Cover Image: House of Jaguar

House of Jaguar

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Member Reviews

Wordy with long descriptions. Not bad but seemed long winded. Drugs in his plane begins the story. The unreasonable hate from one man keeps him on the run. The story could be in current times too. So much hate in the world right now.

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This is the second Mike Bond book I have read. It was provided to my by NetGalley for an unbiased review. I found the book to be fast paced as it raced through the Guatemalan jungle. Having visited that area I found it fascinating in how it lays bear some of the ugly secrets of the US government in South America. It starts with a drug run gone bad and morphs into a love story with the CIA hot on the trail of the drug runner because they think he is involve in the killing of a CIA agent.. As he goes back to the USA to try to figure out what is going on the police are also on his tail. Fun story of intrigue and dirty tricks that we learn about along the way..

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Loved the novel, great page turner, lots of history dating back to the Reagan Administration's dealings in Central America with CIA involvement using drug money to fund weapons for the Contras, although they are not named. I did not enjoy the ending when the reader is left hanging and wondering what happened to Dona and her boy friend, both are the main characters in the book.

There are lots of details of how the local population was brutally killed by the Army, under the watchful eye of agency agents on the ground.

If you like lots of action, many plot twists and constant intrigue, this is the book for you.

Don't expect a happy ending and for the hero and his love to fade into the sunset to happily ever after.
Raw and painful.

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Much like Don Winslow's The Power Of the Dog this story is rife with drugs, corrupt government officials and the USA involvement with it. It's a bleak statement of what happened during the Reagan administration. Mike Bond was there and saw it all and was lucky to escape alive.

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House of Jaguar is an unusual reading experience. On one hand, it is thrilling, well-researched and informative. On the other hand, it is jumpy, difficult to follow, and very dark.

House of Jaguar is set in Latin America, and deals with drug smugglers, freedom fighters, and CIA operatives. The author is knowledgeable about all three, and is particularly knowledgeable about life in the jungles and poor villages of conflict-ridden Latin America. I fount those aspects of the book exceptional.

At the same time, the book was difficult to follow, and often jumped from character to character and location to location. This hampered my enjoyment of the novel, especially in the early parts. At times, I had difficulty picking up the book. The latter part of the book improved a lot. I found the protagonist unlikeable at the beginning of the book, but his character changed as the story progressed. The book is often very dark. I hope this darkness is from the fertile imagination of the author, but I have a feeling that it is based on a heavy dose of unpleasant reality.

The author had a great story to tell, but the jumpiness and the increasing darkness of House of Jaguar made it an unpleasant experience for me. I enjoy a dark story, but this one was a lttle too dark. With a good dose of editing, this story could really jump off the pages. The author has a lot of good stories to tell, but this story was clouded by the jumpiness and the darkness.

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Review of eBook

Once upon a time, Joe Murphy served as an evacuation medic in Vietnam; now he smuggles drugs. He’s considering the possibility of this being his last run, but that is a decision made a moment too late.

Ambushed by soldiers, his plane destroyed, a wounded Murphy awakens to find himself in a Guatemalan village, a family caring for him. But the government officials are relentless in their search for him.

Will Murphy be discovered? And if he is, what will happen to him?


Set in Guatemala in Central America and based on the author’s own experiences, this well-written, intense narrative is difficult to read. Filled with horrific brutality, the story both powerful and disturbing.

Although, at the outset, Murphy might seem to be a “bad” guy; the unfolding story paints him in a different light. With no nuances, the good characters are good while the bad characters are evil and Murphy is quite unlikable.

Despite the strong, evocative sense of place, the story is gritty, filled with cartels, deceitful government officials, politics, and, at the other end of the spectrum, people just trying to do the right thing.

Recommended, but with this caveat: this far-too-graphic story, filled with atrocities, vividly recounts man’s inhumanity to man. It’s despicable; it’s gruesome . . . made all the more insidious by its cruel veracity.

I received a free copy of this eBook from Mandevilla Press and NetGalley
#HouseofJaguar #NetGalley

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House of Jaguar was a very confusing book. The reader is never certain why things are happening. The "good guys" are bad guys and Murphy, the bad guy who is a drug smuggler, is almost a good guy. There was no redemption. The dialogue was stilted. All in all, there are so many good books out there, I would skip this one. I received an arc from NetGalley and was not influenced for a good review.

