The Silent Witness: (Detective Amanda Steele Book 3) by Carolyn Arnold – #BookReview – #noircrime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldWhen the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.

Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.

With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?

Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.

Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?

His Review:

Brett, Angela and their daughter were in the wrong place at a bad time. How could their first family vacation turn out so wrong? Brett loved to take pictures but the pictures he took that fateful morning should not have happened. Frantically he had the women in his life hide in their master bedroom.

The Silent Witness by Carolyn ArnoldAmanda Steele is a first-rate detective who loves her job. One of the down sides of the job is investigating horrific crimes. Her working relationship with her office is basically great except for her boss. For some unknown reason her boss seems to hate her and puts her down every chance she gets

Investigating the murder scene Amanda notes they are a young couple with a child nearly the age of her own. The couple is killed by apparent professionals and the little girl is nowhere to be found. Was she staying with relatives or had she been away for a weekend with a friend? The child named Zoe is found in a storage ottoman in the dead couples’ bedroom.

The killings had occurred quickly and efficiently, but why? Thankfully her mothers’ last act was to hide the child in the ottoman. Terrified she did not make a sound and stayed totally still. The killers had overlooked her. Can Amanda keep the child safe while investigating the crime?

Ms. Arnold builds a strong case for methodical investigative tactics. Her heroine is hobbled by the responsibility to keep young Zoe safe while investigating the deaths. She is aggravated by the fact that the papers in their zeal to report sensational crimes mentioned that the child was the only one to escape the massacre.

This tale develops at a fast clip and I found it hard to put the book down. The total lack of compassion or sympathy toward the two victims and their daughter raised a deep wish for revenge against the killers. How can someone kill a young mother in the same room as their daughter with no worries about the future of the child?

Amanda had lost her own daughter in a tragic accident in which she also lost her husband! She is torn between placing the child in Child Protective Service and possibly adopting her. Zoe is her daughter’s age.

CE WilliamsThe book is compelling and I applaud the author for her skill in story telling. 5 stars – CE Williams

Certainly not the first book reviewed for this author. I also enjoyed a few of the last, including Book 1 of this series, The Little Grave. 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: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Organized Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09236T3JF
Print Length: 324 pages
Publication Date: September 24, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Silent Witness [Amazon]
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Carolyn Arnold - authorThe Author: CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Keep Me Close: An utterly gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist by Jane Holland – #BookReview – #medicalthrillers

Book Blurb:

Someone is hurting the most vulnerable person in your life, but they can’t tell you who it is. What would you do?

Keep Me Close by Jane HollandWhen shy publisher Kate Kinley finds mysterious bruises on her mother’s arms she assumes the worst. Suffering with early onset dementia, her mother insists that nothing is wrong; it was just a clumsy accident. But was it an accident, or has her mother’s illness made her forget what really happened?

In desperate need of someone she can trust, her isolation and paranoia grow as the closest people in her life become key suspects.

With each heart-stopping revelation, Kate begins to realise that the perpetrator is no longer interested in inflicting bruises; they want blood.

Keep Me Close is a compelling story of gross immorality, a cautionary tale of how easily wicked people can take advantage of the vulnerable elderly people in your life.

His Review:

Caring for a parent with dementia is never easy. Kate has had a number of people taking care of her mother who is rapidly deteriorating. Mysterious bruising and other problems indicate someone is mistreating her. Who would do such a thing to an elderly frail woman?

Keep Me Close by Jane HollandAfter her longtime care giver disappears, Kate is pleased to find Ruby. She is the perfect answer and is given a room in the house to help compensate for the many hours she spends with Kates’ mom. Signs of abuse point to Kate and letters appear under her door claiming she is a terrible person and unworthy.

Kate desperately works to keep her mother at home and under loving care and protection. Her job as a publishing editor is continually at risk because of a uncaring employer and a punk writer. She is assigned to correct the proof for the writer and finds many problems. Conflicts arise as her mother gets worse and her boss threatens to fire her.

Logan is a handsome suitor and Kate allows herself to date two years after her husband’s suicide. She is very tenuous and careful in allowing any relationships because of the loss of not only a husband but her father as well. A solicitor clouds the care issue because he is “her mothers’” solicitor and not hers. This relationship clouds the overall tension and Kate’s good intensions.

