The SHEEP RISE UP

The Sheep Rise UP ISBN: 9781481716444, Author House, a novel copyright and written by Mitchell Graye.

Kristen O’Hara, General Counsel for successful Enterprise Company is informed by Peter Preston, the President, that they are having both short and long-term financial problems that will necessitate severe restrictions on salaries as well as declaration of regular dividends to the stockholders. He also, in his usually overbearing manner, attempts to coerce her into issuing a supportive statement of this need that she realizes is not true. Her handling of this difficult ethical problem obviously places her in a precarious position. The results of refusing the request could place a strain on her finances as a single mother with a daughter in college as well as her other usual expenses. Compliance no doubt would severely damage her long-term career and financial security. She decides that ethically she must, and does refuse his request. Upon her refusal, he attempts to initiate a campaign that casts her in position of being at fault. He is aided in his activities by Richard Axel, the company’s V-P who is part of Preston’s plans. Upon appearance of an article in the WSJ of the company’s rumored problems, Frank Atwater, partner in a prestigious law firm, calls. He had been her mentor as well as boss, helping her with her career until she had left for the position with Enterprise. After a few meetings she tells Frank what has happened and with help from a retired, unusual PI whom Frank had known for years, begins to reveal a complicated series of activities that include establishment of unlisted deposits on the other side of the country as well as others offshore, interspersed with setting up a number of subsidiary companies as well as employment of a clandestinely well-known assassin. With assembly of a congressional SEC hearing, the fraudulent activity is demonstrated to include a number of others involved in this matter of fraudulent activity that entailed a total of several billion dollars.

Discussion: The author has set forth a surprisingly engrossing tale that is more than just a story of fraudulent activity within a large company. The basic plot and accompanying activity of such deviousness is knowledgeably well presented, BUT it is captivatingly enclosed within a rapidly paced, suspenseful thriller. Highly recommended.

5* Fast-paced, knowledgeably written, fraudulent security tale within a suspenseful thriller.

Red Flag

RED FLAG A modern Air Combat Novel assumed published, copyright and written by Mike Solyom.

Before the story begins, an opening statement by the author explains that during the Vietnam War the U. S. Air force discovered that pilot’s chances of survival were dramatically greater after completing ten combat missions. Thus, simulated air combat and other unexpected conditions exercises were created to teach new pilots. They were called Red Flag operations. This is a fictional tale about one such test. The story opens with a pilot and Weapon Systems Officer flying a F/A-18 F Hornet from a carrier in the Pacific. They witness a most unusual performance by a strange UFO, now more politically correctly referred to as UAP, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena about which the pilot, nicknamed ‘Digger’ Graves, sends a message to the Carrier and lines up possibly to engage. He receives orders not to do so. He continues following, however, until suddenly it just stops from its running velocity of some 600 mph. Digger moves quickly to avoid hitting it and moments later it dives straight down. They are flying over the Magellanic Deep, one of the deepest trenches in the world. No one knew what was at the bottom. Instruments sent down to investigate had never returned and manned attempts regrettably suffered the same fate. Digger radio’s it’s disappearance to the Carrier and is told to return to base. He tells Chute, his Weapons System Officer in the rear seat, he has seen this before and that it will be scrubbed from their records when they arrive back at the carrier, so not to argue when mechanics come in to confiscate any of their equipment. Chute says O. K. but tells Digger “I got it all here” and holds up a thumb drive. From here the story switches to the Red Flag operation that includes pilots from several nations including Greece, Egypt, India, Russia and several other countries engaged in fighting the insurgent Caliphate, a war in which America has decided they should not participate. However, two experienced American pilots are ‘on leave’ form the Air Force and are working for a secretly established CIA unit as ‘private contractors’ so they can participate in fighting against the Caliphate. The story proceeds by following the Red Flag operations with a most interesting relationship developing between the Russian Ace and the similarly experienced CIA pilot and strengthening when the UAP makes an unexpected appearance wreaking havoc on the Red Flag exercise.

