Tag Archives: Thriller

Book Review of “Global Predator”

“Global Predator” was published in 2014 and was written by Jack Maclean. This is Mr. Maclean’s first novel. The eBook is available on Amazon.

I obtained this novel for free in advance through https://www.netgalley.com for review. This is a Thriller and I would rate this novel as ‘PG’ as there is some Mature Language. The novel is written in the third person and is set in many places, though most of it is set in Pakistan. Though there are numerous other characters, the primary characters are Stoner and Wilkins, both bankers from London.

Wilkins is a Phd physicist who specialized in quantum physics. He was recruited by Stoner from the Grosvenor Bank to apply his understanding of quantum physics to game theory in order to find patterns for probabilities and apply them to the financial market. Wilkins applied his knowledge well, and he and Stoner were very successful.

Stoner was a banker and saw Wilkin’s special mathematical knowledge as a way to gain a leg up on the competition. He also saw how he and Wilkins could utilize a hole in the banks procedures to make themselves very wealthy. When Wilkins disappears, the bank sends him in search of Wilkins.

Having made millions Wilson begins to fear that Stoner is about to turn him in to the bank. He stashed the funds in off shore accounts and decides to disappear. By chance, he runs into Sally Hodges, an old girlfriend who has returned to London from Pakistan. She is in London struggling to get more funding for the charitable agency she works for which is setting up schools and encouraging the education of girls in Pakistan. Wilkins sees playing the role of a potential benefactor and going to visit her in Pakistan as a subtle way of totally disappearing. With a lot of cash, he quietly leaves London and heads for Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

Concurrent with this Al Queda and Taliban leaders are organizing a conference in the Swat Valley to plan their next set of moves. American intelligence finds hints of the meeting and begins to focus on finding where the meeting will be held. Much of the data they gather is from Global Predator drones in the air over Pakistan.

Before long Wilkins, Stoner, the Al Queda and Taliban leaders are all within a few miles of one another in the Swat Valley. Things get complicated as they try to use one another to achieve their separate goals. American intelligence is meanwhile trying to pinpoint where the Al Queda and Taliban leaders will be so that they can target them with Hellfire missiles from a Global Predator drone.

I spent about 6.5 hours reading this novel and I think that the characters were well developed. Certainly the character of Wilkins evolved over the course of the novel. The basic plot was not bad, but I thought it was rather slow for the first 85% of the story. I give this novel a 4 (actually closer to 3.5, but I will round it up) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “The Fixer”

“The Fixer” was published in 2014 and was written by Terri “T. E.” Woods (http://www.tewoodswrites.com). This is the first book in the “Justice” series. Ms. Woods has written three novels. The eBook is available on Amazon.

I obtained this novel for free in advance through https://www.netgalley.com for review. This is a mystery / thriller and I would rate this novel as ‘R’ as there is Mature Language and Violence. The novel is written in the third person and is set in and around Seattle, Washington and Olympia, Washington. The primary characters are Mort Grant, Lydia Corriger and The Fixer.

Lydia is a psychologist in private practice in Olympia. A beautiful but troubled woman, Savannah, unexpectedly walks into her office one day. Lydia tries to help Savannah, but Savannah is not very forthcoming. Savannah alludes to being responsible for bad things happening to people. Lydia begins to investigate Savannah to see if what she has been saying is true.

Mort Grant is a Seattle, Washington Police Detective. He is still dealing with the loss of his wife of many years as well as the unknown condition of his long missing daughter. Mort gets a call from his journalist son asking for information on a suspicious death. During their investigation, they hear of an assassin know as The Fixer.

The Fixer is an assassin with high standards – any target she takes must be guilty of some grievous wrong and have evaded justice. A recent assignment has gotten out of hand and now exposure of her identity is being threatened.

As the story evolves, Lydia, Mort and The Fixer are all drawn together. I have read all three of Ms. Woods novels in the “Justice” series and enjoyed each and every one. This novel took me just over 7 hours to read. The characters were each well developed and you felt like you knew them. The plot was fast paced, keeping up my interest through out. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Desperate Times”

“Desperate Times” was published in 2011 and was written by Nicholas Antinozzi (http://nicholasantinozzi.com). This is the first book of the “Desperate Times” trilogy. Mr. Antinozzi has written 6 novels. This ebook is available on Amazon.

This book is a thriller with the story set in New York state in a near future. An apocalypse occurs when there is a sudden financial collapse in the US and around the world. A few have seen the disaster coming and have been planning. The story is of a group that comes together to escape the city and try to survive the crisis at a lake home in rural New York.

As would be expected in such a crisis, some decide to use force to take from those who have thought ahead. The group endures many trials as they struggle to survive. While the story does reach a conclusion, the bigger story continues on in the next volumes of the trilogy.

I enjoyed the seven hours I spent reading this novel. I would rate it as an “R” due to the Violence and Mature Language. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Broken Monsters”

“Broken Monsters” was published in 2014 (September) and was written buy Lauren Beukes (http://laurenbeukes.com). This is Ms. Beukes fifth novel. The book is available on Amazon.

