Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"There is no limit to the power of love." John Morton

Boston homicide detective Sgt. D.D. Warren is called in by Mass. St. Police liaison Bobby Dodge when a homicide is connected to a member of the State Police.

State Trooper Tessa Leoni is found beaten and bruised in her kitchen. Her husband, Brian is dead. He's been shot three times by her service revolver. In addition, her six-year-old daughter, Sophie, is missing.

It seems as if Tessa's relationship with her husband has deteriorated over the last three years. It is known that Brian has a gambling addiction and now it appears that he has cleaned out the family bank account.

In alternating chapters we see the investigation headed by D.D. Warren and Bobby Dodge. They learn of Brian's gambling and the appearance of spouse abuse. They also question what happened to Sophie and if Brian could have done something terrible.

Tessa had risen above alcohol dependency and a loose life of sexual encounters when she became pregnant with Sophie. From that moment to now, her life has been one of exemplary behavior.

As D.D. investigates, the search continues for Sophie and D.D. learns that she is pregnant. She promises this new creation that she will bring the child up in a better world.

Brian's autopsy reveals something and detectives arrest Tessa for murder. Again, we experience more of Tessa's point of view and come to realize that something more is developing.

Readers of Lisa Gardner should know that there is more to a story then originally is seen. As much as any thriller writer today,Lisa Gardner knows how to write a compelling story. When the reader begins to nod and believe that they know what is going on, things change.

D.D. Warren is one of the excellent characters and learning that she is pregnant at a time when she is looking for a missing child and questioning the motives of a mother whose child is missing adds a wonderful element to this story. I enjoyed every minute of this story as my fingers shook with anticipation of what suspense awaited me at the turn of the next page.

Please see my above Amazon review and if possible indicate that the review was helpful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble." Ben Franklin

Giveaway: Please go to the end of this review for giveaway rules.

"My right arm fell off today. Lucky me, I'm left handed." So starts the story of Jessie Anne Porter. She was killed when she was a teenager and her father crashed into a pickup truck.

Jessie tells us that she remembers waking up in her casket and having to kick her way out and then crawl to the surface. Somehow she had become a zombie like creature. She notes that her stink didn't bother her but she was consumed with hunger and drawn to the scent of a rabbit that ran past in the cemetery.

Jessie joins a group of zombies, the Fly-by-Nights. Unlike traditional zombies, the mutated beings had human traits. Florian is ancient and philosophical, Teresa is the pack leader, she's territorial and demonstrates her jealousy.

When Jessie meets Joe, she describes him "...The ...right side of his face was smashed in ...crushed cheekbone...maggots seethed from every pore."

It demands a certain discipline for the uniniated to read a zombie story, I was constantly grossed out as in one point a large beetle emerged from one zombie as he made the transition from a bloater to a feeder.

A new illness is discovered which causes undead beings to grow new skin and muscle and become more lifelike. At the same time, humans or hoos become near death and often beg to be killed.

The story continues with groups of zombies attempting to gain power and humans to wipe out the zombies. Then this new illness seems like an epidemic and the reader must learn the effect on both groups.
Jessie and Florian are unique characters and the novel certainly should be ranked highly for originality and the telling of a tale.

Please see my amazon review.


A: Be a follower of this blog
B: Use the above link to go to Amazon.com books and at the end of the Amazon review, when they ask if the review was helpful, please indicate "YES."
C: Under the comments of this review, please indicate that you wish to be included in the giveaway and leave your name and email address.
D: U.S. and Canadian residents only. Sorry.
E: Good luck

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Vegitarians - an old Indian word for lousey hunters"

The action in "The Mammoth Hunters" continues the saga of earth's children and takes place over 25,000 years ago, during the Ice Age.

Ayla is traveling with Jandlar, a red haired man who she discovered in her journey and nursed back to health. The couple are lovers as well as fellow travelers. Ayla travels on a horse that she tamed named Winney. This is a time when people only thought of horses as food.

In their travels, the couple meet the Mamutoi, who are like Ayla and are Mammouth Hunters. When people in the village see that Ayla can control Winney by riding the horse and having the horse come when she whistles, some of the villages feel she has exceptional powers while others become distrustful of her.