Discussion: This is a tale quite obviously written by a highly knowledgeable man with respect to modern aircraft, their design, faults and capabilities. It also is a tribute, as well as description of the intense amount of training necessary to successfully operate these deadly flying computers, as well as to the almost instantaneous mental adaptations that must be made by these pilots. The book is very well-written and should be enjoyed not only by those devoted to stories of Aliens, UFO’s (ATP’s), thrillers, war, flying, or any similar, but from this reader’s perspective also is a book any type of reader may learn much about modern warfare that so constantly is thrust upon our minds. As a most interesting aside, the author also has included a very enlightening observation with respect to Russian thought that is not apparent to most unacquainted with their culture. The Russian pilot in conversation with his American counterpart states: “The people and the government are not always the same. I am absolutely loyal to my countrymen as they are to me. But my government is capable of very dishonorable things. They only care about their powerful allies and benefactors. Not the people.” His American counterpart is somewhat astonished: “Russians had always baffled Lee. They were such different people with a culture that only superficially resembled his own. He could never get a grasp on why they acted the way they did and why they always insisted on being so adversarial. But this he understood. Family always came first. It was more important than the whims of people who happened to be in power.” He then recalled a statement made by the American humorist Mark Twain: “The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing. It is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to. Institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to worship rags, to die for rags, to worship rags – this is loyalty to unreason, it is pure animal. It was invented by monarchy. Let monarchy keep it.”

Summary: A fast-paced, interesting and from many aspects even most thought provoking novel from the creator of the Century City Series.

5* Fast-paced, many faceted, thought provoking novel. Highly Recommended.

The Lottery Winner

The Lottery Winner assumed published by, copyright and written by Heru Asaramo.

The story introduces Jacob, adopted son, along with another, Jason, sometime later and a younger also adopted sister Myra. The children’s birth stories are horror tales in themselves, Jacob’s birth mother was a heroin addict, father, recipient of a 50 year prison sentence for killing a cop on a botched robbery. Jason was born of a drug addict who hung herself and the newborn was discovered only by accident and was suffering pneumonia that weakened his entire immune system. Jason died affecting Jacob deeply, even extending into his adult years. Myra’s story was similarly dismal. The adopting parents, Maria and Drake Gilferd, are a couple of entrepreneurs with successful businesses, a beautiful home and all associated possessions. They were unable to have children but felt the desire for them. Unfortunately as demonstrated, they are as casual and unthinking with their selection as they are in their personal lives. Within a few short years they are overextended with all credit cards maxed out, and a severe market decline ends their high living. The bank foreclosed on their home and they are forced to move to an apartment in a depressed neighborhood where Drake still continues to make irrational decisions. Thus Jacob and Myra must adjust from the early years of affluent living to that of near poverty and the parents do not make the situation easier. Before adopting them, the couple had decided they would not raise children to believe they were ‘entitled’. Thus, they not only are strict disciplinarians – Maria “a hard-nosed military breed” (4th generation former Marine) – Drake also a former Marine now an analytical chemist, but now make the children  targets for constant ridicule at school for their manner of dress. Because of their continued irrational monetary over extensions, money is scarce and they insist upon dressing the children in their selection of clothing from Goodwill. The story continues with more difficulties constantly being encountered so by the time Jacob reached twenty years of age, he had absorbed much of his father’s beliefs about the world’s evils and injustices superimposed upon the unrealized psychological baggage he carried. He began to mentally withdraw from the world. The tale continues and ultimately he does buy a ticket and win the largest Lottery distribution in the state’s history and the story moves into another unexpected phase with an unusual result providing a basis for the expected next book to be published. Further detail would be a disservice to prospective readers.

Discussion: At the very end of the book the author provides a “Note to the reader: I put my heart into this work. I truly hope you enjoyed.” This reviewer has quoted the author’s words because his effort is recognized and appreciated and must be taken into account when reading the following remarks. The entire premise upon which this story is based is most interesting and reminiscent of a somewhat similar theme introduced over sixty years ago and made into an award-winning movie three years later. It also contains many sections in which a reader can become thoroughly engrossed. Additionally, the author has exhibited an excellent knowledge of quite disparate entities. Top-of-the line automobiles, clothing, wines, cuisine, as well as attendant personnel and surroundings. Contrarily, the structure and management of correctional institutions for the most hardened criminals, their culture, structure and activities. Unfortunately character development is inconsistent and most regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, a judicious editing is required to raise this story to the position it deserves.

3* 5* Fascinating, knowledgeably presented information; -2 regrettably, as discussed.

Dreamwander in the Ruins of Eden

Dreamwander in the Ruins of Eden ISBN: 9780996305709 Kildaire Press copyright and written by Kildaire.

