In "The Silkworm" private investigator Cormoran Smith and his ambitious assistant, Robin, search for a missing author. Robin is a tall, young woman wiIn "The Silkworm" private investigator Cormoran Smith and his ambitious assistant, Robin, search for a missing author. Robin is a tall, young woman with a goal of becoming a private investigator herself. Cormoran is an intelligent, kind hearted investigator who lost part of his leg in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The captivating story begins with a scene that makes the reader root for his success. When Leonora Quine comes to Strike's office requesting his help. Strike is about to start a meeting with an arrogant client. Strike was a bit late for the meeting and when the client gets huffy, Strike tells Robin to give the man his file. When the client isn't sure of what is transpiring, the client who had been waiting, Leonora gloats, "He's sacking you." The author paints a picture of how difficult it is to be a successful P.I. It is explained when Strike explains to Robin that dedication to an investigation is more important than financial benefits. The missing author had written a novel, "Bombyx Mori" which is a parody of man as if they were Quine's compatriots in the literary world.. It's a demeaning novel that gives many of these literary notables enough reason for wanting him, Owen Quine, dead. Strike's heroic action in Afghanistan included him reaching across the back seat of a military vehicle and pulling another soldier out of the auto as it exploded. The end result cost Strike his lower leg, the man he rescued had some facial scars but the driver was mortally wounded. I also enjoyed the way the author described the difficulty a person missing part of a leg, would have attempting to get around London in the Snowy surroundings. Recommended....more
According to the book jacket, Chris Kyle recorded the most career kills in the United States military history from 1999 to 2009.
The autobiography tellAccording to the book jacket, Chris Kyle recorded the most career kills in the United States military history from 1999 to 2009.
The autobiography tells of Chris growing up in mid Texas and his love of excitement and physical activity. Among his activities in his younger days was busting broncos.
Early on, Chris admits that he likes to have fun. He was brought up in the Christian faith and if he had to prioritise his beliefs they would be God, Country and Family.
Chris's story is told in brief episodes of his life and experiences. He tells how, when he decided to join the military, he went to the Marines first but they were out to lunch, then he considered the Army and thought of being in the Army Special Forces but it was when he was leaving that recruiter's office that a Naval recruiter spoke to him and asked if had ever heard of the NAVY SEALS.
Chris had four deployments to Iraq and describes his training to become a SEAL and some of the physical activity he had, from training, to getting into trouble in bar fights.
He finally met Taya, his future wife and we learn about their courtship and marriage.
As a SEAL, Chris doesn't disclose the names of his fellow SEAL's for fear that someone might want to cause them harm. We do learn of a number of his friends in the SEALS who were killed in action or died from their wounds at a later time. In these moments Chris's love for his fellow SEALS is easily seen and his description of a seal from his sister platoon, Mike Monsoon's death in battle and the manner in which he saved the lives of others resulting in him being awarded the Medal of Honor was touching.
Another aspect of the autobiography that added to our understanding of this American Hero was reading about how events affected Taya. There is a very high divorce rate in the SEALS and it is easy to understand why. Even when Chris was back in the States, he was often going for more training and carousing. He tells of a time that he was supposed to be home for his daughter's birthday and couldn't make it because he was in jail from a fight.
To understand the mind of a hero, this book was helpful. At times, I felt he could have been more personal. In his actions with his family, he never mentions his children's first names, even when worried that his little daughter might have had leukemia, she is always referred to as 'my daughter.'
There were excellent action descriptions of Chris in action in Iraq and the reader is given a glimpse of the difficulties that Chris and other Americans faced. For many of the Iraqis and members of terror groups like al-Qaeda, their goal was to kill Americans. We might never realize how lucky we were to have heroes like Chris taking the attitude to prevent the killing of Americans and to kill the enemy first....more
I struggled with this review much like I struggled with the novel.
I wanted to like this book even more since it takes place in New Haven, CT at Yale UI struggled with this review much like I struggled with the novel.
I wanted to like this book even more since it takes place in New Haven, CT at Yale University. I live a few miles from the University and have many friends and acquaintances that are employed there.
