Fire And Ice is a pretty good crime thriller. State trooper Liam Campbell steps off the plane at his new station in Newenham, Alaska and literally rigFire And Ice is a pretty good crime thriller. State trooper Liam Campbell steps off the plane at his new station in Newenham, Alaska and literally right into a murder scene. Talk about being tossed into the deep end! To complicate things, his predecessor leaves without giving him any kind of briefing or workup. Also, Liam's old flame is standing right there on the tarmac by the fresh body, making it a totally "WTF?" moment. Before he can even begin to come to grips with the murder at the airport, Liam is called away on another incident. Liam never gets a chance to catch his breath as one incident follows on another. However, he doggedly presses on and eventually begins to tie the various threads of these seemingly disparate crimes together. Eventually we reach a conclusion with most of the bad guys paying for their crimes in one way or another. This story gives us lots of action with murder, assaults, and old mysteries. Also, there is some romance (integral to the story), and more than one colorful, oddball characters. (Additionally, I learned much more about herring fishing than I ever expected to know.) All in all, a good and interesting story. ...more
Worth Dying For, the 15th Jack Reacher novel, picks up shortly after the events of 61 Hours. Reacher still hasn't physically recovered from those explWorth Dying For, the 15th Jack Reacher novel, picks up shortly after the events of 61 Hours. Reacher still hasn't physically recovered from those explosive events when he finds himself deep in a new set of problems. It all starts simply enough. Reacher is making his way across Nebraska and stops at a remote Motel. He aids an abused woman and in the process runs afoul of the Duncans, who seem to rule this part of the Nebraska corn country. It soon becomes apparent that something evil is going on. The Duncans use local muscle to get rid of Reacher, or rather they try to. (As anyone who has read any Jack Reacher books knows, he is very very hard to get rid of.) Reacher soon finds himself fighting to survive against not only the local muscle, but also three sets of out-of-state gangsters, which just makes the mystery deeper. Why are all these thugs interested in this remote stretch of Nebraska? There is a deep secret here, and Reacher is just the man to dig it out. Lee Chile surprised me several times in this book as the story took unexpected turns. Good story. ...more
A tour bus crash strands Jack Reacher in the remote town of Bolton South Dakota. Of course there is trouble there. There is a murder, there are strangA tour bus crash strands Jack Reacher in the remote town of Bolton South Dakota. Of course there is trouble there. There is a murder, there are strange goings on at a nearby abandoned military facility, and a brave witness who has been targeted for assassination. The stage is set for Jack Reacher. At first I was a bit disappointed by this story, because it seemed like it was recycling some plot items from a couple of his earlier books. But then Lee Child surprised me and took the story in a new direction. Reacher has one of his toughest tests and at the end you are left wondering if he survived. (Well, we know he does because there are more Jack Reacher books.) Perhaps not the best of the Jack Reacher series, but still a good read. Recommended. ...more
Necessary Evil completes Ian Tregillis’s alternate-history trilogy (or triptych, as he calls it). The three books together form a tale of adventure, oNecessary Evil completes Ian Tregillis’s alternate-history trilogy (or triptych, as he calls it). The three books together form a tale of adventure, of unspeakable evil, of supernatural powers, and of heroism. It is a good tale, well told....more
In the past I have read quite a few of Parker's novels. These include some of the later Spenser novels, basically all of his Jesse Stone and Sunny RanIn the past I have read quite a few of Parker's novels. These include some of the later Spenser novels, basically all of his Jesse Stone and Sunny Randel novels, and a couple of his Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch novels. I quite enjoyed them all, so I decided to start reading the earlier Spenser books.
