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Review: THE AMSTERDAM DECEPTION by Tony Ollivier

Description:
A NIGHT ON THE TOWN IN AMSTERDAM TURNS INTO A DEADLY GAME OF DECEPTION

To find the missing device, Reynolds forces David to undergo a procedure to “host” the last thirty seconds of the spy’s memories. The procedure goes awry, however, and the spy’s memories, skills, and abilities download into David and break him free from Reynolds’ clinic. Dazed and disoriented, David stumbles out into the Amsterdam night and into a world he has only ever encountered in spy novels.

On his first international tour with the National Ballet of Canada, dancer David Knight is abducted from Amsterdam’s Red Light district and dragged to a clinic owned by Richard Reynolds, a billionaire with a serious problem. A prototype for a device that could save Reynolds’ company has gone missing and the only one who knew its whereabouts, a Cold War spy, is dead.

As the hunt begins, Reynolds needs David alive, but a rich televangelist wants him dead. Another man’s memories become David’s only protection in a battle between religious greed and corporate profits.


My Take:
This one has a little bit of everything going on. A young ballet dancer is out for a night of exploration with his friend who wanted to go to the red-light district of Amsterdam. And, you guessed it, he and his friend are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are kidnapped which results in our main characters being dragged into a complicated, international mess involving a corrupt evangelical church and a Silicon Valley billionaire with lots of aging, leftover spies from The Cold War.

There are some features paying homage to the usual spy thriller themes, as you would expect. But there are some innovations, which at times, brings this one a bit closer to something out of a James Bond novel. For example: cutting-edge, sy-fy high-tech for implanting the memories from a dead man into another person and a VR video game on steroids that everyone seems to be after getting their hands on for one or another reasons. The result is exciting, page-turning reading from start to finish with several surprises along the way, just to keep you on your toes.

I’m ecstatic that this is the beginning of a series. The main character has a fascinating life, though he believed his life was rather mundane before the experiences in this story. This is a must-read for spy-thriller and mystery fans, but even if you don’t follow the genre there is plenty of action to hold your attention.

Tony Ollivier

Author’s Bio:

Tony Ollivier has stacked hay bails, picked tobacco, pinstriped cars and bartended his way through Canada before settling in Vancouver. Moving into technology early on, he’s worked for Apple, IBM and Microsoft. He now writes thriller novels while doing most of the cooking for his full-time family. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife, son and daughter. Visit his website, publisher’s website, and Amazon for more.



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Review: Nola Nash’s Debut – Crescent City Moon

Crescent City Moon by debut novelist Nola Nash has a creepy vibe throughout that establishes it as a great Halloween read…or a perfect book for anyone who loves supernatural mystery, suspense, thrillers. It is set in 1820’s New Orleans and captures the essence of the French Quarter, tapping into what residents know is the special nature of their beloved city – that things happening there are taken in stride that might not be accepted anywhere else.

Like many young people in the city, Zoelie Cheval has a curiosity about the occult. She plays with Tarot cards, dabbling in fortune-telling without completely understanding all the implications, or knowing the extent and peculiar nuances of her gifts. On her 21st birthday, when her father mysteriously dies her world is shattered. Then, while the police are investigating with officers everywhere throughout her house, a priest who was called upon to give last rights is also killed, and the stage is set for the kind of mystery you know is going to hold your attention for as long as it takes to reach the conclusion.

Nash seasons her realistic dialogue with well-placed French expressions and colorful descriptions of the settings. Always there is ample attention given to the arcane aspects of the plot, which straddle a line between real and surreal. Magic, though doubted at first, becomes increasingly real, and its limitations play a part in the resolution of the story, as well as its underpinnings in the balance of natural forces.

There is also a compelling love story developing in the background as Zoelie is attracted to the handsome and gallant Louis who labors to resolve the growing series of murders while protecting the young lady who is constantly in peril. I wholeheartedly recommend this book and look forward to the next in the series.

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Books I’m Reading

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I’ve read two manuscripts in the past week and have started to read a friend’s newly published book. The two manuscripts are very different in genre but I enjoyed both immensely. I’m only a couple of chapters into the third story, but enjoying it as well.

