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review 2017-02-07 07:39
The NoWhere Man
The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

An Orphan X Novel

(Evan Smoak #2)

By:  Gregg Hurwitz

ISBN: 9781250067852

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 1/17/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 


Greg Hurwitz returns with highly anticipated THE NOWHERE MAN following Orphan X (Evan Smoak, #1) landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 and Buy a Bullet (Evan Smoak #1.5), also highly recommend.

“How deep do you need to bury the past before it will stay dead? “—Alan Moore, Swamp Thing

Antihero, Evan Smoak returns for the most intense task yet. “He finds himself in the tightest spot, both emotionally and literally – he’s ever been in.”

With a highly creative twist reversal, the author places Evan in exactly the kind of situation he usually rescues other people from. Readers are able to see both sides of the man.

For more than a decade, he had been the top asset in the top-secret government operation, The Orphan Program. Trained by the US military as killers. Mission: to assassinate government’s designated enemies. He is trained, skilled, intelligent, and resourceful.

Now, Evan is "The Nowhere Man." A personal mission--to help those with nowhere else to turn. The Tenth Commandment loomed above all else. Never let an innocent die.

He is known by some as Evan Smoak. To a few, Orphan X, but in general he is not known at all. The Nowhere Man. Evan has gone rogue to do right. In the previous book and novella, Evan he has been using his talents to pay it forward to those who need his skills.

Evan still faces many enemies who wish him grievous harm even while off the grid. One of them is Charles Van Sciver, the most brutal of the Orphans, who’s now running the program and is on a mission to hunt down former members of the organization.

Now he's been kidnapped, drugged, and hidden away by order of the new head of the Orphan program, who intends to have him eliminated. Trapped without hope of escape. Psychological terror.

The book starts out with the secret Facebook of Hector Contrell. Trolling the middle schools. Girls. A sales catalog. Given immigration confusion, gang influence, and splintered family trees, disappearances aren’t rare when you’re dealing with broken ethnic girls. A renewable resource.

Something awful is coming. A girl needs help. 1.855.2. NOWHERE. A magical fix-it line. The first commandment Assume nothing – demands it.

A task, a purpose, an act of empowerment that transitioned them from victim to rescuer. Evan knew all too well that some wounds never healed, not fully. But there were ways to contain the pain, to take ownership over the scars.

The seventeen-year-old girl locked inside Container 78653-B812 being delivered to Jacksonville Port Authority. Who has purchased her?

Evan has so many days to rescue the girl. He has to save himself first. A race against time. During this time he faces every danger imaginable (nail biting terror). Being held captive, taken to a secret location and tortured by a very powerful and devious man, René Peter Cassaroy who had at his disposal an army of ruthless men.

Who will be the next client to pass on the Nowhere Man’s number? How many more Hector Contrells would he face? The RoamZone vibrates. Do you need my help?


Classic. Bold. Innovative. Action-Packed Adventure. Explosive. Suspenseful. Non-Stop thrills. An electrifying and entertaining series! Can’t wait for the next.

Hurwitz is already under contract for three more Orphan X novels, and Bradley Cooper’s production company has picked up the film rights. (Hurwitz, who has published 16 novels, scripted comics for Marvel and DC, written for network television, and sold numerous screenplays, is penning the big-screen adaptation himself.) I would say, he knows what he is doing!

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/The-Nowhere-Man
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review 2016-12-19 00:00
Corpus: A gripping spy thriller to rival Fatherland
Corpus: A gripping spy thriller to rival Fatherland - Rory Clements
DNF at 22%

I know I can't blame the book. I can't even say if it is good written or has a good story.

It started okay, but then I had to read another book, and after that another one and...and when after a while I picked it up in hope to be able to read it further, I catched myself searching for an excuse to put it aside. So...well, it is not the book, it is because our bad-timing releationship has been most unfortunate.

****Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
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review 2016-07-12 03:58
Guilty Minds
Guilty Minds - Joseph Finder
Nick Heller #3
ISBN: 9780525954620
Publisher:  Penguin
Publication Date: 7/19/2016
Format:  Hardcover 
My Rating:  5 Stars 
A special thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Dutton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Stunning Cover!

Following (2015) standalone (now in paperback), 5 Stars The Fixer, New York Times bestseller, Joseph Finder returns with first-rate action, spy thriller of the year, GUILTY MINDS.

Razor Sharp, top-of-the-line thriller author, the proficient storyteller, returns with our favorite mysterious spy, (#3 Nick Heller) the best of the series!

