Cover Image: Harm's Way

Harm's Way

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Member Reviews

Harm’s Way by John Gilstrap
Jonathan Grave #15

Missionary stories were big when I was little and at one point I thought it might be interesting to be one. I have since reconsidered and if I had not done so, this book would definitely make me never want to take my chances in a mission field!

What I liked: 
* Jonathan “Digger” Grave: intelligent, lethal, committed to causes that require a special type of black ops operative, caring, wealthy, gives back, rights wrongs, sees the bigger picture
* Brian “Boxer” Van de Muelebroecke: big, quiet, lethal, good friend and lethal colleague of Digger who works with him to right the wrongs, quirky sense of humor, can fly anything
* Gail “Gunslinger” Bonneville: brilliant, ex-FBI HRT member, ex-sheriff, bright, capable, vigilant, talented, lethal, and part of the team doing secretive things with Boxer and Digger
* Venice “Mother Hen” Alexander: mother, daughter, hacker extraordinaire, gets lost when working, intriguing, great asset to the team that can provide anything required anywhere
* Jesse “Torpedo” Montgomery and his father Davey “Chief” Montgomery: strong ties though love-hate relationship that rears its head from time to time, both capable and necessary on this op
* Irene “Wolverine” Rivers: Director of the FBI, hires Jonathan and his team for the ops they undertake, a bit of a dark horse but seems to be on the side of what is right
* Max Greenwich: on the mission trip to appease his brother Mikey, intelligent, able to see the trouble they were in when kidnapped, strong, resilient, smarter than many of the missionaries he was with
* That the plot seemed relevant to current affairs
* That it made me think, care about the outcome, and wish that things were different in our current chaotic political climate

What I didn’t like: 
* Who and what I was meant not to like 
* Thinking about the bad guys and wondering why they made the choices they did…
* Knowing I have to wait for the next book in the series – the teaser has me eager to read the book

Did I enjoy this book? Yes, though it had a bit of a sad ending
Would I read more in this series? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books – Pinnacle for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4-5 Stars
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Non-Stop Action in the latest Jonathan Grave Mission. 

When Graves team picks up a mission to extract the twelve kidnapped American missionaries, they find that infiltrating the militants camp and securing the hostages’ release turning more perilous than anticipated. 
As ever, Gilstrap delivers power packed action sequences, plot twists, and a good overall story to this thrilling adventure.
A good-read for thriller fans. 

My thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of the book for my unbiased review.
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Great addition to the series.  I loved the plot with all its twists and turns.  It really keeps you engaged throughout the story.  As usual you get great characters, great writing and lots of action/suspense.
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Another excellent entry into the Scorpion chronicles.  Always enjoy the characters and although the stories are often similar they never fail to capture my attention and keep it throughout.
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This very interesting story is told in typical John Gilstrap fashion.  Lots of intense scenes and anxious moments.  Also a note, this book is probably going to be more appreciated by conservatives than liberals.
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HARM'S WAY was my first John Gilstrap novel, and it will be my last. I was so disappointed; I've had this author on my radar for years, and I was excited to try one of his thrillers. The first chapter was promising - good action, solid writing. My radar dinged a little at some of the throwaway comments. Then I got to the first Jonathan Graves chapter and realized I'd made a huge mistake. He reads like an aging Trumpster version of Jack Reacher--arrogant, entitled, and gratuitously political.
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Book #15 in the Jonathan Grave series.  It can be read as a stand alone but the whole series has been so good, you'll want to read the others, too.  When John Gilstrap developed the Grave character, he built a hero who selflessly puts his team and their mission above his personal comfort and safety.  He has maintained the quality of the first book throughout the series.  If you have not read any of this series, you should immediately schedule a binge weekend.

Grave's team has been tasked with recovering 12 missionaries that have been kidnapped.  As the front line law authories try to bargain the missionaries release, Grave's team will insert themselves into the enemy camp and free the hostages.  Once inside the camp, they learn that there is more....much this mission than they knew.  The action is fast, the tension builds quickly to a point where you are holding your breath and then......well, you'll just have to read the book for yourself.
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Harm's Way is for lovers of reading about suicide and unauthorized missions in foreign lands, there's a lot of action, spying, fighting, greed, crime, loss, and vengeance. A group of freelancers trying to release a man who has been captured as a hostage in Venezuela find themselves trying to end a conspiracy to place nuclear weapons in a site that would easily reach the US. A good story and plot.
I thank the author, his publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of this book.
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John Gilstrap is one of my favorite author's and he never disappoints.  This book was no exception.  Fast-paced, exciting, and satisfying.  A great read!

