Hidden Demon by Fish Phillips is a fast-paced crime thriller following Dee Johnson, a US Secret Service Agent who is shot in the line of duty, while trying to save the president of the United States. While healing from the wound, Dee learns she’s fired. The account of Dee going from government agent to civilian life becomes more complicated when she learns a comrade and superior sabotaged her career, and then cold-heartedly fired her. Now Dee needs to restructure her life for the civilian world and heal not only from a gunshot wound but from the betrayal of a trusted friend.
Author Fish Phillips cleverly hides the demon among friends. He creates a military bond of secret service agents who trust each other explicitly. The action is gritty and hard-hitting, and the reader never suspects a mole among the group of trusted comrades because the characters all feel authentic.
This is a detailed and fast moving political thriller woven with realistic action and dialogue. The novel begins in Japan, 2044, as an unsuccessful Secret Service mission is underway, where many soldiers die, and Dee is wrongly held accountable. Dee returns to Washington DC where she accepts another mission, but this time it’s a covert op. This request comes from a phone call straight from the President. I loved the setup to the missions and deep political intrigue embedded in the story because I always felt the importance of their missions, which ensures readers are completely invested in the characters and the storyline.
The narrative is concise and consistently moving forward. This is quite a lean novel, with a solid understanding of the path its forging for readers. However, though the novel is packed with exciting scenes, it took me a few chapters to get a grasp on what was going on because of the fast pace, but I’m sure other readers will enjoy how quickly things move.
Hidden Demon has readers questioning everything in this exciting action-adventure novel. Fans of complex but well conceived plots that come together in entertaining ways will have plenty to enjoy in this slick thriller.
Pages: 346 | ISBN: 9781733865630
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Fish Phillips, goodreads, Hidden Demon, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
24 Hours to Doomsday follows a veteran SAS Sergeant who’s out for revenge when a terrorist group kills his wife. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I was looking for a very powerful emotional core to my story so I opted for revenge as that is a strong motivation. Many films and books have used this e.g. the ‘Death Wish’ series of films and their many imitations. More recently, the ‘Taken’ films used this theme and they were very successful at the box office. My first two novels had a sci-fi element but this time I had a rule that everything in the book had to be scientifically plausible and set in the real world so it features a drone attack on London and a terrorist carrying an explosive charge inside his body, things which the Intelligence Services have always feared.
Rick is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Almost everyone has suffered at the hands of criminals at some point in their lives and we have all thought of revenge. But most people don’t act out these fantasies because they are civilised people and also don’t have the necessary skills or weapons. In the case of Rick he is a highly experienced former soldier in the SAS with all the necessary skills, including unarmed combat and weapons training, to wreak havoc on his opponents and get away with it.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
One theme was that terrorists are not reasonable people and can only be defeated by military action. At the same time, I have gone into a lot of detail about why the terrorists act the way they do and I have attempted to explain their behaviour without condoning it. At the same time, I have charted Rick’s personal journey. He experiences a terrible trauma – the death of his wife- just two years after his first wife died – but overcomes a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, saves the world and finds lasting happiness with a new love.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book will be a direct sequel to ’24 Hours to Doomsday’ and continues Rick’s story. I will start this book later this year so it should be available sometime in 2022.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: 24 HOURS TO DOOMSDAY, action, adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Colin M Barron, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
Silver Award Winners
La Florida by James D. Snyder
My Hidden Fear by Luan Nguyen
Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.
Posted in Literary Titan Book Award
Tags: action, adventure, author, author award, author recognition, book, book award, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens book, crime fiction, dystopia, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, horror, indie author, inspirational, kids book, kindle, kobo, literary award, Literary Titan Book Awards, literature, love story, mystery, new adult, nonfiction, nook, novel, picture book, political thriller, post apocalyptic, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, self help, story, suspense, teen fiction, thriller, womens fiction, writer, writing, young adult
After writing masterpiece war thrillers like Dark Rain and Tremble, Colonel Dana Duthie brings us yet another riveting adventure in the life of pilot Brad Mitchell. This time, much of the action takes place in the Iranian airspace at the time when the Shah is in exile and seeking asylum in America for a medical condition. A U.S. Air Force squadron of F-4 Phantoms is deployed to Shiraz Air Base in Iran to train the Iranian Air Force (IAF) to fly the jets that they have purchased from the U.S.
However, things get hot after an American spy is captured by the Ayatollahs, who have grown in power. He is mysteriously extracted from the prison, and all hell starts to break loose. It is time for the U.S.A.F. to leave Iran. But things get complicated and difficult decisions need to be made, much to the enjoyment of the reader.
