George V. Reilly

Review: The Silent Twin

Title: The Silent Twin
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Bookouture
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 344
Keywords: police, paranormal
Reading period: 3 June–10 July, 2016

Abigail has gone missing from creepy Blackwater Farm days before her tenth birthday. Her twin Olivia has been mute ever since. Their strange mother is not helping matters and the father is acting oddly too. DC Jennifer Knight, who belongs to a secret psychic police task force, is the family liaison officer. She must convince Olivia to break her silence and reveal what she knows before time runs out for Abigail.

This was a reasonably good thriller that I think would have been better without the su­per­nat­ur­al elements.

Review: The Prisoner of Zenda

Title: The Prisoner of Zenda
Author: Anthony Hope
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Copyright: 1894
Pages: 156
Keywords: adventure
Reading period: 23–24 June, 2016

Having read Royal Flash, I also read its in­spi­ra­tion, The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope's classic adventure novel. Rudolf Rassendyll, a young British aristocrat, decides to visit Ruritania, where his distant cousin and dop­pel­gänger, the dissipated Rudolf Elphberg, is about to be crowned king. The future king has a half brother, “Black” Michael, who begrudges him the throne and also covets his fiancée, Princess Flavia. Michael kidnaps the king and the king's friends, in a desperate attempt to preserve political peace, persuade Rassendyll to im­per­son­ate the king. The imposture is successful and a stalemate continue.

Review: Wildtrack

Title: Wildtrack
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Claremont Publishers
Copyright: 1988
Pages: 330
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 21 May, 2016

Nick Sandman earned a Victoria Cross in the Falklands and spent a year relearning how to walk. Now all he wants to do is to restore Sycorax, his beloved old boat. But to afford that, he has to work for TV star Tony Bannister. Bannister wants to win the St Pier­re–Hal­i­fax race with Sandman's help and he wants to make a doc­u­men­tary about Sandman, neither of which Sandman wants. Ban­nis­ter's wife died sailing the previous year and her wealthy father holds Bannister re­spon­si­ble.

Another of Cornwell's con­tem­po­rary sailing thrillers, which also holds up continue.

Review: Scoundrel

Title: Scoundrel
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright: 1992
Pages: 311
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 19–21 May, 2016

It's late 1990 and Saddam Hussein has just invaded Kuwait. Paul Shanahan is an exiled Irish-American yacht delivery skipper. He used to be a gunrunner for the IRA, but rumors that he was a CIA agent have kept them at arms' length. Now the IRA have engaged him to sail $5,000,000 in Libyan-supplied gold coins across the Atlantic to buy 53 Stinger missiles. It stinks but he can't say no. And maybe he is the CIA agent that he's rumored to be.

Cornwell is best known as a writer of historical action continue.

Review: Winter

Title: Winter
Author: Len Deighton
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Ballantine
Copyright: 1987
Pages: 536
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 15–27 March, 2016

Peter and Pauli Winter are brothers, born to a wealthy German in­dus­tri­al­ist and his American wife at the end of the nineteenth century. They proudly serve as young officers in the German military in the Great War, live through the tumultuous 1920s in Berlin, but go in very different directions, and end up on opposite sides in World War II. Peter, the elder, is a brilliant lawyer and talented pianist. Pauli, loyal but less talented, bonds with other embittered veterans of the First War, serves in the Freikorps, and joins the Nazi party early, rising continue.

Review: The Mercy of the Night

Title: The Mercy of the Night
Author: David Corbett
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 431
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 5 March–2 April, 2016

Jacqi Garza was abducted when she was eight. She got away but her life has gone far off course in decade since. Now she's the prime witness to a murder. Phelan Tierney, a former lawyer, has taken her under his wing, but she's not easy to help.

This is dark and disturbing, if ultimately hopeful. It's a portrait of a town in distress and of some of its citizens. Some are still trying to make a difference, while others are too lost in their own pain continue.

Review: Run Jane Run

Title: Run Jane Run
Author: Maureen Tan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Warner
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 292
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 13 March, 2016

Sequel to A.K.A. Jane.

Jane Nichols' parents were murdered in front of her on a Greek hillside when she was six. An MI5 operation triggers some dormant memories and she starts to suspect who was re­spon­si­ble. An attempt on her life confirms that she's not imagining it. She returns to her life in Savannah to lay a trap.

Another en­ter­tain­ing entry in the Jane series. The last, presumably, since it's nearly 20 years old.

Review: A.K.A. Jane

Title: A.K.A. Jane
Author: Maureen Tan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Warner
Copyright: 1997
Pages: 319
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 13 March, 2016

Jane Nichols, burnt-out MI5 agent and novelist, has gotten out of the Service, but she wants revenge on the man who caused the death of her lover. The target, Jim O'Neil, is a re­spectable busi­ness­man in Savannah, Georgia. Jane rents a room from the Savannah chief of police, sexy Alex Callaghan, posing as the novelist she is, so that she kill O'Neil. She gets tangled up in Callaghan's serial killer case too.

En­ter­tain­ing, fast-paced thriller with a likeable and believable lead character.

Review: The God's Eye View

Title: The God's Eye View
Author: Barry Eisler
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 417
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 3–10 March, 2016

An NSA analyst spots a suspicious cor­re­la­tion between the NSA station chief in Ankara and a crusading journalist, and she reports it to the director of the NSA. The station chief promptly dies in a car crash and the journalist is abducted by Syrian terrorists, and she starts to worry. As the ever-more au­thor­i­tar­i­an director goes further off the deep end, her worry grows—with good reason. And the director's hatchet man who is assigned to monitor her un­ex­pect­ed­ly turns out to have human feelings.

This is a classic continue.

Review: The Belfast Connection

Title: The Belfast Connection
Author: Milton Bass
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: New American Library
Copyright: 1988
Pages: 300
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 14–17 February, 2016

San Diego cop Benny Freedman decides to meet his Belfast relatives for the first time. They disowned his Catholic mother decades ago when she married his Jewish father. It turns out that her siblings are still un­re­pen­tant bigots, but he finds himself drawn to two of his cousins, pretty young Catherine Callahan and Brendan O'Malley, a poet whose brother Sean has just been murdered. Cousin Benny finds himself drawn into in­ternecine feuding between the IRA and the INLA, as well as skirmishes against the British Army and continue.

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