Tag Archives: Intrigue

Book Review – Alias Emma

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Ava Glass is the author of Alias Emma which was published in 2022. This is her first publication.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R.

Emma Makepeace has just completed her training as a British secret agent, but that name is only her working alias. Her first assignment seems easy enough. She simply has to escort the son of a Russian dissident across London. And she has 12 hours to do it.

But that is before the Russians hack into London’s extensive CCTV surveillance system. Buses, subways, cars, and trains, the normal means of transportation, are all being watched. Nor can they use a cell phone or a credit card without signaling their location. Emma and her charge must find their way across London without disclosing themselves to the Russian assassins pursuing them.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 273-page thriller. The novel has action, intrigue, and romance woven into the plot. While I understand the chosen cover artwork, a London city map, I do not think it is very engaging. 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 – Ten Seconds to Dead

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – L.A. Clayton https://www.authorlaclayton.com is the author of four novels. Ten Seconds to Dead was published in 2020 and is the first book of her Ten Second series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature situations, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Katherine ‘Kate’ Edison.

Edison has just finished law school and passed the bar on her first try. Her father would have been proud of her, but he is gone. He died in front of her. Now she is ready to follow in his footsteps. He was a CIA man.

Since her father’s death, she has been preparing to be a CIA agent. She secures an interview, and it is going well. As she leaves, she is covertly contacted by the AGI, the Alternate Government Initiative. AGI is an ultra-secret US government agency. They want her as an agent, just like her father was before her.

Edison accepts the AGI offer and undergoes rigorous training. Even before she has finished her training, she is catapulted into the field. She faces danger in both the training and missions. She begins to sense that something is wrong. She soon begins to fear that she has been deceived. That she is not really working for a government agency. Can she discover the truth and survive?

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 389-page thriller and mystery. The story is filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. I like the chosen cover art, and 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 – The Confessor

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Andrew Turpin is the author of 10 novels. The Confessor was published in 2022 and is the third book in his Jayne Robinson Thriller series. I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Turpin in 2018.

I received an ARC of this book from the author with an expectation of a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character in the novel is former MI6 operative and now independent contractor Jayne Robinson.

In Washington, D.C., four Catholic Cardinals are assassinated on their way to meet with the President. Their secret message dies with them. Robinson is approached by the CIA to investigate. She is also engaged by a British Cardinal to delve into the murders.

What she uncovers is a conspiracy directed by Hezbollah. At first, the assassination seems linked to Mossad, but that is soon revealed to be a false lead. That does involve Mossad agents known to Robinson. She visits the Vatican for more information. The U.S. president is scheduled to soon meet with the Pope. Robinson and her colleagues must uncover the details of the conspiracy before it is too late.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 446-page thriller. Several characters from earlier Jayne Robinson novels appear here again. As it is will all of Turpin’s works, there is intrigue and action throughout. While this novel could be read stand-alone, I recommend reading the first two books (The Kremlin’s Vote and The Dark Shah) in the series before The Confessor. The cover art is a bit bland, but it fits the plot. 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 – The Lost tomb

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – N. J. Croft https://njcroft.com is the author of eight novels. The Lost Tomb was published in 2020 and is the second book in his Lost series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. Major Noah Blakey, head of an elite anti-terrorist unit, is the primary character.

His ex-wife is reported killed in remote Mongolia. She was an archaeologist who had been looking for the tomb of Genghis Khan. Blakely goes to investigate her death. He soon finds himself and his three children in danger.

After the death of Genghis Kahn, a group of devout followers dedicate themselves to keeping his tomb hidden. Descendants of Kahn want to fulfill the prophecy he made at his death to expand his empire and dominate the world. All they need is a missing artifact from the tomb.

Blakely finds himself caught between these deadly factions. The line between history and myth becomes blurred the closer he gets to the truth.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 281-page thriller. This novel is a very smooth read and includes history, action, suspense, and intrigue. I will be looking for any future novels by this author. I like the chosen cover art, and 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 – The Doomsday Medallion

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Avanti Centrae https://www.avanticentrae.com is the author of four novels. The Doomsday Medallion , the third book in his VanOps thriller series, was published in 2022. I was able to interview Ms. Centrae in September of 2020.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R.

Maddy Marshall has just finished her VanOps training and has joined her twin brother Will. With boyfriend and fellow VanOps agent, Bear they set about to find a 16-year-old French girl. The girl had predicted a Chinese attack in the South China Sea. With her successful prediction, which is somehow tied to Nostradamus, she is being sought by many.

The VanOps group must find her and keep her safe. The team must follow the clues to reveal the secret of Nostradamus.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 409-page thriller. The novel is filled with action and intrigue. I had the opportunity to read both of the previous novels (The Lost Power and Solstice Shadows) in this series. While I enjoyed both of them, I think this novel is the best of the three. While the cover art is interesting, it isn’t tied closely to the story. I give this novel a rating of 4.4 (rounded down to 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review: Countdown to Midnight

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Dale Brown http://www.dalebrown.info/index02.htm (website out of date) is the author of 50 novels. The novel Countdown to Midnight was published in 2022, and it is the second in his Nick Flynn series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. Intelligence agent Nick Flynn is the primary character.

Flynn is a former US Air Force officer now working for a secret US intelligence organization. While on an operation in Austria, he is ambushed and nearly killed. His investigations disclose a joint operation between Russia and Iran, code-named Midnight. Midnight is under the direction of a wealthy Russian, Pavel Voronin. Security for the operations is provided by Raven, the elite security company Voronin owns.

