Posts Tagged ‘thriller’
CIA Agent John Wells has had a rough time and those who have read Berenson’s other books about Wells, including THE FAITHFUL SPY, can attest to that. However, THE SILENT MAN is easily a stand alone novel that one can read and thrill to on its own. John Wells is trying to get over the past few traumatic years and make a normal life for himself as if that is possible. He is engaged to Jennifer Exley, also a coworker, who he would like to make a life with. However, John Wells knows deep down that it is only a matter of time before his life will be off on another dangerous track and then what would become of Jennifer and their “normal” life? He knows that he has made many enemies in his past-the kind of enemies who don’t forget and will seek revenge.
And so, this is easily illustrated right at the beginning of THE SILENT MAN when an old enemy from a previous encounter tries to get back at Wells, and thus the action begins. And for the faint of heart, I shall tell you it doesn’t stop until the last page of the book!
John Wells and Jennifer Exley are driving when they see a traffic jam in which the two bridges into Washington, D.C.are involved. John starts to get a strange feeling, like he has had before, that something isn’t right. At that point, Wells notices a motorcycle storming up between cars heading straight for them. With grenades and explosions, the world goes crazy. By the end of the day, several people are dead and injured and one of them who is injured is Jennifer. Wells is so upset by it, that when the dust settles he takes on the mission to find who is responsible for this deadly assault. He knows he is going to find the people who did this to Jennifer and the others. The CIA tries to convince him otherwise but alas, he has his mind set on finishing what they started. He had killed the attackers and now he was after the masterminds.
The culprits are traced to Russia where a retired General Ivan Markov is identified as being involved in this. The plot begins now to center around some missing nuclear warheads. In Russia, Wells meets up with several of Markov’s people who he kills. Meanwhile, the mastermind of the attack in Washington that injured Jennifer is named Pierre Kowalski, and he decides that John Wells is too much of a threat and so he decides to call for a meeting with him. He tells Wells he will give him information on some missing nuclear warheads and missing highly enriched uranium from Russia if John will guarantee his safety and not kill him. After investigating Kowalski’s information, John and the CIA race to find where this uranium has gone before it falls into the wrong hands for the wrong use.
While this is going on, the devious plot of using these warheads and uranium continues as Muslims have gotten the missiles and snuck them into the United States. Here they are building a nuclear bomb! Their plan is to attack highly ranked leaders and do away with the world powers that be. This all seems highly improbable on the surface but when we look at the unbelievable acts of terrorism none of us could ever imagine, happening daily in our world right now, one can see that anything is possible.
With an authenticity to match today’s headlines, the drama of this actionbecomes quite possible and therefore even scarier to those of us reading it in today’s world. Readers will find that the far fetched idea is just slightly plausible if things keep going on as they have. With building suspense, and a believable story line, Berenson keeps the reader involved in this action spy- novel. While some say Berenson’s first novel, THE FAITHFUL SPY, is better than THE SILENT MAN, I can only say, I better read that one as well, if that is the case. I found THE SILENT MAN to be a smart, quick moving, novel with believable characters who were more than superficial as we sometimes find in adventure s of this type. So I recommend this book and to those of you who are just starting out on an Alex Berenson novel, buy them all as it would appear they are all good and you can even follow the finite points of interest that are laid in the first novels.
Submitted originally to Curled Up with a Good Book by Karen Haney, March, 2009
We’ve heard of bombs on planes, suicide bombers, anthrax and car bombers. A new fictionalputs an incredible and unheard of spin on terrorists and what they might be up to that will make the hairs on your neck stand up. The Ovary Wars, written by Mike Hogan, effectively documents a type of bloodless targeting – American women.
In Hogan’s book, American women are becoming permanently sterilized by a method unknown to everyone except an evil foreign power. As the nation’s population dramatically declines over a four month period, the American economy begins to collapse and chaos ensues. Everyone is puzzled why women can’t become pregnant and are discovering that they’ve become sterilized by a process they had no part in.
