Category Archives: Suspense

Book Review – Glass Dolls

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Daisy E. White https://daisywhiteauthor.co.uk/ is the author of nearly a dozen novels. Glass Dolls was published in 2020 and is the first in her Detective Dove Milson series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is 36-year-old Detective Constable Dove Milson. She has just been reassigned to a Major Crimes Team.

The naked body of a teenage girl has been found near the Devon coast. The corpse has been encased in glass, replicating the methods of convicted serial killer Peter Hayworth. But he is long dead. Milson bears a personal connection to the serial killer. Four years earlier, her niece was one of Hayworth’s victims. Milson herself was seriously injured while pursuing Hayworth.

As she and her new partner, Detective Sargent Steve Parker, begin their investigation, Milson’s other niece, Delta, goes missing. By then, the body of a second naked girl enclosed in glass has been found. The fear is that Delta will become the next Glass Doll. Not only must they find the killer, but they have to find Delta before it is too late.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 298-page mystery. It was a very smooth read with a few good plot twists. This is the second novel my Ms. White I have read. The other being Remember Me. She is a consistently good writer. I will be looking for more novels by Ms. White. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – Death in Delft

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Graham Brack https://grahambrackauthor.com is the author of more than a dozen novels. Death in Delft was published in 2020. It is the first book of six in his Master Mercurius Mysteries novel series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this book/novel as G. The main character is Master Mercurius, a cleric from a University in Leiden.

The mystery is set in the Netherlands of 1671, where three young girls have disappeared. The Mayor of Delft has reached out for assistance in the investigation. Mercurius is sent to offer what learned assistance he can. Only one body has been found, so there is still an active hunt for the two other girls.

Mercurius must hunt for clues and try to locate the girls. It is feared that their bodies might soon be found as well.

While this is not a hard-core mystery, I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 245-page novel of historical fiction. The author does paint a good description of medieval Europe. This novel reminds me of the Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters, though those are a bit grittier. The cover art is plain, but appropriate for the novel. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review – The Lost tomb

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – N. J. Croft https://njcroft.com is the author of eight novels. The Lost Tomb was published in 2020 and is the second book in his Lost series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. Major Noah Blakey, head of an elite anti-terrorist unit, is the primary character.

His ex-wife is reported killed in remote Mongolia. She was an archaeologist who had been looking for the tomb of Genghis Khan. Blakely goes to investigate her death. He soon finds himself and his three children in danger.

After the death of Genghis Kahn, a group of devout followers dedicate themselves to keeping his tomb hidden. Descendants of Kahn want to fulfill the prophecy he made at his death to expand his empire and dominate the world. All they need is a missing artifact from the tomb.

Blakely finds himself caught between these deadly factions. The line between history and myth becomes blurred the closer he gets to the truth.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 281-page thriller. This novel is a very smooth read and includes history, action, suspense, and intrigue. I will be looking for any future novels by this author. I like the chosen cover art, and I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: Countdown to Midnight

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Dale Brown http://www.dalebrown.info/index02.htm (website out of date) is the author of 50 novels. The novel Countdown to Midnight was published in 2022, and it is the second in his Nick Flynn series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. Intelligence agent Nick Flynn is the primary character.

Flynn is a former US Air Force officer now working for a secret US intelligence organization. While on an operation in Austria, he is ambushed and nearly killed. His investigations disclose a joint operation between Russia and Iran, code-named Midnight. Midnight is under the direction of a wealthy Russian, Pavel Voronin. Security for the operations is provided by Raven, the elite security company Voronin owns.

A huge oil tanker is being refitted in an Iranian port. The plot involves the tanker and an effort to seriously damage the US. Flynn and his team must stop Operation Midnight before it is too late.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 398-page action-packed thriller. Since Brown’s first novel The Flight of the Old Dog was published in 1987, I have read many of his works. I have always enjoyed them and this novel was no exception. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).

Book Review: The Nemesis Manefesto

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Eric Van Lustbader https://www.ericvanlustbader.com is the author of more than 50 novels. The novel The Nemesis Manifesto was published in 2020. This is the first novel in his Evan Ryder thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to violence and mature language, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is DOD agent Evan Ryder.

Western intelligence agents are being targeted and killed. Ryder is paired with another US agent Brenda Meyers to investigate. As they follow one thin lead after another, they uncover a secret organization known only as Nemesis. It has targeted the US for destruction.

Ryder is certain that it won’t be long before her name comes up on the Nemesis hit list. She must discover who is behind Nemesis before it is too late. The journey also begins to unlock some of her deeply hidden memories.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 343-page spy thriller. Over the past few decades, I have read more than a dozen novels by Lustbader. I have enjoyed all of the novels, but the earlier ones stand out as better than the more recent ones. This novel struck me as having unnecessary ‘color’ phrases included. The chosen cover art is a bit bland. I give this novel a rating of 3.7 (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: The stolen Girls

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Patricia Gibney https://patriciagibney.com is the author of seven novels. The novel The Stolen Girls was published in 2017. It is the second book in the Detective Lottie Parker series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, mature situations, and mature language, I categorize this novel as ‘R’. The primary character is Irish Garda Detective Lottie Parker.

Parker is facing many issues in her personal life. She became a widow only four years before. Involvement in an earlier investigation has traumatized her three children.

One day a foreign woman appears at Parker’s door asking for help but then disappears. Later, the body of a young woman is found. More bodies and missing women follow. A close friend of Parker’s teenage daughter has gone missing. Could there be a connection?

