Books I have authored.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Small Wars by Lee Child




Small Wars is another short story.   I am guessing that these short stories are designed to maximize the income and exposure of this extremely popular author.   Luckily it was a much better read than the equally diminutive Not A Drill short story that I recently read and reviewed.  I was asked why I didn't like it and succinctly I said, "not a single head butt."   This story had a better formed and fleshed plot.   This story follows Reacher and includes his brother. 

A mysterious murder is committed and Reacher is tasked to find the perpetrator as this takes place while he is still a military police officer.   The popular Sgt. Neagley pops up in this story with her well developed skills.

I recommend the story.

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, January 26, 2016

Vicious Circle by Wilbur Smith




This is the first Wilbur Smith book I have read since the Seventh Scroll back in 2004.  Either my memory is failing, entirely possible, or Smith has become fond of graphic violence since then.   This book is focused on retribution of the most severe Old Testament style.

Hector Cross has a military background and solid Black Water type of security connections.  He marries a billionaire and they expect to live happily ever after.   Since that is not a terribly gripping plot, Smith adds a wealth of violence and perversion.  

Cross finds himself searching for elusive killers and battling personal loss.   The book has intricate twists and turns but at times I struggled with the detailed and gruesome violence and perversion.

The action grabs you and if you have a strong stomach you will enjoy the book.

Web site: http://www.wilbursmithbooks.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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Not a Drill by Lee Child, A Very Short Story




This a short story, not a novelette, just a short story.  It is very short and nearly Reacherless.  

Reacher wants to get to the end of I95 for the same reason he goes anywhere, just to do it.   He meets up with some back packers and ends up in Allagash, Maine.  (I googled that to see if there really is such a place and there is!)

Something suspicious is going on Naismith which is the southern entrance to a wilderness trail in the book.   Reacher's new friends are not what they seem and Reacher's physicality is not tested in any way in this book.   Not one incident of head butting, which was disappointing.  

The book ties very loosely to interrogation of terrorists and government black operations, loosely.   The story was not fleshed out and had a very unfinished feel.

First Reacher related story I have found myself feeling decidedly lukewarm. 

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, January 18, 2016

Make Me by Lee Child


Whew, this is a sigh of relief that Make Me is a more traditional Lee Child book than the diminutive Not A Drill short story that I recently read and reviewed.  I was asked why I didn't like the short story and succinctly I said, "not a single head butt."    Not warm nor comforting, Jack Reacher is back in his traditionally hard headed manner.  Perhaps not as hard headed as in the past.   This story follows the formula of Reacher being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Child gives Reacher a stronger love interest in this book.  Michelle Chang, formerly of the FBI, is not a girly girl nor is she diminutive.  She is sturdy enough in Reacher's mind for both work and pleasure and she eventually seems to share the same feelings about Reacher.

Don't despair the diminutive (I'm trying to see if I can use that word in every  paragraph.) Ms. Chang is searching for a missing colleague and Reacher becomes an unlikely ally in her quest.

Graphic violence, far less graphic sex and a delightfully complex plot takes this book back to five stars after the lack luster and diminutive Not A Drill short story.  

As in most Lee Child books, I suggest you block out some time so you can read it as fast as you will be driven to do so.   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.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Deadly Assets by W.E.B. Griffin


I normally like Griffin's work, particularly his books about Philadelphia cops as I live nearby.   This is kind of a time slice of Philly about 10 years back when the term Killadelphia was applied due to the number of murders in the city.

Books become more real when you are familiar with the places and people who populate them.   The story is depressing, primarily because so much of it was true to life.   I  seem to recall I found Griffin's work disjointed but I found this book particularly disjointed.  It started off strange and the strangeness was not abated until the end.  

The lack of continuity colored my feelings on the book.

Web Site:  http://www.webgriffin.com/home.html

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, January 10, 2016

The Marauders by Tom Cooper


The setting for this book is Barataria, Louisiana.    I googled that and the setting is daunting to say the least.  The 2010 census has roughly 1000 people in the entire area.  The BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina really set the stage for this book.   The story is about a group of loosely connected people who all seemed to be at the sharp end of the stick of life.  

Cooper did a superlative job painting the life of what could kindly be described as misfits.   The Troup twins seemed like the most successful and at the same time most brutal of the characters.  The life style of the water people suddenly made my time working in the steel mills seem like a veritable picnic.  

The book felt disjointed but the tendons and gristle of the environment kept the story from flying apart.  The character interaction provided the connectivity that breathed life into the plot.    After awhile you would swear you were smelling mildew and swamp gas.  

The book provided a glimpse into some life styles that in many ways seemed utterly hopeless but also depicted the resiliency that people will show to maintain a traditional way of life.

I recommend the book.

Web site: http://tomcoopernola.com/the-marauders-a-novel/

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, January 6, 2016

Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster


I've never read any books by Rebecca Forster before.  I plan on reading more.  This was an excellent mystery.  The plot was focused on the murder of a California Supreme Court judge.

Josie Bates is a lawyer that appears to be hiding from her past.  She spends a lot of time in introspection regarding a case in her past.   Someone from further back in her past approaches her, out of nowhere, to defend her daughter in a murder case.  The self-absorbed mother makes demands on a defunct friendship that places Josie in a emotional dilemma. 

Forster puts together an intricate plot with complex characters and enough twists and turns to satisfy a fan of the Monte Carlo Rally.

I recommend the book.

Web Site:  http://rebeccaforster.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, January 2, 2016

The Survivor by Vince Flynn


The head of the CIA and the organization itself, is under attack by both home grown adversaries, in house cybernuts and Pakistan.   Mitch Rapp takes umbrage to the situation with predictable violence.

Flynn created politically explosive novels and will be missed, one more reason to donate to cancer research.  

The book is jammed with action and fraught with moral dilemmas.  The depiction of politicians and foreign adversaries and their lack of any noble aspirations is somewhat depressing.  The author has obviously read some history and consequently applied that knowledge to a plot that clearly points out failures in the real world strategies of dealing with countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.   Philosophic congruity is necessary to find common ground for diplomacy.   Nations that have no experience with populist rule can not be expected to recognize the moral values we as a nation hold dear.  Our expectations as a nation of laws is ludicrous when applied to nations that only recognize the authority of who is holding the biggest gun.

The author's depictions of the world are both sadly accurate and soberly frightening.   Mitch Rapp is a character who could care less who holds the biggest gun as he is willing to go up against any odds.  

The book was finished by author Kyle Mills.   It is a good read, a bit more action and mayhem and a bit less thought provoking then Vince Flynn's work but sill worth reading. 



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