Book Review: The Gryphon Heist by James R Hannibal

the gryphon heist james r hannibal book review


Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe--a department only known as "Other." When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she'll be back in DC within a few days. But that's before she knows where the designs are stored--and who's after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere.
Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes?
In this Ocean's Eleven-meets-Mission Impossible thriller, former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James R. Hannibal offers you a nonstop thrill ride through the most daring heist ever conceived.

  • Genre: Christian Thriller/Suspense

  • Publisher: Revell

  • Published: 9/3/2019

  • Pages: 400

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.30 Stars

Heidi’s Rating:

4 Stars

Recommended Drink Pairings:

Tea: Kusmi Tea (Russian Tea)

Coffee: Frank’s Special - 1/2 half and half 1/2 sugar with a small amount of coffee.

My redemption, and Paul’s, are not about what we did. Redemption is about what Christ did. Paul’s actions are an outgrowth of his newfound faith. He served out of love and gratefulness.
— The Gryphon Heist

Why I Chose This Book

I am part of the Revell Blogger Program and this was one of the options to review for this month. I chose this particular one because I like a good thriller at this time of year. And the synopsis sounded unique!

First Initial Thoughts

Talia is new to the CIA and is assigned to the Eastern Europe division that really no one has heard of. She really wanted to be a part of the Moscow team and feels like she has failed. There she meets her team and shortly is assigned a mission. She is to make acquaintances with Ivanov - a Russian executive in the defense technology industry. They need to find out about his designs and what he plans to do with them.

While on the mission she gets more acquainted with her team and she suddenly starts to have a distaste for her team member, Tyler. I liked Talia, I found her to be a little impersonal. She lost her father at an early age and I felt she had personal angst against God. She thought God punished her and took her dad away. She spent years angry and I think that hardened her.

I liked Talia’s team. I loved the little banter they had with each other. I didn’t feel that it was too overdone and I liked the varied personalities in the team. I would have liked to learn more about Jordan, Talia’s chief so I hope she is included more in the upcoming series.


In this first book in the series, we are taken to places as far as Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe. I liked that James introduced us to countries that are not too often written about in the Christian genre. I would definitely like to see more Christian books set in Russia and Eastern Europe!

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
— Mark 11:25

Final Thoughts

I definitely could see Talia like Ilsa on Mission Impossible 5. Speaking of this movie, I could see it quite similar to this movie. I am not saying he copied any of the movie franchise stories but I sometimes had a feeling he was trying a little too hard for the story to be like a big blockbuster. I thought James used technology that we technically don’t really have yet but I also understand that this is fiction and stories like this don’t always have to be realistic.

However, I did find the story to be fun, unique, and fast-paced. I did find that the beginning of the book was a little slow but by page 100 it picked up and never stopped from there. I also found the action easy to follow. Sometimes when I am reading an action scene it’s a little hard to follow but James was able to write it in a way that wasn’t hard to follow.

Talia learned a lot in this story. She found out who killed her dad and at that moment she had to learn to forgive that person for what they did. Which is probably the most important part in my opinion in the story. She learned to let things go, be a little more open, and let people in. I think through that experience she learned to grow up a little and be a part of the team.

Would I Recommend?

Yes! I think fans of thrillers and suspense novels will thoroughly enjoy this one.

You can purchase the book —-> HERE

the caffeinated bibliophile

Please Note: I was sent a copy of this book to review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.