Cover Image: Perfect Shot

Perfect Shot

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Member Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this new to me author’s debut novel. It kept me on the edge of my seat and trying to turn the pages as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. I can’t wait to see what more this new author is going to bring for us.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of Steve Urszenyi’s debut novel PERFECT SHOT.

I struggled to get into this book for a few reasons: 
1) I started with the audiobook, but the narrator was so annoying.  Her narration of Alex is fine, but she does all of these male “accents” which were difficult for me to get through.  By the time I tried the ebook, the narrators voices were stuck in my head and the book was unsalvageable.
2) I got very lost in the acronyms
3) Military action doesn’t seem to be my thing, but I really don’t know why…

It’s really too bad because I tend to like action books with female protagonists, but this just didn’t do it for me.  Maybe it’s a right now thing…
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*4.5 Stars On My Instagram Account*

"Do or do not. There is no try."

You quote Yoda you got my attention. Perfect Shot, Special Agent Alexandra Martel #1, by  phenom debut author Steve Urszenyi is an attention grabber from the first page to the last word. Not only does it overachieve as a globetrotting mystery thriller with CIA and MI5 operatives, but has the most awesome kickass female warrior.

Alex earned her reputation as a revered sharp shooter sniper. She has saved the lives of many soldiers but now works as an FBI Special Agent on loan to Interpol. Just as she's winding down from a high octane opening chase scene where she meets the flirtatious CIA operative Caleb, who has plans for them to be permanent partners and not just out in the field, a nuclear weapon is stolen.

The biggest twist: that's not the main mystery plot.  While tracking down the nuclear weapon, Alex gets word that her MI5 friend Krysten was killed in a car accident but Alex knows it was murder. With clues left in photos, wine bottles and computer codes, Alex fights for the truth only to find out everything has been a lie.

It's unbelievable this thriller is a debut novel. It is a non stop page turner. I also listened to the audiobook with the remarkably talented voice actress Cynthia Farrell. She captured the whip smart snappiness of Alex, and  conquered different accents from British to Russian to various American accents. She should be a speech advisor for multi language performances.

I hope there are many more Alex (and Caleb) stories to come. Netflix should option it now. This writer took a shot and hit the bullseye.

I received a free copy of this book/audiobook from the publishers via #netgalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Special agent, Alexandria Martel is known for her well-deserved reputation as a tough decorated army sniper. She now is working as an FBI agent, and is on loan to interpol  when she learns an old friend a MI5 officer has been killed. After learning about this, she sets out to find what happened to her old friend. This story has interesting characters and the plot is fast paced and suspenseful.
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Special Agent Alex Martel served her time in the military as both a medic and a sniper.  She excelled in both arenas.  As an FBI agent attached to Interpol she is charged with finding a missing Nuke only to find blockades at every turn.  Toss in the fact that there are nefarious characters that are set on killing her Alex has her work cut out for her. This is a good novel - I struggled a bit with the jumping around and felt that piece could be smoother.  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the read.
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Perfect Shot is Steve Urszenyi's is the first installment in the authors Special Agent Alexandra Martel series as well as his debut novel. Alex has seemingly put her days on the battlefield behind her. Charming and disarming, relentless and lethal, she has earned a reputation as one of the most renowned and decorated Army snipers and combat medics in the service of her country before stepping away. As the story is filled with action, and suspense, you should be ready right on the opening chapter as Alex and her team race to stop an alleged Islamic terror group from exchanging special nuclear material.

The suspense continues when Alex, now an FBI special agent on loan to Interpol, as well as a member of ISA (Intelligence Support Activities Unit), learns that an old friend she met a few years earlier, has been killed under mysterious circumstances, she’s pulled back into the dangerous world she left behind. A world where some people fear her, some want to recruit her, and everyone seems to want her dead. Especially the Russians who are once playing puppet masters. Alex, of course, wants to take a look and at least ensure everything is being done to find the killer and the reason for her death.   

