Tag Archives: Suspense

Book Review: “Cyber Countdown”

41gpG91YY3L._SY346_

Book Reviews – “Cyber Countdown” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Terence Flynn. This is Mr. Flynn’s first publication.

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 near-contemporary US. The primary character is James Jordan, the current Federal Chief Information Officer of the US.

Jordan had been the CEO of the Cyber Security firm VSI but had stepped down when asked to be the Chief Information Officer. Now his former partner at VSI Philip Wu is dead. The resulting investigation reveals that Wu had been doing classified work for the US government.

The US is plagued with cyber attacks coming from China. Among the students behind the attack is a North Korean naval officer Kim Kwon-Mu. Kwon soon realizes that their effort is more than a simple prank to steal US corporate data.

Before long events are pushing the US and China towards war. Will Jordan be able to get to the bottom of things and find a way to avoid the looming conflict?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 450-page thriller. I liked the level of detail included in the story as well as the plot. I hope to read more “James Jordan” adventures in the future. The chosen cover art is OK. 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).

Advertisements

Book Review: “The Devil Aspect”

51cSWAj5ELL

Book Reviews – “The Devil Aspect” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Craig Russell (https://craigrussell.com). Mr. Russell has published 11 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 year is 1935 and the story is set in Prague and the nearby Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The primary characters are the young psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek and Prague Police investigator Lukas Smolak.

Kosárek has just taken the position at the Hrad Orlu Asylum to pursue his theory of the ‘Devil Aspect’. His patients at Hrad Orlu Asylum are the countries most infamous six killers, all deemed insane. He begins his treatments and is disturbed at what he discovers. He also finds himself attracted to the young Judita Blochová the chief administrator at Hrad Orlu Asylum.

A serial killer known as Leather Apron has been operating in Prague and the police have no clue as to who it might be. Investigator Smolak has been working hard to track down the killer, but thus far has few leads. Filip Starosta is Kosárek’s friend from university but he seems to be getting more and more distant and erratic in his behavior. As hard as it is for Kosárek to believe, he begins to have concerns for his friend’s sanity. Kosárek is also hearing strange things from his patients while they are heavily drugged and under treatment. He begins to believe there is an evil there among the patients beyond their simple insanity.

I thought that the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 410-page horror/mystery were interesting. The plot was interesting to me, but I found the story to be a bit slow. It is a very dark story with a touch of the supernatural. I did like the unexpected plot twist at the end of the novel. The chosen cover art is OK, but I think something closer to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 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: “Thin air”

51AIlccsi5L

Book Reviews – “Thin Air” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Richard K. Morgan (https://www.richardkmorgan.com). Mr. Morgan has published 10 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, Mature Language, and a few Mature Situations. The story is set in the future on Mars. The primary character is Hakan Veil, a former a protection specialist for commercial spacecraft. He is equipped with military-grade body tech that makes him a force to reckon with.

Veil is now involuntarily retired from his commercial protection role. He takes on private engagements and finds himself forced to take on the job of bodyguard to an Earth Oversite investigator. It is supposed to be an easy gig.

The easy job turns into attempts on his life, a missing investigator, and the discovery of a conspiracy. Can he stay alive long enough to find the investigator?

I thoroughly enjoyed the near 16 hours I spent reading this 536-page science fiction mystery. This novel seemed to start off very slowly. I almost called a Rule of 50 on it, but I persisted and in the end, I was glad that I had. This feels like a noir mystery the way it is written (Veil reminds me of Philip Marlowe except that he is living a couple of hundred years later and on Mars). The cover art is OK, though something in line with the plot would have been better in my opinion. I give this novel a 4.3 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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

Book Review: “Limetown”

51zKLo7b1ZL

Book Reviews – “Limetown” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Cote Smith (https://www.cotesmith.com). Mr. Smith has published two novels. This novel is the prequel to the popular podcast of the same name.

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 about ten years ago, mostly in Kentucky. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock.

Haddock’s mother has been acting strangely. Over 300 people have disappeared from a research center in Limetown, Kentucky. Among them are Haddock’s uncle, Emile Haddock, who she barely remembers. Young Haddock is an aspiring journalist and finds herself compelled to seek answers to the disappearance.

She finds that her parents have been keeping secrets from one another and from her. She finds a mystery surrounding her uncle. She finds that she is not the only one seeking Emile Haddock.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 304-page science fiction mystery. I had not listened to the podcast when I read this novel, but have now. The story is a little odd and borders on the paranormal. I would recommend reading it before listening to season 1, but even afterward it will be of value to the fan of the Limetown podcast. It does explain a lot of the backstory for what happens in season 1 of the podcast. I am not a fan of the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

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

Podcast: “Limetown”

Limetown_logo

Podcasts – I do listen to many podcasts. I came across Limetown a short time ago, though it had first appeared in 2015. It is a production of Two Up Productions. Two seasons of six episodes each, with a few short podcasts in between, have been released thus far. The first season was a top podcast in 2015. The synopsis:

Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”

Unlike most podcasts, this is more of a science fiction radio drama. If you like science fiction and podcasts, you might want to give this series a try. The series is available on iTunes.

There is a prequel novel to the podcast also named “Limetown“. If you enjoy the podcast, you will want to read the novel.

Book Review: “A Baker Street Wedding”

51n1skDePEL

Book Reviews – “A Baker Street Wedding” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Michael Robertson (https://www.thebakerstreetletters.com). This is the sixth novel in the “The Baker Street Letters” series by Mr. Robertson.