The main character is portrayed as a very tenuous personality whose relationships are always under scrutiny by her boss. He is a true self-centered narcissist who does not like women. His response to most of them is smiling wickedness. One would like to accidentally run over him in a dark alley.

CE WilliamsI enjoyed the novel but got a little tired of Kate’s inability to stand up for herself. She also tends to procrastinate in reporting events that scare and concern her. The police are a day or two behind each event. Rather than report the abuse of her mother to the police she hesitates because she feels that they will think she is the perpetrator. Wallowing in self doubt and letting others push her around got a bit tiresome and allowed some interest to wane. 4 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.

Rosepoint Publishing: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Lume Books
ASIN: B096W81Y6Q
Print Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: September 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Keep Me Close [Amazon]
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Jane Holland - authorThe Author: Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and bestselling novelist (Twitter @janeholland1). Her psychological thriller GIRL NUMBER ONE hit #1 in the UK Kindle store in 2015 and 2018. Latest novel: KEEP ME CLOSE. Her debut novel KISSING THE PINK was inspired by the Women’s Pro Snooker circuit, where Jane was once a champion player ranked 24th in the world before being banned for life for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’. Since turning from sport to writing, she’s published dozens of novels with major publishing houses under various pseudonyms, including: Betty Walker (Avon Books: World War II saga series ‘The Cornish Girls’) Beth Good (contemporary romcoms), Victoria Lamb (historical fiction and YA fantasy), Elizabeth Moss (historical romance), Hannah Coates (feel-good doggy fiction), and JJ Holland (action thrillers featuring disillusioned peer Aubrey Savage).

She also writes practical writing manuals such as Writing Prompts for Thriller Writers, along with a sister book for Romance Writers, and other non-fiction books, including a new ‘Dreams Journal’ for complex dream interpretation.

Photograph credit: Anand Chhabra

©2021 V Williams – V Williams

Crossing Lines: A Spellbinding CIA Romantic Suspense Thriller by Adrienne Giordano – #BookReview – #domesticthrillers – #tuesdaybookblog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

 Book Blurb:

CIA operative Elizabeth Aiken is on her own. After a rescue operation in Venezuela goes south and her cover is blown, Elizabeth barely escapes the country with her life. Set adrift by the Agency and with a price on her head, she seeks out the only person who can help her disappear.

Viper.

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoUnfortunately, the devastatingly attractive former operative wants nothing to do with her or the cartel-backed Venezuelan president who wants her dead. Worse still, if Elizabeth’s not careful, she’ll end up losing her heart instead of watching her back…and there’s no room for mistakes with assassins hot on her trail.

Helping her could destroy everything he’s worked for.

  • Former Marine-turned-CIA operative.
  • Current bar owner.
  • All-around badass.

Shane “Viper” Quinn has spent years constructing the perfect cover, and he’s not about to sacrifice it for a woman he barely knows. Even if she is strong and beautiful and makes him long for sultry nights that could destroy his carefully crafted life.
Still, Shane is forced to fight his growing attraction to the fearsome ex-agent while keeping her in one piece. Elizabeth’s enemies are now his enemies—and they aren’t going to stop until everyone who stands against them is eliminated. Will having the deadly Viper by her side be enough to save her?

His Review:

Killing, even in self-defense, is not always an acceptable activity. When the father of the victim is the president of a South American country, running and anonymity is the only answer. Elizabeth Aiken has changed her name and gone underground. A world class assassin is on her trail with a large bounty for her demise. Once made, an operative is no longer useful and the CIA has left her on her own!

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoShane Quinn is an ex-CIA operative in basically the same position. He started a business in Chicago and is staying below the radar to survive. He takes a liking to Elizabeth and decides to help her. She is a small but hardly diminutive woman who has spent her life in self-supporting roles. Her dark eyes captivate this blue-eyed hunk of a man. Yes, he tries to shake her, but desperation keeps her around like a dirty shirt on a camping trip.

The South American dictator knew his son was a psychopathic killer and enjoyed torturing his captives, but is that any reason to kill him? One of his life’s goals is to capture this bitch and inflict a slow and painful death and running can only get an ex- agent so far. The paychecks are no longer coming from the government and Liz is on her own. Surely it is only a matter of time before her painful death will be gratifyingly completed.

