Thursday, March 19, 2020

Chasing the White Lion by James R Hannibal

Book description:

In Talia's world everyone has an angle and no one escapes unscathed

CIA officer Talia Inger may have reconciled with the man who assassinated her father, but that doesn't mean she wants him hovering over her every move and unearthing the painful past she's trying to put behind her. Still, she'll need him--and the help of his star grifter, Valkyrie--if she hopes to infiltrate the Jungle, the first ever crowdsourced crime syndicate, to rescue a group of kidnapped refugee children.

But as Talia and her elite team of thieves con their way into the heart of the Jungle, inching ever closer to syndicate boss the White Lion, she'll run right up against the ragged edge of her family's dark past. In this game of cat and mouse, it's win . . . or die. And in times like that, it's always good to have someone watching your back.

My review:
   I have been looking forward to this book since the one it follows, The Gryphon Heist. That was an awesome read, and set up the characters for this team of thieves. Chasing the White Lion picks up where the last book ended, and the author goes into more depth with developing his characters and their personalities. That is something I really enjoy about a series that has the same characters, is when the author further develops the characters. One of my favorite parts of the book was the interaction between the characters, and I chucked out loud several times. I like an author who throws humor into the mix, and Hannibal does that very well.

  One thing this author excels at is coming up with a complicated and convoluted plot that is also fairly easy to follow and understand. Granted, one cannot skim over anything in the book or you will have no clue as to what is going on.

 Writing about a team of thieves who are working for good has to be challenging, and reading about it is quite entertaining. My favorite character is still Finn, full name Michael Finn. They are all great characters, but for some reason I find myself liking him and his antics the best.

 Chasing the White Lion involves among other things, human trafficking. Hannibal wound a great plot around that, and I was turning pages as fast as I could read. It was a difficult book to put down when I needed to do that.

 One thing that is prevalent in so much Christian fiction that is not in this book and its predecessor, is romance. There seems to be a hint of it between Talia and Finn, but it is going very slowly if that is the case.

 The whole story climaxes in something called the Frenzy, which was absolutely genius with the descriptions of it and what goes on there. Though the reader assumes there is a happy ending, there are a lot of tense nail biting moments there and throughout the book.

 Chasing the White Lion is not simply Christian suspense. It is political intrigue and suspense that goes beyond the usual. Hannibal is setting a standard which will be hard to follow. Awesome read that I enjoyed immensely.

 I also recommend his super clean and curse free secular series he wrote before starting this series.

 And might I add, he is one the most interesting authors as a person whose books I have read.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. A former stealth pilot from Houston, Texas, he has been shot at, locked up with surface-to-air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion Award winner for his Section 13 mysteries for kids and a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series for adults. James is a rare multi-sense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment.

Chasing the White Lion is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

This book should be read after reading The Gryphon Heist.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Traitor's Pawn by Lisa Harris

Book description: 

Join the hunt for the truth--and a traitor

When FBI agent Jack Shannon arrives in Corpus Christi, Texas, he is focused on one thing: find the man who has been selling encrypted government secrets to the Chinese. But when a senator is shot during a hunting trip and the woman he was with is abducted, Jack agrees to join the search--especially when he discovers that the kidnapping victim is Aubrey Grayson, a woman he was once in love with.

As the search continues, it becomes clear the senator may not have been the intended victim--and Aubrey may be connected to the other case Jack is supposed to be working on. Can Jack untangle the knots before it's too late? And when he learns the truth, will it be too painful to get past?

My review:

  No offense to the author, but when I first read a book by her a few years back, I was just like "she is OK...". Then I read more her books, and discovered she is more than OK. I have come to love her suspense novels, and she is definitely one of my favorite suspense authors.

  The Traitor's Pawn is evidence of her being such a great author. I enjoyed this book a lot. I made the mistake of starting it on my lunch break at work, and had to put it down at a very climatic moment....which there are many of in this book.

 Harris kept me guessing for a while on who was the true target, why, and if the guy they finally suspected was truly guilty or was a victim of a frame job. Even towards the very end of the book, I found myself back and forth on the guilt of the suspect.

 As with the majority of Christian suspense novels on the market, this one is romantic suspense. This book is different from a lot of those out there. In Traitor's Pawn, the two main characters had been best friends for years when they were younger, but a dating relationship with the male lead's brother and the female lead had prevented anything beyond friendship. It is a nice departure from guy meets girl, people try to kill them, they fall in love, and they live happily ever after. Not that those books are bad. :)

 There was a lot to like about this book, and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. I am thankful there are quality Christian authors like Harris who continue to put out great clean and Christian suspense that is worth reading. And I have always found her more interesting since she is a missionary.

This appears to be a stand alone novel.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than 40 books, including The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, as well as Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, Harris and her family have spent over 16 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at

The Traitor's Pawn is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.