Blood of the Assassin Thrillex Publishing copyright and written by Bill Brewer.
This second book in the series has the protagonist David Diegert, son of an Ojibwa woman in northern Minnesota who is married to an abusive drug dealer with another son who is similar and favored by by the husband. Both males ridicule David with the father adding harsh abusive tactics as well. The collective effect of this activity on the young boy, plus the scorn accrued by the social unacceptability at that time of being a ‘half-breed’, is accepted but eventually leads him to become a Special Forces soldier and then a paid Assassin. Not only is he a professional, but is the best as determined by a serial rotation of combat to the death set up by the consortium by which he has been hired. The group, headed by a German living in palatial splendor in London prominently includes a Latin American representative, a prominent Chinese businessman and a well-connected American who together represent some 20 % of the world’s wealth. The consortium is named Crepusculous and their agenda is devaluation of the American dollar and to push their own digital currency with a common value throughout the world. Thus ultimately, all ‘local’ rates would be eliminated making the globe one common market and voilà, their Omni Sphere would make them THE one power in the world. The tale here describes action up to and including their decision to begin the process with a four step sequence of activity in which David is intimately involved. The associated characters provide various activities that both aid and hinder his assignments and distrust, betrayal, deceit and treachery are the normal way of life as he attempts even to remain alive while attempting to save his mother as well as the whole world.
Discussion: The plot is credible considering the chaotic state of today’s world, its people and politics. From rumors extant, the characters are acceptable as is their activity. The early pace is hi-octane as the consortium’s first two steps are initiated. Following this, the sequence slows rapidly as the political action, by its convoluted nature, pretty much begins to take over. Regrettably, for this reviewer at least, this rapid deceleration and seemingly probable extension into the next awaited volume in the series produced an annoying and unwelcome distraction to this otherwise enjoyable thriller.
3* 5* story with disappointing feature the author hopefully will correct.
Tantamount Glass Spider Publishing copyright and written by CR Hruska.
The story opens in the year 550 in fragmentarily ruled Britain several centuries before larger tribes coalesced into the country of England. Although both the northern and southern sections were ruled by Germanic tribes that had immigrated earlier, the northern Angles were ruled by a man who wished to extend his kingdom to include a bordering particularly fertile section of southern Seaxe. Tolan Fising, a husky, hardworking 37-year-old farmer, his loving wife Leila, 10-year-old son Kenric and 7-year-old daughter Thea owned part of this fertile land. Along with their other animals, a particular large muscular horse called Stareyes was the favorite and became closely loved by the entire family. This is the tale of how the attempted invasion by the Anglican King affected this family, especially after their nearest neighbor, close family friend and loving husband of Avery Lawford is killed defending the country. The ensuing havoc initiated by roving bands from the north brutally kill Tolan’s family causing the fleeing Tolan to encounter a startling change in venue where he is saved and gradually introduced to an entirely new way of life and loving friends who he, in a split second, instinctively is moved to save at great personal sacrifice.
Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting imaginative offering in a quite simplistic manner that seems most appropriate. The protagonist’s apparent ability to adjust to radical change without any seeming hesitation is a bit remarkable, but credible for an individual with a good intellect and a mind geared to constant change and the necessity to react quickly to changing conditions. For a first endeavor, this book is a most welcome addition to the fantasy/historical genre literature already published.
5* Unusual fantasy/historical tale most enjoyable to read.
Write Yourself out of This One ISBN: 9781951744106 Telemachus Press copyright and written by Peggy A. Edelheit.
This is Book 12 in the Samantha Jamison Mystery series. Once again it is characterized by her very active generic team of Martha, Hazel and Betty, providing backup along with PI Clay and ex-mobster Tony as they scramble through another scenario of mysterious activities. And once again, Sam is at risk, although this time she is pitted against another writer(s?) in a game which could end disastrously for our mystery author/sleuth. It begins with a macabre and inexplicable discovery on Sam’s well-maintained and secured property and proceeds though an equally strange series of ‘happenings’, all in turn, alternating with normal, albeit somewhat unusual social relationships. Many of the activities and their results occur because of Sam’s mental attitudes which someone appears to have been able to decipher quite accurately. The hi-octane concluding termination inevitably results.
