Assault on Saint Agnes

Assault on Saint Agnes

by Joseph Courtemanche

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Assault on Saint Agnes 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I have been eagerly anticipating this novel for months. Knowing that the author is a former police officer and Middle East/North Africa Analyst set the bar high for my expectations. Courtemanche not only delivers a fantastic thriller but he expertly pulls back the curtain on current events. Every step of the way, I found myself thinking more about the threats that our world faces today. While we all know about the evil that lurks in this world, this book also offers something very important that you won't hear in the daily news--hope. I loved that the hero wasn't the stereotypical thriller hero. Bobby's journey is our journey too--the journey of realizing that there's a hero in all of us. And no matter what we've been through or how old we are, we can always make the decision to fight for the Kingdom of Light and the good. I'll be reading everything this author publishes and I can't wait to see what's next! *I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When terrorists descend on St. Paul’s Saint Agnes Church, Bobby Kurtz crushes their evil plans by being in the right place at the right time. Dragged back into his former life as a Navy cryptologist, Kurtz helps a shadowy government agency foil the plans of terrorist cells that are out to destroy the Twin Cities’ power grid. I surrendered to the quickening pace of the novel and gladly ignored my to-do list to find out Bobby Kurtz’s limits (he had none.) As a resident of Minneapolis, the familiar locations created a believable backdrop. And knowing author Joseph Courtemanche’s experience as a former police officer and Middle East/North Africa Analyst with the United States Navy, I disappeared into the fast-paced thriller, wondering if I was reading fiction after all. The cliffhanger at the end left me breathless. More Bobby Kurtz, please! And soon! *I received a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m not normally one to pick up a thriller loaded with the escapades of a shadowy government agency determined to crush terrorist cells that are bent on destroying the Twin Cities, but because of my daughter’s recommendation, I did, and in so doing, forfeited my preference for much calmer historical fiction. Thanks, Joseph Courtemanche, for the wild ride!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased an autographed copy from the author at a signing event prior to general release. After talking to the author, you realize how his experience was woven into the plot. The in depth knowledge of this modern threat facing America is remarkable, his contacts in the world of the “good guys” is evident. This is not the type of story that is just “made up”, it appears to have come from actual plots that have been foiled. I suspect this comes from his extensive contacts who live in the counter terrorism word, but I do not know that for a fact. The real life locations, along with the practical approach to achieve the terrorist goals, make this a very plausible and scary possibility. We live in an open society, and this type of scenario could happen almost anywhere in the country. The book itself is a pleasure to read, each chapter is bite sized and stays on point. The writing style is very straight forward and easily understood, there were only a few sentences I needed to re-read. Each chapter will take an individual to a specific time and place, and describe the thought process and actions taken at that time. This format allows you to know both how and why things are unfolding as they are. With this understanding of the characters, you want to continue on to the next chapter to see what happens next. After all, the next chapter is also bite sized and wont take long to read, this pulls you into the story and makes reading the book fast.
Ranger_Reviews 11 months ago
Don't let the title fool you, Assault on St. Agnes is not the story of a WWII battle at a rural French cathedral. It's an award-winning debut suspense-techno-thriller novel by Joe Courtemanche, a former police officer, Navy cryptologist, and counter-terror specialist. Assault on St. Agnes is about a Cold War-era Navy counter-terrorism veteran named Bobby Kurtz who is forced back into service to confront a terrorist cell in his own back yard. As the novel opens, Kurtz is living in low-key retirement in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area. He just happens to be visiting a church service at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church when it is attacked by terrorists. During the course of the attack, Kurtz's old training kicks in. He manages to kill all of the terrorists with his concealed carry handgun before being stunned into unconsciousness by a timed bomb blast. Kurtz awakes to find himself arrested by Homeland Security and tagged as a suspect instead of a hero. Local law enforcement and the FBI are convinced he must have had insider information to thwart the attack. Colene Abbott, the local director of a covert Homeland Security counter-terrorism organization, steps in to take control of Kurtz's fate. She knows his background as an Arab linguist and counter-terrorism expert. She also recognizes he is a local character who seems to know almost everyone and anything about the St. Paul-Minneapolis Metro area. Recognizing his potential as an intelligence asset, Abbott offers Kurtz a deal -- face the FBI charges and expect to spend the next ten years in a Federal prison. Or sign-up to join her special unit, an open-ended commitment until the entire terror network in the area is broken. Kurtz signs on and the story takes off from there. What follows is an unusually intense introduction to the world of communications intelligence and counter-intelligence melded with a classic law enforcement criminal conspiracy investigation. The pace of the novel quickens as the team draws closer to uncovering an imminent coordinated nationwide attack. Throughout the telling, the scenes go back and forth between Kurtz's team of operators and the Islamo-terror cell led by a man named Hassan. This well-developed plot device gives the reader insight into how the Islamist extremist mind operates. It's really well done. Courtemanche is, after all, an Arabist and counter-terrorism veteran himself. And his storytelling is superb. I won't spoil the ending for readers out there. Suffice to say, this novel ends with a bang. Courtemanche has hit it out of the park with his debut thriller. It's already won several awards from Christian fiction organizations. But don't let the "Christian" label scare you. This is high-end techno-thriller stuff, the characters are edgy and realistic, and the story is neither sappy nor predictable. If there are any Amish-Romance-Suspense love triangles lurking in the background, I am sure they disintegrated in the first explosive blast in the sanctuary of St. Agnes. Nothing preachy, in your face or over-baked about this -- this is muscular Christianity, after all, with a hero who just happens to be a man of faith. Assault on St. Agnes is highly, highly recommended.