One of the jets is left behind and needs engine replacement. In the meantime, 14 Americans are held hostage by the opposition forces. This has eerie parallels to real life where we see the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and taking over old military equipment as the U.S. leaves the country. Our hero Brad Mitchell accompanies the Tango Team in the rescue mission. But once again, the operation is compromised as the Secretary of State Bob Taggart is seduced by a young Washington Post reporter. This complex web of relationships, that stretch across the globe, is something that author Dana Duthie excels at. This story does a great job of balancing human drama with tactical military action.
The story has tons of fighter pilot jargon, which firmly places readers within the unique world, but sometimes blunts momentum where we have to take in explanations of what it all means. But I’m sure readers who love to immerse themselves in the details of military procedures will have plenty of depth to dig through in this story.
Phantoms of the Shah gives longtime fans of author Dana Duthie more of the same military fiction they’ve come to enjoy. I would have liked a bit more action throughout the story, but otherwise I think this is a thrilling military adventure story that feels real, pays attention to details, and keeps the tension and intrigue high.
Pages: 239 | ASIN: B08QDSDK5K
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, military, military fiction, nook, novel, Phantoms of the Shah, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
Tremble is yet another well-written, action-packed novel by Dana Duthie. Things get hot in North Korea this time after Kim Jong Un kidnaps seven UN weapons inspectors at a suspected nuclear site, Yongbyon. Melanie Lee Han, a CIA Agent, accompanies the SEAL Team in the hostage rescue mission into the most hostile territory in the world. The mission fails, and all hell breaks loose. The American Air Force comes to their rescue, but Brad Mitchell is shot down, and he ends up joining Melanie on the ground. They make it to the extraction point, but they still have one last face-off before they could make it back home.
Tremble is the prequel to the author’s previous action thriller, Dark Rain. We get to know the protagonists better here, especially Melanie. It must be a coincidence that her father was shot down the same way as Brad in North Korea. The author takes the reader back and forth in the time, providing interesting flashbacks that provide more context to the story. There are few other characters in Tremble which we can find in Dark Rain as well and it creates a nostalgic effect on the readers, at least it did for me.
The events that unfold in the White House Situation Room are stimulating and build a level of intrigue that I enjoyed. The US President Robert Madigan does justice to his role as Commander in Chief with decisive actions to protect the American citizens in the Korean Peninsula. At the same time, the bureaucratic role of the State Secretary is portrayed as that of a salesperson hopelessly trying to sell her ideas to the President.
Dana Duthie’s Tremble deserves a big 5-star rating as he has taken great care in keeping the military and pilot jargon to a minimum, making sure this action adventure novel can easily be read by anyone. This time around we spend less time in the cockpit of the fighter jets and more time with Melanie and Brad on the ground, which provides a more human connection in an otherwise action packed story.
Tremble is relentlessly entertaining and filled with high stakes action that makes this novel a must read for the summer.
Pages: 282 | ASIN: B08QDWJVW5
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dana Duthie, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, Tremble, writer, writing
Dark Rain is an exciting terrorist thriller written by former Air Force Pilot, Dana Duthie. The story opens up with the protagonist, Col. Brad Mitchell “Conan” flying in his F-16 along with his wingman who turns out to be an impersonator. At the same time, a series of similar “Starkville” penetration unfold at different parts of the States, including a failed attempt to bring down the White House. The investigation into the “Starkville” families reveals Barak El-Kamani as the main handler who is pulling all the strings.
Duthie has expertly utilized his twenty-four years of Air Force experience to paint a realistic picture of military operations with a detailed account of events, from the cockpit of the fighter jet to the White House Situation Room. The author has given a great deal of attention to character development as well. President McDivitt’s role remains refreshing throughout the operation. The Washington Post reporter portrays the tendency of media to go to any ends to get the news. The chapters are brief but very engaging, rarely losing focus on the action and events that are propelling this story forward. The chapters are organized according to the place where the events unfold. This allows the reader to understand the full scope of the story. Which is vital because this is a global story with far reaching effects. The riveting action in the story reminds me of the movie Top Gun, but mixed with the intrigue of Robert Ludlum novels.
Dark Rain is both a novel and an encyclopedia at the same time. The author has included a plethora of military and fighter pilot jargon which is likely to be a delight to any military enthusiast. While the beginning half of the book sets up the larger storyline, the ending half of the book is filled with thrilling action and combat. For anyone with a military background, especially the Air Force, Dark Rain is a goldmine.
Dark Rain is a captivating military thriller that takes readers around the globe and places them in the middle of some high stakes world politics that ensures there’s rarely a dull moment in this suspenseful action novel.
