Tag Archives: Fiction

Book Review: “Lost and found”

41t+HBUvgnL

(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Orson Scott Card (http://www.hatrack.com/) published the novel “Lost and found” in 2019. Mr. Card has published more than 70 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 and Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is 14-year-old Ezekiel Bliss.

Bliss has had a troubled past. He can sense lost objects and then knows who they belong to. Early on this got him labeled as a thief and is now somewhat ostracized by his classmates.

As he begins his Freshman year of High School, a girl starts following, then walking with him to school. That is how he meets Betty ‘Beth’ Sorenson. Sorenson annoys Bliss at first, but after a while, she grows on him. Bliss gets involved with a group looking at micro powers. He meets others who each have a useless power. A detective who is looking for a missing girl approaches Bliss hoping he can help him find her.

At first, Bliss turns him down, but he eventually decides to help, due much to Sorenson’s influence. Bliss’s abilities don’t work well with finding someone. He has to try various indirect approaches to the problem. Bliss learns what means the most to him when Sorenson goes missing.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult mystery novel. I have read a few other of Card’s novels and enjoyed them as much as this one. While targeted at young adults, readers of any age will enjoy this novel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to 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: “A Madness of Sunshine”

41xvMyJR1aL

(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Nalini Singh (https://nalinisingh.com) published the novel “A Madness of Sunshine” in 2019. Ms. Singh has published nearly 60 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 story is set in Golden Cove on the rugged West Coast of New Zealand. The primary characters are Will and Anahera. Will is the local cop banished to Golden Cove. Anahera the young widow returned to Golden Cove after the recent death of her husband.

Golden Cove attracts tourists during the summer. Tourist season has passed when Anahera returns. She has only arrived when a beautiful and talented local girl, Miriam, disappears. As Will begins to investigate the skeletal remains of another woman are discovered. Speculation is that it is one of the three women who disappeared in the area years before.

Many think Miriama has run off, but those who know her think there has been foul play. Will has so many possible suspects and they are mostly his new friends and neighbors. The more he digs the more secrets he uncovers. Before long Will and Anahera develop an unexpected relationship. The investigation proceeds, but not without danger to them both.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352-page mystery novel. I like this novel for its unusual setting. This isn’t the most exciting mystery, but it was enjoyable and engaging. I am not a fan of 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: “Fight To Survive”

51eYAQwmlML

(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”

41WO1S68+iL

(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”

51qui3RxFZL

(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 Warehouse: A Novel”

415k0-8FnzL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Rob Hart (https://robwhart.com/) published the novel “The Warehouse” in 2019. This is Mr. Hart’s seventh 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 Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in the near future. There are three primary characters. Paxton a new security guard. Zinnia a new picker. Gibson Wells owner of Cloud.

Cloud is the superstore of the future. Think of it as a combination of Wal-Mart and Amazon mega-company. Drones make the deliveries and the store carries everything. Employees live at the massive distribution centers. Each is a small city with entertainment, restaurants, and shops. The company over the years has taken over many government functions. It has also replaced most other businesses.

Wells has found out that he is dying and plans to make a road-trip across the US visiting company facilities. Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud. They meet during the on-boarding process. Paxton has been a prison guard. Then he briefly had his own business until competition from Cloud forced him to close down. Now he wants to earn enough to get back on his feet.

Zinnia isn’t Zinnia. She is a corporate spy sent into Cloud to find information. Zinnia and Paxton begin a relationship. She is not sure if she is using him or if she has real feelings for him. She has no idea who has hired her.

I thought that the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 348-page mystery novel were interesting. I thought that the plot was off to a good start. Sadly, the book had a disappointing ending. There is only a mediocre mystery. I am not a fan of the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3 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 Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.”

51H0vBk0u2L._SY346_

(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”

41RkmBlAvXL

(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”

51rMcL-CXaL._SY346_

(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”

51p1kRkrRmL

(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).