High-powered Nick Heller, Boston-based private intelligence operative meets his latest challenge: Slander Sheet, a prostitute, Washington, Chief Justice, scandal, a dangerous conspiracy, corruption, power, extortion, murder.

A deadline: 48 hours. Tick-Tock.

Nick Heller’s job is nothing more than figuring out who’s lying and why, and to catch them at it. He has a knack for detecting lies. Lies are his business. White lies are the grease that keeps the social engines running.

But lies—real lies are the source of all trouble. He specializes in digging up secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. Nick Heller is tough, smart, and cultured.

“Born into great wealth–his father, the odious Victor Heller, was the Dark Prince of Wall Street–and then lived in poverty after his father was imprisoned for securities fraud. He is equally comfortable around rich people as well as blue collar. He knows the world of high finance. He went to Yale and worked for a few summers at McKinsey, the consulting firm, but then he rebelled by doing the unthinkable—dropping out and enlisting in the army, where he did a few tours in the Special Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places, and then went into intelligence work for the Defense Department.”

He does the same sort of stuff he used to do for the government, only for the private sector — individuals, politicians, corporations.

“A lie gets halfway around the world before truth has the chance to put its pants on.”

Slander Sheet is about the publish an expose about Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Jerry Claflin’s relationship with a call girl.

An escort service, Lily Schuyler. They offered the most beautiful, exquisite, and sensual young ladies ever to work in the escort industry. All the girls were ladies and all potential clients were gentlemen.

He has never heard of the name (Kayla Pitts) Heidi L’Amour (five diamonds). He was supposedly given three nights with the hooker by a casino mogul in whose favor he had ruled in a recent case.

An alibi? Electroshock therapy at an inpatient mental health clinic. Depression. He was allegedly seeing a call girl during the same time he was being treated at Sibley. A set up? One of the finest hotels in DC, only a few blocks from the White House.

Nick Heller has 48 hours to discredit the allegation. Who is the power and money behind Slander Sheet?

Things get complicated. Pitts is found dead, an apparent suicide. Who murdered Kayla? Did the defendant intend to commit the crime? Literally, guilty mind.” Who is trying to destroy him? Who benefits?

It doesn’t get any better!

Finder pulls out all the stops with his latest adventure. One of my favorite action thriller authors, whether a standalone or series, Finder, first-class with his research and the latest trends –from plot, pacing, twists, to unforgettable characters. If you have read Finder’s bio you will learn he always wanted to be a spy.

Joseph, you are truly a spy! You were meant to write spy novels. You have to be a spy at heart in order to deliver a convincing dynamic series.

One of the most important aspects of spying is collecting relevant information, which is why it is often referred to as intelligence. To write good spy suspense, takes the same skill set, plus more. You get to create your own characters, scandals, settings, and your superb endings. What could be better?

PS. A rock star with execution, wit, innovation, and non-stop action; top of this genre.

Often I am asked as a female reader why I love spy thrillers? They are edgy, intriguing, sophisticated, contemporary, mysterious, sexy, intelligent, action-filled and dangerous! A fan of political thrillers, crime, mystery, and modern detective techniques = Guilty Minds!

Your “Reverse—Reveal—Surprise” works!

Read more Between the Lines: Joseph Finder “Building the Perfect Hero.” Learn more about Nick and his background by reading the previous books in the series.

Highly Recommend the series as well as his famous standalones!



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Guilty-Minds/cmoa/56132f2c0cf2f0ed7a328963
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review 2016-06-07 11:10
The House of Secrets
The House of Secrets - Brad Meltzer,Tod Goldberg
ISBN: 9781455559503
Publisher: Grand Central 
Publication Date: 6/7/2016 
Format: e-book 
My Rating: 5 Stars


A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

TV host and bestselling author, Brad Meltzer (The Fifth Assassin) and Tod Goldberg (Gangsterland) launch a new exciting conspiracy/spy series THE HOUSE OF SECRETS—a modern day thriller mixed with history, for a nonstop fast-paced mystery suspense. Highly entertaining!

"The House of Secrets," the story of a fictional TV host secretly working for the U.S. government, and a daughter's search to find the truth.

As the novel opens it is LA, thirty years prior. Jack Nash decides it is time for his daughter, Hazel to be told “The Story.” He was told “The Story” at age six, and Hazel, is now the same. He feels it is the appropriate time. His son, Skip was five. The Story had not stuck. Jack wonders how old you have to be to retain an event for the rest of your life.

