Action and Adventure · Books · Crime/Thriller · Historical Fiction · Review

#BookReview : The Last Nazi by @AndrewTurpin

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The buried contents of a Nazi train. An aging SS murderer. And the wartime secrets of a US presidential candidate’s family, hidden for seven decades.

When war crimes investigator and ex-CIA officer Joe Johnson learns of a link between the contents of a Nazi train, stashed away by Hitler’s Third Reich in 1944, and the financing for a Republican hopeful’s  2012 campaign, he’s more than intrigued.

Can Johnson evade the high level intelligence and criminal networks combining against him across three continents, uncover the truth, and win justice?

MY THOUGHTS:

This is an action packed, fast paced, intriguing book of deception, deceit, conspiracy.  It spans several continents and events that started in 1944 several decades later come to light in 2011.

The story begins with Daniel and Jacob Kudrow, they are prisoners of Gross-Rosen concentration camp.  When the reader first meets them they are in a collapsed tunnel, but along with other prisoners and guards they are able to use side tunnels to get out.  The tunnels are used for storage, several wooden crates have been stored there, it will take over 60 years for the contents to be revealed.  Now in 2011 the reader is brought to the main characters.  Joe Johnson, a widower with two children, he is of Polish decent.  He teams up with Fiona Heppenstall a political journalist with “Inside Track”.  They are both attending a campaign rally by David Kudrow. His brother Nathaniel has something to tell both Joe and Fiona, but they never find out what that actually was.  With her journalistic interests piqued, Fiona cannot let go the feeling that something is amiss, she enrolls Joe in to help her find the story.  They both have a background in war crimes, giving lectures and help bring down those involved in the atrocities.  What they unearth with this investigation. There are secrets that have been hidden for decades, they will close certain chapters in the lives of  some, bring some form justice to the lives of some and open the flood barriers in lives of others.

I really enjoyed this book.  The thing that soon became obvious as I read, was the attention to detail.  The historical aspect has been very well researched and executed, within a very action packed and fast paced story.  There are certain things from the living conditions of prisoners in concentration camps that are not pleasant reading, and they shouldn’t be, and I felt the author used enough information to keep the story flowing.  He has not got bogged down with too much historical information, instead he has found a good balance that is essential to a certain sub-plots of the story.  The same balance has been found with the political aspects of the story as well, enough to be helpful but not overly done.  I think what I am trying to say is that, there is a lot of sub plots within the main story, therefore a lot of detail, but at no point do you lose the rhythm or the main points of the story.  All these aspects have been very well and cleverly intertwined to give the reader a great reading experience.  It incorporates scandal, war crimes, Nazism, corruption and revenge. The characters have been very well-developed, they are strong and well described.  I thought all the charcters mentioned were easily identifiable and memorable.

I would definitely recommend to readers who like action and adventure, thriller, crime and mystery genres.

As I read past the story I was really pleased to discover that this is the first in a series of books featuring Joe Johnson, and I for one cannot wait to read more.  Thoroughly enjoyed this one, and can’t wait for the next, and the next, and the next!

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Andrew Turpin for a copy of this e-book.  My review and thoughts about this book are honest and unbiased.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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It has taken Andrew more than five decades to finally get around to combining his love of writing and his passion for reading good thrillers – and get down to penning a first novel.

Now, that first book, The Last Nazi, is very near to being published, and he has a second, The Old Bridge, in the advanced stages of editing.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel, exploring the ways in which human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

 The Last Nazi draws strongly on these themes and is the first in a planned series of thrillers featuring the protagonist, Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former US Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations. Johnson, a relentless seeker after truth and justice, has a passion for investigating unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world and is an occasional lecturer on the subject.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies, specializing in media relations.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire.

LINKS:

Check out Andrew’s Website

Friend him on Facebook

Follow Andrew on Twitter

Send him an email:  info@andrewturpin.com

 

MANY THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY BLOG.

