Tag Archives: Fiction

Book Review: “The Memori Project”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Memori Project” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Martin Ashwell (https://www.martinashwell.com). This is Mr. Ashwell’s first publication and the first in his “Josh Heller 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 ‘G’. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is Josh Heller, a former CIA operative who left under questionable circumstances.

Heller is approached by billionaire Simon Scott to shoot a documentary film on the neuroscience experiments he is funding. Once Heller is on-board, he is approached by his former employer to work undercover for the CIA. As Heller digs into what is going on he discovers what appears to be the disappearance of one of the former researchers. That raises questions as to the safety of the procedure and who the next patient to undergo the procedure will be.

The security chief for Simon Scott seems to be watching Heller. Heller recruits one of the research team to assist in his investigation and she too comes under the scrutiny of the security chief. Heller must try not only to find out what happened earlier to the research participant but also keep himself and his recruit safe.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 334-page thriller. I thought the plot was good, but to me, the ending really didn’t wrap everything up. The selected cover art is OK, but not tied to the story. 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 Reviews: “Night of Camp David”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Night of Camp David” eBook was published in 2018 (the original paper edition was published in 1965) and was written by Fletcher Knebel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher_Knebel). Mr. Knebel published a dozen 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 ‘G’. The story is set in Washington D.C. during the 60s. The primary character is the Junior Senator from Iowa, Jim MacVeagh.

MacVeagh is unexpectedly invited to Camp David one evening by the President. As the President begins talking with MacVeagh, the Senator begins to have misgivings about the sanity of the President. The Senator starts to investigate to prove to himself that the President is at risk.

Soon MacVeagh finds himself being scrutinized for mental problems. With a summit with the Russians looming ahead, MacVeagh and a few others he has allied with must find a way to keep the President from meeting with the Russians.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 352-page thriller. While this novel was written nearly 55 years ago, it still reads well. There are some references to pay phones and other things from the 60s, but the story holds together well. I read many of Knebel’s novels back in the 60s and enjoyed them. 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).

Friday WWII Flix: “REUE”

(See my other WWII and Short Film posts) – I came across this short (18:01) films set in WWII a short time ago. The film was uploaded to YouTube in May of 2014 by James Cawley, the film’s director. The synopsis per IMDB:

REUE is the story of two American soldiers stranded in occupied territory. While trying to relocate their platoon, the soldiers come face to face with a German infantryman. The trio of young soldiers soon learns they are more connected with the will to survive than they could have ever imagined.

This seems to be a pretty well-made film.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 250 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Reviews: “A Dangerous Collaboration”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “A Dangerous Collaboration” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Deanna Raybourn (https://www.deannaraybourn.com). Ms. Raybourn has published 20 books. This is the fourth novel in her “Veronica Speedwell Mystery” 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in 1888, mostly on a Cornish island off the coast of Wales. The primary character is Veronica Speedwell.

Speedwell is invited by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker Templeton-Vane, to visit the island owned by the Lord’s oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly. Ostensibly Speedwell has been invited to obtain samples of a butterfly she is wanting to add to her lepidopterarium. Not wanting Speedwell to be alone with his brother, Stoker invites himself on the trip.

When they arrive Speedwell finds that there have been ulterior motives by both their host for the invitation and Lord Templeton-Vane for his asking her along. Romilly’s wife had disappeared three years earlier on their wedding day. Now he has all of those he considers the prime suspects in her disappearance on his island. Romilly is determined to find out what happened to his bride.

Speedwell and both brothers find themselves involved in far more than they had anticipated. Events play out indicating that the person behind the disappearance is indeed with them on the island. They are determined to solve the mystery but are faced with lethal opposition to their involvement. The romance between Speedwell and Stoker continues to simmer with neither making a move.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 333-page period mystery. I have also read the first book in this series, “A Curious Beginning“, and I have enjoyed them both. I liked the characters of Speedwell and Stoker, as well as the time period of the story. I like the cover art chosen for this novel. 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: “Remember Me”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Remember Me” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by D. E. White (https://daisywhiteauthor.co.uk). Ms. White has published a dozen 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 contemporary Wales. The primary character is LAPD Detective Ava Cole who has returned after fifteen years to her home in Wales to see her dying ex-husband one last time.

The visit back home stirs more memories than just her Ex. When Cole was still a teen in Wales her best friend Ellen Smith had disappeared. Now 15 years later no one has heard from her. But that is a mystery that Cole and her close friends know the answer to, or at least she thinks she does.

Now not only is the visit back home stirring up emotional attachments to those she left behind, but previously unknown facts about Ellen’s disappearance begin to surface. The truth about Ellen may destroy many lives. But then another young girl disappears and Cole fears it is tied to Ellen’s disappearance.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 295-page British mystery. This novel has an interesting plot that leads Cole on a bumpy trip down memory lane. This is a good psychological thriller with a twist or two in the plot. I think better cover art could have been chosen. 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).

Friday WWII Flix: “The Way Back”

(See my other Short Films and WWII posts) I watched the short (8:45) WWII era film “The Way Back” this evening. It was posted to YouTube in June of 2015 by ParaLight WorX. The synopsis:

A group of four German soldiers encounters Russian Army troops.

