The Bucharest Dossier by William Maz – #BookReview – #EspionageThrillers

The Bucharest Dossier by William Maz

Book Blurb:

The Bucharest Dossier by William MazBill Hefflin is a man apart—apart from life, apart from his homeland, apart from love.

At the start of the 1989 uprising in Romania, CIA analyst Bill Hefflin—a disillusioned Romanian expat—arrives in Bucharest at the insistence of his KGB asset, code-named Boris. As Hefflin becomes embroiled in an uprising that turns into a brutal revolution, nothing is as it seems, including the search for his childhood love, which has taken on mythical proportions.

With the bloody events unfolding at blinding speed, Hefflin realizes the revolution is manipulated by outside forces, including his own CIA and Boris—the puppeteer who seems to be pulling all the strings of Hefflin’s life.

His Review:

First love as a child is often tragic. Torn from his birth country of Romania, Hefflin moves to Greece and finally winds up in the United States. Pusha, his childhood love, was left in Romania but certainly not forgotten. His first eight years in Romania imprinted the Romanian language in his brain for a lifetime. Love has left Pusha imprinted in his heart as a lost love.

The Bucharest Dossier by William MazHefflin is recruited as an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency as a foreign operative. He is assigned to many posts in the communist block states. He has been recruited by Professor Andrei Pincus at Harvard University. Only the best and brightest for U.S. overseas C.I.A. operations!

William Maz has developed a very integral spy novel intertwined with love for a first homeland. Bucharest is showing signs of revolting against communism and release from Russian domination. Russia does not want to see a free and independent Romania. Hefflin is there to assist in bringing the country into a relationship with western powers. Meanwhile, his lost childhood love and memories broil just under the surface.

This is a very well-developed novel with believable characters. A spymaster pulls strings to push Hefflin into becoming a complete foreign operative. The story and description of Bucharest and Romanian culture are enchanting. Enjoy! 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: International Mystery & Crime, Espionage Thrillers
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
ASIN: B091G2FRM8
Print Length: 386 pages
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Bucharest Dossier [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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William Maz - authorThe Author: WILLIAM MAZ was born in Bucharest, Romania, of Greek parents and emigrated to the U.S. as a child. He is a graduate of Harvard University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Yale residency. During his high school and undergraduate years, he developed a passion for writing fiction. He studied writing at Harvard, the New School, The Writer’s Studio in New York City, and with Gordon Lish, and is now writing full time. He divides his time between homes in Pennsylvania and New York City. The Bucharest Dossier is his debut novel.

©2022 – CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Sunday with a good book!

Head Shot (The Marko Zorn Series Book 2) by Otho Eskin – #BookReview – #policeprocedural

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Most Elusive Assassin in the World Versus D.C. Homicide Detective Marko Zorn

Head Shot by Otho EskinWashington, D.C. homicide detective Marko Zorn is investigating the murder of an actress—an old love—when he is assigned to protect the visiting prime minister of Montenegro, the beautiful Nina Voychek.

Political enemies are planning her assassination—this, he knows—but now it’s apparent that he, too, is a target. As he foils the initial attempts on his life, he pulls out all stops—deploying his sometimes nefarious resources—to hunt whoever is targeting him and prevent an international tragedy on American soil.

Decoded messages, Supermax prisoner interviews, mafia lawyers, and an ancient Black Mountain curse swirl among the icons of D.C. Marko and his young partner, Lucy, face down what may be multiple assassins with diverging agendas. Or are they facing one assassin—the deadliest and most elusive on the international stage?

Perfect for fans of David Baldacci and Daniel Silva

His Review:

Marko Zorn is not a popular Washington Metropolitan police detective. This novel starts out with a rifle bullet barely missing him as he bends down to pick up his newspaper. His abrasive attitude and demeanor have caused most people to keep him at arms-length. His superiors put him on details that keep him out of the office and away from his fellow officers.

Head Shot by Otho EskinWhen a popular actress from Montenegro is sent death threats, he and his partner Lucy are assigned to protect the lady. The ambassador of Montenegro is not happy but bows to pressure from both the U.S. government and the government of Montenegro. Nina Voychek is involved in a stage presentation whose main actress is killed during a performance. Zorn is chosen as a bodyguard during Nina’s time in America.  Having recently been a target, Zorn would prefer to be on the down-low. Instead, he is a bodyguard to a theatre group who would prefer he disappear.

Otho Eskin has written a realistic-designed hero in Marko Zorn. He is not the usual tall and dark James Bond type but rather overweight and short. His reputation among law enforcement has been tarnished by service in Chicago. It became endearing to engage with a hero that is less than perfect. His investigations are at time bumbling–bringing to mind Columbo. However, his successful record speaks for itself.

CE WilliamsThe climax is intriguing and very innovative. I particularly appreciated the outcome because of the continual pressure placed upon Ms. Voychek by her country’s ambassador and entourage. I suggest anyone who desires a good escapist tale buy the book. 5 stars – CE Williams

Book 2 but can be read as a standalone. 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: Espionage Thrillers, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
ASIN: B08S4646SJ
Print Length: 305 pages
Publication Date: December 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Head Shot [Amazon] 
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Kobo
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Otho Eskin - authorThe Author: Otho Eskin published his first thriller, The Reflecting Pool, to great reviews and book club interest in 2020. It was selected as an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense. The Reflecting Pool follows Marko Zorn- a Washington D.C. homicide detective who has a strong ethical compass but refuses to play by the rules. The sequel, Head Shot, also featuring Marko Zorn will be released in December, 2021.

Before he turned to writing fiction, Otho Eskin served in the U.S. Army and in the United States Foreign Service in Washington and in Syria, Yugoslavia, Iceland and Berlin (then the capital of the German Democratic Republic) as a lawyer and diplomat. He was Vice-Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, participated in the negotiations on the International Space Station, was principal U.S. negotiator of several international agreements on seabed mining and was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He speaks French, German, and Serbo-Croatian. He was a frequent speaker at conferences and has testified before the U.S. Congress and commissions.

Otho’s career in the Foreign Service unknowingly prepared him for thriller writing later in life as he witnessed political corruption at every strata of society. While stationed in East Berlin during the cold war, the East German intelligence service (Stasi) operating on behalf of their Soviet masters, published a book entitled “Who’s who in CIA (correct title), translated into several languages and with wide distribution. This propaganda effort listed Otho and was intended to claim that he was a U.S. spy. (He was not). This was part of East German and ultimately Soviet, disinformation campaign to make the work of U.S. Foreign Service officers serving abroad more difficult.

Otho Eskin has also written plays including: Act of God, Murder as a Fine Art, Duet, Julie, Final Analysis, Season in Hell, among others, which have been professionally produced in Washington, New York and in Europe.

Otho is married to writer Therese Keane and lives in Washington, D.C.

©2022 CE Williams – 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

Add to Goodreads

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

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