The Pilot’s Daughter by Meredith Jaeger – #BookReview – #HistoricalWWIIFiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The glitzy days of 1920s New York meet the devastation of those left behind in World War II in a new, delectable historical novel from USA Today bestselling author Meredith Jaeger.

The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith JaegerIn the final months of World War II, San Francisco newspaper secretary Ellie Morgan should be planning her wedding and subsequent exit from the newsroom into domestic life. Instead, Ellie, who harbors dreams of having her own column, is using all the skills she’s learned as a would-be reporter to try to uncover any scrap of evidence that her missing pilot father is still alive. But when she discovers a stack of love letters from a woman who is not her mother in his possessions, her already fragile world goes into a tailspin, and she vows to find out the truth about the father she loves—and the woman who loved him back.

When Ellie arrives on her aunt Iris’s doorstep, clutching a stack of letters and uttering a name Iris hasn’t heard in decades, Iris is terrified. She’s hidden her past as a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl from her family, and her experiences in New York City in the 1920s could reveal much more than the origin of her brother-in-law’s alleged affair. Iris’s heady days in the spotlight weren’t enough to outshine the darker underbelly of Jazz Age New York, and she’s spent the past twenty years believing that her actions in those days led to murder.

Together the two women embark on a cross-country mission to find the truth in the City That Never Sleeps, a journey that just might shatter everything they thought they knew—not only about the past but about their own futures.

Inspired by a true Jazz Age murder cold case that captivated the nation, and the fact that more than 72,000 Americans still remain unaccounted for from World War II, The Pilot’s Daughter is a page-turning exploration of the stories we tell ourselves and of how well we can truly know those we love.

His Review:

This excellent book shows the contrasts of women’s lives between the 1920’s and the second world war years. First Lieutenant William A. Morgan went down with his plane in the Adriatic Sea. His daughter Ellie received the dreaded letter from the War Department and subsequently his belongings. She was in denial regarding his death and felt he was more probably missing in action.

The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith JaegerWhile checking through the box of his effects she comes upon a packet of letters addressed to Ms. Lillian Dell. The letters allude to their daughter and love for each other! Ellie is flabbergasted to think that her father may have had another family in New York! She and her aunt Iris set out for New York to solve the mystery. Iris had been one of the headliners in the Ziegfield Follies in the early twenties. Iris had left the city and returned to San Francisco after a very dangerous entanglement with a married man.

The author melds the experiences and lives of both ladies with the hand of an artist. I appreciated the experiences of both Ellie and her aunt Iris. They have a very close family bond while Ellie and her mother are not close at all. The trip to New York is exciting and holds some danger for aunt Iris. The diving back between the experiences of the 1920’s and mid 1940’s provides a clear view of the change of respect that women received before and after WWII.

CE WilliamsI highly recommend this book as a treatise on the social change that occurred in this country as a result of the war and the need to have women more closely involved in the development and production of aircraft and weapons during the war. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, World War II Historical Fiction, Women’s Detective Fiction
Publisher: Dutton
ISBN: ‎ 0593185897
ASIN: B08VWZP9PJ
Print Length: 351 pages
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Pilot’s Daughter [Amazon]
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Kobo

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Meredith Jaeger - authorThe Author: Meredith Jaeger is the USA Today bestselling author of THE PILOT’S DAUGHTER, BOARDWALK SUMMER and THE DRESSMAKER’S DOWRY. She’s a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was raised by a Swiss father and an American mother. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Meredith wrote her debut novel, THE DRESSMAKER’S DOWRY, while working for a San Francisco startup.

THE PILOT’S DAUGHTER has been called “unputdownable” (NYT bestselling author Sally Hepworth) “stirring and powerful” (NYT bestselling author Fiona Davis) and “historical fiction at its finest” (NYT bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman).

Meredith lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their young daughter and crazy rescue dog.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Frigate (The Cold War Naval Thriller Series Book 1) by John Wingate – #BookReview – Alternative History

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Don’t miss this gripping naval thriller! Perfect for fans of Clive Cussler, Douglas Reeman and Duncan Harding.

Is the Cold War about to turn hot?

Frigate by John WingateWhen Captain Pascoe Trevellion of the Royal Navy is drafted on to the frigate Icarus, he knows a tense time lies ahead. With the spectre of nuclear war looming ever closer, the Cold War is entering a crucial phase, and NATO must respond to the escalating threat.

Trevellion, whose calm and dignified exterior conceals a tragic personal secret, barely has time to greet his new crew before Icarus is plunged into a war simulation exercise.