Following a trail of clues left behind by the dead woman, Alex pieces together a terrifying conspiracy that only escalates when a US nuclear warhead out of Turkey goes missing. Dodging death at every turn, she reluctantly joins forces with a CIA officer named Caleb Brand, who belongs to a secretive unit called ACCT (Advance Counter terrorism & Counter Proliferation Team), but he has plans of his own for her—and will stop at nothing to achieve them. Chasing the truth through the streets of London and bustling Turkish markets to the underbelly of Paris, Alex is unrelenting in her pursuit of justice. 

But so are her enemies in Russia who seem to pop up every where. As as the clock ticks down to a major peace summit taking place in Paris, and the world edges closer to doom, she must fall back on her Special Ops skills to stop the unthinkable. She must wade through a litany of both people who want to kill her, people who want to betray her, and people who are desperate to have her on their side. She thought her life as a sniper was over but with stakes this high, she must use whatever means necessary to render the world safe. Not matter where she turns, there seems to be danger at every corner.

*Thoughts* I normally begin reviews of books like this by saying you should expect to suspend reality in order to read this book. However, as a debut novelist, the author really did his due diligence and research. He has made Alex a likable character as well as someone you can easily root for because she has been through so much. It is easy to scoff at the idea of a female sniper, but if you look back on history, some of the best snipers in the world were women. There are allegedly, don't quote me, 9 current Women snipers in the US Army. 

I have no issue with Russia once again being the villains, after all, they literally invaded Crimea and Ukraine without any reason. Russia are the boogeymen of my generation having lived through the cold war. We know what they are capable of because they have both the GRU and FSB playing shenanigans with our military, or CIA, NSA, and our most important infrastructures. The ending of this book was both expected, and not. Alex has to make some career defining choices that will leave her in an untenable position going forward. I look forward to the next book in this series.
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This is an excellent read with complex characters and plotline. I was sucked into the story from the beginning. The writing made me feel like I was right there with the characters. The pacing is fast and the suspense high. I will definitely be reading this author again.
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I enjoyed this debut novel which is also the beginning of a series. The protagonist is a decorated female sniper, an unusual choice for this genre. She is tough, respected, and intelligent with good instincts though not perfect. This is an action-packed novel and an exciting, easy read.

Not family friendly due to profanity and violence.
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I feel like this should’ve been something I loved, but instead I just found it to be decent. 

I just found myself wanting to put this down. I felt like I ended up reading this a chapter at a time, which is unusual for me. The plot was…fine. Interesting enough, but none of the twists and reveals surprises me. 

Also, and I can’t totally even explain it, but I just feel like I could tell this female main character was written by a man. It wasn’t blatant, it’s not like her boobs were brought up every other sentence like some male authors, but there was something about the writing and her as a character that made it come off that way, I found myself struggling to believe that she was an actual human woman, and in this way I couldn’t connect to the book.
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This is an explosive thriller featuring FBI Special Agent Alex Martel, an army medic, sniper and all-round super soldier. She’s smart, fierce, highly trained and never, ever to be underestimated. On secondment to Interpol, she becomes involved in the search for a stolen nuclear warhead. She is reluctantly paired with Caleb Copeland, a CIA operative who wants her to join his new elite unit protecting the USA against weapons of mass destruction. 

When Krysten, an old friend and MI5 agent, is killed in London, Alex travels there only to discover that although Krysten wasn’t who she appeared to be, she managed to leave Alex some vital information before she was killed. Despite being recalled to the US, she knows she must head back to Europe in the hope of preventing a major catastrophe.

