Category Archives: Thriller

Book Review: “Executive Force”

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Book Reviews – “Executive Force” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Gary Grossman (https://www.garygrossman.com). Mr. Grossman has published four novels. This is the fourth in his “Executive” 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. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary characters are Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke and his fiancée Katie Kessler, a lawyer and assistant to the US Supreme Court Chief Justice.

A series of assassinations of political leaders is driving the US into chaos. A growing secessionist movement is being fueled by this and threatens the US. Roarke must find the assassin and stop him before there are more deaths. Kessler is looking into the secessionist movement for the Chief Justice and goes undercover within the leading organization. Both find themselves in danger and on trails of evidence that lead to the same conclusion.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 448-page thriller. While this is the fourth book in this series, it reads well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot created by the author. The cover art is kind of bland. Something related to the story would have been better in my opinion. 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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Book Review: “St. Paul’s Labyrinth​”

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Book Reviews – “St. Paul’s Labyrinth” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeron Windmeijer (https://jeroenwindmeijer.nl/). Mr. Windmeijer has published three 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary Leiden, Netherlands. The primary character is university professor Peter de Haan.

Haan attends the installation of an underground waste container. He does so as an opportunity to do archaeological exploration. Few opportunities come to do excavation in the old city. Surprisingly, this excavation opens up an old and unknown tunnel. Haan and a colleague venture in. Inside the tunnel, they find a naked man covered in blood. Then Haan gets a mysterious text message ‘the hour has come‘.

When the colleague disappears in the tunnel, Haan becomes the target of a police investigation. Then when his close friend Judith Cherev disappears, he finds that he has been given only hours to solve a puzzle and save her. Along the way, he discovers hidden mysteries, a secret society, and a group that will do anything to keep their secrets hidden.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 329-page thriller. This has the feel of a Dan Brown thriller, but I did not find it nearly as good. There was quite a bit of detailed reference given to Leiden. That would probably make this book attractive to you if you lived there or knew the area well. Unfortunately, I found this novel a little slow and it felt disorganized to me. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel 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: “The Last Saturday of October”

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Book Reviews – “The Last Saturday of October” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Douglas Gilbert. This is Mr. Gilbert’s first publication.

I received a copy of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is dramatized non-fiction.

This is an inside look at how close the US and Russia came to nuclear war during the Cuban Missle Crisis. In 1962 the US had discovered Soviet nuclear missile sites in Cuba. The US set a fleet to stop shipping headed into Cuba that might be carrying nuclear weapons.

Captain Vasili Arkhipov is given the mission to take his submarine brigade to Cuba. They are carrying nuclear-tipped torpedoes. He had already survived a nuclear disaster at sea on another submarine and was suffering from what we now know as PTSD. His vessel and crew were being chased by a large antisubmarine force of the US. He was being pushed ever closer to having to use his nuclear weapons.

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 238-page non-fiction book that reads like a thriller. I think that Gilbert did a good job of taking history and making it readable and exciting. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Dark Winter”

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Book Reviews – “Dark Winter” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Anthony J. Tata (https://www.ajtata.com). Mr. Tata has published nine novels. This is the fifth in his “Jake Mahegan 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 mostly ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the contemporary US, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.

Foreign-based hackers penetrate the US military and cause havoc with the various weapons systems. Nothing works as it should leaving the US defenseless. The US power grid is disrupted plunging many into darkness. Russians invade Europe. Iran invades Iraq. North Korea attacks the south and Japan. A new form of warfare, ComWar, is underway.

The only way to stop the ComWar is to destroy the control centers. But that won’t be easy with them located in Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Mahegan’s trained team must split up and take on all the control centers at the same time. If the control of ComWar cannot be disrupted, the world is headed for World War III.

I thought the 8+ hours spent reading this 464-page thriller was interesting. Interesting take on technology. While I have read the previous two novels in this series and liked them, I did not think this one was as good. This novel reads well on its own even with the prior novels in the series. I give this novel 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: “Perfect Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Perfect Girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Alison James. This is the third novel by Ms. James and the third in her “Detective Rachel Prince” 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. The story is set in the modern day US. The primary character is Detective Rachel Prince.

Prince is a Detective in the British National Crime Agency. A request comes through for assistance from the US. The body of a beautiful twenty-five-year-old English girl has been found dumped behind a department store in Hollywood, California. Prince is assigned to the case and flies to the US.

Police think they have found the murderer, but Prince is not convinced. In fact, the more she investigates the death, she believed it may the work of a serial killer. She is called back home though before she can convince authorities. Consumed by the case, she returns to the US on her own to try and solve the murders. Her investigation has not gone unnoticed by the killer and Prince soon finds herself under their power.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 339-page mystery. This is the second novel in this series I have read and I have enjoyed them both. This one is a little different as most of it takes place in the US. I like the character of Prince in the novels. I also enjoyed the plot twist the author has at the end of the book. While this is the third novel in a series, it reads well on its own. The cover art is OK. 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: “Crash”

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Book Reviews – “Crash” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by N. S. Shajay (https://www.nsshajay.com). Shajay (a pen name) has published three novels. This is the first book of the “Status Unknown Trilogy”.

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 far future. The primary character is Captain Patrick Knox.