This is “Volume One of In The Ruins of Eden” and begins with the protagonist, Cillian Rysgaard, an old North Dakota rancher, travelling down a strange forest path where he encounters increasing numbers of strange, illusion-like ‘happenings’. Ultimately he meets an old woman whom he recognizes as Mórríghan, the ancient Irish Goddess who humans meet before dying. She informs him that it is not quite his time. He next realizes he is in a strange doctor’s office where a woman says the practitioner is ready to see him. He enters and here is informed that he has dementia that gradually will worsen although he may live anywhere up to another ten years. He then is ushered out through another door that becomes a long tunnel where eventually he encounters a stately young woman dressed similarly to a Roman Centurion. She tells him to mount her chariot and she delivers him to the ruler of the impossibly large assemblage of buildings crowded with huge numbers of citizens cheering him as he is honored by the ruling Imperator as the two time savior of the empire. Thus begins this strange tale that involves a parallel world inhabited by the Tuath Dé who have a physical body and a sex but actually are part of the fallen angels remaining from the revolt of the angels that resulted in Yewah splitting the revolutionaries into three groups – theirs, Satan and his followers to the dark nether region and retaining the third group of Michael and others of the ‘good’ angels with him in the upper regions. They are in a constant state of war with the Dread Queen who once was one of them, and both they and she, with her followers, continue living under an uneasy truce since neither has been able to defeat the other. The action swings among various, mostly fanciful activities in ‘other worlds’ with Cillian having the ability to pass unharmed among the different ‘civilizations’ because of an amulet he had received as a gift many years ago. The amulet had been fashioned by Satan and assures his safe passage between worlds because both sides need him since, through an error, he had released Loki, the God of Chaos from his chained position of eternal bondage.

Discussion: A weirdly fanciful tale that is difficult, at least for this reader, to describe. It begins interestingly with what appears to be an old man with some degree of advancing dementia wandering along a forest path. Assumedly, his formal/informal educational development includes a superior knowledge of Irish, Nordic and Christian mythology, although we are told that he simply is a North Dakota Rancher. Large sections of the story involve individuals who speak Latin and a Celtic dialect, and reference is made repeatedly to persons described in the written, and before that unwritten, mythology just mentioned and Roman Centurion-like uniforms are in abundance. There is much of interest set forth and the action at times generates excitement. However, the action sequences often are interwoven with considerable prose explanations of pre-occurring and/or predictive activity. Settings following each other occasionally are sufficiently far removed from each other enough to cause momentary need to re-arrange one’s thinking with respect to the tale’s continuum.

Summary: A strange tale that from this reader’s perspective requires dichotomous interpretation – extreme mental wanderings resulting from a knowledgeable individual’s advancing dementia, or, an equally strange Fantasy tale that devotees of the genre may enjoy.

3* difficult to describe and rate, as described.

The Night Drop

The Night Drop Resistance in the Marshlands, published copyright and written by Ian D. Wright.

This is a most interesting story within a story that perhaps is a little difficult to describe but fascinating to read. Briefly, the story opens in a small village in Northern France in 1965 with a young woman awakening from a horrific dream from her earlier days as part of a group of courageous local residents who were resisting the Nazi invaders. The remote area was of premier importance to both the Germans and the Allies because the Nazis were building a launching site for the newly improved V2 ‘buzz bombs’ that were wreaking havoc on England. Obviously, information about the site was of extreme importance. Her husband comforts her, and although she does not want him to leave, he must go to see an old friend to attempt finally to discover and expose the real person responsible for her dreams and more importantly, a possible eruption of a situation that could be highly disruptive to this rather provincial enclave of reclusive neighbors. Specifically, a former resident many believed to be the enemy agent responsible for deprivation and deaths among the residents during the war, was returning purportedly to prove his innocence. Jack, the husband of the young woman described above, travels to London to see his old friend Martin Yates, now editor of a trendy magazine in London, who obtains the services of two highly respected Investigative Reporters to help Jack’s investigation which provides the book’s main ‘mystery theme’ –  an attempt twenty years after the war to discover and bring to justice the person still living and responsible for the distrust, deceit, deception, treachery and betrayal that increased the local residents fear, deprivation and even deaths as well as those of so many of the small group of resistance fighters who sacrificed so much in the effort. The series of activities by these courageous freedom fighters aided by two professionals dropped in to help in the closing days of the war are included in the ensuing pages so as to present a ‘war thriller’ within the content of the ‘mystery investigation’ that is the main theme of the book. Briefly and partially repetitiously, the protagonists are Jack Ross and Sophia, a lovely and courageous girl who at 14 was a valiant and seemingly fearless member of the resistance. Jack, a 24-year-old member of the British military who is sent into this northern area of interwoven rivers, streams and marshlands with Roland Keene, an American Special Ops member to obtain information about the V2 construction site. Steve and Emily are the investigative reporters Yates sends over to help Jack find the long unidentified Nazi agent. A number of other characters also perform at varying levels of importance. Most prominent and responsible for the investigation are brothers Remy and Gilbert of the local Fournier family. The two are diametrically opposite and constantly at odds with Gilbert the parental favorite. Remy, the younger brother leaves only to resurface again after the war starts. Gilbert, a disliked and only partially trusted member of the resistance group, disseminates his belief that Remy is a spy. Twenty years later Gilbert is dead and Remy, now quite ill, returns to ‘prove his innocence’. The town’s hostilities again resurface and is the reason Jack, Sophia, Steve and Emily attempt to bring closure to the long smoldering situation.