Twelve missionaries have been snatched in a remote area of Venezuela and are being held for ransom. The high-priority rescue mission comes as a personal plea from FBI director Irene Rivers. It also carries a Presidential demand: no international incident. Just get in and get out—with hostages who are far from cooperative, but nonetheless precious cargo.
America’s enemies hope to leverage the kidnapping into a major crisis. Fighting his way to the hostages is Jonathan’s first battle. The second is to deliver them, alive and well, to the extraction site – and let no one stand in his way.

My Thoughts:
This book took off at the beginning and never slowed down.  It kept my attention from beginning to end.  Jonathan Graves is the perfect hero - and who doesn't like a hero?  He's always one step ahead and sees the big picture as he strategizes.  Tension mounts as danger closes in.  This novel could be read as a standalone, however it would be nice to have the background from the earlier books.

Thanks to Kensington Books, Pinnacle through Netgalley for an advance copy.
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4.5 Stars

We jump right into Book 15 of this series as we learn that a group of "missionaries" have been kidnapped by a cartel in Venezuela. Through a series of circumstances, Jonathan Grave has been asked to go rescue them. Well, to rescue one hostage in particular. Digger, on the other hand, tells Wolverine that if he is going in to rescue one, that he is going to leave with all of them.  And so it begins......

Let me start by saying that I am a very big fan of this series. As a reader, we have gone on a very long road as we have gotten to know Jonathan (Digger), Boxers (Big Guy), Venice (Mother Hen) and Gail (Gunslinger). Yes, there are others, but this is the main gang. Saving people - this is what they do and unfortunately, it is never easy and it never goes to plan. This is no exception.

In terms of the books content, it is action packed from beginning to end. There is drama, and intrigue, but this is not going to go down as my favorite book of the series. I know this is going to sound crazy, but it felt a little... "too" easy. Don't get me wrong, there is a whole heck of a lot that happens and there are HUGE obstacles to overcome, but for some reason it felt like this book kind of rode over the top of the story and did not delve into the meat of it the way it usually does. I don't know- I'm not sure if I'm explaining it correctly.

Regardless, there is definitely more to the story than what we are first told and Digger and the gang have to figure out how they are going to handle everything. Chief and Torpedo join the gang again for another mission and a big part of the storyline revolves around these two characters and the results of their "unique" dynamic. 

There is also a quick snippet at the end of the book that is a teaser for the next book. Let me just say that I'm already looking forward to it and it sounds interesting. There is just something about this series that keeps me interested and invested in this group of characters.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. The opinions above are mine and mine alone.
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Breathtaking and electrifying are two of the words that come to mind as I think about Harm’s Way by John Gilstrap. This political thriller is the fifteenth book in the Jonathan Grave covert series. Twelve missionaries were abducted in a remote area of Venezuela and are being held for ransom. In a secret meeting, FBI Director Irene Rivers pleas with Jonathan Grave to mount a rescue mission with his team. While Jonathan, Boxers, and Gunslinger plan to infiltrate the enemy camp and rescue the hostages, Venice will be working from their company office as support. However, the mission changes as a world threat is revealed.

Grave loves his country. He’s great at making connections, planning, and adjusting as situations change. Political intrigue excites him. Readers can easily connect with him and root for the success of him and his team. Boxers, Gunslinger, and Venice do not show as much depth in this novel. However, I loved how the team connected to each other and their dialogue. Their chemistry added to my enjoyment of the novel. They have a strong sense of justice and a determination to succeed against overwhelming odds.

Gilstrap has a way of writing thrillers that immediately grab your attention. He’s an excellent storyteller who combines a creative plot with gripping scenes and plenty of action and suspense. The writing is fluid and has a few twists and turns. As danger became imminent, the suspense intensified. The unnerving and over-the-top conclusion will get readers’ hearts racing as they find out who survives. The final chapter wraps up some loose ends and hints that more adventures will be coming.

