TYPHOON FURY – Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison

Typhoon Fury.jpgA novel from the Oregon Files. This Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the hi-tech ship Oregon thriller is a match for the best of the series. Hot-paced and violent to the extreme, you half wonder how the action missed the recent headlines.

Salvadore Locsin is the leader of a force intent on taking over not only the Philippines, but any other country that stands in his way, and with the super-drug he has discovered in tunnels left over from the Japanese occupation during WWII, it is likely that he could indeed do just that. However, some stolen paintings in his possession will help fund his secret laboratory and the captive scientists there to manufacture enough of the drug to supply his army of super-soldiers on a continuous basis.

It is in trying to locate the paintings that Cabrillo catches a glimpse of the impending catastrophe and only he and his team have any hope in trying to prevent it.

The plot is, to my mind, unnecessarily complicated by the appearance of a South African mercenary who tries to get the drug for himself.

Another brilliant Locsin weapon is a swarm of highly explosive guided water-skimming drones designed to take out any offensive shipping that gets in his way. Needless to say, when used against the Oregon, desperate measures are called for.

If you can swallow the amazing powers of the wonder-drug, you will enjoy another rip-roaring Oregon adventure.



ISBN 978-0-718-18467-4

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Raging a t StormHarry Beck used to run a fishing and boat hire service in the Bahamas. Used to; now he’s a wreck since an assassin killed his friend and business partner. His grief is destroying his marriage as well. Let’s not mention the businessman who would like to see him dead. To compound his problems, the assassin’s target arrives back on the island followed by the assassin and one mother of a storm. Harry had better get his ducks in a row, fast.

I enjoyed the first in the Bahama Series and reviewed it on BOOK POSTMORTEM awhile ago. This offering by the voracious pair of writers, Maynard and Sims, is no less of a masterpiece of a gripper.

Maynard Sims

Maynard (&) Sims

The flow is great, the plot not beyond the bounds of feasibility and the characters are totally believable. When Harry finally gets his act together, he is a gritty hero with a good sense of the right thing to do and the guts to try and get it done.

Thanks to Mick Sims for the review copy. Hats off.


  • ISBN-10:1629898414
  • ISBN-13:978-1629898414


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The FATE of KINGS – G.P.Taylor & Mark Stibbe

Fate of KingsFor me, any mention of the French Revolution immediately conjures up visions of Madame What-have-you knitting as the heads roll at the guillotine. This historical adventure of a plot to assassinate the king of England to initiate a similar revolution in Britain could indeed be construed as the original British spy story.

The plot is stumbled upon by the newly appointed Vicar of Deal who crosses the Channel to find out the fate of his French parents in law. He must avoid the marauding Republican Army which scours the French countryside weeding out Loyalists who would have the return of the French Monarchy.

The authors conjure up a keen tense picture of the French Spymaster and his agents as they separate to search for the Vicar in France and also to mingle with the hoards of French Loyalists who have fled across to Britain for safety. It’s up to the Vicar to foil the plot if he can only get back to London in time.


G.P. Taylor, author

Mark Stibbe

Mark Stibbe, author

The telling of the tale is just old fashioned enough to add the historical flavor without detracting from the flow. Readable, exciting and plausible, it is the first in a series featuring Thomas Pryce, vicar and secret agent, set in a time when the New World Order of banking control and the Illuminati emerges.

My thanks to Rhoda Hardie PR for this ARC for which I submit an honest review.

  • ISBN: 1910786756
  • Publisher: Malcolm Down Publishing (3 Nov. 2017)
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MUNICH – Robert Harris

A tense historical thriller set in 1938 Europe as the storm clouds gather with Hitler already flexing his territorial muscles, and Chamberlain diplomatically fighting to avert war.

MunichTwo Oxford student friends have not laid eyes on each other since their visit to Munich six years before. Both have moved on to their respective careers.

Hugh Legat, a fluent German speaker, is now 3rd Secretary to Prime Minister Chamberlain, and once again heading to Munich, but this time with the British delegation in a last ditch attempt to ward off impending war as Hitler demands the Sudeten territory from Czechoslovakia, which Chamberlain knows is only the start of Hitler’s ambitions.

Hitler’s train, linking up with another containing his ally, Mussolini, is heading in the same direction, with Legat’s old friend, German diplomat Paul von Hartmann in the entourage. Hartmann is a member of a group who are determined to rid Germany of Hitler before he can carry out his German space expansion plans and carries proof to hand over to Legat, if he can arrange the meeting without jeopardising his group or himself.

When Legat is not allowed to go near the meeting, but ordered to stay in his hotel and organise the domestic requirements of his delegation, the tension ratchets up to breaking point and risks must be taken to overcome the obstacles and the old friends can meet.

With a spiteful fellow-, and senior-, Secretary, determined to make things as difficult for Legat as he can, and a SS-Sturmbannfűhrer sniffing suspiciously at Hartmann’s heels, the dangerous mission to hand Legat the proof to give to his PM before talks conclude and agreements are signed, and war averted, the story is as gripping as a python.

