Category Archives: Suspense

Book Review: “Solstice Shadows”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Avanti Centrae (https://www.avanticentrae.com) published the novel “Solstice Shadows” in 2020 (August). Mr. Centrae has published two novels, this being the second in his “VanOps 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 novel continues the story of the elite VanOps team. The main characters include siblings Maddy & Will Marshall. Will has now joined a long time family friend ‘Bear’ as a VanOps agent. While they would like Maddy to join them, she has not yet agreed.

Forces from Russia and Spain confront the VanOps team. Russian or Spanish agents are the most likely suspects in the theft of a star chart. Maddy agrees to help VanOps to find the chart. All are looking for the source of a superconducting material. The VanOps team must avoid attacks while working to solve the mystery of the star chart.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 401-page thriller. The plot weaves suspense and thrills with a dash of the paranormal. It is a little ‘out there’ but it is an enjoyable story. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Fight To Survive”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Alan McDermott (http://alanmcdermottbooks.co.uk) published the novel “Fight to Survive” in 2019. He has published a dozen novels. This is the third of his “Eva Driscoll” 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. This novel continues the story of the ESO and former CIA agent Eva Driscoll.

Driscoll had thought she had escaped the ESO. She still wants to destroy them, but they pressure her into working for them. The ESO needs someone smuggled out of North Korea. As risky as this mission is she has little choice but to accept it.

What she finds in North Korea is something that she feels compelled to destroy – a prison that is selling organs. She compiles the ESO to back her so that she can free the prisoners in North Korea. Driscoll pulls most of her old team back together to strike inside of North Korea.

They not only want to free the captives, but they also need to find a way to free themselves from ESO surveillance. Driscoll knows she can’t trust the ESO. Will she and her team be able to pull off the rescue and escape the ESO?

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 262-page thriller. I thought that this was a good thriller. I have read all three of the ‘Eva Driscoll’ books (“Run and Hide” and “Seek and Destroy” were the other two). I have also read a couple of McDermott’s other novels (“Gray Salvation” and “Trojan”). I judge them all to be well written and enjoyable. The cover art is a little plain, but not bad. 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).

Book Review: “The Girl in the Water”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author AJ Grayson published the novel “The Girl in the Water” in 2019. This is his second 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in rural America. The primary character is young and married Amber. She works in a book shop in Santa Rosa, CA, and lives in nearby Windsor.

When she reads of a woman’s body is found the mystery begins to torment her. She has been dealing with terrible headaches. These seem to be getting worse. Her husband David is not being supportive of her.

The more she investigates the worse she feels. She also begins to have doubts about her husband. Is he lying to her? She discovers things about him and herself that would have been best staying hidden.

The 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 307-page mystery novel were interesting. I thought it had possibilities, but for me, the plot was very slow and dull. It did have an interesting twist to it. The story was full of Amber’s mental anguish and told a dark story. I did not reach the end of this novel nearly soon enough. I do not think much of the cover art. I give this novel a 3.3 (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: “A Murder on Jane Street”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Cathy Cash Spellman (https://www.cathycashspellman.com) published the novel “A Murder on Jane Street” in 2019. Ms. Spellman has published nine 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 contemporary New York, USA.

Mrs. Wallenberg, an elderly woman is tortured and murdered. Fitzhugh Donovan is a retired New York City Police Chief. He is also the elderly woman’s neighbor. It is he who finds the body. He had visited with the woman hours beforehand. He feels responsible for her death especially after she had shown him a threatening letter.

Donovan discovers that Mrs. Wallenberg had a very interesting past. Soon he has family and some close friends involved in the investigation. The woman’s first husband had been a business leader in Nazi Germany. She had run away from him and found a new life.

The Nazis though were still hunting her. The remnants of WWII Nazi leadership had escaped in 1945 and are now behind a Fourth Reich. An unseen cabal that is rising to world power.

Donovan is driven to solve the murder, but he is also compelled to find a way to protect his family. The Nazis are not happy at his involvement and make that clear to all involved.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 410-page mystery novel. This plot ventures into several genres – mystery, WWII, conspiracy theories, and the occult. I liked the Donovan family and friends’ characters. This appears to be the first in a series and I look forward to reading the next installment. The selected cover art is OK, but a little plain. 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).

