Death of a Young Lieutenant - B.R. Stateham (Book Tour)
"Meet Captain Jake Reynolds – pilot, adventurer, art thief, spy.
In the opening weeks of World War One, and as a member of the newly formed British Royal Flying Corps, Captain Jake Reynolds is shipped off to Belgium.
Roped in by his squadron commander to prove the innocence of a young lieutenant accused of murder, Jake also wants to steal a 14th Century Jan van Eck painting.
The problem is both the evidence and the painting are behind enemy lines.
How do you prove a man's innocence and steal a masterpiece while an entire German army is breathing down your neck?"
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as a part of Blackthorn Book Tours newest book tour! Blackthorn Book Tours are a book tour service with a focus on dark fiction such as crime, noir, horror and more! Check out their website or Twitter if you want to know more!
Make sure to check out the other awesome blogs that are reviewing this book too!
Death of a Young Lieutenant by B.R. Stateham is set during World War One and contains a heist and a murder mystery all rolled into one - what's not to love? Young Lieutenant James Oglethorpe has been accused of the murder of a Sergeant in his squadron. His only hope of proving his innocence and unravelling the conspiracy is in the hands of a thief who may have his own ulterior motives.
Our protagonist is Jake Reynolds who is a young American and a Captain in the army during the war. The intriguing thing about Jake is that he is a "former art student turned master forger and thief." As soon as I read this about him, I immediately thought of how much he reminded me of Neal Caffrey from White Collar. (Which, by the way, is an amazing show!) He is intelligent, a risk taker and a charmer - a great mixture for the perfect conman. I've always been drawn to stories with conmen because I find them so interesting, especially when they have to work on the side of moral good. Plus, this is perfect for all of the hats that Jake has to wear during the war - being a soldier, thief, spy and now private detective. He is a larger than life character with lots of stories of incredible adventures and seems to have nine lives.
His "business" has been able to go on for so long as he exchanges favours. He acquires the artwork for the rich and powerful in return for their silence and an I.O.U to be cashed in at a later date. In fact, it is one of these favours that got him his place in the army and what ultimately got him involved in this murder mystery as he promised to look after James Oglethorpe for his father.
He is the go-to reliable guy and I love the irony here considering that he is a thief - if only they knew! But he really is indispensable and all throughout the book he is having to put out fires for everyone everywhere, even if he does have a tendency to use missions for his own personal advantage. I like how the author sprinkled in reminders throughout to remind the reader that he is a thief - otherwise it would be easy to just think of him as some kind of action hero. However, we also have to remember that Jake is an unreliable narrator as his version of the story is the only one we get to hear. All in all, though, he is really likeable as a main character!
There are really good, detailed backstories for all of the characters and who they were before the war. I really liked this as it made them more dimensional and reminds the reader that, just like in real life, they are more than just soldiers. Plus, being able to delve deeper in the characters puts the reader of equal footing with Jake in terms of the mystery as we know now everything that he knows.
This book is incredibly well researched which makes it so realistic and interesting. I could honestly imagine the characters actually being there during that time period. It reads like a dynamic biography and it amazes me that it is actually a work of fiction. I also appreciated how the author explained the importance and history of the art pieces Jake was taking without being patronising to the reader. It was a nice touch and very skilfully done. Additionally, I loved the concept of of having a murder mystery set during the war. It goes to show that just because you are on the same side of the war, it does not guarantee that you are safe.
Overall, Death of a Young Lieutenant is an intricate and unique look into a vital piece of our history and a hell of a cool twist on a war story. It is very ambitious and well delivered - I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
Again, I would like to disclaim that I received this book from Blackthorn Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for including me in your Book Tour, I really enjoyed it!
If anyone would like to do a similar collaboration, please check out my reviews policy and feel free to contact me by email or my social media!
About the Author
B.R. Stateham is a fourteen-year-old boy trapped in a seventy-year-old body. But his enthusiasm and boyish delight in anything mysterious and/or unknown continue.
Writing novels, especially detectives, is just the avenue of escape which keeps the author’s mind sharp and inquisitive. He’s published a ton of short stories in online magazines like Crooked, Darkest Before the Dawn, Abandoned Towers, Pulp Metal Magazine, Suspense Magazine, Spinetingler Magazine, Near to The Knuckle, A Twist of Noir, Angie’s Diary, Power Burn Flash, and Eastern Standard Crime. He writes both detective/mysteries, as well as science-fiction and fantasy.
In 2008 the first book in the series featuring homicide detectives Turner Hahn and Frank Morales came out, called Murderous Passions.
Also, in 2008 he self-published a fantasy novel entitled, Roland of the High Crags: Evil Arises.
In 2009 he created a character named Smitty. So far twenty-eight short stories and two novellas have been written about this dark eyed, unusually complex hit man.
In 2012 Untreed Reads published book two of the Turner Hahn/Frank Morales series A Taste of Old Revenge.
In 2015 NumberThirteen Press published a Smitty novella entitled, A Killing Kiss.
In 2017 a British indie publisher, Endeavour Media, re-issued A Taste of Old Revenge, and soon followed by a second Turner Hahn/Frank Morales novel entitled, There Are No Innocents.
In 2018 Endeavour Media published a third novel of mine, the first in a 1st Century Roman detective series, entitled While the Emperor Slept.
Also in 2018, NumberThirteen Press merged with another famous British indie, Fahrenheit Press. Soon afterwards, Fahrenheit Press re-issued an old novel of mine entitled, Death of a Young Lieutenant.
Now, after all of this apparent success, you would think Fame and Fortune would have sailed into my harbor, making me the delight of the hard-core genre world. Ah but contraire, mon ami! Fame and Fortune are two devious little wraths who pick and chooses the poor souls they wish to bedevil. I remain in complete anonymity and am just as bereft of fortune as I have always been. And apparently will continue to be for a long time to come.