The Fourth Courier Review

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A Fast Paced Espionage Thriller for Alan Furst Fans Sent In Post-Cold War Poland.

It is 1992 in Warsaw, Poland, and the communist era has just ended. A series of grisly murders suddenly becomes an international case when it’s feared that the victims may have been couriers smuggling nuclear material out of the defunct Soviet Union. The FBI sends an agent to help with the investigation. When he learns that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb has disappeared, the race is on to find him—and the bomb—before it ends up in the wrong hands.

Smith’s depiction of post-cold war Poland is gloomily atmospheric and murky in a world where nothing is quite as it seems. Suspenseful, thrilling, and smart, The Fourth Courier brings together a straight white FBI agent and gay black CIA officer as they team up to uncover a gruesome plot involving murder, radioactive contraband, narcissistic government leaders, and unconscionable greed.

Thank you Wunderkind PR, Arcade Publishing, and Timothy Jay Smith for the opportunity to read and review a final copy!

This book was published on April 4, 2019.
[So, just this month, if you’re looking for a new release to read in crime thrillers, this could be for you!]

[**I am giving my honest review in exchange, nothing less, nothing more!**]

So now you’ve read the blurb, and well if you like thriller novels and unique settings, this one may be the read for you!

Timothy Jay Smith gives us something unique by setting his story in post-cold war Poland, and it’s great to travel to Warsaw in the 90s through his prose. Not to mention it’s fun to watch how differently our FBI Agent Jay works compared to Kurt, our CIA man.

The plot is interesting and the pacing is really well done. It’s not often we get to see espionage in such an appropriate time in history as far as book settings go! I really enjoyed Smith’s narrative voice and honestly loved the ending.

I think my two issues were the only things holding me back from marking this as 4 Cups of Coffee. Firstly, I really didn’t like the women they way they were written, not so much Basia, she was not meant to be a ‘good’ character (as in morals), and that’s fine, always love someone you can loathe a little in a book but at the same time you get where she’s coming from. She’s a survivor, she doesn’t give a crap about your feelings. And secondly, I just wanted more espionage and less Jay going on dates 😉 I was happy for the man, but I’m always one to rally for more espionage over romance so while this might be a problem for me, it could also be the reason someone else reads it and I hope you all reading the review will give this a chance if this sounds enjoyable to you!

Another thing I found that I enjoyed and it was such a small detail that it surprised me, was the fact that Jay was separated from his children and he missed them, actively thought of them and people just forget that dads are capable of that too and I thought that was just a splendid small detail for Smith to add about Jay.

Once more I am so grateful for the opportunity to have read this, now please let’s all cross fingers that Timothy Jay Smith continues writing and gives us all the espionage too.

So end game rating: Three Solid Cups of Coffee.

[I know it’s not always clear what my ratings mean but 3/5 Cups means that I enjoyed reading the book and would certainly recommend it to others who liked the genre. And in fact tomorrow I’ll be diving more into critiquing and reading for my post!]

Mini Reviews

 

I was going deviate from a review to do this lovely post on how I became a reader and love books so much, but, I just want sinus meds and a nap and to eat soup. So! A couple of mini reviews!!


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GoodReads Blurb:

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her. 

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth. 

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Chloe Holden has always known she was adopted, her parents love her and she has a good life. Suddenly her parents are divorced and Chloe and her Mom are left to deal with cancer and a move to Joyful, TX right before Chloe starts her senior year.

While Chloe’s life is turning upside down, she meets Cash a foster kid of the Fullers who lost their daughter, Emily Fuller, 15 years ago, kidnapped under the watch of her Nanny.

What’s the connection between Emily and Chloe?

The plot keeps you engaged and entertained, you really feel bad for both Chloe and Cash for their own respective hard points in their lives. There’s more of Chloe’s parents in this book than most YA novels so that was actually a nice change.

The characters are not very deep but the fast pace of the plot makes up for it and you do get enough into Chloe and Holden’s heads that it doesn’t feel like they’re shallow, just that you could have left wanting more.

There’s some awkward writing at some rare moments (I’m not clear why boobs are such an awkwardly written thing in this but they are), but overall Hunter was fun to read and there are definitely some stereotypes but that didn’t take away from it being fun to read.

It was paced fast enough that I really didn’t want to put it down after starting it and I thought the ending was great. I felt not as much sympathy for Chloe’s Mom or for Mrs. Fuller but you could at least see where they were coming from and the interaction between Chloe and Cash was quite cute in the end.

An enjoyable and easy read, I would recommend it to those who like this sort of YA ‘mystery’ genre or looking for a quick read. I would pick up another book by C.C. Hunter.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

 


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GoodReads Blurb: When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.

As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.

Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.

[This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS.]

[Note: This is the SECOND book in a series, which may cause some confusion for the first couple of chapters.]

I would say this was a solid good read. Enjoyable, great pacing, and not too long. It had hints of paranormal, it was a good mystery and though you may find you could pinpoint ‘whodunit’ early on, it doesn’t take away from the entertainment value. It’s the sort of book where I KNOW I’ll want to read the next one each time and I appreciated the writing style as well. It wasn’t too flowery or heavy and it’s a blissful escape from a stressful day, the sort of read where it won’t drain you but it will keep you intrigued.

Another point I loved about this book was that you could really enjoy the WWII era of it and, this is a small thing but I LOVE that Thomas remembered about food rationing and made a point of including it during the food parts of the book, you want bacon in California in WWII? Too bad! So, HUGE kudos to historical accuracy on that front!

Zeke was pretty interesting but I think my favorite part was that he didn’t take over the storyline, in the end it was still about our Protagonist Sarah, she solves things without him and uses him as a sounding board, and guess what? It works and you still can appreciate the romance part of it without being like ‘please stop ruining the character(s)’.

I would recommend this to any mystery/paranormal reader and would definitely recommend reading the first book, well, first. It’s light, it’s fun, and yea probably predictable but sometimes that’s the kind of read I need.

I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

** Just a note guys, to me 3 cups of coffee ain’t nothing to be ashamed of, it means I find a book enjoyable and maybe wasn’t my favorite read but it was still good ***