Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A story of the west and a brave protagonist

Kevin Kerney is approached by his old friend and fellow officer, Terry Yazzi, to help find Terry's son, Sammy. Kevin is Sammy's god-father but Kevin has no love for Terry. Terry's problem with alcohol is the reason why Kerney had no backup on a criminal apprehension case. As a result, Kerney was shot and had to take a disability retirement from the Santa Fe Police Department.

Kerney accepts the case for Sammy's sake. He learns that Sammy was stationed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Kerney knows that the military brass at the missile range won't reveal anything to a civilian. He needs more authority. So he visits another friend, Sheriff Andy Baca. Learning the situation, Andy assigns Kerney as a temporary lieutenant. This way he'll have more authority in the investigation.

There is also a romantic side to the story that shows more of the human side of Kerney and helps develop him as a character. He meets with Captain Sara Brannon, the military investigation officer and soon they both decide to work this case together.

Kerney travels through the mountain trails in spite of his injury. He and Sara discover something that adds to the interest of the story.  The area in which Sammy disappeared is rich in Indian and U.S. Cavalry history and something is found that relates to the investigation.

The story is well told and includes colorful characters. There are a number of surprises along the way and we also learn facts about the history between American Indians and the U.S. Cavalry.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In an original story that captures the reader's attention from the start, we see a situation in Ireland just before President Kennedy is scheduled for a visit.

Kennedy is returning to the land of his ancestors but a German man is murdered and on his corpse there is a note for Otto Skorenzy, a German with a bad reputation during WWII. The note tells Skorenzy "We are coming for you."

This is the third foreigner to be killed within a few days in Ireland and Lt. Albert Ryan of the Directorate of Intelligence is asked to investigate. Officials don't want the world to know that the three men killed were Nazis who were granted asylum by the Irish government after WWII.

The action is intense and the author's writing style brings the reader close to the action.

Ryan seems like the Everyman of the story-a good man, just trying to do his job. Otto Skorenzy, true to his reputation as Hitler's favorite commando, is a ruthless person, easy to dislike. There is also a Mossad agent and other sinister characters ready to kill at a moment. Officials become more and more nervous that Kennedy might call off his trip and they'll do almost anything to whitewash the situation.

I found the story to be original and interesting. Ryan is a refreshingly human character with flaws and strengths that are admirable.

Readers who pick up this book won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

There's a man in the funny papers we all know, Big Dave, Big Bad Dave Barry

This zany novel takes place in the Coconut Grove area by Miami, Florida.

Two high school boys are playing a game called killer-where one shoots a fellow student with a squirt gun and the other confirms the 'kill.'

The high school student who is the target, Jenny Herk, is the step daughter of a man who is a gambler and embezzler. The picks the wrong people to attempt to steal from and they place a 'hit' on him.

A vagrant named Puggy has been living in the tree house on the Herk property.

With the real and pretend hits at the same time, a hilarious mix up occurs with no harm to anyone but the Herk's TV screen, shot by one of the true hit men who was distracted by Herk's dog burring its head in the man's crouch.

Puggy had been hanging out in a bar called the Jolly Jackal  It's really a front for arms dealing.  Arthur Herk goes there to buy a missile he can use in revenge for the high school boy who embarrassed him.

One thing leads to another and culminates in a wild chase to the Miami airport.

This novel is one of the funniest stories I've had the pleasure of reading. Wonderful, off-beat characters and a picturesque setting.

Don't miss it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." Hunter Thompson


In "The Thieves of Legend," Richard Doetsch provides a well written story about greed, master thieves and family relationships, set in the exotic worlds of Beijing and Macau.

Michael St. Pierre is a daredevil and thief. Promising each other a better life, he and his girlfriend  KC, vowed to give up the dangerous life of stealing. However, he gives in to his friend, Simon, and, for what he promises will be his last theft, agrees to steal back a document from an Italian castle.

KC's faith in Michael is ruined when she learns of his latest episode. She decides to leave him but she's waylaid by a woman who persuades her to accompany her. What KC thought would be an adventure, was a kidnapping and she's informed that she has to steal a part of an ancient puzzle or Michael would be killed.

Michael is set up in what appears to be a murder. The leader of a rogue U.S. military unit orders him to help steal another part of a puzzle or KC will be murdered.

In a fast-paced action thriller that the author makes quite believable, we learn of Chinese history, particularly after the Japanese defeat in WWII and the ransacking of the Country by Japan-to steal many treasures.

We also have the joint conspiracy of two avaricious brothers who are competing for the treasure. The fast moving plot leaves time for the author to describe the historical elements of the story and with the author's skillful storytelling, this is a very entertaining read.

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