Category Archives: Fiction

Trailer for the upcoming WWII movie “Greyhound”

This looks like it will be good. “Greyhound” will be in theaters on June 12 of this year. The synopsis per IMDB:

During World War II, a US Navy skipper must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolf packs.

The screenplay for the film was written by Tom Hanks. The story is based upon the many convoys that were taking desperately needed supplies from the United States to England.


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 360 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: “Red Metal”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Red Metal” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Mark Greaney (https://markgreaneybooks.com/). Mr. Greaney has published 10 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 Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in contemporary times. A small contingent of the Russian military conspire with the Russian president to invade the west and recapture a mine of Rare Earth metals.

Tensions are high between the US and China. With the threat of an invasion of Taiwan, military forces are redeployed to support the island. The Russians have been unhappy since they were forced to abandon the Rare Earth mine in East Africa. Now that the attention of the US is focused on Asia, the Russians implement a high stakes plan to recapture the mine and gain control for decades of high tech.

The story is told from the viewpoints of several characters, though a few stand out. On the Russian side the two generals leading the major military efforts are the main characters. On the side of the ‘Allies’ are a Marine Lt. Colonel fresh from a desk in the Pentagon, a French Special Forces Captain, a young Polish reservist, an American A-10 pilot, an American armor maintenance officer who is thrust into command of a combat unit, and the commander of a submarine.

The action flows back and forth between Allies and Russian forces. A strike is made from deep in Russia into Western Europe, following a well prepared plan. Simultaneously another force is secretly deployed to Africa to capture and hold the mine.

With the bulk of US forces already deployed to Asia, the Russians meet little resistance at first in their surprise attack. Slowly though, the Allies begin to pull together and resist the Russian onslaught.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 19 hours I spent reading this 652-page thriller.  I thought that this novel had a very enjoyable and elaborate plot. Not all of the characters that are touched upon survive the many confrontations. I do 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).

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”

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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 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).