The concept for the story stirred my interest. Someone takes over a building where one of the Yale secret societies is housed. Numerous Yale students are held hostage as the hostage taker proves that they mean business and then make their demands known.
We follow the story from multiple points of view. With over thirty characters, I found myself getting confused. Some parts of the plot grabbed my attention but others seemed like fillers. I wondered why these parts were added to the story and what was their purpose.
Sam Purdy, a suspended Boulder cop, was a character I enjoyed but I wasn't sure about FBI agent Christopher Perry or how he got the authorization to be a part of the investigatory team.
Stephen White is an acclaimed author and I look forward to reading more of his novels....more
"Unmanned" tells the story of what might happen to a person whose mistake caused others to loose their lives.
The psychological novel tells of Darwin C"Unmanned" tells the story of what might happen to a person whose mistake caused others to loose their lives.
The psychological novel tells of Darwin Cole, a F1 pilot who is reassigned to be a pilot in the Predator Drone Program. He's given a target by a man who states it's a HVT - high value target. After Cole sends the missile on its way, he views a young Afghan girl running from the building that was the target. The next scene shows the death and destruction of the surrounding area.
Cole has a daughter about the same age as the Afghan girl and he becomes haunted by his deed. He begins drinking heavily, goes AWOL and his wife takes their children and leaves him.
He's discharged from the Air Force and lives in a trailer in the desert.
One day a reporter comes to his trailer and asks him to join her and two other journalists. They are looking for the man who ordered the drone strike to hold him accountable for his actions. However, this man has disappeared and some say he's gone rogue.
Cole joins the group and speaks to a number of people to get information about this man. At the same time, Cole is being hunted by a man who is ordered to find him and then determine his fate.
Generally in a thriller, I look for suspense, good action and drama. I enjoyed Dan Fesperman "The Prisoner of Guantanamo" which was an award winner. However this book doesn't measure up to the other books I've read from the author.
I look forward to the next book by Fesperman and hope there will be characters who are more interesting and are people I'd like to know more about.
This suspenseful thriller tells the story of a K-9, Maggie. She and her handler, Scott James, a police officer in the LAPD are at the heart of the stoThis suspenseful thriller tells the story of a K-9, Maggie. She and her handler, Scott James, a police officer in the LAPD are at the heart of the story but Maggie is the hero.
Maggie is with her Marine handler, Pete, at the start of the story. They are on a mission in Afghanistan and a sniper kills Pete and wounds Maggie.
At a later time, we observe a shootout in Los Angeles with Officer Scott James wounded and his partner, Stephanie, killed.
After a period of recuperation, Scott returns to duty and joins the K-9 unit. He's teamed with Maggie who was retired as a sentry dog with the Marines. As Maggie is recovering from her wounds, Scott is also recovering it is as if they both had PTSD.
Scott and Maggie undergo a period of adjusting to each other and earning each other's trust. What is unique and interesting is that the story is told from both Scott and Maggie's points of view. Reading about Maggie thinking about Scott and when she starts to relate to him, she considers him the Alpha who she must guard and protect.
There are many levels to the story. On one hand we see the faith and friendship between the two and admire Scott's devotion to finding the person responsible for Stephanie's death.
There are a number of twists and surprises and the conclusion is so well done that the reader will feel like cheering....more
Joe Ledger was a cop in Baltimore who was recruited to the DMS, an elite service that battles against terrorists and others who pose a threat againstJoe Ledger was a cop in Baltimore who was recruited to the DMS, an elite service that battles against terrorists and others who pose a threat against the United States.
This is a book of short stories that tell of Joe's actions. He's in charge of the Echo Team who are sent to various missions.
One of my favorite stories is "Zero Tolerance." Joe and his team are sent to Afghanistan. The wife of a leading terrorist is a molecular biologist who has developed a pathogen that turns infected people into hard to kill - zombie like creatures. Joe comes face to face with this woman, Amirah, and it is a struggle for his life.
What I enjoy about Joe's actions is that he shows compassion. A soldier is infected with the pathogen and is beginning to turn into one of the zombie like creatures. Joe asks him if he'd like to have it end now and when the man agrees, Joe puts him out of his misery.
