‘A very captivating and fun read.’ Noelle reviews action #thriller JENKS by @burrell_barney, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Noelle. She blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Noelle has been reading Jenks by Barney Burrell

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I purchased this book for review, as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

If you are a fan of James Bond and Jason Bourne, you will like Jenks, a freelance professional assassin with a moral compass. The book is a fast-paced thriller, and I will admit at the outset of this review I am a sucker for such books.

Jenks (short for Graham Jenkins) was recruited early in his life for an ultra-top secret government agency (MI5 on steroids). He chose to reject the offer but returned to accept it after time spent in the armed forces. He now lives rather anonymously in a house by the sea, taking only those assignments that appeal to him as an assassin.

The plot is an old trope: someone steals explosive, high level secrets about various world governments from the CIA, with the altruistic intention of providing them to a WikiLeaks type of organization which would reveal them and overturn the world order. Jenks is hired to find not only the people stealing and delivering the information but also those buying it.  The action takes place simultaneously in London, Virginia and Washington, with the story shifting from site to site.

Jenks is, of course, ruggedly handsome with brilliant turquoise eyes (normally hidden by contact lenses, so he can blend into his background) and is ultimately competent in his profession. Nicely, the author has given him a less robotic, human side – from refurbishing his old house to flirting with a local barista. 

Yes, the book is standard high-octane and the base plot unordinary, but there the commonalities end. The author has layered in several plot lines, a lot of high tech spyware, and moles at every level. Everyone is being manipulated, even Jenks to an extent, so the reader is unsure until the end who are the actual “good guys,” if you can call them that.  A warning, though, there is some graphic violence.

The only criticism I have is that there are a couple of places in the book where the author goes into enormous technical detail, a lot of which I didn’t follow, so when I got the gist, I skipped over those sections.

High tension, technical wizardry, and the knowledge that Jenks will successfully complete his assignment (how else could it end?) made this a very captivating and fun read. I definitely look forward to another Jenks outing.

4.5 stars

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In a nutshell.. Ruthless freelance professional assassin Jenks is hired by ultra-top secret government agency – responsible for the dirtiest of work – to kill a rogue CIA analyst and prevent a super Wikileaks-like Russian backed dissemination of catastrophic above Top Secret explosive revelations, capable of overturning the world order.

Using the most ingenious of spycraft, the chameleon like Jenks has no option but to let the crime play out until the very end. With the action taking place between Soho, London and Virginia, USA, Jenks hurtles towards the ultimate confrontation and sacrifice – his pedal to the metal race to uncover the truth will leave you gasping.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Top 10 (11 actually!) Book Covers From 2021

A few weeks ago Davida Chazan from The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, posted her top five book covers of 2021. Her post inspired me to create my own end of year top 10. As you can see, I had trouble cutting it down to just 10 books!

This book came to me as a competition win, the book cover is very attractive. It wasn’t until after I had finished reading it that I realised it was book #2 of a series. It’s about the Romanov family and is set in Russia during the 1700s. The writing flows well and I could effortlessly picture all the opulence and wealth, while it was also clear how starving and poor the rest of Russia’s citizens were.

Those pieces of word filled paper on the cover are such a big part of this story. If you love words then this book is a wonderful story. Based around the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, it begins in the late 1800s. I liked this story, particularly the detailed days in the scriptorium.

This book cover had me wanting to walk down its road. This book is a memoir and travelogue. Author Cathay O. Reta writes about her experience of walking the 483-mile Camino de Santiago trail across northern Spain. The scenery and the journey both physical and spiritual were very appealing.

I love bees and this title called to me, the bees on the cover were an added bonus. This is a bee themed contemporary fiction set in the small American town of Hood River, Oregon. Each chapter began with a quotation from an old beekeeping book; they were prudent words which worked really well with the story.

The model’s face on this book cover looks right at you and is very haunting, while the fishing boat is a vital part in this World-War-Two story. It takes place during the 1942 occupation of Norway, not a part of the war that I knew much about before reading this. It had all the gritty tension that I enjoy in this genre.

There are a couple of different book covers for this book, but this is the one that I read. The post box says it all for me. This is the story of a postman and his search for the one person he loved and lost. A lovely, leisurely read for those who enjoy stories which focus on older characters.

The lone figure running under a sky of fighter aircraft made me want to know more about this book. The story is based on memories about Germany seen through the eyes of a young German boy, during the Second World War and for a few years after, in East Germany. Highly recommended.

The cheerful yellow of this book cover suits the story inside the cover. It is contemporary fiction and involves a fun road trip, a dog and a more serious medical condition. Although a part of this story has a serious sad theme, it compliments the fun parts and works well.

The young lady on the cover of this book spoke to me, she looks like she might be trying to behave. Rightly so, as standing up to the school bullies gets her into trouble. This is a contemporary young adult story set in Washington DC. There’s a freshness about some young adult stories and this one was an enjoyable story.

The simplicity of this book cover reflects the ethos behind Erin French’s cooking. This book is the memoir of Erin French, owner and chef of The Lost Kitchen restaurant in Freedom, Maine which has now become a world-famous place to eat. It was a very inspiring read.

This book cover makes me want to ask questions. Who is the man with the gun? And who has the blue eyes? This is an action thriller which draws us into the murky world of secrets. Jenks is a professional assassin and a master of his game. I enjoyed reading this adventure.

What book covers have been your favourites this year?

‘Set in the murky world of secrets’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of action #thriller JENKS by @burrell_barney

JenksJenks by Barney Burrell

4 stars

Jenks is an action thriller which draws us into the murky world of secrets – top secrets which upon exposure to the world could have catastrophic effects.

