Tag Archives: Mystery

History Must Be Preserved


Fire of Our Fathers


Richmond Monroe is an antique dealer located in Panama who will do almost anything to secure an object for his patrons. When his community and livelihood are threated he makes a deal using his services in hopes of stopping the imminent destruction. The quest takes him on a journey through history within what remains of the southern US. What is an enigma wrapped in a mystery becomes even more complex as it unravels.

Champlin’s first novel in the Heritage of Liberty series, Fire of Our Fathers is a fascinating twist combination of treasure hunting and restoration of the rights of the American people. Written sometime in the future it mixes the past with what could have been, alternative history is you will.

While reading this book I was reminded of the writings of Clive Cussler. I think with a little more polish that Champlin will rival him in the future.

4 out of 5 stars.

They Want Him Dead


The Leveling cover

Mark Sava is a former CIA station chief retired in Baku, Azerbaijan where he teaches college. His life was rather peaceful. That is until an assassin attempts to kill him while he is tutoring the son of a high-ranking member of society. With his known past, the government of Azeri kicks him out of the country permanently. Before he can leave he receives photos he believes came from his friend John Decker. The CIA wants him back in the USA. But, Sava feels he must find Decker first. Who wants Sava killed and why? What does Decker’s disappearance have to do with it?

Mayland’s second novel in the Mark Sava Spy series, The Leveling is full of intrigue and espionage. From the dark underworld of the Middle East Sava and his former girlfriend, Daria Buckingham search for answers and Decker. Add the Chinese to the mix and the region is set for war.

If you love spy novels The Leveling will not disappoint. It will keep you guessing until the very end. The fast-paced action is almost nerve-wracking. Trust is a commodity easily bought and then resold.

5 out of 5 stars.

Twisted Sister


Grey Sky Blues

Inspector Sullivan is suspicious when he is called upon to take his team to a prison located on a desolate moon. They are asked to investigate murders that appear to be unrelated other than the lack of motive and evidence. The penal system has its own internal investigators. So why pull the Inspector off-world to usurp their authority?

The gang leaders within the prison are nervous about these murders as they weren’t sanctioned by any of them. For you see, even though there are gangs they still have a code of conduct to which they adhere. And, the thought of an outside investigation happening on their turf challenges their ability to control the prison.

Markeson, Sully’s immediate supervisor is thrilled to send the team off-world. Sarah, the clone with enhanced abilities always makes him nervous. Being a dirty cop and having incorruptible staff snooping around is an annoyance he is happy to relieve himself of even for a short period of time. Who knows? Prisons are dangerous places. Accidents happen.

Sivils’ third novel in the Inspector Thomas Sullivan series, Grey Sky Blues does not disappoint. The writing has become more complex as the supporting characters personalities are expanded. Sivils peppers just enough clues throughout to keep you guessing without losing interest. One could read this book as a standalone since there is enough information about the past intermingled along the way.

Sarah’s past was explored in more depth and it was nice to see her character evolve and mature. We also find out much more about Father Nathan. He isn’t officially part of the team but is called to the prison on business at the same time as Sully. And, Bones, the coroner, is becoming more than a background character. Detective Sergeant Josephson really surprised me with how quickly he has mirrored Sully’s techniques.

Without a doubt, this is the best in the series thus far. The ending was a complete surprise and opens a world of possible sequels. Sivils can’t write fast enough! I am hungry for more.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Situational Awareness Must Be Learned


Opus Odyssey cover

Rick Carpenter has made the decision to marry Tina. The values instilled in him by his father demand that Rick seek approval from Tina’s father first. Deciding to make the trip to meet Tina’s parents into an adventure the couple along with the ever vigilant, Opus, head out sharing their experiences on Facebook.

Trying to anticipate every possible hazard along the way is nearly impossible. And, while Rick thought he was well-prepared life keeps throwing him new challenges. He seems to attract bad luck. The only good thing about this situation is that Tina is on board with him every step of the way.

To add to their troubles an adversary from their past is released from jail and threatening messages keep popping up. Strange stuff shows up on his computer leading Rick to believe he’s been hacked. Does he have a deranged fan stalking him? Is the former jailbird harassing him?

Craven’s second novel in the One Man’s Opus series, Opus Odyssey: A Survival and Preparedness Story, picks up a year after the first book. Rick and Tina have become serious, Opus has finally healed from his wounds, and they all three are ready to take on a new heading in their lives.

While Rick’s fans are loving the video shorts on Facebook about their trip, someone much more nefarious is using them to track Rick and Tina down. A violent confrontation sends Rick, Tina, and Opus out into the desert with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Their attacker has made it perfectly clear that he has no fear of dying. Can Rick and Tina escape his relentless pursuit and find help? And, what is his motive? Is Opus able to save his humans?

Rick wants to be a prepper, yet he has a lot to learn about situational awareness. He’s finding out that it isn’t just about what you have. Because if you don’t have it when you need it, then it isn’t doing you a bit of good.

This book isn’t quite up to the same level as the first. Prepping was mentioned but seemed to take a backseat to Rick and Tina’s romance. Most of the story is about Rick building up the courage to talk to Tina’s father.

4 out of 5 stars.

