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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2014
One of the joys of Kindle (and sadly, more often than not, one of its biggest pitfalls) is that thanks to the low, sometimes free, price tag of eBooks you get to read authors you'd normally overlook in favour of their heavy hitting counterparts. Seeing this book come up in a list returned by searching for "free kindle books" on Amazon, I figured I had nothing to lose but a few precious hours of my life by reading it, and as such took a punt. I slipped easily into the world Simon Jenner has created, being familiar with the areas of Richmond and Twickenham obviously helped, and found the character of John Smith/ Ethan Justice likeable and believable. Savannah Jones and the rest of the cast were equally as well written and the villain was sufficiently dark, yet human enough to draw you into his story. The plot was good, though nuclear powered laser guns being unleashed on Twickenham does sound a little far fetched, it was handled in a way that again was believable within the realms of the story. Overall I think Simon Jenner has created a down to earth, reluctant hero type character who I want to read more of. Courtesy of an offer at the Authors website simonjenner.com I have received the second book in the series "Ethan Justice: Relentless" for free as well, though it is worth noting that had the offer not been available I would have happily purchased the book, and will be purchasing subsequent books in the series as I finish them. I believe there are currently four books in the series, with more on the way, and Mr Jenner has other books he has written too, which I shall be looking into shortly.
I have no qualms about recommending this book and will review others in the series as I go.
Well done Mr Jenner, kudos to you.
Wes Fazzani
London, England
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ethan Justice: Origins is a fast-paced, action-packed, character-driven thriller, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud, cringe, cry and cheer.

The opening sequence hooked me. The very first sentence promised a great deal of well described action. That promise was not only fulfilled, but exceeded in a grand way!

I was very pleasantly reminded of the old noir tales. Action, drama, and romance well seasoned with sarcastic humor built to a well-delivered crescendo that was very satisfying. The leading characters, John Smith and Savannah Jones, develop beautifully, exhibiting unexpected strength and tenacity.
Periodically, throughout the book, Jenner switches to first person with the antagonist. I wouldn't have expected it, but it was astonishingly well done and I think we knew the antagonist far better because of the unique presentation. He is, without doubt, one of the darkest characters I've ever read. To coin a phrase, "He's too twisted for color TV!"

Ethan Justice: Origins so absorbed me that I neglected everything else in favor of reading!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Book 1 of the Ethan Justice.

It all started when Ethan, then plain John Smith, got an ultimatum (I would say more emotional blackmail than ultimatum) from his family to make them proud or to lose his luxury flat with all expenses paid by papa. You see, John was the only son in a well to do family, but he did not really care about all the glitter. He was quite happy to be in a boring dead end job of his choosing. Alas, now he had six months to find a career that would make his parents happy. John enrolled the help of his best friend Mark, a high achiever, and it is then his problem started. Not the normal day to day problem, but to wake up one morning after an alcohol binge night, next to a beautiful girl who wants one thousand pounds from me as a payment. Payment that was promised to her by Mark...
When John arrives at Mark's, Mark is dead and things went from worse to even worse.
Throw in a psychotic rogue SAS agent, two secret agents with a good cop/bad cop attitude, a damsel in danger of being sold a modern sex slave somewhere in the Middle East, a super gun that is not totally finish but has the capability of destroying all of Twickenham, betrayal and.... John/Ethan. Then, you have the gist of the story.

I think the character of John will bring out the nurturing side of ladies' readers. He is this kind of self-depreciating guy, slightly unsure of himself with the girls and he has principles. The funny thing is that even though he may sound too good to be true, he is not but he is definitely Mr Nice Guy.
He blunders about but he is also quick witted and resourceful.
All the characters are well portrayed. One is chilling and scary.
What I have also like in the book is that there was nearly no swearing, no naughty scenes. There is plenty of action, some violence (it cannot be avoided), and plenty of humour.
Oh yes, you wanted to know how John came to be known at Ethan Justice??? well, I would not like to spoil the surprise. Maybe you should download the book **smiles**
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2013
If you like your villains BAD, your heroes.....heroic and your heroines sassy then this book is for you. This is our introduction to the reluctant secret agent and it's a damn good read. The plot took a number of surprising twists and turns and kept this reader engrossed. I hope that this is the first in a series of adventures; I'm looking forward to reading more about the escapades of Mr Justice and the lovely Savannah and whichever scary antagonists cross their path..............
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2015
I am an avid reader of many genres, and fancied a bit of a change so downloaded the 99p 5vol Crime pack from Kindle. This is the third book in the set and I am writing this review before starting the fourth. What a breath of fresh air!
It sits apart from most crime/detective thrillers with a unique pairing of two characters (John Smith & Savannah Jones) who, through various twists of fate have to work together to foil the plans of a phsycotic ex SAS operator.
Their backgrounds and interaction are well thought out as are all the other characters in this book.
I know it is the first in the series of Ethan Justice crime thrillers and its title "Origins" is self explanatory. I am really looking forward to reading more in the series.
Thank you Simon Jenner, I wish you continued success in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 September 2013
This book begins with a dissolute 32 year old man with the bland name of John Smith, being taken to task by his parents and best friend for wasting his life and talents. He has a good Oxford degree and is working as a junior clerk. His parents own his flat. He becomes involved with Savannah Jones (Smith and Jones eh!) in tracking down a murderer, helped and hindered by two special agents.

