Recent Book Reviews

 So, often books on terrorism end up with such incredible events which are simply not believable. The Puzzle Master is very believable. It is hard to say you enjoy reading about realistic terrorism without thinking that these events could really happen and how bad it would really be. However, there was always a sense of hope and anticipation that things would work out in the end, did it?
A very enjoyable read, I couldn’t wait to see how it ended.
I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for writing this review. However, I don’t read many of the books offered to me, I am glad I read this one!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Puzzle Master grabs your attention immediately with action packed scenes, leaving you both reeling and craving more. The novel is fast-paced, with action packed scenes that keep you guessing until the very end. There are so many different layers to the story which keep it twisting, and moving, and irrisitable. From assasinations and outright bombings, to explosions, sabatoge and dirty bombs, the action just keeps going.

With a very well written, and brillantly executed storyline, The Puzzle Master is one of the best “new” novels I’ve read in a very long time. Even though at first glance, its 52 chapters seems a lot, they are short, and pass by before you know it. I was unable to put it down due to the fact that just as soon as you thought it was over, BAM, something else happened to keep you glued to the pages. This fact that made the surprise ending all the more enjoyable.

I would definitely reccomend this book to anyone that enjoys a good suspense thriller (especially if you are a fan of Dan Brown as Mr.Boyle’s work is remeniscent of Mr.Brown’s).

5.0 out of 5 stars A genre-busting page turner, 1 Nov 2012
By mhj
 If you like realistic world politics mixed in with your page turner/thriller, then this is a book for you. A gripping first novel from an author that is obviously one to watch. I will certainly be looking out for the next Eddie Mallon story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Puzzle Master – waiting for sequel, 3 Nov 2012
By  lt
 Literally just finished it! Loved it- I’m on holiday on my own (Sicily-which is amazing) and have been reading while at dinner. I made some funny faces- in terror but also laughing as characters made an escape – don’t want to put spoilers here. Wondered what people at tables next to me thought of my funny facial expressions… Okay – my two cents – loved all the players good and bad. I would develop Jon – very cool guy and whole Native American thing worked really well- is there something that their way of viewing the world could contribute to different interpretations of crime investigation? As an American living in London, I appreciated all the cross cultural references made by Eddie (who is from the UK and living in New York). Would like to see him visiting London working with Carole. Jan is a real keeper too – one of those characters you would really want around if you were in any trouble yourself! When will next one be out???
5.0 out of 5 stars A genre-busting page turner 1 Nov 2012
By mhj
Format:Kindle Edition
If you like realistic world politics mixed in with your page turner/thriller, then this is a book for you. A gripping first novel from an author that is obviously one to watch. I will certainly be looking out for the next Eddie Mallon story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain’s answer to John Grisham 9 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This political thriller is a real page turner. I couldn’t put it down. Characters are described in a way that makes them real. Events are believable and scary. Stephen Boyle is Britain’s answer to John Grisham and i really look forward to more from this new author.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! 11 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
It’s amazing to think that this is the author’s first novel, so professional is the writing and the story telling. Eddie Mallon is an understated hero, but the story is all the better for this. Of all the fascinating characters I particularly liked the Native American cop, Jon, and the Dutch security chief, Jan. I even had a soft spot for my namesake, Yael, although she has only a tiny part in the story. Overall, a great read and I’m looking forward to the next installment.
5.0 out of 5 stars not my usual read, 9 Nov 2012
By anne.t
 I have just finished reading “The Puzzle Master”, which to be honest is not my usual type of book, but was drawn into the frightening world of the fanatical terrorists. A fascinating plot which makes the reader realise how easy it would be for a handful of fanatics to bring a country like America to its knees. The author obviously understands the turmoil in the Middle East and how much we rely on anti-terrorist units throughout the world to keep us safe. He writes with such authority that for me fiction definitely became within the realms of possibility.
5 *  Top-Notch Thriller  September 24, 2012

