Category Archives: Fiction

Review of “The Berlin Affair”

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Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “The Berlin affair” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Boyle. Mr. Boyle has 12 publications. This is the first in his “Xanthe Schneider Enigma 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 set in England and Germany during 1940. The primary character is the young American woman Xanthe Schneider.

Schneider is recruited by British intelligence to travel to German in the guise of an American reporter. She is to determine if Ralph Lancing-Price, a former British government minister, is still a patriot to England or a traitor.

She finds more in Germany than she bargains for: Information about the secret German ‘Enigma’ coding device is revealed to her; She develops a romantic relationship with Lancing-Price; and Germany begins to mobilize its armies.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 121 page World War II spy thriller was interesting. This wasn’t a very compelling read. The story seemed to just amble along. I think it would have been better if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, but not very closely related to the story. I give this novella 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).

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Review of “The DeValera Deception

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Book Reviews – “The DeValera Deception” eBook was published in 2018 (the original paper edition was published in 2010) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin has published seven novels and this is the first in their “Winston Churchill 1930s 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 and Mature Situations. The story is set across North America in 1929.

Winston Churchill is traveling across Canada and the US. The Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, asks him to discretely approach President Herbert Hoover to get assistance in stopping the sale of arms to the IRA. While a team of SIS agents is dispatched to investigate, Churchill decides to rely on his own resources. He recruits his goddaughter, Mattie McGary, who is a reporter for the Hearst newspapers and Bourke Cockran a lawyer and son of one of Churchill’s former mentors.

While Cockran develops a strong love interest in McGary, he also mistrusts her and Hearst. The two are able to discover quite a bit about the IRA plot, but they find themselves in dangerous situations time and again. Cockran is distracted by the presence in the US of the IRA agent responsible for the death of his first wife. He struggles to keep his focus on the arms deal instead of seeking revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 415 page period thriller. I liked the characters of Cockran and McGary, as well as the real historical figures that the authors have woven into the story. I like the cover art selected for the novel. 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 “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: For Honor”

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Book Reviews – “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: For Honor” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeff Rovin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Rovin). Mr. Rovin has published nearly 50 novels as well as several non-fiction and biographies.

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. At the height of the cold war Russian nuclear weapons were quietly put into place in a remote East Russian fishing village.

Now decades later the Russian military is making a deal to sell the warheads to the Iranians. Op Center steps in to stop the sale. Their efforts are challenged by opposition within the White House and the FBI.

This was an interesting read of 8+ hours for this 352 page thriller. The cover art is OK, but something closer to the story plot would have been better in my opinion. 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 “Jian”

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Book Reviews – “Jian” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1985) and was written by Eric Van Lustbader (https://www.ericvanlustbader.com). Mr. Lustbader has published nearly 50 novels. This is the first of his two “China Maroc” books.

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 Hong Kong.

Jake Maroc is a top agent for a US agency. Nichiren is an assassin as well as Maroc’s adversary. She Zilin is a Communist minister. All three are struggling to become the Jian – the ultimate master of strength and wisdom. Who will survive the scheme that has set them against one another? Who will control Hong Kong?

This was a good thriller. I have read many of Van Lustbader’s novels and I have liked them all. I like the 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 “Prisoner in the Castle”

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Book ReviewsWorld War IIWorld War II Timeline – “Prisoner in the Castle” eBook was published in 2018 (August) and was written by Susan Elia MacNeal (http://www.susaneliamacneal.com). Ms. MacNeal has published eight novels in her ‘Maggie Hope Mystery’ series. This is the eighth in the 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 Scotland during World War II. The primary character is Maggie Hope, a former British spy.

Hope has been sent to a castle on a remote Scottish island because she has become aware of the plans for D-Day. She and a hand full of others from the intelligence community are there to set out the war where they cannot reveal sensitive information that they have come across.

Soon after a new resident arrives, members of their small community begin to die. At first, the deaths seem like accidents, but before long it is obvious that there is a killer amongst them. Not only are they living with a killer, but the evidence indicates that there is a German spy on the island after Allied secrets.

I really enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 320 page World War II-era mystery/thriller. While this is one of a series, it reads well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters in the novel. I would like to go back and read earlier novels in the series, and I will certainly be looking for future additions. I like the cover art. 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 “Dark Territory”

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Book Reviews – “Dark Territory” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Leo J. Maloney (http://leojmaloney.com). Mr. Maloney has published eight novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway. The primary character is young Alex Morgan.

Morgan may be a very young woman, but she is also a very experienced and competent operative, for a very secret US organization. She is on her way home from a mission when she is inadvertently sucked into a plot to blackmail the US and Russian governments for millions. Will she be able to stop the plot before aircraft target her train?

