Tag Archives: Thriller

Book Review: “Deadly Driver”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author J.K. Kelly (https://jkkelly.com) published the novel “Deadly Driver” in 2021. The author has thus far published six books. I was able to interview Mr. Kelly in September of 2019. You can read that interview here

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 times at locations all around the world. 

The primary character is Bryce Winters a world-class Formula One driver. He has a darker side as a CIA operative. He didn’t want to be a spy, but they had evidence against him. He had little choice but to comply. 

His celebrity status from F1 racing gets him near many powerful people. This lets him make hits for the CIA without drawing too much attention to himself. He is willing to serve his country, but not while under the CIA’s thumb. He struggles to find a way to leave them behind. He travels around the world from one Formula One race to another. Beyond his work for the CIA, he faces danger from racing and those associated with it.  

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 265-page thriller. The book reminds me a lot of Flemings’s ‘James Bond’ thrillers. The main character is repeatedly ending up in trouble. He also falls into bed with beautiful women and dispatches his foes. The Winters character is far from a hero wearing the white hat. While he repeatedly comes to the aid of damsels in distress, he is ruthless. Author Kelly mixes his interest in racing with writing thrillers in this novel. This is the fifth book by Kelly that I have read. They are consistently enjoyable, though a little rough around the edges. They are an entertaining and fun read! The selected cover art is engaging and has the feel of 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: “Hellhound, Take Me Home”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Stu Lane published the novel “Hellhound, Take Me Home” in 2019. This is his 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, mature language, and mature situations. Much of the story is set in Australia, but some of it takes place elsewhere in Asia. The story spans from 1942 to the end of the war. There are three primary characters. Ken Hazel of the Australian Army, his wife Ann, and Japanese soldier Hito Egami.

Early in 1942, Hazel travels with the Australian Army to Singapore. They are there to help defend the island. Shortly after he arrives the Japanese take the island and he becomes a POW. He is held there for months before being shipped to Japan to work as a slave laborer.

The Australian Army captured Egami and he was held in a POW camp in Australia. He escapes from the camp and wanders the desolate bush. Ann Hazel and her son come upon Egami and they hide him in their home for a while. She begins to fear their efforts are starting to unravel. At about the same time she comes up with a crazy and dangerous scheme to both get Egami home and her husband back.  

Egami had received letters from home while a POW. Ann had received letters from her husband. From those Ann learns that Egami’s brother is a guard at the camp where her husband is being held. A nurse shortage in Guam is the final catalyst for her plan. She volunteers and heads for Guam with Egami in tow disguised as a burn patient. The first leg of the trip is dangerous enough. They must make their way by ship to Guam. Once there she has to find a way for Egami to stow away on a plane headed to Japan. The journey is filled with one peril after another. She is not sure if they will survive the trip let alone be able to maintain the charade.

If this all isn’t enough, after so many months living close to Ann, Egami has begun to develop feelings for her. While she still loves her husband, she has become fond of Egami as well. With the outrageous course they are pursuing, she may lose both of them.

I thought that the 6+ hours I spent reading this 306-page thriller were interesting. While the plot was a bit outlandish, that is not that unusual for a thriller. Some details included in the story though are simply wrong. For instance, in Chapter 25 the POWs in Japan make a ‘tiny transistor radio’ to listen to war news. While POWs were sometimes able to make a radio, it couldn’t have been a transistor radio. The first working transistor was not made until 1947. I find the cover art a little odd. The plane looks vaguely like a B-29, which does factor into the plot. I have no idea though what the image waving his arms means. 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).


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 540 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.

Book Review: “The Export’s Revenge”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author J. K. Kelly (https://jkkelly.com) published the novel The Export’s Revenge in 2021. Mr. Kelly has published six novels. This is the second novel in his ‘The Export’ series. I had the chance to interview the author in September of 2019. You can read that interview here

I received a copy of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story takes place at various locations around the world. The primary character is FBI agent Matt Christopher. 

This novel picks up shortly after the first novel in the series, The Export, concludes. Christopher has taken a job protecting a wealthy yacht owner. Christopher barely survives an attack on the vessel. Soon after, he learns that his sister has been brutally attacked and may not survive. He flies immediately to Rome to check on her. He believes that the attack resulted from some of his prior actions. 

Forced to leave the FBI Christopher forms his own company. One of his first hires is Francesca. She is a former Italian policewoman and Special Forces operative. Christopher’s relationship with his ex-wife Claire seems to be growing closer. He has been warned though that he shouldn’t trust her. He is not sure what to believe. The US President offers Christopher a position within his administration. He tells Christopher that he wants him to seek out those who are abusing their positions. This was what Christopher had been trying to do when forced to leave the US years before. He is tempted, but he is wary of the offer. 

Things are happening that seem to have a link to Brit Thomas Sinclair. Christopher had helped an MI5 friend bring down the powerful Sinclair (see book #1). What has happened to Christopher and his family seems tied to the Sinclair family.