I also enjoyed "The Vault." Here, soldiers who volunteered for a program on genetic enhancements are turned into killing creatures. One of the soldiers is a Marine named James Collins and in much the manner of the previous story, Joe asks Collins if he'd like to be remembered as a Marine who died for his country or what he had turned into. Then Joe takes action.
The reader could compare some of the stories to the horror stories of the past. The stories include many page turners. There is some bleak reality but the plotting and writing is very good and the stories interesting.
I received a copy of this book for an honest review....more
Richard A Clarke has written a dandy novel that describes the inside happenings of the US Drone program.
The drones have had such success against theRichard A Clarke has written a dandy novel that describes the inside happenings of the US Drone program.
The drones have had such success against the terrorists and Arabs planning attacks that a meeting is called. It is with the Qazzani Cartel and their leader. They want to strike back and devise a plan where bombs would be placed in US cities, in addition, there would be a team to attack drone pilots and destroy drones one the ground.
Clarke details the successes of the drones but also describes the bad publicity from strikes that have killed innocent people. When the Qazzini Cartel contacts a USA news reporter, they send him to places where drones have struck to see if he can find human interest stories about deaths of innocent people. They also set up a drone to strike against a target where they have placed children to make it look like a strike against an orphanage.
The leaders of the drone program have to deal with politicians who want the activities of the drones curtailed. They seem to forget what happened in 9-11.
Clarke builds up the suspense as we follow terrorists who are in the process of following their plan of placing the bombs and the attack on the drone pilots. The date of the terrorist action is at Christmas time and we wonder how the terrorists can be identified and stopped....more
The Pilgrim is an intelligence agent who goes out of his way to keep his identity secret.
The story opens with him helping NYPD det. Ben Bradley with aThe Pilgrim is an intelligence agent who goes out of his way to keep his identity secret.
The story opens with him helping NYPD det. Ben Bradley with a homicide. There is no physical evidence about the killer but a book was taken out of the New York library. This book was written by the Pilgrim using a pseudonym and describes how to commit a perfect murder.
In Saudi Arabia a teenage boy witnesses his father's execution. The only crime the boy's father committed was to criticize the government. His sentence was beheading. Seeing his father executed was a first step in radicalizing the boy. He felt hatred toward capitalism and Saudi Arabia but felt he would hurt Saudi Arabia more by striking out against the United States. He would become known as the Seracin.
The Pilgrim served as the European charge for an ultra secret organization, the Division. After one of his missions where he had to terminate a double agent, he wanted a break in his work.
However, evidence is found in Afghanistan where items are found showing smallpox contamination. It is thought that this might be from a terrorist planning a bioterror strike against the U.S. and the Pilgrim is called back to duty to find the terrorist and stop him.
Terry Hayes has created a complex plot driven thriller. Throughout the story, the Pilgrim looks for the terrorist's motive and reason why he wants to strike against the U.S. The Pilgrim feels that the more he knows of the terrorist, the better chance to stop him.
The characters are fascinating. The Pilgrim is sympathetic when we consider that he would like to have someone in his life but fears that it might distract him from giving everything he has to catch a killer. His detective friend, Ben Bradley became a hero in 9-11 where he saved' lives but sustained a serious injury. The Sericin is a dedicated killer with little sense of morality but at the conclusion of the story, we learn something different....more
I'm an avid Lee Child fan and was delighted to have the opportunity to review his new Jack Reacher novel, "Never Go Back."
In this engaging thriller, JI'm an avid Lee Child fan and was delighted to have the opportunity to review his new Jack Reacher novel, "Never Go Back."
In this engaging thriller, Jack reacher returns to his old unit, the 110th MP Special Unit in the Washington, D.C. area.
He was expecting to see a female commander but finds she has been jailed and there are charges against him from his time in the military. Further with an obscure law, he's called back to active duty to face those charges.
Much of the book follows Reacher's attempt to prove the charges false and to have the former commander exonerated.
The strength of the story rests in Jack's ability to get out of difficult situations and his street smarts so that he knows how things really should be.
