Mine

Mine Published by Bloodhound Books print ISBN: 9781913942052 copyright and written by Kelly Florentia.

The story’s prologue opens in North London in late August when an unnamed person is evaluating the fact that the person she is looking at is a liar. She is aware of the fact that his drinking was the cause but it is immaterial. “I know what you did and you have to pay. All I’ve got to do is figure out a way to get rid of you. For good.” The first chapter opens with another anonymous voice berating herself doing something she regrets and worries mount when her phone is missing from its usual place. Before she can move, a 40ish man she knows joins her in bed and asks if she is alright? They are in her flat and knows him but cannot even remember his name. He turns out to be her friend Allison’ new yard man of a few weeks, and we hear the gruesome details of the night’s drunken escapade brought on by her just ex-husband’s divorce and her invitation to his new wedding to one of her formerly best friends. Finally, she remembers the man’s name and that he is the man her dearest friend has been wanting her to meet, he leaves and quite quickly thereafter, her ex-husband appears and we obtain details of his infidelity. She then gets an anonymous text saying: “I know what you did with your best friend’s husband”. Her ex-husband tells her she must sell the flat which she still owns jointly with her ex and a quickly accelerating series of events begins to involve Lucy in a series of events that threaten her with possible incarceration and even death. The ultimate solution to the extended series of activities provides an interesting twist that will give many readers pause for thought.

Discussion: The author has described a woman approaching forty who is carrying a large load of psychological baggage of unknown origin. The result is impulsive activity carelessly pointed in several directions simultaneously, accompanied by multiple thoughts in several directions frequently only vaguely pertinent to the situation in hand. Thus the reader is faced with a somewhat dysfunctional young woman with an intense need for close friendship, whose husband has left to marry a former close friend, a dependence upon other ‘close’ friends with whom she shares all of her most intimate thoughts, and an unfortunate inability to contain her alcohol consumption frequently at inappropriate times. A recipe for reoccurring disaster. A number of proofing errors are a little disconcerting.

4* Probably 4 ½* for readers who find tales of this type intriguing.

 

 

Resurrection Runner

Resurrection Runner ISBN: 9781734769821Tautly Sharp Publishing copyright and written by Robert Wood Anderson.

Listed as “A Steven Popoford Thriller”, the story opens with Steven as a very young man killing his love Gretchen on receiving orders from Home Office that he had been compromised because she was a master spy behind a sophisticated ring of enemy agents tasked with disrupting lives of American citizens. It was a messy kill but he would become more adept in the coming years. Apparently, he does become one of their best assassins, but is retired early for reasons that appear later, but only again to be recalled to provide a kill of unimaginable importance to save the country. Confusion develops after the kill because there is a considerable amount of evidence developing to show that he may have been sent to kill the wrong man. The tale continues to evolve in a rather confusing manner until the last quarter of the book where answers for much of the confusion begin to emerge. An ultimate climax is reached but leaves an opening for a probable sequel.

Discussion: The author has written a book that should appeal to individuals who enjoy sections of high octane action even though it is interspersed with lengthy sections of self-analysis by the protagonist. And as stated, the last quarter of the story provides adequate reasons for the earlier confused state in which the protagonist is enveloped and presents further fast action. For the more pragmatic reader, some of the action and its results are a little difficult to absorb.

3*  4*Politically oriented assassin mystery/thriller; -1* apropos caveat.

Redlined

Redlined, a novel of Boston ISBN: 978097282233Brunswick House Press, copyright and written by Richard W. Wise.

Jedediah Flynt is an ex-Marine with a considerable amount of hand-to-hand combat experience, an ex-wife and two small children for whom he pays support but seldom sees. Presently he is an ‘organizer’ in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts under contract to the Catholic Church for projects helping the poor and downtrodden in their fights against public projects such as a just completed victory against the Boston Building Commissioner. He still is a well-conditioned, attractive, somewhat charismatic individual who believes in what he is doing and has the ability to analyze and truthfully face a situation and manage it. Sandy Morgan is a newly hired young woman who he sends to watch a vacant building that he fears will be next for gutting by explosive arson in a developing pattern that, on the surface makes no sense. Sandy does not follow his orders and is killed by the arsonists. Thus begins a fascinating story that builds to a climax with involvement of: another new young woman replacement being heavily involved through excellent research activity and becoming threatened; a part of a local Chinese ‘tong’ group; a large Chinese Gambling Syndicate and representatives of a mainland Chinese ‘Mafia- like’ group; an immensely wealthy entrepreneur; several groups of local resident organizations; marine corps friends of Jed; and even several levels of the Catholic Church. The story builds to a fascinating climax that is logically thought producing on several levels.

Discussion: A tremendously well-written story with an excellent pace, well-developed characters and a plot that holds the reader enthralled until the end. A highly recommended thriller/mystery provided by an author who seems eminently qualified to produce such a tale.

