Dreidel to the Grave

By Yoel Bereket

I got a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Nine years after WWII the Israeli Gal, a self-declared Nazi-hunter, has one huge aim in his life and that is finding and killing Hitler.

Disregarding the backstory, it’s a fast-paced action thriller. It tells the story in the third person – mostly from Gal’s perspective. Emotions or feelings are not described. They somehow emerge from the plot and you can guess what they are, but you never read about them. If it weren’t for the horrible times in the background, on which this thriller is based, the story probably wouldn’t have really gotten to me either. I would have just enjoyed another action thriller from a guy who experienced something tragic in childhood and that would have been it.

But living in Austria and having grandparents and great uncles and aunts who still have experienced that time made it really difficult for me reading through the lines and enjoying the plot. Those times were simply horrible and killing all those people who did those horrible things isn’t the solution. So the question which was on my mind all the way through the book was: “What makes Gal any better than the Nazis?” And what is accomplished by continuing the killing? People shall receive their justified punishment for their deeds. But what makes the actual good people any better if they do it the same way the bad people did it? What makes Gal the better (as in less sinful) serial killer?

I find the story of Gal’s childhood, which is no doubt horrific, a bit cliché. Yes, there were some Jewish people who wanted to defend their businesses and were murdered for it, but many were murdered or taken to concentration camps simply for their beliefs.

Perhaps, or even probably, I am the wrong person to review this book, as I cannot view it disregarding its historical context. If the thriller took place in modern times, I would certainly give it 4 stars, but as it is, the highest I can give it is 3 stars. It’s just too close a reference to one of the most horrific times in history for me.

In the Winter Woods

by Isabelle Adler

This book was provided to me for free by IndoGo Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

Driving home for Christmas is a story we are all used to but driving to your holiday residence you inherited from you late parents on your own all alone is something you don’t read about very often when you choose a Christmas novel. But that’s exactly what Declan Kensington does. He struggles with writer’s block; his latest books don’t sell very well and he is not in a festive Christmas mood at all. So, Declan decides spending Christmas all alone in his inherited cabin in the small village Maplewood, Vermont. But obviously not all of the villagers are happy having Declan around and so he soon gets some letters which clearly tell him to get lost.And when, on top of all this, a murder is committed, things really start becoming uncomfortable, especially when he falls into the narrower circle of suspects. But leaving is not an option because first of all he didn’t come here to pack his bags right away and leave again, second, he has a task, and this is finally writing a new book and third, well, the Commissioner investigating the murder case is really damn cute. So instead of driving home, he soon helps the police finding out more about the murder, which of course leads to getting to know Commissioner Curtis Monroe better. But will there be a happy ending? Will they find the real murderer? And will Declan get his cute Commissioner Curtis Monroe or will both men spend Christmas on their own?

One thing is for certain: things mostly aren’t the way the first seem to be.

It’s a real cute Christmas story placed in a cold wintery Canada. It definitely warms your heart while making you shiver when reading about the cold weather and snowstorms the protagonists have to deal with. 

Clear Motives: A Nick Fabian LGBT Thriller

Reis Asher

Nick Fabian used to work as CSI agent until one day he and his team were called to a murder of a transgender sex-worker and it was made clear to him that this case was not a first priority one because sex-workers and transgender people weren’t first priority. This was the moment Nick’s – who is transgender himself – idealistic vision of the police vanished and he quit his job to become a freelance private investigator taking on cold cases nobody ever cared to solve.

One day he gets a call form Emely Bright stating that her friend Sabrina was murdered. Although her death was classified as a suicide Emely is sure that it was a hate-crime because Sabrina didn’t just hang herself. The body was also burned – and how can you burn and hang yourself at the same time and why would you do that? 

So Nick decides taking the case and finding out the true story behind Sabrina’s death. But he quickly realizes that there isn’t just one suspect – no, everyone he interviews seems to hide something and doesn’t want him to look into Sabrina’s death properly. And soon the hunter becomes the hunted. But not even a concussion and damaged ribs stop Nick from solving the case. And so he starts resolving the secret of Sabrina’s village. He has to take one step after the other while making new friends. But can he trust his newly found friends and will he make it to the end to solve the riddle about Sabrina’s death?