This is a very suspenseful, action-packed novel. It’s well written with a fast paced plot, although I found the abundance of acronyms for military/government organisations quite annoying (and unnecessary). As a determined, resilient woman in a man’s world Alex is a terrific character and I hope we get to see more of her and the shadowy Caleb in a future sequel/series.
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This is Steve Urszenyi's debut novel and I cannot wait for the next installment in the series. This book has action from the beginning to the end and he writes like Brad Thor, Brad Taylor, Mark Greaney and Don Bentley just to name a few amazing military thriller authors. If you like military thrillers, this is not to be missed. Run to the bookstore and nab yourself a copy of this book. Steve knows how to write and I am looking forward to what he does next. Awesome debut novel!
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I found this book to be very interesting and intriguing. I would recommend this a friend because this is a book for everyone. I really enjoyed emerging myself into this book and it was just wonderful.  This book evened my eyes to quite a few things and it’s one of those books that I’ll think about for quite awhile.
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Perfect Shot is a fast paced espionage thriller that is the first of a series with Special Agent Alex(andra) Martel.  Martel is on loan from the FBI to Intropol and basted in the Netherlands.  She learns of a deception and embedded spies on both sides, UK/Russian.  While this was a quick read, I had it figured out early on in the book.  The red herrings were pretty blatant making no surprises in the end.  Maybe the next book in the series will remedy this.

Thank you, Net Galley, for an advanced copy.
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Really enjoyed this one! Always on the lookout for this kind of adventure thriller and it totally hit the spot; hoping there are more in this series to come!
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A Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi is an action-packed spy thriller. Featuring FBI, CIA, Interpol and MI5/M16, just to name a few of the alphabet soup of agencies involved. It's got bombs, nuclear bombs, spies, espionage, chase scenes, Les Catacombes, and more.

Our protagonist, Alex Martel, is a former sniper turned spy. I love the that novel features a strong female main character, and that, apart from a few flashback memories, doesn't center on any romantic interests. This was a quick, engaging read, and I finished it in one day.

A Perfect Shot almost feels as though it were written to be a movie. I can see the plot fitting into an under-two-hour action movie nicely. The characters are interesting, but except for Alex, they are very one dimensional. For example, Caleb shows up everywhere but at the end, we still know next to nothing about him. I suppose this is to be expected since he's a spook?

If you like spy thrillers, and want a quick, fun read, then I highly recommend this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.
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PERFECT SHOT is the impressive debut novel from author Steve Urszenyi and the first book in the Special Agent Alexandra Martel series. I'll admit to being a bit skeptical about a male author's ability to accurately portray an authentic female point of view in a lead character role in a foreign/domestic terrorist style thriller where men normally reign supreme. I'm excited to say my fears were unwarranted as Urszenyi stepped up to the plate and gifted readers with a strong, lethal, intelligent, highly skilled, legendary former army sniper now FBI Agent heroine with a keen sense of justice skirting the world, saving the day leaving dead bodies in her wake. Alex is a great character who comes across as a highly trained professional holding her own in a male dominated world. Readers are going to love her!

Special Agent Alex Martel stepped down from her stressful role as one of the most renowned, accurate Army snipers to ever serve to accept a position with the FBI where she can still serve her country in a less demanding role. While on loan to Interpol, she’s disturbed to learn an old friend, M15 Agent Krysten, was killed in what's being called a tragic accident just after sending Alex a warning in the form of an encrypted message. Alex travels to London to conduct her own investigation, quickly realizing she's being tailed by unscrupulous characters who subsequently attack her. Although the numbers and odds are against her, she fights them off until she finds herself at the wrong end of a gun barrel when Caleb, whom she suspects is a CIA agent, steps in shooting the man. Caleb tries to recruit Alex to join his team of highly skilled operatives conducting missions around the world, but she repeatedly refuses to be pressured back through that closed door. When her superiors send her to Turkey in search of a stolen nuclear warhead, she has no choice but to team up with Caleb to stop terrorists before it's too late. The more the pair investigates, the more obvious it becomes that the death of Alex's friend is connected to the missing Warhead, and clues to the who, when and where are hidden within the encrypted message from Krysten. With stakes this high and the world in imminent danger, Alex has no choice but to fall back on her Special Op skills as a sniper. The countdown to doomsday has begun.

PERFECT SHOT is a thrilling, tightly plotted thriller with action burning up the pages nonstop from cover to cover. The tone is dire, the plot insane and the delivery pure gold. Author Steve Urszenyi has rendered a high-octane story of subterfuge centered around spies, terrorists, special operatives and a race against time to save the world. From the streets of London to the markets and military bases in Turkey to the catacombs under the city in Paris, the action is swift, the characters larger than life and the outcome questionable right up to the cinematic end. The inclusion of every agency, foreign and domestic, with their many acronyms and official lingoes require readers to stay on their toes with minds engaged less they get a bit lost in this one; however, the payoff is worth it as it's nigh on impossible to put this book down. The author's background as a paramedic and police tactical medic is evident in the authenticity of terms and events as they play out.

