MONTAGNARD

MONTAGNARD ISBN 9781734602302 assumed published Copyright and written by D. C. Gilbert.

A JG Cordell Action Thriller consists of a number of intertwined threads of activities engaged in by an assorted number of characters of different nationalities and/or ethnic backgrounds. They include Dish, now somewhere around 70 is of one of the small tribes in the mountains (and known as a group by their name), the Montagnard. He has a Laotian wife whom he saved years ago from a stalking tiger. He was active with the Americans in the resistance to the Viet Cong.  Like many he was disappointed when the Americans moved out after winning the war (which American media had convinced them otherwise). Today he maintains a small guerilla group that still fights the hated communist regime now running Vietnam and the abundant gangs working for vicious drug lords that infest the jungles around the Golden Triangle after Thailand began cracking down on them. One of the worst and most powerful is a former Viet Cong Colonel, a vicious killer who had annihilated every male, female and child of Dish’s village. Ellen Chang, a physician with “Doctors without Borders”, who is the daughter of a Chinese couple who fled to America and survived by establishing a successful restaurant. The first thread followed is Tran’s kidnapping of Ellen. The second thread is when Tran kidnaps Dish’s adopted sister, Mia who had married an American Officer during the war and returned with him to the United States. Recently widowed, she returns to attempt to get Dish to come to America and retire quietly. Mia, of course is the mother of the protagonist, highly decorated, Navy Seal now just retiring after the involved series of activities demanded of him and his group to rescue Ellen. There are a large number of other characters involved in various activities of greater or lesser importance even up to and including the President of the United States. And most importantly, his attack canine Ajax who is a hero par excellence.

Discussion: This story is a thoroughly enjoyable, high octane thriller following the guidelines of the genre that made it so popular. The author, is an army veteran and highly respected Martial Arts specialist, who seemingly has acquired quite extensive knowledge of the area of the world and those involved in this book.

5* Thoroughly enjoyable read for thriller devotees.

The COIN

The COIN assumed published, copyright 2013 and written by Maria Elena Alonzo-Sierra.

A prologue finds a man searching an area in the mountains of the Côte d’Azur looking for a stash of coins and records he previously had hidden there. A recent naturally caused upheaval in this section had caused a re-arrangement of the territory that had eliminated any familiarity with its former formation. With intense frustration, he realized that it was impossible to find any remnants of the material he had secretly stashed away. Unexpectedly, a lost tourist stumbles upon him, thinking he had found someone who could help. Instead, he is slowly and cruelly put to death by the intensely frustrated man. The story then opens to follow the subsequent results of Gabriela Martinez discovering an unusually marked coin while hiking in the same area, La Marbriére, a short time later. Gaby, along with her parents, was a refugee brutally forced out of Cuba when Castro moved in. Quite sheltered while a Cuban resident, she now is happily married to her first love whom she met in college, and the mother of two young children who are visiting their grandparents in the United States for the summer. Her husband, Roberto, an innovative designer of new materials, frustrated by not being able to proceed, had been offered a position in Europe, had found a considerable degree of freedom and had extended his assignment. He loved his wife dearly, but with a totally ‘old-fashioned’ mindset that the husband was the bread-winner, and the wife a mother and housekeeper, was completely involved with his work. Simultaneously, Gaby had developed into an artist of tremendous talent and was being mentored by an enormously wealthy and influential man who was readying her for an exhibition of such importance as to launch her into a career that would make her one of the leading artists in the world. Unfortunately he had further designs on making her his mistress. Now, Richard Harrison, a lead member of an American special operations unit, as a courtesy to the Israelis’ request and favor to his boss is in France on vacation but has consented to interview Gabriela with respect to the special coin she had discovered during here trip to the mountain. Richard is a man typical of such operatives – handsome, pleasant and charmingly accommodating, but calculating, coldly uninvolved and with no compunction against killing when necessary. When meeting her, he is startled with the natural warmth and seeming degree of underlying naiveté – qualities he never had, or expected to, encounter in any woman. A set of circumstances develop, where Gabriela is to be introduced to a collection of world art connoisseurs with the latest of her works on the same night Roberto is to sign an important contract providing all he ever has wanted. Complicating the situation further is that Gabriela’s life has been threatened because of the coin that had been found and Richard has become her 24-hour-per-day bodyguard. The interrelationships that develops among these individuals, aided and abetted by an interesting group of supportive characters, develops into a mysterious, thrilling chase and sex-laced romance about which furnishing further details would be a great disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: The author has positioned three individuals in situations of almost insurmountable tension production with adequately supplied supportive personnel. The plot providing a thrilling, fast-paced tale and engaging climax. A number of inadequacies or unusual mental activities are difficult to totally accept, but no doubt are a personal consideration arising from this reader’s pragmatism. If noted at all by other readers, probably they will be observed as an unimportant ‘blip’.

5* Fast paced psychologically oriented mystery/thriller/romance.

 

Crime Beat Girl

Crime Beat Girl a book assumed published, copyright and written by Geri L. Dreiling.

