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High Stakes

(Knight and Devlin #6)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Perfect for fans of Daniel Silva and Steve Berry.

An authentic Stradivarius violin turns up in Romania. A Stradivarius is rare enough, but this one is even more special. It is thought to hold the code disclosing the location of a treasure hidden in the fifteenth century. The violin is steeped in haunting mystique: it is believed to have been hidden by Vlad Dracula, whose hi
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 2nd 2019 by Oceanview Publishing (first published October 1st 2019)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Start your review of High Stakes (A Knight & Devlin Thriller, #6)
I received a complementary advance copy from Edelweiss+ in return for an honest review.

This was a fantastic book! I loved that Dobbyn didn't bother describing characters and scenes in detail over the first chapters like a lot of other novels do. I'm not sure if it was because it is part of a series and we know the characters by now, even though you don't have to read the series in order. This book is definitely a standalone edition. Whatever the reason for not bothering to build up the character
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, edelweiss
An exciting story, although improbable in the extreme. I hadn't read any of the rest of the series, so the main character(s) were new to me, but it seems that this could be read as a standalone without any issues. The "hero" of the story is a young lawyer who seems to have connections everywhere in Boston, which didn't seem that likely to me. Having spent a few years in Boston, I enjoyed all the local references. Romania is where the crux of the action happens and I especially enjoyed those sect ...more
Jack Mulcahy
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
thanks for calling me 'Knight."
"You earned it ......kid"
Clare O'Beara
The strangest part of this thriller is that the lawyer in Boston never once goes to the police no matter how many deaths, kidnappings, bombings and thefts occur. He's a lawyer. Why would he go everywhere but the police? Why do they never spot him on a camera leaving the latest scene of violence (with a dead Russian assassin's ID) and ask him to come in for questioning?

The tale of finding a Stradivarius violin and protecting it from the Russian mafia, Romanian gangsters and Chinese Tong, while t
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, firstreads
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A Boston attorney gets talked into going to Transylvania to retrieve a Stradivarius violin. Everything seems copacetic at the violin shop, but from there, things go wrong quickly, with three different criminal gangs after the violin.

The attorney is in way over his head, but tries to stay alive. Mostly entertaining.
N.V. Cefalo
*This book was given to me by the author at my request, and I provided this voluntary, unbiased review.*


This was an interesting read for sure, but the one thing that really bothered me was the narration. The story centers around a Stradivarius violin, which three sets of mobs are after, and the MC and his crew have. While I did enjoy the different settings, plot twists, and characters along the way, this story is utterly not believable in the slightest. This MC is like James Bond and any othe
Helaine Mario
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fasten your seat belts! HIGH STAKES hits the ground running in the first chapter. Lawyer Michael Knight, trapped alone on a gondola high in the mountains of Romania, sweeps the reader into a violent world of competing Chinese and Russian criminals, and a priceless Stradivarius violin that holds the secret to finding the treasures of Vlad the Impaler, hidden since the 15th century. This fast-paced page turner is John Dobbyn at his best – a surprising and complex plot, a fascinating history lesson ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, if you are looking for realistic thrillers, this one isn't for you. But if you are looking for really worthy entertainment, funny and exciting, you are in the right place.

This story is really enjoyable, with lots of action, and a main character who is truly loveable. And seriously, 'Dracula's treasure'? That's... hilarious. And yes, I know, I know, but they called it that, and every time I very inelegantly snorted :P

One of the things I enjoyed the most were the descriptions of Romanian's
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
If you read for pure escapism and fantasy, then this is the story for you. Despite the main character, Michael, being a lawyer and the story set in Boston and Romania, there are so many things happening that it cannot possibly be taken as a realistic thriller, so I would classify it more as adventure fantasy. I liked the characters in this book and enjoy the story and the adventure they all went on.
Thomas Lennek
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exhausting pace

Well written, interesting plot. Unbelievable travel from Boston to Romania multiple times , not sleeping on planes, moving straight into complex, dangerous meetings with criminals and no jet lag or a 6 hour nap stretched my credibility. Going east to west, no problem, not so the other way.
This is my review of the audio version as posted on Audible:

This is my first book in the series but you don't need to know the previous ones to enjoy the ride:)

It's a really fast paced story of a lawyer who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a hunt for a treasure lost centuries ago... Together with Michael Knight we travel all across Europe and the US, avoid one trap and murder attempt after another, tame not only the Chinese Triad but also the Russian mafia,and all this on the historical b
Anne Rightler
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contest-gift
Lots of action in this book! In High Stakes, the sixth Knight and Devlin book, readers find three criminal groups, the Russian mafia, the Chinese tong, and the Romanian mob are all after a valuable item that Michael Knight has come into possession of. How this lawyer outsmarts these groups is very interesting and keeps the pages turning. Will the treasure be found? Who will end up surviving this cat and mouse game? The author definitely knows how to write intrigue! I'm looking forward to reading ...more
Rosemary Hughes
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have submitted this review after listening to the audiobook of this title.

This is a story of long lost treasure, men that will do anything for greed and a small minority of people, trying to do the right thing, for themselves, their neighbors and the world at large.
It gives us armchair voyeuristics a look into a world of corruption and coercion, of brutality and thuggery, as well as a world where some strive to do right, even when the odds appears stacked against them.
I applaud the narrator's
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
High Stakes: A Knight and Devlin Thriller, Book 6, my second read/listen from author John F. Dobbyn. Well-written & enjoyable, I found it very enjoyable. Bill Nevitt’s narration is, as always, excellent and adds greatly to the book’s enjoyment, in fact, it was his excellence in narration that attracted me to this book & this author, and made the 11-hour 13-minute mystery/suspense pass quickly. Now that I've read a John F. Dobbyn book I'll be looking to read more. I was given an Audible copy of t ...more
Joni Janice Mielke
I was very impressed with Bill Nevitt's narration skills in this audiobook production. He's great with accents and modulating the pitch of his voice to accommodate and match the expression and emotion a particular character is trying to convey. The characters' voices are well differentiated, too.