A CIA analyst uses his computer skills to access high level security files; he plans to sell the information to a group who will leak it to the public.

The situation is soon of global importance and a British off-grid intelligence agency are asked to help. They employ professional assassin Jenks to stop the handover of the files at a pre-planned London exchange.

This is a well-paced story with plenty of characters to keep the reader interested. Information about Jenks is drip-fed to the reader, often through flashbacks, as the author builds a good picture of the man.

The story alternates between the current events and chapters that go back a few days or weeks, which helps to build up the plot.

I did like Jenks, who is a master of his game. A couple of times I thought that the story could have been tightened a little more, where parts were over-explained, but this was only a minor observation. I believe that this is the first book from this author; I thought it was a good solid tale in this genre.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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In a nutshell.. Ruthless freelance professional assassin Jenks is hired by ultra-top secret government agency – responsible for the dirtiest of work – to kill a rogue CIA analyst and prevent a super Wikileaks-like Russian backed dissemination of catastrophic above Top Secret explosive revelations, capable of overturning the world order.

Using the most ingenious of spycraft, the chameleon like Jenks has no option but to let the crime play out until the very end. With the action taking place between Soho, London and Virginia, USA, Jenks hurtles towards the ultimate confrontation and sacrifice – his pedal to the metal race to uncover the truth will leave you gasping.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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He Never Leaves A Trace When On A Mission. @SueBavey Reviews Action #Thriller Last Hope For Hire by @CometRockIt

Today’s team review is from Sue. She blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Sue has been reading Last Hope For Hire by Matthew Wilcox

Set in Chicago, Last Hope For Hire is the story of a man who is so financially defeated by the American healthcare system that in his forties, and past his prime, he returns to a dangerous yet lucrative life as a mercenary.

His two year old son, Benjamin, is severely epileptic with daily seizures causing him to lose developmental functionality. Benjamin is unable to deal with the slightest of illnesses without hospital treatment and the bills are mounting up.

The main character, his father Allen, was once a highly sought after mercenary known as “Mystic’” due to his ability to leave no trace behind him when on a mission.

He was once college roommates with Eamon Tor, the worlds first trillionaire, who has kept an eye on Allen’s career and who has a job for Allen that would mean an end to all the bills and may even lead to a cure for Benjamin.

Such “offers you can’t refuse” tend to come with a price though, and this one will involve Allen destroying a newly developed cell-editing technology known as “Eden Therapy”, which has been shown to cure cancer and would seem to be the answer to Benjamin’s and therefore Allen’s problems.

Nobel prize winner Tor is asking a lot of Allen:

“Are you asking me to break into wherever this Eden Therapy stuff is and steal it for you? Then you’ll use it to help Benjamin?”

“No,” Eamon responded.

“I’m asking you to destroy it. Then I’ll help Benjamin.”

Allen’s team are keen to sign up for the mission, after spending a little time with Benjamin and seeing some of the problems the family has to surmount on a daily basis. They comprise Daryl, Allen’s ex-partner who originally trained him. Haley, Daryl’s daughter and Allen’s newest partner who is in her twenties. She is a rookie and this will only be her second mission. Haley’s friend Kyle is their remote support specialist, going by his online handle of “Meat Tank“. Their first job will be an intellectual property heist to get them the blueprints of the research facility in Greenland, where the Eden Therapy is being tested, owned by octogenarian Olivia Rusk, recently cured of cancer and now seen kick-boxing on a video feed.

Dr Sloan is the scientist working in the underground Greenland facility. He is not allowed to leave and has been tasked with stopping the side effects to Eden Therapy which seem to send patients into a psychotic rage resulting in multiple deaths.

Tor wants Allen to rescue Dr Sloan and destroy his work, then bring him to work for Tor instead.

There are plenty of exciting action sequences in this book as the team attempts their dangerous mission(s). In fact the story begins in the midst of Haley’s first mission as Allen’s partner and sets the scene nicely for the type of work they do. The story is peppered with hi-tech gadgets: Allen has a personal drone cycle, futuristic (but out of date to Allen) weapons, a data cloning device and somewhat outdated but functional high tech armour.

The slower-paced sections involving Allen and his relationship with his wife and son are full of heart and treated with care and just enough detail to be believable for the reader and for us to understand that the author is experienced in this subject. The social commentary on the dire state of healthcare billing in the US is telling, and probably only relatable to people living in this country, although it may act as an eye-opener to readers from other countries. Just how far would you be prepared to go to pay for necessary healthcare for your family?

The characters are all fully fleshed out and believable. Allen’s wife Kelsey is harried yet tireless in looking after Benjamin; Haley is excited to be on the team yet somewhat nervous about her inexperience. Daryl is concerned for his daughter’s safety, yet proud of her capabilities. Allen is a desperate man driven back to a life he had hoped he left behind for good.

All in all this was an intelligent and enjoyable book and I would recommend it to fans of thrillers with futuristic gadgets and dangerous missions.

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Allen’s son is in danger. A rare form of epilepsy is damaging his brain and Allen’s insurance is cutting him off. To cover the costs, Allen returns to being a high-tech mercenary. Not exactly ideal for a father who enjoys carbs far more than stomach crunches. After his first mission back, Allen soothes his wounds before getting a message from Eamon Tor, America’s first trillionaire. Tor tells Allen about Eden Therapy. It treats terrible diseases but can also drive patients insane. Still, it’s exciting news—especially with the offer of complete care for Allen’s son as a reward. But Tor has a surprise. It’s a choice that puts Allen’s conscience, marriage, and abilities to the test, and sends his ragtag team on a dangerous operation halfway around the world.

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