Mask of Bone

 

 

Mask of Bone, Book III in the Chemist Trilogy. Fearless Publishing, copyright and written by Janson Mancheski.

Although a standalone book published first in 2011, this series of activities follows Cale van Waring, Senior Detective Investigating Officer of a series of kidnappings in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Through grinding detective work, a little luck and strangely a little help from his significant other’s clairvoyant sister, he manages to apprehend the perpetrator in a shoot-out, saving his loved one’s life while doing so. In the second volume, the reader discovers that, even though receiving commendations for his heroic activity, he is relieved from duty for two weeks for ignoring basic police rules. The kidnapper, after his incarceration, attempts to avoid a murder charge for the death of his first victim, by providing the name of a man who had been deported from Great Britain as a Liberian National associated with human trafficking. Through FBI connections Cale discovers that this is not a ploy but that the man actually exists. Thus, in typical Cale fashion, he decides to follow the killer named by the serial human bondage kidnapper and return him to the U.S. In this third volume Cale, with his group of mercenaries move from their headquarters in Italy to Belgium where the killer is attending a party held by an extremely wealthy and prominent buyer of trafficked women. Not only is the killer a guest at the man’s Chateau, but there is additional information that one or more of the Green Bay captives also are there. It seems that the Chateau owner is especially prominent in, and holding a week-end soiree, for other fetish lovers from numerous countries, and where his specially attired and trained team of trafficked women is the favorite to win the featured race. It further is reported that one of the Green Bay captives is a member of this team. So Cale’s objective becomes first to rescue the girl and another of the green Bay women also reportedly there. Simultaneously with these activities, Colonel Tazeki “Taz” Mabutu, the head of the Liberian National Police with whom Cale tangled so nearly disastrously in Liberia is moving further on the attack of Cale and those close to him for wrongs he unknowingly performed against the colonel. It seems that Taz also is an extremely highly placed African voodoo priest, a botono or master of all loa, especially the petro loa or dark gods. As such, it is believed Taz can possess another person’s body turning them into a zombie slave to do the botomo’s bidding as well as perform other dastardly effects. The abundant action is concentrated first on the attempt to rescue the girls followed by Taz’s strange and gruesome voodoo activity with Cale’s love, her clairvoyant sister and Cale’s long-time partner heavily involved.

Discussion: This third volume follows the high octane activity established and carried through the first two volumes and again should be sufficient to satisfy the suspenseful thriller devotee. Regrettably, for this reader and perhaps unfortunately for other more pragmatic individuals, several features have lessened appreciation of this series. The supportive procedural police work presented in the first volume was gradually replaced by less credible activity in volume two and this volume seems but an extension of the same with final concentration on the occult. Granted, the action still is intense and to reiterate no doubt manages to retain this element sufficiently to satisfy devotees, although these individuals now must also lean heavily toward tales of the occult for their satisfaction.

3* 4*for continued action; 3* or less for reasons described.

A Place to Stay Forever

 

 

A Place to Stay Forever ISBN: 9780228809944 Tellwell Talent copyright and written by Mark L. Lloyd.

After finishing this book, this reviewer finds himself in a remarkably unusual position of attempting to present an intelligible description of a plot to prospective readers. A prologue depicts a man ruminating on facing death at the age of 22 years with an opening statement “You must be bold to face certain death by a god you hold no love towards. Twenty-two years old, twenty-two years old, my time living any longer in this realm is now at a close. The magic which grants me a glimpse at God’s real potential, only to snatch it from my gaze using the cold hands of death.” Twenty-one chapters follow as this individual mostly is ignored until quite late when he experiences a biological love that is worth giving up the unusual state of eternal life that is being thrust upon him and many inhabitants of the small area in which he resides. He does not speak the necessary word at the prescribed time to bring the affair to fruition. And the Epilogue describes his death as occurring as a result of his breaking the rules of the society into which he has been thrust. Between these ‘Book Ends’ the reader is presented with philosophical meanderings with respect to immortality in general and the meaning of life.

Discussion: If the prospective reader enjoys philosophical ruminations following a rather vague pattern, the book will be for you. Regrettably for this reader the progression was somewhat difficult to follow, there was considerable redundancy and a degree of confusion. However if the story is begun, it did offer enough of interest to urge one on in an attempt to see exactly where the story was headed.

3* For the devotee of philosophy; rating explained above.