Ross, Joel N. 1968-
Ross, Joel N. 1968-
Born October 21, 1968; married; wife's name Lee. Education: Studied history at Hampshire College.
Home—ME. Agent—Henry Morrison, Henry Morrison Inc., 105 S. Bedford Rd., 306-A, Mount Kisco, NY 10549.
Taught English abroad; writer.
Eye for an Eye, Dorchester Publications (New York, NY), 2004.
Double Cross Blind, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2005.
White Flag Down, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2007.
Joel N. Ross based his espionage thriller Double Cross Blind partly upon his family's own experiences in World War II. Set in the weeks just prior to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Double Cross Blind is a complex story of a wounded man seeking personal revenge on his brother, and of the double agents who try to manipulate him to their own ends. American Tom Wall enlisted in the Canadian army to fight the Germans, while his brother, Earl, worked in diplomatic circles in London. Recovering in a British hospital after a military fiasco in Crete, Tom seeks out Earl, whom he blames for getting his comrades killed. When British agents enlist Tom to impersonate Earl in order to pry information from a German spy, a series of events unfolds that could change the course of America's deployment in the war.
A Publishers Weekly critic deemed the plot of Double Cross Blind to be "by-the-numbers," but other reviewers hailed the work as an exciting addition to the war-era espionage genre. In the Library Journal, Christine Perkins found "plenty of action." A Kirkus Reviews critic felt that, in Ross's hands, the "old thriller formulae continue to work brilliantly." The same reviewer concluded that Double Cross Blind is "agreeably tense and complex." On the Curled up with a Good Book Web site, a contributor noted that Ross "frames his story flawlessly." Hilary Williamson, writing for the BookLoons Web site, characterized Double Cross Blind as a "brilliant spy story, based on many real events."
In 2007, Ross followed up Double Cross Blind with White Flag Down, thriller set in World War II-era Switzerland. In the book, U.S. Air Force pilot Lieutenant Grant is on a reconnaissance flight when his plane is shot down by the Germans. Right before he is shot down, Grant sees an unusual new aircraft constructed by the Nazis, a secret weapon. Stranded in Switzerland, Grant is thrown in jail but must escape and return to his crashed plane to find the camera on which he took photos of the new Nazi plane. Overall, critics responded positively to White Flag Down, citing its fresh take on a subject that has been covered extensively in other novels and books. Ross gives readers a "refreshing look at a much written about war," wrote Pop Syndicate Web site contributor Stefan Halley. Others found merit in the author's fast-paced plot and interesting protagonist. White Flag Down is "quite nicely written, with engaging characters," noted David Pitt in a review for Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2007, David Pitt, review of White Flag Down, p. 39.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Double Cross Blind, p. 502; June 1, 2007, review of White Flag Down.
Library Journal, June 1, 2005, Christine Perkins, review of Double Cross Blind, p. 122.
Publishers Weekly, May 23, 2005, review of Double Cross Blind, p. 55; May 14, 2007, review of White Flag Down, p. 31.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (September 28, 2005), Hilary Williamson, review of Double Cross Blind.
Curled up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (September 28, 2005), review of Double Cross Blind.
Pop Syndicate,http://www.popsyndicate.com/ (August 30, 2007), Stefan Halley, review of White Flag Down.