Action and Adventure · Books · Fantasy · Review

#BookReview | BLACKWING by ED McDONALD

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)
MY THOUGHTS:
This was a difficult book for me to rate, there is a huge amount of detail and also a lot of things I liked about it, but then some things that left me frustrated.  The characters on the whole were well described, my initial thoughts on the main protagonist and narrator, Galharrow, was that he was arrogant and pompous, but as the story unfolded and more was discovered my opinion changed, thinking him to be tenacious and steadfast.  The other human characters were equally hard and rugged due to the post-apocalyptic style of the setting, living on the edge of the Misery, a  desolate wasteland inhabited by a number of strange and terrifying creatures, sorcerers, wizards and god-like beings.   These creatures I found to be less well described and at times slightly confusing.  When the main defence system goes down. it is responsible for keeping the things that live in the Misery staying in there, it is then up Galharrow and his band of men / mercenaries to help try to save the city.
On the whole I enjoyed this book, but the erratic pace of it and not fully understanding some of the aspects took the edge of it for me, also the lack of description for the creatures in the Misery.  On the plus side the magic, action and human characters were well described.
I think this would appeal to readers of YA Fantasy and Adult Fantasy genres, with a little bit of a horror steam punk feel to it.  Also made me think a little of Frank Herbert and Dune.
I will be keeping my eye out for Book 2 as there were things I enjoyed.
I wish to express my thanks to Netgalley, Orion Publishing Group and Gollancz for allowing me a copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.

SYNOPSIS:

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 960 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (27 July 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

AMAZON LINK

 

MANY THANKS FOR READING MY POST

Action and Adventure · Blog Tour · Books · Children's

The Shield: The Finders Series: Book One by @CJBentleyAuthor #Blogtour #QandA #Review

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I am pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for The Shield by author C.J.Bentley The Shield. The release date 18th July 2017 and published by Clink Street Publishing.  The first in a series of books, I am already waiting for more.

A massive thank you to Rachel Gilbey for giving me a spot on this tour, I have enjoyed the journey immensely. I would also like to thank C.J. Bentley for taking the time to answer a few questions, they can be seen below.

MY THOUGHTS:

This book begins in Durham in 1340, with a knight laying injured whilst on a mission of delivering an important letter to King Edward III.  It then switches to 1962, a young girl Peggy and a group of friends find a shield while out exploring in their school summer holidays.

Peggy’s world is going to change, she will have the biggest adventure she could ever have imagined.  The adventure of your wildest dreams is actually going to be a reality. She has a destiny to uphold, a kingdom and a King to help save, a Lady to rescue and all will take place in 1340 England.

Plots, plans and schemes are plentiful in this book, will Peggy be able to complete her destined quest and reunite the shield with its rightful owner ?

As an adult reading this book, I was taken back to my childhood days, summer holidays described in this book are how I used to spend my time, though I never found a shield. Because I was taken back by the story, it made me think about all the books I used to read as a child. If I had been given this one to read I would have been beside myself with excitement.  It really would have appealed to me.

I loved everything about this book, the story was well thought out and executed.  There was no confusion over characters or settings. I think it would be a brilliant book for children to read, as it kept me engrossed as an adult.

Also at the end of the book was a very thoughtful and educational section on the history of York and the Royals at the time.  I think this is a wonderful idea for inclusion, again this section is basic and not overly complicated.

I would recommend this book to readers of Children’s’ fantasy.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:   The Shield

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

About the author:

CJBentley_AuthorPhoto2.jpg  Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up  that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

Website – https://www.cjbentleyonline.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CJBentleyAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CJBentleyAuthor

Q and A with the author:

  1. Is this how you spent your summer holidays as a child, fishing that is, rather than time travel ? If so, how much of your childhood is in Peggy ?

I think all writers must include some of their experiences within their writing, you have to write about things you know as well as what you can imagine.  As children growing up in the sixties we used to fish for newts and small fish called sticklebacks, jam jars with string handles and nets bought from earlier trips to the seaside in hand.  We were very lucky in that time as children, lots of freedom to roam and play outside during the long summer holidays from school.  A lot of my own experiences are experienced by Peggy, (would that I could have experienced time travel like her). 

  1. What or who sparked you interest in history ?

I have always been interested in history.  I enjoyed reading books about periods of history, “Children of the New Forest” by Captain Marriott being one book I remember enjoying, taking me back in time to the Civil War in England.  Teachers have a huge influence on their pupils, I was lucky to have been taught by some amazing teachers who encouraged my love of reading and my curiosity about history. 

On a visit to Durham Cathedral as a young child I remember pressing my head against the metal bars of a gate leading down stairs to a vault.  A priest who happened to be passing saw me and following a chat he opened the gate and gave quite a few people who had gathered around an impromptu tour of the crypt below and the old roman road leading to the river.  It was a magical experience never forgotten.   

Later, whilst fishing in a local stream myself and a friend found a shield in the silt.  Due to its weight and difficulty in moving it from the silt and there being only two of us we chose to put it back, Peggy chose to pull it free and what happens after is told in “The Shield”.

