwon soon realizes that their effort is more than a simple prank to steal US corporate data.

Before long events are pushing the US and China towards war. Will Jordan be able to get to the bottom of things and find a way to avoid the looming conflict?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 450-page thriller. I liked the level of detail included in the story as well as the plot. I hope to read more “James Jordan” adventures in the future. The chosen 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).

Book Review: “The Devil Aspect”

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Book Reviews – “The Devil Aspect” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Craig Russell (https://craigrussell.com). Mr. Russell has published 11 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. The year is 1935 and the story is set in Prague and the nearby Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The primary characters are the young psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek and Prague Police investigator Lukas Smolak.

Kosárek has just taken the position at the Hrad Orlu Asylum to pursue his theory of the ‘Devil Aspect’. His patients at Hrad Orlu Asylum are the countries most infamous six killers, all deemed insane. He begins his treatments and is disturbed at what he discovers. He also finds himself attracted to the young Judita Blochová the chief administrator at Hrad Orlu Asylum.

A serial killer known as Leather Apron has been operating in Prague and the police have no clue as to who it might be. Investigator Smolak has been working hard to track down the killer, but thus far has few leads. Filip Starosta is Kosárek’s friend from university but he seems to be getting more and more distant and erratic in his behavior. As hard as it is for Kosárek to believe, he begins to have concerns for his friend’s sanity. Kosárek is also hearing strange things from his patients while they are heavily drugged and under treatment. He begins to believe there is an evil there among the patients beyond their simple insanity.

I thought that the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 410-page horror/mystery were interesting. The plot was interesting to me, but I found the story to be a bit slow. It is a very dark story with a touch of the supernatural. I did like the unexpected plot twist at the end of the novel. The chosen cover art is OK, but I think something closer to the story would have been better. 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: “Pandora: Contagion”

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Book Reviews – “Pandora: Contagion” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Eric L. Harry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_L._Harry). Mr. Harry has published six novels. This is the second in his “Pandora 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 characters are neuroscientist Isabel Miller, her twin sister Emma and their brother Noah.

The Pandoravirus outbreak has spread around the world. Emma Miller is a carrier but has past the point of being highly contagious. Isabel Miller is still working for the President evaluating the spread of the virus. She is escorted by Marine Captain Rick Townsend her bodyguard and lover. Noah Miller has taken his family to a prepared homesite in rural Virginia to try to avoid the virus and the violence it had been bringing.

Emma makes her way toward her brothers new home. She is still as smart as she was before catching the virus, but has little feelings left. She lets few get in her way and thinks nothing of taking a life. Noah’s plans to set out the onslaught of the virus soon begins to unravel.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 300-page thriller. While this isn’t a ‘zombie uprising’ story, it is very similar. I have read a few other of Mr. Harry’s novels and enjoyed them. While it would have helped to have read the first novel in the series before this one, this novel reads well on its own. The story isn’t over so there will no doubt be at least one more novel in the series. I like the chosen artwork for the cover. 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).

Book Review: “The Taken Girls”

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Book Reviews – “The Taken girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by G. D. Sanders (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/s/g-d-sanders/). This is Mr. Sander’s first 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 Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set in contemporary England. The primary character is Detective Edina Ogborne.

Ogborne has just been transferred to the Canterbury Police. Even before her official start, she finds herself involved in the hunt for a missing teenage girl. That hunt goes on for days, then the girl turns up. As the investigation proceeds it is discovered that this is not the first girl to disappear then reappear unharmed.

Not only is Ogborne faced with the challenge of the kidnapping, but she also faces initial resistance from her new team in Canterbury. Poor choices in her love life have caused her to be transferred to Canterbury and now the new man in her life is a suspect in the kidnapping. She also comes across oddities in the police records that imply that there has been a coverup.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 400-page mystery. I like British mysteries and I think this is a good one. I like the primary character as well as the others that make up her team. I think they will make for good stories as this series evolves. I have had the opportunity to visit Canterbury so that adds a further attraction to this novel. I like the 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: “The Jewish Brigade”

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Book Reviews – “The Jewish Brigade” graphic novel was published in 2016 and was written by Marvano (Mark van Oppen) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvano). He has authored or coauthored many graphic 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. The story is set in Poland shortly after the end of World War II. The primary characters are Leslie and Ari, both British soldiers part of the Jewish Brigade. The Jewish Brigade was created as part of the British Army in 1944 and saw action primarily in Italy. It was made up of over 5000 volunteers from Mandatory Palestine.

Leslie and Ari are looking for Jewish refugees as well as former Nazis hiding among the population.

I enjoyed the 25 minutes I spent reading this 50-page WWII graphic novel. I normally do not pick graphic novels to review, but because this one dealt with WWII I decided to give it a try. It was an interesting story with very good artwork. I like the cover art. 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).


If you are interested in the World War II era of history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of links to  museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.

Book Review: “Seek and Destroy”

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Book Reviews – “Seek and /destroy” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Alan McDermott (http://www.alanmcdermottbooks.co.uk). Mr. McDermott has published nine novels. This is the second of his “Eva Driscoll 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is a contemporary thriller. The primary character is Eva Driscoll.

Driscoll and her allies from the first novel have all been granted secret Presidential pardons for their efforts and have each disappeared. Unknown forces suddenly begin attacking those that have been helping Driscoll. Driscoll calls her allies in from hiding to confront this new threat.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 272-page thriller. I read the proceeding novel in the series and liked both. This is readable as a stand alone novel, though reading them in sequence would be preferable. While I really enjoyed this novel, it seemed a little rushed. I like the set of characters that have been created. The cover art is OK. 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).

Friday WWII Flix: Short Film “Only Few Seconds”

WWII – Short Films – This short (15:53) World War II-era film was uploaded to YouTube in June of 2016 by MHWL Productions. It depicts an encounter by German troops with American troops from the German perspective. Most dialog is in German but with English subtitles.

I think that the film was well made though as pointed out in the comments to the YouTube post there are some flaws – troops of both sides too neat and clean, poor tactics, and too many US officers on the front lines.

It definitely depicts a bloody and ruthless conflict from both sides.