But the danger becomes all too real when an unexpected encounter between Icarus and a Russian submarine leads to a Soviet counter-attack.

As the battle arena shifts to northern Norway, the Soviets become suspicious of NATO’s motives.

Amidst sub-zero conditions, the Cold War escalates, and the world teeters on the brink of annihilation.

Could nuclear warfare become a reality? And can Trevellion and his men do anything to stop it?

Or will this clash of superpowers result in the ultimate devastation?

FRIGATE is the first book in the Cold War Naval Thriller Series, gripping military action novels written in the 1980s as futuristic fiction. They can now be read as alternative history.

His Review:

Life aboard ship is never easy. Particularly if you are stationed in the North Sea or more northerly environs closer to the north pole. Icarus is an older but very capable frigate assigned to Pasco Trevellion. New commanders to any ship in the fleet are accepted with trepidation and skepticism by the ship’s company and crew. Trevellion taking charge of the Icarus is no exception.

Frigate by John WingateA shakedown cruise quickly points out the capable sailors and seamen and the ones that require special observation and discipline. The crew of Icarus in turn are scrutinizing their new commanding officer with disdain. They miss their old commander and are chaffing at the changes in operational methods aboard ship.

The shakedown cruise is to prepare ship and crew for deployment. The Icarus will join a NATO fleet in the northern waters to contain the Soviet fleet from breaking out and controlling the northern seaways from Finland and Iceland. The Russians broadcast that they are responding to a request from the countries to keep their waterways and harbors open. The Russians enjoy larger and more sophisticated vessels and are like a bully in a new neighborhood.

The dialogue in this novel is extremely well written and uses copious naval terminology. I found myself rushing to Wikipedia to decode some of the more obscure naval terminology. Newer young sailors always test their new Captain’s patience and abilities. Distrust of a new commander goes without saying.

On station, the Icarus and other ships in the containing NATO force work to contain the breakout of the Russian submarine fleet. The submarines are quicker and better equipped than most of the containment flotilla. The action becomes fast and furious as the naval blockade fails. CE Williams

Any reader who understands the Navy’s function on the world stage of checks and balances will enjoy this read. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Disaster Fiction, Alternate History Science Fiction, Alternative History
Publisher: Sapere Books
ASIN: B09C8YJ7KZ
Print Length: 193 pages
Publication Date: August 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Frigate [Amazon]

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The Author: John Alan Wingate DSC was a successful novelist with some twenty-five books to his credit. Many of these had a naval theme. Frequently involving the submarine service, they gained much authenticity from Wingate’s personal wartime experiences. [Goodreads]

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent – An #Audiobook Review – #psychologicalthriller – #readingirelandmonth21 – #TBT

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Reading Ireland Month 2021 (Amazon) Editors Pick – Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Book Blurb:

From the international best-selling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it*. 

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life – wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax. 

My Review:

OMG! This book is crazy twisted. The narrative is a psychological thriller-suspense but that doesn’t really classify a novel that reaches for and secures the devastingly dark, gasp-inducing hyperventilating novel this produces.

Doesn’t that line hook you in the blurb?* It did me and like a horror film you carefully sneak peaks through your fingers, you must…need to…finish. This is a family drama. No, not drama, noir, so dark it’s causing disbelieving, disturbing waves as you read it.

Lying in Wait by Liz NugentThe storyline is set in Dublin. A woman so narcissistic that no loved one is beyond sacrificing and it would appear that’s essentially what she does either directly or indirectly.

It’s beyond this normal reader’s fathom to wrap my head around the plot line—a woman who feels justified in pushing her husband to find a surrogate. She MUST have another baby. Her son, poor innocent Laurence, is growing up, getting older. She is a smother mother and there is a cruelly unhealthy connection between mother and son. But really, her husband Andrew, the judge, isn’t the first casualty. The surrogate, Annie Doyle (a prostitute and junkie now buried in their backyard) is not either. What extended family can look at this perverse situation and continue to make excuses?

There are few characters in the book and several have their own POV’s. My heart wept for Karen (sister of Annie), ached for Laurence, raged at Lydia Fitzsimmons. So easy to go from one POV to the other, filling in little voids, little thoughts or questions, mini-contradictions. The author smoothly develops her characters, adds the tension, gravitas, that the reader doesn’t realize how darkly and deeply ugly the plot has become. It’s sick. My heart was sinking and I kept waiting for that tiny spark, the pinpoint of light. Surely it was coming.