OMG I loved this story. It was short and straight forward. But although the story developed really quickly you could feel into Nick and solve the case with him. You got his anxieties and feared with him and you were happy with him when he found someone who he could bond with. 

I wouldn’t change a bit on that book – it’s interesting, exciting and emotional from the beginning to the end.

The Green Alliance

Andrew J. Rafkin

This book was provided to me for free by Free and Fast Reviews in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is part of a series called ‘ORCA Adventures’- But I could follow the story well although I haven’t read any of the other parts so far. 

The plot can be quickly summarized: The president of the United States, his wife and some other members of the White House get shot at the wedding of two members of the ORCA team. The ORCA is an independent organization/company who choose to fight on the White House’s side.

Then the fights start. The ORCA team wants to kill everyone involved in the attack at the wedding while at the same time fighting against the leader of the ecoterrorist organization Green Alliance who wants to prevent global warming at no matter what costs and through producing a mini-ice-age. Thirdly, the fight China which wants the province of Taiwan back and total control of the South China Sea. Since the US objects China declares war against the US.

For me it was like reading a far too long newspaper article with America… or with ORCA as kind of a Superhero. I mean – seriously – the members of the ORCA team win all their fights because of their perfect bulletproofed war suits and their perfect computer system MOBI which can hack into every other system worldwide. So there is a bunch of hackers sitting in China trying to mess with the America and lunches a cyber-attack on their electric grit and wants to destroy theirs satellites but they are defeated by MOBI in no time. They could do some damage that threw some states into chaos due to lack of electricity. But nevertheless it was just a small amount of what they really wanted to do. So no matter what China tries, MOBI already knows about it because it ‘has his eyes everywhere’ and can hack into every system. Please don’t get me wrong but reading through this really made me feel like reading through a bad Superhero story. How realistic is it that one organization has so much power and control and no other country can keep up with it?

But however China starts WWIII which btw. takes place only between China and the US, Japan and Inidia – Russia stays out of it, other countries or even continents like Europe aren’t mentioned. 

But however the fate of the United State can turn in each direction.

I can’t say much about the characters in the book because you never read anything about their feelings. I mean, they state that they are horny… okay, they use some other words and there are even some short sex-scenes which also read like an article from the New York Times.

I don’t wanna say that this book is bad or not worth reading – I’m sure there are a lot of people who just don’t wanna read all this feeling stuff and how the protagonists are coping with situations or what they think about it. But for me that’s one of the most important things when reading a book no matter if it’s a romance, a thriller or an adventure.

Talbott & Burns Mystery Series Two short Stories


This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s the first short story of a series.

Before I start discussing this book I’ve to admit that I’m actually not a huge fan of short stories. Because most of those stories I’ve read so far leave me somehow unsatisfied because they just show such small parts of the lives of the protagonist. But this one is different.

The story is about Elliot Talbott and Jack Burns. It’s the day when Jack returns from the army and awaits being picked up from the airport by his best friend Elliot. But he isn’t there. He isn’t home either. But a welcoming badge he has made for Jack is and a message which tells Jack that Elliot is in trouble… again. So he goes rescuing his friend. And when they come back home they are not just friends any more.

This story is really well written and although it’s a short story you get to know so much about the two men and their past together and of course of the previous incident too. Elliot is the kind of human who can make jokes in each situation. Of course he can be serious too but most of the time he jokes and even tries to hide his fears behind jokes. But that didn’t make him unwanted. The opposite, I really liked him.

I really, really loved it and will definitely read the next story when it comes out.




The paying client.

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It should be the first case of Elliot Talbott and Jack Burns, now engaged to finally earn money with their business.

And I think they really do a great job although their client isn’t of the same opinion *lol*. I don’t want to tell more for not spoiling the story. But it’s really funny and great to read. It’s a-don’t-take-life-and-everything-in-it-so-seriously kind of story. So if you’re expecting a real mysterious detective or ghost story I’ve to disappoint you. But if you want a short fun read about two really lovely men I can only recommend the story.

A Matter of Duty

This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This review contains spoilers!

Again a tough one to rate because I’m kind of two minds.

One the one hand I really liked the plot and the story and wanted to read more of it when the story finally got some kind of speed and drove me into it. But on the other hand there were those first chapters when it was really hard for me not to put the book away and the abrupt ending which really left me kind of unsatisfied. I’d had wished it to be more emotional.

