Book review: Get Lenin

Get Lenin is set in World War II. Eva Molenaar is working for the British Secret Services, with the book detailing how she was recruited for them. It is learned that the German hierarchy are planning to steal the corpse of Lenin from the Russians to force them out of the war. Molenaar finds herself in with key German plotters and looks to prevent the corpse being stolen.

The first half of the book focuses on Molenaar’s history and how she was recruited for the British Secret Services. It also gives an overview of some of her earlier missions. The second half focuses on the German plot and Molenaar’s attempts to stop the theft. The pace quickens as the German plot develops and there is well-described action as the Germans look to succeed, whilst the Russian and British look to prevent a successful theft.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Book review: The Watchman

Alex Temple is on a mission in Sierra Leone to rescue journalists being held hostage. No sooner is the mission complete than he gets recalled to Britain for a top secret mission. MI5 have lost contact with an SAS trained mole and agents linked with him are being killed in a brutal manner. Temple’s task is simple – eliminate the mole, known as Watchman. Temple has to go up against someone as well-trained as he is and who is on a mission. But why is Watchman murdering his former handlers?

The novel starts at a quick pace with action straight away, before the main plot starts. Temple is shown to be an excellent soldier, but he is not perfect as he discovers with his first encounter with Watchman. The plot moves along at an excellent pace throughout and Temple discovers why Watchman is murdering his former handlers, leaving him with a moral decision to make. A good, enjoyable thriller.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Book review: The Kremlin Device

An SAS group under the leadership of Geordie Sharp is sent to Russia to help train Russian special forces in their conflict with organised crime. Before leaving, they are informed that they have an additional mission – to plant two nuclear devices in Russia. Orders are not to get involved in any mission undertaken by the Russians, but Sharp helps plan an operation. The first device is to be planted close to the Kremlin and is achieved relatively easily. The second device is to be planted next to the base that they are at, but the vehicle containing the weapon gets ambushed and hijacked when bringing the device back from the embassy in Moscow. Sharp then has to track down the device along with the two men taken with it.

There is plenty of action, starting with the raid by Russian special forces and culminating in tracking down the stolen nuclear bomb. The action is well-described and fast-paced. The situation the SAS team find themselves in deteriorates quickly and plans have to be adjusted at short-notice. This helps add pace to the story, with challenges appearing all the time.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Book review: High Risk

High Risk brings two stories together. Hal lives in Alaska and is an avalanche expert. He predicts there will be large, dangerous avalanches. At the same time as the avalanches in Alaska, there is a devastating storm on Mount Everest, killing media tycoon Sebastian Turner. Turner’s wife, Josie, is a TV presenter and in the public eye as news of his death breaks. Josie decides to visit Mount Everest and she soon wants to climb the mountain to find her husband, with Hal acting as a guide.

The avalanche and Mount Everest are well described and draw upon the author’s experiences. The characters are introduced in the opening chapters and are developed as the story progresses. Adverse weather conditions strike the mountain as Hal and Josie climb and they run into more and more trouble, increasing the tension as the novel moves on.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Book review: Dark Market

Dark Market follows John Savage. Savage was a corporate investigator, but the death of someone being investigated sees Savage flee and become a mercenary. Savage returns following the death of a journalist, investigating a bank. He soon uncovers a secret computer program and it appears as though the chancellor is the next victim.

Dark Market moves along at a good pace and Savage discovers things as he goes along as opposed to instantly accessing all the information. The plot builds and there is a good action sequence at the end once Savage has all the pieces in place. The book was easy to pick up and read and is a good thriller.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Book review: The Folks at Fifty-Eight

The Folks at Fifty-Eight is set at the start of the Cold War. Gerald Hammond is recruited for a mission in East Germany to rescue Catherine Schmidt. Hammond is successful despite an intensive search for them by the Red Army and gets given a job at the State Department on his retunr, but he wonders why Schmidt was so important. As he tries to find out more, he gets into a murkier world of espionage and power-politics.

The novel is excellent and moves along at a fast-pace throughout. It is written in a gritty style all the characters are shown to be flawed in some way. The brutality of the aftermath of war is shown along with the fluid morality of those involved in the espionage world. I enjoyed the book.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Book review: Ice Station Zebra

Drift Ice Station Zebra, a meteorological station at the North Pole, has suffered a catastrophic fire. USS Dolphin is sent to make contact and rescue any survivors. Before the Dolphin sets out to sea, Dr. Carpenter joins the crew. He is introduced as a naval doctor, but has orders that the crew must support him. Carpenter is more than a doctor and his actual job becomes clearer as contact is made, men are rescued and Carpenter discovers that some of the dead men were murdered. By rescuing those still alive, Carpenter brings the murderer aboard the ship.

The book is narrated from the perspective of Carpenter and is a fast-moving thriller. Once Carpenter has discovered that murder took place at the North Pole, it also becomes a whodunit as Carpenter looks to unmask a killer who is determined to avoid detection and capture. The rescue mission does not progress perfectly and Carpenter encounters difficulties in solving the case. A very readable book.

Rating (out of 5): ****