This book is definitely a page turner and recommended....more
In a fast paced action thriller, the Taliban capture a female US Chopper pilot. Then they rape her and make a film of it, finally they demand a ransomIn a fast paced action thriller, the Taliban capture a female US Chopper pilot. Then they rape her and make a film of it, finally they demand a ransom.
US NAVY Team 6 and Delta Forces feel this is too much of a slap in the face and form a unit to go after the Taliban, rescue the pilot and punish the Taliban.
The force is led by Navy Master Chief Gil Shannon and the description of the characters is well done.
I felt that the description of the US Military was characteristically well done while the Taliban, with their hatred for US forces was also right on....more
There is a mission run by British M16 to assassinate the engineer. He is the person who is responsible for keeping the improvised explosive devices moThere is a mission run by British M16 to assassinate the engineer. He is the person who is responsible for keeping the improvised explosive devices modern and ahead of US efforts to make them less effective. It is said that these explosive devices amount to 80% of allied casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The engineers wife has cancer and he will be bringing her to a specialized hospital for treatment. The assassination team want to learn of his route.
Members of the team are in the desert and subject to attack by thieves or their enemies.
The novel is fast paced with lots of action. There is also sufficient pauses in the action to let the reader learn more about the characters.
The novel is complex and the reading of it, rewarding....more
Dr. Lou Welcome of the Physicians Wellness Center has a new case. This group tries to help doctors who have gotten into trouble or have situations thaDr. Lou Welcome of the Physicians Wellness Center has a new case. This group tries to help doctors who have gotten into trouble or have situations that need assistance.
Lou is called by one of his clients, Dr. Gary McHugh who tells Lou that he, Gary, is about to be arrested for killing a powerful Congressman. What's more, Gary was intoxicated and doesn't really know what happened.
Lou has faith in Gary and starts working on a case that would seem hopeless to many. He works with Gary's attorney, Sarah Cooper, who has no love for doctors.
The action is nonstop and the characters are well described. The reader will enjoy the good characters and dislike the evil ones.
The plot moves into an area of arms and military activity with a number of surprises.
Lou and Sarah grow on each other and are joined by a number of colorful minor characters.
Dewey Andreas, former SEAL and Delta receives a message to meet Israeli Special Forces commander Kohn Meir in New York. Dewey owes him a debt from wheDewey Andreas, former SEAL and Delta receives a message to meet Israeli Special Forces commander Kohn Meir in New York. Dewey owes him a debt from when he and his commandos saved Dewey from terrorists.
When Dewey reaches New York he finds that Meir had been kidnapped by Iranian operatives. They took him to Evin Prison in Iran where Meir would probably be tortured, have a mock trial and a public execution.
Dewey also learns that the reason Meir wanted Dewey was to recriut him for a mission. Iran has a nuke ready to strike at Tel Aviv.
The stiuation seems impossible. Meir is in Iran's most protected prisons and is sentenced to die but Dewey can't ask U.S. government or Israel for help because Iran might find out and use the nuke sooner.
This is a suspenseful story. With so much action, the author also does a good job with character development. Between action scenes, there are pauses when the characters think of their past or we see what is going on in the U.S. government. This permits the reader to catch their breath and get to know and appreciate the characters.
The story seems well researched and the plot is highly entertaining....more
While on tour in Iraq, U.S. Marine, Logan Thibault is jogging and finds a photo sticking out of the sand. An attractive girl is posed in front of a siWhile on tour in Iraq, U.S. Marine, Logan Thibault is jogging and finds a photo sticking out of the sand. An attractive girl is posed in front of a sign that says "Lucky Lady." It has an inscription "Keep safe. E."
When Logan doesn't succeed in finding the owner, he places the photo in his pocket before going into action.
Members of his unit are wounded and killed by Logan escapes and comes to feel that the girl in the photo is somehow protecting him.
After his discharge, he decides to find the woman. He isn't exactly sure why, but it's as if fate draws him to her, as if she was part of his destiny.
He sets out walking from his home in Colorado with his dog, Zeus. He has identified that the photo was taken in Hampton, North Carolina and that is his destination.
