Tag Archives: Humphrey Hawksley

Ice Islands (Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 4) by Humphrey Hawksley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

What begins as an attempt to infiltrate a large Japanese crime organization turns into an international nightmare as one man must protect his target and prevent a deadly plot from unfolding in author Humphrey Hawksley’s “Ice Islands”, the fourth book in the Rake Ozenna Thriller series. 

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The Synopsis

Major Rake Ozenna faces dangerous choices and deadly consequences in this rip-roaring political thriller that takes you from the ice islands of Finland to the bustling streets of Tokyo via Russia and the White House . . . Buckle up, this is a thrilling ride!

Major Rake Ozenna’s mission is simple: gain access to the Kato family – Japan’s most dangerous crime empire – and stop the threat to America. But when the secret son of the Russian leader is executed and Rake’s target, Sara Kato, is implicated in the murder, a political crisis between Russia, Japan and the US is set in motion.

It’s a race to protect Sara and earn her trust whilst escaping the inhospitable terrain of the icy Aland island. Meanwhile, Russia wants revenge for the murder, a catastrophic move when it is revealed Japan have been stockpiling nuclear weapons.

As Rake learns the true extent of their deadly plans, he must draw on every ounce of his training to succeed. Because if he fails, it won’t just be his life that will be lost . . . the consequences will be global! 

The Review

This was such a cinematic and captivating international thriller! The author ramps up the narrative of this series greatly by honing in on a mixture of global high-stakes action and intimate and more personal character-driven mysteries. The globe-trotting settings really made this feel like a modern-day Netflix action thriller movie, while the tension and balance of politics with organized crime in the narrative added such depth to the story itself.

Yet it was the rich character growth that the author utilized in this narrative that really made the action and setting pop on the page. The mystery surrounding this Russian President’s son’s murder and the daughter of a Japanese criminal all felt both engaging and yet realistic to the current political and criminal climates our world is facing. However, it was the protagonist’s story that really drew me in as a reader, showcasing his heroism and yet also showing his struggle with learning more about his family’s past and trying to separate himself from any feelings involving his target, making this such a rich and dynamic story to read.

The Verdict

Entertaining, thrilling, and brilliantly written, author Humphrey Hawksley’s “Ice Islands” is a must-read novel and a great addition to the Rake Ozenna series. The mystery and suspense the narrative picks up and the rich character development create a narrative that plays out greatly in the reader’s imagination through imagery and tone that captivates the audience immediately. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Humphrey is an award-winning author and foreign correspondent whose assignments with the BBC have taken him to crises all over the world. His Rake Ozenna series originated when reporting from the US-Russian border during heightened tension

He has been guest lecturer at universities and think tanks such as the RAND Corporation, The Center for Strategic and International Studies and MENSA Cambridge. He moderates the monthly Democracy Forum debates on international issues and is a host on the weekly Goldster Book Club where he discusses books and talks to authors.

The third in Humphrey’s political espionage Rake Ozenna series MAN ON FIRE came out in July 2021. The fourth, ICE ISLANDS, will be published in August 2022.

Rake Ozenna, a native Alaskan from Little Diomede on the Russian border, is fast making his mark as a hard-driving unusual character in thriller Fiction. Tthe great NELSON DE MILLE described Rake as ‘smart and tough, and we’re glad to have him on our side”

In MAN ON FIRE, a tense firefight on the Russian-American border heralds the start of a terrifying high-stakes mission for special forces agent Major Rake Ozenna in this gripping espionage thriller. Instructed to guide in a speed boat crossing from Russia in the Bering Strait, special forces Major Rake Ozenna watches in horror as the operation culminates in a fatal firefight – and the loss of vital intelligence of a deadly new weapon. A weapon of unimaginable power. A weapon that, if it were unleashed, would cripple civilization as we know it. But who sabotaged the mission? Who possesses the weapon – and what is their ultimate goal?

Rake’s search takes him to the remote outpost of Uelen on the Russian coast – and the discovery that he is up against a formidable enemy from his past. As world leaders gather in Bonn for the signing of the new European security treaty, Rake enters a desperate race against time to prevent a catastrophe beyond imagining. This fast-paced, impeccably researched, highly topical thriller is perfect for rreaders of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILD and ROBERT

LUDLUM.

Humphrey’s Rake Ozenna thrillers have been widely praised.

