Friday, June 10, 2011

"Save the last dance for me." Song lyrics

GIVEAWAY: See rules at end of review.

In a surprisingly philosophical novel with first rate substance, "Skull Dance,' tells of the time after the Berlin Wall came down. Berlin becomes a wide open city with numerous former Russian military members who are selling weapons.

Chris Ramsdorf, a former East German soldier, is now free to travel and comes to England. Having a good knowledge of the weapons of the Eastern Bloc, he is hired my M15, British Intelligence.

After he loses his position, he begins dealing with weapons on his own and is hired by a group of Russians to dismantle a warhead and extract plutonium.

Fearing the weapon might be used against England, Chris tells his superiors and is told to go along with the Russians.

He believes that a plan is in place to thwart the deal but something complicates things and he ends up in a jail in India.

In the jail, we observe his philosophy and ideas of life but when the situation becomes intolerable, Chris must attempt to gain his freedom.

There is outstanding character development as Chris evolves from a selfish, uncaring person, to someone who regards others with compassion and understanding.

The story does meander from place to place and the periods of action are followed by sections of introspection and analysis. This slows down the story but gives us a deeper understanding of Chris, and perhaps, the author.

The author, Gerd Balko, died of a heart attack and the novel was completed by Michael La Rocca.

Giveaway rules:
A-be a follower of this blog
B-follow on twitter @mikedtheauthor (only a desired step. If you're not on twitter, you can still enter the giveaway.

C-use above link and go to, read that review and at the end, when asked if review was helpful, please indicate "YES"
D--under comments of this review, indicate you wish to be included in the giveaway and include your name and email address, for notification
-U.S. and Canadian residents only, sorry, postage.

Giveaway ends at midnight June 25th.

Winners = Brittany Gale
Rae at Best O Books
Best wishes on winning this book.


Leslie said...

Great Reveiw Mike,
I will try and find you again on amazon,

Mary said...

Loved the review as always.
GFC follower.

Erin said...

I always enjoy reading your reviews, Mike. You manage to make me interested in books that I wouldn't otherwise pick up!

I follow your blog via GFC, follow you on Twitter, and indicated your review was helpful.

glycine.max at

Julie S said...

Great review :)


mamabunny13 said...

Good review Mike.
Please include me in the giveaway.
gfc (mamabunny13)
twitter @mamabunny13
I found your review on Amozon helpful.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

CelticLady said...

Hi Mike, thanks for stopping your review but did not enter, not my kind of book...but thanks. In answer to your question regarding I'd Know You Anywhere, Ms. Lippman did say that the story is based on real events and it could very well be the J.Duggan case..I don't think so though, the kidnapper was also a murderer of young women...but it was an interesting book though.

kt said...

Hi, Thanks for your comment on my blog--but I'm not a Ct book lover--I am a booklover who lives in the Ct River Valley of Vt. Many of the residents here have connections by family to Guilford, Ct, however. I hope my living in Vt will not in any way alter my chances of winning your giveaway, which sounds interesting.

kt said...

Ooops forgot that I am a follower through GFC and that I wish to be included in the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I am a follower already and have clicked all the appropriate "yes" boxes :) Rae
Best O' Books

Kym McNabney said...

Would love a chance to win a copy of the book.



Tore said...

Great review. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

Holly said...

Great review Mike, I would love to be included in this giveaway.

GFC Follower

Following you on twitter: @FullMoonBites

I also voted your review as helpful on Amazon.

Laurie said...

Hi Mike, thanks for the chance to win this coolly titled book. I am already a GFC follower but I'm now also following on Twitter. Your review is, as always, helpful, unfortunately, as a fan, my voice is silent. LOL
Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

KimberlySue said...

Great review!
I am a follower of your blog.

I also follow you on twitter: @kdaze10

And, of course, I went to amazon and "liked" the review!

Thanks for the giveaway!


catslady said...

I enjoyed your review! I marked it as liked and i am a gfc follower. Thanks for the contest.


Donna said...

Hi! Great contest. Did everything. Donna

Anonymous said...

Entered by separate email
Lara Hogg

Anonymous said...

Please include me in the drawing. I have visited your reviews on Amazon and I am a follower as well.


I love your use of song lyrics for titles on your reviews! I have the hardest time finding titles for my reviews on Amazon.

This is a great review. You're very honest and as a reviewer myself, I appreciate how difficult it can be.
I'd like to be entered into your contest.
GFC follower-BuriedinBooks


Tracy Krauss said...

Hi Mike. I'm already a blog follower, I just followed you on twitter and I went to both reviews and checked 'yes'. think that's all the requirements, so sign me up to win!!

Anonymous said...

I'd appreciate being entered.

IandSsmom said...

Thank you for the giveaway!! Love to be in it!!
GFC Shannon Johnson
twitter IandSsmom
Yes your review on amazon for this book plus two others!!! :)

mike draper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Your give away sounds like a good thriller. I always enjoy a good thriller.

BrittanyGale said...

Great review! I follow via GFC quixoticdreamer


BrittanyGale said...

I follow via Twitter @quixoticweetzie


BrittanyGale said...

I found your review helpful on Amazon


Tribute Books Mama said...

Great review,thanks! for the giveaway.

Lynne E. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne E. said...

Mike, I don't want to be included in the giveaway, but I do have a question about the rules. Do I have to do ALL of those things to qualify for the blog contest? For example, I don't follow anyone on Twitter--or Facebook, either, for that matter.

Lynne E. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nicolesender said...

gfc follower: nicolesender
follow you on twitter: @minibea
voted yes on your review on Amazon
please enter me into the giveaway for Skull Dance
Thanks for the chance to win!

Sally Sapphire said...

Sounds interesting . . . I wouldn't mind giving this a read at all.


Heather said...

While I enjoyed your review, this is not the book for me.

No need to enter me in the draw.

Jennifer Goehl said...

Excellent reviews!
New twitter and RSS follower!
Jennifer from

Eva Coopersmith said...

Hi Mike;
I tried to post a comment but it wouldn't let me.
Can you enter me in the giveaway?
Eva Coopersmith

Huggins said...

Good review Mike. Please include me in the giveaway. gfc (mamabunny13) twitter @mamabunny13 I found your review on Amozon helpful. mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

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