I obtained this novel for free through https://www.netgalley.com for review. This is written in the third person and set in Detroit, Michigan. I would rate this novel ‘R’ as there is Mature Language and Violence.

The primary characters are Gabriella Versado a Detective with Detroit Police Department, Jonno Haim a writer, Layla Versado, Gabriella’s High School age daughter, Thomas ’TK’ Koon a homeless ex-convict, and Clayton Broom an artist.

Gabriella gets handed a strange homicide involving a young boy. The case is particularly odd and upsetting as he has been cut in half with his bottom half replaced with the bottom half of a young deer.

Jonno is a failing writer who comes to Detroit for a fresh perspective and opportunities. He meets up with a young woman, Jen, who convinces him to start producing video blog pieces about Detroit, particularly the art scene, instead of trying to write.

TK is a scavenger on the streets of a crumbling Detroit. He helps out in a church soup kitchen, but makes a living combing through the many abandon homes in a deteriorating Detroit.

Layla has few friends in school. She and her friend Cas try to catch a pedafile, but that only gets them both into more trouble.

Clayton is an artist, but has strange tastes in his art. In spite of his oddities, he is considered brilliant in some of his works.

The story winds around these five principals, eventually bringing them together. There is a supernatural element to the story that is reminiscent of novels by Dean Koontz. I enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spend with this novel (I am a fan of Dean Koontz) but it did seem to start off slowly. I was 40% of the way through the book before I began to see how these separate characters were tied together, other than the obvious relationship between Gabriella and Layla. The suspense level picked up substantially during the last third of the book. I give this book a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Rook”

“Rook” was published in 2014 and was written by J. C. Andrijeski (http://www.jcandrijeski.com/) and is the first book in the “Allie’s War” series. Ms. Andrijeski is the author of dozens of novels and novellas. The eBook is available on Amazon. I was notified when the book was on sale through http://booksends.com.

The book is written the third person and I would categorize it as Science Fiction as it takes place on an “alternate” earth. The main character is Allyson “Allie” Taylor a young woman who was an orphan. She was adopted, has grown up and is now working in a cafe.

Another race, the Seers, has been living, hidden amongst the humans on this earth since the beginning. The Seers were finally discovered in the early 1900’s. The Seers can “see” the future. Some of them work with the humans to, among other things, find hidden Seers. When the Seers are discovered humans began to be tested to find any Seers hiding among them and establish that the humans are pure. But there are some Seers who continue to hide and move among the humans.

Allie has always thought that she was human, having passed the tests. She has many human friends, but then a Seer, Revik, comes into her life and shakes up her world. Soon she and Revik are running for their lives, and she knows that despite what the tests had shown she is not human.

I spent about 3.5 hours reading this book. I think that the book is a little chaotic, confusing and needs additional editing. I would categorize it as barely ‘R’ due to some Mature Language. I rate this book overall as a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “I Am the Mission”

“I Am the Mission” (also known as The Lost Mission) was published in 2014 and was written by Allen Zadoff (http://www.allenzadoff.com). This is the second book in the “Unknown Assassin” series. This is Mr. Zadoff’s seventh book. This eBook is available on Amazon.

I obtained this novel for free through https://www.netgalley.com for review. This is a Young Adult Thriller, and I would categorize it as R only because of some violence. The novel is written in the first person. The primary character is 16 year old Zack. Just after finishing the mission described in the first book “I am the Weapon”, Zack is sent in to investigate a man, Eugene Moore, who is recruiting and training teenagers in military skills. While the source of some controversy, the camp is similar to other summer camps for kids, though it focuses on military skills. The fear is that Moore may change focus from a training camp into a terrorist force.

Zack goes in under cover, but the situation changes and he is forced to exceed his mission mandate by not only attending a recruitment meeting, but going on to the camp, Camp Liberty. He looses touch with his contacts at The Program, so he is forced to make decisions on his own. Zack calls on the boy he friended in the previous book, Howard, for assistance. Zack makes friends with Moore’s son and daughter, Lee and Miranda, who are both youth leaders in the camp.

The doubts and questions that began to trouble Zack in the first novel continue in this story. He questions even more some of the things he has been told, and his trust of The Program is beginning to fade.

As the story unfolds there is intrigue, a little romance and action. The story moves along well, never letting the reader bog down. The story is a little far fetched (16 year old assassin), but it is well written, and I enjoyed it more than the first book. Overall I give this novel a 4 out of 5 for an entertaining 3.5 hours of reading.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book review of “The City”

“The City” was published in 2014(July) and is written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz has written around 100 books, as well as some graphic novels. This eBook is available on Amazon.

I was provided the manuscript for “The City” for early review through NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com). “The City” is written in the first person and is set in an unidentified large city. It is a mystery/thriller with a little supernatural thrown in. While there is some violence, I would say that the book rates no more than PG13.

Jonah Kirk is the main character. The story starts with him at age 57, but he then tells his story about what happened to him when he was eight years old beginning in 1967. The story continues for about two years of his early life.

