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65 Below

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  51 reviews
At sixty-five degrees below zero exposed human flesh freezes solid within three minutes.

Retired Marine Master Sergeant Marcus Johnson returned to his family homestead in rural Alaska after twenty years chasing bad men. Now he wants nothing but to hunt and fish and run his trapline in peace and quiet, and no more war.

Lurking deep in a long forgotten bunker in the remote arc
Paperback, 376 pages
Published April 29th 2011 by Createspace (first published September 7th 2010)
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3.73  · 
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 ·  340 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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ABR's full 65 Below audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Marcus Johnson, retired Master Sergeant, just wants to have some peace and quiet. He joined the marines at 18 and put in his 20. Now he has come home to his family homestead in Alaska and thought he left the war behind.

No such luck. While running a trap line he comes across a North Korean special ops team digging in the snow. He tries to report it at the nearby base but they don’t believe that North Korean sp
Nancy Steinle gummel
65 Below by Basil Sands is an actioned packed thriller. Sands weaves the story from modern times to the late 90s and balances the writing expertly. This spy drama takes place in the wilds of Alaska. It involves ex and current special forces teams, the FBI ang the Alaskan Highway Patrol Troopers. It centers around Marcus Johnson and Lonnie Wyatt. Marcus discovers a terrorist link between Muslim Albanians and North Koresn spies with a plan to contaminate water supplies with a deathly virus thst ki ...more
Aug 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian's Book Blog
Felt So Real I Couldn’t Sleep

4.5 out of 5 stars

Once again, Sands wrote a better synopsis that I cannot beat: “A nearly forgotten bunker in the frozen wastes of Alaska is hiding a weapon that could end the world. And only Marcus Johnson and his team can keep it from falling into the worst possible hands.”

I don’t always do back-to-back books by the same author or narrator, but when I do — they take place in Alaska and are incredibly well written and thought out. Basil Sands can write and keep me r
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This a slightly above average terrorist thriller set in Alaska. It is the first book of Sands I’ve read having got it on offer for Amazon Kindle. The plot strains credibility a bit, but the action and tension keep the reader turning the pages.
A group of North Koreans infiltrate Alaska on the trail of an older biological weapon buried back in the 60s. For some reason, never fully explain, they are supported by some Albanian Muslins. Their aim is to impregnate the local water system with the bio
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully written and well told by the author, 65 Below is an exciting tale of espionage and intrigue in the sub-zero temperatures of Alaska. In a unique and interesting mix of State Police and military forces we track down the unusual disturbances around the small town of Salchasket, pronounced “Salt Jacket” Alaska. Our unsung hero retired Marine Master Sergeant Marcus Johnson only wanted to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of his hometown after 20 years in Force Recon. Such was not to be ...more
Michelle Douglas
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good story telling the tale of terrorists looking to disable America with a toxin in the water supply which results in a horrifying death. An ex Marine has come home to retire and lives in the home where he grew up. The love of his life is now a state trooper and they have to work together to overcome the threat. The book was set at a good pace and it made me want to keep reading to find out what happened next
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be a movie

It's five star exciting..action..interesting plot lines..a hero that's bigger than life...tells the story of those who are in special's just plain a fan good read
Melissa Etheridge
No. I couldn't make sense of it.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
great read. story of operators an counter terrorisim in Alaska.
Rob Ballister
Book was read as part of MWSA awards program. Review will be posed after award winners are announced.
John Podlaski
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked up 65 Below as a free download from my daily Kindle newsletter. The title and description seemed interesting and I thought I'd take a look at it. I found the story line to be similar to the movie "Walking Tall" where the lead character is recently retired from the military and returns to his hometown, although in this story it's Alaska. He soon finds out that is "ex-fiance" is now divorced and is an Alaskan State Trooper - based in the same town. There are actually three different stori ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This was my first military, terrorist, action, thriller. I did like it. The plot was interesting; North Korean soldiers and a couple of Kosovars plan to release a deadly chemical into the Alaskan water supply. Marcus Johnson, newly retired USMC, gets involved by chance. Ultimately, it's a race to get to the bad guys before they can get things going. Throw in a little romance, and I do mean a little, and you've got yourself a pretty good story. Normally I don't like love stories mixed in with my ...more
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! I enjoyed much more than Faithful Warrior (again, not a bad story) as it kept me riveted to the page. The pacing was great and the character development on target. What I enjoyed most about the characters though is that Marcus "Mojo" Johnson, the protagonist, appeared in parts of Faithful Warrior. So it was great to get to know this character in much more detail. I like that Sand's universe is populated with characters that show up across his books almost like a comic book u ...more
Karina Larson
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece of epic proportions!

I admit I didn't read the summery before picking up this book, 65 Below! I'm glad I didn't or I might not have listened to it at all. I don't normally like military or war books, but this book was phenomenal! From the first page, to the last I was lost in it. I cried, I laughed, I was shaking with cold and sweating for some parts! The most memorable scene has to be the part when one of the good guys has to have his leg cut off to save his life!
The character de
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up in the UK, BBC radio broadcasts were a great source of spoken-word entertainment and thanks to the Internet this has continued to be available. A few years ago I ‘discovered’, works often read by the author, covering a vast range of genres. These books made my daily commute much more pleasant.

This was a fun ‘read’ and I found myself really involved in the characters. Definitely a page-turner.

