The third in the Covert-One series, this novel has the feel of something rushed to print in order to meet a looming deadline. It has a great futuristi
The third in the Covert-One series, this novel has the feel of something rushed to print in order to meet a looming deadline. It has a great futuristic high-tech plot. The good guys, from almost superman Jon Smith, the Covert One scientist/doctor/field agent, to a beautiful and sexy CIA operative, Randi Russell, to an older freelance British MI6 world-weary sophisticate, are accomplished, adept at using every known tool and bit of trade craft to accomplish their mission, while engaging in some accomplished repartee. The mission--nothing less than saving the world. But International Thrillers have to reach high.
The bad guys are seriously bad and have many immoral characters at their disposal. Not to mention unlimited funds and an ability to travel across national borders with total impunity. A good many of those on the dark side seem to be intellectually flawed, making errors that even rookies wouldn’t commit, but are discarded so quickly it becomes hard to recall them.
The story centers around a plot to radically alter the balance of world power through use of sophisticated new technology. It takes place almost entirely in Europe with side trips to the African Continent. Thus readers are treated to excellent descriptions of some spectacular scenes.
Unfortunately, there are too many easy solutions to some problems, too many clichés and unfortunate repetitions, and too many cardboard characters to make this a soul-satisfying experience. It is not up to either author’s usual standards. ...more
Engagingly written, replete with authoritative facts, reveals the real story behind western European exploration of the "new World." Stunning. ShouldEngagingly written, replete with authoritative facts, reveals the real story behind western European exploration of the "new World." Stunning. Should be in every world history classroom in the nation....more
Casey Jones is a big, rollicking, smartmouth with a wicked sense of humor, and a jaundiced view of the world. Her view of the world applies particular Casey Jones is a big, rollicking, smartmouth with a wicked sense of humor, and a jaundiced view of the world. Her view of the world applies particularly to personal human relationships. She's a lot like her creator. And she's a lot of fun to hang around. Her adventures are modern, important and well-worth reading about. Unfortunately, too often for this reviewer (and this maybe purely personal taste) Casey has to rely on others to get her out of some really bad scrapes.
Still, we read these adventures, and look forward to more, because watching Casey choose to take on certain cases, deal with her friends and colleagues, maneuver through thickets of evil and dangerous people, not to mention her often convoluted love life,is just a whole lot of fun.
Casey Jones is an under-the-table private investigator. Because of an unfortunate past she's unable to obtain a private investigator's license in North Carolina where she hangs out. And she certainly isn't permitted to carry a weapon. But she has an accommodating partner, Bobby D., for whom Casey seems to do most of the work.
This case concerns a professor at Duke University named Helen McInnes who was the victim of a particularly violent crime, including attempted murder. Although she never saw her attacker, she has accused a fellow academic of the crime. Her attacker is acquitted and the combination of the crime and the acquittal have so traumatized the woman, she has developed agoraphobia and cannot even venture onto her own front porch. And now, she's being besieged by evil and vicious mail and telephone attacks, apparently from the same man.
Casey, of course, agrees to look into the case and the more she learns, the more inflamed becomes her ire. Into the case come her police contact, Marcus, her boyfriend Burly, her partner Bobby D, and his current girlfriend, Fanny, as well as some new characters. As befits noirish P.I. novels, this one is very plot driven. Nevertheless, Munger does an admirable job of bringing these many characters and their foibles to vibrant life.
As one has learned to expect from Munger's writing, the pace is fast, the dialogue sings and the mordant humor is well-placed. This is a very well written novel, has been well and carefully edited and deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone who is a fan of the hard-boiled P.I. novel.
This author is truly a national treasure (of Australia) I'm in love with Phryne Fisher, a self-made woman of the twenties, smart as a whip, quick, wilThis author is truly a national treasure (of Australia) I'm in love with Phryne Fisher, a self-made woman of the twenties, smart as a whip, quick, willing to put herself out there for her clients. A truly liberated woman. But not just liberated for the sake of saying so. These novels are a great commentary on society and the movements of nations. ...more
Fascinating, appalling in places, a wonderment. The author spent a year behind the scenes in a Chicago criminal courtroom, and then he wrote this bookFascinating, appalling in places, a wonderment. The author spent a year behind the scenes in a Chicago criminal courtroom, and then he wrote this book. If you want a reality based taste of the American Criminal Justice system as it is today and tomorrow, read this book. You will be surprised, enlightened, depressed and better informed....more
Another Ben Reese detective novel. In the heady days of the early development in the United States, around the beginning of the Twentieth century, cit Another Ben Reese detective novel. In the heady days of the early development in the United States, around the beginning of the Twentieth century, citizens with money sometimes used it to create places and services we now point to with considerable pride.
Moneyed people in the thirties purchase a lot of land along the Carolina and Georgia coasts. Many islands became private land. Some people held onto the land for future family generations, others saw investment potential.
Hannah Hill, descended from the Empire Builder Hill of railroad fame is locked in a battle against developers and what she sees as an evil giant, the U.S. Park Service. She’s bed-ridden, slowly dieing and wants to preserve Cumberland Island from the predators. There’s another family on the island, the Greene family, with long and deep ties to the founding of the nation. So we have the set-up.
Both families have many convoluted secrets and a variety of desires. Unfortunately, this very complex and convoluted situation requires many pages to establish, and it isn’t entirely clear why some of the incidents that populate the early pages are included. Readers will only be patient for so long in reading this heavily internalized novel.
Once Ben Reese arrives, the pace picks up and the action moves smartly along. There’s a wealth of historical fact in this novel. There’s a wealth of other information including short treatises on ornithology, biology and etymology. The resolution is adequate although after the long winding road to reach solution, one might have wanted a richer, more nuanced conclusion. Unfortunately, some of the book is flawed by short diatribes against the government and the Park Service in particular. Ben Reese stubs his toe badly at one point when he states that the establishment of many national parks such as Yosemite were handled properly because nobody lived there. I suspect many native peoples of North America have an alternative view. ...more