Roadhouse Rendezvous ISBN: 9781515162094 Creative Space Independent Publishing, First printing 2015. Copyright and written by Hal Savage,
The author has put together ten rather unusual stories, two labeled as novellas. The first, entitled “The Woman across the Hall” is one of misinterpretation of body language while most of the others deal with some form of mystery, crime and/or detection with also a missing persons, a sick practical joke tale and one of revenge.
Discussion: From this reader’s point of view the collection is unique in that the stories are rather unusual with some dark turns that lead to somewhat unexpected endings. The 4th, 5th and 10th are perhaps the best detective stories and the 9th is as labeled “One Dumb Stunt”, but to reiterate, all terminate unusually and several strain credibility to a degree.
4* A collection of unusual stories.
APEX, A Max Algren novel ISBN: 9781543966428 Design and Production by Book Baby. Copyright and written by Ryan W. Aslesen.
Max Alegren, a former Special Forces, CIA, and now private operative is still attempting to avenge the death of his family but requires another name for his ‘hit list’. Congressman, former General Marklin, for whom he works sporadically, has such a name but will not provide it until Max has accomplished a seek and extract operation for a senator’s son who has disappeared. He encounters a rather weird young woman reporter who is interested in the situation and manages to be helpful enough to join him. Together they deduce where the young budding geneticist is probably being held. It is an island in the infamous “Devil’s Island” group owned by the French Government. Indications are that it also is under control of a dangerous geneticist who has escaped other missions to apprehend him. The French closely guard all evidence of the island’s existence which is rumored to house dinosaur-like creatures and even more vague tales of a hunting area where humans can be hunted for a million/day. Max assembles his team from former acquaintances and the story proceeds at break-neck speed, with only an occasional ‘break’ to provide pertinent material.
Discussion: The author is a former Marine officer and now security consultant as well as “a bestselling writer of military science fiction that is both authentic and replete with intense action and suspense”. This volume is another in the same pattern. The only regrettably negative aspect, and possibly from this reader’s overly developed pragmatic perspective, is a degree of discomfort mostly with parts of the action and the realities of weaponry, its supply, usage and results which in this volume seem to have moved, unfortunately, into the realm of difficulty with respect to credibility. But to reiterate, this could be as a result of many years spent in very practical activity.
3* Most enjoyable but providing an unfortunate personal impression as explained.