Book Review: “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Nicholas Meyer (https://www.nicholas-meyer.com) published the novel “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.” in 2019. This is his 8th 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 1905. The primary character is Dr. John Watson.
 
Holmes brother, Mycroft, approaches Holmes and Watson. A body found in the Thames was a British Secret Service agent. Documents she was carrying implicate the Jews in a world domination conspiracy. Mycroft asks his brother and the Doctor to look into it.
 
The investigation leads Holmes and Watson on a long journey by rail over the Orient Express. They must tread the dangerous ground of Russia to find the answers. Their journey is not without risk.
 
I enjoyed the 5.5+ hours I spent reading this 244-page Sherlock Holmes mystery. Really, this is more of a low-level spy thriller than a mystery. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Beautiful Liars”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Isabel Ashdown published the novel “Beautiful Liars” in 2019. This is the 7th novel by Ms. Ashdown.

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 contemporary UK. The primary character is TV celebrity, Martha Benn.

When she was a teen her best friends were 17-year-old Juliet Sherman and Olivia ‘Liv’ Heathcote. One day Juliet disappears. Then the day after middle-aged David Crown, a man all three girls know, disappears as well. Police could find no trace of either one. They finally give up the search assuming that the two ran off together.

After nearly 20 years, Benn is going to reopen the investigation. She is part of a new TV program that will look at ‘Cold Cases’ and the first one will be the disappearance of Juliet. She interviews people and discovers new evidence. She hopes to find the truth about what happened to her friend.

Benn talks to old friends and discovers things about her friends she was not aware of. Her investigation does not go unnoticed. Some close, very close to the disappearances are watching her.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 320-page mystery novel. There was the expected suspense, plot twists, and a touch of danger for Benn. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “The Extinction Agenda”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Michael Laurence (https://michaellaurencebooks.com) published the novel “The Extinction Agenda” in 2019.

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 takes place in contemporary times. The primary character is FBI Special Agent James Mason.

Mason and a team of agents storm the location tied to a smuggling operation. a trap had been set for them and few survive. The hardest loss is Mason’s partner and mentor.

This was no common smuggler. This operation was moving an active and deadly virus across the Mexican border. Mason returns to his normal duties, but he cannot let go. This begins months of investigation. He is convinced that a shadow organization is behind the smuggling operation.

Even though forced to take a leave after his wife dies he continues investigating on his own. He believes her death is likely to have resulted from those he is pursuing. As he closes in he recruits long time friends Gunnar Backstrom and Ramses Donovan. Backstrom is a tech whiz and a corporate espionage gun-for-hire. Donovan walks a fine line between being a criminal and being law-abiding.

Together they close in on the secret operation. Their efforts do not go without a response from their targets. The three are put into hazards way one time after another as they get closer.

I thoroughly enjoyed 11+ hours I spent reading this 377-page thriller. This is a good action-filled thriller with an end that suggests further novels in the series. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a5) out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Shadows of Annihilation”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author S. M. Stirling (https://smstirling.com) published the novel “Shadows of Annihilation” in 2020. Mr. Stirling has published more than 60 novels. This is the third book in his ‘Alternate World War’ 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 continues the struggle between the Black Chamber and Germany.

The Black Chamber is a secret spy unit of the US Secret Service. It is 1917 and the World War has settled into a stalemate. The Germans have driven US troops from mainland Europe. Of course, this is an entirely different world than the one we have lived through.

Black Chamber agents Luz O’Malley and Ciara Whelan are on the job again. They travel to the US protectorate of Mexico. Their destination is in the remote highlands. They are to assist with the security of a secret facility under construction there. This is the first Annihilation Gas facility built by the United States. They must have it to hold the Germans in check.

Unexpectedly, German agent Horst von Duckler appears on the scene. Luz and Ciara have run up against him before and he has a grudge to settle with them. The pair encounter him and German sympathizers in one confrontation after another.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 396-page alternate history novel. I have read many of Sterling’s novels. He is one of my favorite authors. This third installment in his Alternate World War series does not disappoint. While I have read both of the prior novels in the series (“Black Chamber” and “Theater of Spies“), you could read this one stand-alone. I do recommend that you read them in order. There is an element of LGBTQ in the story as Luz and Ciara are an intimate pair, but that plays a very minor role. I like the selected 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).

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).