Sylvia and Tilton are Jonah’s parents, but his father isn’t around much and they soon get a divorce. Sylvia is an aspiring singer, but she still needs to work the lunch counter at Woolworth’s to make ends meet. Sylvia’s parents, Anita and Teddy Bledsoe, live in the suburbs. Teddy plays the piano on a regular basis at a hotel restaurant and in a department store. Anita works in a church office. They, other than Tilton, are a close family.

Jonah meets a young woman “Pearl” who tells him that she is the spirit of the city. She visits him from time to time and guides him. Pearl also shows Jonah a frightening dream where he sees a young woman dead. A short time later that same woman moves into an empty apartment on the sixth floor of his apartment building. At first Jonah thinks the woman is pretty, but quickly she shows a sinister side. That starts a string of events that play out through the rest of the story. Jonah makes new friends and looses people that are close to him. He finds aid and comfort from Mr. Yoshioka who lives upstairs in the building. Together they delve into the mystery of the young woman on the sixth floor and find much more, including a potential murderer and a conspiracy, than they had expected.

I have long been a fan of Mr. Koontz and have read several of his other novels. I enjoyed this novel, though I do not believe it is as good as some of his others. The story seemed to drag along slowly for the first few chapters, but then it did pick up. Once I got into the story, it was easy to keep reading. Unlike most of the other novels by Mr. Koontz that I have read, this one did not keep me on the edge of my seat. I would give this a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also posted on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com).

Book Review of “Absolute Zero”

“Absolute Zero” was published in 1999 and was written by Frederick Aldrich. Mr. Aldrich has written four novels. The eBook is available from Amazon.

This is written in the third person with the action taking place in several places around the world in the late 90’s. A combined operation between Cuba and middle eastern terrorists threatens the US. Principals in the story are Cuban leaders (thinly disguised from Fidel Castro and his brother), American intelligence and military, as well as the terrorists. The primary hero figure does not appear until almost a third of the way through the novel.

It took me a little over 13 hours to read this novel. I enjoyed the novel, though it would have been better if I had read it closer to 1999 as it did seem a little dated. There were more editing errors than I expected in the novel. In the parts of the story set in Cuba, conversations were a mix of English and Spanish, which was a little odd. The novels started with action, but then slowed down for a few chapters, but did pick up. I give this a 4 out of 5.

I also post my reviews to Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/)


Book Review of “Investigating the Hottie”

“Investigating the Hottie” was published in 2013 and is the first in a series. The book was written by Juli Alexander (http://www.julialexanderauthor.com/). Ms. Alexander has published seven novels, including recently the sequel to this book “Undercover with the Hottie”. This eBook is available on Amazon.

This is a Young Adult Romance/Thriller set in contemporary times. Amanda Peterson is 15 and goes to spend a week during fall break with her aunt Christie to get away from home and her divorcing parents. Her aunt has always been a wild card in the family and a perpetual student. Amanda is shocked when she arrives and her aunt meets her looking . . . normal.

The shocks continue as Amanda finds that she has unknowingly been going through training, at the request of her aunt, for the past few years to be an agent for the Global Agency for Shared Intelligence (GASI). This is because her aunt is an agent and wanted to bring Amanda into the organization.

Her aunt asks Amanda to take an assignment during her visit to watch a boy at a local High School. Amanda takes the assignment to get close to Will Middleton who they think may be responsible for computer hacking. While Amanda is investigating Will, her aunt Christie and her partner Nic Maxwel are following other leads.

There is some romance and a little excitement in the story. I really felt it was more of a romance than a thriller. The novel also seemed to be targeted at very young teenage girls. The plot was very simple. The situations were never more than PG with no adult language. Fortunately it only took 3 hours to read this novel.

I rate this a 3 out of 5.

Book Review of “End of Enemies”

“End of enemies” was published in 2014 and is the first in the “Briggs Tanner” series by author Grant Blackwood (http://grantblackwood.com). Mr. Blackwood is the author or co-author of eight novels. This eBook is available on Amazon.

I obtained this novel for free through https://www.netgalley.com for review. This is a thriller and is told 3rd person with the primary characters being Briggs Tanner and his partner Ian “Bear” Cahil, though there are many others.

The real story begins with a submarine just off the coast of Japan in the last days of World War II. Then we skip ahead to present day where Briggs is on vacation in Japan. There he witnesses a murder. That starts an unofficial, then more official investigation. In Washington, D.C. the intelligence community is concerned about an agent that has disappeared in Beirut, Lebanon. Why was he suddenly taken and what does it mean?

Briggs is a former US Navy SEAL, and now works for an off-the-books US intelligence agency. What seemed at first like a random killing turns into an international crises which spans the globe. There is action, danger and intrigue as the story rapidly unfolds to involved a Japanese billionaire, the middle east, and a threat to world peace.

This is the first novel by Mr. Blackwood that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed the 12 hours spend reading it. I look forward to reading others by Mr. Blackwood. It reminds be of Clive Cussler stories, which isn’t a surprise since Mr. Blackwood has co-authored three novels with Clive Cussler. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.