Books I have authored.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Innocent by David Baldacci



Baldacci has another new hero, this one is an assassin.   This is a typical never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller.

Will Robie does his job without a lot of soul searching.   He believes in his government and assumes that the people he is assigned to assassinate deserve it, that they are a threat to national security.  

When Will is thrust into a situation that doesn’t fit his personal mission parameters he is faced with hard choices.   This novel is centered on the ramifications and repercussions of his choices.

The impact of big money on ordinary people and how it changes them is a recurring theme in Baldacci books.    Human interaction under pressure is another Baldacci characteristic.    Showcasing the ability of man overcoming complacency or base nature is one of the things I enjoy about Baldacci’s books. 

Once again Baldacci paints such a vivid picture.  He sets his stage with clarity and depth.   His characters are both larger than life and realistically human forcing you to read long beyond your appointed bed time.

I highly recommend it.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > David Baldacci </a>


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Solomon Vs. Lord by Paul Levine




Paul Levine crafts irreverent attorneys with delightful mayhem.   Steve Solomon is an attorney who strives for justice not necessarily in a legally acceptable manner.  Victoria Lord is a by the book, cross the t and dot the i attorney.   Their clashes and madcap antics fuel the plot of this delightful mystery.

I am a big fan of Lassister, Levine’s other attorney protagonist.   Now I am a fan of Solomon and Lord.   Levine carefully develops the characters and then pits their foibles and strengths against each other to develop an entertaining story line.   This book made me laugh out loud more than once.

The sidebar characters add richness and flavor to create a colorful montage for setting the story.   I suspect I will never look at an avocado in the same way.   This is a good mystery with lots of twists and turns as well as plenty of action.   It also plucks a pretty good tune on the heart strings. 
I highly recommend the book. 

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Paul Levine</a>

Web Site:  http://www.paul-levine.com/content/index.asp


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins




As I mentioned when I reviewed Hunger Games, I almost didn’t read this book because everyone was reading it.   New York Times best sellers often don’t make my cut.   The dystopian world featured in the first book expresses worry that the suppressed rabble may not continue their studied indifference and thus the dictators up the odds on the bread and circus tournament. 

As compelling as I found the first story, I found Catching Fire, even more so.  I struggled to get anything else done.   Collins excels at eliciting empathy for her characters.   Not just he main characters either, she entices you into caring about even minor characters.   I think that is the strength of these books, the superb characterizations.  

The plot continues to evolve as do the characters.  There are necessary reminders that the main protagonist is a 17 year old girl.   The horrific events are successfully counter pointed with the pathos exhibited by the characters. 


This is a three book series, two down and one to go!

I did enjoy the book and I recommend it.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Suzanne Collins </a>

Web site: http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nightwalkers by P.T. Deutermann



Keep in mind, I see myself writing recommendations rather than reviews.   I can save you some time, I recommend the book.   Deutermann and this book once again, kept me up late reading.   Cam Richter who we met in Cat Dancers, Spider Mountain and Moon Pool is back and it appears, at least for the time being, that this book concludes the series. Cam, Frick and Frack and now Kitty face a Confederate Major, secret passages, snipers and ghosts. 

I have all four books in this series and will be enlightening my readers with my reactions, sweaty palms and all.   I reviewed Cat Dancers, Moon Pool and  Spider Mountain on this blog a few weeks ago, this book is every bit as good.   I have to feel that Deutermann is a dog person; he writes of Cam’s sidekicks with respect and love but also is able to be pragmatic about them.   Cam’s love for his canine companions is once again aptly demonstrated.   

Cam seems to be maturing in this book.   He isn’t as quick to jump to conclusions nor to write off relationships.   Deutermann does have the propensity to develop extremely unlikeable opponents as well as highly likeable allies.   This book is every bit as good as the three previous ones featuring Cam Richter.

I highly recommend it.


Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > P.T. Deutermann </a>

Web Site: http://www.ptdeutermann.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Last Israelis by Noah Beck

My review copy of this book was a pre-press copy.  This book is a fictionalized look at the tensions and frustrations of the current Middle East conflict. 

Mr. Beck sets the scene for the book by carefully introducing each character and providing insights to their motivation.   This sets the stage for the increasing level of tension and action as the book escalates to it’s dramatic conclusion.

I like good characterizations.   I think it is much easier to “get into” a book when you have some feel or empathy for the people who populate it.   Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a character study, this book has plenty of action and can provide that adrenal jolt that signifies a good action thriller.

