Category Archives: Suspense

Review of “Final Target”

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Book Reviews – “Final Target” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by E. V. Seymour (http://www.evseymour.co.uk). Mr. Seymour has published 11 novels. This is the second of his “Josh Thane 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The primary character of the story is former Assassin for hire Josh Thane.

Thane has ‘retired’ from his role as an assassin and the violent world he was part of. He is surprised when a person from his past, MI5 agent Inger McCallen, shows up. Thane has a romantic interest in McCallen but has never wanted to complicate his life further. Now McCallen is recruiting him to investigate a threat against her life.

As Thane pursues the investigation, he finds himself the target of more than one attack. Then McCallen disappears and MI5 seems to think Thane is involved. Thane must avoid MI5 while he desperately tries to find McCallen. Crime figures that he formerly worked for begin to die, and that is another complication with connections back to him.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 272 page mystery and thriller. I liked the character of Thane who is definitely a guy with a sketchy background, but who is trying to live a normal life. The cover art is OK. 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).

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Review of “The Gemini Agenda”

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Book Reviews – “The Gemini Agenda” eBook was published in 2018 (original paper edition was published in 2012) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin Sr. has authored or co-authored 12 books. Mr. McMenamin Jr. has authored or co-authored 6 books. This is the third 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 in 1932. The primary characters are Mattie McGary, Churchill’s goddaughter and a reporter for the Hearst newspapers, and Bourke Cockran a law professor, former US Army MID agent, and the son of one of Churchill’s former mentors. Also playing a significant role in the story is the German Kurt von Sturm.

By this point, McGary and Cockran are an intimate pair, though not yet engaged. McGary is drawn into a mystery of grisly murders across the US by Hearst. She encounters ruthless thugs who try to discourage her investigations. Meanwhile, Cockran is engaged as the divorce attorney for Ingrid, the wife of Wesley Waterman. Waterman and Cockran have already crossed paths earlier in the book series. Waterman uses his wealth and power to block the divorce including violence and murder.

When Ingrid’s siblings disappear while traveling in Europe, she and Cockran set out to find them. McGary’s investigation of the murders also leads her to Europe where there is evidence that some Americans that have been abducted are being held. Both paths lead to a secret medical facility where studies are being conducted under the direction of the Nazis.

Von Sturm has had affairs with both McGary and Waterman and still carries deep feelings for both women. When he finds Waterman under threat, he steps in to rescue the young woman. In doing so he risks the deadly retribution of both colleagues and his employers if they find out. He feels honor bound to do what he can to save Waterman’s siblings.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 400 page historical thriller. I have enjoyed the three major characters in the novels, as well as the other real people of the era that are woven into the story. While this isn’t a true WWII story, it deals with real factors that lead up to the war. The cover art is OK, but an image of one of the Pitcairn autogiro craft that Cockran and McGrady repeatedly use would have been better in my opinion. 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 “SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Viper”

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Book Reviews – “SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Viper” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Don Mann (http://usfrogmann.comand) and Ralph Pezzullo (http://ralphpezzullo.com).  Mr. Mann has authored or co-authored a dozen books, while Mr. Pezzullo has authored or co-authored seventeen. This is the seventh novel in their “SEAL Team Six” 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 mostly in the Middle East. The primary character is US Navy SEAL Thomas Crocker.

Crocker and his team are in Syria and are confronted with ISIS combatants. While defending a Syrian city from attack, he meets the young French epidemiologist Severine Tessier risking her life there as a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. She and Crocker connect.

Months later, a colleague of Tessier’s is kidnapped by ISIS forces. Her imminent execution is announced. Tessier reached out to Crocker for help to rescue her colleague. While officially told NO, Crocker and his team make a desperate attempt to rescue the girl before she is executed. Tessier mounts her own search for her young colleague. It is a race to see if either will find the girl before she is executed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6.4 hours I spent reading this 320 page modern Special Ops thriller.  I liked this novel as the story had more of a realistic feel to it than many of this genre. 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 “The Parcifal Pursuit”

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Book Reviews – “The Parcifal Pursuit” eBook was published in 2018 (original paper edition was published in 2011) and was written by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin (http://www.winstonchurchillthrillers.com). Mr. McMenamin Sr. has authored or co-authored 12 books. Mr. McMenamin Jr. has authored or co-authored 6 books. This is the second 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, Mature Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set primarily in 1931 Europe. The primary characters are Mattie McGary, Churchill’s goddaughter and a reporter for the Hearst newspapers, and Bourke Cockran a law professor, former US Army MID agent, and the son of one of Churchill’s former mentors.

There is a plot in Germany to assassinate President Hindenburg and restore the Kaiser to power. Part of this plot also involves finding the ancient Christian artifact, the Spear of Destiny. Churchill and Hearst send McGary to find the Spear and return it to the British Museum. Separate forces acting for the Kaiser and Hitler are also after the Spear. Making things even more dangerous, members of a new Knights Templar are sworn to protect the Spear.

Simultaneous to this, Cockran is in German with his lovely new client. She is being pressured to sell the tabulator company she just inherited from her father, who was murdered. She and Cockran are confronted by Nazi thugs trying to force her to sell. Cockran must call on old friends from Ireland to help him.

As the plot develops Cockran and McGary are thrown into one desperate situation after another. Their romance is threatened by Cockran’s lovely new client as well as a distinguished German that is accompanying McGary on the search for the Spear. Both McGary and Cockran must also contend with enemies that are not so obvious as the uniformed Nazis.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 442 page period thriller. While not a novel set in World War II, it deals with events and figures that will soon play important parts in that conflict. I like the characters created for this series of novels. While this book could be read stand-alone, it would be best to start with the first book in the series “The DeVelera Deception“. 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 “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).

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 “One Way”

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Book Reviews – “One Way” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by S. J. Morden (http://bookofmorden.co.uk/). Mr. Morden has published 15 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 and Mature Language. The story is set in the near future mostly on the Mars. The primary character is Frank Kittridge. Kittridge ran a construction company at one time, but at the beginning of the story he is in prison on a life sentence for murder.

Kittridge is approached with an unusual offer. The company, Xenosystems Operations, that runs the private prison he is doing time in is also bidding on a contract to build a Mars base for NASA. Kittridge and a few other prisoners are being given the opportunity to travel to Mars and to build the base there. In return they get out of prison, but will be confined to the Mars base for the rest of their lives.

The volunteers are given training and then are sent to Mars on a one way trip. They arrive and begin to assemble the habitat that has been sent ahead of them. Then ‘accidents’ begin to happen and prisoners begin to die. Is it just the inhospitable Martian environment or is there a killer amongst them?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 368 page science fiction mystery. I thought that the concept of using prisoners to take a one way trip to Mars was interesting. The Kittridge character is very flawed and I think adds to the story, though perhaps he is a little too flawed. I like the cover art, though I am not sure why a space suited figure is shown in space. 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).

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).