Category Archives: Thriller

Movie: “Captain Marvel”

Trailers – This trailer is from back in December and the movie “Captain Marvel” has been open now in theaters since March 8.  The synopsis (if you have been hiding in a cave somewhere) from IMDB is:

After crashing . . . on uncharted territory, Air Force pilot Carol Danvers is brought up by the Kree to being a member of the elite Starforce Military under the command of her mentor Yon-Rogg. Six years later, after crash landing on Earth while under attack by the Skrulls, Danvers begins to discover that she is not who she believes she is. With help from SHIELD agent Nick Fury, Danvers begins to unravel the truth about her past. What she discovers is a secret that will unleash her true power and becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes ever known.

My wife and I went to see “Captain Marvel” this past Sunday evening and we both really enjoyed it. It has earned a scored of 7.1/10 on IMDB, which seems a little low to me. According to Wikipedia, the film has grossed over $760 million (at the time I am writing this post) worldwide. That has been accomplished in less than three weeks! It is so far the highest-grossing film of 2019. The primary character of the movie, Carol Danvers, first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1968. The character has also been known as Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird before taking on the current name of Captain Marvel.

Neither of us had heard of the character before the movie.

Now we know how Fury got his eye patch!

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Book Review: “Cyber Countdown”

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Book Reviews – “Cyber Countdown” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Terence Flynn. This is Mr. Flynn’s first publication.

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 the near-contemporary US. The primary character is James Jordan, the current Federal Chief Information Officer of the US.

Jordan had been the CEO of the Cyber Security firm VSI but had stepped down when asked to be the Chief Information Officer. Now his former partner at VSI Philip Wu is dead. The resulting investigation reveals that Wu had been doing classified work for the US government.

The US is plagued with cyber attacks coming from China. Among the students behind the attack is a North Korean naval officer Kim Kwon-Mu. Kwon soon realizes that their effort is more than a simple prank to steal US corporate data.

Before long events are pushing the US and China towards war. Will Jordan be able to get to the bottom of things and find a way to avoid the looming conflict?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 450-page thriller. I liked the level of detail included in the story as well as the plot. I hope to read more “James Jordan” adventures in the future. The chosen cover art is OK. 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: “The Devil Aspect”

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Book Reviews – “The Devil Aspect” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Craig Russell (https://craigrussell.com). Mr. Russell has published 11 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. The year is 1935 and the story is set in Prague and the nearby Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The primary characters are the young psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek and Prague Police investigator Lukas Smolak.

Kosárek has just taken the position at the Hrad Orlu Asylum to pursue his theory of the ‘Devil Aspect’. His patients at Hrad Orlu Asylum are the countries most infamous six killers, all deemed insane. He begins his treatments and is disturbed at what he discovers. He also finds himself attracted to the young Judita Blochová the chief administrator at Hrad Orlu Asylum.

A serial killer known as Leather Apron has been operating in Prague and the police have no clue as to who it might be. Investigator Smolak has been working hard to track down the killer, but thus far has few leads. Filip Starosta is Kosárek’s friend from university but he seems to be getting more and more distant and erratic in his behavior. As hard as it is for Kosárek to believe, he begins to have concerns for his friend’s sanity. Kosárek is also hearing strange things from his patients while they are heavily drugged and under treatment. He begins to believe there is an evil there among the patients beyond their simple insanity.

I thought that the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 410-page horror/mystery were interesting. The plot was interesting to me, but I found the story to be a bit slow. It is a very dark story with a touch of the supernatural. I did like the unexpected plot twist at the end of the novel. The chosen cover art is OK, but I think something closer to the story would have been better. 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: “Pandora: Contagion”

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Book Reviews – “Pandora: Contagion” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Eric L. Harry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_L._Harry). Mr. Harry has published six novels. This is the second in his “Pandora 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. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary characters are neuroscientist Isabel Miller, her twin sister Emma and their brother Noah.

The Pandoravirus outbreak has spread around the world. Emma Miller is a carrier but has past the point of being highly contagious. Isabel Miller is still working for the President evaluating the spread of the virus. She is escorted by Marine Captain Rick Townsend her bodyguard and lover. Noah Miller has taken his family to a prepared homesite in rural Virginia to try to avoid the virus and the violence it had been bringing.

Emma makes her way toward her brothers new home. She is still as smart as she was before catching the virus, but has little feelings left. She lets few get in her way and thinks nothing of taking a life. Noah’s plans to set out the onslaught of the virus soon begins to unravel.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 300-page thriller. While this isn’t a ‘zombie uprising’ story, it is very similar. I have read a few other of Mr. Harry’s novels and enjoyed them. While it would have helped to have read the first novel in the series before this one, this novel reads well on its own. The story isn’t over so there will no doubt be at least one more novel in the series. I like the chosen artwork for the cover. 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: “Seek and Destroy”

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Book Reviews – “Seek and /destroy” 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 second of his “Eva Driscoll 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 a contemporary thriller. The primary character is Eva Driscoll.

