Death of a Young Lieutenant

Death of a Young Lieutenant

Death of a Young Lieutenant 

Death of a Young Lieutenant by B.R. Stateham is my latest read in the new year. I must admit that it did not disappoint me! 

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Have you read Death of a Young Lieutenant? Come on in and let me tell you about it! 

About Death of a Young Lieutenant  

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?

Thoughts on Death of a Young Lieutenant  

Death of a Young Lieutenant follows Jake Reynolds. Picture it: World War One, an American, art thief in the British military serving as a pilot with what some would call nine lives. 

The story starts off as Jake as a much older man, in his 80’s and telling this tale to a reporter, in a memoir kind of way. It originally started out as an interview of a war hero by the newspaper. But it is so much more than that. 

Jake Reynolds was a renowned art thief, capable of creating some amazing forgeries that even museum experts couldn’t tell were fake and stealing the originals to sell for a profit to collectors. He also kept quite a collection for himself in his home. 

The story goes on to talk about not only this, but his time served during World War One, and the investigation of a murder in his unit. Well, several murders, as it turns out, but all connected. 

Jake speaks multiple languages, more fluently than natives of each country can. This helps him easily slip behind enemy lines during the war and not be killed immediately. He has this incredible way of blending in with his surroundings. 

Final Thoughts on Death of a Young Lieutenant  

The story is captivating. It flows extremely well and feels like it could very well be a true story. B.R. Stateham has a way with how he puts a story together that it feels like the reader is sitting next to Jake Reynolds and hearing it told directly. The narration is excellent. 

I must admit that it didn’t end the way I had anticipated. It was surprising, but a great plot twist. A lieutenant in Jake’s unit was found unconscious with a firearm in his hand, and a dead man next to him. Jake sets out to prove the lieutenant’s innocence and puts his own life in danger in the process. This happens through asking questions, going behind enemy lines, and stealing a priceless painting as well. 

If you enjoy a good mystery, set in war times, this is the book for you! It is longer than the last few books I have read, but it didn’t feel long. This is the kind of book where I sat down with the intention of reading a chapter or two before bed and suddenly I’m a hundred pages in before I even looked up. It really is just that good. I was captivated and read it in just two sessions. 

Death of a Young Lieutenant is a book that I really hope it turns into a series and I have the opportunity to read more about Jake Reynolds’ adventures. 


Have you read Death of a Young Lieutenant? If so, tell me your thoughts in the comments! 

If you’ve enjoyed my review, please feel free to check out my other favorite books to find your next great read! 

About the Author 

My name is B.R.Stateham. I am a seventy-one year old kid who never grew up. I write dark noir police-procedural and even darker fantasy sci/fi. And although I look like a second-cousin to Frankenstein, really, I’m just as stubborn.

Over the years I’ve tried to do two things with my writing. First, to clarify and make more visual my imagination as transcribed onto the written page. I’m not a fan of the ‘bare bones’ approach to writing fiction. Just telling a starkly plain story with no visual cues to stir up the reader’s imagination, seems to be something akin to a scam perpetrated onto the reader. 

The balance between too much imagination versus too little is a battle that is always constant in a writer’s efforts. But, as in almost everything else, years of experience helps tremendously in finding that balance.

Secondly, telling a story with short, clear sentence structures is another nut to crack for any writer. The natural tendency for a writer is to write long, meandering complex-compound sentences that stretch on forever and seemingly never end (like maybe, this one?). 

Too long a sentence and the reader becomes lost. Too little in a sentence, or too stark in its construction, the reader is like a man in a small boat out on a storm-tossed sea bobbing up and down and distinctly ill at ease.

Well . . . so much for a writer’s woes.

I plan to keep on writing that which I love to read. Since I can’t find the style of writing I like to read–I might as well write it. Maybe you might find that you like this particular style as well. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Purchasing Death of a Young Lieutenant  

If you are interested in buying the paperback version of Death of a Young Lieutenant, click here.

Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.

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  • Ann Pape

    I will definitely have to check out this book! I love historical fiction, so this sounds like it would be right up my alley.

  • Scott DeNicola

    This sounds really interesting and also sounds like a combination of a couple of movies! I love any wartime novel (or movie) and the fact that it is a good mystery with a twist sounds perfect. I’ll have to give Death of a Young Lieutenant a read for sure.

  • LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia

    I love reading and try to read as much as possible in my free time. This mystery mixed with historical war stories is really captivating, I love the plot – an American art thief turned solider thrown into a murder mystery storyline! I’m going to have to add this to my GoodReads To Read list!! 🙂

  • Megan Kerry

    This book sounds right up my ally! I love suspense-especially when it comes to survival or life and death situations. I bet this is a great read! Thanks for the recommendation Erica!

  • Kelly Martin

    I love stories with a plot twist and this one sounds really good. It’s a shame I haven’t got more time to read at the moment because I really enjoy it.

  • Lindsay Brown

    I love a good plot twist! If a book ends the way I think it is going to, although I am pleased with myself for “figuring it out” I am also disappointed becasue I think that any great ending is one you don’t see coming! This sounds like a gooder, I will definitely check it out!

  • Britt

    This sounds really interesting. My husband and I are both SUPER into anything relating to military history and the world wars, both actual historical fact and stories/movies set during that time period. I’m going to have to grab this one for my summer hammock reading (that’s when I finally get a chance to read for fun)!

  • Yasinta

    It an interesting story makes me get hungry for the book. But if it is a review, you can also tell about where the author went wrong and what are your ideas the author should have done. But all in all, a nice review.

    • The Prepping Wife

      I agree with you, Yasinta! However, there wasn’t anything negative I could find about the book to talk about. I wouldn’t change a thing, honestly.

  • Luna S

    I don’t normally enjoy war time/themed books but this one seems like it would be a good read, thank you for sharing this.

  • B.R. Stateham

    Thank you for such a wonderful review! It pleases me to hear I have enticed a reader into a historical novel where they love both the History and the mystery at the same time. The second novel of the series, called The Death of a Cuckold Knight should be done sometime by the end of summer. Or sooner.

    Again, thank you for you kind words.

    B.R. Stateham

    • The Prepping Wife

      Ahh, there will be more to the Jake Reynolds series! I am looking forward to it. I am always excited when a book I think should become a series actually does. Please let me know when the newest one is released so I can read it.

  • Lyosha

    I jumped to this post being intrigued by the title and I feel like I need this book. Sounds like something I need to read and I have almost finished my current book so… thanks Erica, right on time (I think I should started wander around your blog more often, it might save me tons of time on making decisions – kidding not so kidding)

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