Tag Archives: Thriller

Book Review: “The Atlantis Deception”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Atlantis Deception” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Mark H. Jackson (https://markhjackson.com). This is Mr. Jackson’s first novel.

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, Brazil, and Egypt. The primary character is archaeologist, Dr. John Hunter.

Hunter has been ostracised by the archaeological community for his theories about Atlantis. Because of his interest in Atlantis, he becomes involved with a secret group in the UK. He travels to the Brazilian rain forest then to the desert of Egypt following the trail to Atlantis. He and his friends find themselves in one harrowing situation after another, caught between two different secret groups.

I thought that the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page thriller were interesting. While the basic plot is fine, I am not a fan of the implementation. The story jumps or skips in places and I am not a big fan of the characters. The cover art is OK, but could be tied more closely to the story. I give this novel a 2.8 (rounded up 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: “Darkness”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Darkness” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Lain Richmond (https://www.iainrichmond.com). This is Mr. Richmond’s first published novel. It is the first of his planned “Oortian Wars” 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 Language. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary character is Captain Jack Falco of the United Nations Navy.

Falco is a hero of a war with North Korea, though it has left him a widower. Now he has reluctantly taken a commission as Captain of the Cyclone Class deep space scout ship Anam Cara. Falco, and the Anam Cara, will be on a 15-year mission to the Oort Cloud. They are there to investigate anomalies around Station Pluto.

To the surprise of everyone, Falco and his crew discover that the dark cloud in that part of space is home to an alien race that has been disturbed by the human presence. The alien civilization is far older than Earth and they have a history of violence. Before long that violence is turned on the human presence and Earth is soon at war.

I generally enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 462-page science fiction novel. I liked the overall story and the characters, though I had some problems with the story when it switched to the alien’s point of view. Their thought process was hard to follow and it almost made me want to call a Rule of 50 on the book and drop it. The cover art is OK, but I would have preferred something more in line with 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: “The Ventriloquists”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Ventriloquists” eBook was published in 2019 (August) and was written by E.R. Ramzipoor (http://www.erramzipoor.com). This is her 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in 1943 Brussels. Belgium has been occupied by the Germans since May 28 of 1940. The primary character is twelve-year-old street orphan Helene, who is living in disguise as a boy.

The Germans are trying to sway public opinion away from the Allies. A German comes up with the idea to publish a fake issue of a resistance newspaper turning it into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway the public. They approach journalist Marc Aubrion and force him, and his associates, to create the paper.

Aubrion, along with an odd group of resistance fighters and newspapermen, come together to publish a very special issue of Belgium’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir instead. Le Soir has been taken over by the Nazis and is being used to publish their propaganda. The small group, including the young Helene, come up with the wild plan of secretly publishing an issue full of Zwanze [meaning farce or spoof] poking fun at the Germans.

They have only 18 days to pull their plan together, write the articles, then publish and deliver the papers under the noses of the Nazis.

I enjoyed the 18 hours I spent reading this 544-page WWII thriller. This story is based on fact. A spoof issue of Faux Soir was published on November 9, 1943. While I thought the story was interesting, I also thought it was very slow reading. I almost declared a Rule of 50 and abandoned it. I have to say that it did get better towards the end. There were unusual several characters in the story. It was certainly an interesting plot, almost unbelievable, yet it really happened. The chosen cover art is OK, though I think something closer to the story could have been chosen. 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).


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 310 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 Last Second”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Last Second” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Catherine Coulter (https://www.catherinecoulter.com/) & J. T. Ellison (https://www.jtellison.com). Ms. Coulter has published more than 90 novels, while Ms. Ellison has published more than 30. This is the sixth book in their “A Brit in the FBI” 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, France, and Asia. The primary characters are FBI agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Cain.

A close friend is hired as a bodyguard to Jean-Pierre Broussard, owner of the very successful French aerospace company, Galactus. Broussard is in Asian waters on his megayacht, The Griffon, searching for the Holy Grail. Shortly after finding what they believe is the Grail, the yacht comes under attack.

Broussard’s head scientist at Galactus is the former US Astronaut Dr. Nevaeh Patel. Patel is trying to make contact with aliens, the Numen, she swears she met while serving aboard the International Space Station. After Patel was quietly forced to leave NASA due to her claimed ‘first contact’, she took up the helm of Galactus. She helped make the company a success but now she is using Galactus launch capabilities for her own plans. She has put a nuclear weapon in orbit that will generate an EMP. Patel wants to use the EMP to clear the heavens of all satellites and the ISS. This will allow the Numen to come down to Earth.

Drummond and Cain travel to Asia to look for their missing friend and Broussard. Then they become involved in the search for the nuclear weapon. Along the way, they encounter armed terrorists and Patel’s security. Drummond and Cain are in a race to disable the nuclear weapon before the EMP can devastate most of the Earth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 464-page thriller. I liked the overall plot, but I was not impressed with the characters. In my opinion, too, there were a few holes in the plot details. While the cover art chosen is OK, I think something tied to the plow would have been better, I give this novel 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 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).

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).

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: “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).

Movie: “Captain Marvel”

Trailers – This trailer is from back in December and the movie “Captain Marvel” has been open now in theaters since March 8.  The synopsis (if you have been hiding in a cave somewhere) from IMDB is:

After crashing . . . on uncharted territory, Air Force pilot Carol Danvers is brought up by the Kree to being a member of the elite Starforce Military under the command of her mentor Yon-Rogg. Six years later, after crash landing on Earth while under attack by the Skrulls, Danvers begins to discover that she is not who she believes she is. With help from SHIELD agent Nick Fury, Danvers begins to unravel the truth about her past. What she discovers is a secret that will unleash her true power and becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes ever known.

My wife and I went to see “Captain Marvel” this past Sunday evening and we both really enjoyed it. It has earned a scored of 7.1/10 on IMDB, which seems a little low to me. According to Wikipedia, the film has grossed over $760 million (at the time I am writing this post) worldwide. That has been accomplished in less than three weeks! It is so far the highest-grossing film of 2019. The primary character of the movie, Carol Danvers, first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1968. The character has also been known as Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird before taking on the current name of Captain Marvel.

Neither of us had heard of the character before the movie.

Now we know how Fury got his eye patch!