DavefromBuffalo More than 1 year ago
A taut thriller. Fast paced and engaging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Assault on Saint Agnes was a hard hitting, action packed book. I love the fact it is Christian Fiction, but has a punch in the gut reality to it. I highly recommend this book to everyone and can't wait for the next one by Joseph Courtemanche! Go get this book and read it!
Hope79 More than 1 year ago
I received a hand-delivered Christmas gift advanced copy of this book by Joseph Courtmanche (in one of his other personas) and am pleased to give this honest review. The author’s years of classified service with U.S. Navy Security as an Arab linguist in world hot spots give him tremendous insights into global terrorism. Add Joe’s multi-prize-winning craft and this debut thriller, Assault on Saint Agnes is an event to be celebrated. Reluctant hero, Bobby Kurtz is a single-minded Midwestern Jack Reacher who doesn’t dream attending church will draw him back into the world of counter-terrorism. Fighting terrorist attacks that spread from the Twin Cities to a well-planned web of attacks throughout our nation, Kurtz draws on every resource he has to defeat our enemies in this fast-paced spy-thriller read. Here’s to wishing Kurtz (and Courtmanche) a long line of fast-paced adventures that extend far beyond this excellent book.
Dennis Ricci More than 1 year ago
Joe Courtemanche has created an offbeat protagonist who, at the beginning of the story, finds himself in the wrong place at the right time and gets pulled back into a life he'd thought he left behind long ago. The authenticity of characters, situations, action, and dialogue is first-rate. The insidiousness and cunning of his antagonists--people who want to attack America and our way of life--are chilling and ominous, just the way I like it in thrillers. Courtemanche mixes in touches or humor and buck-the-system irreverence that make you root for his hero all the more. An engaging and entertaining read for fans of black ops thrillers.
marmar More than 1 year ago
“I received an early copy of the book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review of the work.” As I read Assault on Saint Agnes I took the time to look closer at the world I pass through every day. The author, Joseph Courtemanche, has broadened my thoughts on what is possible. The action is fast in this book, the characters are believable [right down to the junk food junkie in all of us] and the humanity of each player comes through. Joseph examines the hero’s relationship with God but it is done in such a down to earth manner I didn’t pause in my quest for “what happens next”. As I moved from one chapter to another there were enough plot twists to keep me engaged, guessing and thirsty for the next scene. I may have received a copy in exchange for the review but I have purchased others to send on to friends. NO way am I giving up my copy.
Anne_Baxter_Campbell More than 1 year ago
I met Joseph Courtemanche a few years ago at an American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I gotta tell you, for a guy who looks like a sweet Santa Clause, this guy can write some tough stuff. The tension is cold enough to freeze your gizzard, and the action will leave you staggering. Way to go, Joe! Bobby Kurtz is a 50-something, overweight former cryptologic linguist with an impressive aim and a lot of guns. He's in the church he grew up in when terrorists decide to make a point. Instead, Bobby nails them. All six of them. Plus minimizes the impact of suicide pack by shoving it under some heavy pews, singlehandedly saving the entire congregation, all but one older man who sacrificed his own life to save others. With his heavy dark beard, Bobby is at first assumed by the SWAT team to be one of the terrorists. When it begins to become obvious he's not one of them, he's instead recruited by an obscure division of the Homeland Security. Not much choice--to prison as a terrorist or work with folks who want to turn him into a 20-year-old terrorist-hunting seal. No, I won't tell you how it turns out, other than there are a lot of nail-biting flash-banging pages. Go buy it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I received a free advanced reader's copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Brenda_Anderson More than 1 year ago
A Can't-Put-Down Thriller! One of my favorite modern-day authors is Vince Flynn (who unfortunately passed on a few years back). I loved his realistic portrayal of geo-political issues, and in spite of not always agreeing with Mitch Rapp’s (Vince’s hero) method of dealing with the bad guys, you still rooted for him. I always wondered what a Christian would do given the same situations. Well, that question’s been answered in Joseph Courtemanche’s ASSAULT ON SAINT AGNES. The book begins right after the church of Saint Agnes was attacked by terrorists. Rather, the bad guys attempted to attack, but their plans were foiled by former spook and Arabic linguist, Bobby Kurtz, who was simply at the church to worship. He did worship that day, by saving all but one parishioner and eliminating the terrorists. That’s just the beginning of Bobby’s problems as he’s *asked* to become part of the shadow government, and they begin uncovering a far more hideous and widespread terrorism plot. Bobby Kurtz is a very unlikely hero when you first meet him, as he’s been retired from the military for several years and has since bulked up to Santa size. And yes, jokes abound at Bobby’s expense, but Bobby always has a comeback. He’s got this sarcastic wit that makes me laugh out loud, and makes him come across as not only likeable but very realistic. And then there are the scenes told from the terrorists’ point of view as they’re planning their impending attack. The scenes are chilling in their realistic portrayal. Knowing the author has experience in these types of scenarios, you realize not only how true-to-life those scenes are, but how plausible they are. Adding to the chill-factor is the fact that this book takes place in my back yard, and many of the locales mentioned are places I frequent. One other aspect of this story I really enjoyed was the romance between Bobby and his wife, Grace, again painting a realistic portrayal of a husband and wife who love and respect and fight with each other amidst the turmoil of their lives. The relationship makes Bobby seem just like the rest of us. So, if you’re looking for a sweet romance or cozy mystery, pass on this book, but if you want a can’t-put-down thriller, you’ll love ASSAULT ON SAINT AGNES! I can’t wait for Joe’s next book, which won’t be out soon enough!
