Operation Simple Simon is a thrilling suspense novel with strong political and religious undertones and an international setting.
Reviewed by Christian Sia
for Readers' Favorite - 5 Stars
Operation Simple Simon by Tony Thistlewood is a thrilling suspense novel with strong political and religious undertones, a story with an interesting international setting that spans countries. The narrative follows a gifted author, Max Lynn, a man haunted by nightmares of his experience as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan years back. Memories of the painful experience still haunt him. When he is assigned the important task of crafting a document showcasing the philosophy of Operation Simple Simon, a manifesto for a kind of Christian Party with content that will appeal to both Christian and Jewish religions, the worst is yet to come.
While working on this project, Emeritus Professor Freddie Fitch, a climatologist who thinks climate change is a fraud, is murdered. Other murders, including Max's psychiatrist, occur. All fingers point to him because the murders are committed in a way similar to those described in his books.
This is a beautifully written story with strong psychological underpinnings , a tale that will appeal to fans of suspense and crime. The protagonist is a man who suffers a lot psychologically. The empathy he inspires in readers is very strong. I wanted to see him cleared of suspicion, wanted to see him succeed, but the author has written this character in a way that readers will easily suspect him as well. I was pulled in from the start, thanks to the crisp writing and the fast pacing. The descriptions are terrific and the reader is pulled into the company of characters that are intellectually exciting to be with.The conflict is developed at different levels and it adds depth to the story, strengthening the plot points and exploring the characters.
Operation Simple Simon features political and religious themes and characters involved in a game of power and intrigue. It was, for me, an enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Gobi Jane
for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
Operation Simple Simon by Tony Thistlewood tells the story of a successful writer who is beset by problems as he is entrusted with a new and daunting task of writing a political manifesto that will appeal to readers of both Christian and Jewish religious beliefs. Operation Simple Simon is designed to fill the gap left by politics in the lives of Americans, replacing that gap with a new religious drive. But Max Lynn has challenges of his own, including troubling memories of being a captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan years back. He still has nightmares of the terrible torture he endured, plus he has his marriage to fix. Things do not go as planned when a professor with controversial climate views is murdered together with others. The murder mimics methods used by Max in his novels and now, without concrete evidence of the perpetrator, he becomes the prime suspect. Can he clear his name, complete the project, and regain his sanity?
This is a character-driven story that has strong hints of a psychological thriller. I liked how the author weaves themes of politics and religion into the plot. The international setting is very relevant and strongly showcases the religious conflict involving Islamic fanaticism. The prose is strong and it features streams of consciousness that allow readers to understand the pain of the protagonist. It is a style the author uses effectively to build the backstory and give depth to the characters. The internal conflict is accomplished with a masterly touch and the protagonist easily gains the sympathy of readers. It seems like he has so many troubles to handle and the reader quickly understands that someone who knows him well is trying to frame him for murder, but who is that person? Operation Simple Simon is a compelling and riveting story that proposes a new paradigm to solve the divide in America's political life.
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer
for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
Operation Simple Simon by Tony Thistlewood is the story of an ex-war correspondent and now author. After leaving the military with mental scars and PTSD, Max Lynn has learned to live with his life. He is a successful author; he has a good home and all that is missing from his life is reforming the connection with his wife. He is part of a major project called Operation Simple Simon that will help priest religion and make it an important fixture in everyone's lives.
However, things are not simple with this project at all. Someone or some people are ready to do whatever it takes to stop the project, even if it means some of the biggest names in the academic world. Is there any way for Max to solve this issue before it escalates, and he is caught in the crossfire? I appreciate the list of characters provided at the beginning of the story because otherwise I would have been too confused to truly enjoy Operation Simple Simon.
This absolutely brilliant action novel gave me plenty of goosebumps and an adrenaline rush to last for days. Max is the perfect lead for the story; he is smart, charming and thinks with his brain first before speaking. He is an observer and his background in the military comes in handy. I was expecting this story to be complicated with too many subplots, but the author managed to add just the right amount of oomph to light a spark in the story. The tension between Max and Victoria was a nice touch, while the murders of Emeritus professors were enough to fuel the fire. Tony Thistlewood did a great job of managing the story, giving plenty of action, and allowing Max to evolve at his own pace. This is literary entertainment at best.
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