CODE NAME: PAPA: My Extraordinary Life While Hiding In Plain Sight by John Murray @CodeNamePapaBk

Code Name: Papa: My Extraordinary Life While Hiding in Plain SightCode Name: Papa: My Extraordinary Life While Hiding in Plain Sight by John Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Code Name: Papa – My Extraordinary Life While Hiding in Plain Sight is a literary memoir / political thriller / true crime that tells the story of John Murray. He was the head of US covert operations for a large international group. This group, while not connected to the US government, operated with the full blessing of top people in our government.”

Code name Papa is part one of a trilogy, written in first person it is the memoir of a trained assassin and leader of a group of men and women who travelled the world secretly taking down the “Bad Guys”.

The story begins in 1965 when 3 marines meet and become friends. The narrator, Jake and Bill are sent to Vietnam where they are lucky to escape with their lives. Helped home by Jake’s father, the three once more are gathered together and offered a chance to join a secret group of protectors. They undertake strict physical and mental training and are prohibited from telling their families anything about their new jobs.

In 1976 Jake’s father dies and the narrator takes over the code name “Papa” and leads the group on missions which take them across the world, crossing borders, working under the radar with others from opposing political and national countries, these missions are about the rouge agents, the people high up in lines of command who are no longer trustworthy and ridding the world of baddies.

A compelling read spanning the years between 1965 and the 21st Century. I liked the fact that this is a memoir so you know what you are reading is pretty true. There is room to streamline the sentences and dialogue, they are often clumsy and overlong, over-explaining minor details like walking, driving and opening doors, too much use of “she told me… I replied, that…she then told me…” a bit of slimming would make the book flow easier for the reader and make it a 5* read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

A free copy of the book was given to me by Book Publicity Services.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Thief’s Gambit by @scottmarlowe #bookreview

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review Thief’s Gambit by Scott Marlowe

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4.5 out of 5 stars

In this further adventure of the Assassin Without A Name, our hero is recruited by his ex love, Liz, for a special mission.

As with the other novelette length books in this series, I felt that its charm lay not so much in the plot itself as in the writing of the incidental parts.  I am not particularly interested in reading long, blow by blow accounts of fights or daring escapes, but I love the bits about the Assassin’s life, his thoughts, etc.  I like to picture him in his ‘working gear’, climbing over his rooftop empire like a cat, unseen by the Black Guard who seek him below, and reading little snippets about his life, like his secret hideout in the deplorable Shambles area of town, where one takes one’s life in one’s hands simply by entering its streets…

Scott Marlowe has invented a marvellous character, and writes beautifully, with wit and a wonderful turn of phrase.  I’d like to see a novella telling about the Assassin’s early life, something that makes more use of the writer’s powers of observation, character portrayal and presentation of atmosphere.  Again, this reminded me very much of some of Roald Dahl’s stories; the style of writing is very similar. Good stuff!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Before The Morning by Zee Monodee

Before The Morning (Corpus Brides Trilogy, #2)Before The Morning by Zee Monodee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before The Morning is a romantic suspense and is #2 in the Corpus Brides series set in Europe. It’s actually a prequel to #1 Walking The Edge giving plenty of background into the Corpus group of secret agents. The first book introduces us to a break away rogue group within the agency and this book gives up the deeper story as to how links to the rogue group are found.

Ash Gilfoy is a paramedic and called to a house in London to attend an assault victim. While he’s there is tries to stop dangerous criminal Nikolai Grigorievskiy from assaulting his wife. Dashing to her rescue he is shocked at how much Irina resembles childhood friend Rayne Cheltenham, yet this woman is Russian. Ash is enraged when the woman won’t ask for help and he is forced to leave the scene by the police who would love to put the criminals behind bars but never have enough evidence.

Shocked by the confrontation with Ash, Irina needs to finish the job and head home. A trained assassin she deals with the Russians where others fear to tread. In Prague at the headquarters of The Corpus group agent Kali wants out. Seventeen years on the job and meeting Ash face to face were too much, he’s all she can think about.

Getting a job in London in the office of the Aid Agency which fronts the Corpus agents, Rayne forces a reunion with Ash. It’s high passion after so many years but the web of lies that Rayne lives by has its affects on their relationship, especially when she’s targeted and threatened by people who have access to top secret details which can only mean there’s a rogue agent on her trail.

Rayne is desperate for a normal life of marriage and a family with Ash, her first and only love. The trouble is he swore he’s never get married and their relationship is based on a sexual relationship at the moment. What does he really know about this woman?

This is an intense read and kept me engaged through-out, it is a romance too so there is plenty for those who like a HEA, but the suspense keeps it edgy and I love the female assassin characters who are The Corpus Brides.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Karen reviews The Goddard Affaire by Scott Marlowe

Today we have a review from Karen, she blogs at https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read and review The Goddard Affair by Scott Marlowe

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My Opinion

This book introduces you to another killing order for the ‘Assassin Without a Name’. He has his principles and one weakness.

With The Goddard Affair, Scott Marlowe has created another thrilling tale about the Assassin Without a Name. The Goddard Affair comprises more than just a killing. You might have realised earlier that the assassin without a name has detective qualities. As I mentioned in my earlier review – The Assassin Without a Name is quite a character and has some surprises for the readers. I was drawn into the story – hoping to not become his next killing order and wondering about Gwendolyn. This is for you if you like fantasy, crime and – do not object to admitting that a killer can seem like quite a nice guy.

