Reviews

Ecuador The fourth in the Jim Johnson series.

 

Ecuador, the long-awaited sequel to the O Trilogy – high stake battles, political intrigue, mystery, kidnapping, suspense, and romance as old friends and new, chase a lethal virus hatched in an insidious plot. From Rio to the Amazon, Quito to Bogotá, familiar characters, like old shoes, walk us through a kaleidoscope of adventure:  Nusmen, Old Man Shuskin, Sheilla and, of course, Jim, Brush, and Glenda. A team of some of the world’s best hackers and researchers from the secret laboratory in Washington State support multiple hair-raising missions. Colombian rebels with unexpected charm link up to aid Jim’s team. Throughout, Colonel Johnson battles himself and his past while attempting to blend his professional life with a normal homelife for his family. In Jim’s absence, Heather oversees their remote ranch with starlit skies, glass apples, and dangerous predators, while their young son Pedro attempts to fit into a white America. A shock ending lurks along the dark edges of the story and finally comes to light in its last pages. Synopsis from book cover. May, 2020

Ecuador is a spell-binding yarn.  RS Perry has given us yet another Jim Johnson thriller, replete with terror and adventure, illness and death, warm-hearted emotion and the sweaty intensity of military esprit de corps.
In the Amazon, an alarming outbreak of smallpox threatens the lives of innocents. Meanwhile, Jim Johnson and his team combat sinister machinations in the Americas.
Pestilence, intrigue, and romance. As always in Perry’s tales, I was captivated by his crew of misfits, criminals, and fighters.  Their armed exploits, political adventures, and tender courtships provide the reader with enough conflict — and resolution — to satisfy even the most demanding bookworm. E.L. Beach

 

Off The Edge The first novel in the Jim Johnson O Trilogy series.

Off the Edge, the first in the popular O Trilogy, offers the suspense and adventure I have come to expect from RS Perry. I am amazed — and gratified — that this author can conceive of such stirring scenarios. His colorful characters definitely help to drive the story. I find myself rooting for them as if they were real.
In this tale, place becomes as important as character. The Johnson ranch in the Pasayten Wilderness is especially appealing to me.  I often dream of visiting Jim and Heather’s home in that rugged back country!
In so many ways, this story is compellingly readable.  When I’m in need of an escapist breather, I turn to Perry’s thrilling and original entertainment.
E.L. Beach April, 2020

Astrobiologist, rancher and Vietnam veteran Jim Johnson now works as a special government agent with his long time friend Brush, attached to a biological counterterrorist group. They have had several difficult missions over many years, which they have carried out in their own very individual way. Returning from one of these, they are both looking forward to a llama-packing trip, with friends, in the Pasayten Wilderness, northeast of Seattle on the Canadian border. Their idyllic time is cut short, however, as they are recalled to deal with a possible terrorist threat. A bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics has been set loose in the University of Washington medical school. How can its deadly spread be stopped and what is the connection with the deaths of some horse packers in the Pasayten Wilderness and a mysterious group of Middle Easterners?
The mystery unfolds as we are introduced to the General, a tough combat commander with a medical degree, his research staff and the kindly, brilliant and self-effacing professor J.T and a team of scientists. The tension builds as all strands of the story develop in parallel, events in the Pasayten, centering on Jim’s girlfriend Heather, the spread of the bacteria and the plans of Farasie and his group of terrorist, which includes the sexy and sadistic Najma, We discover that the attacks are not linked and Nusmen, a frustrated loner and originator of the bacteria, is conscripted to find its cure. Meanwhile Farasie has put plans in place for a large scale attack on Seattle. It is Labor weekend and the Bumbershoot festival is also in full swing, enough activity to divert attention away from him and his group. But where is his target? The festival? The Space Needle? He has laid his plans meticulously but Jim is on his trail along with a unique group of Special Forces attached to the State Department. Sometimes hindered rather than helped by the FBI, the SF team has more in common with Jim and Brush. There is plenty of action including shoot outs, attacks during the Bumbershoot Festival, car chases and even helicopter chases as Jim closes in on Farasie and we finally discover that the main target for the terrorist attack is the large Convention Centre overhanging the freeway in downtown Seattle. Excitement, tension and mystery run throughout, heightened by the many twists and turns in the plot.
As the devious and double crossing Farasie is determined to make his millions, Jim has to make difficult choices, not only operational but also personal. How can he atone for the deaths of the two girls that haunt his memory because of a long ago mistake in Vietnam? How can they stop Farasie without terrifying the whole population of Seattle? And how can he rescue Heather, who has a deathly fear of heights, when it means a leap off the edge? The chase continues back to mountains where Farasie, Najma, Jim, Heather and Brush, confront each other. All these strands are interwoven as Jim is familiar with the different worlds of science and academia, backwoodsmanship, military and survival tactics and lateral thinking. They are brought to life by a number of interesting characters; Ray and Wayne, old time ranchers, Dr Banks, an MIT professor, Old Man Shuskin, a vagrant who lives in the woods, Nielly, a Special Forces team leader, and Shiella, a whiz FBI analyst. And while a satisfying conclusion is reached, there are still tempting avenues to explore in later books. Rita December, 2015 UK

