Category Archives: Mystery

Review of “The Rest is Silence”

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Book Reviews – “The Rest is Silence” ebook was published in 2014 and was written by James R. Benn (http://www.jamesrbenn.com). Mr. Benn has published twelve novels, all in the “Billy Boyle WWII Mystery” series. This is the 9th novel in that series.

I purchased this novel from the Barnes & Noble (Nook) bookstore. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in World War II England, just weeks before the Allied invasion of France. US Army Captain Billy Boyle is the primary character.

An unidentified corpse washes ashore on a beach being used for secret rehearsals of the D-Day invasion. Boyle is sent to find out who the dead man is, more importantly to determine that he was not a German spy observing the secret activities.

Boyle and his friend and associate Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz stay at the estate of an old friend of Kazimierz which is located near where the body was found. The family they are staying with seem to have their own secrets and intrigues going on.

On top of their investigation hundreds of US military are killed during a German attack white they are practicing for the invasion. “Operation Tiger” (depicted in the story) was a real life disaster for the Allies while preparing for D-Day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 hours I spent reading this 336 page World War II Mystery. I have read all nine of the novels up to this point and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. I like the characters that author Benn has created in Boyle and Kazimierz. I also like how he weaves real history into his stories. The cover art is a good selection. 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).

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Review of “Burntown”

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Book Reviews – “Burntown” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Jennifer McMahon (http://jennifer-mcmahon.com). Ms. McMahon 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 novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a New England college town. The primary character is young Eva “Necco” Sandeski.

Sandeski and her mother have been living on the streets hiding from “Snake Eyes”. At first Sandeski didn’t believe in Snake Eyes, but now she knows that he is real and after her. If he finds her she will die like the others.

Her father was a college professor and inventor. Today we would call him a “Maker”. He had plans for a novel device, supposedly designed by Thomas Edison, which would allow communication with the dead. Once he built the device, he found that it worked, but he heard from more than just the one he wanted to hear from.

That device led to his death. Sandeski and her mother ran away from their home. Sandeski lost memories of the tragic day due to a bump on the head or the anguish of the event. Now her mother is gone too. The police think Sandeski is responsible for a murder, and Snake Eyes is on her trail. She is running for her life.

Drawn in to this is 17 year old Theo Sweeny. She has the reputation as a squeaky clean young lady, but she has been convinced to sell drugs at her High School by the college age woman she has become romantically involved with. But then she looses the drug money she had collected and the dealer is after her. Sweeny and Sandeski become allies through unexpected circumstances.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 304 page Mystery Thriller. I would also say that this is a Young Adult novel at least in part due to the age of the girls, but it deals with serious topics. While not quite as intense, this novel felt a bit like I was reading a Dean Koontz novel. I liked the characters involved with the story. They are a mix that you would not normally think of as being allied together. The cover art is OK as it depicts the shack where Sandeski lived for a time beneath the bridge while she hid out with her mother. A lot does happen there in 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).

Review of “The Silent corner”

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Book Reviews – “The silent Corner” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz has published over 100 novels as well as several novellas.

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 take place in various places in the US, but mostly in California.

Jane Hawk, the primary character of the story, is an FBI agent who’s husband unexpectedly committed suicide. After she got over the shock, she took a leave from the FBI, liquidated everything, dropped off the grid and began to investigate.

Fearing for her son’s life, she leaves him with friends and sets off on her own. She finds that suicide is on the increase and many are as strange as her husband’s case. As she tracks down the trail of a ‘brothel’ with beautiful women willing for clients to do literally anything, she discovers that nono-scale technology may be what is creating these docile and cooperative young women. And it may well be at the root of the suicide of her husband and others. That information comes with a price. She soon finds herself a hunted fugitive. Will she find the truth and will she be able to stay alive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the just shy of 11 hours I spent reading this 466 page Science Fiction Mystery Thriller. I have read many Dean Koontz novels. This one strays from the earlier thrillers with more of a paranormal twist. This one reminds me more of a Michael Crichton novel. I liked the character of Jane Hawk and the way the novel ended I expect . . . I hope to be reading more with her at the core. The 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).

