Tag Archives: Thriller

Book Review: “Black Camel”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Ed Mitchell (https://booksbyedmitchell.com) published the novel “Black Camel” in 2020. This is Mr. Mitchell’s fifth novel and the fifth book in his “The Gold Lust” 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 the contemporary US. The novel has several major characters.


Al-Qaeda hires the “Black Camel”, the assassin-for-hire whose real name is Dominique. She and her partner Wolfgang “Wolf” direct a reign of terror across the US. Sleeper cell agents deploy a string of bombs across the country killing hundreds.


FBI agent Cholo Cantera again partners with Israeli Mossad agent Oasis Jazir. They are part of the US task force looking for the terrorists. US Senator Nolan Martin is a particular target. Cantera, Jazir, and Martin all find themselves in precarious situations. Their families are also a target for the terrorists.


The culmination of the terrorist attack is a target in Washington D.C. As the final attack nears completion all that stands in the way of success are Cantera and Jazir.


I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 308-page thriller. I enjoyed having a variety of primary characters in this story. The plot was good and believable. While this book is the fifth in a series, it is very readable as a stand-alone novel. 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).

Book Review: “The Linden Tree”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author S.D.M. Carpenter published the novel “The Linden Tree” in 2020.


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 an alternative history of WWII. In this ‘universe’ the Japanese never attack Perl Harbor and the Nazis develop nuclear weapons first.


There are two primary characters in this novel. Luftwaffe General Peter von Zimmermann and British SOE agent Emelia Ramsour-Fritsch. Zimmermann is a decorated veteran from WWI. Now he is one of the top bomber pilots in the Luftwaffe. He is chosen to drop the first nuclear weapon on the UK.


Germany immediately threatens both the UK and the US with further nuclear attacks. The British publicly submit. Secretly they mount a search for the German weapons program. Ramsour-Fritsch travels to Switzerland taking on the role of a socialite. She makes her way to Berlin where she meets Zimmermann.


At first, she is just playing her role, but before long true romance develops. As the German ME-264 heavy bomber becomes operational, all of the UK and the East Coast of the US come within range. Can the Nazis be stopped before they dominate the world?


I thoroughly enjoyed the 12+ hours I spent reading this 355-page WWII Alternative History novel. The author was able to integrate many facts from WWII into the novel. The characters were believable and the plot interesting. The cover art is simple but I like it. 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).

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

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 500 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: “No Safe Place”

See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Taylor Wilmering published the novel “No Safe Place” in 2013. 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the contemporary US. The main characters are Homeland Security Counter-Terrorism agent John Anderson and his field partner, Agent Erin Walker of the FBI.


Sleeper agents associated with the radical Islamic terrorist group Ansar Inshallah strike out. The locations are varied and the results dire. Anderson and Walker rush to find the leader of Ansar Inshallah and stop the killing. These terrorists are integrated into American society and few think of them as a threat.


I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 178-page thriller. The novel is on the short side and reasonably good for a first publication. 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: “All the Best Lies: A Mystery”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Joanna Schaffhausen (https://www.joannaschaffhausen.com) published the novel “All the Best Lies: A Mystery” in 2020. Ms. Schaffhausen has published three novels, all in her “Ellery Hathaway ” 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 picked up shortly after book #2 (No Mercy: A Mystery) ends.


The primary characters remain FBI agent Reed Markham and suspended police officer Ellery Hathaway. Markham has been promoted and now has some latitude with the cases he investigates. He takes the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to examine the circumstances of a murder. More than forty years ago his mother Camilla died from a brutal knife attack leaving him an orphan. The mystery remains unsolved.


Markham asks Hathaway to travel with him and assist in his inquiry. He has evidence that a connection exists between his adoptive father and his mother. The two poke and prod those who are still around. Before long they uncover a trail to the killer. At the same time the relationship between Markham and Hathaway heats up. The liaison is far from smooth. Before it is over one of them finds themselves staring down the barrel of the killer’s gun.


I thoroughly enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 328-page mystery. I have been fortunate to read both of the previous novels in the series (“The Vanishing Season: A Mystery” and “No Mercy: A Mystery“). This one is every bit as good as those and I am looking forward to the next volume in the series. Both of the characters carry a lot of personal baggage. While you could read this novel on its own, it would be best to start with the first one in the series. The cover art is good but does not seem to be tied to the plot. 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: “No Mercy: A Mystery”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Joanna Schaffhausen (https://www.joannaschaffhausen.com) published the novel “No Mercy: A Mystery” in 2019. Ms. Schaffhausen has published four novels, all in her “Ellery Hathaway” series. This is the second novel in that 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 picks up a short time after the first novel “The Vanishing Season” ends. The primary characters remain FBI agent Reed Markham and Police officer, Ellery Hathaway.


Hathaway is suspended pending the review of her shooting at the end of the first novel. Markham is back working at the FBI and is a candidate for promotion. Hathaway gets involved with a rape victim. She meets her through the therapy group she is reluctantly attending.


Hathaway also meets a woman at the group sessions who survived a fire that took her young son. She begins digging into both cases and calls Markham for help. Markham has been warned that his work with Hathaway will endanger his career, but he goes anyway.


Hathaway knows the poking around will not endear the authorities to her return to duty. She feels like she needs to help both women. As they get deeper into their investigations, there are those that want to stop them.


I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 321-page mystery. I liked these two characters in the first novel. I still find them interesting in this volume. Both are a bit broken but have a tenacity for finding the truth. The cover art is OK, but I think something better could have been chosen. I’ve enjoyed the first two novels in the series and look forward to more. 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: “Reluctant Hero”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Carl F. Haupt published the novel “Gary Gatlin Reluctant Hero” in 2018. This is the first of a trilogy. Mr. Haupt has published two 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 1939-1942. The primary character is Utah farmer Gary Gatlin.