There is also conflict. Ayla develops feelings for Ranec who is a carver of Ivory and artistic. Jandlar doesn't accept her feelings toward Ranec and shows is jealousy.

One of the points that the author makes is to accept others who are different. Ayla helps a six-year-old boy named Rydag who is half Clan and half other. He is a Flathead and is unable to speak. Ayla has the ability to communicate through signing and begins to teach Rydag sign language. In a significant part of the story, the boy realizes what Ayla is doing and begins to communicate. His first sign is "mother" to Nezzie who is delighted and tells Ayla that she never expected to communicate with her son.

This fictitious look at primitive history gives one more look at how things might have been during the ice age and shows readers how people from different races can come together and live in harmony. Thus, the story becomes very timely in today's political climate. Ayla is a heroic figure who is a born leader at a time that women weren't regarded highly. She stands out in her ability to communicate and feel empathy for others. Her wisdom is also enlightening.


Please check my Amazon review.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Flying is hours...of boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of sheer terror." Boyington

In the latest thriller to entice readers and in the mode of Steig Larsson's Millennium trilogy, "Three Seconds" provides a ride through terror.

Piet Hoffman is the Swedish police's most valuable undercover operative. His cover is as a lieutenant in the Polish Mafia which is bringing amphetamines into Sweden by using Polish people who swallow balloons filled with amphetamines and then cross the border. These 'mules' must then expunge the bags by vomiting them up when in Sweden.

Hoffman is at the scene when another undercover officer is unmasked and murdered. He is so deeply undercover himself that he's unaware when other police are also attempting to infiltrate the Mafia and gain information.

Detective Inspector Ewert Grens leads the investigation into the man's death.

One of the authors is a journalist and the story is written with short chapters. This gives the reader the idea that they are glancing at photos of scenes as they flash by.

Hoffman is in a difficult position with a young family that is unaware of his undercover activities. We see him as a hardened, uncaring person when dealing with other Mafia members but then he transforms into a tender husband and loving father of his two young sons.

Hoffman's Mafia bosses want him to go to prison so he can operate the drug operation there. Grens continues to investigate and this puts Hoffman in a precarious position, not knowing who to trust. In one of the memorable scenes of the novel, Hoffman admits his other life to his wife and tries to tell her how to protect herself if anything happens to him.

The characters are often brutal and ambivalent about taking a person's life. The co-author of the novel is a reformed criminal who uses his expertise to create vivid scenes that ring true.

I was moved by Hoffman's predicament and felt that the scenes of extreme violence were just demonstrating the reality of prison life that was the setting of the story.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?" Stanislaw Lec


See end of the review for details on this giveaway.

While on tour in Iraq, U.S. Marine, Logan Thibault is jogging early one morning. He notices a photo partially sticking out of the sand. An attractive girl was posed in front of a sign that said "Lucky Lady." There was also an inscription, "Keep safe. E."

When Logan doesn't succeed in finding the owner of the photo, before going into action, he places the photo in his pocket.

Members of his Marine unit are injured or killed but Logan excapes injury and comes to feel that the girl in the photo is somehow protecting him.

After his military service ends, he decides to find the woman. He isn't exactly sure why but it's as if fate draws him to her, as if she was part of his destiny.

He sets about walking from his home in Colorado with his dog, Zeus. There was an indication on the photo that it was taken in the town of Hampton and Logan looks at other details and decides that it is Hampton, North Carolina.

When he arrives in the town, his first encounter is with Deputy Keith Clayton, a sneaky man and a bully who had been in the woods taking photos of unsuspecting coeds who were sunbathing. Catching Clayton in this act, embarasses Clayton and causes him to feel an animosity toward Logan.

Later, Logan shows someong in town, the photo and finds that the woman, Elizabeth, "Beth," and that she runs a kennel. Beth had been in need of help at the kennel and had a sign out for help. Logan accepts a job working for her. He doesn't mention the photo but becomes an indespensable part of her operation while becoming friendly toward Beth's son, Ben, and her grandmother.

The themes of the novel are fate and destiny. It could be said that the author had, at least an unknowing influence of Mark Twain and the naturalism movement in literature that was popular at the turn of the last century. The movement dealt with middle class America where a person's fath was already ordained. The literature also had more emphasis on character than on action.