Discussion: To reiterate, this is a somewhat difficult to present, quite involved, story within a story that provision of more details would be a disservice to the prospective reader. Suffice it to say, that it provides tales in both the ‘war thriller’ and ‘mystery’ genres that should satisfy devotees of either or both.

5* Historical; especially for devotees of ‘war thriller’ and/or ‘mystery’ tales.

FOLIE?

FOLIE? A novel published, copyright and written by M. S. Barnes.

In order to provide further understanding of the substance of the book, immediately following the title these words are set forth; “noun, plural fo-lies [faw-lee] /fo’li/. French. Madness; insanity”. This is to explain that the referenced word is French and describes a particularly disruptive syndrome where delusional beliefs of one person may be passed to another (folie a deux) and even beyond to many, as in folie pleusiers (mass hysteria). The plot centers around a young psychiatrist who recently has completed her training and takes a job offer in an aging, poorly staffed and poorly maintained psychiatric institution in a remote section of Tennessee. It is in the time when the profession was only very slowly evolving from insulin and/or electric shock, lobotomies and other of the early experimental procedures. Armed with all of the latest knowledge available to the profession, Dr. Lee was sure she would be able to change the thinking and treatment procedures long espoused by all of the older staff members who she assumed were long removed from newer information. The story begins to accelerate when she spies a newly arrived patient whom she feels she must personally treat. The Chief, along with other members of the staff, believe she does not have the experience to handle this patient, but with reservations, give in to her insistence. She suddenly discovers she has a case beyond her abilities and turns to her mentor, a prominent professor/author and otherwise long recognized as most prominent in the profession. Providing further details would be a disservice to the prospective reader. Suffice it to say, that the tale gradually evolves into a horror, ghost (?) story of huge proportions, similar to, but more sophisticated than those shared in scary surroundings by youngsters.

Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting tale of two particular basic features of addressing treatment of individuals with any health problems and especially those dealing with the mind. One is the ever present, but largely hidden, difference in the beliefs of medical practitioners and academicians. The former hold the latter in distain with belief in the old adage “Those who can (treat patients), do; those who can’t, teach.” Whereas, the latter, are just as strongly entrenched in the belief that without their discoveries and dissemination of the new treatment modalities, the practitioner would still be employing ineffective methods. Obviously much can be said in support of both beliefs. The second probably supports the first contention much more strongly because a really huge risk is associated when treating patients with mental problems. If the physician has any hidden, unknown or unrealized instabilities within, it can make him/her highly vulnerable to some action, word or thought pattern exhibited by the patient being treated. This is why psychiatrists themselves, after their extensive training beyond medical school and internships, may themselves undergo analysis and all invariably have a mentor with whom they consult when needed. Dr. Lee just picked the wrong type of mentor for her activities – an individual well versed in all phases of psychiatry EXCEPT the practical aspects and worse, an individual with a completely suppressed, devastating personal memory.

Summary: This book’s tale is spun by an author knowledgeable of the story’s basic elements. Thus, it presents an interesting dichotomy of choices – 1. An interesting read about a somewhat bizarre case of mental disintegration 2. To reiterate, an interesting horror, ghost (?) story similar, but much more sophisticated, than those shared by youngsters in scary surroundings.

5* Particularly interesting for two different tiers of readers as described.