ByJohn Paine

The Puzzle Master exemplifies all that is best about British suspense. The hero, Eddie Mallon, is a tough former cop who is also intelligent and funny. The settings range all over the world, from Britain to the U.S. to Lebanon and beyond. The spycraft is first-rate, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. This is a sure-fire winner for anyone who loves a fast-paced, well-written thriller.
5* The Puzzler  October 23, 2012
A complimentary copy of this book was sent to me to review on my kindle. This is a bang up to date story of terrorism starting with the death of Bin Laden and who will follow on from him. Set in the USA, England, Europe and the Middle East. An ex British policeman living in New York finds himself involved with the FBI in locating terroists who are out to inflict armaggedon, their leader is like a ghost coming and going but has an achilles heel which could catch up with him. This is a well written story that keeps your interest to the last page. A gripping read, with a well thought out plausible plot. Highly recommend this book.
Karna Small Bodman – Bestselling Author of Castle Bravo
“Gripping, intense, a keep-you-up-at-night thriller by an author to watch!
Stephen Boyle’s The Puzzle Master is filled with international plots and
well-drawn characters you will hope to meet again in the sequel. Superb writing
adds to the mix to make this a winner. It’s a thriller that’s not only
frightening but all-too-believable. The clever plot and great writing will keep
you turning the pages way past midnight!”

5* An Excellent Read  25 Oct 2012

The plot is well thought out, with obvious knowledge of the subject matter, going by the detail provided. The characters are very believable, especially the hard bitten female senior Met police officer. There are multiple plot threads which make you wonder when they will all come together. When you consider the price of Dan Brown and Lee Child thrillers this one is an absolute bargain. Can’t wait for the next one.

5* Pacy and well-written  23 Oct 2012

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I came across this book a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d try it as I enjoy discovering new authors. Very glad I did! It’s a fast-paced and very well-written thriller by an author who really seems to understand the issues he’s writing about. The hero was likeable and the supporting cast of assorted law enforcement agents were equally entertaining (although the female Brit cop swore a bit too much for my liking!)- I’d like to see any one of them starring in a future novel in their own right. If you are looking for an intelligent ‘beach read’ you couldn’t do better and I’d definitely read more from this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive, compelling reading, November 4, 2012
It took me a while to actually start reading “The Puzzle Master” after agreeing with the author that I would buy it. A ten hour train journey to and from Nottingham gave me the perfect opportunity to start the book and I have struggled to put it down ever since.
This is not just a cracking first novel, it is a cracking novel period! The pace is relentless and right from the first page the descriptive narrative paints vivid pictures to set the scene and establishes strong images for each of the characters.
The level of research undertaken for this novel is clearly very comprehensive and this adds to the substance of the plot. Also, it is a fairly simple story but with the strength of the characters, the fast pace and the forensic research, the result is gripping and compelling.
The novel has a few quirks. My understanding is that the main character, Eddie Mallon, is British yet his narrative and the grammar of the story is in the American idiom. Notwithstanding that fact, a few British phrases have found their way into the narrative. This doesn’t in any way detract from the enjoyment of the story – it merely reinforces my own tendencies towards pedantry….don’t get me started on the few typos I noticed…
The writer has taken a bold stance with regard to some of the explosive action in the story. Whereas many authors would shy away from bumping off presidents and prime ministers, Mr. Boyle has wantonly blown any such reticence away and certainly kept this reader’s attention with such a brutal attack on convention. The story is all the more entertaining thanks to this approach.
There are just one or two aspects of the plot that stretch the imagination a little too far but these are minor gripes. One example: would the President of the USA and the UK Prime Minister casually jump in the same car to travel across town together after a G20 summit, especially if it was a Citroen C6? Furthermore, would terror attacks in Europe really bring troops out of the Middle East? I’m not sure that these are credible elements of the story but I am nit-picking.
The story has just the right sprinkling of subtle humour to add a further dimension to the reader’s enjoyment. The characters inject humorous lines into the story in the way any of us would in the normal course of a day’s dialogue. On top of the energetic plot and strong characters, this is a further string to the author’s bow in entertaining us with his story.
To conclude, it is worth noting that the novel is complete in its own right (i.e. like “The Matrix”, it would work perfectly well with no sequels). Whereas that film should have been left as a single story, “The Puzzle Master” lays the foundation for a string of new adventures for Mr. Mallon. Who would bet against the feisty but gradually thawing Rachel Strange making a further appearance in the future? I eagerly await the next instalment. Well done, Mr. Boyle; you have started something very special here.

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