  1. Who in history would you like to have been able to meet, and why ?

This question is a difficult one to answer as I have so many questions for so many people, a bit like that question, if you could choose six people who would you choose to have to dinner with?   

The obvious person would be Jesus Christ, I have so many questions to ask. 

King Charles the first, again so many questions for this much maligned man. 

Charles Dickens, his legacy being such an insight into the social problems of his time with his books. 

Martin Luther King, his words were the inspiration for a generation, I could go on …. 

I am currently being fascinated by my research on Ibn Batutta for book four in the series, “The Ring”.  He is a little known but fascinating intellect, explorer and traveller, originally from Morocco, who lived during the fourteenth century.  He travelled extensively throughout the Middle East to Africa, Sri Lanka, China, India, The Maldives, in fact probably further than the better known traveller Marco Polo. 

  1. What was your favourite book as a child ?

Again this is such a difficult question to answer because as a child I read extensively and was lucky to have a set of the classics bought as a Christmas present by my parents.  Kidnapped, Children of the New Forest, The Coral Island were all firm favourites but I think the one book, if I have to chose just one, would be “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Graham.  As a year five pupil one of my inspirational teachers, Miss Allen, read from this book on a Friday afternoon.  She was a wonderfully dramatic reader, each character  given a different voice.  She took us to the river bank with Ratty, the middle of the road when Toad fell in love with cars, to Toad Hall and the attempted take over by the weasels, badger who was so very wise.  We all sat enthralled for the last half hour, if we had been especially good during the week and finished our work for her she would extend the reading by another half an hour, what an incentive was that.

  1. I see from your blog you have grandchildren, did you write this book with them in mind as the primary readers, or was writing a book something you always wanted to do?

Yes we have three grandchildren, two girls, now aged fifteen and thirteen and a boy aged eleven.  I have always written short stories, I remember writing one for the eldest when she was two and refusing to wear a beautiful white silk dress which had to be pulled over her head for her Aunts wedding.  I wrote a story for our son to read to her about her being able to wear her favourite blue dinosaur wellies under the dress as a secret thinking this might work.  He read it, it didn’t, she screamed as they held her arms down and forced said dress over her head.  The screams changed to smiles once she caught sight of her mirrored reflection and she became the most photographed person at the wedding, a pretty little one with huge eyes and long curly hair, whirling around in her beautiful dress.

I have always taken notes, a small notebook kept in my handbag and when thoughts occurred hastily added in the book with my observations of human nature.  I spend a lot of time waiting around in airports and they are an excellent source for people watching. 

Our grandchildren visit us in France each summer and having read our way through the saved children’s books we have down here with them I tried to find a story online to read to our grandson, he was nine at the time.  I couldn’t find a story for a nine year old boy that didn’t feature Zombies, vampires or farts, in my mind not good bedtime reading for a nine year old boy.  This was the moment when I decided to write my gathered ideas into story form and having moved to Qatar with my husband’s job, where I decided not to work, I finally had the time to do so.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

 

 

 

Action and Adventure · Blog Tour · Books · Fantasy · YA

#BlogTour Discoucia:A Victorianish Fairytale by Nicholas Lovelock @gilbster1000 @Authoright

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I am pleased to take part in the Blog Tour for this book on the 12th July for Discoucia by Nicholas Lovelock, published by Clink Street Publishing.

I would like to thank Rachel Gilbey  @Authoright for allowing me a spot on this tour.

MY REVIEW:

This book is like keeping up with road runner on a jet propelled rocket, (in a good way).  It is very fast paced with a huge amount of stories within a story.  This was an enjoyable read, if at times a little confusing due to the huge amount of detail in it.  It has a steam punk style feel to it in places.  A book that will definitely appeal to readers of Teen Fantasy, also enjoyed by an adult reader (me).

Sir Arthur Pageon is a renowned spy, adventurer and explorer, resident of Discoucia and owner of the ship Nostradamus, with only one member of crew Corky.  The High King has asked them to go on a mission that threatens the world of Alavonia, and to take with them his daughter Princess Josephine.  Not your normal princess, she is a member if the Discoucian Secret Service.

The journey will take them across this fantastical world, a world full of mysterious islands, people, monsters and magicians.  Then there is Archie.  The mysterious Archie seems to know what the gang will be doing next, where they will be going and is actually a help, even though she can be a little cryptic.

SYNOPSIS:

Discoucia: A Victorianish Fairytale

Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.

An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Alavonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Alavonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Alavonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princess Josephine Olandine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.

Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Alavonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.

Purchase from Amazon UK – CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON LINK

 

About the author:

Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.

 

Thank you for reading my blog.