Robert Harris 1

Robert Harris

Robert Harris, writes beautifully, and his prose must be the envy of many an author and wannabe writer. Top that with a well-researched backdrop and a thrilling plot with plausible characters, Munich must be a winner.

Thanks to PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, South Africa for this ARC for whom I have given this honest review.

ISBN 9780091959203, Hutchinson Imprint. www.penguin.co.uk


My apologies for the previous erroneous connection of Robert Harris to Stuart Neville, also a fine writer. 

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Andy McNab goes from strength to strength with thrillers that both have depth and sound tech-knowledge.

Line of FireThis, another episode in the nail-biting life of ex-deniable operator, Nick Stone, involves the tough operative trying to get used to working with a team again after a long series of operations where he relies only on his own training and smarts. But this isn’t any old highly trained well-oiled team. It is three ex-soldiers with four legs and five arms between them, but what they lack in limbs they make up for in guts and determination. Initially dubious of their having any possibility of survival, Nick come to realise that his leadership is not the only asset they can rely on.

What binds the four men is the knowledge they each have in their heads, and, more reliably, on memory sticks each has hidden away, about a clandestine mission that they survived in polar regions. The exposure of that would embarrass the organisation that authorised the mission, run by the man they know as the Owl, who would dearly like to obliterate both the men and their sticks.

With mutual distrust, the Owl gives them another mission, and a promise of a good payout: Find, and lift, a young Russian computer hacker in Cornwall.

Andy McNab 1

Andy McNab, perhaps…

We are led through the preliminary phase of the persuasion that their best bet to survive is to keep together and beat the Owl at his own game, then on to the ever-tightening mission. Finding out what the hacker and her minders are up to is one phase, but the disasters and dangers and suspicion of a mole in their midst follow in unputdownable succession.

Another five star winner from the soldier who has the tee-shirt.

Thanks to PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, South Africa for this ARC for whom I have given this honest review.

ISBN 9780953078952, Bantam Press Imprint. www.penguin.co.uk



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Top notch five star pure Reacher.

The Midnight Line

Out to stretch his legs on a bus-ride to Anywhere, ex-Army MP drifter, Jack Reacher, notices a Westpoint class ring in a pawnshop window. The implications that such a hard earned symbol of blood sweat and tears could have been stolen or pawned has Reacher setting off to track down the obviously female owner. He abandons the bus ride in favour of trouble, something that he finds like a diviner.

The journey from pawnshop to middlemen to seller is intriguing, logical, hard-hitting and philosophical in the best Lee Child tradition.

The POV slips from his search progress in the company of an ex-FBI Private Investigator who specialises in missing persons, to a female cop with her eye on a slithering drug dealer that nobody can pin down. There is a middle period of the story without much frenetic action which doesn’t detract from the tension but rather draws it out beyond what seems like breaking point.

Lee Child 1

Lee Child, author

Reacher is definitely back after a short break of mediocrity.

For a man who is usually yawning at nine, I was glued ‘til after midnight, which might just make that title very meaningful.


Thanks to PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, South Africa for this ARC for whom I have given this honest review.


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Midnight at the BRIGHTAn original tale of a mysterious suicide in a bookseller’s shop, involving intense bibliophiles; both those that man the shop and those that inhabit the shelves to feed their habit but seldom can afford to buy.

Lydia, who has returned to the town that once was the scene of her nightmare childhood, had formed a bond with a Bookfrog – one of those almost-homeless that consistently find solace and succour between the book covers – Joseph Molino. When he hangs himself between the bookshelves on the 3rd floor, and Lydia finds his body within minutes of him taking his life, she is devastated. Very slowly, she is presented with clues that lead her to messages from Joseph himself, and to find out why he took his own life, she must follow them.

Her father, who had fled the town after the bloody murder of a family by the Hammerman, where Lydia herself was present but spared, joined the prison service. As he withdraws into himself, he no longer supplies the comfort she needs and craves. They become estranged. She knows that the investigator, who never found the identity of the killer but always believed that it was her father, hasn’t given up when he contacts her again to find out if she has remembered anything more from that ghastly night.

Her childhood friend, Raj, comes back into her life, both complicating it as well as being a comforting support, but the shocking truth begins to emerge even as Lydia starts to solve Joseph’s messages. These are intricately clever, but I found them a slightly unnecessary embellishment.

Matthew Sullivan.jpg

Matthew Sullivan, author

Be that as it may, this was a good read; tense and well-twisted, as the past and the present begin to intertwine.

Thank you to  for the ARC to which this review is a frank and honest appraisal.

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TATE DRAWDY – Michael Ludden




Like a tasty meat-and-three plate at a Southern diner, there’s something simple and satisfying that sticks to the reader’s ribs in the straight-up way author Michael Ludden serves up his latest hard-boiled crime thriller, TATE DRAWDY.

This is a prequel to Ludden’s first crime novel, ALFREDO’S LUCK, the book that introduced readers to Drawdy as a loose-cannon, take-no-prisoners Miami-Dade County detective. That book was a sweeping and violent tale with a host of characters and a complex plot that portrayed the nasty politics of Miami’s Cuban exiles and captured the high and sleazy weirdness of Florida without diving into caricature.