The main plot-line relates the story of Marcus Johnson, former Master Sergeant
Retired Marine Master Sergeant Marcus Johnson, Trooper Lonnie Wyatt (Marcus' long ago flame), along with a huge cast of good guys, mostly with military special ops-type backgrounds take on terrorists with a bio-weapon that can turn human tissue into jelly within minutes. Time is of the essence, because the deadly chemical is about to be released into the Anchorage, Alaska area. As if finding and fighting the bad guys isn't enough, the temps in Alaska are getting as low as 65 degrees below zero! ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow! A great read and a refreshing author!! This is the first book I've read from this author, so I really had no idea what I was getting into. Got this as a free Kindle book simply because I was intrigued by the title and the background setting of Alaska. After sampling this author, I will happily pay full price for other books. I really loved all of the characters in this book. They all felt like real people, and I truly loved that some were even Christians (including even a virgin or two!) an ...more
Douglas Cook
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I started reading this because I like outdoor mysteries - Dana Stabenow, C.J. Box, etc. This book has those outdoor elements that I enjoy, however it involves soldiers stationed in Alaska. When I was finished I immediately purchased another of Sands books which I am waiting to read.

First paragraphs, "Chapter 1 Suburban Neighborhood Seattle Washington June 16th 19: 25 Hours The knife was razor-sharp. Shock morphed into terror as Michael realized first that he could make no sound, then that he cou
Ryan Burt
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
1) Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

2) Genre: Military fiction

3) Synopsis: Retired Marine Master Sergeant Marcus Johnson returned to his family homestead in rural Alaska after twenty years chasing bad men. Now he wants nothing but to hunt, fish, and run his trap line in peace and quiet, and no more war.

Lurking deep in a long forgotten bunker in the remote arctic hills is a decades old secret that could not be destroyed, and was never meant to be rediscovered

4) Feelings: I should start out I listened to t
Grammar mistakes REALLY annoy me while reading, so it says a lot that I kept reading this book. I tried to ignore the many misplaced commas, the few missing apostrophes, and the few other mistakes. For the first half of the book, the story - which keeps one begging to find out what happens next - made these things easy to ignore. However, after awhile even that was not enough, and I had to force myself to keep reading.
The consciences in the story - there just happens to be someone that speaks t
Sharon Michael
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wish there were half-stars, I hate ratings that are 'not quite but better than'. Ended up rounding this one up to a 4 star because I definitely liked the characters and the feel of the wilderness areas and the weather were wonderful.

Fairly standard black ops from a foreign country/ save everyone from terrorists plot. Characters were easy to identify with although I did have a bit of difficulty with the way the connection/romance between the two main characters was handled as the author seemed to
Felisha Caldeira
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This thriller was awesome. It had a gripping story line, well developed characters, and was easy to follow for one who has very little knowledge of military lingo. It was honestly hard to put down.

This was my first experience listening to a fiction audiobook narrated by the author. I must say I stayed clear of them for personal reasons, but I'm glad Basil Sands superb talent proved me wrong. His character development and amazing versatile voices made this book a five star performance. I will def
Wanda Hartzenberg
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
With. A back story filled with pain and romance, a cast of characters so weird ad varied this book could do nothing but entertain!

The bad guys, an assortment of North Korean, Lebanese and a few choice extra's immediately grabbed my attention.
The likely hood of this combo adds much as do the biological agent they plan to if only the army base OD would listen.....
Detailed and entertaining. I would recommend it to all lovers of the genre.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
As a former resident of the Fairbanks area, I really appreciated the author's eye for authenticity in this story. It brought back a lot of memories, although none involving terrorists and biological weapons, of course :p

As for the actual plot, it started off strongly but I got hung up in the middle.... for about 3 months! Finally picked it up again and am very glad I finished instead of abandoning it.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I did not like the flashback of the main character. Don't know why that was necessary. Also the romance reminded me of a teenager back in the 50's.
So this guy has only ever loved one woman and he's also a virgin, but he's in his 30s or 40s after working all around the world in the Marines? It was so jarringly unrealistic as to be distracting.
I found myself skimming the pages to get done and still know what was going on.
N. Kuhn
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Ok, this book had an interesting plot. That's about it. There was so much "backstory" that it weighs down the book. There's editing and formatting issues that made reading the book awkward. I think with some work, removing unimportant parts of the story, that this could end up being a great action novel. As it is, I'm not impressed or interested. I found it hard to trudge through, skipping many pages to get back to the action.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pixel-of-ink
Great little adventure. Alaska State Troopers. SEALS. North Korean soldiers and spies. A little romance to boot. Flashbacks were nicely done.

Really, my only quibble was the bit about the safety on a Glock pistol. There is no external safety to "click off" like there is on Browning or Colt or numerous other designs.
Jeffrey Miller
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my second Basil Sands novel and boy was this a good one! If you like your reading fast and riveting, you're going to love this one!

Sands knows how to tell a story and thus one is a fast-paced gripping ride. He's got a knack for writing action and suspense which keeps you riveted from page one. You literally cannot read fast enough to see what will happen next.

Bravo, Mr. Sands!
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a great story idea that was truly ruined by bad editing.

I persevered with reading it even though I was constantly jarred out of it by half and half sentences or missing words. In the end the story idea was good enough to say I enjoyed it but I think, with better editing, I would have loved it.
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