Debbie, daughter of highly respected and successful Bradley and Beth Hughes, has left her position as a Washing, D.C. reporter and returned to St Louis because her mother, now several years widowed, has been diagnosed and is facing surgery that may expand beyond this initiating session. Thus, she is not sure how long her stay will be. Furthermore, she is unhappy with her love life as it had developed in Washington. It seems that her fiancé always avoided her attempts to agree upon a wedding date so, when offered a job following the ‘Crime Beat’ by her college mentor Sam Hitchens while in St. Louis, she accepts. Sam, an old-time traditional newspaper guy well aware of the gradual slowing of newspaper publishing, had accepted the position of Editor of a new well-funded trendy magazine. He believed she would be a natural for what he had in mind. Debbie was a young woman full of drive who loved to craft sentences and be creative but also to get away from her desk and ‘be where the action was’. Thus she felt that the job would fit perfectly with her burning desire to expose corruption and injustice. He offered the job. She accepted. From this point, the story blooms into a fast paced thriller/mystery involving numerous multi-faceted individuals as the reader follows Debbie’s often foolishly irrational decisions.

Discussion: The author has provided a credible picture of a somewhat naïve but determined young woman’s attempts to extend her career in investigative reporting. The pace is excellent and the story line exhibits knowledge of pertinent aspects of the law. A considerable number of supporting characters are included. They are complex both within themselves and in their interrelationships. As the tale progresses, this reader at least, would have liked to see certain ones ‘fleshed-out’ a little more. She has presented an interesting story and done a commendable job with the development of the mother-grown daughter relationship. The final twists involving some of the characters providing the climax appear for this reviewer to be a little tenebrous but acceptable. Overall, this is a pleasant, fast moving mystery/thriller that should satisfy devotees of the genre

4* 5* Fast-paced, mystery/thriller that should be satisfying to devotees; -1* as noted

Slater’s Vendetta

Slater’s Vendetta Book 4 of 4 in the Slater Mystery series, assumed published, copyright and written by T. J. Jones.

Eric Slater again is the protagonist. He is a quite sizeable, muscular but remarkably supple, relatively handsome guy with a good sense of humor, honor and a huge heart. He is a former Marine with Special Operations as well as Military Police training. In this volume he again is functioning in a couple of his ‘jack-of-all-trades’ roles. He is performing in his PI job investigating a couple of identity authenticity cases, while supervising his construction workers remodeling the homes he then turns over to his real estate agent to sell. The situation becomes totally muddled quite quickly, however. A quite vicious gang begins to invade the neighborhood, he makes friends with a young boy roaming the streets at night. He learns why and decides to do something about it. His PI, building business and live-in partner, lovely but Black Belt qualified Maggie, agrees since she also has a couple of similar friends resultant of the same ‘soft-heart syndrome’. All components of the situations escalate when their real estate agent is murdered with a tool belonging to Slater, causing him, as well as Maggie, to be suspects. Members of the agency he employs, as well as of the company for which he is remodeling houses also become ‘persons of interest’ and one is charged with the murder.

Discussion: This book is another written by an author whose growing number of books invade Mystery, Romance and Fantasy genres. His forte appears to be in producing well-portrayed individuals in character driven plots. The protagonists here are appealing on many levels with abundantly soft hearts. The results are positive and the reader enjoys inclusion of an interesting mystery/detective story within an often amusing modern romance that maintains some of the old, solid components.

5* Mystery/detective/romance highly recommended as described.

Apollo’s Raven

Apollo’s Raven ISBN: 9781647040543 Apollo Raven Publisher copyright and written by Linnea Tanner.

This Book One in the Curse of the Clansmen and Kings Series is a novel “based on historical fantasy and mythology of the southeast Celtic tribes” of Britannia beginning in the days just prior to the Roman invasion in 43 A.D. It is the time when the Gods were many and each culture embraced its own. Apollo was the powerful Sun God totally embraced by the Romans and their powerful legions, although seemingly he received some degree of respect by the Celts but mostly they, and their heavily muscled fierce warriors, embraced several others arising from legends stemming from Ireland and Wales with extensive belief in mysticism as conjured up by the Druids. The book opens in this period when Rome’s emperor is making exploratory moves before deciding whether to invade the islands.

The protagonists are Celtic princess Catrin, youngest daughter of Amren, king of one of the tribes and Marcellus, son of the pompous Roman Senator who is exploring whether to support Amren or Cunoblin, an adjoining powerful Ruler, if the Emperor decides to invade. Complications are numerous in that the latter had arranged a marriage between a daughter and Marrock, Amren’s oldest son whom he had banished from his country for treasonous activity. He believed that, perhaps with Rome’s help, he could arrange to replace Amren by restoring him to his ex-father’s position. Marrock was aligned with Agrona, the Druid Priestess whom Amren trusted but who secretly was working to gain control of the kingdom. Rhiannon, Armen’s second wife did not trust Agrona but deferred to her husband’s decision to put her second in command after herself. From this complicated beginning, even greater confusion emerges from rampant distrust and intertwining acts of deceit, deception, treachery and betrayal and the appearance of shapeshifters and abundant other mystical activity.

Discussion: Spinning this tale and its subsequent volumes no doubt has been, and will continue to be, a difficult task. “The Celts left almost no written records. Historical events had to be supplanted by Greek and Roman historians and medieval writers who spun Celtic mythology into their Christian beliefs, Archaeological findings from this time period also help fill in the gaps.” Under the circumstances the author has done a quite remarkable job of creating a very suspenseful historical/mythical/romance of considerable proportions. It is a story that will fascinate devotees of these several genres.

5* Suspenseful historical/mythical/romance devotees will thoroughly enjoy.

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.