Midwest Book Review and other Reviews

2. UPDATED JANUARY 21, 2014.

1. Book Review by Teodora Totorean for Goodreads, January 14, 2014:

“…Once I turned on the first pages of the book, I got hooked. It has all the ingredients of a spy novel: the American Intelligence Officer, the Russian ex-gymnast with a gorgeous body and quick shooting reflexes, a mysterious mission in a post-communist country, double and quadruple spies and Romanian soldiers trying to jeopardize the mission and enough mystery and action scenes to keep the readers’ attention. The romance that develops between the two main characters while the mission goes forward is a great accompaniment of the book that holds its own. The American hero is an atypical character who is not afraid to show his weaknesses, but who is strong minded and capable of making sensible choices. The plot is set in Romania, a country that the author himself visited. The love of this country transpires through the descriptions of places, the well known names of cities, towns and villages as well as Jack’s admiration for Romania’s beautiful landscapes. Overall, the book is enjoyable to read and it would definitely make a good spy romance movie.”
Response by Author: I particularly appreciate Teodora’s review of my novel because she is a prolific Romanian author who has received literary awards herself. For those among us who enjoy Romanian literature, I recommend her short stories (Texturi by Teodora Galatean, Criterion Publishing, 2008). On the other hand, I recommend The Romanian Connection for those who enjoy suspenseful spy novels. Everybody, however, needs to spend some time in Romania to enjoy all of its wonders and discover why I love Romania….Richard  

2. Book Review, August 4, 2013:

Readers\' Favorite Book Contest Award Winner Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers’ Favorite. The Romanian Connection by Richard Roche is a work of fiction that reads like non-fiction. I had to check more than once to make sure the author had correctly listed this book. The prologue hints at the intrigue that lies ahead. The setting is 1995; Jack Hollingsworth had questions and was determined to find the answers. His wife was found dead with a blood alcohol level of 0.24, three times the legal limit. Cynthia would drink a glass of wine on holidays but that was all. She was found in five feet of extremely cold water; that alone was enough to kill her. The more he searched for answers the more questions he found. Who was the extremely ugly man she was seen with right before the accident? Jack discovered she had written a manuscript that exposed corruption in the Romanian government.Jack had spent many years in Romania and he suspected his wife’s death was connected to Romania. The CIA has a problem; one of their operatives spotted what he thought was a nuclear warhead and five long range missiles. They felt Jack was the best man to send to Romania to investigate; this could be the opening Jack needed to find out the truth behind his wife’s death.I was quickly drawn into this tale. I walked alongside Jack Hollingsworth as he searched for information concerning his wife’s death. His search led to extreme danger and the death of his daughter, keeping me on the edge of my seat. The Romanian Connection is a stunning work filled with intrigue, romance, and danger. There are twists and turns to keep readers turning the pages. The plot has great potential; however this book needs more editing.

Note by Richard Roche: The last sentence above is somewhat open-ended, but it should not deter people from reading The Romanian Connection, recognized as a Readers’ Favorite Award Finalist for intrigue fiction in 2013.

3. On June 15, 2013, Georgia Reader posted the following about The Romanian Connection on Amazon.com:

“This novel is, in my opinion, misclassified as a spy romance novel. I consider it to be a novel about international political intrigue. It demonstrates what happens worldwide but particularly in developing nations where the struggle for competent self government is often overruled by powerful people who exploit their personal connections to achieve their own selfish goals. The author has done an outstanding job of showing both the big picture of how countries interact and plot to gain what is possessed by others and the smaller picture of how these interactions effect individuals who unwittingly and helplessly become involved in historical events. The author faithfully captures the beauty of Transylvania’s countryside and the spirit of its people. I highly recommend this book for action, romance and a behind-the-scenes look at international manipulations…”

4. On August 2, 2012, this highly commendable review was provided by book reviewer Suzy Watts for Review The Book:

The Romanian Connection by Richard Roche
Published by Southern Georgia Freedom Press
ISBN 978-0615456430

This spy thriller about Romania in the 1990s was exciting from start to finish. Our hero, Jack, is forced back into the ‘spy’ business when his wife, and one of his daughters, are killed because of a book his wife had been writing about Romanian politics. He swears vengeance on their killer and heads to Romania to find him.

Jack has previously lived and worked in Romania and his contacts are willing to help him in his quest, but there are many others who are trying to stop him. He teams up with a Russian spy called Ludvia, who has an agenda of her own which is unclear, but they work together and have many adventures along the way.

Reading this book at a time when the current president of Romania has just seen off a motion to impeach him, it looks like the changes that came about with the fall of the Ceausescu regime were not all for the good, and that the politics of the country are still fragile.

Jack and Ludvia are in search of nuclear warheads left over from the Ceausescu era, but they are not the only ones interested in them, and they clash with many adversaries. Romania is still very much a state-run country – the iron fist is still alive and well in Eastern Europe.

A terrific insight into modern day Romania, well written and very entertaining.

Reviewed on 08/02/2012 by ReviewTheBook.com Member Suzy Watts
NOTE ABOUT THE ABOVE FROM RICHARD ROCHE: When I vacationed in Romania in May 2013 I discovered, as expected, that the political conditions in Romania today are radically different than they were 20 years ago. I witnessed a developing democracy and a revitalized Romanian economy. Best of all, I met many wonderful Romanians who convinced me that I will repeatedly return to their wonderful country to enjoy their friendships and their country’s beauty, culture, and cuisine. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

5. The renowned book review organization, Midwest Book Review, posted the following “5-Star rating” book review of The Romanian Connection:

“A spy’s vengeance is done with a deliberate efficiency. “The Romanian Connection” follows Jack Hollingsworth on his quest to avenge his wife and daughter. Brought to Romania, he finds there is more to meets the eye as his plot as it entangles the Russian Intelligence agencies, royalty, and plenty of people to fear and few to trust. The Romanian Connection is a riveting read that will grab on and not let go.” – Midwest Book Review, Volume 10, No. 10, October 2011.

6. George Ratz, Jr., spy novelist and author of “George’s Candy” provided this review of The Romanian Connection:

“This book has it all when it comes to very good spy and romance fiction writing. Starting off with an attack on his wife and then his daughter, Jack Hollingsworth begins on his path of vengeance across several continants to seek his closure.

Shrouded in secrecy the industry of espionage places Jack in a substitute agent catagory. With a main agenda he cannot escape, Jack undergoes the worst things that can happen to a spy, including torture.

Out of nowhere the story takes an unexpecting turn, an unusual romance involving another spy… a Russian spy.

This book is an all-American product, from the author to the printer. The print is large and easy to read. Even the feel of the pages are comfortable and made from fine paper.

“The Romanian Connection” is an entertaining great read, a novel you won’t want to put down once started. Both men and women will enjoy this stunning work. The author has a way of drawing you into the fray with remarkable details.

Richard Roche’s life experiences and travels are evident in his writing, placing it on my will read again shelf.

Hoping for the next adventure.

George Ratz”

Additional highly complimenting reviews about The Romanian Connection are posted on Amazon.com. See spy romance novels > The Romanian Connection.

Your Romanian Connection, Richard Roche

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