Upon arrival, his first encounter is with Deputy Keith Clayton, a sneaky man who is a bully and had been taking photos of unsuspecting coeds who were sunbathing. Catching Clayton embarasses the man and causes him to feel an animosity toward Logan.
Later, Logan learns that the woman in the photo, "Beth" runs a kennel. She has a help wanted sign and Logan takes the job. He eventually becomes an important part of her operation and becomes friendly with Beth and her family.
The pacing of the novel is precise with a gradual build-up to a momentus conclusion. The reader doesn't know until the end, if Clayton will have his revenge and disrupt the relationship of Beth and Logan.
2 1/2 stars. John Wells is a CIA agent who is currently recharging his energy after his last activity for the government.
He's called back to Langley wh2 1/2 stars. John Wells is a CIA agent who is currently recharging his energy after his last activity for the government.
He's called back to Langley when two members of a ten member interrogation unit are killed within twenty four hours of each other. This unit worked in a secret location in Poland known as the Midnight House and was known to use the harshest treatment on the most hardened jihadis, to get the information that they thought the jihadis possessed.
When these two members of the unit are killed, the authorities check and find that all but a few of the members in the unit have died recently and the other deaths may have been caused.
Wells is asked to go undercover, find out who is killing the members of the unit, why they are doing so and to stop them.
Although John Wells has been an exciting character in the past novels by Berenson, in this work, the author must have assumed that the reader had read the previous novels with John Wells. There is little character development and Wells comes across as a one dementional character and is just not interesting.
The subject of torture of roughened jihadis has been done in the past and doesn't have the uniqueness that it once had....more
Two nuclear weapons are stolen from a Russian nuclear complex.
In Zurich, arms dealer Pierre Kowalski wants revenge for what John Wells did to him whenTwo nuclear weapons are stolen from a Russian nuclear complex.
In Zurich, arms dealer Pierre Kowalski wants revenge for what John Wells did to him when he forced information from him in the past. Now Kowalski has paid a man named Markov, to kill Wells.
The plan is to strike when Wells travesl to his office.
Unaware of the sinister forces plotting his demise, Wells has been taking life easy after his last, life threatening activity. Now, he's driving to work with his fiancee, Jenifer Exley.
There's a traffic snarl. Being a CIA agent with well tuned self preservatin senses, Wells feels danger as one motorcycle passes him and another is approaching, weaving in and out of traffic. His quick reactions enables Wells to dispatch the assassins. However Jennifer is badly wounded.
In another part of this complex plot, near Ramadi, Iraq, Sayyed Nasiji plots with Sheik Ahmed Faisal. Their goal is to purchase the necessary materials and then to assemble a bomb in the United States. Nasiji wants to give the United States a taste of what Iraq has gone through.
Wells is mad with the need to take revenge for those who injured Jennifer and he knows who is responsible. However, events transpire that make Kowalski nervous. He seeks Wells out and promises to provide Wells with the info on the stolen weapons if Wells will agree to a truce with him.
The action continues with moving the bomb materials to where they can be assembled and create devistation.
If the goal of a thriller is to provide adventure and suspense, then, Alex Berenson has accomplished his goal.
The plot of this third John Wells adventure is original and Wells remains a heroic, brave and likable character. Kowalski was only a moderate success as an antagonist. He seemed to give in too easily. I did find the plot a bit too complex at times, but the action was there and the story vastly entertaining....more
James Clavel, with his lengthy books and complex plots, could have set the standard to which Tom Clancy took to the next level.
"Whirlwind" is set in 1James Clavel, with his lengthy books and complex plots, could have set the standard to which Tom Clancy took to the next level.
"Whirlwind" is set in 1979 during the Iranian revolution. As Iran is in a life and death struggle after the Shah has left power, a British helicopter company is secretly controlled by the Noble House of Hong Cong. The members of the company question how much longer they will be able to operate their basis throughout Iran.
In Aberdeen, Andrew Gavallan and Linbar Struah discuss the direction of the Noble House and what should be the proper course of management. As they react to each other, it is easy to see their mutual dislike.
The novel could well be a text book on the Iranian revolution. However, like most of the author's books, strict adherence to historical facts are not always adhered to.
