Tag Archives: Suspense

Political Justice

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The Puppet Master     U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks is tasked with hearing one of the most controversial cases in his career. Several prominent political figures are murdered. Cliff Norman is charged, but is he really the killer? And, if so, is he justified in his actions? D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello finds that things don’t add up.  He and Brooks form an alliance to find the truth.

Barak’s prequel in the Brooks/Lotello Thriller Series, The Puppet Master is a hardnosed detective thriller. It looks at the law from the inside. From start to finish this action-packed ride will keep you on the edge of your seat.

In this novel, we see how the bond between Brooks and Lotello is formed. They make worthy opponents to anyone trying to skirt the law. I thoroughly enjoyed this as much as I did the first book in the series. Barak promises more, and I can’t wait!

5 out of 5 stars.

Justice Or Death

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The Amendment Killer cover   Retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks is defending an amendment to the Constitution before the Supreme Court when he realizes his friend and Supreme Court Justice, Arnold Hirschfeld is acting anything but normal. With help from D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello, they discover Hirschfeld’s granddaughter has been kidnapped in order to sway the Court’s decision.

Barak’s first novel in the Brooks/Lotello Thriller series, The Amendment Killer is full of suspense and intrigue. The kidnapper, Tommy Thomas psychosis changes as the book progresses. He transitions to what I would call reverse Stockholm Syndrome, also known as Lima Syndrome. It’s a fascinating read.

The story is well written and hooks you from the very start. It’s hard to put down and keeps you guessing. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

5 out of 5 stars.

Whose Child Is It?

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Spy for Hire cover

Mark Sava has been kicked out of Azerbaijan – permanently. He currently resided in Kyrgyzstan with his girlfriend, Daria Buckingham. Both are former CIA operatives. Daria has left the spy world for more altruistic endeavors. While Mark is now working for Central Asian Information Networks (CAIN), a spy for hire corporation. In an ordinary world the orphanage that Daria works for would not be involved in a covert spy op. But, Mark’s world is far from ordinary.

Mayland’s third novel in the Mark Sava Spy series, Spy for Hire puts a two-year-old orphan in the middle of a power struggle from Kyrgyzstan to India and to Bahrain. Like any good mystery there are several twists and false leads that keep you guessing until the very end.

CAIN is the starting point and the owner, Bruce Holtz had decided not to tell Mark. Not knowing whom to trust he calls in John Decker to protect the child until things are sorted out. The players use Mark’s past against him. All he wants to do is right by the child.

4 out of 5 stars.

They Want Him Dead

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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.

When Black Ops Collide

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Covenant cover

Daniel and Jessica Petrovich along with more of General Terence Sanders’s elite Black Flagged operatives are preparing to take down Dr. Anatoly Reznikov once and for all. As the most dangerous bioweapons scientist in the world Dr. Reznikov has been captured and liberated more often than a cat with nine lives. The Mossad has a team going after Reznikov’s handler. Both groups are targeting the same place at the same time. Neither knows the other is there. The fireworks are about to begin!

Konkoly’s latest entry into The Black Flagged Series, COVENANT: A Black Ops Thriller, book 4.5 is right on target. It has all the thrill and suspense you’ve come to expect with this series. Fast-paced action, well-developed characters, and a Russian mafia are all packed into this novella. It is also professionally edited.

This story focuses more on Jessica’s character. While not a back story it does show you how she processes a situation out of the norm for an op. I was not originally a fan of the cold-blooded killers that the Petrovichs are. Konkoly has made them likable and somewhat normal.

5 out of 5 stars.

Can a Virus’ Origin Remain Hidden?

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K2 Virus Cover

Daniel Mann should have his Ph.D. by now, but an accident left his mom paralyzed at age 48. So, he is working at a job he really doesn’t enjoy to pay for her care. He feels guilty about the way he left his last job and proposes a way to merge the two companies. As part of the goodwill team, Daniel, a biochemist, goes to Seoul to help deliver a flu vaccine to the American troops.

Dr. Tonia Benedict is once again Daniel’s boss and she holds on to grudges. She blames him for the failure of her former company. While in South Korea together, they engage in a push-me/pull-me friendship. Should the vaccine work as planned the new consolidated company stock should jump significantly.

Veronica (Varsity) Kohl is a news reporter covering the increased tensions between the North and South. Daniel met her on the plane and developed a deep crush on her. She has asked him to be her guide, yet everywhere they go they end up in trouble. Is she really interested in him or to the places his Korean family can get her access?

In the meantime, a coronavirus has leaped from sick cows in North Korea to humans. It is a rather hardy virus and has a considerably longer incubation period than SARS or MERS. During a visit to refugees that were allowed to leave the North to the South, many of who carry the virus, Daniel becomes the face of South Korea welcoming these folks into the country. Then things get complicated.

Rhine’s novel, The K2 Virus, is a medical thriller that explains the science involved while intermingling with a good mystery. We follow the virus from the first moment it leaps into a human or patient Zero. Every time there is a possibility of exposing the existence of the virus someone tries to redirect the investigation by killing or trying to kill a key player. Tensions between North and South Korea go to an all-time high.

All the time Daniel is caught between his infatuation of the mysterious Varsity and the hot/cold friendship with his boss, Tonia. Add to the mix his traditional Korean family and Daniel is like a lost puppy, not sure where to turn or what to do. When he accidentally stumbles upon the K2 virus everything in his world changes and not all of it for the good.

This was an enjoyable read. I had a hard time putting it down. The mystery behind the virus mixed in with Daniel’s social ineptness around women made for a good combination. The ending was slightly surprising.

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.

A Book To Die For

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The Accident Cover

Isabel Reed stays up throughout the night to finish a manuscript for a new book called The Accident by Anonymous, a tell-all biography of a power mogul in the news industry. As a literary agent she sees the risks and the rewards that could come from the publication of the information contained therein.

Pavone’s second spy thriller novel, The Accident, is every bit as gripping as his first with the exception few exceptions. Once you get past the first seven or eight chapters it is non-stop, hard-packed action. It brings back Hayden Gray, the CIA operative from Pavone’s first novel, The Expats. It is Gray’s mission to see that the manuscript is destroyed and never published. And, of course, this operation is off the books (pun intended).

The identity and relationships of the author of The Accident are teased out a little at a time throughout the entire book. The story follows him as he tries to remain anonymous as an expat in Europe. What he has written could very well cost him his life and those that come in contact with his manuscript.

Other than the slow start I sometimes found it hard to follow the story as Pavone jumps from one character to another telling the story and from the present to the past without warning. There was also an alarming number of characters that were described in great detail in addition to the main three. His descriptive sentences tend to run-on to paragraph length.

As much as I loved The Expat, I was not able to love this one the same way.

3-1/2 stars out of 5.