I thought that this was a pretty good 2.5 hour read for this thriller novella. While it is part of the “Dan Morgan” thriller series, it really focusses on his daughter, Alex. The cover art is OK, but I think something with the train would have been more appropriate. 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 “Serpents Underfoot”

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Book Reviews – “Serpents Underfoot” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by D. C. Gilbert (https://patriotwarrior.org). This is Mr. Gilbert’s first publication.

I received a free copy 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is the US Navy SEAL JD Cordell.

Cordell comes from a family with a long history of military service. The SEAL team he is a member of raids a terrorist and comes away with information on an ongoing plot. When an old school friend of Cordell’s is killed, he starts digging into the information his friend left behind. That information not only has details of a plot against the US, but it also implies links to a presidential candidate. It becomes a race to see if Cordell and other US forces can thwart the Iranian plot before it is too late.

I enjoyed the 5.5+ hours I spent reading this 269 page thriller. This novel starts with the deep background story of Cordell’s father when he was serving in Viet Nam. It carries forward to JD Cordell’s SEAL Team and other major characters in the plot. Far more background is developed in this novel than you would normally find. I also liked that the characters are down to earth with no “over the top” scenes of heroic combat. I think that 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).

Review of “The Girl in the Ice”

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Book Reviews – “The Girl in the Ice” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Robert Bryndza (https://robertbryndza.com). Mr. Bryndza has published 13 novels. This is the first in his “Detective Erika Foster” crime thriller 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 modern-day London. The primary character is Detective Erika Foster.

Foster had been on leave. She had led a raid on a suspect’s home and in the process part of her team were killed, including her husband. The police have discovered the body of a young woman frozen in a lake. An old friend of Foster’s persuades her to come back and take the lead of the investigation team. This does not sit well with all of the officers working the case.

The murder investigation is complicated by the fact that the young victim is from a well to do family. As she digs deeper into the case, she finds evidence of three prostitutes being killed in almost an identical fashion. But associating the death of the socialite with the death of the prostitutes does not go over well with her family. This soon, and her brusque style, leads to her being sidelined from the investigation.

As the official investigation stalls, she is able to once again resume the role of leadership. As she narrows in on the killer, she is unaware that the killer had been stalking her. Will she be able to identify the killer before she becomes his next victim?

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 396 page mystery thriller. I liked the character of Foster. She is a bit flawed and broken, but a tough customer. I will look for more books by Bryndza in this series. I liked the cover art, but to be consistent with the story the frozen dead girl’s eyes should be open. 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 “Blue Madonna”

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Book Reviews – WWII – “Blue Madonna” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by James R. Benn (http://www.jamesrbenn.com). Mr. Benn has published 14 novels. This is the eleventh in his “Billy Boyle WWII Mystery” series.

I purchased this novel through Barnes and Noble for my Nook reader. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story takes place in England and France in the days just before and following D-Day, June 6, 1944. The primary character is US Army Captain Billy Boyle.

Boyle is thrust into a dangerous undercover operation to identify those behind the theft of US military supplies intended for use by D-Day troops. This leads Boyle into occupied France on the eve of D-Day to find and bring out a key witness against the thieves.

A group of US fliers who have been shot down is in hiding with the French resistance. Included this group is the key witness. Boyle must make contact with them and bring out the witness. But the activities with the French underground are disrupted when one of the airmen is found dead. Boyle must not only try to solve the murder, but also assist the resistance with operations against the Germans. He is faced with surviving both the obvious German enemies, but also the unknown killer.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 9 hours I spent reading this 337 page World War II mystery. In fact, I read this novel in one day. This novel reads well enough on its own, but I recommend reading these novels from the beginning. I have read all 11 now and find them to be excellent. I like the characters that Benn has developed for this series, and how he has woven the details of World War II into the mysteries. While the cover art is not bad, I think something more in line with the main plot of the story would have been better. 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 “Direct Fire”

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Book Reviews – “Direct Fire” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by A. J. Tata (https://www.ajtata.com). Mr. Tata has published nine novels. This is the fourth in his “Jake Mahegan 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 Jake Mahegan.

Mahegan received a call to meet with General Savage. When he arrives he runs into an ambush. At essentially the same time military leaders are under attack. This is the start of a full assault by terrorist agents in the US. Mahegan outwits those sent to kill him and begins a mission to find those behind the assault.

Complicating matters, the terrorists frame him for the attack on one of the military leaders. Ducking the authorities, he pursues leads that will take him to those behind the attacks. He must overcome many obstacles to stop the terrorists before they let loose even more destruction on the US.

I enjoyed the time I spent reading the 353 page thriller. I have read other novels in this series and enjoyed them all. I like the Mahegan character Tata has created for this series. The cover art is OK but doesn’t directly relate 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).