The author builds a budding romance between Shane and Liz. Thrown together by the desperate need of the young woman and her Sir Galahad, this story is very entertaining and brisk. Shane tries every trick in the book to conceal Liz’s whereabouts and save her from a painful death. His background and history make this a very dangerous endeavor. Can he save her, be her knight in shining armor, and keep her alive?CE Williams

This well-developed story is very entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat–-or sofa. There are no dragging chapters and I feel this author will become one of your favorites as well. 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: Domestic Thrillers, Political Thrillers & Suspense, Women’s Adventure Fiction
Publisher: ALG Publishing
ASIN: B099X99MXY
Print Length: 376 pages
Publication Date: To be released September 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Crossing Lines [Amazon] 
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Adrienne Giordano - authorThe Author: Adrienne Giordano is a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty romantic suspense and mystery novels. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her ultimate supporter of a husband, sports-obsessed son and Elliot, a snuggle-happy rescue. Having grown up near the ocean, Adrienne enjoys paddleboarding, a nice float in a kayak and lounging on the beach with a good book. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com.

 

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Hemlock for the Holidays (A Fine Art Mystery Book 3) by Paula Darnell –#BookReview – #cozycrafts

Book Blurb:

Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula DarnellAs Lonesome Valley kicks off the holiday season with its annual parade, artist Amanda Trent embraces the Christmas spirit, happy that her family will be coming to town to celebrate the season with her and her loyal pets, Laddie, a friendly golden retriever, and Mona Lisa, an independent calico cat.

Amanda has just one nagging concern: her art sales have stalled, so her checking account is starting to look a bit puny. Her financial woes pale, though, in comparison to her concern when several people eat carrot bars laced with hemlock at the high school’s arts and crafts fair, resulting in one unlucky man’s death. Was the poisoning an accident, or did someone with evil intent deliberately spike the sweet baked goods?

Leads the police follow don’t pan out until Amanda puts the puzzle together. But, sometimes, knowledge can be a dangerous thing. . . 

My Review:

Amanda Treat is getting ready for the Christmas season in Lonesome Valley. She is a fairly new resident, divorcée, and starving artist. She is expecting both her parents and her children for the holidays and looking forward to a high school arts and crafts fair, in which she participates with her co-op Roadrunner Gallery. A slump in her sales, she is sweating having enough income to get through the next couple of months.

Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula DarnellAmanda has a golden retriever named Laddie and a “mercurial” calico cat named Mona Lisa and interaction with her animals, their feeding, playing, and pet sitting is featured in the narrative as well as the struggles for sales of both her landscapes and pet portraits, with the mystery the other third of the novel. I’m thinking that was part of my problem with this one, the third in the series. My first.

Several high school students are poisoned at the art fair and a few days later there is a death, which becomes her focus when not dealing with the other two. I could not relate well to Amanda and felt few of the support characters stood out. Dialogue was awkward at times, but worse (for me) was the excessive description of minutia.

While the novel was well-plotted, I found the pace slow and had difficulty retaining interest. I just couldn’t get immersed sufficient to care which character was dog-sitting and I’m not a person looking for recipes at the end. Not a cozy for me, but I’m sure there are many who will enjoy.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating:  Three point Five Stars

3 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Crafts & Hobbies Mystery, Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries, Cozy Animal Mystery
Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press
ASIN: B09645DYV5
Print Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: August 5, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Paula Darnell - authorThe Author: An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Like Laurel, the main character in Death by Association, Paula enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts. Some of her memorable projects include making a hat and a cape to wear to Royal Ascot, sewing wedding gowns for both her daughters, exhibiting her textile and mixed-media artwork in juried art shows, and having one of her jewelry projects accepted for inclusion in Leather Jewelry, published by Lark Books. She sells some of her jewelry and hair accessories in her Etsy shop.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications.

She is the author of the cozy mystery series, DIY Diva Mysteries, and a historical mystery, The Six-Week Solution. Her new cozy mystery series, Fine Art Mysteries, is in the works for 2021.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Necklace by Matt Witten – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse, Murder of a Child 

Book Blurb:

The clock ticks down in a heart-pounding crusade for justice

The Necklace by Matt WittenSusan Lentigo’s daughter was murdered twenty years ago—and now, at long last, this small-town waitress sets out on a road trip all the way from Upstate New York to North Dakota to witness the killer’s execution.

