Category Archives: NetGalley

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: “Britain 1940: The Decisive Year on the Home Front”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Britain 1940: The Decisive Year on the Home Front” was published in 2020 (July) and was written by Anton Rippon. Mr. Rippon has published several 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book relates the experiences of those who lived in 1940 Britain.

It doesn’t look at the combat of the time but at the more everyday aspects of life. One chapter addressed the objections to conscription. Another with sporting events carried out in wartime. Other chapters dealt with women in the workforce, labor unrest, the Home Guard, and the internment of foreign nationals. A longer look was taken at the blitz and how that impacted the civilians. Opportunities appeared that let some shine as heroes. Others used air raids and the resulting destruction as an excuse for crime. 

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 240-page history. This was a bit of a dry read as there were a lot of facts and numbers. There were many things though that I learned from the book. It does give a different view that is common to that first full year of the war. 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).


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: “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: “Stalingrad: Hitler’s Biggest Gamble October 1942”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Stalingrad: Hitler’s Biggest Gamble October 1942” eBook was published in 2020 and was written by Will Fowler. Mr. Fowler is the author or co-author of more than a dozen 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book covers the activities of both the German and Soviet forces in and around Stalingrad in October of 1942. 

The actions of the German forces and Soviet forces are laid out in a step by step manner. Several excellent maps are provided showing the positions of various units and how they responded to the evolving battle. Several photos are also included in the book. The book provides a very detailed chronicle of the battle for Stalingrad as it came to a bitter end. 

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 192-page WWII history. I have read a lot about the war in Europe, but this is the most detailed book I have read about the battle of Stalingrad. The very brutal war on both sides is depicted in great detail. Clearly, Hitler’s obsession with taking the Soviet city named for Stalin drove him to make decisions that were not in the best interest of the German military forces. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to 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 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: “Walking to Aldebaran”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Walking to Aldebaran” novella was published in 2019 and was written by Adrian Tchiakovsky. He has published nearly two dozen novels or 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the near future. An object has been detected at the far reaches of our solar system and an international group of astronauts is sent out to investigate.

The primary character, Gary Rendell, is part of the group to land on the object and begin its exploration. When the team is attacked Rendell flees and is lost in the labyrinth tunnel system. He must find a means of survival as he wonders the tunnels. The tunnels hold what he thinks are other explorers trapped on the object. The object seems to have many entrances and exits at many different points in space.

The time wondering alone begins to affect Rendell, then he finds the heart of the object and goes through a transformation, or at least he thinks that he does. By the time he finds his fellow humans, he has changed.

I thought that the 3 hours I spent reading this 105-page science fiction novella were interesting. I found this to be a very strange read. Had it been longer, I would probably have called a Rule of 50 and just dropped it. It mostly deals with Rendell slowly going insane. This is not one that I would recommend. The cover art is OK. I give this novella a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) 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: “Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II’s Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Four Hours of Fury: The Untold Story of World War II’s Largest Airborne Invasion and the Final Push into Nazi Germany” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by James M. Fenelon (https://www.jamesfenelon.com). This is Mr. Fenelon’s first book. 

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. This is the story of the last and largest airborne operation of WWII. 

The book details the preparations for the attack as well as events on the day of the jump itself. The high-level strategy behind the jump is addressed and the heroic actions of many individuals are described. The book mentions many who were involved in this last major European battle of WWII. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5+ hours I spent reading this 449-page history. This is one of the best-written accounts of WWII that I have read. It is also a detailed account of a major operation that I had not really been aware of. I will certainly be on the lookout for more non-fiction from Mr. Fenelon. I like the chosen 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).


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 350 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: “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).

Book Review: “Secret Casualties of World War Two: Uncovering the Civilian Deaths from Friendly Fire”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Secret Casualties of World War Two: Uncovering the Civilian Deaths from Friendly Fire” was published in 2020 (May) and was written by Simon Webb. He is the author of many books on social history. 

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 book covers the years of WWII. 

In this book the author tries to document some of the civilian deaths caused by Allied ‘collateral damage’ and ‘friendly fire’. He contends that more casualties were caused in the German air raids by faulty anti aircraft shells and the shrapnel from working shells exploding over the cities than from the German bombing itself. He even suggests that there was a plot by the British government to keep people in the cities to work in the war factories. 

I thought that the 5 hours I spent reading this 168-page historical analysis of WWII was interesting. As much as the author contends that the anti aircraft fire was near to useless, I wonder how he explains the many Allied aircraft shot down over occupied Europe? Certainly there were many deaths accidentally caused by the Allies during the war, but I still find it difficult to believe that there was a conspiracy. Personally I do not feel that sufficient evidence was provided to justify all of his claims. 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).


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 350 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.