#Havana62: To the brink of nuclear war

October 1962. The Cuban Missile Crisis. The world watches. Waits. The world is aware that it is days, possibly even only hours away from nuclear war. The only way of staying informed is through the newspapers and news reports on the television and radio. But what if the Cuban Missile Crisis had happened 50 years later? The story would dominate round the clock news; it would also be trending across social media. Enter #Havana62

#Havana62 imagines the Cuban Missile Crisis from fictional Twitter accounts from the protagonists, imagining their perspective on the situation as it develops. Accounts often tend to look at one perspective, or examine one side first and then the other; #Havana62 looks at both sides at the same time through the imaginary tweets as the crisis is examined day-by-day. There is also background to the crisis from earlier in the year and short profiles at the start of each day of either those involved or the weapons involved.

It’s a different and interesting take on the Cuban Missile Crisis and I thoroughly enjoyed and strongly recommend the book.

Rating (out of 5): *****

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The Liquidator

British Special Security are tired of embarrassing situations; it inevitably leads to embarrassing questions. It’s decided that action is needed to avoid situations in the future. Mostyn, the second-in-command is entrusted with ensuring that problems are removed before they become a problem and he believes he knows just the man – Boysie Oakes. When Oakes heads off for a weekend away with Mostyn’s secretary, he soon finds himself embroiled in a plot that would result in a situation beyond embarrassing. Can Oakes save the day?

The Liquidator is the first in the Boysie Oakes series and gives the back story as to how Oakes became a secret agent. It also shows what type of character Oakes is and he’s not the standard secret agent/assassin material.

A gentle comedy combined with a thriller, it’s different to what I’ve read before and was an enjoyable read.

Rating (out of 5): ****

D-Boys

An American system has been hacked into and Mike Brown, a computer expert, joins a SWAT team on a regulation mission to apprehend the culprits. Moments later, he’s the only man left standing. They’ve stumbled upon something bigger and Brown is soon assigned to the D-Boys, an elite unit that is unknown outside of those who need to know. Brown joins them on missions around the world, but it seems as though an online game is the key. Terrorists are able to communicate in secret and practice against targets. Power cuts in America are followed by chemical attacks. When it appears as though things can’t get any worse, it is discovered that in the game missions have been undertaken against a nuclear weapon storage facility. This was only a rehearsal and in real life, the facility is stormed and there’s a nuclear weapon on the loose with the West Coast of America the target…

D-Boys is an excellent thriller that moves along at a fast pace throughout. With the online game as well, it can almost be described as a thriller within a thriller. The action is frequent throughout and takes place at a frenetic pace. It’s well worth a read.

Rating (out of 5): *****

The Complete Dregs Of History

We’ve all heard of Henry VIII. And Elizabeth I. And William Shakespeare. And countless others who have made an impact on history. But what about the everyday person? Or someone who has had an impact for a strange reason? Enter ‘The complete dregs of history’

Numerous characters are introduced in chronological order, with a summary of what they did and why they are included. Fripley’s characters are all entertaining and the book was easy to read and enjoyable. The characters can be a bit hit and miss, but none are worth skipping. A book to return to and pick a character at random.

Rating (out of 5): ***

Fallout

Nick Sullivan sees his best friend murdered by three men at sea and manages to escape. He reports the murder, but becomes the only suspect. Which isn’t surprising considering no-one else has seen the three men and Nick’s wife was having an affair with his best friend. Sullivan decides to find the three men and prove his innocence

Whilst it’s not surprising that the police don’t believe him, it’s a shame because the three men have access to plutonium. Approximately five pounds. And they’re blackmailing the British government – £60m in diamonds or the plutonium will be released. There’s only 48 hours for the government. It become a race against time for the authorities. The soon discover that Sullivan is tracking the three men. Find Sullivan and they find the blackmailers. But how do you find men who don’t want to be found?

Fallout is a good thriller and the plot soon becomes apparent. However, how the plutonium will be released is not revealed until late in the day. As the time starts to run out, the pace and tension increase accordingly. A very good thriller and the first book in the Nick Sullivan series.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Fatherland

It’s April 1964, Hitler is still in power and Germany rules Europe. A body is pulled from a lake and Xavier March is the detective assigned to the case. It turns out to be a Nazi official. As March investigates, he discovers more about the past of the man and his involvement in Nazi policy. This results in him making powerful enemies within the Gestapo and put a meeting between Germany and America in jeopardy.

Fatherland is a thriller that increases in tension as it progresses. Each discovery March makes leads to more questions and puts him in more danger. As the tension increases, so does the pace of the novel. It took me some time to get into it, but it’s a good book.

Rating (out of 5): ****