A deadly type of silent, originating from an unknown, but lethal power, is obliterating America’s future – and no one knows how. From a state of overpopulation to almost non-existent, births become so rare in America that new form of crimes are being committed – drugs are rampant, baby-selling becomes a popular black-market affair, female immigrants are selling their eggs and ruthless criminals are selling fertility lists.
As America falls into the greatest and deadliest depression the world has ever known, people become desperate and would do anything to find a way out – even commit murder. In The Ovary Wars, terrorists have found the perfect way to destroy a population – prevent them from being born – and it seems as if their plan is going to work.
The Ovary Wars follows a cunning professor, Kirby Wadsworth, as he develops a means of controlling the world’s population byof child-bearing age in a way that they won’t have a clue about what happened to them – until it’s too late. The idea is devious and evil, but Kirby succeeds in a way that even he didn’t know was possible.
Hogan also follows the lives of the Rosenbloom family as they fall from wealth to poverty. Steve and Joan Rosenbloom lived in a beautiful, professionally decorated home, befitting a prominent doctor’s salary and status in the city. They had produced the obligatory two children, John and Carol and were busy planning trips, purchasing objects of jewelry, art and “things” for their home when the strange decline of births began to fill the media and caught their attention.
The new situation of decreasing population was catching everyone’s attention. All of the Rosenbloom’s once prosperous friends were beginning to suffer financially and emotionally from the downturn in the economy caused by the severe loss of future inhabitants.
Mike Hogan has spun a tale of intrigue and cleverly introduced a possible newin our midst in his first book, The Ovary Wars. Readers will hate to put the book down until they know the ending to this captivating story of our times.
Agent Pendergast is at it again – solving athat has everyone else stumped in the latest and fourth release from the writers Douglas Preston and Child. This time Pendergast is “on vacation” in a small town in Kansas, just the place where a victim has turned up. A serial killer emerges, but one that is unlike any other. Pendergast takes on an assistant in this fourth of the Pendergast series, a rebellious teenager named Corrie Swanson. Together they work with (and sometimes against) local law enforcement in attempt to stop the serial killer and save the small town.
Anyone who loves a goodwill love Still with Crows! Many fans of the series agree that this latest is the best of the series thus far. Indeed, the writing style of Preston and Child has only improved as they continue to work together on s.
Agent Pendergast is always a favorite for/Child fans, but a new favorite emerges in the side character of Corrie Swanson. The relationship between she and Pendergast is a touching one, and personally I hope they find a way to include her in future s as they tend to do with side characters.
I also liked the supernatural feel to this mystery. Not only are thes strange and unusual, with the killer leaving displays involving victims’ body parts, arrows and corn stalks as well as taking pieces of victims, but there is a unique history associated with the area, a ghost story involving a band of Indians called “The Curse of the Forty-Fives.” To find out what really happened, Agent Pendergast must explore using his own unique abilities.
Another aspect of Preston & Child novels that I particularly enjoy is the amount of research they conduct while writing and telling a story. The research is evident in how much information is relayed to the readers. For instance, in this novel, not only will you get a good mystery, but you’ll also learn about spelunking, tornadoes, and how a turkey processing plant works.
Douglas Preston andChild have written a few very successful novels together. Fans tend to agree that separately the authors are average, but together they write exceptional mystery novels. I do hope they continue writing together, and I look forward to their next joint-release.
Though this book is considered part of a series (the fourth book), it is not necessary to read the others first. There is no order that must be followed with these novels. Stillwith Crows just happens to be the latest novel published. Enjoy them in any order!
Red, White, and Boom by Karl Puttlitz ISBN 978-0-9844819-0
Puttlitz is knowledgeable and technically well grounded. His experience and expertise shine throughout the book. Details are deep, well researched and are revealed through the events of the plot. The reader knows the needed information as soon as the characters do. The mystery begins promptly in the first chapter and remains unveiled even as the death toll mounts and finding the stolen nuclear materials becomes more and more difficult.