Unfortunately, even Bill's excellent work did not make up for the - at times - bad writing and clumsy expressions. I was also confused by the story, and was not gripped by it the way I have been with th
A real high tension action thriller involving Boston lawyers, the Russian mob, the Chinese mob, and a Stradivarius violin. Fast paced and intense, there's plenty to keep the mind busy. I like the way that Bill Nevitt keeps the suspense up and yet doesn't let it get bogged down in the historical asides.

Roxie Klinksiek
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally enjoyable

This was an enjoyable read. I found the characters to be well developed and multi-dimensional. The story was fast paced and moved along at a fast clip. It was action packed but also had clever and sharp dialogue with a wonderfully complex plot. If you love a thrilling story with a thoughtful side you'll love this book.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While classified as a mystery/thriller, I think Mr. Dobbyn is one of the few who can pull of the Bond-esque tonque-in-cheek adventure thriller like Ian Fleming. High Stakes is no exception with it's clash between the Chinese Tong and the Russian Mafia and our erstwhile attorney Michael Knight trying to stay alive while being bounced between the rival forces as they search for long lost treasure. Anyone up for a search a la Indiana Jones? Michael Knight will do it - sort of, with a bit of, lets c ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020

Wow seriously I probably would not have normally picked this audio but as it was narrated by the amazing Bill Nevitt I thought I would give it ago. This book is exciting and scary in equal measure as there are violent forces at work who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a violin with a hidden secret dating back to Vlad Dracula. Whilst Michael Knight tries everything to work out the secret code without getting killed we are taking on a crazy and dangerous journey that do
Marisia Robus
The narrator really spoiled the book. His voice made the story seem cartoonish. The story was ok, and had some interesting twists, although a lot of it was totally unbelievable
This book was not for me
Julie Howard
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
I enjoyed this book. A lot was going on so the hours flew by while listening to this book. What I liked was the way Michael out smarted the different bosses and the way he used them against each other. The book was well written and the historical elements surrounding the treasure add to plot. With plenty of action and guns it is a full throttle thrill ride.
Michael is taking his wife on a much needed holiday he just has to stop at a shop and pick up a package for a client. Michael not knowing wha
R J Mckay
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review.

‘High Stakes’ is a cat-and-mouse game of intrigue…only in this case, there are three terrifying cats and one very resourceful mouse.

An assignment to retrieve and transport a valuable Stradivarius violin becomes anything by routine when the violin contains a code to an immense treasure that three powerful organizations will stop at nothing to possess. The Russian mafia, the Chinese tong, and a Romanian mob all want the treasu
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael is given a all expense get away for him and his wife to Romania all he has to do is pick up a package and bring it back. But when the deaths almost start before he is out of Romania Michael know there is more to this violin than he was told, and back in Boston he is now in the middle of three gangs all wanting and ready to kill for the violin. Now Michael is jet setting all over to figure this case out and to keep himself alive.

I love these Knight and Devlin books they are so full of eve
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads-win
Goodreads Kindle Copy Win

An authentic Stradivarius violin turns up in Romania with a mysterious code believed to be hidden by the Dracula. It will be up the gang to figure out what secrets it holds as they are hired to solve the mysterious code. Taking each of the historical clues as they travel the world to figure how everything fits in.

An interesting read as scenery keeps changing along the way.
Jay Klages
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable ride that grabs you early, inserts you in the action, and leaves you instantly curious about what is the deal with the Stradivarius!? I appreciated that the backstory of main characters in this series was economical and well-woven (I had only read one other Devlin/Knight novel and did not feel left out). I also liked that the history lessons flowed with the plot and did not seem indulgent. The triangulation between the three organized crime syndicates kept the tension well-tuned.
Holly Lenz
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
High Stakes is a fun adventure with a lawyer who gets embroiled in the middle of rival gangs when picking up a rare violin proves more complicated and dangerous then one would expect, even if that violin is a Strad. There is a lot going on with this complicated plot line!

The narrator does a very good job bringing the story to life and fleshing out the characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for nail-biting intrigue around every bend

This suspenseful, mysterious, globe-trotting book was unlike any I've read before. The historical elements add to the richness of it. Very enjoyable read. I've not yet read any others in the series, but doing so was not necessary to follow along.
Erin Hudgens
This one was ok. I really liked the characters, but the story line was so full of going back and forth with the bad guys, that the plot just did not seem to advance very quickly at all to me. Before I hit halfway through it started feeling super repetitive, and the rest of it was very hard for me to get through. I wasn't invested at all by the end and was just like "meh, ok" at the ending. ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The story is absurd.
Rosalind Guttman
Engrossing and fascinating!

Enjoyed reading this and all of the Boston landmarks.
Story was well thought out and followed through.
Plot was well developed.
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John F. Dobbyn is an American mystery writer and Professor of Law at the Villanova University School of Law. His Devlin and Knight short story "Trumpeter Swan," published in the February 2004 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, was a finalist for the Shamus Award for Best Short Story from the Private Eye Writers of America. He lives in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania with his wife Lois. ...more

Other books in the series

Knight and Devlin (6 books)
  • Neon Dragon
  • Frame-Up (Knight and Devlin Thriller Book 2)
  • Black Diamond (Knight and Devlin, #3)
  • Deadly Diamonds (Knight and Devlin #4)
  • Fatal Odds: A Novel

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