Library Journal on MAN ON EDGE — ‘A hard-as-nails hero, an out-of-the-ordinary location, and oodles of high-action encounters – everything readers want in a political thriller’

Booklist on MAN ON ICE — ‘Knuckle-whitening suspense, bloody violence, dirty tricks, and plenty of surprising twists make this a gripping, can’t-put-it-down read’ –

‘Authentic settings, non-stop action’, Steve Berry on Man on Ice

An up-to-the-minute, page-turning spy thriller with the atmosphere of a Cold War classic’ – Charles Cumming on Man on Edge

https://www.humphreyhawksley.com/

Interview with Author Humphrey Hawksley

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I am an author and foreign correspondent and my work for the BBC over the past thirty years has taken me to crises all over the world.  I wrote my first book, when the great military publisher William Armstrong from Macmillan asked me to write about a conflict between China and the United Stated. Dragon Strike: The Millennium War was published in 1997 and became a best seller. I now write thrillers. The latest is the second in the Rake Ozenna series, Man on Edge set on the Norway-Russian border described by Charles Cumming as ‘a page-turning spy thriller with the atmosphere of a Cold War classic’ and San Francisco Review of Books as being ‘gripping, addictive and successful at every level. Man on Edge was also a New York Post Best Books choice.

What inspired you to write your book?

I see huge potential in the character of Rake Ozenna. He comes from the exceptionally remote island of Little Diomede on the US-Russian border and is torn between his own tight-knit community and culture the wider more complex world. The great Nelson de Mille described Rake as ‘smart and tough, and we’re glad to have him on our side. Library Journal’s review spoke of a ‘hard-as-nails hero’ and Shots Crime the Thriller said ‘Rake Ozenna is proving to be one of the more believable characters in a crowded field.’  Rake has a kick-ass on and off girlfriend with trauma surgeon Carrie Walker and two other key characters from the corridors of power becoming loved by readers.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I would love them to see Man on Edge as an international adventure story from which they get an insight into the modern world of espionage. 

What drew you into this particular genre?

As a foreign correspondent, I switched between reporting from the highest levels of government to the poorest and most vulnerable. I try to bring these contrasts into my story-telling and the thriller is the natural home genre.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would sit down with Ruslan Yumatov the antagonist and ask him why he thinks his high profile acts of catastrophic destruction will make the world a better place. Is he right or is he deluded?

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I haven’t yet identified a clear front runner. Face Book may have the most impact.  Others swear by Instagram.  And Goodreads is meant to work well. On pure sales’ platforms, Amazon is streaks ahead. It’s important to be out there, like Woody Allen says ninety-per cent of success is just turning up.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Read the competition in your genre. Don’t show drafts to friends or family. Get a professional to work on it first.  Work out your publicity and marketing. 

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I deliver the third Rake Ozenna thriller Man on Fire in May and in June an expanded and revised version of my latest non-fiction Asian Waters: The Struggle over the Indo-Pacific the Challenge to American Power. I am also looking at doing a non-fiction on the future of Europe. 

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About the Author

Humphrey Hawksley’s brand-new international thriller series begins in paperback in October 2019 with MAN ON ICE a knuckle-whitening drama set on the remote and wild US-Russian border. In early, 2020 comes the nail-biting MAN ON EDGE set on the Norway-Russian border followed in 2021 by MAN ON FIRE whose location is yet to disclosed. Rake Ozenna, a native of Little Diomede island in Alaska is the series hero. Each thriller includes trauma surgeon, Dr Carrie Walker, American intelligence contractor, Harry Lucas, and his ex-wife, British businesswoman and diplomat, Stephanie Lucas.

Humphrey’s thrillers have been widely praised. Steve Berry describes ‘authentic settings, non-stop action’ from MAN ON ICE. Lee Child speaks of SECURITY BREACH as ‘high stakes, high octane’ and Alan Furst as a ‘hard-driving, a good taut thriller’ — right back to the first future history thriller DRAGON STRIKE: THE MILLENNIUM WAR which Steve Coonts hailed as ‘ominous and insightful.’

His recent non-fiction ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND THE STRATEGY OF CHINESE EXPANSION has been acclaimed on every continent by those at the heart of global decision-making, such as Indian cabinet minister, Hardeep Puri; the last governor of Hong Kong Baron Lord Patten of Barnes; and Dr Wu Shicun, President of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies. China’s rise is a fast developing story, and Humphrey is currently working on an updated edition which is due out in June 2020.