This is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. An interesting and intelligent adventure story, it keeps you gripped from the first page to the last. The story spans quite a time scale and moves back and forth to introduce you to the characters and their lives but then hones in on the central plot as we discover more about the shadowy figures behind what seem to be unconnected events until it narrows down to the climax which really does have you on the edge of your seat. I learned a lot about the wilderness and now I really want to go llama packing, though I hope I don’t meet the same people as Craig and Ben did!I also found the relationship between the FBI and Special Forces quite an eye opener. This is the book for you if you want adventure and excitement with a bit of mystery plus a good story with realistic characters and relationships. This author knows his stuff and I am going to look out for more books by RS Perry. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2014

 

Over The Line The second novel in the Jim Johnson O Trilogy series.

Over the Line Review by Joan Oliver 5-20-2020

Over the Line, another thrilling action adventure in this second book of R S Perry’s ‘O’ series, sees Colonel Jim Johnson once again fighting the forces of evil and pitting himself against the sexy psychopath Najma.

The action takes place in the North West United States, Texas, Mexico and London. It involves small and large scale battles between drug cartels, computer hackers and rogue individuals and eventually and unofficially, British and American Special Forces. The tension is gripping and the action moves at pace between the various strands and locations towards its inevitable and memorable climax. As we have come to expect from this author, the attention to tactical, topographical and technical detail is superb and accurate.

Johnson is an interesting hero, the traditional strong, silent type who rarely makes mistakes. But he is also, as the author has been, a scientist, soldier and llama rancher, interested in philosophy and a lover of beauty. It is this complexity and the relationships between the characters that sets the ‘O’ series apart. Jim’s relationship with Heather, who is much more center stage here, is deepened and rounded as is that of Brush, his partner in crime and Glenda, who provide a more overtly physical contrast. We get to know the members of the various teams in the forces and the university until they seem like old friends who we’re rooting for in every encounter. I couldn’t help almost cheering out loud as Jim and Brush glide into the hacienda in their futuristic conveyances but it would be giving the game away to say what happens next. We also get to know and understand the complex motives of people like Guillermo, the de facto leader of the drug cartel, and Amir and Sharifa, who get caught up in the evil almost against their will so that our reactions are not always simple.

Not so with Najma. Her sexually directed, sadistic violence and that of those she encourages and her utter lack of concern for others is heightened in this book by being contrasted with innocence in the form of a small boy. We know good will win in the end but what concerns us is the damage done along the way. Who will survive? Who will escape? How will the plot be foiled? You’ll have to go along for the nail-biting ride and read the book for yourself.

