Category Archives: Thriller

Book Review – The Island

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Natasha Preston https://www.natashapreston.com is the author of 20 novels. The Island will be released 28 February 2023. This is the 104th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is 17-year-old Paisley.

Paisley isn’t the typical teenage girl. Her passion is her blog which focuses on stories of true crime. The blog has made her one of the top teen social media influencers. That is what earns her the invitation to Jagged Island.

Jagged Island is a private amusement park for the very rich. It is set to open soon, and the owner wants Paisley, and a handful of other influencers, to hype the park. The six selected teens will enjoy an exclusive weekend at the park. They will be treated as VIPs and are expected to post about their experience.

Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley find the park even better than they had expected. The gothic theme of the park is particularly appealing to Paisley. Their VIP experience is hosted by the park owner Malcolm Wyatt and four employees. What could go wrong with only a dozen people on a gothic-themed island?

A storm sweeps in to disable communication with the mainland. People begin to die. The thrilling amusement park weekend turns into a brutal struggle for survival.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 336-page young adult thriller. Much of the novel is written in the first person from Paisley’s point of view. The dark cover art is a perfect fit for this novel. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review – Ungentlemanly Warfare

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Howard Linskey http://www.howardlinskey.co.uk/ is the author of more than a dozen novels. Ungentlemanly Warfare was published in 2020. This was the 103rd book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

It is 1943, and the war is definitely taking a turn against the Nazis. One of their Wunderwaffe or ‘wonder weapons’ is the rocket-propelled Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet interceptor. It is nearly ready for production, but stability issues still plague it.

German scientist Professor Gaerte has been assigned to quickly correct the flaw. If the plane is made functional and put into production, the impact on Allied bombers will be dire. This could even endanger the Normandy invasion. Fortunately, British Intelligence has discovered Gaerte’s mission.

An SOE Jedburg team is sent into France to assassinate Gaerte and put Me 163 completion behind schedule. The British put one of their best men on the team, Captain Harry Walsh. He can be ruthless and unorthodox at times, but he completes his missions.

Once in France, the team meets with another SOE agent, Emma Stirling. She is experienced, having worked in France before. Her presence complicates things as she was once Walsh’s lover. Plans go awry when the Maquis group they are working with is raided by the Germans after being betrayed.

Will they be able to evade the Germans? Can their mission still be completed?

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 228-page WWII-era thriller. The plot takes a few turns and is full of action and intrigue. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 600 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Angel in Red

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christopher Nicole is the author of more than 200 books & novels. Angel in Red was published in 2018 and is the second volume of his Anna Fehrbach series. This was the 102nd book I completed in 2022.

I downloaded this book while it was being promoted by Lume Books. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

Twenty-year-old Anna Fehrbach is the primary character. She despises the Nazis, but since her parents and sister are being held as hostages, she has no choice but to continue acting the part of a dedicated SD agent. Fehrbach continues to wield her skills as an assassin when ordered by the SD. Nor does she hesitate to employ them to protect herself as a double agent for the British.

It is May of 1940, and the Phoney War has ended. After she is exposed as a Nazi agent, Fehrbach flees England for Berlin. The SD still believes in her as an agent. In particular, she has the trust of Reinhard Heydrich. Not only does he believe she is still an enthusiastic Nazi agent, but he has also taken her as his mistress on occasion.

With the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and Russia are still at peace with one another. Fehrbach is sent to Moscow, where she is to use her feminine skills to become the mistress of Ewfim Chalyapov. Chalyapov is chosen as her target as he is close to Marshal Stalin. Her ultimate mission is to kill Stalin at the outset of Operation Barbarossa to disrupt the Russian military.

Fehrbach easily succeeds in her mission and soon becomes a friend of Stalin. She frequently is invited to a private afternoon tea with him. The opportunity will be there. But if she goes through with the assassination her life will be over. If she doesn’t, she will be on the hit list of the SD and Heydrich.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 267-page WWII-era thriller. I had the opportunity to read the first book in the series, Angel From Hell, earlier in the year. This book is every bit as good as the first! The novel is full of action, sex, and intrigue. The Fehrbach character is very much a WWII-era James Bond. I look forward to reading the remaining six novels in the series. I like the cover art chosen for the novel. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 600 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – The Pandora Deception

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – David Bruns https://davidbruns.com/ and J.R. Olson are the authors of more than 20 novels. The Pandora Deception was published in 2020 and is the 4th novel in the WMD Files series. This was the 96th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book/novel as R.

Don Riley takes charge of the Emerging Threats team at the CIA. Their mission is to stop foreign efforts before they can become a significant threat. His first recruits are Janet Everett, Michael Goodwin, and Andrea Ramirez. All are recently commissioned US Navy officers.