Special Agent Jeb Foster has been on multiple missions. He is a capable leader with a team of experts to call upon for information. However, the mystery begins when he and his love interest encounter odd problems. A foiled carjacking and ominous threats on his girl friend set the intrigue while Jeb catches up with the thieves. He spends his energy concentrating on the mission but how does he balance a growing love interest on the team while putting up with an annoying new team member? Also, Jeb finds him still missing his former team partner, Marco, who was killed in the line of duty.
Jeb is assigned to investigate and retrieve radioactive “dirty” bomb ready materials stolen from the former Soviet Union countries. There are more people involved and many with poor or bad reputations and connections. Darla is the original love interest, but plays only a small part. Max is the long term Team member who obtains data, analyzes it and condenses it for Jeb to use. Kaj is the unknown quantity who is obnoxious, rude and constantly annoying everyone. Sorina is the newest person, totally unknown to Jeb before being assigned to the team for this mission. The other players die off almost as quickly as they appear in the storyline.
Jeb develops a romantic interest in Sorina and they pursue that while the mission runs on increasing tension and increasing deaths. The romance violates all the standards Jeb is familiar with but he constantly finds himself choosing between the mission and his personal desires for Sorina. Now the real intrigue crops up. A mole is evidently involved in the mission. Jeb suspects different means for the information leaking about the team and what they are doing. As the nuclear material nears American shores, he faces a crisis of national security, personal connections and mounting tensions on a team that is held together with little more than his will.
The technical information here is extensive, possibly sufficient for a textbook on nuclear stockpiles and waste handling and disposal. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, these materials are too easily available to terrorists, black marketeers and the various criminal organizations operating in the United States, the former Soviet Union and countries in between. Formerly secret information available now about how the Soviet Union handled nuclear waste, secret cities where entire populations lived and died, and the extreme conditions of Siberia and the cities where lead after lead takes Jeb and his team.
The storyline takes many interesting twists and as all the bodies accumulate, some in very grotesque manners of execution, Jeb faces decisions that could sacrifice his team mates and ultimately a large number of innocents.
Published by Adventure Street Press, 2011. (www.adstpress.com) ($26.95 USD SRP) Reviewer received book from author.
Erin Cole masterfully put together a novel of modern day witchcraft, suspense and paranormal events in her psychological“Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery.”
Having premonitions of an auto accident and plagued by distressing recurring dreams, Kate Waters sadly learns the news that her sister Jevanna had been killed in a car accident. As Kate retrieves her sister’s possessions, she notices a strange key; one with a particular symbol of interleaved arches in a continuous design being among her belongings. What does that key unlock? Discovering inconsistencies in the details surrounding the accident, Kate’s suspicions are aroused about what exactly is going on. She then learns Jev was a practicing modern day witch, as the key becomes the focus of Kate’s investigation of Jev’s past.
Erin Cole takes the reader on a journey behind the black magic of witchcraft, with literary precision of credible character development and descriptions of uniquely unsettling paranormal activity. Set in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding area, Kate Waters inadvertently discovers in Jev’s locker at work items used to cast spells – some good and some evil – and realizes her sister was a practicing witch. Having strange encounters with prior friends and co-workers of Jev, things don’t add up. Kate goes to visit Donna, one of Jev’s friends working at anshop. There she learns about Jev’s practices and beliefs, whereas she decides to have a form of spell used for protection cast upon her.
Things go “more than bump in the night,” as Erin Cole creates an eerie series of events and realizations of her character Kate which showcase her contemporary style for creating modern days. Skillfully detailed with believable and quite chilling suspense, Kate is drawn into her own introverted logic of deciphering the truth, not knowing whom to trust, if anyone. The reader is drawn into Kate’s mindset beautifully.
Created within a storyline consistent of an intelligent person trying to figure out what has happened. Erin Cole demonstrates complete respect for her reader’s need-to-know and unfolds her plot in a generous way, keeping the level of suspense high, and cleverly foreshadowing her clues. Because of her mature storytelling ability, Grave Echoes emerges from what would normally be a “B Movie” to a novel of originality for those who may not even believe in the dark side of witchcraft. The reader grows close to Kate throughout the book as she finally works with a police detective to solve the mystery surrounding her sister’s death. At that point a terrible wolf call is heard off in the distance… is Jev still around?