Humphrey’s work as a BBC foreign correspondent has taken him all over the world with postings in Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Delhi and Colombo. He has contributed to ABC, National Public Radio and other networks in the United States and global publication of his work includes the Financial Times, New York Times, Yale Global, Nikkei Asian Review and others.

http://www.humphreyhawksley.com/

Man on Edge (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 2) by Humphrey Hawksley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman finds her only means of survival in an enemy state is her former fiancee as the clock races in author Humphrey Hawksley’s “Man on Edge (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 2)”. 

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The Synopsis

A tense and twisting espionage thriller involving state secrets, lethal assassins and the threat of a new Cold War.

Trauma surgeon Carrie Walker is taken aback when her estranged uncle makes contact out of the blue. Senior Russian naval officer Artyom Semenov claims to be in possession of an explosive piece of information which he is offering to share with the West. But can he be trusted?

Travelling to Moscow undercover to meet with Semenov, Carrie finds herself stranded when the carefully-planned operation goes catastrophically awry. In grave danger, there’s only one person she can turn to for help: her former fiancé, Major Rake Ozenna of the Alaska National Guard.

Aware how vital it is that he reaches Carrie before others do, Rake knows he’s pitted against a powerful and lethal enemy. But is it a rogue agent – or the Russian state? As preparations gather pace for a high-profile NATO exercise off the Norwegian coast, Rake must act fast if he is to prevent a global catastrophe.

The Review

An action-packed thriller, author Humphrey Hawksley has created a thrill ride of a novel. While I haven’t read the first book in the series, the author does a great job of gleaning into the backstory and history established in the first novel enough to create a clear picture of the major players of the narrative and their roles. 

The buildup of suspense and heart-pounding action is equally matched to witty banter between characters and powerful character growth throughout the novel as well. Playing into the government agent versus the world theme, the author blends the shadowy government operations of a good thriller with the personal ups and downs of protagonist Rake and his on and off romance with Carrie. The backdrop of Russia and the surrounding areas felt relevant to the current political scene in the world, creating a deeper connection to the action of the novel’s plot overall. 

The Verdict

A one of a kind read author Humphrey Hawksley has created a tension-filled, action-packed narrative that is not to be missed. An evenly paced read with steady character arcs and a great flow overall, everyone should grab their copies of “Man on Edge”, the second book in the Rake Ozenna Thriller series, today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Humphrey Hawksley’s brand-new international thriller series begins in paperback in October 2019 with MAN ON ICE a knuckle-whitening drama set on the remote and wild US-Russian border. In early, 2020 comes the nail-biting MAN ON EDGE set on the Norway-Russian border followed in 2021 by MAN ON FIRE whose location is yet to disclosed. Rake Ozenna, a native of Little Diomede island in Alaska is the series hero. Each thriller includes trauma surgeon, Dr Carrie Walker, American intelligence contractor, Harry Lucas, and his ex-wife, British businesswoman and diplomat, Stephanie Lucas.

Humphrey’s thrillers have been widely praised. Steve Berry describes ‘authentic settings, non-stop action’ from MAN ON ICE. Lee Child speaks of SECURITY BREACH as ‘high stakes, high octane’ and Alan Furst as a ‘hard-driving, a good taut thriller’ — right back to the first future history thriller DRAGON STRIKE: THE MILLENNIUM WAR which Steve Coonts hailed as ‘ominous and insightful.’

His recent non-fiction ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND THE STRATEGY OF CHINESE EXPANSION has been acclaimed on every continent by those at the heart of global decision-making, such as Indian cabinet minister, Hardeep Puri; the last governor of Hong Kong Baron Lord Patten of Barnes; and Dr Wu Shicun, President of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies. China’s rise is a fast developing story, and Humphrey is currently working on an updated edition which is due out in June 2020.

Humphrey’s work as a BBC foreign correspondent has taken him all over the world with postings in Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Delhi and Colombo. He has contributed to ABC, National Public Radio and other networks in the United States and global publication of his work includes the Financial Times, New York Times, Yale Global, Nikkei Asian Review and others.

http://www.humphreyhawksley.com/