Scott Schierkolk More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent fast-paced story about an average guy who, because of his previous military experience and knowledge, got caught up in trying to stop a terrorist plot. If you enjoy reading Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, or James Patterson, you’ll enjoy the writing of Joseph Courtemanche.
RoyaltyInTraining More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely worth your time. Christian novelists often make me fear bonnet-clad love stories, plots that dare you not to nod off, or blatant agenda-pushing. Not so with Joseph Courtemanche! He holds you in suspense, with well-developed quirky characters and a story line you will have to read to believe. No, really. I promised not to spoil it.
LarryWTimm More than 1 year ago
(I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.) This incredible fiction story could easily have been ripped from today's headlines! It was impossible to put this book down! The plot is explosive, the characters are engaging, and the setting is realistic. ASSAULT ON SAINT AGNES is an award-winning suspense novel that will leave its mark on you long after you have reached the end. It was so believable it left me wondering, "What if....?" Don't miss this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would first like to thank Mr. Courtemache for the advanced copy of "Assault on Saint Agnes" in exchange for a fair and honest review. In a single word review "Wow". The first mistake I made was starting to read this book in the late evening. I did not want to put it down but alas the next day was normal so I had to do the best thing. It takes a lot to keep my attention, just ask my wife. This book did that. I found myself racing with the plot. When describing what he is doing now, Bobby Kurtz says"...we're the good guys who stand on that wall: Sheepdogs above the flock." This is an excellent sheepdog book. When asked about how he is holding up, his response is "I'm fine. I did what I had to do at the time. I didn't enjoy it, but I'm sure it was the right thing to do." This is something we should all aspire to. In many ways Bobby Kurtz is Joe Everyman with special talents. He struggles with concerns, fears and his "ability to make it work" after being out of the "spook" business for an extended time. A very telling quote from Bobby is "We spend our lives trying to be who we think we are and forget what's at the core of our being." At Bobby's core is a very strong and unshakable truth. As a last endorsement, I will be getting this book for both of my sons and my son-in-law. We have many sheepdogs.
StaceyZink More than 1 year ago
This is military fiction at it's best! Short chapters filled with a great balance of military life and passionate characters will leave the reader wanting more. I found myself thinking I would only read one chapter and ended up reading more. The story draws you in, so be prepared. At the time while reading, I didn't know about the author's military background, but I figured he must have lived this life. Writing like this comes from the heart. A Hollywood movie needs to be made about Bobby Kurtz. He is the perfect combination of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne and Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. This a book to be read and enjoyed. Thank you for providing me with an advanced copy, Mr. Courtemanche.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an early copy of the book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review of the work. Courtemanche's zest for realism is laced throughout the book. Each chapter keeps the reader engaged. It was hard to put down. The main character, Bobby Kurtz, has a good mixture of sarcasm and common sense which kept me turning the pages. Abbott's deal with Kurtz really gave him no wiggle room for a decision: join the team or go to jail. Kurtz's skills, intelligence, realism and religion help him negotiate the myriad of characters that he encounters. The brutality with which he destroys the enemy is rivaled only by his humanity when he talks to the young police officer. Even though you see Kurtz's Christianity, it does not overwhelm you and seem too preachy. You get to understand how and why he reached that point in his life, which lends to his humanity, and leads to the reasoning to help the country he loves...yet once again. I enjoy these types of books, which I put in the class of Tom Clancy, and W. E. B. Griffin. Each character is beautifully detailed. Courtmanche kept my attention, and my intellect poised every chapter. I was hoping to see more of Kurtz's family life so that we could view for ourselves who keeps him so grounded, but that just may be in another book. If you are a Clancy, or Griffin fan, you need to read this book. Joe is a good friend of mine and I received an autograph copy of this book. I am not a big reader unless the subject material captivates me. This is a real attention grabber. I do not recommend many books, but this is one that needs to be read.