The reader can see the conflict Iranians had with the Shiites and Sunnis even back in 1979. The distrust and dislike that Iranians had for outsiders is also well described. In particular, they felt that the Canadians, Americans and British were only out for themselves and didn't obey the laws of Iran....more
Action abounds with "Gone Tomorrow." Jack Reacher is on a New York subway and eyeballs a woman sitting across from him. He recalls the eleven points tAction abounds with "Gone Tomorrow." Jack Reacher is on a New York subway and eyeballs a woman sitting across from him. He recalls the eleven points to watch to spot a female suicide bomber. She has almost all of the signs. As he approaches her and tells her that he can help, she pulls a gun and commits suicide.
After giving his statements to the police, he meets the woman's brother, a cop himself. He tells Recher that his sister, Susan Mark, didn't kill herself. Jake Mark also tells Reacher that Susan worked at the Pentagon.
There are men outside the train station who ask Reacher if Susan passed anything to him or mentioned either John Swanson or Lila Hoth. She hadn't but these names give Reacher subjects to investigate. He buys a book, the Congressman wrote of his life. He discovers that Swanson had been in the Delta Forces and been on a number of secret missions where he received medals but the detalis were not disclosed.
In New York, Reacher meets Lila who states that she is in New York with her mother. Her mother was supposidly a Ukranian with the Red Army and was attempting to find a soldier who had a relationship with her, Svetlana Holt, in Berlin.
As the intelligently written plot moves along, we are given insight into Reacher's reasoning and find that where Lila and her mom were sympathetic characters, their were holes in their stories. They were out to get information that would embarrass Congressman Swanson and the United States. Reacher must find a way to stop them whithout knowing what it on the memory stick that Susan Mark stole from the Pentagon, because if he knew what was on the stick, he would become a loose end to the Government.
Child's last novel, "Nothing to Lose" was a step down from his usual excellence but with "Gone Tomorrow," he makes up for letting his reader's down. Reacher is again the heroic, knowledgable character. It is interesting to see him work with others rather than doing it all by himself. Most of the action took place in Manhattan and the author describes the city and its inhabitants to perfection.
In Washington, D.C. the president, Robert Alden, is grateful to Julia's mother, Stpehanie Gallo for her hDr. Julia Gallo is kidnapped in Afghanistan.
In Washington, D.C. the president, Robert Alden, is grateful to Julia's mother, Stpehanie Gallo for her help in his campaign but now her daughter has been kidnapped. The ransom for her release is to free a terrorist imprisoned in Kabul. (Mustafa Kahn).
When Alden hesitates to help, Stephanie reminds him that she has info on the presidnet's addessory in the death of four innocent Americans and the conspiracy to cover it up.
They summon Scott Horvath from his forced departure of his activities in helping the country when terrorists attack. Horvath meets with the president and Mrs. Gallo and they want him to deliver Kahn to the terrorists as payment to release Dr. Gallo.
When he arrives in Kabul, Scott looks up an old associate former recon Marine, Greg Gallagher. They also see Greg's partner, Tom Hoyt and the compound's majordomo known as Flower, an Afghan. Then they bribe police and find where Kabul is being held.
Meanwhile the head of the Taliban, Mullah Massoud is holding Julia. An Afgan boy gets in trouble for touching Jane inappropriately and Mullah's brother injures him. When the boy's father complains, Mullah has Sergo Simonov kill the man and make it look like an accident. He does this but two other men from the father's village were also there and he has to kill them also.
Scott, Gallagher and their team free Kahn and plan their next move in exhanaging her for Julia.
In Washington,D.C., Elsie Campbell goes to the head of the president's secret service detail. She tells him that she has heard the president and Mrs. Gallo talk about the manner of Nikki Hale's death. Now what will she do with this information about the president's possible involvement in a murder and cover up?
Brad Thor is a supurb writer. He knows how to grab the reader's attention and keep the story going so that the reader is at the edge of their seat. His character, Scott Horvath, could be Jack Reacher's brother if Lee Child's protagonist worked with others. The plot is well developed and the suspense perfect.
Enjoyed this book immensely. Don't miss it....more