Review of “The Woman Who Knew Too Much”

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Book Reviews – “The Woman Who Knew Too Much” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Tom Savage (http://tomsavagebooks.com). Mr. Savage has published nine novels, two under the pseudonym of T. J. Phillips. This is the second of his “Nora Baron” thrillers.

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 begins in the US, but most of it takes place in Venice, Italy. The primary character is actress and now college professor Nora Baron.

Baron’s husband is a CIA agent. Her husband’s boss approaches her with a special request. He wants her assistance to help a Russian actress defect from the touring troop she is with when it appears in Venice. The job is supposed to be easy and relatively harmless, but it proves to be much more complicated. Baron begins to have serious questions about the woman who has asked for help in defecting.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 251 page Mystery Thriller. I found this book particularly interesting since my wife and I were in Venice in November of 2016. I liked the character of Nora Baron. While this is the second novel in the series, it does read well as a stand-alone novel. There is some action, but most of the story is about finding out what is behind the proposed defection and the intrigue between the major characters. The cover art is OK, with a hint of Venice. 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 “Windsinger”

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Book Reviews – “Windsinger” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by A. F. E. Smith (http://www.afesmith.com/). Ms. Smith has published 5 novels. This is the third book in her “Darkhaven Novels” 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. There is a touch of LBGTQ romance in the story. The story is set in another world. The primary character is Ayla Nightshade, Overlord of Darkhaven.

An ambassador from Sol Kardis is coming to Darkhaven. Nightshade must meet with him and convince him that a peace will be far better for both of their countries than the war towards which they are heade. All goes well, but the ambassador is murdered with evidence pointing at Nightshade as the perpetrator. Sol Kardis soon declares war on Darkhaven and hostilities begin.

A huge Paravian airship, the Windsinger, visits Darkhaven. It is a wonder for all to see, but is there a hidden purpose in the visit? Nightshade, her husband Thomas, and others loyal to her must try to find evidence of who is behind the murder. Little do they know that they are also fighting forces from within bent on war.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading his 449 page Fantasy Mystery. While this is the third book in the series, it reads well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters and the plot of this novel. I will look for more books from this author. The cover art is reasonable for this bok given the part the airship Windsinger plays. 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).

Trailer for “Rememory”

Trailers – “Rememory” looks like it could be a very interesting movie. The synopsis:

REMEMORY was written by Michael Vukadinovich and Mark Palansky and produced by Daniel Bekerman and Lee Clay. The film explores the unexplained death of Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan), a visionary scientific pioneer whose body is found shortly after the unveiling of his newest work: a device able to extract, record and play a person’s memories. Gordon’s wife, Carolyn (Julia Ormond – Mad Men, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Legends of the Fall), retreats into her house and cuts off contact with the outside world when a mysterious man (Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Station Agent) shows up. After stealing the machine, he uses it to try and solve the mystery, beginning an investigation of memories that lead him to unexpected and dangerous places.

I like Peter Dinklage from his role in Game of Thrones. This movie also has a very interesting plot as a SciFi/Mystery. This movie is unusual in that it “will be available for free exclusively on Google Play Movies starting on August 24 before being released in select theatres on September 8“. If it sounds interesting, you can watch it now via the Google Play Store.

Review of “The Last Nazi”

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Book Reviews – “The Last Nazi” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Andrew Turpin. This is Mr. Turpin’s first novel.

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story begins in World War II Europe, but then fast forwards to today. The primary character is former CIA officer and war crimes investigator Joe Johnson.

Johnson hears of a train hidden by the Nazis during the last days of the war. He also discovers evidence of blackmail and a tie to an American campaigning for President. This puts him on the trail of a German SS officer now living in South America who is still being sought for war crimes.

Johnson’s investigation is not without danger and obstruction. The Nazis still are organized and are a threat to Johnson. He also finds that not all intelligence agencies are interested in the SS officer being brought to justice.

I very much enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 482 page Mystery Thriller. I liked the character of Johnson as well as the two women who help him in his investigations and seem to lay the ground for future romantic entanglement. The cover art is well chosen, depicting an SS officer, but with an unknown face. I look forward to reading the next novel in this series. 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).

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 “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).