This was a different kind of story. It kept my interest all the way through!

I read a lot of Spicer stories lately and this one really kept my mind going ninety m.p.h. Great story and great outcome!

~Sharon Kersting

Another GREAT Johnny Spicer novel!

If you like action packed historical novels, well researched, in the style of a Dashiell Hammett or a Raymond Chandler, you'll love the Johnny Spicer novels.

In Payback, Johnny goes up against Japanese spies trying to stop the United States from launching an attack on the Japanese mainland.

All the while trying to keep a beautiful witness alive and avoid her advances.

~Les Cook

Best Johnny Spicer thriller yet . . .

Major Johnny Spicer is in it up to his elbows this time.

Is this the caper that puts an end to his career in the Army and his romance with Susan?

Spicer is assigned an impossible mission by the MID, the Army Military Intelligence Division. Poke around and see if the Japanese are onto a top secret mission involving a bunch of B-25s. No clues, no smoking guns, nothing. Just 'do what you do best, Johnny', find trouble and stop it.

Enemy agents, multiple plots, wonderful period scenery, sarcastic dialog and a fast paced story. It's everything you've come to expect from a Johnny Spicer thriller.

And on a personal note, there is a 'surprise' character in this book. See if you can figure out who it is.

Grab a copy, fix a plate of nachoes to go with your ice cold Fat Tire and hit the patio, friends. Johnny is on the case again!

~Gary Alan Henson

Fast Moving and Entertaining

Payback is the latest in the Johnny Spicer series. . .fast action, great details as always, a bit heart wrenching in places, and the novel conveys a sense of the early war time environment stateside. I think it is the most cohesive and entertaining story HPO has created to date. The pacing is smart, and the story keeps the reader going on past bedtime. I purchased a Kindle version for my mother who also had difficulty putting the novel down.

One reason the story keeps the reader engrossed is many of the chapters have cliff hanger endings, which I believe is a slight change in style, or is more noticeable to me in this novel. The action scenes in the book are among the best in the Spicer series - fast moving, entertaining, dangerous and surprising. The good guy does not always win is all I can state – don’t want to give away a key scene.

Typical of an HPO novel is the meticulous research for the locales and the time. I felt I was there and fell into the story. The aircraft, primarily the B-25 variants, and weapons involved in the story are also accurately represented and sometimes quite fascinating with some of the details involved. The vehicles in the period are brought to life, always a favorite for me.

I enjoy how Johnny Spicer has evolved throughout the series – the wise-cracking 30’s detective has matured… he has gotten even better at stating his opinions, often hilariously.

For even more enjoyment, when you start reading the book, follow along through the “Visualizations” page on the author’s fan site – it adds more visual details that support the story.


Oh how I love the thrilling adventures of one Mr Johnny Spicer!!!

This is the best caper yet!!! If you like watching the old war movies of the late 30s and 40s then you will love this blockbuster yarn! I'd tell you more but it's TOP SECRET! What I will say is it should entice you to read more of Johnny's exploits - right after this one!

Check out HP's website to get background on this story or any of his other stories. There's a lot of other features to be had as well.

Don't miss ANY of the fun! Read it all!

~Diana S. Johnson

Payback: time well spent with one of my favorite authors.

I always look forward to a new Johnny Spicer book. I enjoyed Payback so much I wanted to write this review!

HP Oliver has brought us an interesting character (Johnny Spicer) who lives in interesting times. Fewer and fewer of us remember the events of early 1942. February 1942 is the beginning of an interesting story, based on historical events. Johnny Spicer is now a Major in a Military Intelligence unit which is based at the Precidio Army Base in San Francisco. Spicer has been ordered to ensure strict military secrecy is maintained regarding an upcoming military event. The Army is very vague in the assignment—they figure if Spicer can figure it out, so might the enemy and Spicer needs to stop the enemy.

HP Oliver delivers a book that reads like a screen play. It is a book of conversations. As Spicer does his job, you sit in on his conversations, thinking, information collection, humor, concern, fears, the love of his lady—and the love of his country. Characters in the book, by being in the conversations, become real. When they were hurt I worried, when they died I was saddened by the loss.

In the Spring of 1942 the US was in transition. People were fearful, the military had no clear victories. Oliver‘s tale relates the transition from fear to courage. The unraveling of the puzzle Spicer is given is not only the story of tracking down enemy spies in the early days of WW II, but how everyday people felt about the bombing the coast of Southern California or the explosion at North American Aviation.

If the devil is in the detail—Mr. Oliver must be quite a rogue. While Payback is a work of fiction, the detail of California geography, cars, and airplanes, and war time preparation is wonderful and is further illustrated in the H.P. Oliver website. You don’t have to wonder what the airplane looked like—there is a picture on the website. It’s a little like being able to view the author’s notes and research—seeing pictures that inspired him to blend real history with the fiction that intrigues our imagination. Payback has beautiful women, fast cars, faster airplanes, spies, and good guys. It adds up time well spent with one of my favorite detectives.