PERFECT SHOT is a breath of fresh air in the male dominated genre of military style thrillers. Urszenyi's rendering of this story through a female's point of view is brilliant and spot-on with Alex coming across as a highly intelligent, take no prisoners heroine with admirable skills seldom seen in female leads in the genre. By allowing her to narrate this story, readers also get to know the woman behind the gun, and she's smart, authentic and highly skilled. Readers will have no issue cheering her on. I'm excited to read more about Alex and Caleb in coming books and can't wait to see where the author leads them both professionally and personally. Highly recommended to fans of high action and domestic/foreign terrorists style thrillers.
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Perfect Shot is the first book in a planned series about former US army medic and sniper turned FBI Special Agent Alex Martel. I was invited to read it by the publisher, and seeing all the high-star reviews and mentions of how badass Alex is, thought it would be right up my alley. I would normally finish this type of thriller within two days, sometimes less, but unfortunately this has taken 16, and even that involved a determined effort to push on to the end, one chapter at a time.

Alex Martel has been seconded to Europe to work with Interpol, and finds herself drawn into a political storm, when a mission to intercept a terrorist plot goes wrong. Aided and pursued by the annoyingly charming Caleb of the CIA, who wants her to work for him, she discovers a coded message from an old friend, pointing her towards an even bigger conspiracy. 

I wanted to like this more than I did, but I literally found myself putting my kindle down after every chapter so I could check the news or social media, then had to make myself go back to it. Had it not been an ARC I would’ve bailed. It’s a shame, because the story was fine, if predictable, but the pacing was slowed by overly frequent flashbacks and scene changes. Even the action sequences were - I hate to say this of a debut author - boring. The writing is overly descriptive - we don’t need to know every little detail of what fleeting characters are wearing, and the author drops in pretentious words like libation when he means drink or cocktail, which felt out of place in this kind of thriller. Alex was a bit too cocky for me as a heroine, so while a lot of the issues I’ve raised are fixable with better editing, I would probably pass on the sequel. 2.5 rounded up because the last quarter does speed up.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.
Perfect Shot is available now.
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I think I am definitely in the minority here. I had a very hard time connecting with the characters in this book and felt the plot was a bit lackluster.  Great action scenes though!  Sounds like many folks really liked it, it just wasn’t for me.
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Special Agent Martel is a dynamo of an investigator that travels through the alphabet soup of agencies in order to hunt down a missing nuclear weapon.  She bounces from under the mantel of the FBI,  to Interpol, to the CIA, all with their own objectives.  She is following the directives of the organizations, all while being led by her intuition and her personal insights obtained by a personal relationship that she had with a double-agent.  She is undervalued and underestimated, which allows her to go a little renegade in her investigation.  She is one dynamo of a special agent, and this book is non-stop action like being on a high-speed Whip ride.  From country to country, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, objective to objective, Martel remains focused on the end-game.  Finally, the deception, subterfuge and misplaced loyalties of the players leads to an explosion that changes the landscape of peace.  A fully engaging read -- I hope there is more in store for Martel!
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Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi

A medic turned sniper, Alex excelled at both.   When she left Afghanistan she ended up in the FBI and then on loan to Interpol.  After a brush with a group of terrorists, she met Caleb.  Caleb never clearly defined his affiliation.   Caleb wanted Alex in an anti-terrorist group he was setting up.  Alex wanted nothing to do with him.   The two of them ended up in time sensitive hunt for state-sponsored terrorists. 
I can’t wait for the inevitable sequel.   Urszenyi crafted a winning protagonist in Alex.   Caleb could have had more depth but no doubt that will be provided in the next book.   There is more than sufficient intrigue, action, and deceit, along with a byzantine plot. 
I enjoyed the book and recommend it.
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