This high-octane novel was also very atmospheric. The author did a great job of painting the scenes and giving readers the ability to easily picture the scenes without slowing the pace. From the first chapter to the last, events come with a hectic and wild pace. There was a strong sense of urgency throughout the novel. While the novel switches points of view occasionally, it is mainly from that of Grave. Themes include abduction for ransom, corruption, influence peddling, betrayal, political maneuvering and intrigue, and more.

Overall, this briskly paced and explosive novel was tense, fast-paced, action-oriented, and scary to think about. While there are references to past missions, this novel can be read as a standalone. However, readers will be missing out on some background and character growth and changes over time. I recommend this to those who enjoy fantastic action novels.

Kensington Books, Pinnacle and John Gilstrap provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for August 22, 2023. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.
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I received an advance reading copy from Kensington Publishing, through Netgalley to read and review.

Harm's Way, could be ripped right out of today's headlines, mix Security Solutions, Inc., Venezuela with it's communist regimen, the drug cartel, US missionaries, Russia with it's desire to put missiles in the Western Hemisphere, and you got a real good action thriller. 

The drug cartel while providing security, for the Russians as they work with the Venezuela, they hide the missiles, warheads, as a vacation hotel with missile silos are being built and they kidnap US missionaries they hold for ransom. 

Unaware that one of the missionaries, Donny Williams is actually a undercover informant working with the FBI and leads to it's director Irene Rivers calling in off the record Security Solutions, Inc..

End up with my style of book, entertaining, has a intertwining storyline, fast paced, action packed, tension filled, full of suspense, gripping, full of twist and turns, a little predictable, builds to a great conclusion and has a good verse evil theme. 

Kind of makes you think about the current President Joe Biden, what would he do or how unprepared VP Kamala Harris would be in a real life situation like in Harm's Way and without the author's words triggering it. 

I really liked his characters of Jonathan Graves aka: Scorpion, Brian Van de Muelebrocke aka: Boxers, then you have his IT Specialist Venice Alexander, Gail Bonneville aka: Gunslinger, add FBI Director Irene 'Wolfie' Rivers, then a father and son Davey & Jessie Montgomery aka: Chief and Torpedo, they are all likable, like family, make a great formative team and they work off the books. 

Guess some writers are just blessed when it comes to bring characters to life in their books, they all play a role in telling the story, doesn't matter if they are good or bad and Gilstrap does just that with Harm's Way. 

Don't want to give anything away, the author gives you a believable read, one that enables you escape into the pages, forget life's problems and would recommend.
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Harm's Way is the 15th book in the Jonathan Graves series from John Gilstrap.

"Wolverine asks Jonathan to rescue an asset. One that happens to be in an unfriendly country. The team will have no official cover. After arrival, Digger and his team find some unexpected company and realize the mission has changed - there's some unexpected visitors intent on impacting on the entire Western Hemisphere."

This book has all of the action you expect from a Jonathan Graves rescue story. Except this one has more of a political thriller slant. There's lots of cool technology (some a little frightening) a couple of strong female leads and an old Cold War flavor. This one differs in that there is not a 100% resolution to the plot. It's not a cliffhanger but there are some things left hanging. 