Ramona Thompson

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Once being a soldier, your entire life will be solider.
A spy works for country, or for his own passions?
And what will happen if a day waking up and knowing that you're framed up? Does instincts of soldier and experienced spy will help you to survive?

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“We’re back in Guatemala.” “When we get out this time, I’m going to bag it too.”

But they waited one trip too long and Murphy’s life as a pilot flying marijuana from Guatemala to the States is over.

I’m not going into everything that is in the blurb, but I do remember hearing a lot about the CIA, the cartels, corrupt politicians…on both sides…those with their own agendas. To me, everything about the ‘drug wars’ and the way our government handles it is all wrong. A book like House Of Jaguar gets my emotions roiled. The tragic circumstances of the poor and those who get in the way, makes my heart break for them.

“For two years I do not see a track. Then since you came this one’s been near. He’s very rare, a black one…Tonight after the ceremony I go and call him. Then we’ll have money for more seeds – black skins are the most valuable.”

In tragic, dangerous circumstances, there are those who open their hearts, putting their own lives on the line to help others. Dona is one of those characters and Murphy has the misfortune (?) to fall in love with her. How can it be a happy ever after?

He knows too much and tries to tell the world what is being done to the Guatemalans. It is unfortunate that no one seems to care enough to do anything about it, other than hunt him down and shut him up. He is naive to think the things he does won’t end in a bad way. Lives will be lost, but he cannot help himself. He wants her. He wants to make a difference. He wants to be a good guy. He wants to make a difference.

They kill their own. Psycopaths are turned loose on the innocent. Men turn into animals. The savage violence turns my stomach, pisses me off to no end. Why? What makes them think they are more valuable to the world than the next person? Sometimes I think, do unto others should be done unto them. You reap what you sow. You take a life, you have to give one…yours!

Violence, tragedy, intensity, emotions…The author has lived them and it shows in the story he tells. I don’t read books like House Of Jaguar too often any more. They make me soooo angry, frustrated and disturbed because it seems like we, as a people, never learn and history does repeat itself…over and over again.

The ending….

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of House Of Jaguar by Mike Bond.

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Non-stop thriller set in Central America with an indestructible hero and a extremely wicked villain. Stark black and white characters with few shades of gray, but the colors of the settings are brilliantly described.
Powerful, emotional story.

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The idea of the novel was good -- a spy-type thriller set in a part of the world that I find interesting. Add the idea of a jaguar and what was there not to like? The notes said there was a love story and this "love" idea was stretched thin between one of the main characters and his wife Nancy.

In this case, a lot. I struggled to follow the story as it seemed to jump from character to character and place to place. Confusing was the watchword. I struggled mightily to try to make sense of it but alas it did not work. I thought the writing was somewhat disjointed and seems to need major editing.

Started and stopped several times as I thought that surely I had missed something...and maybe I still did but I did not enjoy this at all and have trouble recommending it. I will point out that I like stories that are a but more my confusion can just be mine.

Maybe I missed it but saw only one reference to a jaguar -- maybe there were others that were somewhat veiled or illusory? For anyone deciding to read be aware there is a lot of violence. of course Guatemala has been sort of a violent country, maybe the violence can be overlooked.

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I felt like the words "Trigger Warnings" should be expressively indicated in the description. There was a lot going on in this book and I was surprised to find out a large portion of it is based off of the authors own experiences. If you like intense and brutal Action & Adventure and War novels, then this will be perfect for you. Otherwise, I would read the other more detailed summaries posted before reading this book.

*I received this e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Bond writes with perfect pitch authority on Guatemala, war , and tragedy. This story gripped me from the beginning.
Many thanks to Mandevilla Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I wasn't able to download and read this book due to a bad flare up of lyme disease. I apologize to Netgalley and the publisher and author.

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House of Jaguar by Mike Bond
The House of Jaguar penned by Mike Bond is a highly intense read with a great deal of drug, stress, and government conspiracies. There are plenty of highs and lows throughout the narrative. Mr. Bond did a masterful job of research, which provided the reader with plenty of background information.
The characters are relatable, settings and dialogue are realistic.
Some readers may find the book challenging to stick with, but if they do will find the challenge worth it once they reach its conclusion.