A huge oil tanker is being refitted in an Iranian port. The plot involves the tanker and an effort to seriously damage the US. Flynn and his team must stop Operation Midnight before it is too late.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 398-page action-packed thriller. Since Brown’s first novel The Flight of the Old Dog was published in 1987, I have read many of his works. I have always enjoyed them and this novel was no exception. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4.2 (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: The Nemesis Manefesto

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Eric Van Lustbader https://www.ericvanlustbader.com is the author of more than 50 novels. The novel The Nemesis Manifesto was published in 2020. This is the first novel in his Evan Ryder thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to violence and mature language, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is DOD agent Evan Ryder.

Western intelligence agents are being targeted and killed. Ryder is paired with another US agent Brenda Meyers to investigate. As they follow one thin lead after another, they uncover a secret organization known only as Nemesis. It has targeted the US for destruction.

Ryder is certain that it won’t be long before her name comes up on the Nemesis hit list. She must discover who is behind Nemesis before it is too late. The journey also begins to unlock some of her deeply hidden memories.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 343-page spy thriller. Over the past few decades, I have read more than a dozen novels by Lustbader. I have enjoyed all of the novels, but the earlier ones stand out as better than the more recent ones. This novel struck me as having unnecessary ‘color’ phrases included. The chosen cover art is a bit bland. I give this novel a rating of 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: End of Days

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Brad Taylor https://bradtaylorbooks.com is the author of more than 15 novels. The novel End of Days was published in January of this year. It is the 16th volume in his Pike Logan thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book as ‘R’. The primary characters are Taskforce operators Pike Logan and his wife, Jennifer Cahill.

The outbreak of COVID has kept Logan and Cahill sequestered in South Carolina. Israeli Mossad agents show up and entice the couple to accompany them on a mission. They jump at the chance to travel again.

At first, it is only supposed to be an easy, low-key trip. Soon they find themselves involved in a much more sinister plot. Several Israeli and US government officials are killed. The superficial evidence points to Hezbollah. But the four agents believe there is another group at work. They discover that radicals within the Knights of Malta are behind the assassinations. Between the deaths and the implication of Hezbollah involvement, they are trying to hasten the biblical End of Days.

Pike and friends must try to stop the radicals before a devastating war sweeps the Earth.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 443-page thriller. This is the fourth novel by Taylor that I have read and reviewed. The Insider ThreatGhosts of War, and Ring of Fire are the others. They are all very enjoyable thrillers. 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: “Deep Sleep”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Steven Konkoly https://stevenkonkoly.com released the novel Deep Sleep on 1 January. Mr. Konkoly has published more than 20 novels with this being the first book of his Devin Gray Thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The primary character of this novel is Counter-surveillance expert Devin Gray.

Gray is in his enjoying a successful career despite his mother. She had been a successful CIA officer. That is until she developed what everyone considers mental problems. Her paranoia ended her CIA employment. She left her family, and they became estranged from her. Years have passed, and now she is dead.

At first glance, she was the shooter in a murder-suicide. Days after the funeral, Gray is contacted by his mother. She is not reaching out from her grave but using automated texts and voice messages. The messages lead Gray to meet with her trusted friend.

The two are led to a secret cache of information that his mother accumulated over the years. That information hints strongly that a long-term Russian espionage operation has been active in the US. It all seems unbelievable, but the discovery of a surveillance team on Gray gives credence to more than paranoia.

Gray recruits a trusted team of covert operatives. He also reaches out to a long-time friend and former Marine Corps Helicopter Pilot, Marnie Young. The team finds themselves pitted against equally experienced Russian agents. Gray’s team has too little evidence to ask for help from authorities. They must get more data to interest government agencies in the Russian sleeper agent plot. But now the Russians are waiting for them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 365-page thriller. I thought that this was a very good, modern-day spy thriller. I will be looking to add other books by Konkoly to my reading list. The cover art chosen is OK. I rate this book as a 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Ring of Spies”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Alex Gerlis http://alexgerlis.com published the book Ring of Spies in 2020. He has published nine novels, with this being the third book in his Richard Prince Thrillers series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The novel has two principal characters. The first is British Detective Superintendent Richard Prince. The other is the Danish agent and his love interest, Hanne Jakobsen.

It is already the fall of 1944 and the end of the war is in sight. But the Germans have a sleeper agent that has spent years embedding himself. Now he is in a position of responsibility. Now he can feed the Nazis important information to possibly turn the tide of the war.

The Allies have suffered a series of setbacks. Among them are the failure of Operation Market Garden and the initial German success in the Battle of the Bulge. Allied Intelligence believes that a German spy is operating within Allied Intelligence. MI5 reaches out to Prince. They want him to apply his detective skills to ferret out the spy.

Jakobsen has fallen into the hands of the Germans. She is being held in a concentration camp and is trying to stay alive. Prince has been trying to find her, but Allied Intelligence has not been able to help him.

Prince follows the trail of evidence and narrows down the spy suspects. Just when MI5 is about to take action, the suspect disappears. Shortly afterward, the war ends without the traitor being apprehended. MI5 still wants the traitor. Prince must travel to Germany to discover new evidence. He hopes he will also find out what happened to Jakobsen. While the Russians were allies during the war, things have begun to change. Prince must put himself at risk by traveling into Russian-occupied Berlin.

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 376-page WWII spy thriller. I have read three of the novels written by Gerlis and have enjoyed them all (The others were Prince of Spies and Agent in Berlin). His novels remind me of those written by Helen MacInnesLadislas Farago, and Alistair MacLean. While this is the third book in a series, it reads well by itself. I like the cover art chosen for the novel. I rate this book as 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).

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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 570 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.