Better Than A Game Of Clue

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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.

You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down

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Rising cover

Marcus Battle cannot seem to catch a break. Just when everything settles down and he can enjoy life, Wham! along comes some Murphy’s Law to turn it all upside down. It’s been five years since Battle returned to the homestead with Lola, Sawyer, and Penny. They have managed to survive and come together as a family without much interference until now. Three men changed Battle’s world in a matter of minutes.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” And, Marcus aims to serve it all three times.

The Dwellers came into power after the Cartel was defeated. Their reign did not last long and the former state of Texas is once again a lawless territory with competing gangs plaguing the innocent. Battle’s moral compass, or what is left of it, will not let him pass up a chance to set things right for those he stumbles upon.

His search for revenge meets him up with the most unlikely companions. One tries to kill him and then becomes his constant sidekick. Another is on a similar quest as Marcus and joins them to exact his own retribution. The trio, while somewhat comical, are a deadly combination.

This is my favorite quote from the book: “If these people could shoot, I’d be dead three times over,” he muttered. Not sure why, but I found this hilarious. What Battle said is so true in this situation. But, I digress.

Abrahams’ fourth novel in The Traveler series, Rising, is fast-paced and gritty. True to the series’ name, Marcus is always traveling. He cannot stay put no matter much he would like. The story is reminiscent of tales from the Wild West with vigilante justice and guns-a-blazing. There are no more hospitals to patch you up. You are more than likely to die from infection or bleed out from your wounds.

I am enjoying Battle’s struggle to retain his humanity. He often goes into the darkest places of his mind. Then along comes someone he is drawn to because they remind him of happier times in his past, and he starts that long climb back towards his version of normalcy.

His story will continue.

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.

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.

The Lines Are Blurred Between Good And Evil

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Anatoly Reznikov is one slippery dude. Everyone who says that they want him dead really wants him. He is the deranged bioweapons scientist responsible for two attacks thus far. And, he has gone missing again but who sponsored this disappearance?

True America is in the White House and all bets are off on the president upholding former pardons for Sanderson’s Black Flagged program. Karl Berg’s recent demotion within the CIA is a testament to this major concern. Now, Karl finds himself and some of his friends on someone’s hit list.

The Petroviches are trying their best to disappear when Jessica receives some news she cannot ignore. She hopes that she will be able to bring closure to a particularly painful part of her past. As usual, nothing is as it seems and Daniel must stay even more vigilant.

All of this is connected in the most sinister of plots.

Konkoly’s fifth novel in The Black Flagged Series, Omega, will have you on the edge of your seat. This is a thrill ride like no other once you get past the introductory background material. The twists keep coming and they are all intertwined. Anything that can go wrong seems to figure out a way to do exactly that. It is hard for the players to stay up with, much less ahead of, those that would have them dispatched.

My heart was pounding time and time again as close calls were coming faster than the characters could keep up with them. The implications at the end are mind boggling and set you up for Konkoly’s newest series The Zulu Virus Chronicles. I can’t wait to see how these two series run parallel from here.

5 out of 5 stars.

Would You Do The Same?

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Jake Turner is trying to do the right thing. He wants to have a good life with his wife and children. Since being released on parole, Jake has turned his life around. But, no matter how hard he tries, it seems that the fates conspired against him. By the time he has a run-in with the Fletchers on Dunham Road, Jake is no longer the law-abiding citizen he so desperately wanted to become. His looks and his actions earn him the nickname “Manson”.

Bird’s Kindle Worlds Novella in The Perseid Collapse Series, The Edge of Civility, has got to be the saddest story I’ve ever read. My heart broke while reading this fast-paced tale of strife. I could feel Jake’s pain.

All Jake wanted was to provide for his family and keep them safe from the Jakarta flu virus. What would you have done in similar circumstances?

5 out of 5 stars.

The Struggle Continues

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Alice, Randi, and Jim face separate struggles that ultimately bring them together. As coworkers in the before, they didn’t necessarily get along. With the world having gone into chaos, they find relying on one another is the only way to survive and keep their families safe.

Alice leaves Jim’s valley after helping Gary and his family relocate there. She wants to find her husband and son, then move them to her mother’s farm. Her journey has been harrowing up to this point and continues to throw the worst of mankind in her path. She has lost her humanity. She is hard on the outside, so much so, that the person she was before is no longer there.

Randi is fighting the demons inside. She wants to do the right thing and forgive the person responsible for the death of her most of her family. The remaining kids and grandkids are living with her in Jim’s valley. She won’t find peace within until she has had her revenge.

Jim can’t seem to catch a break. Having running vehicles make his group a target. An overly zealous sheriff’s deputy broadcasts on an open radio frequency the location of a tanker of diesel. A splinter faction of the local law enforcement that has gone rogue is determined to claim the tanker.

Horton’s fifth novel in The Borrowed World Series, Valley of Vengeance, shows that no matter what one does to keep safe, that there is always someone out there that wants to take what you have. The world is no longer civil and making your own justice is the new norm. The character expansion of both Alice and Randi is heartbreaking and cathartic for them. It’s amazing how strong they have become.

This is one of my favorite series. I find it very realistic. Bad guys are killed, but some of the good guys are too. It’s a tough new way of life. I look forward to the next book in the series.

5 out of 5 stars.

On The Road Again

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Cavatica Weller and her sisters surprised the world when they moved three thousand head of cattle across the Juniper. Notoriously famous for their wild ways, they soon find themselves on the run, cast as outlaws, before they can collect payment. With them is the most sought after boy alive, Micah Hoyt, the son of the richest man on Earth. His father, Tiberius “Tibbs” Hoyt, is the president and CEO of the American Reproduction Knowledge Initiative, otherwise known as the ARK.

Micah’s father created an army to find him and kill anyone with knowledge of his existence. Seems Micah is in possession of data that reveals a cure for the sterility that has plagued mankind for many decades. ARK would be doomed if the cure was ever released.

Along with the conflicted priest, Father Pilate, the group has captured and subdued Rachel Vixx. She is the last of the Vixx sisters, a group of genetically engineered super soldiers. This ragtag group sets off back into the Juniper in hopes of evading capture and returning home to Burlington. What they didn’t expect was to come across an entire city of men blocking their travels.

Ritchey’s third novel in The Juniper Wars series, Thistle Inferno, is an exciting thrill ride with the Weller sisters at the helm. This steampunk Western does an excellent job of mixing old world technology with desperation inspired ingenuity. Electronics do not work in the Juniper, but steam-power does.

I thought this would be the last book in the series as I was expecting it to be a trilogy like so many authors are prone to. Thankfully, the story will continue. Hopefully, we will get to see if Rachel will stay loyal to the Wellers.

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.