The pacing of the novel was precise with a gradual build-up to a momentus conculsion. Logan and Beth have a romance that is close to Romeo and Juliet without the tragic ending.


GIVEAWAY RULES: To win a hard cover, first edition copy of this novel:

A. Be a 'follower' of this blog.

B. Use the above link to go to Amazon.com books. At the end of the review when they ask if the review was helpful, please indicate "YES'

C. Under comments please indicate that you want to be included in the giveaway and add your name and address.

U.S. and Canadian residents only. Sorry.

Good luck.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Power: the only narcotic regulated by the SEC instead of the FDA." Unknown source

Terrorists set about coordinated attacks against America's energy system. A hydroelectric dam is blown up in Canada. However, when the terrorists attack the Captiana oil platform near Columbia, they are pitted against Dewey Andreas. He is a man who runs the platform "...like a battalion during wartime."

As the terrorists capture Dewey and bring him to the pumping station to complete their sabotage, Dewey realizes what the conspiracy is all about. He vows that if he lives, he'd find out who was behind the operation and hunt them down. He'd take care of the the men who were involved on the platform and then find their bosses and kill them and those above them.

This attack was timed to coincide with the merger of KKB and Anson Energy, a company with the goal of making the United States not have to rely on foreign governments for their energy needs.

As government officials scramble to find answers, we learn who masterminded the attacks. This man was born in Lebanon and grew to hate everything about the U.S. He was part of a terrorist plan and placed with a family in the U.S. to learn American ways and plot a sudden and massive strike against this country.

As exciting a thriller as I've read, the action flies off the page and keeps the reader's attention throughout. Dewey is a sympathetic protagonist and to the untrained eye, the action seems all too believable. The FBI is played in a stereotypical manner as a bungler and the fact that a few men can accomplish what government forces cannot, seems a stretch.

Even though some of the story has been done in the past, I did enjoy this novel and would recommend it to thriller fans.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3DZ61CROTE7TK/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0312580746&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode= Please check out my Amazon review and if possible, at the end of the review when they ask if the review was helpful, please indicate "YES" Thanks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Experience that destroys innocents also leads one back to it." James Baldwin

Imagine reading the news that seven graves of young children have been discovered at Saddleback Butte, in the California desert? Reporters call the deceased children, the Innocents.

The bones are old and cannot be identified except for a St. Christopher's medal and an inscription.

Eventually, a man who learns of the inscription, believes that this may be the body of his six-year-old son. He contacts private investigator Wil Hardesty for help.

With heartache showing through his words, Ignacio Reyes, explains how desperately poor his family was in Mexico. They heard about a border runner named Bolo Zavala. When he was contacted and saw the family, Zavala knew they had no money to pay him. However, Zavala told them that if they gave him their six-year-old son, Benito, the child would be placed with a wealthy family in America. He'd be well taken care of and with the money Zavala would get from placing the boy in adoption, he would take Reyes and his family across the border. Eventually, the father agreed and has lived with the sadness and loss since then.

Will is assisted by his friend, Paul Rodriguez. The men were Vietnam buddies. As they talk, we learn that Wil has a particular reason for wanting to help with this case. Wil can relate to Reyes because Wil had lost his ten-year-old son to a surfing accident and still feels the acute sadness that grips the parent who has lost a child.

As the search for Zavela continues, possible leads arrive and the reader learns that the title of the novel, "The Innocents" doesn't just represent the children who had been murdered in the desert. It describes the men searching for Zavala and his associates.

How many people has Zavala killed and how did a certain businessman become so wealthy in the middle of the poverty that surrounds him?

This chronicle is filled with the grief of Benito's parents. It also relates to Wil and his wife, who discuss having another child. There is still one other character who has a baby that could be the next child murdered.

This drama gives the reader a pause to think about what can exist and how fortunate they are that others take the responsibility to find and stop criminals and killers such as are described in the novel.


See the Amazon review and at the end if you agree, please indicate that the review has been helpful.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"The Lincoln Lawyer" Giveaway Winner

Hi Everyone:

Congradulations to Jen Waters (Carla) for winning the giveaway of "The Lincoln Lawyer.)

Stay tuned to my website, my next giveaway is will be announced later this week.

Thank everyone for participating and helping me celebrate signing the contract to have my novel published. I shared your enthusiasm for the giveaway process.


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