A couple hundred feet down the road from the house where we stay on a Maine island is a rectangular granite block about 75 feet long, half covered in weeds, and on which are stacked a few lobster traps and boat parts. As it turns out, this is a rather ignominious end for a piece of stone intended to be used as a monument for General John E. Wool. For many years we used to walk past this granite monolith and wonder. When our kids were young, th...

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Simon Miller recently published his new historical thriller, EBOLOWA. He shared a few thoughts on what inspired him to write the book. “I discovered that ex-KGB Alexander Litvinenko wasn’t the first man to be killed by a secret agent using radio active material,” he said. “It happened years before in Geneva to someone who features in the background plot of EBOLOWA, a thriller based on a true story of courage, complicity...

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Here are some of the best novels about World War II. A few are classics that you may have overlooked. A few WWII favorites for your bookshelf, just in case you missed them! EYE OF THE NEEDLE by Ken Follett *Spoiler alert. This novel features a German agent who just so happens to be a diabolical and ruthless killer, pursued by an interesting British sleuth, and ultimately brought to ground by the wife of a sheep farmer. Although this novel is s...

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Put several historical fiction writers together in the same room and ask them the question: “Does history matter?” The answers, in story form of course, touched on politics and humanity, and spanned the centuries. And as it turns out, many writers would say that the past is a glimpse into the future. That discussion took place at the last Thrillerfest, a gathering of authors and fans of the thriller genre in New York. Hosted by best-selling au...

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Robert Bidinotto is an accomplished thriller writer, but it’s his own story of success with independent publishing that many writers find thrilling. Having lost his job as a magazine editor, and entering his sixties, things were looking bleak financially. That’s when, with the encouragement of his wife, he finally wrote a novel. The result was Hunter, a self-published Amazon super bestseller. The author has been a tireless supporter of other w...

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Life on a nineteenth whaling ship was surely challenging enough. The hours were grueling, the food was poor, and the rendering of whale oil was a dangerous and dirty business. Now add a killer to the mix, and you have the plot for Ian McGuire’s captivating historical thriller. Part of what makes this novel so intriguing is the setting in the Arctic Circle, which made for very rich whale hunting. Of course, the Arctic was fraught with dangers, ...

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One might wonder what World War I, Irish independence, India, and German communists have in common. Plenty, as it turns out, if you happen to be a journalist—or an agent of His Majesty’s government. In One Man’s Flag, David Downing has painted an extraordinary tapestry of the early days of World War I. The year is 1916, well before the entry of the United States into the war. That doesn’t mean Americans aren’t interested in the events in Europ...

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They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that may not be the case for The Hunting Trip: A Novel of Love and War by William E. Butterworth III. Sure, the bare-legged cover is a little racy, but like the story itself, it stops short of being raunchy. Better known as W.E.B. Griffin, this bestselling author has written dozens of military and political thrillers in the Brotherhood of War, Honor Bound, and Presidential Agent series, among o...

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  The film Free State of Jones is based on a true story of a rebellion within a rebellion, telling the tale of a former Confederate soldier who leads a small faction against the Confederate government to declare independence in his corner of Mississippi. In the trailer, it appears that Jones leads a force made up in large part by former enslaved Americans and disenchanted Confederate veterans. While the film itself seems to be based on a ...

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There’s something about The Revenant that sticks with you. This novel by Michael Punke is one in which images stay with you—such as Hugh Glass fighting a pack of wolves for a scrap of meat. What’s interesting about this rather thin (in length) novel is that it harkens back to stories that were more popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. There used to be a notion that the frontier was something to be conquered and exploited, and this novel echoe...

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The Jekyll Revelation by Robert Masello
1800s / January 21, 2018

A spellbinding thriller from the bestselling author of The Einstein Prophecy. A chilling curse is transported from 1880s London to present-day California, awakening a long-dormant fiend. One of the best things about this novel is that none other than Robert Louis Stevenson is a character. The details of 19th century Europe and London are particularly rich. Title: The Jekyll Revelation Author: Robert Masello Publisher: 47North Release...

The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel
20th Century / January 21, 2018

Title: The Whiskey Sea Author: Ann Howard Creel Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Release Date: August 23, 2016 Pages: 287 Motherless and destitute, Frieda Hope grows up during Prohibition determined to make a better life for herself and her sister, Bea. The girls are taken in by a kindly fisherman named Silver, and Frieda begins to feel at home whenever she is on the water. When Silver sells his fishing boat to WWI veteran Sam Hicks,...

Wrecked stone once intended as monument to general
Civil War , Feature story / January 20, 2018

A couple hundred feet down the road from the house where we stay on a Maine island is a rectangular granite block about 75 feet long, half covered in weeds, and on which are stacked a few lobster traps and boat parts. As it turns out, this is a rather ignominious end for a piece of stone intended to be used as a monument for General John E. Wool. For many years we used to walk past this granite monolith and wonder. When our kids were...

The Fort, a Revolutionary War novel by Bernard Cornwell
Revolutionary War / January 20, 2018

After the British establish a fort on the Penobscot River, the Massachusetts patriots–among them General Peleg Wadsworth and Colonel Paul Revere–mount an expedition to oust the redcoats. Title: The Fort Author: Bernard Cornwell Genre: Fiction Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: September 28, 2010 Pages: 480 After the British establish a fort on the Penobscot River, the Massachusetts patriots--among them General Peleg ...

A classic story of the brave few
Ancient World / January 18, 2018

Fans of Steven Pressfield know how well he brings the ancient world and the warrior ethic to life. GATES OF FIRE may be his best novel, and a entry point into his work. This novel chronicles the battle of three hundred Spartan warriors against a huge force of Persian soldiers in 480 B.C. against the background of life in ancient Sparta and its extraordinary culture. Title: Gates Of Fire Author: Steven Pressfield Genre: Fiction Publis...

This new thriller plot is radioactive
Cold War , Feature story / January 18, 2018

Simon Miller recently published his new historical thriller, EBOLOWA. He shared a few thoughts on what inspired him to write the book. “I discovered that ex-KGB Alexander Litvinenko wasn’t the first man to be killed by a secret agent using radio active material,” he said. “It happened years before in Geneva to someone who features in the background plot of EBOLOWA, a thriller based on a true story of courage, ...

Best novels about WW2
Feature story , World War II / October 9, 2017

Here are some of the best novels about World War II. A few are classics that you may have overlooked. A few WWII favorites for your bookshelf, just in case you missed them! EYE OF THE NEEDLE by Ken Follett *Spoiler alert. This novel features a German agent who just so happens to be a diabolical and ruthless killer, pursued by an interesting British sleuth, and ultimately brought to ground by the wife of a sheep farmer. Although this ...

Opening moves in the Cold War
Cold War / February 23, 2017

The opening pages of Curtain of Death: A Clandestine Operations Novel by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV have a great hook: two WACs leave a club in Germany and are promptly abducted by some sketchy thugs. Are they Germans? Russians? From this opening scene, a secret investigation begins into who these men were, and what their motivation was for trying to abduct the women—who are actually U.S. agents. In addition to a lo...

Tragic flight of the Hindenburg
World War II / May 24, 2016

Flight of Dreams tells the story of the tragic 1937 voyage of the Hindenburg, the German zeppelin that crashed in Lakehurt, N.J. There was so much symbolism wrapped up in the Hindenburg, which was also a symbol of the growing power of Nazi Germany. Needless to say, on the pages of Flight of Dreams, there is more than a little intrigue regarding Germany’s militaristic tendencies. What’s also interesting is the concept of luxury travel...