Asking Questions May Get You Killed


After Impact cover

Avalon Adams is woken from a cryogenic sleep 100 years after an asteroid struck Earth. She is among the 5,000 chosen to reestablish civilization. Her awakening was triggered by accident and before her scheduled time. She could have easily died if Ilium, the resident physician hadn’t been close by.

The society set up within HOPE (Humanity’s One Plan for Escape), the underground facility designed by her father, is not at all like the world she left behind. Not only that but people are dying from a virus they were all supposedly vaccinated against when they entered the habitat. People are also disappearing without a trace. And, a cryptic message left for her by her father to trust no one leaves Avalon feeling all alone.

Ilium seems to be trustworthy and has sworn to protect her. Then there is the President’s son, Kael, who seems genuinely attracted to her. Can she find out what is going on by getting close to Kael without losing the friendship she has with Ilium? Love triangles are so overdone and cliché.

Stark’s first novel in the After Impact series, After Impact, is billed as a futurist dystopian with a mysterious twist. It is more of a new adult who-done-it. Avalon is too curious to let things play out. She must know who or what is causing the viral deaths and to what end.

About halfway through the book, things turn paranormal. I was unprepared for that. There was nothing up to that point or in the book’s description that leads you to expect it. I’m not a fan of paranormal, so it was hard for me to keep reading. But, this in no way affects the review.

Avalon’s character is 18 and still full of teenage angst. Several of the other characters, while supposedly older by a few years, exhibit childish behavior. Based on the reasoning for which they were chosen I would have expected more maturity.

This book is a fast-paced, engaging read. The writing is obviously by a new author who has a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see what Stark does in the next book of the series.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Only The Best Will Do


Death Toll Rising

David Porter, Houston Police Department’s finest detective, is finally on a long-promised family vacation along with his best friend, Paul Lafitte, and Elena DeLuca, both also detectives with HPD. While the group spends a day tubing on the Guadalupe River, world leaders are gathering for a religious summit being held in Houston at the invitation of President Jackie Wilson. When they arrive back at their campground David is alerted to the fact that the Prime Minister of Japan was murdered and the USA named as the culprit.

The FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security along with the Secret Service have all gathered to increase protection of the remaining leaders and attempt to determine who are the real killers. David’s chief requests their return immediately as unofficial members of the team. Once David and Paul start gathering evidence they are quickly made official team members, and David is summoned to meet with the president.

As promised by those who had broadcast Prime Minister Akio Yoshida’s last moments, another world leader is murdered. Iraqi President Sivan Awad is dead. Both Yoshida and Awad appear to have died of heart attacks. The medical examiner, after conferring with David, begins looking for ways to induce a heart attack that is almost undetectable.

Meanwhile, the major players at the religious summit are threatening the US with war if their leaders are not returned unharmed. Troops are being readied to swoop in and take their leaders by force, if necessary. The US has sequestered the remaining world leaders with their whereabouts on a need to know basis only.

Keys’ fourth novel in the David Porter Mystery series, Death Toll Rising, is a hard hitting, non-stop, action packed conspiracy thriller. Porter’s character is level headed and methodical. He barely gets any sleep when he is working a case and neither will you as you will want to read this book straight through to the end. This is one of the most well written and most engaging political mysteries that I have ever read.

Now that I have read book four, I am going to go back and read the first three. It is with pleasure that I recommend this novel for your enjoyment.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Better Than A Game Of Clue


The Point of a Gun cover

Samms is the head of a vigilante, anti-terrorist group operating on American soil outside the purview of and to the consternation of the US government. All evidence points to the group having someone on the inside of the intelligence community at a very high level. The President has asked that a secret task force be brought together of the most likely suspects in hopes that the others will out him or her. The group was quickly narrowed down to the CIA Counterterrorism (CT) representative, the FBI Special Agent in Charge of CT, and the Army’s Senior Special Ops CT expert.

Meanwhile, Samms’ group continue to stop numerous acts of violence against the US as the government ignores the threats. The President and his top advisor are doing everything they can to keep a lid on the vigilante groups’ activities. If news leaked out there could be numerous copycat attacks on innocent Americans, and the embarrassment of the government being caught with its pants down.

Samms’ group has access to the same information as the government ABC agencies. The government agencies are restricted by layers upon layers of bureaucracy that keep each other from sharing information. Somehow, Samms’ group can pull that all together and are able to stop terrorist acts before or as they are unfolding. And, the government belittles every attempt by Samms to get them to take the action themselves.

The secret task force can’t seem to discover the identity of Samms, so the President hires a top-secret investigator. Terrorists don’t take holidays and the number of potential attacks continues to drive Samms group into action. Samms’ calling card is left at every mission. What will the President do with the vigilantes if found?

Kohlhagen’s novel, The Point Of A Gun, is a political thriller full of misdirection and cleverly laid clues. It is a fast-paced, heart-stopping tale. The characters are fully developed and likable, well, except for Moose. Nobody likes Moose. The story flows well and the end is satisfying. It is an engaging read and very hard to put down.

Colonel Edwards brought his deputy into his confidence in a meeting with Nancy. The deputy never shows up again in the book. So, I am at a loss as to why there was so much discussion with him at all. Then there was the mention of Cheese having a girlfriend outside of the group, but a lot of seemingly harmless affection exchanged between him and May. Not sure where this was supposed to go.

I really did enjoy the book and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes conspiracy thrillers.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.