In this book, Ludden writes a leaner more linear story about Drawdy’s earlier years as a young detective in Savannah, a rich boy from Atlanta who decided to become a cop instead of following the easier and more comfortable course his parents had in mind for him. Drawdy is still learning his trade from an older mentor, Jimmy Patterson, but shows flashes of the smarts, the penchant for violence and the instinctive full-bore pursuit of his quarry seen in the author’s first book.

He’s also a wiseass, the kind of guy who pisses people off just by walking into a room, then doubles down by being blunt and refusing to back down or compromise. There’s no go-along-to-get-along in Tate Drawdy and it gets him in early trouble with some corrupt cops on the force, providing one of the main threads to this violent tale. It also gets him shot at and beat up — a lot.

The other thread runs through the murder of Precious Gardner, a young black woman, picked up while walking home from the Piggly Wiggly by four drifters who toy and torture her before stabbing her to death. The drifters are led by a megalomaniacal psychopath named John Robert Griffin, who quickly singles out Drawdy for adversarial attention of the personal kind.

Michael Ludden, author

Michael Ludden, author

Throw in the double murder of a priest and his teenaged girl lover, Griffin’s escape from a doctor’s office and Drawdy’s pursuit of the killer to his hometown near Pittsburgh, where the young cop meets a crew of retired detectives who like to keep a hand in the law enforcement game, and you’ve got a rollicking tale with plenty of gunplay, suspense, ribald banter and plot twists that brings you to the final chapter way too soon.

Ludden has created a winning character in Drawdy. Pick up both of his books and hope he writes another one real soon.


JIM NESBITT – reviewer and author of hard-boiled crime fiction.

Alfredo's luckhttps://www.amazon.com/Michael-Ludden/e/B00E1I5TCG

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A sharp, to-the-point review by BARB ETTRIDGE.

Nothing Save the Bones Inside HerClayton Lindemuth brings post-war Pennsylvania into stark focus with the voice of each character who brings brutal honesty to what is a dark tale of how fate, greed and anger can destroy your life and those who cross your path.The storyline twists like a furious serpent as each shocking event unfolds – shocking, but all so plausible, as each has been set up beautifully.

Re-reading what you can’t believe just happened simply confirms the masterful seeding of small details that fester and then erupt.

Clayton Lindemuth

Clayton Lindemuth

This is a book written in a deceptively spare style where everything matters and just when you think the rabbit hole can’t get any deeper, it does.





Barb Ettridge 2



Barb Ettridge, author and reviewer.




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A REVIEW by JIM NESBITT, author of the gritty Ed Earl Burch thriller Series.


PR 2016 eBook cover


The hallmark of a Peter J. Earle novel is the vivid and evocative sense of place he effortlessly weaves into the fabric of his story. For Earle, the place is southern Africa and one of his earlier novels, PURGATORY ROAD, is a shining example of a singular skill other authors would be wise to develop.

The story is a classic noir fugitive tale of John Stafford, a South African farm supply salesman who, in a raging impulse, murders two crooked traffic cops who catch him in a late-night speed trap and strong-arm him for a bribe. Nerves rubbed raw by the pain of a wayward wife and fear of a sudden end to his career, he shoots both rogue cops dead with a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver.bullet2


Peter J. Earle

Horrified by what he’s done and knowing it will only be a matter of time before police track him down, Stafford, a veteran of the South African army who saw combat in Angola, makes plans to stage his own death and assume the identity of a distant cousin to flee to Rhodesia and join the fight against black nationalists.

Stafford is a product of his times — born in South Africa well before the end of apartheid and white-minority rule in that country, drawn to again take up arms to defend white-minority rule in Rhodesia as a death-wish penance for his horrible crime. Earle makes no apologies for Stafford being on the wrong side of history and portrays the time and place of his novel with unblinking frankness and the same absence of apologia.

Earle keeps the story focused on Stafford’s flight from the law — in this instance, a friend who has been assigned to solve what rapidly becomes a cold case as his final duty before leaving the force to spend more time with his dying father. Stafford’s scheme to stage his own death is complicated by an unexpected affair with an Australian scuba diver and the return of the wayward wife.

His expectation of joining the Rhodesian army is detoured when he is befriended by Colonel Barnes, the head of a cattle ranching family with extensive holdings and saves them during a guerilla ambush, getting wounded in the process. Barnes takes him on to run one of the fortified section compounds on his ranch, a job that melds the post of ranch foreman and security force leader into one, neatly tapping Stafford’s military and civilian experience.

However, the colonel and his sons don’t buy Stafford’s cover story or his assumed identity. They’re torn between valuing his loyalty and bravery and suspicions that he is a fugitive who has committed a serious crime. Back home, the old friend doggedly pursues the cold case, slowly closing in on a man he thinks is dead.

Stafford knows he is caught in a vice and that’s what makes this such a classic noir tale. Earle deftly ratchets up the fear and pressure while masterfully bringing to life one country well before its dramatic change and another that no longer exists. That’s what makes PURGATORY ROAD such a crackling read.



Jim Nesbitt, author

Jim Nesbitt

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