Great book for the adventure seeker.

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House of Jaguar by Mike Bond

387 Pages
Publisher: Mandevilla Press
Release Date: November 25, 2013

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thriller, Action & Adventure, War

Murphy was a helicopter evac medic in Vietnam but now does drug runs to Guatemala. On what was going to be his last flight he is ambushed, and his plane destroyed. He runs through the jungle barefoot and wounded before passing out. When he wakes up, he is in a village being cared for by a family. He becomes part of the village and begins a relationship with the doctor caring for him. What becomes clear to him is that his presence in the village is a danger to them all. The government officials are looking for him and will stop at nothing to find him.

This was the first book by this author I have read outside of the Pono Hawkins series. It was definitely more intense and grittier. It shows the underbelly of cartels and underhanded governments. The story moves at a steady pace and the characters are developed. I enjoy reading books by Mike Bond, but this was a little too graphic for me. There was a lot of violence, rape and murder. If you enjoy guerilla warfare type stories, you will like this one.

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Every book isn't necessarily for every reader and this book clearly wasn't for me. The brutality is one thing, but the main characters choice of actions made them thoroughly unlikeable, and I found myself rooting for something bad to happen to the main character to put him out of his misery and the pain he inflicts on other people.

The main lead in the story, Joe Murphy should have stopped smuggling marijuana out of Central America while he was ahead. His plane gets attacked while it was on the ground and he barely escaped with his life. During his escape, he witnessed a murder that would he later be blamed for. The CIA has a hand in the running of the Guatemalan government, so they want this supposed killer caught and handed over.. Murphy's injury should have killed him during his escape through the jungle, but if the troops/militia and/or CIA find him, that will be the least of his worries.

I read a lot of thrillers, so I hoped this book to be a good fit for me. It most certainly was not. The descriptions of violence were so gruesomely graphic was hard to stomach, not so much for their nature of them, but because of how they were being told. Also the descriptions of rape were something the author seemed to take particular joy in writing about, which can hardly be the case, yet that it how it felt.
Several characters just appear in a sentence without background, description, or introduction preceding or following which makes it very difficult to connect with or care about them. The plot is not necessarily a bad one, but it could have been executed much better and a conscientious editor could have helped clean up this story
Bottom line, not a success for me.

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House of Jaguar by Mike Bond is a brutal, tense read. Very engrossing. Murder, lies, need to say much else. Excellent.

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Vietnam vet Joe Murphy is earning money by flying to Guatemala to pick up a load of marijuana. But before he can get his plane back in the air, the Guatemalan army attacks, and Murphy flees into the jungle. The pilot, injured and taken in by villagers, evades the army again but watches as they massacre the village. When Murphy makes it back to the States, he goes to the press with his story, but there’s evidently no media interest. A short article, however, is enough to catch the attention of Col. Lyman, who was in Guatemala on a CIA op and who’s been obsessively pursuing Murphy, blaming him for the murder of another CIA insert, Kit Gallagher—a death that Murphy heard while hiding in the jungle. Murphy is now dodging killers, including cops, in his native country, hoping to learn what the CIA was doing in Guatemala and determined to go back for Dona Villalobos, a doctor he fell for during his recovery. Bond’s kinetic novel abounds with intense scenes—Murphy trekking through the spider- and snake-laden forest with a broken arm; Dona and a group of guerrillas raiding an Army base for medicines, a plan that has unexpectedly bloody results. But even without someone running or ducking bullets, characters are rarely given a chance to stop and take a breath. The adept Dona simultaneously tends to Murphy, who’s aggravated his injury, and a pregnant woman who needs a cesarean section. Bond also includes elements of mystery; readers are aware of the CIA’s presence in Guatemala but learn most things right along with the protagonist. The characters are fully limned, though none is more delectably warped than Lyman. His fixation on Murphy borders on psychotic and leads Lyman to enact seriously disturbing deeds. Not surprisingly, the novel ends with a shock, one that might have a few readers gasping.

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This was a little difficult for me to stay focused on the storyline. It tended to drag on at times. It was brutal and a little too real at times. I don’t mind the reality of the story if it had flowed easier. That being said, if you like war time stories, I think you would love this. The ending was the best part. Book provided by NetGalley.

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