He begins The Story, slipping into The Voice. The same one his dad used, and the one Jack now uses on his TV show, (host of The House of Secrets), where every week he explores the world’s most famous conspiracies. Of course, Hazel is not allowed to watch. His wife thinks it will give her bad dreams.

The story begins a hundred and fifty years ago. The farmer finds a young man on the ground frozen to death. When the doctor arrives he takes him back to his office and performs an autopsy. Inside the chest, he finds a small object the size of a deck of cards. Encased in sealing wax. Inside he finds a miniature book. A Bible. Inside the Bible he sees four handwritten words: “Property of Benedict Arnold.”

The only thing is that there was no scar on his chest or his body, so how did it get there?

Of course Hazel does not know the name. He explains he was a complicated solider during the Revolutionary War. How did it get there? A mystery. A mystery to be solved. She receives three guesses per night. Magic? Impossible? Or Someone trying to fool you?

Fast forward 200 years from the original farmer story and you have the family of Jack Nash, the host of a TV Show "The House of Secrets". Jack and his son Skip travel the world trying to solve mysteries and uncovering secrets.

Jack has three rules.
1) There was a rub in every deal—a snag or drawback; always a catch. Once you understood that, there were no bad deals 2) Nothing goes missing. Everything is somewhere. 3) Honor the people who love you.

Years later, Jack’s wife, Claire has been gone for ten years. Brain cancer. He is ending his TV show, to enjoy his time left. Hazel had the same temper as Claire—and the same reckless attraction to destruction.

People weren’t happy unless they believed at least part of the world was some grand hoax. It’s what made Watergate so compelling. Everything everyone suspected was true. Government was corrupt, the world was being manipulated, nothing was on the level.

Jack knows most times mysteries did not have satisfying endings. Like the death of JFK. No one wanted to believe Oswald acted alone, because then that story was done.

The world was different now. He cannot be happy until he finds the book. The Bible. The last mystery.

Traveling through Utah, Jack suffers a heart attack. A car crash. Skip will be OK, Hazel injured. Eight days later in LA, Hazel wakes up from a coma. Jack is gone; however, Hazel cannot remember the details. She has severe brain injuries, leaving her without memories from the past.

An FBI shows up, asking questions about her dad and the corpse of a man found with the object in his chest. Did her father kill this man named Nixon? Hazel remembers The Bible. She recalls hearing the story. Mysteries need to be solved. A dead body and something hidden. Some details were clear and others lost. She thinks her dad told her. The last mystery.

Skip is confused, not knowing about the Bible. He often helped his dad chase leads, while investigating conspiracies.

Hazel begins trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Who killed this man and how in the heck did he get the book in his chest? She could not believe anything she was hearing. How could she have woken up from a coma to find herself in this life? She had tried to remember any hint of a secret life of her father. Was she a part of this too?

The FBI says her father made a personal visit to this guy the week before the accident. The guys loved Jack’s show. A secret obsession he hid from his family? The guy died and Jack died three days later. Poison was found. Meanwhile, we hear from a mysterious man known as the Bear travels to Dubai to kill a man named Kennedy, and the body of another man named Nixon is found in Canada.

In Canada a man in a revolutionary war style jacket has been found dead and inside his chest is a small Bible. In Dubai a man is found dead wearing a red revolutionary war jacket also with a Bible in his chest.

Why would a father train his six-year-old daughter. He wanted her to stay away from silly tricks, leave the family business behind. Give her a chance a freedom, not to be trapped.

Whoever killed Arthur Kennedy and Darren Nixon wanted her to know. Where they looking for the Bible, or something else? What were Jack, Kennedy, and Nixon looking for? Was Jack working for the government? What was behind his conspiracy show?


As Hazel, an anthropology professor tries to recover her memory and find out why she, has a lot of guns, and scars---she continues to try and solve the mystery of her father. Hazel is full of secrets! What is the truth? Who can be trusted? She has to solve the mystery in order to find herself.

A secret worth killing for. Every turn of events is really a conspiracy in disguise with a bit of truthiness. Truth often is stranger than fiction. George Washington and Benedict Arnold (Chapter 85 A Theory) Betrayal? or Not? Awesome research . . . .

What a wild ride! Hazel’s journey is intriguing, mysterious, and suspenseful. Edge of your seat --From twists, turns, no one does conspiracy better than Brad Meltzer.

Shocking modern conspiracy theories often turn out true after thorough investigation by our society. To many, conspiracy theories are just human nature. Not all people in this world are honest, hard-working and forthcoming about their intentions.