I recommend the book.  

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Noah Beck </a>

NEW as of 5/28/2013  Noah recently published the second edition, and released it in every format (ebook, paperback, and even audiobook).    Here is the trailer for his book:


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins





I almost didn’t read this book because everyone was reading it.   New York Times best sellers often don’t make my cut.   However my grandson gave me his copy and I read it and enjoyed it.   In a dystopian or post-apocalyptic  world, a central government, keeps the rabble suppressed and reminds them of their impotence by staging a bread and circus tournament. 

With all that has been written about this book, I’m not sure if it would be possible to write a spoiler.   As I mentioned, I often shun the popular books with the assumption they have been downgraded to appeal to a mass market.   I’m a staunch science fiction and fantasy reader.   I read lots of other genres but my favorites are scifi and fantasy.   I am posting this story here, in my general fiction blog, because this is a story that has crossed the great divide from scifi to general fiction.  

I enjoyed the story, the characters and the action.   What I find dismaying is that I have read scads of equally good scifi and fantasy that have not ever been picked up by the main stream.   That does not detract one whit from this book but it makes me wonder what pushes a good book in a niche (sadly if one looks at overall sales, scifi is still a niche) into main stream success.   The Harry Potter series was able to do it as was the Star Wars franchise.   I’m sure if I could identify or quantify the reason I could make my fortune.   Alas, I doubt that will happen.  

This is a three book series, I plan on reading them all.  

I did enjoy the book and I recommend it.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Suzanne Collins </a>

Web site: http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sanctus by Simon Toyne




This is a first book and considering that, it is an amazing first book.   Toyne crafts a story that combines modern economic concerns, charities, religion and intrigue.  

The story takes place in the fictitious city of Ruin in remote Turkey.   The center piece of the story is the Citadel, a never conquered fortress, continually occupied by a cadre of militant monks.  
Toyne creates a believable city and setting that doesn’t just support his story, it enhances it.   The situation is filled with notable characters who have their own agendas.    There is a certain cynicism exhibited by many of the characters that is off set or perhaps set in counterpoint to the pious fanaticism of the monks.   The courage and persistence of the opposition is laudable due to their goals but practically as fanatical as the monks.   

This was an excellent story and I look forward to it’s sequel. 
I highly recommend it.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > Simon Toyne</a>
Web Site: http://www.simontoyne.net/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

God's Eye by A.J. Scudiere




Katharine Geryon is the confused protagonist in this book.  Angel or demon, light or dark this book is awash in paranormal decisions.

I really enjoyed both Resonance and Vengeance Ms. Scudiere’s previous books.   I never really got into this book.    It wasn’t that it was terribly confusing; I just didn’t feel that it held together.  

In a trite and (by me) oft used expression, I guess that is why they make chocolate and vanilla.   This was not a bad book and the characters were interesting but it just didn’t capture me.   I will definitely look at the author’s next book due to my first two positive experiences.   You need to read this and make your own decision.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > A.J. Scudiere </a>

Web Site: http://www.ajscudiere.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Rogue Avenger by John R. Monteith



When I first read Rogue Crusader I’m stated that I wondered if the Navy was offering creative writing to it’s officers.  I am almost sure of it now.This is the first book in a continuing series.   Jake Slade, an U.S. naval officer is introduced.   He finds himself questioning his loyalty to his nation and to his ship.   He finds himself lying down with strange bedfellows in this naval thriller.

John Monteith does a nice job building characters.  I enjoyed this book for many reasons but mostly because it explains Jake Slade’s motivation and roots.   You can read the books out of order but I derive greater pleasure in reading them in order. (anal compulsive anybody?)  Jake’s character is angrier and more brittle in this book.  

The action is non-stop even as the characters grow.   Political expediency is explored in it’s treacherous and self serving mode.  The realities of the world seem to preclude loyalty and trust except in Monteith’s characters.   I was satisfied with the ending.  

This book doesn’t have the same polish as the third book.   It is nice to see an author honing their skills.   This book was good, the third one was better.   In some ways though, this seemed grittier and perhaps more realistic in portraying some of the more negative human emotions. 

This is the second John R. Monteith novel I have read and it was exciting and I recommend it.   BTW I can’t wait to read the next one.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> John R. Monteith </a>

Web Site: http://www.subthriller.com/


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.