There's a huge amount of action in here and quite a lot of dark humour. The interplay of characters is very good and the villain of the piece, a rogue ex-SAS operative, is creepy and uncomfortable in the extreme. I was very much engaged with the story and the people Simon Jenner has created and I know I shall read more of this series. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
Ethan Justice: ORIGINS
I don't read spy books very often and my memories of them are of very hefty tomes with lots of weird names, convoluted plots and characters I did not much care for (I apologise to the lovers of the genre and I'm sure I just read the wrong books). I found `Ethan Justice: Origins' refreshingly different. The main character, John Smith (his name a never ending source of amusement to everybody he meets and nobody believes is his real name) when first introduced appears to be an underachiever from a good family who feels he can't live up to the expectations of his parents. When his best friend, who is successful at everything he undertakes, is killed in mysterious circumstances he ends up involved in a dangerous adventure. John is the reluctant hero we have come to know and love in many novels and films, but he doesn't just become by magic an all confident super-man. He is plagued by doubt and insecurities. Savannah, who in another book would be the typical prostitute with a heart of gold, is not really into the business and has many more resources than the stereotypical role would suggest. One of the strengths of the book is that all major characters are multi-dimensional, the agents who follow them (Wilson and Johnson, with mental meltdown and all), the baddie (Fisher, who narrates in a very effective stream of consciousness), and the central characters. For followers of the genre, there are also gadgets, a beautifully over the top MacGuffin (and I won't reveal what it is), chases, violence, sex, Russian gang members (nearly), nasty pimps...The ambiance is somewhat reminiscent of late film-noir but with the twist that this is a UK-based spy thriller although international connections abound.
I haven't given it 5 stars because I don't feel I have read enough books on the genre to make such a judgment, but you won't be disappointed when you read it.
I leave you with one of the great quotes from the book: `That was the great thing about guns; they brought back good manners to those who most needed them.'
(Olga Núñez Miret)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
John Smith is an average guy. He earns enough of a salary to pay his bills, and is content with that, despite his mother's insistence that he should be something more productive with his Oxford degree. In contrast, his friend Mark is soaring up the career ladder and Mrs Smith just cannot understand why her son has no ambition for himself - one night out later though, and everything changes.

The stakes are made quite clear from the start. The villain has no qualms about killing to get what he wants, and he doesn't care who gets in his way.

Based in London, Origins is a fast paced thriller with plenty of twists and turns, but it has so much more than a simple `whodunit' - subplots emerge and converge with the main plot - but with each revelation the stakes increase, all culminating in an explosive conclusion.

Simon Jenner is a natural story teller. His words flow effortlessly across the page, and with each chapter's conclusion you feel compelled to turn over to the next chapter and read a little bit more. This really isn't a book that is easily put aside to another time, and I spent several nights staying up late to read more.

For a debut novel this is of an excellent standard, and I would highly recommend this and Relentless (the second Justice book) to anyone looking for their next `can't put it down' read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2014
"I remind my captive of the need for obedience by stubbing out my cigarette on his forehead."

I knew that from this first line, I was going to love this book. And I wasn't disappointed. Simon Jenner has created the perfect cold and calculated bad guy. Although some of the things he does made me flinch and pull a face (much to the amusement of the people in the room with me), I found myself intrigued by what he would do next. The book switches perspective between the bad guy and the hero, John Smith. Ah, John. Some of the things he came out with and some of his actions actually had me laughing out loud (cue more funny looks from the people in the room). So adorably clueless sometimes but also very adept at thinking on his feet. I think I fell in love with John a little bit :)

After the first couple of chapters which introduces you to the main players of the story, the pace really picks up. Every chapter is action packed and only increases in intensity as you work your way towards the finale.

I was hooked the entire way through this book. If it wasn't for work, I would've finished this in one sitting. As soon as I finished the last page, I downloaded the sequel. I cannot wait to read more in the Ethan Justice series and would recommend this book to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2013
Did the book description relate to the story? Yes, it did relate and provided an insight into what was coming.

How did you feel about the opening / ending sequences of the book? The opening sequence of this book was a bit slow. It takes awhile for you to get connected with the characters so I definitely preferred the ending which comes as a neat little package and all things explained.

Who was your favourite character and why? John Smith, of course. You want to hate him for not being able to snap out of it but you also feel sorry for him because he can't seem to cope emotionally with what is happening around him.

What were the main relationships explored in this book? Personal growth. This is book that teaches one to rise above his / her circumstances.

Was this book worth reading? You bet. Simon Jenner has introduced characters that are quirky, lovable and bound to give you entertainment for many years to come.

Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy fromthe author which did not affect my honest opinion.
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