 

I liked this book a lot. It is a real page turner; I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and the action is exciting with plenty of unexpected events which sometimes make you gasp. Some of the action is violent and cruel, especially when carried out nonchalantly by Najma but the unusual thing about a book in this genre is that you care what happens to the characters. Jim, Heather, Brush and Glenda and their friends are not stereotypes but people you feel you could meet and get to know. Even Najma is complex and interesting and so is Guillermo and his many employees. The plot is complex but communicated clearly, with three strands woven together. The action moves between Northern USA, London and Mexico and you get a real sense of all these places through the vivid and detailed descriptions. The different worlds of the drug cartels, the military, the scientists and the computer experts are also brought alive and you feel you are in the room with them, observing and listening like a gecko on the wall. Read the book to get the reference! If you like mysteries or adventures or crime or action or romance or just a good yarn, this book is for you. Buy it. Reviewer unknown.

Having enjoyed Perry’s first book Over the Edge in his series about the secret missions of Jim Johnson, Assistant Head of the State Department’s Biological Warfare, I looked forward to reading his second Over the Line, knowing it would be good entertainment during the 6 hour train ride ahead of me. I was not disappointed. In his inimitable style, Perry hooked me at once with his prologue (just as he had done with his prologue in Over the Edge) and I read the book in one sitting, unable to put it down. I was unprepared however for the attachment I would develop to his characters. There is depth and feeling in this second book as Perry carefully develops and crafts his characters further. Throughout this book, Perry allows us to live in the shoes of his characters, to involve us in his soul-searching study of good and bad and to discover what makes people do what they do.  Catherine Fosnot

Cleverly written, and with a detail few could match, Perry provides a riveting read with his Jim Johnson series of action stories. The characters are developed logically and realistically, and the landscapes are brought to life with a clarity of one who knows them well. In addition, there is much educational value – not only do I now feel knowledgeable about the Pasayten Wilderness, its geology and how to survive there, (in spite of never having set foot in the remote mountain wilderness or even America), I also learned snippets of astronomy and microbiology. Additionally, my understanding of aircraft and how to fly them has increased tenfold. Perry seems to write about what he knows – which adds a worrying level of fear to the scenes of violence!  Jenny Lyons

Special agent and scientist Jim Johnson is under threat and this time it’s personal. London businessman Amir and the ruthless psychopath Najma are both out for revenge. They want to destroy him by any means possible and Najma aims to use the most important person in Jim’s life, his lover Heather.
But both are linked to a savage and brutal drugs cartel whose suave and intelligent leader is involved in a multi-million dollar computer fraud. Their machinations could harm the governments of Mexico, the United States and Great Britain.
At first alone, Jim eventually enlists the help of his friends in the military and his partner Brush. The twists and turns in this brain-teasing and thrilling adventure follow them as using their skill, experience and the latest in warfare technology, they attempt to outwit the villains. But will Jim be able to save Heather and her colleagues and will he eventually be forced over the line? Rita, July, 2017  UK

 

Out Of Time The third novel in the Jim Johnson O Trilogy series.

Having now read the second book in this trilogy, I was left wanting more. So, I am glad that there is one more book to be able to jump right into.
The author continues with the characters introduced in the first book, but the plot veers off in a new and intriguing direction. As a result, the material is fresh and engaging. And interestingly, one need not have fead the first book in this series in order to understand what is going on in this one.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a good adventure story, but one that is multi-dimensional in that it weaves into it a liberal dose of science and other more cerebral themes not usually found in this genre,
A great read, and very much recommended. Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2017

Having read the first two Jim Johnson novels, I was eagerly awaiting “Out of Time”, the third book in the “O trilogy”. I was not disappointed. Insightful characterizations, a wealth of knowledge about all things scientific and military, and an insider’s knowledge of the area around Twisp and Winthrop, all combine to make the story come alive and leap off the page. I am now eagerly awaiting my next adrenalin dose from Perry’s pen. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 25, 2017