The first group discovered is a Middle Eastern group calling itself Mahdi. Mahdi is an Islamic mythological messiah, and the group is building a following through their actions. Their long-term goal is to use modern bioweapons instead of terrorist bombings to disrupt the region. So far, they have been targeting efforts by the West to bring development and jobs to the region.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 363-page thriller. I had the opportunity to read one of their earlier novels, Rules of Engagement. Both novels were enjoyable reads. The authors have a strong US Navy and Intelligence background, which is evident in their writing. This novel delves into the politics of the Middle East and is full of action and intrigue. The cover art is plain, but it is eye-catching. I give this novel a rating of 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 Morgan Files

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Leo J. Maloney http://leojmaloney.com is the author of more than a dozen novels. The Morgan Files was published in 2020 and is the 12th novel in the Dan Morgan series. This was the 95th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book as R. The primary characters are agent Dan Morgan and his daughter Alex Morgan.

So this book is unusual in that it contains two separate and stand-alone novellas. I’ll review each of these separately.

Twelve Hours

I enjoyed the 3 hours I spent reading this thrilling novella. Terrorist activities are running rampant across New York City. Under this distraction, the President of Iran is kidnapped. While Dan is desperately working to thwart the terrorists, his actions are complicated by his daughter Alex being among the hostages. I give this novella a rating of 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

For Duty and Honor

I enjoyed the 3+ hours I spent reading this thrilling novella. Dan is wasting away in a Russian Gulag. His agency seems to have given up on him. His daughter, Alex, will not give up. She leaves the training program to travel to Russia. The agency does not seem to be doing anything, so she will.

The outlook for those in the Gulag is bleak. Dan makes friends with two others, and together they plot to escape. Meanwhile, Alex is in Moscow trying to infiltrate the household of the General who imprisoned her father. Both father and daughter are putting their lives on the line once again. I give this novella a rating of 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed the time I spent reading this 239-page thriller. I have read five books by Leo J. Maloney. I think that this is among the best. The others were Rogue CommanderDark TerritoryWar of Shadows, and Deep Cover. They have consistently been very enjoyable. I like the chosen cover art.

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

Book Review – Hunter Killer

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Brad Taylor https://bradtaylorbooks.com is the author of more than 25 novels. Hunter Killerwas published in 2020 and is the 14th novel in his Pike Logan Thriller series. This was the 92nd book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Pike Logan.

Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are on the verge of embarking on a mission to South America when a car explosion kills the Taskforce’s Director. While the authorities rule that the explosion and resulting death was an accident, Logan feels sure that it was an assassination and that he was the intended target.

With the Director dead, the Taskforce is languishing without leadership. Logan fears that the Taskforce may finally be retired. As he begins to investigate, a Russian conspiracy begins to emerge. The Russians want to manipulate the upcoming election in Brazil. The Taskforce has been targeted because the Russians feared that they had been closing in.

After contact is lost with part of the Taskforce team already in Brazil, Pike and Cahill head south. In spite of the order to stand down, Pike and Cahill feel obligated to go to the aid of their brothers in arms.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 474-page thriller. I have had the opportunity to read and review four other books by Taylor. They have all been consistently enjoyable. The others are The Insider ThreatGhosts of WarRing of Fire, and End of Days. Taylor always seems able to bring the action alive on the pages of his novels. While reading the novels of a series in order is always best, these do well as stand-alone reads. I do like the 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 – Black Flag

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – David Ricciardi https://www.facebook.com/RicciardiBooks/ is the author of four novels. Black Flag was published in 2020 and is the third of his Jake Keller thrillers. This was the 91st book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is CIA officer Jake Keller.

Piracy is still plaguing the high seas. Gone are the days of AK-47-wielding thugs in a motor boat. They are more sophisticated now, striking like a well-trained Spec Ops team. No longer looking for mere gold, these pirates are after oil.

These new merciless pirates have taken several tankers. No trace of the crew or the ships has been found. Keller’s investigation leads him to a Greek shipping family. Things become complicated when he begins a romance with the owner’s daughter.

A pattern to the attacks seems to emerge, and one of the Greek tankers appears likely to be the next victim. A plan is set in motion to stop the pirates. The pirates know he is on their trail, and they do not go down easily.

Finding and stopping the pirates is not Keller’s only concern. The Somali warlord behind the pirates has an atrocity planned against his opposition. Keller must try to do his best in spite of his politically conniving boss, Ted Graves.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 376-page thriller. I have read the first book in the series, Warning Light, and enjoyed it. While the cover art is eye-catching, it does not resonate well with the story. I give this novel a rating of 4.3 (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 – Angel from Hell

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Christopher Nicole is the author of more than 200 books & novels. Angel from Hell was published in 2018 and is the first book of his Anna Fehrbach series. This was the 90th book I completed in 2022.