On her journey she discovers shocking new evidence that leads her to suspect the condemned man is innocent—and the real killer is still free. Even worse, her prime suspect has a young daughter who’s at terrible risk. With no money and no time to spare, Susan sets out to uncover the truth before an innocent man gets executed and another little girl is killed.

But the FBI refuses to reopen the case. They—and Susan’s own mother—believe she’s just having an emotional breakdown. Reaching deep, Susan finds an inner strength she never knew she had. With the help of two unlikely allies—a cynical, defiant teenage girl and the retired cop who made the original arrest—Susan battles the FBI to put the real killer behind bars. Will she win justice for the condemned man—and her daughter—at last?

My Review:

Susan Lentigo has spent twenty miserable years following the kidnap, rape, and murder of her seven year old daughter. The death of her daughter understandably changed her life and as much as she tried, and failed, to move on, she is finally to witness the execution on death row of the man convicted for the brutal murder.

The Necklace by Matt WittenAt the time, she carried a rage for the man convicted, and asked of the judge the death penalty. (Susan later harbors nagging doubts regarding the man she was sure responsible. Something just wasn’t right.) It was a heinous crime, a necklace homemade by Susan and her daughter still missing, thought to be a trophy.

Okay, back up.

She is still in the same house, the same waitressing job, and as broke as ever since her husband left her within the year of their daughter’s death. The little town kicked off a fundraiser to supply funds for the trip to North Dakota to witness the execution. She’ll take a bus and the fundraising covers the fare with some expense money left over.

Susan blew hot and cold for me—I could understand her anger, the emotionally charged forthcoming event, but some of her snap decisions left me wondering about her objective decision-making. The money given to her was stolen, leaving her broke and at the generosity of people, some of whom made for amazing support characters. I got tired of her alternate rude behavior, however, lashing out with foul language, or withdrawal. Her trip got sidetracked.

She begins to rack up some clues, flaming her doubts again about the condemned man, but the person of interest instead now is even more devastating. Susan determines she must prove her theory. Fortunately, she can ally with the former FBI agent involved in her daughter’s case and he’ll help with DNA analysis of her clue.

After a somewhat sullen, somber start, the pace revs up and by the time they arrive at the prison to witness the execution, the fast-pace swings into high gear and demands full on attention, gripping, and riveted to the conclusion.

Well, and then, the conclusion—while satisfying on the surface—neglected to complete a few minor details. That, along with a couple plot holes, contradictions, pushed me off a higher star rating. Yes, I was kept glued during the latter third (quarter?), but pushed just a bit beyond disbelief a couple times as well. 3.5 stars

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest opinions. Currently on pre-order.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
ASIN: B08SR91BD4
Print Length: 259 pages
Publication Date: To be released September 7, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Matt Witten - authorThe Author: [Matt Witten] I’ve written in all kinds of genres: TV shows, stage plays, novels, and movies.

Novels: My thriller THE NECKLACE will come out in September, 2021, published by Oceanview Publishing. It’s optioned for film by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Cartel Pictures. Lee Child says: “This is as fast and tense as a great thriller should be, but it’s full of warmth and humanity too – one small-town woman’s quest for the most poignant kind of justice you could imagine. Buy it today and read it tonight!” For more info on the novel you can check my website, mattwittenwriter.com.

I’ve written four mystery novels starring amateur sleuth Jacob Burns. These books were all originally published by Signet; now they’re all available on Kindle. The first novel, BREAKFAST AT MADELINE’S, received the Malice Domestic Award. The Library Journal called BREAKFAST AT MADELINE’S “the perfect antidote for a rainy day.” Publishers Weekly, reviewing GRAND DELUSION, said “Witten delights with his charming characters, especially Burns himself.” The Romantic Times said, “Told with warmth and wit, STRANGE BEDFELLOWS is a wry story that packs a wallop of an ending.” Murder Express called THE KILLING BEE “a fast, witty, thoroughly engrossing novel that I was sorry to see end.”

TV: I’ve written for House, Law & Order, Pretty Little Liars, Medium, Homicide, CSI: Miami, Judging Amy, Supernatural, and other shows.