This is a great addition to the series. Gilstrap is still finding new situations to put Digger and company into. Fans of action and military/political thrillers will enjoy this one
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It was nice to see the gang all back together in this one after, mostly, being apart in the last book. However, felt a little by-the-numbers. Very comparable to the middle entries in the series (see books 5-9). Good, but not great. Still love Digger as a character, though Gail was a little annoying in this one (re: the "killing cops scene"). I also didn't care for the political commentary in this one. I don't mind reading books written by authors who don't share my same political stances (looking at Clancy, Thor, and Carr in particular). However, I felt the right-leaning commentary spouted by most characters in this book was a little much. Plus some of the government characters were thinly veiled disguises of real world politicians. Either way, I'm still going to read the next one. The teaser chapter definitely helped whet the appetite. Would also love to see the series make its way to Europe at some point vs. South America/Latin America.
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Great addition to an excellent series.  Great characters, fast paced action, and witty banter between characters kept me reading late into the night. Although this reads well as a stand alone, I recommend starting with No Mercy and reading them in order to better understand the evolution of the characters. Highly recommended. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Pinnacle Books for an advanced reader copy.
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The President's son in law is among the 10 missionaries who have been kidnapped by a narco cartel in Venezuela-and the FBI Director has asked Grave and his team to rescue them,  This is fast paced, implausible, over the top, and not my cup of tea thanks to the sideways political commentary,  That said, I''ll bet others will enjoy it.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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ebook Review – Harm’s Way – John Gilstrap
Author John Gilstrap’s Jonathan Grave series is one of my ‘top favorite’ thriller series and Book 15, “Harm’s Way” is one of the reasons why. With breathtaking action and deep emotional characterization of the various regular characters, Harm’s Way touches all the elements of an exhilarating action thriller. Twelve Christian missionaries have been kidnapped in Venezuela and unbeknownst to the kidnappers is the US President's son-in-law. FBI Director Irene Rivers ask black ops rescue expert ‘Digger/Scorpion’ and his team – ‘Big Guy,’ ‘Gunslinger,’ and ‘Mother Hen’ – to rescue the son-in-law and the other missionaries, strictly off the books, without starting an international incident. However, while rescuing the missionaries, the black ops rescue team stumbles onto a dangerous and lethal threat to American security involving a vicious Russian drug cartel. Committed to saving and protecting the ‘precious cargo,’ Grave and team encounter and foil the Russians with fatal consequences. Gilstrap pens another stunning, action-packed, adrenaline-laden narrative that was explosive, fiery, and powerfully intense. As usual the cast of characters were skillfully developed, and the plot and storyline were proficiently told. And although the conclusion was chaotic, violent, and ferocious, it was climatic and momentous! Gilstrap continues to amaze me with this highly entertaining and distinctive series, and I continue to promote it as one of the best in the thriller genre. Thank you NetGalley, Pinnacle Publishing and John Gilstrap for this digital advance reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Ten missionaries are taken and handled captive in the remote jungle of Venezuela. After the ransom demand the director of the FBI has called in Johnathon and his team for a rescue. After listening to everything including the person who said they escaped he takes the job along with his team but it does not feel right that a drug cartel is doing all of this. When he gets further along into the operation he realizes that this is much, much more than what he was told and can impact millions of people. A good store that will keep you turning page after page.
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As a relative newbie to the Jonathan Graves franchise, I'm impressed with the differing ways Mr. Gilstrap has his characters work.  With friends in high places, Jonathan is forever being tasked with rescuing people who sometimes seem too stupid to live.  Taking themselves into situations that require rescue kind of makes my point!

Ten missionaries are taken hostage by a drug cartel, but their unfortunate detainment really has nothing to do with the reason the drug cartel is in their area.  This act does gets Jonathan's whole crew involved in the rescue and subsequent realization about a bigger issue than just these 10 people.  

I enjoy learning about this kind of clandestine operation, and while not everything that transpires is in reality, happening now, it might!  

Another entertaining and sometimes heart stopping page turner.

Thanks to Kensington and Net Galley for an ARC of this book.  The review is my own.
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Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers and the author for an ARC Copy for review.

My apologies for the delay

Henchmen of a vicious drug syndicate have snatched ten missionaries in a remote area of Venezuela and are holding them for ransom. The high-priority rescue op comes as a personal plea from FBI Director Irene Rivers, who has a very special interest in one of the hostages. The mission is strictly off the books, and there can be no international incident. Just get in and get out—and keep the precious cargo safe.

With his key operatives Gunslinger and Boxers, Grave infiltrates the enemy camp. Right away, the rescue mission morphs into something far more dangerous—not just to Jonathan and his team, but to the whole world.

Gilstrap knows how to hook you early on and not let go, he brings strength to his characters mixed with strong action, but realistic  story .The entire cast of characters is flawless and they each make their mark on the story in distinct ways. I recommend this series constantly

The pace of the story builds slowly till the last 30%, when the pace takes off and keeps going to the end.

four stars.
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