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 362-page thriller. While this novel can be read stand-alone, it would be best to read The Export first. This is a much better-written novel than the first in the series. It is very exciting and packed with action. The cover art is a little dull, but it is OK. 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 Export”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author J. K. Kelly (https://jkkelly.com/) published the novel “The Export” in 2021. This is the first novel in his “The Export” series. He has published six novels. I had the chance to interview the author in September of 2019. You can read that interview here

I received a copy of this novel from the author in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains mature situations, mature language, and violence. The story spans the world. The primary character is FBI agent Matt Christopher. 

Christopher is a good agent. One who seeks the truth. That cost him earlier in his career when he doggedly pursued the wrong people. People with deep government connections. As a result, he is now limited to operations outside the US. He has become an export. Christopher has assisted various US government agencies as well as those of allies. In short, he has become a ‘fixer’. 

The story bounces around the world. Christopher gets involved in one deadly situation after another in his travels. He enters these challenges well prepared. He has training as an FBI agent. He had almost completed SEAL training before he was forced to transfer to the Army Rangers. He is ready for almost anything. At least that is what he thinks until his aunt, the US Director of National Intelligence, dies. 

I enjoyed the 5.5+ hours I spent reading this 383-page thriller. The book reminds me of the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming – thrillers with lots of action.. The book is more of a collection of related short stories than a novel. The Christopher character moves from one thrilling and lethal situation to another. He is no stranger to violence and deals out at least as good as he receives. When pressed he is not above doling out justice himself. I like the chosen cover art. 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: SAS: Red Notice

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Andy McNab (the pen name of Steven Billy Mitchell) published the novel “SAS: Red Notice” in 2021 (originally published in 2012). Mr. McNab has published nearly 4 dozen novels. This is the first of his “SAS (Tom Buckingham)” 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 mature language and violence. The story is set in the contemporary UK. The primary character is SAS operative, Tom Buckingham. 

The SAS and British Intelligence have been after Lazlo for war crimes. They thought they had him cornered in England but he escaped. SAS Sergeant Tom Buckingham was part of the effort to capture Lazlo. His commitment to duty and his country is weighing upon him. It is causing him to struggle in his relationship with the young French woman Delphine. 

When Delphine gets fed up with Tom, she heads back home to France. Tom goes after her and finds himself on the Eurostar train. By coincidence, Lazlo is also on the Eurostar. Once they are under the Channel Lazlo and his team takes the train. Only Tom is in a position to thwart their plans and save the 400 passengers.

Tom uses every bit of his skill and training to confront the terrorists. Will it be enough to save the passengers? To save the Chunnel? To save Delphine?  

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 344-page thriller. This was an excellent thriller. The main character Tom Buckingham is at the center of one conflict after another. Alone he confronts and outthinks the terrorists again and again. His valiant efforts do not leave him or Delphine unscathed. This novel is an action-packed start to a thriller series. I am looking forward to reading more! I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.4 (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: “Hellbound”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Authors Eric Giacometti & Jacques Ravenne (http://www.giacometti-ravenne-polar.com) published the novel “Hellbound” in 2021. This is the third book in their “Black Sun” series and their fifth 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. The story is set in 1942. There are three primary characters. Frenchman Tristan Marcas, German Erika von Essling, and French SOE agent Laure d’Estillac 

The Germans are looking for the last of the alleged sacred Swastikas. They believe Germany will easily complete the conquest of Russia once they have it. Of course, not all within the German hierarchy believes in the paranormal solution. Enough in power do to aggressively continue the search. The British for the most part, think the Swastika’s magical ability is rubbish. However, they want to pursue any available options to disrupt German war efforts. 

Marcas is still operating deep undercover as a double agent. His romantic interest in von Essling continues to grow. He continues to pursue the last of the Swastikas. There is a connection between the last Swastika and the Romanov Royal family. The trail to the Swastika leads Marcas back to London. 

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 308-page WWII era thriller. This is very much an ‘Indiana Jones’ type of tale. It is pure entertainment. I like the selected cover art. 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).


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 540 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.

Book Review: Pandora: Resistance

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Eric L. Harry (https://www.ericlharry.com) published the novel “Pandora: Resistance” in 2020. Mr. Harry has published seven novels. This is the third of his “Pandora Thriller” series. This is the fifth novel of Mr. Harry’s that I have read.

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 mature language and violence. The story is set in the near future. A virus has swept the globe. Some have died while others undergo severe mental change. They are subject to violent rages and sociopathic homicide. None of the virus survivors are bound by morality or emotion. 

The primary characters are twin sisters Emma & Isabel along with their brother Noah Miller. Dr. Emma Miller is an Epidemiologist and the first virus victim. Dr. Isabela Miller is a Neroscientist that has been researching the virus . Emma is one of the higher functioning virus survivors. She has assembled a mix of both infected and uninfected in her own Community. Under her leadership, the Community is growing quickly. She is ruthless about imposing hard rules on the citizens. She is protecting them and providing food and healthcare, so they follow her. 