Plays: My published plays include The Deal, Washington Square Moves, and The Ties That Bind. They’ve been produced in theatres all over the world.

Movie: My movie DRONES, directed by Rick Rosenthal and starring Matt O’Leary and Eloise Mumford, premiered in 2014 at the London Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, and the AFI Fest. It’s available at Amazon.

So that’s my professional life in a nutshell! My wife Nancy Seid teaches at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, and our sons Zack and Jacob do machine learning, CRISPR, and all kinds of amazing stuff.

©2021 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

Target Churchill: A Gripping Historical Crime Thriller by Warren Adler and James C Humes – #BookReview – #biographicalfiction

Book Blurb:

As Great Britain and the United States celebrate a victorious end to WWII, Joseph Stalin’s relentless Soviet Union is creeping across Eastern Europe leaving a trail of devastation and murder in its wake.

Target Churchill by Warren AdlerWinston Churchill, the cigar-puffing icon of the British fighting spirit, embarks on a crusade to lift the veil of secrecy that hangs over Stalin’s mission.

Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri sets the diplomatic stage upon which the world’s political players grapple for supremacy as Churchill delivers his fated Iron Curtain speech on March 5th, 1946.

Soviet operatives have infiltrated British and American governments at the highest level. As Churchill prepares to launch the Cold War, Stalin unleashes his trained mole, an American Nazi who served in Hitler’s SS.

His mission: assassinate Winston Churchill.

Churchill travels with a lone bodyguard, W.H. Thompson, a former British police officer who protected Churchill faithfully through the turbulent years of war. Thompson alone senses danger, but will his trained instincts and vigilance be enough to protect the former Prime Minister from a ruthless killer?

In this gripping historical thriller, battles are fought not on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields, on the streets, or in the hills, but behind closed doors in the shadows of espionage.

His Review:

Truman has invited Winston Churchill to give a talk at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill has been voted out of office and is miserable in his reduced role in parliament and basic semi-retirement. In the days after the war, one of the chief architects of the victory of the war is sidelined!

Target Churchill by Warren AdlerRussia still enjoys its’ reputation and respect after helping win WW II. Josef Stalin has masterfully orchestrated the division of countries near the end of the war. Most of Eastern Europe was now under soviet rule. The authors cite the relationship of Josef and Winston as respectful allies who are working with a nearly inept Franklin Roosevelt. Although Winston liked Franklin, he felt he was incapable of adequately representing the United States during the end of his life.

Harry Truman is portrayed as nothing more than a poor replacement for Roosevelt at the end of the war and is tolerated by Stalin and Churchill. His role is reduced to a figurehead for the United States in the peace talks. Meanwhile he has made the very difficult decisions to end the war in the Pacific by the use of the worlds’ most powerful bombs.

A plot is hatched to assassinate Churchill during the speech in this small town. A former SS officer who was born in the United States is chosen for the task. Beria, the head of the secret service in Russia has recruited the killer. The killer hates all Jews and also deeply detests Churchill. The intrigue is well written and exhibits many twist machinations.

Weaknesses are shown in the procedures set up to protect both Truman and the former Prime Minister. The U.S. Secret Service is portrayed as a loose knit group of dunderheads. One wonders how they could ever protect a president or other political official with their haphazard procedures. Thank God there is a close confidant of Churchill who accompanies him on his travels and speaking tours. Without this former British bodyguard the outcome would have been different. CE Williams

I found the book interesting but aggravating. Surely, our Secret Service and institutions cannot be as ineffectual as portrayed by these writers. 4.5 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.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Russian Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Historical Biographical Fiction
Publisher: Stonehouse Press

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1953959016
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1953959010

ASIN: B08LZPFCYB
Print Length: 362 pages
Publication Date: November 17, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Target Churchill [Amazon]
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Warren Adler - authorAuthor: Warren Adler is best known for “The War of the Roses”, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In addition to the success of the stage adaptation of his iconic novel on the perils of divorce, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. “Random Hearts” (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas), “The Sunset Gang” (starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts), “Private Lies”, “Funny Boys”, “Madeline’s Miracles”, “Trans-Siberian Express” and his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series are only a few titles that have forever left Adler’s mark on contemporary American authorship from page to stage to screen. Learn more about Warren Adler at www.warrenadler.com.

Author: James C. Humes

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