A Suspenseful Novel About the Navy, the White House, & International Terrorism


Reviews of
Circle William

From the Media

On-line Sources

E-mails to the Author

From the Media…


Villanova University Alumni MagazineSummer 1999
by Irene Brugo”In this fast paced, entertaining read, the author’s sense of humor shines through, as does his penchant for ’50s, ’60s, & ’70s hit songs.  Mentions of Eric Clapton’s Layla and others like The Great Pretender and Secret Agent Man add real-life color and possibly a soundtrack for a future movie.  Harlow’s command of portraying the real intelligence arena, his snippets of intrinsic sketches, give authenticity to his characters and events.”{Webnote: You can hear clips of these and other old favorites by going to Circle William’s Jukebox



U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings review of Circle William
June 1999, pg 84  Vol. 125/6/1,156by LT George Capen, USN (Destroyer Squadron 21 Operations Officer)
“Captain Harlow’s first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the Navy and Washington gives the reader a complete picture of how national strategy is implemented….two main characters grab readers and pull them along from the very beginning….The reader will feel like a crew member in the USS Winston Churchill….one of the most powerful, heart-thumping, feel-good, proud-to-be-an-American finishes….this easily could develop into a series of bestsellers.”


Review of Circle William Audio Version
From the San Jose Mercury News

“If you’re stuck in traffic, try this killer thriller
by Matt Nauman, Mercury News Auto Editor
May 21, 1999
“… rises to the level of Saturday matinee fare, which isn’t half bad when you’re stuck in

traffic….Veteran actor Murphy Guyer breezes through this abridged thriller,
giving the work a straightforward read.”

From the New London CT Day
“A Navy Thriller About People, Not Hardware”
by Robert A. Hamilton
Feb, 1999
“Harlow…details not so much how the various elements of the national security apparatus respond to a serious threat, but how the people within that apparatus respond–and not all have purest of motives.”

From the Savannah GA Morning News
“Two brothers save the world from Qaddafi’s evil scheme”

by Doug Wyatt
Feb 7, 1999
“The author, Harlow, certainly knows the innards of the military and Washington well.”
“We’re thus duly impressed by the realistic portrayal of life both aboard a destroyer and within the Beltway. Harlow casts a suitably sardonic eye on a number of personality types he doubtless encountered over the years and manages to aptly capture the essence of the culture engulfing them. He also has a nice sense of humor — a quality too rare in these kinds of thrillers….”
… it is clear that aficionados of thrillers, sharing Harlow’s affection for the military, would enjoy Circle William for its fast paced action and air of authenticity.”

Also see how the news media have described Circle William In the Press and comments made by readers of note From the Dustjacket.


On-line Sources

Many on-line services provide book reviews both from media sources and readers.  You’ll find several about Circle William at:

  • Amazon.com    
  • OverBooked’s List of Book Review
  • The Fiction Forest – “…a welcome addition to the ranks of political, military fiction in the post cold war era.”
  • MysteryGuide.com –
    “…this book’s differentiating factor is a tongue-in-cheek ‘realism’ built upon effective use of juicy insider factoids..”



From the E-Mail Bag

Subject: “Circle William” — Review and Analysis

“‘Circle William’ made me laugh out loud — a lot. This is the Harlow’s
secret: He throws humor at you, both broadly and subtlety, with both hands.”
—gsw on a newsgroup listing (Longer comments on Amazon.com)

Subject: A review, a suggestion, & an invitation

“As an ex-Tin Can Sailor it was great to read Navy fiction that was
authentic…. A definite Bravo Zulu!
“You left out the most important members of the Churchill’s crew – the Storekeeper’s. Without them there  would have been no mission – only kidding Captain, but without us there would have been no Charmin.
“….we invite you to visit the site of an older Can at http://www.dd-692.com , home of the USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692).”

From sci.mil.navy: “Read it.”

Subject: Bill – Great Book!

“Have to say that, although I’ve read all of Clancy’s stuff, and played his game(there’s only one), Tom’s in trouble! Despite the fact that I was ready to like your stufffrom the start, you blew Clancy out of the water! He’s gonna have to start writing
characters and real-life situations from word one….
“I was into the book from the start – those character have legs (as the publisher has already told you, I’m sure), and I was 100 pages into the book before I started thinking mabout action. You supplied that, and more…..
“Nice to know that our guys are playing real rock and roll, too.”

Subject: Caution: Circle William May Cause Domestic Problems

Reportedly, the mother of a 6 and 3 year old was not happy when her husband spent a Saturday wrapped up in a book. (Circle William, of course!)  His answer was that he just couldn’t put it down.
— from reliable sources in Massachusetts

Subject: Circle William’s Author

“He’s as good as that other guy we all like!”
—A woman reader from New England

Subject: Hero SWO? Whodathunk!

“I just knew that someday SOMEONE would write a readable, exciting and humorous novel with a SWO [Surface Warfare Officer] as the main character. Frogs and Airedales are fine fodder, but, hey, not ALL SWOs are boring, Poindexter dweebs! He even got the babe!!! But, the best part for me, anyway, was “The smell of fresh bread was wafting over the ship as the (MSs) worked to prepare breakfast that wasn’t scheduled for another two hours”. Only someone who has stood a 04-08 can relate to that.
My only criticism would be this: If Schmidt hadn’t been a ring-knocker, we’d have been hosed!
Congrats!, but leave the OCS SWO heroes for me.”

Subject: Great Read on the Flight to Korea

“It really did seem to make the time on this trip pass a lot faster.
I usually do not read fiction, but I found this book to be solidly
based on a reality that I know exists in Washington and in many parts of the
world.  The characters, in my opinion, are quite alive! Thanks for the
many insights into your world in the WH and in the USN.”

Subject: Book

“I stayed up later than I should have to finish it, but I couldn’t put it down!!!….Now that I know how everything worked out, I’m going to read it
again…in case I missed something!”


Subject: Circle William

It is very good. I love a book you hate to put down but don’t want to end. ”

Want to see your review of Circle William up in electrons?  You can send your thoughts to any of the review sites mentioned above or to the author Bill Harlow.