Review of Bishop's War: A Thriller by Rafael Amadeus Hines

With hundreds of reviews, this book by author Rafael Amadeus Hines has long intrigued me, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.


This fast-paced and action-packed suspense thriller introduces us to Special Forces Sergeant John Bishop, decorated war hero, and nephew of crime boss, Gonzalo Valdez. After returning home from Afghanistan John’s hopes for a peaceful future are quickly shattered when he is catapulted back into the global war on terror through a succession of life-threatening events and corrupt intrigue. He battles against terrorist operatives in New York, a powerful Afghan warlord, and a psychopathic billionaire with powerful White House connections. When John’s uncle gets involved, he proceeds to treat John’s enemies to a bitter taste of mob vengeance. From that point on the ride speeds up and the reader will have to hold on for dear life. This is a thriller not to be matched for intensity and breathless excitement—not for the faint-hearted.

Reading experience: 🐉🐉🐉🐉

I enjoyed the story. It reminded me of The Godfather, with a little of  Jason Bourne. Sure, it was over the top, but it was entertaining, nevertheless. Like when you watch Fast & The Furious. Just let the author take you where he will and hang on for the ride. The writing style is smooth and easy, and unpretentious. The author gives a backstory for almost every character, and that made them more real to me. The dialogue was ok. Nothing made me roll my eyes. There were characters who had strong beliefs, and some psychos, so, exaggerated and fanatical statements should be expected.

I've read some of the reviews and most of the negative comments concerned the superman-like qualities of John Bishop, the lead character. That he was unbelievable. But that's exactly why I enjoyed the book! I want to be taken into a world where there's this decorated, bigger than life hero who fought the bad guys --- and he did not die easily. Flawed heroes are fine, but too much of it can be tiring too. When I read stories like that, I feel like a psychiatrist, rooting for the hero to overcome his personal issues, and do the right thing and get on with it. John Bishop has his demons too. But he was a good soldier, who does what he needs to do.

John Bishop was just right. A killer when he needs to be, but with heart. A man with a strong sense of family, friendship, and loyalty.

Bishop's War is very violent, since the story is about a war between terrorists and the mob, it's supposed to be bloody and gory, with people dying on almost every page. The government agencies are just extras, relegated to the sidelines, so if you're looking for the authorities to stop the violence, they're not in control.

This book is not for the squeamish or the fainthearted, and it says so right there on the synopsis. So, if you don't like those types of stories, don't read it and then leave a 2 star review saying it's too violent. 

But if you like a fast-paced, action-filled, entertaining, Rambo-type thriller, I would definitely recommend Bishop's War.

I will read the next book just to see what happens to Omar, the assassin hired to kill John Bishop. Hines knows how to create interesting villain-types. I liked Gonzalo Valdez more than John. It's so hard to hate villains when the author makes you understand why they became that way.

Technical: 🐉🐉

The book needs a proofreader to go over it line by line. 20 or more errors are negligible, but as the novel progressed, the errors increased. Extra words, punctuation and spelling errors, nothing that a good polishing won't fix. I think the author should seriously consider it since it's a really good book, and has the potential to be so much more.

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