5* Thriller/mystery highly recommended.

When Blood Whispers

When Blood Whispers published, copyright and written by Richard Devall.

The book is subtitled “A Bad Date Forensic Thriller” and opens with “This story begins with a supercharged lift-off and doesn’t stop until the end.” An explanation follows that Wendy, a young woman had met Steven Porowski through a dating site and leaves their table in a restaurant he had selected when she is disturbed by his behavior. He follows immediately and threatens her before she can drive away. The story unfolds as his psychotic behavior intensifies and involves her sister Jennifer when  he sends pornographic material to her young son, and sets – up her husband Hunter as his killer after disappearing while abducting Hunter’s new ‘love of his life’ that already has set huge problems in motion in his family situation. Her mother also becomes involved and together turn into a pretty relentless team of sleuths leading to a chase of the demented Porowski and the kidnapped young woman. The ending is ‘different’.

Discussion: As provided in the opening remarks, the story provides the ‘supercharged lift-off’ and follows through as predicted with episodes of high suspense. The characters are well ‘fleshed out’, the pace is fast and the tale is well-written. Thus, regrettably and apologies, because seemingly only for this reader, some of the action and thought patterns exhibited by some characters were difficult to accept as pertinent to the character and/or situation.

3* 5* psychological/suspense/thriller; -2* for this reader as described.

Road to the Breaking

Road to the Breaking ISBN: 9781733107949 published, copyright and written by Christopher Bennett.

Book 1 of historical fiction in an anticipated four book series that by way of explanation opens with a quotation by Billy Creek, an Indian Scout, U.S. Army, 8th Infantry:
“It was a time of such suffering and death, it caused the breaking of all the old ways. Some for the good, and some for the worse. Nothing came through ‘The Breaking’ unchanged, and all that once was, even to the greenness of the earth, was broken during that time, and was never again the same.”

The story opens in March 15, 1860 – South of Fort Davis, Texas. As Captain Nathaniel Chambers leads his troop attempting to find a notorious outlaw. They do and Chambers, angered by the outlaw’s action, viciously reacts. The reaction is understandable and not inappropriate, but distasteful to him as he is concerned with this personal lack of self-control of anger that he has been struggling with for many years. And this trait becomes a persistent feature of the story as it evolves. The tale continues as he is almost revered by those under his command as a fearless leader in battle and an intelligent, empathetic officer. Thus, when his father dies unexpectedly and he is forced to leave the army and its, for him, compatible way of life to return to Virginia, a few of his men resign to accompany him. The return is necessitated by his mother’s inability to handle the affairs of running a huge plantation, replete with slaves, another feature with which the Captain is ‘uncomfortable’. Acceptance of his resignation, outfitting for the trip and the distance to be covered will take several weeks at best and his mother already is experiencing tremendous pressure from the inheriting son of the neighboring plantation. A running feud between the two deceased owners is being re-opened by the young man who is taking ruthless and totally unfair advantage of Nathaniel’s mother. This first book sets the stage for the ensuing series.

Discussion: The author has initiated what appears to be the beginning of an enjoyable tale of the pre-civil war and probably some parts of the ensuing conflict. He has approached a difficult job admirably considering all of the elements required in such an endeavor. He has set the stage by including all of them and imbued the story with tension and anticipation for the next volume. Granted, a certain amount of ‘filler’ has been added that slows the tale’s forward thrust, but generally acceptable and pertinent to character development. An intriguing beginning.

5* Pre-civil war novel with tremendous possibilities.

The Big Tilt

THE BIG TILT ISBN: 9781733610360 Arjuna Books copyright and written by Dan Flanigan.

This is the second book in the Peter O’Keefe series and centers around the activities of this former Marine who finally, with help from a one-time almost inseparable friend, beats drug and alcohol dependency. He now is separated from his wife who went through the ordeal with him but still is close to his 11-year-old daughter, runs a PI business with 2 employees supported by his faithful now successful lawyer friend who is his best client. The story follows Peter as he becomes a target for elimination because he is coming too close in an investigation he is conducting involving characters going back to his high school days, many associated with a trial in which his lawyer/friend is involved. This he does not need, since he already has been targeted by one branch of a Mafioso group because he had been responsible for the incarceration of its Don who died in prison. The action accelerates gradually as the tale progresses and the targeting action is affected by troubles within the Mafioso group and somewhat complicated interwoven activity among the numerous characters from the same early school days.

Discussion: As a lawyer himself, the author is well qualified to present this story of intrigue involving legal complications. The tale’s earlier portions offer some confusion assumedly because much of the material is based upon the series’ first book. Once past this part, however, the story accelerates and the reader finds it intriguing to attempt to discover how Peter, as well as other empathetic figures, are going to make out.

4* 5* story; -1* as stand-alone; i.e. Book 1 required for easier understanding