Discussion: Actually, little need be said about this popular author’s tale that no doubt will present its usual appeal. The unusual plot is provocative, the characters react in their colorfully expected manner and the finale again is explosive. Regrettably for this reviewer who has read and enjoyed several of the author’s books, this one presented a few too many ‘leaps of faith’ for an admittedly pragmatic mindset to accept. But this is a personal attribute no doubt resultant from many years in empirical endeavors that occasionally override otherwise enjoyable flights of fancy.
3* 5* Another exciting mystery by this popular author; (-2 regrettably for this reader only?).
Brothers in War, Richter Publishing acknowledged for aid, copyright and written by Ginger Rodeghero.
Brett Chance, the protagonist is a soccer star in his senior year at his local Allendale High School. His sister to whom he has been closely attached had been murdered recently while providing ‘hands-on’ educational opportunities to girls in Afghanistan. Because of her great desire to engage in these endeavors, he had been helpful in convincing their parents to allow her to go. Now remorseful and full of self-blame, he is experiencing an extremely difficult period. He found concentration on his studies difficult and social relations with class mates nearly impossible. His 2-year relationship with Madison even was suffering considerably but was surviving with talks with her while grooming her Arabian at the stables in close-by Pittsford, N.Y. As the Allendale H.S. soccer star he gets some solace from the concentration required by this activity, especially when his goal is to obtain a scholarship from Syracuse University’ prominent program. His problem suddenly exacerbates when a new student joins the school. The new student, Rasheed, has moved here from, the now for him hated, country of Afghanistan. He also is an extremely accomplished soccer player who can affect Brett’s position of prominence. The plot develops as Brett discovers that Rasheed is haunted from experiencing brutal personal attacks magnified by a most recent family tragedy. The evolution and progression of these activities slowly evolve to provide the substance of the tale where with remembrance of discussions with his grandfather, mentoring by his understanding and very wise coach, and gradual mental maturation, Brett begins to adjust to his life as it evolves.
Discussion: In a brief Introduction, the author explains that she has written this book because she hopes that in some small manner her passion with respect to Human Rights and elimination of violations of individual rights that still exist today will aid this cause and “inspire you to make changes in this world around you with the truth about your human rights.” The ensuing story is an interesting, credible, plot based coming-of-age tale that can initiate worthwhile thoughts in young minds. To strengthen her position, the author includes at the end of the book a statement from the General Assembly of the United Nations. This Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with attendant Articles 1 through 30 is followed by a brief note from “About the Author’ that ends with “I write to communicate to the next generation in a way that they will hopefully strive to make our world a better place.”
Summary: Nicely presented tale that should be efficacious in advancing the author’s agenda.
5* Interesting, well-told coming-of-age tale advancing author’s agenda.
The Will to Die ISBN: 9780985957681 Z Squared Media, copyright and written by Joe Pulizzi.
Will Pollitt, the protagonist, along with his partner Robby are attempting to sell a new marketing proposal to a prominent Cincinnati, OH company that markets an extremely popular type of ice cream product. They really need it to be accepted because their own organization’s bank account is a little shaky and Will’s personal one non-existent. In fact his numerous credit cards are maxed out and he just had received a final note from his daughter Jess’s university that he either pay her next tuition installment or she would no longer be a student. He was five hundred thousand in debt and struggling with a gambling addiction that finally had led him to Gamblers Anonymous. His wife, whom he still loved dearly, had left him when, after telling her he would never do it again, she had found out he again was involved. Added to this, Denise, his older sister informs him that his father, owner of one of the two funeral homes in Sandusky has passed away. He returns to his home and discovers that the business was in a rather bad financial state and his dad’s attorney and closest friend who always had been almost a family member and known as ‘Uncle Dan’ says that he, William, has been left the business with a suggestion by his father he try it for a year. Among attendant ensuing complications are an offer for more than twice the worth of the business from the other funeral home in the city, the son and co-owner of which had been his closest friend growing up; the fact that he desperately needed the money; his ex-wife worked as the embalmer in his father’s business; incongruity in ‘vibes’ he was receiving from Dan as well as others; Janet, his father’s office manager who also had a close relationship to the family and her position; Jack, long-time ‘man Friday’ for the business and Will’s friend; discovery of a set of daily journals his father had left secretly for him; a gradually evolving understanding of the existence of a widely distributed plot to eliminate anyone who deviated from the beliefs set forth by a ‘white supremacists-like group. This later complicated even further by the fact that Robby, Will’s partner and friend, was of mixed parentage and his sister Denise was a lesbian. The ensuing action masterfully is blended into a tale of suspense, mystery and excellent investigative work presented in a highly convoluted manner to culminate in an exciting and until then, quite well-hidden agenda.