Driscoll and her allies from the first novel have all been granted secret Presidential pardons for their efforts and have each disappeared. Unknown forces suddenly begin attacking those that have been helping Driscoll. Driscoll calls her allies in from hiding to confront this new threat.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 272-page thriller. I read the proceeding novel in the series and liked both. This is readable as a stand alone novel, though reading them in sequence would be preferable. While I really enjoyed this novel, it seemed a little rushed. I like the set of characters that have been created. 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: “Deep War”

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Book Reviews – “Deep War” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David Poyer (http://www.davidpoyer.com/home.html). Mr. Poyer has published more than 35 novels. This is the 18th in his “Dan Lenson” 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 near future. The US and its allies are at war with China. The primary character is Admiral Dan Lenson, but his wife Blair, Marine sergeant Hector Ramos, and Navy SEAL Master Chief Teddy Oberg all play significant roles.

China has made a devastating nuclear attack against US naval forces. In the US there are beginning to be food shortages and power disruptions. Military and the private sector face various Chinese directed cyber and AI assaults. The US economy is being significantly affected.

A US Naval force makes an attack on China, but it is mostly ineffective due to previously unknown Chinese penetration of military systems. The Chinese Cyber efforts are being directed by Jade Emperor, a powerful AI system. It is out thinking US efforts at every turn. It seems that without taking Jade Emperor out of the war, the US has little hope.

Oberg is behind enemy lines and organizing a guerilla military effort to harras the Chinese. He is sent on a very risky mission with his forces to attack a remote facility in the desert.  He hopes that whatever they are attacking will be worth the losses he anticipates.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 292-page thriller. It was a little hard jumping into the middle of such a long-running series, but this novel read pretty well on its own. The way the story is left, there will definitely be another novel in the series. I like the chosen 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 Iron Codex”

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Book Reviews – “The Iron Codex” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Mack (http://davidmack.pro). Mr. Mack has published nearly 40 novels. This is the second novel in his “Dark Arts” 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 the contemporary time frame, but in a slightly alternate world, one with magic. The primary character is Russian Anja Kernova who has been hunting former Nazis in South America.

There are three other principal characters: The American Cade Martin who works for British MI6, but who is now under suspicion because he has been disappearing;  The German Briet Segfrunsdóttir who now serves as the master magician of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program; and the Spanish Father Luis Roderigo Pérez of the Monte Paterno Monastery who has been studying White Magic for the Catholic Church.

World War II has been over nearly a decade. Kernova is using her abilities to hunt Nazis. She comes into possession of the Iron Codex that contains many magical secrets. That causes her to be the target of pursuit by agents of the Vatican, Russia, and others. Complicating the situation is the effort by a cabal led by Dragan Dalca to open the way for demons.

Kernova calls on Martin for help. Both Segfrunsdottir and Pérez are drawn into the fray on the side of Kernova. There are many competing groups all wanting to control the Iron Codex for different agendas.

I enjoyed the 12 hours I spent reading this 375-page alternate history fantasy. I found this novel a little hard to read without having read the first novel in the series, but it wasn’t too bad. I thought that the plot was interesting, mixing magic and spies. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel 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).

Book Review: “American Operator”

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Book Reviews – “American Operator” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeffrey Wilson and Brian Andrews (http://www.andrews-wilson.com). Between them, they have published six novels. This is the fourth novel in their “Tier One Thrillers” 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 Middle East. The primary character is former Tier One Navy SEAL John Dempsey, now an agent for the super-secret Ember strike force.

Dempsey is in deep cover on an assignment with the rest of his Ember team standing by on an American airbase in allied Turkey. A terrorist attack leaves the US Ambassador to Turkey dead and his chief of staff, Amanda Allen hostage. Complicating matters is the near-simultaneous attack on the US airbase. The team must fight off aggressors before they can recover Dempsey and begin pursuit of Allen.

Dempsey left on his own after the attack takes down his communications, does what he can to find Allen. He puts himself in the position of taking on Allen’s kidnappers who have a near overwhelming force available to maintain their hostage. The Ember team soon finds there is more in play than just an attack on a US airbase or the taking of an embassy staffer.

I enjoyed the nearly 9 hours I spent reading this 426-page special operations thriller. I have had the opportunity to read all four novels in this series and have enjoyed each of them. While having the background of the other three novels will help, this novel stands well on its own. I like the characters that the authors have created for this series. I like the chosen 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).

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).

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).