The first of the manuscripts is a novel by Deek Rhew titled “122 Rules”. It will be published sometime this year and I look forward to promoting it and reading other people’s opinions. What is genuinely unique about it is the blending of genres and the strength of the female characters. Deek’s an interesting person. I’ve spoken with him a few times. He has a warped sense of humor and a different perspective on the world that comes through at times into his writing as he points out the irony in his characters’ situations. The book is anything but a typical crime, detective, police thing. It blends in a healthy dose of suspense along with some of the attributes of a good spy thriller. Yet it is told in an entertaining and memorable manner that lingers days after and one recalls some of the more unusual aspects of the story.

The second manuscript is a Regency period romance novel titled Love’s Misadventure by Cheri Champagne. Generally I’m not a huge fan of romance novels but there have been exceptions that I’ve read over the past few years. I still follow the postings of a couple of my friends from FanStory, Margaret Snowdon and Phyllis Stewart. The previous writes romances set in Victorian England. The latter writes quirky situation romantic tales set in contemporary times. Cheri’s novel is atypical of the romance genres and includes a lot of adventure that kept my attention throughout. It is well written and a pleasure to read. Despite the time period in which it is set the lead female character, Anna, is strong willed and drives the plot. The main male characters are noble while there are some vile, unsavory villains as well. It will be one of the easiest books for me to promote. It has a little something ror everyone, containing all the elements of a good bodice ripping tale while filled with the political intrigue of spies. The key characters are kidnapped in an effort to punish another main character. There’s a lot to like about it making it an enjoyable read.

Both manuscripts have sequels coming, by the way.

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The recently published book I’m diving into is titled Norma Jean’s School of Witchery. It is a Young Adult novel from my friend Rose Montague who I have previously named an honorary Panda since she knows many of the other Pandamoon Publishing authors though she is working with another small publisher. Besides that, she is really great person to know and always willing to promote the work of other authors.

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A little over a year ago, she published a YA novel titled Jade, which I  read, enjoyed and posted a review around a year ago. The novel is not your typical supernatural triller. Jade is a complex character with many intriguing abilities and an alternative lifestyle. The Sequel, Jane, was published about a month ago and is on my reading list for when I finish her present novel.

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The reason I’m reading Norma Jean’s School of Witchery first is kind of selfish. Rose told me there is a character in the book named Elgon. It’s not everyday that a guy named Elgon finds a namesake. Now you might be thinking that some people will do anything to get a Five Star Review, right? But seriously, Rose has an engaging writing style that I have enjoyed previously and I expect nothing less than an outstanding story from her with this book.

Judging from what I’ve heard from other people who follows Rose’s writing, Jane should be read prior to Norma Jean’s School of Witchery because there are a couple of spoilers contained in the latter. Oh well, I’ve made my selection and prioritized the reading list. I’ll post a review when I finish.

#DeekRhew #122Rules #CheriChampagne #LovesMisadventure #RoseMontague #NormaJeansSchoolOfWitchery #Jade #Jane #Reading #NewBooks #YA #Regency Romance #Crime #Suspense

 

 

 

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Persona Non Grata by Stephen J. Stirling Is Refreshingly Engaging

Persona Non Grata Cover

Stephen J. Stirling had penning an exciting, fast-paced, refreshingly engaging read that is topical, blending both religious dogma and current events. Although set in a fictitious version of Crimea, not the one you’ll find on any map, the political intrigue rings true enough in a captivating, suspense-filled tale.

Paladin Smith, the story’s unlikely hero, is a high school history teacher and devout follower of the Mormon faith who starts each day teaching a seminary class to teens, just as he did many several years ago when he has Victoria (Toria) Grant in his class. After he saves her from date rape her uncle misreads his interest in her forces him to leave town. Now that adversary from his past returns as a Congressman who needs Paladin’s help to save Toria. The strength of his faith is tested as the strange mission requires Paladin to travel 6,000 miles and do something well beyond anything he has ever done – perhaps something he never dreamed was possible. In the process he relies on the inner strength of his faith and receives an opportunity to save more than one life and also change the world.

I particularly enjoyed the way Stirling casts his Paladin into the political intrigue. At first everyone assumes he is a special envoy from the US but then, as he true identity come into focus he becomes an officially unwelcome person, hence the title of the book.

There is a powerful message of hope contained in Stirling’s words and it is delivered along with page-turning action and steadily building suspense to a climax that comes as a surprise after all the underhanded chicanery going on in the background. The reading experience is enjoyable and a distinct change from recent fare.

To buy on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/nxcp8zk

#suspense #PolicticalIntrigue #novel #Mormon #StephenJStirling, #MustReadBooks

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