The Judas Goat is Parker's fifth Spenser novel and my second foray into early Spencer. I knocked this short novel out in one evening. Compared to my previous Parker read (God Save the Child), the pacing, characterization, and descriptions were much improved. Parker was obviously learning and improving in his trade. In this story, Spencer journeys across the Atlantic to hunt down some terrorist killers. The job turns out to be more than he can handle alone. He is one against many, and they are determined to kill him. So, he calls in Hawk (of course) to give a hand and watch his back. Then, the chase is on from city to city. Good story, but fair warning -- things get bloody and brutal....more
In this sequel to Parker's Appaloosa Hitch rides into Resolution -- a town in a bit of turmoil. Hitch takes a job with one of the local strongmen, andIn this sequel to Parker's Appaloosa Hitch rides into Resolution -- a town in a bit of turmoil. Hitch takes a job with one of the local strongmen, and Cole later joins him. Soon more gunslingers show up, some honorable and some not, and things get tense. Toss in a Shoshone war party and some nefarious dealing and -- you guessed it -- the bullets start flying. Cole and Hitch have to choose a side. I am really enjoying Parker's Cole & Hitch stories. There are four of them in total; too bad there won't be any more....more
I read this book long ago when I was a high school student. I still have fond memories of it. The Steel Cocoon is a wartime adventure story. It draws hI read this book long ago when I was a high school student. I still have fond memories of it. The Steel Cocoon is a wartime adventure story. It draws heavily on Plagemann's experiences in the US Navy during World War 2....more
This eBook contains all four of the original .357 Vigilante novels that Goldberg originally published in 1985 under the pseudonym Ian Ludlow. Good valThis eBook contains all four of the original .357 Vigilante novels that Goldberg originally published in 1985 under the pseudonym Ian Ludlow. Good value! The stories feature lots of blood-soaked violence served up at a fairly rapid pace. Think Death Wish merged with Dirty Harry and with a generous dollop of gratuitous sex tossed in for spice. What's not to like?...more
In Liberator’s Ruin Johns has written a damned good debut novel. The novel starts off with multiple story lines that seem unrelated. The first story lIn Liberator’s Ruin Johns has written a damned good debut novel. The novel starts off with multiple story lines that seem unrelated. The first story line is about the adventures of airship captain Nathaniel An’Rieyr and his crew. Then we have Anna, a deposed princess who is obsessed with driving out the invaders of her country and regaining her throne. She is the leader of the Illum resistance. And finally there is Thomas Ras’Kar High Inquisitor of the Rhivellian Empire, who has the job of ending the resistance in Illum. As these story lines develop, with quite a bit of violence and more than a little skulduggery, we learn more about the world they live in. In the end the story lines all come together nicely in an exciting and action filled finish. At first -- because of the use of some standard tropes, especially airships -- I thought Liberator’s Ruin was an alternate history steampunk novel. However, as the story developed, it became apparent that it is something else entirely (cannot say more without giving spoilers). And, that brings me to the subject of P. J. Johns writing style. Johns doesn’t do infodumps. Instead the back story of the planet and the people is slowly revealed by the dialog and action. This is a style which I quite like. (It reminds me somewhat of Vonda Mcintyre.) All in all, I can strongly recommend this book to SF&F fans.
Unfortunately I do have a few negative comments. (Please note that none of these hurt the readability of the novel. But they were slightly irritating and kept me from giving the book five stars.) - Liberator’s Ruin needs just a little more work. I think the right professional editing could have tightened up and improved an already good story. - The whole book most certainly needs a pass by a good proofreader. I noticed a cut-and-paste error, some misuse of homonyms, and a few grammar/punctuation errors. Also, at one point a revolver transformed into a single-shot pistol within the space of a single paragraph! - Finally, the cover is rather ugly, and I can't see that it has any relationship to the story. I cannot help but think that a few hundred dollars invested in professional editing and a cool cover would really help this book....more
In this novella length story, very special operative Chandler is given a mission to rescue a young woman from slavers. However, while carrying out herIn this novella length story, very special operative Chandler is given a mission to rescue a young woman from slavers. However, while carrying out her mission, she uncovers something even more sinister than human trafficking. Only immediate action will prevent disaster, and the stakes are about as high as they can get. Chandler is fantastically competent and improbably lucky -- and she needs to be. The action is practically non-stop in Exposed. Remember Daniel Craig’s opening sequence in Casino Royale? String several of those together with barely time to draw a breath between and you have the pace of this story. I quite enjoyed it. (Evidently, this is sort of a prequel to Flee, which now goes into my to-read list.)...more
I do love Boothenay Irons, C. K. Crigger's time traveling gunsmith. In this the third book in her gunsmith series, Boothenay gets kidnapped and takenI do love Boothenay Irons, C. K. Crigger's time traveling gunsmith. In this the third book in her gunsmith series, Boothenay gets kidnapped and taken for the first time into the future. Seems a customer needs help. Or rather the descendant of a customer. This book brings almost all the things I have come to expect from a Crigger story -- lots of action, a tight plot, and a bit of romance. The only thing missing is the historical detail she usually provides; understandable as most of the action takes place in the future. Good story. (Read in eBook format.)...more
John Rain hasn’t killed anyone for four years. He gets recalled from retirement to stop an attempted coup against the US Government. But this job is tJohn Rain hasn’t killed anyone for four years. He gets recalled from retirement to stop an attempted coup against the US Government. But this job is too big for Rain. Under the guidance of a black-ops specialist and veteran, Colonel Scott 'Hort' Horton, he puts together a four-man team of killers. Eisler surprised me in this story. Of course it has lots of suspense and action, including some stone-cold killing -- wouldn’t be a John Rain story otherwise. But, just when I thought the story had settled in and I sort of knew where it was going, it changed direction. And then it changed direction again. The story ends in a satisfactory way with dead bad guys all around and a nefarious plot foiled. Satisfactory but somewhat unsatisfying -- I think because Eisler was not just telling a good story in this book; he also was weaving in some serious concerns he has about the direction of American politics and society. And, the plot elements involving those concerns just don’t have known solutions at present. I’ll avoid details, but do check out the list of references at the end of the book. Eisler decided not to use a legacy (traditional) publisher for The Detachment, opting instead to publish as a Kindle eBook and by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer mystery imprint. This let him get the book out about a year earlier than it would have via a traditional route. I thank him for doing that. (Also, I think it is a good business decision.)...more