This is a well-done film. Unfortunately, all of the dialog is in German and there are no English subtitles.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 220 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 shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Book Review: “The Murder Pit”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Murder Pit” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Mick Finlay (https://mickfinlay.com). This is Mr. Finlay’s second publication and the second book in his “Arrowood Mystery” 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and some Mature Language. The story is set in the England of 1896. The primary character is private detective William Arrowood.

Arrowood is a comtemporary of Sherlock Holmes, but he has little respect for him. Arrowood is engaged by a couple to find their estranged daughter, Birdie. Birdie has  married, but since then she has refused any attempts at contact by her parents.

Arrowood and his colleague, Norman Barnett, travel a short distance outside of London where Birdie is living with her husband. He and his entire family are well thought of in the local community, but they refuse to let Arrowood and Barnett speak to Birdie. The detectives nose around, asking questions, but they only stir up the ire of the locals.

When an old gypsy woman who befriends them disappears, Arrowood asks even more questions, stirring up the locals even more. Arrowood and Barnett are threatened and attacked. The more they investigate the less they trust Birdie’s inlaws or her parents. At the same time they feel that something is clearly wrong at the farm where Birdie is living.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 432-page mystery. I chose this novel because I thought it had something to do with Sherlock Holmes. It doesn’t other than annimosity towards Holmes by Arrowood. There are several characters in this story that suffer from mental problems. Revealing how they were treated at the close of the 19th century seems to be part of the mission of this novel. The story was OK, but I thought it was a little slow. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 3.7 (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 Ghost Manuscript”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Ghost Manuscript” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Kris Frieswick (https://www.krisfrieswickauthor.com). Mr. Frieswick has published four 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, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is mostly set in contemporary Wales, though some also takes place in the eastern US. The primary character is Rare Book Authenticator Carys Jones.

Jones enjoys her books, especially Dark Age manuscripts. One of her better clients has been committed to a mental hospital due to his odd actions. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse – his rare book collection if she will assist in deciphering the clues in a very old journal. But it isn’t just an academic exercise, her client believes that the clues will lead to King Arthur’s tomb.

There is an urgency to their effort as it quickly becomes apparent that there are others after the same goal and they are more than willing to use force to find the tomb. She begins to question her own sanity when she starts to ‘see’ the monk who wrote the journal. However, without his ‘advice’, she would not be making progress. Jones must reluctantly return to Wales to continue the search. There she has to face her long-estranged father and she unexpectedly becomes involved with a Welshman.

Will she be able to unravel the clues in the journal? Can she avoid the clutches of the others seeking the tomb? Will everyone she has involved in her quest survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 337-page adventure thriller. I liked both the characters created for this novel and the plot. There is adventure, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal. The plot does have a twist or two which I enjoyed. The cover art is OK, but I think something tied to the plot would have been better. 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: “He Is Watching You”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “He Is Watching You” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Charlie Gallagher (https://www.writercharliegallagher.com/). Mr. Gallagher has published ten novels. This is the first in his “Detective Maddie Ives” 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 England. The primary character is DS Maddie Ives.

Ives has spent most of her police career as an undercover officer. Now that her identity has possibly been revealed, she has been posted to Canterbury to keep her safe from retribution. She is assigned to missing persons and reluctantly begins to dig into her new position. Her first case is for a missing woman who is known to disappear on drunken binges.

DI Harry Blaker is working Major Crimes in Canterbury and is called in on a hit-and-run. He and Ives begin to collaborate believing that there may be a connection between missing persons and the hit-and-run.

The murderer has planted cameras so that he can watch the bodies of his victims. He is surprised to discover that one isn’t dead yet. He must finish her. He already has his next victim selected. Soon Blaker and Ives find themselves in a race to find the murderer before it is too late for his latest victim.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 380-page mystery. I like the characters and plot of this novel. I look forward to reading more in this series. The cover art is OK but could be tied more to the plot. 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: “Theater of Spies”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Theater of Spies” eBook was published in 2019 (May) and was written by S. M. Stirling (https://smstirling.com). Mr. Stirling has published more than 40 novels. This is the second novel in his “Alternate World War I” 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 US and Europe of World War I. This story is set in an alternate timeline where Teddy Roosevelt is again the US president and is leading the US aggressively in opposition to the Germans. The primary characters are longtime Black Chamber operative Luz O’Malley and her new genius partner and love interest Ciara Whelan.

O’Malley and Whelan are recovering and enjoying some ‘alone time’ at the home in California that O’Malley inherited from her family. That R&R is cut short when they are ordered to Europe to find out about a new weapon system that the German Imperial Navy is developing.

They must travel by airship to South America, then to Africa under a false identity. Then they make their way behind enemy lines into Berlin to discover the details of the German weapon. They encounter German agents along the way and struggle to survive to arrive at their destination.

O’Malley and Welan need to use their skills to penetrate a plant in Germany, then escape. Making things more challenging, the German agent known as Imperial Sword who the two had dealt with in the first novel of the series (“Black Chamber“) is on their trail and is desperate to have his revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 14.5 hours I spent reading this 464-page alternate history thriller. I have read and been a fan of S. M. Stirling for several years. I have always liked his characters and detailed plots woven in most cases with an alternate timeline. I like the selected 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).