After Gatlin graduates High School his family sends him to Formosa. He has grown up close to a Japanese family and is familiar with their language and culture. He is there to learn the Japanese techniques for growing fruit trees.


While in Formosa WWII begins and Gatlin must go into hiding. The Japanese believe he is a spy. With the help of local people, he eventually is able to escape the island and begin his long journey home. The trip is not easy and he finds himself in harm’s way more than once. He also is given the chance to fight back against the Japanese. Not only is he worried about his family back home in the US, but while on Formosa he has fallen in love with a Japanese girl.


I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 316-page fictional drama novel. While the main character Gatlin grows into a heroic figure, the story seems very slow. he seems very naive about the world. Perhaps that is his rural background. While classified as a thriller, I Ould say that it only barely qualifies. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.


You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).


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 three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 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 Bells of Hell “

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Michael Kurland (http://www.michaelkurland.com) published the novel “The Bells of Hell ” in 2019. This is the first of his “A Welker & Saboy Thriller ” series. Mr. Kurland has published more than 25 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 Situations. The story is set in 1938. The primary characters are OSI Special Agent Jacob Welker and Lord & Lady Saboy. Welker is President Roosevelt’s own covert counter-intelligence agent. Lord Geoffrey Saboy is the British ‘cultural attache’. Both he and his wife have ties to British Intelligence.


Discovery of the body of a recent arrival from Germany involves Welker. This gets him on the trail of Nazi agents operating in New York City. Both of the Saboy’s are on missions of their own for the British government.
Lady Saboy openly flirts with most of the men she meets. She is not above using her looks, as well as her body, to discover hidden secrets. Before long, Welker has recruited the Saboy’s to assist in halting an assassination.


I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 256-page WWII era mystery and spy thriller. I like the novels set in this period. I also liked the characters in this novel. They are a little different than those normally found. I look forward to reading more novels in this series. The cover art is a little plain, but it is eye-catching. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.


You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).


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 three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 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 four Symbols”

(See all my Book Reviews and author Interviews) – Authors Eric Giacometti & Jacques Ravenne (http://www.giacometti-ravenne-polar.com) published the novel “The Four Symbols” in 2020. This is the first of their “Black Sun” series, and their fourth novel together.


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 pre-war Europe.


German Himmler has sent SS operatives of the Ahnenerbe in pursuit of objects of obscure supernatural powers. German SS Colonel Karl Weistort has led one team to the Himalayas and found one object. An old book alludes to three other items of power hidden around the world.


If they can find all these objects the Nazis feel assured of success in their war. Churchill doesn’t believe in these occult powers. On the other hand, he doesn’t want Germany to have any advantages.


British Commander Malorley, with Churchill’s approval, begins a search for the other objects. Mallorey heads to France where the next object is thought to be hidden. When he arrives he finds Weistort all ready at work with a team of archeologists.


Caught up with the Germans is the Frenchman Tristan Destrée. Destrée seems to be as much a criminal as he is knowledgeable about antiquities. Adding to the mix of characters are German archeologist Erika von Essling and Frenchwoman Laure d’Estillac. The dig site in France is on d’Estillac property. Essling is leading the excavation. All these characters come together with a bit of romance and French resistance fighters in a struggle for the object.


I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 384-page WWII era thriller. The novel is very reminiscent of the Indiana Jones movies. The novel starts slowly and it takes a while for the plot to develop. It did not feel like it had a smooth flow. That is perhaps due to translation from their native French. This is the third novel (The others were Shadow Ritual & The Lafayette Sword) of Giacometti and Ravenne that I have read. They have all been very enjoyable. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.


You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).


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 three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 480 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 Annihilation Protocol”

(See all my Book Reviews and author Interviews) – Author Michael Laurence (https://michaellaurence.com) published the novel “The Annihilation Protocol” in 2020. This is the first of his “Extinction Agenda” series and his second 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 the contemporary US. It picks up where the first novel in the series “The Extinction Agenda” leaves off.

FBI Special Agent James Mason and his childhood friends continue to combat the mysterious syndicate. This dark agency known as the Thirteen is out for world dominance. This time using lethal nerve gas.
Not only are Mason and his team facing the potential death of millions, but hems work around his new partner. He can’t be sure if he can trust her. Will be able to find the nerve gas and stop the next attack?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 16.5 hours I spent reading this 433-page thriller. This was a good follow-on thriller. I look forward to more in the series. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4.8 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Leviathan”

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(See all my Book Reviews and author Interviews) – Author James Byron Huggins (https://www.jamesbyronhuggins.com) published the novel “Leviathan” in 2019. My Huggins 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 times on a remote Icelandic island. There are three primary characters. Jackson Connor runs a construction company working on the island. His wife Beth Connor runs the island’s communications center. Thor Magnusson is a recluse living on the island that looks like an ancient Viking war god.

On the island, an experiment is underway to develop the ultimate biological weapon. Secret laboratories buried deep into the volcanic island contains the research. They are developing not a virus but a creature that is invincible. A creature that can be controlled. Of course, things do not go as planned.

The creature escapes its confinement and a battle ensues. The creature is driven to kill all life it encounters. The staff must find a way to survive this killing machine. They must also contain or kill the creature before it finds its way off of the island. If it escapes all humanity is at risk. As you might expect the Connors and Magnusson find their way to the front lines of that battle.

I enjoyed the 10.5+ hours I spent reading this 407-page science fiction novel. The novel contains a lot of action. In a way, it reminds me of “Jurassic Park”. Though the writing isn’t nearly that well done and much of the ‘science’ in this novel is pure fabrication. The cover art is certainly appropriate for the novel. I give this novel a 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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