I purchased this book from Amazon for my Kindle. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R.

The story opens in 1938 as the Nazis take Austria. Arrests are made of all those opposed to the Third Reich. Johann Fehrbach and his family are among those rounded up. He had been the publisher of a liberal newspaper that spoke out against the Nazis.

His eldest daughter, seventeen-year-old Annaliese, is separated from the rest of the family. A German officer recognizes that her intelligence and beauty can be used to the Reich’s advantage. The rest of her family is held hostage to force Annaliese to obey the Gestapo.

She is trained in the arts of seduction, assassination, and intelligence tradecraft. Upon completing her training, she is put to work for the SD. She is told to flirt, socialize, and seduce targets of the SD.

Eventually, she is told to focus on Ballantine Bordman of the British Foreign Office. The much older Bordman is soon smitten with Annaliese. They are married, and she returns to England with him. She has orders to make copies of her husband’s documents and send them to Germany.

Clive Bartley had traveled to Berlin with Bordman. He meets Annaliese there when she is introduced to the British diplomat. Bartley is suspicious of her and her quick romance with Bordman. As a member of MI6, he is constantly on alert for German operatives.

Bartley confronts Annaliese, and she willingly agrees to become a double agent. She also finds herself romantically entangled with him. Annaliese is forced to walk a fine line to maintain credibility with her German handlers while doing what she can for MI6.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 275-page WWII-era thriller. The novel is filled with action. I have also had the opportunity to read another Nicole novel, Battleground. It is another enjoyable WWII-era thriller. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 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).


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 590 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – The Right Guard

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is author Alexandra Hamlet’s first novel. The Right Guard was published in 2020 and is the first book in her Allegiance series. This was the 88th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is CIA agent Eric Brent.

The novel is set in the 1970s. Weapons and military supplies have been discovered missing. Mostly from National Guard units across the country. As Brent investigates, he discovers that a conspiracy is behind the thefts.

Project Warrior wants to return the U.S. to a more conservative position. A position that is closer to the Constitution, and what America’s founding fathers had in mind. The leaders feel that the nation has become too liberal and the economy has gotten out of hand. Nor are they happy with the political and foreign policies of the administration.

Brent finds plenty of evidence of material theft. As he worms his way into the Right Guard Organization, he encounters leaders he can relate to. He is attracted to their ideals for a better America. His professional experience forces him to continue with his mission.

Unexpectedly, the young political activist Jill Warren is coincidentally thrust back into Brent’s life. The two had been close before. But the secrecy of his job and the time away from home had taken their toll on the relationship. He may now have a second chance with her.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 347-page thriller. Unlike the heroes of most novels, I had a hard time liking the Brent character. The author called on her experience with International Business and U.S. Defense. The basis for the novel, the missing weapons, and supplies, is factual and makes for a good foundation. The chosen cover art is eye-catching. I give this novel a rating of 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).

Book Review – Cleopatra’s Vendetta

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Avanti Centrae http://www.avanticentrae.com is the author of four novels. I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Centrae in September of 2020. Cleopatra’s Vendetta was published in 2022 and is the first novel in her Stryker Thriller series. This is the 84th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R.

The primary character is Think Tank Special Ops leader Timothy Stryker, but the story begins in the time of Cleopatra. Her empire is brought down, and she dies due to the conspiracy of others. Before her death, she sets in motion a plot to destroy those that brought her down.

Stryker is in Italy with his wife, Angie, and daughter on holiday. When the women are kidnapped, Stryker uses all of his resources to find and rescue them. His investigations disclose that the group behind the kidnapping is The Sons of Adam. The ancient group is responsible for a series of assassinations. They have a reputation for having a long-standing conspiracy against women.

Stryker reaches out to his wife’s sister, Sam, to help in his search. As a CIA agent, she will have access to information. Stryker and Sam desperately search for Angie and her daughter. Meanwhile, Angie is doing what she can as a captive. Will Angie be found in time? Can Stryker and his team bring the long-standing plot initiated by Cleopatra to fruition and destroy the Sons of Adam?

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 398-page thriller. I have now had the opportunity to read all of Ms. Centrae’s novels. The earlier ones are VanOps: The Lost PowerSolstice Shadows, and The Doomsday Medallion. In an unexpected personal connection, while the group Stryker is in is fictitious, the real Army Futures Command happens to be headquartered in Central Texas. I enjoyed this engaging story. I like the chosen cover art, it is very eye-catching. 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).