Thursday, November 22, 2018

Mommy and Daddy's Day with a review: The Janitor and the Spy by S.W. Ellenwood

Every so often, here on Bookworm for Kids, I present a book(s) which are meant for all of those parents out there. After all, parents like to read to. These books do not contain content which is any more inappropriate than found in most YA novels. The red light district from Amsterdam is involved, but it is more of a scene setting with absolutely no graphic moments whatsoever. Even mention of anything more explicit remains at the level of very light hints. In other words, the books aren't something you need to hide under your bed and hope the kids never find.

The Thornhill Series
by S.W. Ellenwood
Mystery / Espionage
170 pages

Baby wipes are not the best at cleaning up blood or what happened to Thornhill in Amsterdam.
They told Thornhill it would be a simple spy mission that he was more than eager to take on, but of course, it wasn't.

It didn't take long after meeting the contact for Thornhill to question if he or anyone else connected to him was going to be able to make it out of Amsterdam alive. Passing strangers on the streets became potential hitmen and dinner with criminals became safe heavens as Thornhill seeks to find answers from an old man named Golay.

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This book sets the stage for a series, allowing the detective to gain his first footing in a layered web of secrets and lies.

Thornhill is a newbie to the world of spies, and his first mission appears to be simple—maintain secrecy, meet with target, and receive information. When the calm meeting at a cafe in Amsterdam ends with a handful of dead thugs, the complexity begins to reveal itself. Thornhill's boss insists the mission remain off records, which is odd in itself. Soon, a powerful pimp comes into play, ones whose ties to the more suspicious money laundering leads remain unclear. But before Thornhill can work his way through the seas of lies, his partner is shot and the supposed willing witness uncovers plans of his own.

The beginning of this book grabs and pulls into an intriguing mission. Thornhill is a rookie, which is mentioned several times, and comes across in how he approaches some situations. However, he's not a fool and handles decisions very well and level headed. His interactions are intriguing and draw into the mystery. His character and background, however, come across a little superficial at times. Still, this doesn't really hurt his place as a spy and leaves space for the upcoming series open.

The twists and turns are tense and unexpected, keeping the mystery a guessing game until the very end. While the plot keeps a steady pace, there are moments which pull a little long and did make me take a break. But I always came back as the story doesn't let go. There's a great tension for the last scenes, and while some questions are answered, others open up and make it clear that there's much more to come.

It was an enjoyable read.

by S.W. Ellenwood

Thomas feared he played Jack too well...

The sequel to S. W. Ellenwood's debut novel, The Janitor and the Spy, picks up six months after Thomas Thornhill's nightmare mission in Amsterdam. On his own, he now goes under the alias of Jack Montferrand and seeks to gain entry into the oldest and most dangerous triad in Asia to find Them.

On the inside, he found the triad not as stable as he thought, forcing him to prove his trust and worth to them at every turn as new rivals sprout up. He plunges his hands deeper into the filth and the alias of Jack where he starts to wonder where Thomas ends and Jack begins.

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And here he is...

S. W. Ellenwood is thankful to have a close-knit family of two parents, a brother, and two sisters. A homeschooler who graduated college from the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, Ellenwood loves all forms and genres of stories and was inspired by  The Lord of the Rings films and his parents to write. You can find Ellenwood writing his next novel at the local coffee shops or playing table top games with his best friends. 

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