Actually the book started really great and thrilling. But then there was this switch and everything went on so slowly… Which is not a bad thing per se. But the way the story is told and how the characters describe their feelings didn’t get me at all. The thing is, both men are actually torn between the fight they have to struggle and fall in love at exactly this unfitting time. And I mean they do state that but it didn’t get or convince me at all. This story isn’t just a romance where two men get to know each other and fall in love, it’s also about a series of rapes, a war between two Chinese gangs and two Americans getting in the middle of this. This sounds like a lot of action and emotional struggles. And I actually hoped getting that when I started reading the book. Don’t get me wrong I’m not the kind of person who is so into the action thing but when I read the plot of a book I have certain ideas where it’ll lead me and well, this one led me to crime scenes but to me they appeared as some kind of side stuff although they were the main topic of the story… I know that sounds confusing but let me explain…

The story starts with this injured girl being in real huge trouble calling her brother for help. But the thing is the girl is in Hong Kong and the brother home in the US. So when he finally arrives in Hong Kong three weeks have passed. And that’s the first point that kind of irritated me. Okay Noah, the brother, states that he didn’t listen to the voicemail message his sister left until one week later because he was angry with her. But when he finally did he immediately felt that she was in real trouble so what the sh… takes him another two weeks following her without even having a plan?

Okay I tried not to question this. So when Noah finally arrives in Hong Kong he decides asking the police for help. That’s where he gets to know Wei and feels immediately attracted to him. And then the whole love story starts… Well kind of… Because now this emotional part starts with the two men falling in love and explaining to each other why they can’t give in to their feelings which didn’t convince me at all. I don’t know why but the emotions didn’t jump onto me.

When I was at about 70% of the story I was still on the second day of the plot and Wei tells himself for the third time that he wouldn’t kiss Noah in his fragile state and Noah does quite the same except that he talks about his bad conscience thinking about sex and feeling attracted to a guy when his sister is still missing and in danger. And I mean I totally get those feelings but I didn’t feel them when they were told in that book.

I can’t even tell the exact things that disturbed me. Maybe it were those many long descriptions of the different places the characters were which really took a lot of speed from the action. Or maybe it were all the statements of the gang-members about Wei wanting Noah and having sex with him and Noah still didn’t believe it without really explaining his doubts. Maybe it was the fact that I had already read 70% of the book, was still on the second day and nothing really flashing had happened so far, except some talking and a burglary. Or maybe it was all of this that didn’t tear me into the story. But that changed when I reached that 70%. Suddenly the story gained momentum.

It comes to a fight and eventually the two guys confess their love to each other. I liked those 30% pretty much although the author once mixed the names of the two main characters which got me a little confused but wasn’t really disturbing.

One thing I really didn’t quite get through the whole story was how Noah could understand so much of the different conversations which weren’t exactly addressed to him. Maybe I should first explain that the story is told from different point of views but always in the third person. So the narrator is not an omniscient one, he is just telling the thoughts of one person per chapter. Although you or better I sometimes got the feeling that he has a hard time doing so because he sometimes describes thoughts of a person that can’t be known by the character who is in the spotlight at that moment. It’s really hard to retrace why Noah understands most of the things people talk when he is around. I mean I totally get that his friends would talk in English to him or even to each other whenever he is around but seriously two Asian gang-bosses wouldn’t fight in English just that he could follow their discussions, would they?

To summarise my opinion, all in all the idea for this story is a quite good one. But for my taste it’s developing far too slowly. And I don’t know why but I didn’t get the feelings and suffering from the two main characters which really made me kind of annoyed at the beginning. Then there was a short part when I really got attached to the two men and I thought they finally have touched me and I totally get them but then at the end there is Noah’s statement that he was somehow relieved that his sister has already been dead when he arrived at Hong Kong. He’d have tortured himself forever if she had been still alive when he came to Hong Kong and he couldn’t have saved her then. But seriously??? Why not still having this bad conscience about taking three weeks to finally come to Hong Kong???

And then there is this ending. The two men totally lost me there again because it came far too quick and there was a real lack of emotions for my taste.

But besides all these points the plot was quite interesting and I think I’ll read the next book of this series not least because I liked the two-side character Winston and Steel and the unspoken thing that goes on between them.