The well-plotted pace was full of twists and turns. The conclusion hurts—does nothing go the way you hoped or predicted? And then the final blow—the fatal punch to the gut. I woke my husband sleeping peacefully beside me with a plaintive cry—NOOOO! What did I just read?! I couldn’t believe it—it CAN’T end this way—but it did? No no no

I look at the author’s picture and think she looks so normal but from where in her mind did this come? And the narrator? Nailed it!

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Psychological Thrillers, Crime Thrillers
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Audio
ASIN: B07BHTQPXW
 Print Length:
Listening Length: 8 hrs 33 min
Narrator: Caoilfhionn DunneDavid McFetridgeLesley McGuire
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Lying in Wait [Amazon]

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Liz Nugent - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Liz Nugent worked as a stage manager in theatres in Ireland and toured internationally before writing extensively for radio and television drama.

Unravelling Oliver was published in 2014, hit the number 1 spot for several weeks and won Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.

Liz Nugent - author witth awardLying in Wait, published in 2016, went straight to number 1 and was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club. It won the Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards.

In October 2017, Liz won the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Award in Literature.

Skin Deep was published in 2018. It also went straight to number 1 in the bestsellers charts and scooped two awards at the An Post Irish Book Awards in Nov ’18: Crime Novel of the Year AND the Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Listener’s Choice Award. Catch her at her website or her Twitter account @lizzienugent.

The Narrator: Caoilfhionn Dunne is an actress, known for Love/Hate (2010), In View (2016) and Wrath of the Titans (2012). Born in Dublin, Ireland.

©2021 V Williams

A Tip for the Hangman: a Novel by Allison Epstein – A #BookReview – Assassination Thrillers

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars 5 stars 

Book Blurb:

Christopher Marlowe, a brilliant aspiring playwright, is pulled into the duplicitous world of international espionage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I. A many-layered historical thriller combining state secrets, intrigue, and romance.

A Trip for the Hangman by Allison EpsteinEngland, 1585. In Kit Marlowe’s last year at Cambridge, he receives an unexpected visitor: Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, who has come with an unorthodox career opportunity. Her Majesty’s spies are in need of new recruits, and Kit’s flexible moral compass has drawn their attention. Kit, a scholarship student without money or prospects, accepts the offer, and after his training the game is on. Kit is dispatched to the chilly manor where Mary, Queen of Scots is under house arrest, to act as a servant in her household and keep his ear to the ground for a Catholic plot to put Mary on the throne.

While observing Mary, Kit learns more than he bargained for. The ripple effects of his service to the Crown are far-reaching and leave Kit a changed man. But there are benefits as well. The salary he earns through his spywork allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years, he becomes the toast of London’s raucous theater scene. But when Kit finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the uncertain world of espionage, conspiracy, and high treason, he realizes everything he’s worked so hard to attain–including the trust of the man he loves–could vanish before his very eyes.

Pairing modern language with period detail, Allison Epstein brings Elizabeth’s privy council, Marlowe’s lovable theater troupe, and the squalor of sixteenth-century London to vivid, teeming life as Kit wends his way behind the scenes of some of Tudor history’s most memorable moments. At the center of the action is Kit himself–an irrepressible, irreverent force of nature. Thrillingly written, full of poetry and danger, A Tip for the Hangman brings an unforgettable protagonist to new life, and makes a centuries-old story feel utterly contemporary.

His Review:

Christopher (Kit) Marlowe lived in a time of great intrigue and strife. The throne of England was contested by Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth the First. These cousins both had genealogical claims to the throne. A cobblers’ son attending Cambridge irritated those of means. Intelligence should have not have been the sole criterion for admittance to this austere college and certainly not with a scholarship to afford the tuition.

A Tip for the Hangman by Allison EpsteinKit had another problem, a lack of total subservience to the aristocracy. His humble beginnings were always a thorn of contention and a spear of disdain. As Kit is finishing his Masters’ he is approached by one of the heads of Queen Elizabeth’s spy service. His task was to unravel an intricate series of messages between Mary Queen of Scots and her supporters. Kit had shown himself very adept at breaking foreign syphers.

Christopher Marlowe is also a very prolific playwright. He is thrust into the under-belly of London society to uncover plots against the Queen. Tangled webs of deceit and subterfuge complicate his life and endanger him wherever he goes. Forces beyond his control continue to press him to decipher and expose the potential usurper to the throne. Getting into the good graces and trust of Queen Mary is one of his assignments. He succeeds and Mary is exposed and beheaded.