I read the story in one go – I couldn’t resist…

The World of Uhl is addictive!

Recommended!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Barb Reviews The Killing Knife by Scott Marlowe

Today’s review is from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb chose to read and review The killing Knife by Scott Marlowe

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My review of The Killing Knife by Scott Marlowe–4 out of 5 stars
 

Let’s hear it for the tropes. As reviewers, we can pretend to turn up our noses at them. But the fact is they can be a hell of a lot of fun. The hooker-with-the-heart-of-gold trope? Pretty Woman. The MarySue trope? Grease. (And almost every Disney film ever made.) The tormented-reluctant-alpha-hero trope? Die Hard. (And almost every western/thriller/romance film ever made.)

But really, my favorite character trope is the hitman-with-a-code. He’s the best killer out there, a super-ninja who always gets his target, only he has a moral compass that won’t let him hurt kids/dogs/Mamas. And there are just so many of them out there, it’s a wonder anyone gets assassinated at all. We’re talking about every killer-wannabe from the huntsman who couldn’t kill Snow White to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Dexter. In Grosse Pointe Blank, he’s the hitman who spurns the French government’s contract to blow up a Greenpeace vessel with the line, “No way—I have scruples.” In Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld, it’s any member of the Assassins’ Guild, whose motto is Nil Mortifi Sine Lucre” (“No killing without profit”) but whose members are not allowed to kill the defenseless. (Dr Cruces: No, we do it for the money. And, because we above all must know the value of a human life, we do it for a great deal of money.”)

Lucky for me, now there’s Scott Marlow’s Assassin Without a Name, the antihero of The Killing Knife. When we meet our nameless protagonist, he’s in the middle of an ordinary work day—just wondering why it’s taking so long for his intended victim to get on with the dying. Fine Wine, the first story in the anthology, is little more than an introduction to the Assassin’s world. The killer-for-hire is not, he assures himself, a monster. Sure, he’ll still kill his victim, and he’ll still refuse the offer of a bribe because he’s already been paid—but after he makes the gut-eviscerating cut his employer requested, he will add a subtle “mercy” cut to end the victim’s suffering. That’s Moral Code, baby. The amusing part comes when our noble assassin is offered a bribe he can’t refuse: a five-year supply of the intended victim’s incredible syrah wine, a victory over both the moral and business scruples of the killer.

In the next two stories, the Assassin Without a Name reveals further signs of a moral compass in direct opposition to his business priorities. While he does manage to kill both living and already-dead in Killing the Dead, the assassin finds himself seeking reassurance from one of the clerics that even one such as he could seek absolution.

As a holy servant of my god and church,” Father Kem said, “my word is always representative of…” He stopped, sparing me the remainder of his practiced doctrine. Then he sighed. “The church oftentimes takes a hard stance against men such as yourself. But my own thoughts… I think all men deserve a chance to make amends.”

It was enough for me.

Scott Marlowe just plain gets it. Nobody wants to read about an assassin who questions his work, or who has moments of weakness. So these are for the most part, tiny blips on the radar of an accomplished professional killer. “They almost had me; in a fair fight, I’d be dead. But I never fight fair…” In the end, despite (possibly) saving the world, and (probably) saving the girl in Night of Zealotry, he remains comfortable in the skin of the killer. “I make no excuses regarding my love for wine; it may very well be my only vice. Killing people? That’s not a vice. Not for me anyway. It’s just what I do.”

If you’re looking for a complex novel with deep thematic threads, Killing Knife isn’t the book for you. But if you’re up for a collection of fast-paced, tightly crafted little rollercoaster miniatures with plenty of snarky humor, then these stories are guaranteed to entertain. I’d give them four stars and a plea to Scott Marlowe to give this engaging killer a full-length novel to play in. He nails the hitman-with-a-code trope, and makes it his own.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Terry Reviews The Killing Knife by Scott Marlowe

Today we have a book review from team member Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review The Killing Knife by Scott Marlowe.

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THE KILLING KNIFE (Tales of the Assassin without a name) by Scott Marlowe

4 out of 5 stars

This is a novelette sized book, rather than full length.

The nameless assassin lives in a fantasy world that reminded me a little of those described in Game of Thrones, particularly the lands of Pentos, Bravos, etc, over the seas. This is not to say it is in any way a copy of such; I mention this just to give an indication of the type of location. For those unfamiliar with Game of Thrones, think a combination of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves mixed with ancient Rome, perhaps!

I liked the structure of this book. The Killing Knife is actually three stories in one, all linked, as are other installments in the series, also available. I thought the beginning was excellent, and liked the first, short story the best, though they are all well written, intelligent and amusing. The nameless assassin is an oddly endearing sociopath, I suppose; the way in which he considers himself apart from and superior to most other beings is artfully illustrated. The only time he shows a little emotional connection and vulnerability is when he is in the vicinity of Liz, his former lover and some time partner in crime.

Marlow is a talented writer who clearly understands how to hold the reader’s attention, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes tales of fearless, alpha male type adventurers told with a smooth wit.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com