Books I have authored.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tough Cookie by M. Ruth Myers


Maggie Sullivan pistol whips a breath of fresh air into the moldy corpse of the hard boiled dick.  (No Snicker, come on, we are all adults here!)  It is about time that the stalwarts like Travis McGee and Mike Hammer moved over for a broad with an attitude, a dame, a gat carrying, nylon wearing DAME!  (Same intro as the last review of an M. Ruth Myers' Maggie Sullivan book but I still like it.)

Maggie's client  has been swindled and he is not happy.   He wants Maggie to find out what hole the dirty rotten rat  has slithered into and drag him out by his slimy skinny tail.

Maggie, as usual, ends up butting heads with both authority and the nefarious villains.   Equally as usual, her good heart, surrounds her with stalwart aides and companions.  

The depths of the Great Depression flesh out the scenery in this book.   The vernacular of the time is used but understandable.   The mystery has sufficient depth to keep your attention and enough gritty realism to make it believable.

Connelly's revelations about Ireland add additional veracity to the book, brief as that revelation was.  Myers does a good job making her characters breathe.

I recommend the book and look forward to seeing more of Maggie Sullivan.


 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, December 26, 2013

Double Agents by Ethan Jones




This is the fourth book in the Justin Hall series.   Justin is a Canadian Intelligence Service agent.   Carrie O’Connor, Justin's partner, and Justin roam the mean and dangerous streets of Moscow trying to discover what US location is being targeted by  Chechnyan terrorists.     

Once again Jones pulls his themes from current events.   He portrays friction between the CIA and Canada's CIS which smacks of authenticity if you consider that the US CIA doesn't play nicely with the NSA or the FBI.   The inner workings of the current Russian hierarchy doesn't seem to play well with their own agencies either.  

The story has an intricate plot with harsh villains having no care for civilian casualties.   In all fairness none of the intelligence agencies come out smelling too rosy in this book.
There is action abounding to keep you turning the pages.

I recommend it.



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, December 23, 2013

The Final Judgment by Richard North Patterson



This is a book about self redemption.   A multi

generational look at a dysfunctional family who becomes embroiled in a murder is it's focus.

Caroline Masters, the main, protagonist is self contained, self created and self absorbed.   She has taken pain and glorified it into a personality builder.  Her estrangement from her family helps her to reinforce her aloofness.  

The author forces Caroline to face her fears and her family when her niece is arrested.   The family is portrayed in painstaking detail.   The plot is intricate without being confusing.   The author does a superior job at keeping key facts within reach but just out of sight.

This is an enjoyable mystery with personal redemption and developing self awareness as part of the mix. 

I enjoyed the book and I recommend the 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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Heroic Measures by Greg Smith

Greg's short story published by the recently launched Amazon StoryFront imprint. How cool is that!  Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

Psychiatrist Dr. Renee Conway has taken on a new patient: Kevin Reynolds, the local hero who ran into a burning building to save a young family from certain death. When the rescue goes horrifically wrong, a boy is dead and Kevin suffers excruciating burns. Plagued with nightmares and left with a horribly disfigured face, Kevin finds celebrity its own torture.
As Conway helps Kevin sift through his guilt and grief, his recounting begins to unnerve her. Odd details and detours hint at another side to the story. Despite the lives he saved, Conway finds herself questioning why Kevin ran into the building, and why he walked into her office.
J. Gregory Smith, author of the Paul Chang Mystery series and Kindle bestseller A Noble Cause, delivers a dark, intense story about heroic motivations and the inevitable hand of fate.




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, December 18, 2013

Echo Burning by Lee Child

Reacher suffers a temporary bout of self doubt as his gullibility is tested by a desperate Latina seeking his help.  Set in Texas, this book questions the savage prejudice and ponderous justice system in south Texas.

After having read so many Reacher books, it was somewhat refreshing for him to have a bit of self doubt, it humanized him.   This has the typical Reacher plot of his reluctant entry into a dangerous situation and settling it with his normal, physical justice metering.