A long war is over and humanity is beginning to spread out into the universe again. Knox is taking a ship full of colonists to a new world. He was acclaimed as a Hero during the war, now he just wants to take his passengers to their new home and settle down there himself. They have to make one small detour along the way to deliver a load of convicts to a prison world, but that is supposed to be quick and easy.

A bomb set by a terrorist from a group against further human expansion takes the spaceship off course. It crashes on an uncharted, but a human compatible world. Now Knox must take charge and lead those who lived through the crash in survival. They find that not only are there significant threats indigenous to their new home but the convicts, many of which are convicted murderers, offer there own threat.

Complicating matters is the fact that the only Doctor to have survived the crash is a convicted serial killer. She is brilliant and beautiful, but no one knows how far she can be trusted.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 8 hours I spent reading this 272-page science fiction thriller. I like the plot and the mix of characters in this story. It is a mixture of survival and action. The cover art is OK, but I think there are other images that would have been better. I look forward to reading more stories in this universe. 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: “Assassin’s Run”

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Book Reviews – “Assassin’s Run” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Ward Larsen (https://www.wardlarsen.com). Mr. Larsen has published ten novels. This is the fifth in his “David Slaton” 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. The story is set in contemporary Europe and North Africa. The primary character is former Israeli assassin, David Slaton.

Slaton, his wife, and young son have disappeared, or at least they thought that they had. While sailing along the coast of Italy, they are surprised when Anna Sorensen, a pretty young CIA agent seeks them out. A Russian Oligarch has been assassinated by a sniper nearby. Slaton was a sniper for Israel and now word is that the Russians are looking for him as the shooter.

Sorensen convinces Slaton and his wife that their safest action is for Slaton to help identify who the assassin actually is. Reluctantly Slaton agrees and before long he is deep into the investigation. It soon becomes clear that the Russian Oligarch was somehow plotting with two others. Together they are behind some kind of smuggling operation connected to Saudi Arabia. There is more there than a simple smuggling operation though. Slaton and Sorensen must stay alive, discover the plan and try to stop it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 358-page thriller. I liked the characters in this novel. Slaton is a strong lead that is easy to like. The plot is good and not obvious. The novel reads well as a stand-alone read even though it is the fourth in the series. The cover art is OK, though I think it could have been better. 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: “Run and Hide”

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Book Reviews – “Run and Hide” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Alan McDermott (http://www.alanmcdermottbooks.co.uk). Mr. McDermott has published nine novels. This is the first in his “Eva Driscoll” 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 the contemporary US. The primary characters are CIA agent Eva Driscoll and former Spec Ops operative Rees Colback.

Driscoll’s brother had been part of the same team Colback had served with. Now only Colback is still alive and someone wants him dead. Only through Driscoll’s assistance has he avoided those that are pursuing him. Now they are both on the run. But who is it behind the orders to kill them? Slowly they discover that a powerful, wealthy cadre is after them. They can either run for the rest of their lives, or they can fight back.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 300-page thriller. I liked the characters created for the novel as well as the plot. There is quite a bit of action in the story and it is left with a cliff-hanger ending that guarantees a sequel. I certainly will be looking for one. I have read a couple of other novels by McDermott and I have found all of them consistently good. I am not a fan of the cover art. 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 Forbidden Door”

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Book Reviews – “The Forbidden Door” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz had published more than 125 novels. This is the fourth novel in his “Jane Hawk” 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 near future California. The primary character is former FBI agent Jane Hawk.

Hawk’s life was upended when her husband committed suicide. Her investigation led her to a secret group using nanotechnology to slowly gain control of key people across the US. Now, she, her son and those close to her have become their targets. Hawk continues to evade capture even after the secret society has made her the most wanted person in America. Their mind control tech means that they have an army to wield against Hawk.

While she has evaded them for months, now they are closing in. The group knows the general location where Hawk’s young son is in hiding. Hawk is racing towards her son to save him. They know she is coming and plan to have her, her son, or both within days. Hawk has to gather her resources and try to outwit them and be read to out gun them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 480-page science fiction thriller. While this could be a readable stand-alone novel, you really need to start with the first book in the series “The Silent Corner” to understand what is happening. I like the Jane Hawk character that Koontz has created. I also like the plot, with advanced tech to give the secret society an edge, but enough human involvement in her pursuit to make them vulnerable. 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 “Past Tense”

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Book Reviews – “Past Tense” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Lee Child (https://www.leechild.com). Mr. Child has published 23 novels, all in his ‘Jack Reacher’ series. This is the latest novel in this 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. The story is set in rural New Hampshire. As expected, the primary character is former Military Policeman Jack Reacher.

Reacher has just started a cross-country trip from Maine towards San Diego. He takes what he thinks will be a short side trip to investigate his heritage in Laconia, New Hampshire. The investigation into his past takes longer than he expects and before long he has run into trouble from a couple of local sources. He is somewhat surprised that his past is not what he had expected it to be.

While Reacher is trying to find his roots, not far away a young Canadian couple find themselves being held prisoner. Before long they discover that their very future is at risk in an unexpected way. As the novel draws towards a close, Reacher becomes intertwined with the fate of the young couple.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 400-page thriller. I have read a couple other ‘Jack Reacher’ novels and like the character. The plot in this novel is a bit lower key than the others I have read but still provides an entertaining read. I do not like the cover art chosen for this novel. I give this novel a 4.4  out of 5.

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