Required Reading

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Books I have authored.

Many times I receive books for FREE to give them an honest review. I do not get paid to give a good or bad review. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as advertising for the book spotlighted. Regardless of where or how I got a book, my review will be as honest as I can make it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Morgan Kane Without Mercy by Louis Masterson

I can not remember when the last time was that I read a Western.  Of course as you age, that is not nearly remarkable as it once was.   This is a tale of betrayal, despair, revenge and acceptance set in the wilds of the Wild West. 

Morgan Kane is portrayed as a harsh harbinger of justice.  He metes out punishment based on his perception of the law.   His portrayal is made believable due to his shrieks of fear, depths of despair and melancholy nature.

Kane is larger than life but shows his humanity in both fragility and harshness.   I don’t know who or how to compare this since I seldom read Westerns.   The story is brief and has a certain pathos or perhaps romanticism in Kane’s conflict with personal relationships.  

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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

One Shot by Lee Child

I almost didn’t read this since I had seen the movie.  In spite of the dubious decision to cast Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher I thought the movie was well done.  Talk about a reach though, tiny little Tom Cruise for great big Jack Reacher, gotta wonder who made that decision.  I’m guessing they are not fond of reading.  Regardless, this book is another Reacher justice book.  Cross the wrong line and justice is in Reacher’s knurly, rock hard hands.

Once again Lee Child has crafted an excellent action adventure.  Jack Reacher’s implacable Old Testament type of justice prevails.  You might say he inflicted a crushing defeat to the bad guys.  

This story focuses on an immigrant band of villains who distain the soft American justice system.  The story of intimidation and corruption could come from any major city news source.  (That would have been newspaper a few years ago but I now feel I am in the minority with my fondness for perusing actual newsprint.)

The movie was based on the book but as usual the book provides much more detail and fleshes out the vacuum left by the big screen.   seeks his own brand of justice. 

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.

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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, August 21, 2013

The Critical Element by John L. Betcher

Once again, James Becker, a retired agent of some type is a small town attorney with an international reach. James Becker has retired from a terrorism fight to live a sedentary life with his wife and girls safe in a small, insular community. In his first book, The 19th Element detailed the story of a Islamic terrorists’ attack on a nearby nuclear plant.  In the Covert Element Becker gets entwined with a drug cartel.  In this book Becker and Beth, his wife and former CIA employee, get involved in terrorism, both international and domestic.   
Once again, Becker displays a cynical attitude about bureaucracy and it’s inherent shortfalls.   He does not seem quite as cynical in this book as he did in the last.  I will repeat that a smidgen of back-story on Becker for those who have not read the previous books would benefit the reader.  This book reads very well as a stand alone but I think that most first time readers would enjoy it a bit more with a better understanding of Becker’s background. 
Betcher does an excellent job incorporating current fears and events as part of his plot.  His premise on domestic terrorism was altogether too plausible.  Equally I found his concerns about rogue states as depressing. 
Betcher does a good job on his social awareness as well.  The side story of Benny was a nice touch.   I enjoyed interviewing John Betcher and I feel that each book he writes shows his increased experience.   In redundant trepidation over being redundant, keep up the good work Betcher!
I highly recommend this book.

Body of work of John L. Betcher

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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, August 14, 2013

Tragic by Robert K. Tanenbaum

 I really enjoyed Outrage by Tanenbaum.  I enjoyed Tragic  just as much.  This is a courtroom drama that would make Perry Mason proud. (dated reference)

Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene are reoccurring characters in Tanenbaum’s books. Note this book stands alone quite well and there is no need to have read any preceding to catch up to the story. I suspect, as I stated in my last Tanebaum review, if you enjoy it as much as I did you will track down more of his books but that is another story.

This story has labor unions, thugs and Shakespeare.   There are suitable Machiavellian turns to satisfy most mystery fans.  Butch and Marlene are “good people”.  Tanenbaum paints them well. 

I highly recommend the book, I enjoyed it.

Body of work of Robert K. Tanenbaum

Web site:

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, August 10, 2013

Send In the Clowns by J. Gregory Smith

A Noble Cause was an improvement over Greg’s first book  Final Price as was Legacy of the Dragon over the previous novels.  I enjoyed all of them but this book was even better.   J. Gregory Smith is going to be a smashing success! 

Burly Paul Chang and his quirky sidekick Nelson are back.  This story is one of international terrorism, stalking and political intrigue.

Chang is still recovering from injuries from the previous story.   He is a complex character who is constantly battling his internal dragon.   Nelson’s character of the consummate nerd is equally likeable.  You find yourself seeing these two in people you know.  Greg does a great job with his characterizations. 

I found the story more colorful and delightfully complex with a cynical view of politicians and their overwhelming personal conceit.  Max as a villain was just about perfect.  The circus connection provided abundant color and sly humor. 

A good story, lots of action, likeable characters, what’s not to like?  Oh, and lest I forget, a terrific cover!  My only criticism of the book is that there should be a better back story.  New readers to the series may find themselves struggling a bit. 

J. Greg Smith is on track to be the next Lee Child.   Perhaps we could get Jack Reacher to meet Paul Chang, there would be some serious action in that meeting.   Greg, how about Unleash The Dragon?

I highly recommend this book!

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > J. Gregory Price </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.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Not Authorized by Whit Gentry


We met him in the first Whit Gentry book.  Jake is more of a bit player in this book.  Women are being abducted and Jake finds himself drawn into the seedy human trafficking trade.

Whit paints some pretty despicable villains.   His hero’s are also questionable folks.   Whit writes a story that portrays a current version of rough western justice.  

Old Testament justice is central to the theme of the book.   The bad guys discover that without the rule of law they are susceptible to the same type of violence that they so glibly dish out. 

Two private contractors, ex-military, are the Warriors in a very black op that until you read the book is information that is NOT Authorized!

Whit Gentry is crafting a niche with his gritty fiction.  The nature of his characters reflect the real emotions that normal people would have when faced with horrendous circumstances.   Most people would not have the courage or fortitude to purse the course taken by Jake and Bill Toliver.     

Once again Whit Gentry has evoked emotion with his story telling.  He, again, has made a masterful display of creative ambivalence that characterizes the plot.   Intellectually I find much the protagonists did very wrong but emotionally I can see the needful justification for the greater good. 

I look forward to reading more from Whit Gentry.

I highly recommend the book.

Web site:

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, August 2, 2013

A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner

Dan Sorensen is wallowing in despair, his personal losses pushing him into the unreality of alcoholic delirium.   His former life as a hard charging, high profile defense attorney is behind him.   Then he is thrust into the defense of a foul mouth, apparently guilty rapper accused of murder.

Sorensen’s unbearable loss makes his descent into the depths of despair seem reasonable.  Mitzner paints a accurate picture of a man who has lost hope.    Mitzner also does a good job at making the reader look beyond the bold persona of the despicable rapper.  

This story had a seemingly simple plot that surprises you with its surprising twists.  The characters were well laid out and their motivations were understandable.

I recommend the book.

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