Category Archives: Book Reviews

A Writer Scorned

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Payback cover

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks is an aspiring author. His wife wants to encourage him by taking them to the annual renowned week-long writers conference, Thriller Jubilee. Their friends, D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello and his wife join them to make a vacation out of it. Little do they know that a disgruntled fledgling novelist plans to exact revenge against those who have rejected their work.

Barak’s third novel in the Brooks/Lotello thriller series, Payback takes a different turn as Brooks’ wife sets about getting him away from the trouble that seems to follow him everywhere. What could go wrong at a writers’ conference? The ideal getaway becomes one of the most dangerous adventures for him yet.

This book is a basic whodunit that keeps you guessing until the very end. It seems that no one is safe. Should the conference organizers alert their participants or let the week play out? Today’s morality struggles ripped right out of the headlines.

4 out of 5 stars.

Profits Before County

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The Raid cover     Ryan Decker has returned but is now working with Harlow Mackenzie and company. Border patrol personnel are killed in an odd set of circumstances involving an explosion south the border. Senator Steele calls upon Decker to investigate privately for her. Now, the entire group is in danger. Will they be able to expose the cover-up without losing their lives in the process?

Konkoly’s second novel in the Ryan Decker series, The Raid follows Decker after his life was almost destroyed by a deep state conspiracy.  The spark that was ignited between him and Harlow is fanned a bit throughout this book. Old nemeses don’t seem to want to go away.

This story is full of action and adventure as one might expect. But what I found most intriguing was the characters. The support crew is very diverse and add levity in some of the most serious situations. As with the first novel the story touches on human trafficking.

5 out of 5 stars.

Revenge: A Dish Better Served Cold

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Breaking the Beast 2 cover     Joe Branch’s celebration for the delivery of the cure to the Sembe’ virus is short-lived as the One World Alliance (OWA) extracts retribution on the resistance. Attacks are levied against two of the Continental Army’s strongholds. Fortunately, most were spread throughout the land and set about to reconvene at a yet to be disclosed location.

Bird’s second novel in the Breaking the Beast series, Revenge of the Patriots follows Joe as he and his best friend, Caleb travel to find Joe’s girlfriend, Tamara before rejoining their unit. Their quest is not an easy one. The OWA has a bounty on Joe and Tamara.

As with the first book, this story is told in the first person by Joe. The characters are so engaging that it is hard to put this book down. It is unpredictable and action-packed. Bird’s ability to spin a tale is so realistic that you can visualize what’s happening as you read it.

5 out of 5 stars.

Human Trafficking Knows No Limit

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Dangerous is the Game cover     Thomas Sullivan goes undercover. He uses his expertise as an inspector to help conceal and enhance his new persona. Human trafficking is one of the most despicable crimes there is. The assignment seems straightforward yet is anything but.

Sivils’ third prequel to the Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thriller series, Danger Is The Game follows Sully when he is at his lowest of lows. He quickly becomes enmeshed with the most depraved of society. The more he sees the angrier he becomes. An angry Sully is a dangerous Sully.

Tackling human trafficking on a galaxy-wide scale is not for the faint of heart. We see the best and worst of Sully as a result.

5 out of 5 stars.

A Secret Ready to be Told

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Breaking the Beast 1     Joe Branch has been working for the One World Alliance (OWA) since the outbreak of the deadly Sembe` virus. Under the guise of saving humanity, the OWA has become the masters of the populace. Once Joe discovers the truth, he is determined to do what he can to break their hold, and in the process becomes the most wanted man alive.

Bird’s first installment of the Breaking the Beast series, The Redemption of Joe Branch could easily be read as a standalone novel. It is told in the first person by Joe. After he realizes his employer is a coldhearted beast, he sets out to take this message to others. Are they willing to listen to his story, and most importantly help him try and defeat the beast?

The characters are well developed, and the pace is rather exciting. Nothing is predictable. It’s a hard book to put down. So, grab a cup of coffee and sit back for the ride.

5 out of 5 stars.

Terror on the Highways

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Gridlock cover      Jake Bendel doesn’t remember how he got to the FBI safehouse. What he does knows is that his roadway system for self-driving cars is killing people. And, the world has been led to believe that he is behind it. Will he and a rogue FBI agent be able to find and stop whomever the real culprits are before the unthinkable happens?

Bennecke’s first novel, Gridlock is the first of the Civil Terror series. It is set in the near future but with an old-world nemesis. All Jake, a civil engineer, ever wanted was to make the world a better place, a safer place. Now, his technology is being turned into a weapon of mass destruction. By whom? How? And to what end? His daughter is missing, and she believes him to be dead. The FBI isn’t so sure that he is innocent. FBI Special Agent Jose Cavanaugh feels that Jake is a pawn in someone’s hideous scheme to murder thousands of Americans. Even after being removed from Jake’s part of the case he continues working to help find those responsible.

This is a gripping tale of terrorism with an unlikely protagonist. It is intriguing as well as captivating.

5 out of 5 stars for the re-release version.

Who is Sully?

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     Who is Thomas Sullivan, and how did he get to where he is today? An explosion, a dead prince, a cover-up, and a set of triplets. What could be more intriguing?

Sivils’ prequel to the Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thriller series, What Doesn’t Kill shows us a bitter and drifting Sully. The universe is against him at every turn. He believes in swift justice and is incorruptible. Those traits don’t make him very popular with officials or criminals.

Being at the wrong place at the right time puts Sully in the middle of a crime as it happens. His training immediately kicks in, and he takes control of the scene. He is like a tenacious alligator that won’t let anything go. His one moment of hesitation will haunt him forever.

5 out of 5 stars.