THE HOUSE OF SECRETS is an ideal gift choice for Father’s Day!

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-House-of-Secrets/cmoa/574f56400cf25085214e759c
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review 2016-04-05 00:40
An Honorable Man
An Honorable Man: A Novel - Paul Vidich

By:  Paul Vidich

ISBN: 9781501110382

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date: 4/12/2016 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars


A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Old-Fashioned Spy Fiction at its Finest!

Paul Vidich delivers a fascinating adventurous debut AN HONORABLE MAN –richly atmospheric, inspired by true events. Suspenseful—powerful and gritty; a chilling Cold War spy mystery thriller!

The dark shadows are lurking from the past. How personal is the political? Is the past ever past? A riveting mystery with a poignant cast of characters – Complex, emotional, rich in history.

In the grand tradition---Classic spy fiction genre of literature involves espionage, emerging from the early twentieth century, inspired by rivalries and intrigues between the major powers, and the establishment of modern intelligence agencies.

Who can be trusted? Agents haunted by their own compromises.

Set in Washington DC in the 1950s, The Cold War is heating up. Joseph Stalin’s death. An unsettling time. Tensions, stresses, enemies, corruption, bureaucracy, secrets, hypocrisy, and betrayal. A time when people lived the life that was excepted of them.

From communism, homosexuality, atheism.

There is a double agent. Someone is selling secrets to the Soviets. A traitor. Code name – Protocol. The Soviets had penetrated the Agency. Someone inside had provided the Soviets with drop points, and later the names of CIA assets. Everyone worried about a Soviet agent in their midst. A traitor.

George Mueller is the perfect man to assist. Find the mole. Muller liked to keep private matters away from his job, but the daily grind made that hard. Politics had taken over everything. He was tired of the double life, the daily mask.

Lonely. Holding onto secrets. Life changing secrets. A desire to escape. Muller wants out. A polygraph test. College, the war, Vienna. Loneliness. Secrets were restless things. Secrets got out. The motivations of men around him were suspect and he no longer knew whom to trust.

The Council selected men who they believed had access to the Agency’s secrets and a motive. Twenty names. Each suspect. The list was secret. Secrecy protected the investigation from compromise, but is also protected the reputations of the innocent.

Based on the sad troubled life of James Speyer Kronthal, found dead 4/1/1953 similar to Robert Altman--a brilliant young deputy of Allen Dulle’s who had worked in the OSS with Dulles in the Bern Station during the WWII. He was one of the original 60 whom Dulles brought to the CIA. The initial recruits were not required to take a polygraph test. Later the CIA discovered a questionable life. In order to keep arrest and scandal under wraps, he was later set up, blackmailed, and became the first Soviet mole in the CIA. These acts later came to light. Forced to honor and duty—compulsions destroy careers—leading to apparent suicide (his death), in order to prevent political embarrassment. Read more at the end of the book, in the acknowledgements.

Taut storytelling Reminiscent of old-school John Le Carré spy thrillers -- Vidich uses well-researched references, books, websites, and quotes of poetry and literary prose-an intriguing Ivy League educated young man who lived a secret life within a secret career. Layers of secrets. A hostile political environment—hushed, during the Cold War.

“Oh, my worse sin was in my blood; Now my blood pays for it.”—John Webster

Quite interesting how spy fiction has taken on different roles throughout history: from the Nineteenth century, WWI, Inter-war period, WWII, the early/late Cold War (British/American), Post Cold War, to Post–9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror, with a reawakened interest in the peoples and politics of the world beyond its borders-- with new authors emerging in the espionage genre.

Despite the end of the Cold War the spy genre has flourished but changed to keep up with the shifts in the political landscape post 9/11.

Gripping! Red-baiting fifties--a term commonly used in the US and its history, often associated with the McCarthyism, which originated in the two historic Red Scare periods of the 1920s (First Red Scare) and 1950s (Second Red Scare). Due to mounting Cold War tensions and the spread of communism --- "McCarthyism" being coined to signify any type of reckless political persecution or witch-hunt.

After reading, you will understand why Publishers Weeklynamed AN HONORABLE MAN the Top Ten Mysteries & Thrillers of Spring 2016 (plus many other mentions and awards). Most certainly on my radar! Impressive.


Looking forward to listening to the audio version narrated by, George Newbern.

Watch Video


The Literary Spy Novel: Five Recommendations by Paul Vidich.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!An-Honorable-Man/cmoa/56d4a3ce0cf249e9dfcc642c
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