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’. The story is set in the contemporary UK. The primary characters are lawyer Reggie Heath and the celebrated actress Laura Rankin.

Rankin and Heath have just gotten married and try to escape the publicity by disappearing to a small town where Rankin once attended school. They are soon drawn into a mystery. Rankin is asked to fill in for a woman in a community play. The woman has accidentally fallen off a cliff and died. Soon though Rankin and Heath begin to question the accidental nature of the death.

There is also an unusual character that shows up with Heath’s secretary in the rural town. Is he Sherlock Holmes?

I enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 304-page mystery. This was an OK mystery and I liked the strange character that shows up, though there needs to be more explanation of the character (perhaps that is covered in one of the earlier novels in the series, though Rankin and Heath do not appear to know him). Even though there are five earlier novels in the series, this novel reads well on its own. The cover art is OK but doesn’t relate well to the story. I give this novel a 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: “Executive Force”

51+V60OEdlL._SY346_

Book Reviews – “Executive Force” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Gary Grossman (https://www.garygrossman.com). Mr. Grossman has published four novels. This is the fourth in his “Executive” 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 contemporary US. The primary characters are Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke and his fiancée Katie Kessler, a lawyer and assistant to the US Supreme Court Chief Justice.

A series of assassinations of political leaders is driving the US into chaos. A growing secessionist movement is being fueled by this and threatens the US. Roarke must find the assassin and stop him before there are more deaths. Kessler is looking into the secessionist movement for the Chief Justice and goes undercover within the leading organization. Both find themselves in danger and on trails of evidence that lead to the same conclusion.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 448-page thriller. While this is the fourth book in this series, it reads well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot created by the author. The cover art is kind of bland. Something related to the story would have been better in my opinion. 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: “Time’s Children”

51ZYDtlXK8L.jpg

Book Reviews – “Time’s Children” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by D. B. Jackson (http://www.dbjackson-author.com). Mr. Jackson has published six novels. This is the first of his “Islevale Cycle” 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 and Mature Situations. The story is set in another world where magic is possible. The primary character is fifteen-year-old Tobias Doljan.

Doljan is a student of magic with a specialty as a Walker who can travel through time. He is sent to the court of Daerjen. The sovereign of Daerjen, Mearlan IV, asks him to Walk back in time fourteen years, far beyond what is normally allowed. Doljan agrees to take the risk and the burden of aging himself fourteen years in order to stop the war that has been going on.

Doljan survives the trip back in time, but Mearlan and his court are unexpectedly attacked and killed, disrupting the timeline. The only survivor is Doljan and Mearlan’s baby girl. Doljan, though only fifteen in the body of a thirty-year-old man, must find a way to save the princess and evade the invaders.

Doljan’s close friend and love from the magic school, Mara, senses the disruption in time when Mearlan is killed in the past. Though she has forgotten who Doljan is, she knows she must follow him into the past to correct the change in history.

Plots that span time. Magical creatures. Threats from foreign powers. This has the making of a great fantasy series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 13 hours I spent reading this 528-page fantasy. I liked the plot and the characters. I think the twist of aging those who travel through time adds to the story. I like the 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).

Book Review: “St. Paul’s Labyrinth​”

5119h+gIdfL

Book Reviews – “St. Paul’s Labyrinth” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Jeron Windmeijer (https://jeroenwindmeijer.nl/). Mr. Windmeijer has published three 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary Leiden, Netherlands. The primary character is university professor Peter de Haan.

Haan attends the installation of an underground waste container. He does so as an opportunity to do archaeological exploration. Few opportunities come to do excavation in the old city. Surprisingly, this excavation opens up an old and unknown tunnel. Haan and a colleague venture in. Inside the tunnel, they find a naked man covered in blood. Then Haan gets a mysterious text message ‘the hour has come‘.

When the colleague disappears in the tunnel, Haan becomes the target of a police investigation. Then when his close friend Judith Cherev disappears, he finds that he has been given only hours to solve a puzzle and save her. Along the way, he discovers hidden mysteries, a secret society, and a group that will do anything to keep their secrets hidden.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 329-page thriller. This has the feel of a Dan Brown thriller, but I did not find it nearly as good. There was quite a bit of detailed reference given to Leiden. That would probably make this book attractive to you if you lived there or knew the area well. Unfortunately, I found this novel a little slow and it felt disorganized to me. The cover art is OK, but I think something more closely tied to the story would have been better. I give this novel a 3.4 (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: “The Last Saturday of October”

51CSgftMnTL

Book Reviews – “The Last Saturday of October” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Douglas Gilbert. This is Mr. Gilbert’s first publication.

I received a copy of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is dramatized non-fiction.

This is an inside look at how close the US and Russia came to nuclear war during the Cuban Missle Crisis. In 1962 the US had discovered Soviet nuclear missile sites in Cuba. The US set a fleet to stop shipping headed into Cuba that might be carrying nuclear weapons.

Captain Vasili Arkhipov is given the mission to take his submarine brigade to Cuba. They are carrying nuclear-tipped torpedoes. He had already survived a nuclear disaster at sea on another submarine and was suffering from what we now know as PTSD. His vessel and crew were being chased by a large antisubmarine force of the US. He was being pushed ever closer to having to use his nuclear weapons.

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 238-page non-fiction book that reads like a thriller. I think that Gilbert did a good job of taking history and making it readable and exciting. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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