By Henry Porter


The Mysterious Press
ISBN 978-0802128959
Publication Date: October 2018


Review by Bill Hopkins

FIREFLY (The Mysterious Press; October 2, 2018) is a thriller that pays its dues overall. It’s about a young man, Luc Samson, who is running from the Muslims during the Syrian civil war. He is cast adrift (literally) into the ocean and washes up on a Greek island. Then he begins his trek northward to find a place he can live in Europe.  He is a quasi-intelligence agent, having been strong-armed (not literally) into working for the Brits.

This is a cat-and-mouse game in the style and genre of lots of spy novels. The Brits are excellent at writing spy novels. The pace moves quickly here.

As usual, we (the readers) are urged to not fall in love with the spy agencies. In fact, there isn’t any particular group who is endearing. The different people the young man runs into are none any too moral. They have a job and they plan to get it done. This isn’t a slam against anyone in the book. That’s just the way life works.

Generally, I liked this book. I love spy novels. When I read, for example, a James Bond novel, I know there is a lot of fantasy there. The same here. Coincidence and happenstance play a large role in the plot.

There are two main nits I have to pick with this book: The pronouns sometimes are difficult to pin down to the people they belong to. I found myself going back and re-reading pages to figure out who was doing what to whom. The other nit is that the word “Firefly” is overused in the book and gaming world. I had a difficult time finding this book on Amazon.

However, both of these nits can surely be laid at the feet of the publisher.

Nonetheless, for a smashing good read, you won’t be sorry you read this!

Many thanks to Justina Batchelor from Grove Atlantic for providing me with the hardcover edition for review. It has been donated to the Bollinger County Library in Marble Hill, Missouri.

Bill Hopkins is retired after beginning his legal career in 1971, serving as a private attorney, prosecuting attorney, an administrative law judge, and a trial court judge, all in Missouri. Bill is a member of Horror Writers Association, Heartland Writers Guild, and Sisters In Crime. Bill and his wife, Sharon Woods Hopkins (a mystery writer!), live in Marble Hill, Missouri, with their dogs and cats. Courting Murder was his first novel and his second novel River Mourn won first place in the Best Novel of 2014 from the Missouri Writers Guild. His latest novel, Harvest Death is available from Amazon, with a new novel coming soon!

Learn more about Bill at his website,