Operation Wormwood: The Reckoning by Helen C. Escott

The long-awaited sequel to Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press), The Reckoning concludes the story of a disease that appears to only target pedophiles and is accredited to God by those of the Roman Catholic Church.

I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that Helen C. Escott is Newfoundland’s premier crime-thriller author. Her novels such as Operation Vanished (2019, Flanker Press) and now the two Operation Wormwood books will cement her career as such.…

Messenger 93 by Barbara Radecki

Barbara Radecki’s sophomore novel, Messenger 93, opens with a flutter of information. A mind-bending conversation with a crow kicks off the absorbing thriller, and cryptic messages, hidden clues, and uncertain instructions become the norm in M, the narrator’s, life. M feels compelled to investigate the disappearance of a girl named Krista, and her movements over the seven days that structure each chapter offer insight into her life and closest relationships.…

Access Point by Tom Gabbay

Not since I picked up a copy of The Exorcist by WP Blatty, have I read another book in one sitting but Access Point kept me glued to my seat until I reached the last page in this psychological thriller. This author is new to me and I can assure you, I’ll be looking for his other work.

The story opens with Ula Miskin, a neurological researcher, who makes an amazing breakthrough mating the human brain with technology.…

Operation Vanished by Helen C. Escott

Helen C. Escott’s Operation Vanished follows closely on the heels of her bestselling Atlantic Canadian thriller Operation Wormwood (2018, Flanker Press). While that book dealt with an investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Operation Vanished has the RCMP investigating some unsolved abductions and murders of women back in the 1950s. Heading up the investigative team is RCMP Corporal Gail McNaughton, whose own father is a retired career Mountie.…

Blindshot by Denis Coupal

On the cover of Blindshot is the silhouette of a crow, which is significant for, near the beginning of the story, a crow flies into the massive window of Valhalla, the country estate of Paul and Catherine Carignan, located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. This can be taken as a bad omen, and Catherine quickly finds the injured bird and places it near the woodpile for it to either fly away if better, or die in peace.…

Random Act (A Jack McMorrow Mystery) by Gerry Boyle

Random Act is #12 in the Jack McMorrow Mystery Series penned by Gerry Boyle and published by Maine’s Islandport Press. As soon as I received this Advance Reading Copy in the mail, I eagerly started to read it, for having read most of the series, I am an unabashed fan. Number twelve does not disappoint. I read it in a few hours, only interrupted by the need to sleep.…

Quill of the Dove by Ian Thomas Shaw

I am going to preface this review by mentioning that political thrillers are not one of my favourite fiction genres. Back in the days of the Cold War, it was easy to keep track of the adversaries. The Middle East? That’s another kettle of fish, as the saying goes. I’ve never truly understood it all, and after reading Ian Thomas Shaw’s Quill of the Dove (2019, MiroLand, an imprint of Guernica Editions), I’m afraid I’m no further ahead, although Mr.…

Operation Wormwood by Helen C. Escott

Over the years, Flanker Press of Newfoundland & Labrador has published a vast array of books, both Fiction and Non-Fiction, including the excellent historical fiction books of Gary Collins. Operation Wormwood (2018) is a fictional crime thriller that was interesting to read, to say the least. The main theme is that a “disease” of sorts is affecting a particular group of people, namely pedophiles.…

The Wintermen & The Wintermen II: Into the Deep Dark by Brit Griffin

Summertime is a good time to read about a country in permanent winter, right? Or would the story go better if one were warm and dry inside during a blizzard? It likely wouldn’t matter for The Wintermen books penned by Brit Griffin are so good, you’ll forget about the weather for a while.

The concept is that a permanent winter has descended far enough south that people need to be relocated because the government cannot afford to maintain any type of services such as electricity and such for those that want to stay.…

Remote Access by Barry Finlay

A political thriller penned in “cozy” mode (no profanity, no sex scenes) by retired Government of Canada employee (and award-winning author) Barry Finlay is actually #3 in the Marcie Kane series of thrillers. While I have not read the previous two installments, I found that not knowing her backstory in no way hampered my enjoyment of this book. The action begins almost immediately and the implications are profound: Annie Logan, the wife of the President’s Cheif of Staff has been hacked by a professional hired by a Chinese businessman and a government official (unbeknownst to each other) to help defeat a Presidental order to put in force steep tariffs on imported Chinese goods.…

Between Rothko and 3 Windows by Corrado Paina

Paina has published five collections of poetry with Mansfield Press (Toronto) including Hoarse Legend (2000) and cinematic taxi (2015). In Italy, there have been numerous publications including a collection of short stories, several collections of poetry, and the original version of this novella, “tra Rothko e tre finestre”. One of the greatest joys in reviewing books is the unexpected pleasure of discovering an excellent story when you least expect it.…

Parent Teacher Association by Jennifer Soosar

arent Teacher Association is, as the cover states, a “Novel of Suspense” which it very much is. The female protagonist is Lizanne Demeter, a young teacher looking for a second chance in life. She finds herself reborn, recently released from a mental institution to which she was committed after a foolish suicide attempt due to a failed romance. On a new wonder-drug for depression called Zedorn, she feels that her traumatic past is behind her and she wants to move on and start teaching children again.…

Once Burned (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #10) by Gerry Boyle

The spirit of Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled Continental Op detective is alive and well in Gerry Boyle’s Jack McMorrow. Given, he is a somewhat kinder, gentler version, but don’t let the façade fool you: Jack means business. Once Burned (2015, Islandport Press) is #10 in the Jack McMorrow series based on the activities of the investigative reporter created by Maine author Gerry Boyle.…

Lunenburg by Keith Baker

Lunenburg (2015, Vagrant Press) is a Canadian reprint of a UK novel previously released in 2000. It is a detective/mystery novel which originally begins in 1970 outside Lunenburg, but ends in Halifax in the year 2000. Keith Baker is a UK novelist and has written three other thrillers published by Headline in the UK. I recently reviewed another thriller What Kills Good Men by David Hood.…