One suspect implies that Parker’s deceased husband is somehow linked. The Garda has a suspect, but Parker doesn’t think he is responsible. Can she find the killer before there are more bodies?

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 465-page mystery. While this novel reads OK on its own, it would be better to start reading with the first novel in the series. The cover art is a bit drab, but the story is also a little dark. It seems to fit. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: End of Days

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Brad Taylor https://bradtaylorbooks.com is the author of more than 15 novels. The novel End of Days was published in January of this year. It is the 16th volume in his Pike Logan thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book as ‘R’. The primary characters are Taskforce operators Pike Logan and his wife, Jennifer Cahill.

The outbreak of COVID has kept Logan and Cahill sequestered in South Carolina. Israeli Mossad agents show up and entice the couple to accompany them on a mission. They jump at the chance to travel again.

At first, it is only supposed to be an easy, low-key trip. Soon they find themselves involved in a much more sinister plot. Several Israeli and US government officials are killed. The superficial evidence points to Hezbollah. But the four agents believe there is another group at work. They discover that radicals within the Knights of Malta are behind the assassinations. Between the deaths and the implication of Hezbollah involvement, they are trying to hasten the biblical End of Days.

Pike and friends must try to stop the radicals before a devastating war sweeps the Earth.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 443-page thriller. This is the fourth novel by Taylor that I have read and reviewed. The Insider ThreatGhosts of War, and Ring of Fire are the others. They are all very enjoyable thrillers. I give this novel a rating of 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: “The Agency”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Monica McGurk https://monicamcgurk.com published the novel The Agency earlier this month. This is the first book in her Norwood Nanny Chronicles series and her fourth novel.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The primary character is Briana B. ‘Bree’ Parrish.

Parrish has just arrived at Norwood College in the UK. She is an orphan from Alabama and is there on a full scholarship. Norwood is an elite school in the UK for young women to train as nannies. She is the first and only American to be admitted to Norwood. She and her assigned study group struggle to successfully complete their first half-year and be included in the exclusive certificate program.

They all knew that Norwood trained world-class nannies. To their surprise, they discover that it also trains spies for MI6. As they undertake their first training mission, it becomes apparent they may be a traitor in their midst. Parris is a suspect in the failure of their mission. She can trust no one and wants to uncover the traitor to clear her name. She also wants to find out more about her own past. Both of those goals lead to her being in life-threatening situations.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 362-page young adult thriller. I was surprised that the book was labeled a Middle-Grade Mystery / Thriller. It contains violence and drinking, as well as implied mature situations. The plot was not very complex, but it is a young adult novel. I did enjoy it and will be looking for sequels to the series. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Deep Sleep”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Steven Konkoly https://stevenkonkoly.com released the novel Deep Sleep on 1 January. Mr. Konkoly has published more than 20 novels with this being the first book of his Devin Gray Thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The primary character of this novel is Counter-surveillance expert Devin Gray.

Gray is in his enjoying a successful career despite his mother. She had been a successful CIA officer. That is until she developed what everyone considers mental problems. Her paranoia ended her CIA employment. She left her family, and they became estranged from her. Years have passed, and now she is dead.

At first glance, she was the shooter in a murder-suicide. Days after the funeral, Gray is contacted by his mother. She is not reaching out from her grave but using automated texts and voice messages. The messages lead Gray to meet with her trusted friend.

The two are led to a secret cache of information that his mother accumulated over the years. That information hints strongly that a long-term Russian espionage operation has been active in the US. It all seems unbelievable, but the discovery of a surveillance team on Gray gives credence to more than paranoia.

Gray recruits a trusted team of covert operatives. He also reaches out to a long-time friend and former Marine Corps Helicopter Pilot, Marnie Young. The team finds themselves pitted against equally experienced Russian agents. Gray’s team has too little evidence to ask for help from authorities. They must get more data to interest government agencies in the Russian sleeper agent plot. But now the Russians are waiting for them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 365-page thriller. I thought that this was a very good, modern-day spy thriller. I will be looking to add other books by Konkoly to my reading list. The cover art chosen is OK. I rate this book as a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Agent in Berlin”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Alex Gerlis http://alexgerlis.com published the book Agent in Berlin in early November. He has published nine novels, with this being the first in his Wolf Pack Spies series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and adult situations.

Barnaby Allen leaves the world of horse racing and joins MI6. With a bit of training and a natural talent for people, he assembles a network of spies in Germany. Some join because they are appalled at the Nazis. Others must be encouraged through blackmail. A few do not even realize they are revealing secrets to the British.

It is slow work with the need to trust prospective agents only after they have proven themselves. The primary agents are an odd assortment. An American journalist. The gay Jewish horse race enthusiast. An officer in the Luftwaffe. A Japanese diplomat. The wife of a dedicated SS officer.

The intelligence they turn up is first-rate. Living constantly under the threat of the Gestapo takes its toll. The British are sure that a war with Germany is coming. They begin to build their network of agents as early as 1935. As the Nazis gain more power, the information gathered is more important than ever. But the risks grow as well. Many agents do not survive.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 411-page WWII spy thriller. This is the third novel by Gerlis that I have read (The others are Prince of Spies and Ring of Spies). I have enjoyed each and every one of them! This novel shares some characters from his ‘Richard Prince’ series. Gerlis’ novels remind me of those written by Helen MacInnesLadislas Farago, and Alistair MacLean. I like the cover art selected for the novel. I rate this book as 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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If you have an interest in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 560 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.