Isabel is traveling with her bodyguard and lover, Marine Captain Rich Townsend. They are searching for her brother Noah and his family. Both Isabel and Rich have been following orders from what remains of the US government. Noah and his family on the road trying to get to Texas where the government in exile has fled. 


Isabel, Noah, and their companions must fight their way across dangerous territory. Everywhere they go they encounter people desperate for food. The infected are worse as they may react with mindless violence. Will they complete their journey to safety? There is a concern in the government about the growing power Emma is accumulating. Is it time to take action and destroy her and her Community?


I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 307-page science fiction novel. The writing seems to be a little choppy in places. While this novel can be read on its own, I recommend reading the first two novels in the series before this one. I had read the second novel of the series, Pandora: Contagion, about two years ago. That helped set the stage for this novel. The story is full of action. The end of this novel was very abrupt. I hope that is in preparation for a fourth novel in the series. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

Book Review: The Bounty

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Authors Janet Evanovich (https://evanovich.com) and Steve Hamilton (http://authorstevehamilton.com/) published the novel The Bounty: A Novel. It was just released last week on March 23, 2021. Ms. Evanovich has published more than 30 novels. This is the 7th in her ‘Fox and O’Hare’ series. Mr. Hamilton has published 16 novels on his own. 

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 across Europe and North Africa. The main characters are FBI agent Kate O’Hare and criminal Nick Fox. 

Earlier O’Hare had tracked down the charming international criminal Fox and arrested him. After negotiating a deal he now works with the FBI to close other cases. O’Hare has reluctantly become his handler. While their relationship began as adversaries, a bit of romance has emerged. 

The two find themselves pitted against The Brotherhood. They are a clandestine group with ties back to the Vatican Bank priests who helped the Nazis during WWII. They are now searching for a lost train carrying $30 billion in gold. O’Hare and Fox find themselves in a race to follow the clues and find the treasure before The Brotherhood. With Interpol penetrated by the Brotherhood, they find themselves on their own. They reach out to their only reliable potential allies, their fathers.

Clues lead them from one tight spot to another. The Brotherhood always seems to be just half a step behind them. Every encounter exposes them to more danger. 

I enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 316-page mystery novel. The pursuit of clues reminds me a little of Robert Langdon’s The DaVinci Code. While not the most exciting mystery, it was enjoyable. I do like the chosen cover art. 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: “MONTAGNARD: A JD Cordell Action Thriller “

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author D.C. Gilbert (https://darrencgilbert.com) published the novel “MONTAGNARD: A JD Cordell Action Thriller ” in 2020. This is the second book in The JD Cordell Action Series. This is Mr. Gilbert’s third book. I published an interview with Mr. Gilbert in June of 2018.


I received a copy of this novel from the author 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 picks up a short time after the first novel “Serpents Underfoot” ends.


The primary character continues to be Former SEAL JD Cordell. After many years of service, Cordell retires taking his K9 Ajax with him. On his last active duty mission, Cordell rescues the very pretty young Doctor Ellen Chang. She was being held by terrorists in Niger. After his retirement, he finds she has come back to the States and has settled hear him. Romance is in full swing between the two.


Shortly after the death of her husband, Mai Cordell makes a trip back to Vietnam. She is trying to find her adopted brother, the Montagnard called Dish. Dish is a rebel wanted by the communist government. When a drug lord hears about her search, he kidnaps her and uses her for bait to draw out Dish.


Cordell heads to Vietnam as soon as he hears about his mother. While the US government can’t take direct action, they do assist Cordell. Two of his former SEAL Team members ‘volunteer’ to go with him. Will he be in time to same his mother and the uncle he has never met?


I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 309-page thriller. I had enjoyed Mr. Gilbert’s prior novel in the series and this one was just as good! I like the chosen 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).

Book Review: “The Last Tourist”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Olen Steinhauer (https://www.olensteinhauer.com) published the novel “The Last Tourist” in 2020. Mr. Steinhauer has published a dozen novels. This is the fourth of his “Milo Weaver” 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 language. The story is set in contemporary times. Most of the action takes place in Africa and Europe. The primary characters are Milo Weaver, CIA analyst Abdul Ghali, and operative Leticia Jones.

Weaver is head of ‘the Library’. That is a secret, independent intelligence organization operating out of the UN. He thought that the CIA-trained assassins, ‘The Tourists’, had been closed down for years. Now he is being pursued by what appears to be new ‘Tourist’ agents.

He must avoid them while investigating. He arranges for Ghali to meet him so that he can disclose all that he knows. Long time friend Jones is one who comes to his aid. The three must dodge the agents while they find out who is controlling the Tourists.

I enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 384-page spy thriller. It was a little slow at times, but I did feel compelled to keep reading to see how it ended. While this novel is part of a series, it reads well on its own. The part of the novel from Abdul Ghali’s perspective is told in the first person. That sets that portion apart from the rest of the novel. I am not a fan of the cover art. It does not seem to have much to do with the story. I give this novel a 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).