Texas was not portrayed as a hospitable place in this novel.   One can only hope that the rampant prejudice and self serving corrupt local justice system has improved in the twelve years since the book was published.   Lee Child does not hesitate to attack and depict social issues with Jack Reacher as the proponent of harsh justice.  I'm not sure head butting is the best solution for social issues but aside from the resulting head ache, I suspect that many of us find a vicarious pleasure in physically dominating perceived villains. 

As in all the Jack Reacher books I have read so far, there is non-stop action and lots of violence.  

I enjoyed the book and I recommend the book.

Web Site: http://www.leechild.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, December 14, 2013

Never Go Back by Lee Child



This Reacher is set in a more current environment.  Afghanistan and Home Land Security are part of the plot.  Reacher's attempt at hooking up with an appealing voice leads him once again up to his neck into a nefarious plot

There isn't a lot new to say about Reacher.   That isn't a bad thing, I certainly don't mind having pineapple upside down cake with absolutely no changes, again and again.   Child has a formula what works. 

One of the things I find particularly appealing in the Reacher books is the loyalty and camaraderie shown to Reacher and others in his former command.  One scene when Turner (main squeeze of the moment) decides that Reacher isn't just a mindless, anger managed animal due to his concern about others reinforces that the main character isn't just a shallow, testosterone driven hero but someone who cares and cares deeply about others.

This book also delved into some of the reasons why Reacher became who he is and why his motivation is to cannonball in where others fear to tread water. 

As in all the Jack Reacher books I have read so far, there is non-stop action and lots of violence.  

I enjoyed the book and I recommend the book.
  
Web Site: http://www.leechild.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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen



 I have read a lot of Edgar Allan Poe but little or nothing about Edgar Allan Poe.   Poe's reputation was trashed by a rival and that nonsense has carried through for years and years.   This book addresses the life of Poe in a much more sympathetic manner.

Frances Osgood was the muse that drove Poe, possibly drove him mad.   She is portrayed as emotionally torn and faced with overwhelming circumstances based primarily on the social mores of the time.  

Ms. Cullen does an excellent job with showing the fragility of the marital institution in the mid-1800s.   Growing up in the era of bra burning and strong women it is sobering to think that over 50% of the population was relegated to second class citizenry.  Actually if you consider slavery the number of second class citizens was substantially higher than 50%. 

This story was somewhat tedious as was the life of Poe.   The emotional angst was suffocating.   I'm not much for the romantic novel but the historic aspect of this book as well as the cameos of so many famous literary figures.

I recommend it.


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

Friday, December 6, 2013

Without Fail by Lee Child


Reacher is as Reacher does.  That simply means, step on my toes, step on those I care about and assume the position.  The rest of the world can go on as normal but DO NOT mess with mine.  This book is standard Reacher, tons of action, loss of main characters and redemption.

A chance pickup as he hitch hiked led Reacher into the depths of Washington politics.   Little did he know that the old blues playing couple would lead to assassination attempts on the in coming Vice President.

Surprisingly Jack spends most of this book working with law enforcement sometimes very, very close to law enforcement.  As often in the case of politics, things are not always the way they seem.  

I don't know that I ever learn anything from the Reacher books unless new methods of wreaking mayhem count.  I don't think the books expand my mind.  I do know that they are highly entertaining.

As in all the Jack Reacher books I have read so far, there is non-stop action and lots of violence.  

I enjoyed the book and I recommend the book.

Web Site: http://www.leechild.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.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Robert the Bruce by Jack Whyte

 This is one book in a trilogy on Scottish heroes called the Guardians Trilogy.  This book depicts the coming of age of Robert The Bruce.   Keep in mind that in the time of the book, there were three Roberts all of whom at some point were The Bruce.

This is an excellent fictional rendition of  the Scottish independence movement.  Scotland's move from being an independent kingdom to an English vassal in reality and the fight to return to independence is touched on in this book.   I say touched on because the book is more of a biography of Rober the Bruce than an actual treatise on Scottish independence.

The author does an excellent job portraying an actual historic figure.  The life and daily mundane behaviors are in sufficient detail to appreciate both the difference and similarity to today's life and political realities.   The cot and camp stove mentioned early in the book brought home that this time period, although primitive by today's standards, still appreciated normal comforts.  The manipulative perfidy of the political environment would sadly fit into any contemporary country. 

I highly recommend the book and it reinforces me love of historic fiction.


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