Kit’s life is complicated by his love for another man, Tom Watson. Love like most other vices tends to skew a persons’ logic. Rather than escape a very dangerous situation love draws them back like a moth to a flame. Others within the Queen’s cadre of spies all vie for the control and top of the heap. Poisonings and daggers in the middle of the night are often the reward for hard and diligent work.

This author has pulled together a very believable narrative with predictable ends. Caring for Kit and his relationships are destroyed by the expectation of the outcome of his labors. The beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and the deaths of many of the spymasters begin to point towards a tragic conclusion. Once one begins to read the book you must see it through to its’ conclusion.

I recommend this book to any history buff. The narrative paints a very pathetic picture of England during the latter part of the sixteenth century. The smells and the religious turmoil caused by a king who wanted to divorce his wife are sad. Beheadings are a common occurrence and hanging is rampant. It is textbook for reasons that people immigrated from the old world to the new world. Enjoy! 5 stars – C.E. Williams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts. Currently on pre-order.

Book Details:

Genre: Assassination Thrillers, Historical Thrillers
Publisher: Doubleday

  • ASIN : B088F26YSF

Print Length: 384 pages
Publication Date: To be released February 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Tip for the Hangman
Also find the book at these locations:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Allison Epstein - authorThe Author: Allison Epstein is a Michigan native, current Chicagoan, and hopefully someday the owner of a New England lighthouse. She holds an MFA in fiction from Northwestern University and a BA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Allison works as a marketing copywriter at an agency serving not-for-profit clients. Two of her greatest joys in life are Broadway musicals and puns that get her thrown out of the group chat.

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

ICE (Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson Thrillers Book 1) by Kevin Tinto – a #BookReview #technothrillers

The first review of the year by the CE.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars 5-stars

Book Blurb:

We are writing with some fabulous news! ICE has been named the Winner in the ACTION/ADVENTURE category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Congratulations!”
Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The debut bestseller that has sold more than 400,000 Kindle and paperback versions!

Ice by Kevin TintoICE!
Archaeologist Leah Andrews stumbles upon something inexplicable in southwestern New Mexico: inside a dark cavern lies an undiscovered, Native American cliff dwelling abandoned for 800 years. While twisting through one of the narrow underground passageways, Leah’s flashlight illuminates the remains of a violent massacre.

Ancient human remains—all slaughtered in a long-ago massacre—cover the cavern floor, along with a number of brilliantly colored, granite crystals. The rare crystals are native to only one place on earth: a frozen mountain range in central Antarctica.

Could Native Americans have traveled to the frozen continent of Antarctica 800 years prior to the first known human exploration? If so how? And why?

There’s only one person who can get Leah to those mountains in Antarctica: her estranged husband and climbing guide Jack Hobson.

At their destination, they make a stunning discovery that will change history and science forever. But Leah’s team is far from the only interested party.

As her secret makes its way to the highest levels of government, a race to seize the Russian-claimed Antarctic territory brings the world to the brink of nuclear conflict.

My Review:

ICE by Kevin TintoThis book is very hard to put down. Dr. Leah Andrews is a fired archaeologist who has been ordered not to go into the Gila National Wilderness. Our government’s continued seclusion of “Our National Lands” pulls into painful focus the seclusion of areas that “we the people” are not free to roam.

A hither-to-fore unknown and unspoiled cliff dwelling leads to an adventure upon many continents. I was immediately enveloped in a question of why a nationally recognized scientist could not even visit this monument. Does the government have multi-billionaires who are the only ones allowed to do the research, while the rest of our citizenry are restricted to the periphery?

Geological artifacts lead from Arizona to Antarctica. This book features two very strong and estranged people pulled together to solve an 800-year-old mystery. Add in a President whos’ Secretary of the Interior is looking for the answer to the riddle uncovered by Leah and the result is a first-rate international mystery.

The rescue of an old B29 in Antarctica adds spice to the tale. Add Russian interest in this relic and you will be totally involved as I was. CE Williams free from BookBub

Book Details:

Genre: Technothrillers, Science Fiction Romance, Native American Literature
Publisher: Three Dog Publishing, LTD

  • ISBN-10:0692406379
  • ISBN-13:978-0692406373
  • ASIN: B01557MW80

Print Length: 460 pages
Publication Date: September 20, 2015
Source: Publisher and BookBub
Title Link: ICE
+Add to Goodreads 

Kevin TintoThe Author: [Kevin Tinto] I am a full-time writer based in Tiburon, California. Just finishing the third and final book in the ICE Trilogy Series: ICE Revelation.

http://www.writingthrillers.com

©2020 V Williams V Williams

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