Conclusion: This story is a little slow developing but provides a most engaging tale of combined mystery and suspense generated by greed and white supremacy well-hidden through deceit, treachery, betrayal and modern technology in an agenda entirely possible with today’s technology. One that is revealed only by astute observations combined with revelations conjured up from the mental acuity of an individual who instinctively was of a highly empathetic nature with an excellent memory and recall ability. These abilities combined with a high level of investigative activity ultimately reveal this well-hidden clandestine activity. And, as a pertinent and amusing aside, this first book of fiction was written by a well-known/respected author of non-fiction “because I wanted the love of my life and best friend, Pam, to read one of my books (my other five published books are business marketing books, which she doesn’t care for)”.
5* Captivating, highly recommended ‘different’ mystery/suspense.
Reclaiming our Own ISBN: 9781733497626, self-published, copyright and written by Christopher Irons,
The book opens with Brett Moore, oldest of 3 brothers complaining to his wife Riley about having to meet with his brother and sister-in-law and their twin 4-yr-old daughters Adrianna and Brooklyn and 2-yr old son at a local mall at the beginning of a three-day week-end. Ethan and Kathy Moore are a typical American family – he is a 65 hour per week accountant while she is stay home mom. Riley reminds him that he loves kids and should spend less time on his computers anyway. The story quickly moves into a suspense/thriller. The two-year-old, who they had decided would be better off left with Kathy’s friend at the mall’s childcare center while they shopped, was kidnapped. Brett manages to see the kidnappers, chases, reaches and ends inside the van entangled with the kidnapper. There are two more inside however, and he is knocked out. He finally revives chained in an unknown building and the plot gradually evolves. An apparently sizable ring of kidnappers of small children for adoption or release for large ransom because some who are children of wealthy/prominent families, is functioning throughout much of the country. Little knowledge of the organization has been learned because of the involvement of dirty government agents, and the apparent abduction of a child of someone highly placed in the organization. Wade Scott, a government agent with whom Brett served 10 years in the 75th Ranger Unit enters the picture, more is learned of Brett’s typically appropriate activities as a ranger, other members of the old unit assemble and the pace accelerates even more. Further detail obviously would be a disservice to the prospective reader.
Discussion: The author has provided an interesting scenario of deceit, deception, treachery, betrayal, and cruelty aptly met with courage and well-orchestrated response. A perhaps minor feature of the tale that a few words of explanation might clarify for those knowledgeable enough to question some of the results of combatant activity. Long accepted procedure in a gun fight was to dispatch two shots to the body (the greatest bodily mass) and is employed here. Today’s point of aim has been altered if possible however, to more difficult head shots because almost universal use of tactical vests/body armor. It is assumed that head shots were not feasible in some cases and that some type of tactical vest or body armor mitigated the effect to a manageable degree. Thus, the one most questionable portion of the story is explicable, so as a whole, the tale as set forth should be of great appeal to aficionados of thriller/suspense and actually for anyone who enjoys reading of justice dominating in this time when the country’s judiciary seems to appear involved in questionable activities.
5* Enjoyable thriller/suspense apropos discussion.