Tag Archives: Fiction

Book Review – Blunt Force

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Lynda La Plante https://lyndalaplante.com is the author of nearly 50 novels. Blunt Force was published in 2020 and is the sixth novel in her Tennison series. It is the 3rd book I completed in 2023.

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 30-year-old Detective Sargent Jane Tennison.

Having been removed from the high-profile Flying Squad, Tennison is now assigned to the Gerald Road station in Knightsbridge. With the discoveray of a body, the tranquility of the affluent neighborhood is disrupted. The man isn’t simply dead but has been severely beaten, dismembered, and disemboweled.

The man turns out to be talent agent Charlie Foxley. Tennison finds no shortage of suspects. Foxley had earned himself many enemies. Most evidence points towards Foxley’s ex-wife, but not enough for an arrest.

As the investigation moves forward, Tennison finds evidence of drugs, prostitution, and underage girls manipulated into having sex. Her excursion into the world of show business is far from glamorous.

I enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 434-page mystery. While the book is part of a series, it can easily be read standalone. The plot was a little slow, and the novel seemed to end abruptly. I do like the chosen cover art. 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 – 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 Skylark’s Song

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J. M. Frey https://jmfrey.net(AKA Peggy Barnett) is the author of more than a dozen books. The Skylark’s Songwas published in 2018 and is the first volume of her Skylark Saga series. This was the 101st 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 Robin Arianhod.

Sergeant Arianhod has grown up with the war raging between Saskwya and Klonn. As per the custom, she had begun her apprenticeship when she was only 11. She had finally earned her way to crew a glider. She was the flight mechanic responsible for aircraft maintenance. In combat, she rides behind the pilot and drops bombs when commanded. She also defends their ship with her gun.

That all changes the day that her pilot is confronted by the Coyote. The Coyote is a ruthless Klonn pilot that has brought many Saskwya down. After her pilot is wounded, Arianhod must take over. Amazingly she holds her own against the Coyote and lands their plane.

For that feat of courage, Arianhod is promoted to pilot, a mighty achievement for one of her class. Her exploits in the air against the Klonn grow, and she takes on the nickname of the Skylark. Eventually, she once again faces the Coyote. As good as she has become, her luck runs out, and she is shot down.

While Arianhod survives the resulting crash, her close friend and flight engineer Al does not. The Coyote makes her his captive. Instead of the treatment she feared, he treats her like an aristocrat. Their relationship develops, but as much as she is attracted to him, he is still the enemy.

When a strange, one-of-a-kind rocket pack falls into the Coyote’s possession, Arianhod decides she must escape. She has been repairing it, and now it is ready. If the Klonn can utilize the rocket pack, the war will swing in their favor.

Arianhod sees the rocket pack as her means of escape. She hopes she can then use it to bring the decade-long war to an end. But to do so, she must slip away. Once she has escaped, she will have to survive miles behind enemy lines. The odds are against her, but she always has been lucky.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult, steampunk novel. This novel mixes intrigue, romance, and courage in a teenage girl’s life. The plot is infused with steampunk tech to give it an interesting twist. I like the chosen cover art. 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).

Book Review – The Secret She Kept

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J.S. Ellis https://joannewritesbooks.com is the author of eight novels. The Secret She Keptwas published in 2020. This was the 98th 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 twenty-five-year-old Anthony Hughes.

Lottie Gibson had been Anthony’s close friend, only now she is dead. A few days before her death, she had loaned him her laptop. As he looks over her machine, he discovers more than 20 videos recorded by Lottie. They go back nearly a year, and in them, Anthony discovers secrets his friend had been hiding. Anthony realizes that he had not known the real Lottie.

Anthony thinks Lottie had lent him the laptop as insurance. She knew that she was in danger. Anthony cannot decide what to do. He should turn the computer in to the police. Instead, he slowly watches the videos and begins to follow the clues Lottie has left.

I enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 238-page mystery. It has a slow pace, and the plot is weak. The story is told in the first person by the Anthony character. The cover art is not very eye-catching, but it is consistent with the plot. 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).

Book Review – The Blitz Detective

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Mike Hollow https://blitzdetective.com is the author of seven novels. The Blitz Detective: The intricate wartime murder mystery was published in 2020 and is the first book of his Blitz Detective series. The novel was first published under the name Direct Hit. This was the 97th 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 minor violence, I categorize this novel as PG. The primary character is Detective Inspector John Jago.

Jago is a veteran of the Great War and has been with the police since 1919. It is early September 1940 with Jago now 42. Britain has been at war for over a year. The Luftwaffe has begun bombing London, the Blitz has begun.

A body is discovered in an unmarked van. Jago is called to the scene and recognizes the body. It is a local Justice of the Peace, Charles Villiers.

Before evidence can be gathered, the air raid sirens blare out the warning of approaching German aircraft. A random git by a German bomb obliterates the van and what evidence it might have held.

The death looked suspicious to Jago. He begins to investigate. His focus is disrupted by the assignment to provide assistance to a journalist. This is not one of the regular London crowd, but an American woman, Dorothy Appleton. At first, he considers her a nuisance, but he becomes attracted to her as time passes.

Villiers held a position of power and had his share of enemies. The investigation uncovers secrets held by Villiers. It also divulges criminal attempts to profit from the war. Jago and his partner, DC Peter Cradock, must face danger from more than the German Blitz.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 328-page WWII-era mystery. I found myself reminded of the BBC TV series Foyle’s War. The novel paints a vivid picture of war-torn London. It is a little slow, but still an enjoyable read. I give this novel a rating of 3.9 (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).


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 – The Hiding Girl

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Dorian Box https://dorianbox.com is the author of four novels. The Hiding Girl was published in 2020 and is the first book in her Emily Calby Series. This was the 93rd 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 twelve-year-old Emily Calby.

Calby was growing up in rural Georgia when her life was turned upside down. Out of nowhere comes two men who brutally murder her mother and little sister. If she had not run away, she would be dead too. Without the money her father had hidden, she would have been lost.

Before he died, he had shown her the stash. Enough cash to keep her for weeks if she is careful. Calby looks old for her age but is still too young to be on her own. She manages to manipulate more than one charitable person to help her, but not everyone she meets is so kind. Her journey is as much personal survival as it is a search for the killers.

Young Calby is on a mission. She wants to find and kill those who took her family. Along the way, she makes an unlikely friend in Lucas. He is a former gang member who now has his own business. He gave up gangs on the street for the more profitable realm of the Internet.

Lucas helps Calby track down the men that murdered her family. He also shares what he knows in the art of ‘self-defense’. Will Calby be able to track down the two criminals and bring them to justice? Or will she become just one more of their victims?

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 334-page mystery. I enjoyed this action-packed and engaging novel. You will get to like the character of Calby, but she is a dark hero. I like the chosen cover art. 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).