Pages: 330 | ISBN: 1645509699
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dana Duthie, Dark Rain, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, military, military fiction, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, war, writer, writing
Sergeant Rick Fernscale of D Squadron, 22 Special Air Service’s life fell apart when his first wife, Helen died. He never imagined he’d find love again until he met Laura. As he and Laura embark on a pleasure cruise to celebrate their honeymoon, an object is spotted in the sky above. The object, a drone, is shot down and debris kills Laura. Angry and mourning, Rick sets out to solve the mystery of the drone. It is a mission that will change his life forever.
Author Colin M. Barron has created a compelling political thriller that is told with a command of military strategy and jargon that imbues the novel with an air of authority that few action adventure novels possess. The action feels organic and hard hitting but always grounded. Readers comfortable with military fiction will be able to follow this suspenseful narrative easily, but I felt overwhelmed occasionally by the amount of information given.
The dialogue throughout the book is sharp and fits the relentless pace of the novel. Rick is an intriguing character that shows more dimensions and depth as the story progresses and is someone who was fun to follow.
24 Hours to Doomsday is a riveting action adventure novel that takes the kinetic action of Tom Clancy novels and adds the depth of character of Robert Ludlum books. As an American, I enjoyed seeing British Armed Forces in combat operations as it gave me the thrill of military action with the exotic feel of a foreign power.
Author Colin Barron ends this novel with a nail biting twist that any action fan will surely appreciate. I don’t want to give away too much, but Kokorov attempts to kill Rick, and Andy Harrington steps in with stunning results.
24 Hours to Doomsday provides readers with a thrilling novel that parallels real life in the potential release of a deadly virus. This is a high octane terrorist thriller that is hard to put down.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B096CNYYHV
Tags: 24 HOURS TO DOOMSDAY, action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Colin M Barron, crime fiction, ebook, espionage, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, military, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
Beyond Revelation follows a TV reporter who races against time to save her friend and stop a sinister cult. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?
Remember, Beyond Revelation is a book about a reporter, and a good reporter never reveals his or her sources.
A lot of research for this book came from news accounts I’ve read and heard over the years. Jonestown and the Branch Davidians are examples of cults that were big in the news during my life, so I had a knowledge of them as I wrote the book. I also made it easy on myself by making the two primary settings in the book places that I’ve lived during my life. Fairbrook, MA, is based on the small town where I grew up and the New York City metropolitan area is where I’d spent most of my life. I always try to do some reading on places I write about that I’ve never visited to get them as real as I can. In this book that would be Montana and Havana, Cuba.
What were some ideas that were important for you to personify in your characters?
My focus in this book and in the two books that preceded it in the Vega Investigative Thriller Series (Fava and Zyklon) must of course be the protagonist, Francine Vega. She’s a street-smart, New York City TV journalist. I try to portray her as having the qualities I want all journalists to have. I want her to be intelligent, persistent, questioning, and honest. Both she and her husband, FBI Special Agent Will Allen, are the epitome of integrity. I wanted them both to be the best examples they can be for their three kids.
It can be a bit tricky when you’re writing a series. After the first book, the author must present enough background on characters to inform people who haven’t read the previous editions but not too much background that you turn off or bore those who have read them. I think I’ve done that thus far in this series.
How do you balance story development with shocking plot twists? Or can they be the same thing?
I don’t believe any balance is required. They can, and should be, the same thing. In fact, I think that plot twists—shocking or otherwise—need to compliment and advance story development. They must be part of the whole. Otherwise, the plot twists look like they’re superfluous or simply inserted for shock value.
In discussing the difference between “surprise” and “suspense”, Alfred Hitchcock, used the example of a bomb taped under a table where two people are sitting. You could have the audience not know the bomb is there and then get fifteen seconds of surprised adrenaline rush when it suddenly explodes. Hitchcock would rather let the viewer know that the bomb was there ahead of time and be on the edge of their seats, not knowing if the bomb would go off or not. In this way, the audience experiences fifteen minutes, rather than fifteen seconds, of surprise. I agree with this approach. There are times and places for the unexpected, the surprise, of plot twists, but overall, I prefer the approach of building suspense over the course of a chapter or even over the arc of the entire book.
What can readers expect in book four of the Vega Thriller series?
Thus far in the Vega Investigative Thriller series we’ve had Francine expose and thwart plots that would have plunged the world into war (Fava), undermined a presidential election (Zyklon) and plunged the country into a race war (Beyond Revelation). All this has taken a toll on her. The events of Beyond Revelation were especially hard on her mentally and emotionally. In the next book, she’s going to still be the intrepid journalist who’s going to uncover stories—this time I think in the environmental field—but I will need to focus a little sharper on her personal situation and the burdens she is bearing.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, Beyond Revelation, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, John Hazen, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing