Review: Enzan The Far Mountain by John Donohue

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Publisher: YMMAA Publication Center
Publishing Date: July 2014
ISBN: 9781594392818
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher Description: The Plot:
Chie Miyazaki is wild and spoiled—the pampered child of a cadet line of the imperial House of Japan. When she disappears in the United States accompanied by a slick Korean boyfriend, it sets off alarm bells among people in Japan’s security apparatus.

Review: Nice calming cover art…..

I really enjoyed the various characters within this novel. The author did a really good job in developing even the bit players. This is my first foray into this author’s work as I tend to avoid fiction with a martial arts theme. Usually the fight scenes are unrealistic or the hero is this indefatigable/unstoppable force that can break you with a glance etc. From experience (Shodan Isshinryu) I can fully relate to the dojo life with all the physical pain, fleeting insights and commraderie that barely describes a life long experience. The author touches on these experiences and brings them to life through Connor, albeit with a sometimes metaphysical twist.

At one point in the story, Mori’s journal is given to Yamashita and we discover the truths of Yamashita’s past life. The voice used in the journal iterates a story to Yamashita. Why tell someone a story of their life unless the intent is for the benefit of a different reader? The story should have been a past account by Mori in the first person and not a direct dialogue with Yamashita.

The Enzan or warning to keep focus on important things, to not be distracted seems to me contradictory. The author speaks of ego and a mindless state or being in the moment yet Connor embraces the idea of Enzan and says that it is easier said than done.

I like that Connor gets abducted and the crap beat out him. He is a man that knows his limitations and is wholly fallible and human. Too often we seem to reach our pinnacles of achievement and progress no further, only protecting the fragile ego in the process. The author reveals these contradictions where the choice to do martial arts, for instance, implies ego yet the practice of martial arts is the implementation and/or attainment of a mindless state. I think there is both. The mind, as long as it does not become your complete identity and you are AWARE of those limitations, specifically that you are not your mind, then it is used as it should be, as a tool. The idea, that in our formative society that we can become ascethitc hermits vying for enlightenment is ridiculous. We interact, we think, we do. This begets use of the mind. Yet the ability to embrace an awareness of who you really are while working through the minds endless limitations is a poignant daily exercise.

I had a good time reading this novel. I identified with a large part of this novel, but others that do not have that background will find the authors writing talent/creativeness more than compensates in other subject areas within the novel.

Review: The Perfect Corpse by Giles Milton

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Publisher: Prospero
Publishing Date: September 2014
ISBN: 9780992897222
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 2.0/5

Publisher Description: When the frozen corpse of Ferris Clark is found in the Greenland ice, forensic archaeologist Jack Raven is hired to investigate. He is suspicious from the outset. The corpse is not only naked, but in an absolutely pristine state. As Jack unravels the mystery of Ferris Clark’s final hours, he uncovers a dark and terrible past. He also finds himself caught in a race against time. There is a murderer on the loose and Jack alone can stop the killings.

Review: Cover art is ….meh.

This was a fairly slow paced novel with an inventive story line and a weak plot. Jack Raven (Raven? Really?) is on the case of discovering why a perfectly preserved corpse is…..perfectly preserved. What follows is a tortuous path through history of flaccid discoveries. All of these disparate events culminates in finding out who the corpse really is, which really doesn’t matter at all, as we know he is one of the dreaded Nazi special forces with a penchant for killing.

So one of the first unbelievable sequences is one of a perfectly preserved naked corpse that gets accidentally revived at stupid ZAKRON and begins with killing the night watchman, stealing his clothes/gun and disappearing. Jack Raven (lol), after studying the corpse, stands up and says “Not many can kill with a slash of a scalpel. Requires medical know-how…and mental preparation”. Well I think it is pretty easy to kill someone with a scalpel especially when that someone was injected with knock out juice prior to slicing. At one point Jack is talking to the biggest pain in the ass and whiny maudlin character ever built, Tammy, and says, “They will shoot him if they catch him.” And Tammy Tantrum says “Jesus the nightmare gets worse….” Really? How could that be bad? There is a serial killing WWII Nazi running around killing people and Tammy is upset that they may shoot this Ice Freak? Fug.

Well as we near the end of this disaster, the killer hijacks Tammy and her lovable and adorable little scamps into the desert while Jack Raven sneaks up on them. The killer is demanding where the military base is and Jack walks up and starts telling him that he is in the future and all his former mates are long dead and this confuses the killer to the point where he is stumbling around. So….he was not confused a month prior to his escape from ZAKRON? At no point during that time was he unbelievably stupid not to realize what period in time he was in? Did it take Jack “The CAW!” Raven to explain his present circumstances that eventually leads the psychopath to suicide? I don’t associate suicides with psychopaths, but maybe this was a “Nazi with a heart of gold” where self-preservation suddenly becomes anathema.

The holes in the story-line are many, the characters are thinly built and the plot, while interesting historically, really did not provide anything substantive. This could have been a great setting for bringing espionage from the past, into sort of an ongoing sinister plot that spans the decades and involves an inner power circle. Now the idiot team of Tammy and the Dr. Raven can run for their stupid lives while spanning the globe for answers. Tough shjt though, you’re pretty much stuck in bumfuck Nevada the whole time, excepting Raven’s hottie German ex-GF looking up crap in ancient libraries.

Review: White Rabbit by K. A. Laity

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Publisher: Fox Spirit
Publishing Date: April 2014
ISBN: 9781909348493
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 3.1/5

Publisher Description: Disgraced former police detective James Draygo has sunk as low as his habit allows, working as a fake psychic despite his very real talents. When a media mogul’s trashy trophy wife gets gunned down at his tapping table he has to decide whether he can straighten up long enough to save his own skin. He may not have a choice with Essex’s loudest ghost bawling in his ear about cults, conspiracies and cut-rate drugs. Oblivion sounds better all the time…

Review: Cover art is meh.

This was more of a fantasy novel with a mystery backbone. Although the dialogue was lengthy, the exchanges between characters was entertaining. The plot doesn’t really go anywhere definitive. There is a culmination of sorts, but the bulk of the novel exists in the ruminative mind of James Draygo.
To quote Peter Griffin, the novel insists upon itself.

There wasn’t a lot of action that you could sink your teeth into, other than flailing ghosts and some thuggery. There was a mild love interest that was more whimsical than overt. Still a somewhat entertaining novel that would do well for a read on a plane.

Review: The Bleiberg Project by David Khara

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Publisher: Le French
Publishing Date: July 2014
ISBN: 9781939474063
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 2.0/5

Publisher Description: Are Hitler’s atrocities really over? For depressive Wall Street trader Jeremy Corbin, absolute truths become undeniable lies overnight. He finds out his long-lost father is dead and boards a plane to Zurich with a Nazi medallion in his pocket, a hot CIA bodyguard next to him, and a clearly dangerous Mossad agent on his tail. What was his father investigating? Why was his mother assassinated?

Review: The cover art is as confused as the story-line.

This could be called the ultimate flashback novel. The story-line jumps around from Hitler’s era on up to the 60’s and 80’s. This usually degrades a novel, but in this case it was a boon. Very interesting and intriguing where the author takes you. His supposition that genetic experiments under the Nazi regime and a hidden world consortium manipulating events on an epic scale has been visited many times. Only the author makes it believable. His travels into the past were riveting to say the least.

What is not credible is the general story-line whereby one of the CIA investigators leaves his son a safe deposit box with some cryptic information and from there he is co-opted as part of a covert CIA team to recover some answers about Blieberg, what it means, and ultimately destroy the heinous and insidious plot. So…..you have a drunk idiot, with no military training whom is now part of a high level operation to ferret out a cabal that has been in existence since before the 1900’s. The same cabal that exercises covert authority over all the worlds military and political leaders, eliminating anyone that stands in their way with impunity. So Jeremy dummy drunk guy, in one of his self-destructive fits stumbles into and out of a hit team sent to kill him, for???? I don’t know. Some key?
Well, anyway, as team incredible (CIA HOT CHICK and GIANT JEW MAN) set off to set the world right, this cabal is hot on their trail.

The fight scenes that involved doofus and CIA HOT CHICK (whom Jeremy wants to bang like a snare drum) are ridiculous. You have Jackie HOT CHICK whom is not much over 5 feet tall taking out huge Aryan dudes and BREAKING THEIR NECKS!! Are you fugging kidding me? She was abused as a girl and because of that is an expert in Tae Kwon Do. In one scene she un-cuffs herself (2003 model French handcuffs that come apart if you bang them) and punches a 6 foot 6 inch monster in the face, removing his eye, and on the way down she breaks his neck and does the same with the other tough. REALLY? So how does a 5 foot tall person punch someone in the eye that is over 6 feet tall, let alone have the strength and technique to break their necks with Tae Kwon do which is mainly a kicking style. So immediately after this scene, HOT CHICK and Jeremy douche run to save GIANT JEW MAN, and Jeremy kicks the shit out of a trained commando and saves HOT CHICK from a severe beating. WTF? A super neck breaking chick gets saved by a drunk stock broker? Well it gets better, when they get through the toughs, Jeremy jumps on some huge Aryan evil chick whom is torturing GIANT JEW MAN, and decides he is not going to snap her spine because, well, he is “not a killer”. Fug.

So GIANT JEW MAN, stays behind to destroy the laboratory, and Jeremy and Jackie end up married with kids thinking GIANT JEW MAN is dead. ONLY, they get a cryptic email from non other than GIANT JEW MAN!!! HE IS ALIVE!! And out to wreak havoc on the consortium. So stay tuned for the sequel and let me know how it goes.

Review: Courier by Terry Irving

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Publisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date: April 2014
ISBN: 9781909223806
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 2/5

Publisher Description: It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge. Rick Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and motorcycle courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.

Review: Cover is pretty cool.

This novel didn’t really hold my interest. I think the story-line was too simplistic to fit the mystery thriller genre. Most of the novel was built around scene development and character interaction.

If I were to boil the contents of this novel, down to it’s most basic elements it would go something like this. 1. How a newsroom operates and the machinations within. 2. A tour guides historical review of the Washington DC area. 3. Motorcycle ride. 4. Tour guide review. 5. Vietnam flashback 6. Motorcycle ride/chase 7. Vietnam Flashback 8. Conservatives suck/Liberals R’ Great 9. Vietnam flashback with Gay premise 10. Motorcycle ride/chase 11. Tour guide/historical review 12. Motorcycle ride. 13. Vietnam Flashback 14. Motorcycle ride/chase 15. Sex with an Indian 16. Motorcycle ride/chase 17. Death of a lesbian 18. Death of Vietnam Vet. 19. More sex with an Indian/Vietnam flashback 20. Montana/The End.

This was boring with a capital “B”. The only mystery in the novel is how a zippo lighter is still functioning after being in the jungles of Vietnam and how a BMW motorcycle is never described as having a Boxer motor. (Psssst…cars beat motorcycles on the corners and lose on the straights, not the other way around).

There is this relentless pounding by the author on “social perspectives” that belies a tainted liberal rear. The premise that monetary aid given to south Vietnam somehow reappears back into American re-election coffers is absurd in that it is not interesting as a story-line development. Seems to be a lot of work with a high exposure risk to those involved. So our reluctant war hero is going to make things right by bringing down the a-holes that are allowing service men and women to sacrifice themselves for a false ideal. Really? Did no one help the author through the development of a mundane story-line?

This is basically a Watergate story-line with a guy running around on a motorcycle yacking about the history of Washington DC like a retarded tour guide. But he gets to bang Indians and make jokes about “Gooks” and Natives, well because he fought alongside homosexuals. Fug.

Review: The Bitch by Les Edgerton

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Publisher: New Pulp
Publishing Date: January 2014
ISBN: 9780989932301
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Publisher Description: Ex-con Jake Bishop is several years past his second stint in prison and has completely reformed. He’s married, expecting a child, and preparing to open his own hair salon. But then an old cellmate re-enters his life begging for a favor: to help him with a burglary. Forced by his code of ethics to perform the crime, Jake’s once idyllic life quickly plunges into an abyss. Jake soon realizes that there is only one way out of this purgatory . . . and it may rupture his soul beyond repair.

Review: What an awesome cover! Frikin’ water colored dude spear fishing or digging a grave…..kewl.

This novel was a split decision in that a tie is like kissing your sister (I wouldn’t know as I have 8 brothers). I just couldn’t get over the hump of endless internal dialogue that separates the story-line from the movement (action) of the novel. They just never quite inter-twine into a composite whole. The author chooses to build characters with back-story intermissions throughout the novel, rather than lead you down a path of discovery. Yeah it is harder to write and makes for complex scene development but it can draw you in like a gopher to a hole.

The premise of the novel which essentially involves Spencer (a turd) and Walker his cellie from prison, have a past crime that he committed that they hang over his head in order to get his cooperation in a burglary. Essentially blackmail. So……the question I have is what would you do? Me? Since my life is so great now with a hot chick wife and a loser little brother, I would let the dice fall, as the alternative is getting thrown back in jail for life if you get caught. You have a better chance of lawyering up or denying the charge when the victim is practically a vegetable. The evidence is zero, only hearsay.

This novel kind of barfed the characters and the subsequent development down your shirt front. There was no intrigue that helped develop the depth of the character. Just because you have vignettes of Jake as a youth swallowing coins and getting beaten with a strap does not make you empathize with him. Mainly because there is no real emotional content in the scene that evokes a visceral response from me, the reader. Your mom’s quiet tears coupled with defiant actions just doesn’t create a pull. Remove mom and her tears, and perhaps dad and set the kid in a lonely place dealing with the hurt and pain. This makes for a good opportunity to internalize emotion and develop the character. Children’s thoughts can go in various paths when processing hurtful events.

There is quite a bit of graphic violence that involves man rape and killing women etc. I think the author’s insertion of these events into the story-line was an attempt to create a hard-boiled or noir crime fiction novel. What it really does is replicate a bad memory from a host of bad instances. Again there is no pull and no sympathizing with a character who has made successively degrading life choices. I thought the ending was too simplistic and flirted with the ol’ deus ex. Why not have his wife be the mastermind behind the whole shebang or better yet have turned on him when she knew he participated in killing her mom. This story-line could have taken a myriad of turns and twists to make it interesting but decided to divest itself of any creative inclination. It’s a less than 50 % but better than 30% that you might like it.

Review: The Tenth Circle by Jon Land

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Publisher: Open Road Media
Publishing Date: December 2013
ISBN: 9781480414792
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 1.2/5.0

Publisher Description: Blaine McCracken pulled off the impossible on a mission in Iran, but his work has just begun. Returning to the US, he faces another terrible threat in the form of Reverend Jeremiah Rule, whose hateful rhetoric has inflamed half the world, resulting in a series of devastating terrorist attacks. But Rule isn’t acting alone. A shadowy cabal is pulling his strings, unaware that they are creating a monster who will soon spin free of their control.

Review: The cover art is pretty bad. How many of these thrillers set in the political realm, always have the Capitol building, the White House or some other institutional edifice on the cover? Publishing houses really do themselves a marketing disservice in that regard. Ho hum.

This novel moved at a good clip, mainly because the author breaks up the novel into about 100 chapters. Gives you a false sense of movement. Right from the get go you are assaulted with a pretty formulaic political thriller. Example. McCracken, ex covert ops/Phoenix-nam/Delta-beret/Deep cover expert/ all around super guy, conducting his biz with a straight forward, in the moment “tude”. He can bring it, sing it and just so you know he was the one whom got deep underground in Iran to destroy their nuclear facility when no nation on earth could. . And the final kicker…wait for it…….he has a 7 foot tall native American sidekick called…..WAREAGLE! BAHAHAHA! Oh, and Wareagle is the one carving the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota along with…..you guessed it, McCracken. The Crazy Horse Memorial was completed in 1998 while this novel circles current events.

Besides the crappy, tired and old story-line that has been used more than a gigolo at a cougar party, this novel is made up of stilted conversational backstory. For example, the assassin Zarrin (whom happens to be one of the best musicians in the world ) is in her room after a concert. Colonel Kosh an Iranian handler, begins discussing her next job. “Amazing the things you can learn in a Palestinian refugee camp…….as an orphan witnessing Israelis murder both parents….rescued and trained by a legendary Palestinian intelligence official. Zarrin, specialist in every weapon, renowned for making use of objects that aren’t weapons at all, allowing for close-in kills…” Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. This is an authors easy out for backstory creds. Rather than build the backstory as you get to know them in a slow reveal, we get people talking in a room whom obviously know each other and would never re-iterate to each other what they already know.

There is quite a bit of Deus Ex Machina in this novel. One particular scene is when McCracken, our freakin’ nuclear one-man army super hero, faces off against 12 armed men in a deserted town (with an operating roller coaster) to get his “not” grandson, and is wheeling him away, only to face certain death in a deadly crossfire. He throws a handful of “Bug Bombs” into the air, and they miraculously find all of their targets, thanks to the resident smart software. . And lying at his feet is an assault rifle that just happened to fall out of the window. He takes care of the rest of the baddies and straps the top bad guy to the roller coaster tracks and you know the rest. Scene after scene is this tired “insurmountable odds” shtick, but they weren’t trained in live action fire where you must be in the moment without thinking in order to prevail against the enemy and……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Another big effort to suspend disbelief, is when commandos raid an old folks home of retired octogenarian veterans from WWII and the Korean war. These ragtag lovable hero’s throw bocce balls, wheelchairs, mace, little clubs and hot coffee at trained commandos and overcome them in grand style. Leaving SUPER MCCRACKEN to swiftly and effortlessly take out some commandos as well. Because, well, he’s FREAKIN’ SUPER MCCRACKEN!!!!!

The whole novel is rife with unbelievable actions and scenarios by ATOMIC SUPER BATMAN MCCRACKEN and his trusty sidekick the 7-FOOT TALL SUPER INDIAN (er…Boy Robin). Not only that, the author un-retires the homegrown religious zealot as the arch enemy (oops, the Joker) that many authors now avoid as being overdone ad nauseum. In order to make this drivel palatable, the author pulls shjt out of a bag called the lost Raonoke Colony and why they disappeared. See, they didn’t disappear at all, the village well had carbonic freakin’ acid in it called the White Death which killed them off. See, now someones got barrels of this stuff…ah, forget it, my brain hurts.

Adding insult to injury is the authors scant knowledge of live action fire. So, SUPER PENIS MCCRACKEN runs up some stairs, blazing a trail of glory, gets shot at with a pistol, manages to dodge live fire, DOES NOT RETURN FIRE, disarms the bad guy and bops him in the nose with the rifle barrel. REALLY? Oh but we are not done, this is all leading up to the Grande diatribe (repeated throughout the novel) where MCRACKEN SUPER DUDE-MAN is going to tell you how bad you are, how wrong you have been, how much he despises non-super heroes, and what he is going to do to you, because you not only deserve it, you earned it…MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Review: The Shadow Protocol by Andy McDermott

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Publisher: Dell
Publishing Date: January 2014
ISBN: 9780345537065
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 1.0/5.0

Publishers Description: Adam Gray is a cipher, a disciplined loner conditioned not to betray a single emotion. Part of an elite team spearheaded by a brilliant neuroscientist, Gray is a covert agent armed with PERSONA, a device that allows him to copy the brain patterns of the terrorists and operatives he meets in the field. For twenty-four hours he can recall their memories. He can know every detail of their plans. He can be America’s worst enemy—before he’s back to being Adam Gray again.

Review: I have always enjoyed the Eddie Chase/Nina Wilde series as a form of secret reading indulgence. Kind of an epic adventure-fest coupled with somewhat shallow character development. The way the story-lines are crafted you soon forget the flaws and enjoy yourself.

The Shadow Protocol starts off as an interesting read. The technological premise, if not in use already, makes you think that the developmental probability is high. The action scenes are well developed and the movement from scene to scene captures your interest.
I got to the 16% mark of this novel and determined that I could not finish it. Here is why. The author (whom is from England) starts making cracks at America and Americans in general by vetting political positions through his characters. For instance:

Americans think that anyone to the left of Thatcher is a communist….People over here start screaming ‘Socialism!’ about policies that even the most right-wing government in Europe would consider a bit extreme. I don’t know if it is funny or scary. “When it comes to American politics, it’s both.”

My political position notwithstanding, I really can’t stand when foreign authors sling their own brand of political shjt across the pond in the form of fiction. They use this convenient little vehicle as a soapbox to point fingers and lay blame without fear of rebuttal. They know nothing about America, Americans in general or the complex political landscape we find ourselves in with the current polarization crisis. My advice has been to many authors, by direct communication, is to leave your political bullshjt opinions to yourself, as it ruins a novels veracity.

The author is kind of a two-faced fool. He writes in a genre that currently gives the biggest buck for this particular bang (CIA, Military, anti-terrorism), and still finds the time to talk shjt about America.

If the author would look to his own EU poly/econo situation, he might find that his exhortations are better spent in getting his own ship in order. Oh, almost forgot, the cover-art looks like a trapped monkey in an animal testing laboratory.

Review: Chasing the Lost by Bob Mayer

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Publisher: Jen Talty
Publishing Date: August 2013
ISBN: 9781621250685
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 1.2/5

Publisher Description: Horace Chase arrives on Hilton Head Island to pay his last respects at the Intracoastal Waterway where his late mother’s ashes were spread and to inspect the home his mother left him in her will. He’s been recently forced into retirement, his divorce is officially final, and now he’s standing in the middle of the front yard of his ‘new’ house where a tree has crashed right through the center of it.

What could possibly go wrong?

Review: “A pulsing technothriller. A nailbiter in the best tradition of adventure fiction.” Publishers Weekly ref Bob Mayer. Wow, BAAZING! Who paid who for that review?

Right at the start of this novel we have errors in basic firearm function descriptors. After a brief tussle with an obnoxious neighbor, Chase relieves him of his revolver. Then, when questioned by a passerby as to how he knew the guy was not going to shoot he says; “Most importantly he never cocked the hammer, and it was still on SAFETY”. And she says, “You know guns.” and he says “Yes.” Well, actually you don’t know guns. There are no internal or external safeties on a revolver. Just because the hammer is down does not mean that the gun is “safe”. On a revolver, all the operator has to do is pull the trigger for the gun to go off. So you run at a guy with a gun in his hand, and because you have magical special forces sense, you intrinsically know that there is no way he could shoot you as the hammer was down. (sigh) . Lets move on shall we?

Again we find Chase in a shootout scenario that involves a damsel and thuggies. Using a tree trunk as cover he hears something moving and aims “…finger resting lightly on the trigger, the only safety a true shooter used, as he’d been taught in the killing house at Fort Bragg.” What exactly is a “True Shooter?” So your in a combat situation, with movement, and they teach you at Fort Bragg to rest your finger lightly on the trigger at all times. I don’t know what they teach at Bragg, but hopefully no one is drinking that Kool-Aid. In high speed movement shooting your finger is off the trigger until you are ready to shoot or engage the target. That way you don’t shoot yourself or others around you.

Another glaring error is when Gator, the huge black man/special ops guy, (insert action hero novel side-kick template here) is defending Erin from the Russian mob. He disarms them of their Glock pistols and says “You boys don’t even carry a round in the chamber, and you left the safeties on. What kind of wusses are you?” This novel’s accuracy by a Green Beret author is really fucking poor. Glock pistols do not have an external safety. They have what is called an integrated trigger safety, and two internal safeties. Basically when the gun has a round in the chamber, it is considered hot and can be fired by depressing the trigger which activates the trigger bar. I am surprised that the author did not have them “cocking the hammer” on the Glock. I still can’t believe the author used the name Gator. Really?

I don’t know what happened to this novel. Is a ghost writer developing these novels for Mayer, or is he so disconnected from writing, he just does it for the money without giving a shit about the content/details? Usually when a novels accuracy fails it is the editor that usually takes the blame. In this case, I don’t think so. Anyone with a common operating knowledge of firearms and their function would never make huge errors like this. How do you begin to take an action novel seriously when the author can’t seem to make viable connections? It is almost like he sketched a rough idea/draft and had someone else write it. Then he reviewed it and said “This is exactly what I wanted, fast paced, full of action, lots of bang bang and sex on an inflatable boat. Print it.”

When they attack the Russian mob on a small island in the channels, they dump Riley in the ocean for a beach approach and the boat with Erin, Susan, Gator etc. head to the other side of the Island. Riley is doing recon etc. and Gator is setup to snipe. Where is Chase? He is in a fucking plane, 10k feet up preforming a High altitude (technically not) Low Opening (HALO) to the Island. Why? There is no need to have someone in a plane, dropping on a little island with 7 armed bad guys. But no, our super-hero has to jump, at fucking night, because??????? HALO openings are generally designed to avoid surface to air missiles, exposure to flak and defeat radar. It’s uses for stealth insertion into foreign countries is evident. But on a US island off the Gulf Coast? Really? Who the fuck is really writing this?

This novel fails at so many levels I don’t know where to start. It has, at times, a jumbled story-line. It has limited character development. It has non-existent technical accuracy, especially where firearms are concerned. It has this weird ego-infused action character template that insults your intelligence. There is nothing down to earth or gritty about this novel. The cover art is neither inventive or eye-catching. The ending is plain unbelievable crap. (Take a deep breath) Deus Ex Machina in the form of a deep black ops friend that drains bank account from the psychopath bad girl, his long lost son discovery (seed for next novel) and death of psycho mother of son whom colluded with psycho bad girl to get money so she could have revenge on him years ago for when he left her at 17 years of age when they had a fling and he never helped her, but she didn’t really ask or really didn’t want to know the answer and she was sent to Oklahoma by her father who wanted to get rid of her and now she wants to shoot him so she pulls a gun out of the back of her bathing suit even though she walked by him and he didn’t see it and his son’s name is Horace too and now he has something to live for and this is just the beginning and …and ……and …….. AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!! I shit you not, this all takes place in the last few pages, and I was generous with the editing. Do yourself a big favor. Avoid this crappy ass novel or you can just throw your money into a fire. Either his wife or his business partner/editor/publisher, Jen Talty wrote this. Mayer is probably buried in a bayou somewhere while Talty and his wife live the high life. Oh shit, that’s what this novel was about. Life imitating poor fiction?

Review: Hot Ice by Gregg Loomis

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Publisher: Baen
Publishing Date: September 2013
ISBN:9781480400788
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 3.2/5.0

Publishers Description: Though not on the government payroll, Jason Peters kills for Uncle Sam. NARCOM is a private corporation that does what the CIA doesn’t have the nerve to do, and Peters is its best operative—until the job gets the best of him. He completes his last mission and happily retires to Italy, swearing to his girlfriend that he’s through with his deadly past. He has just settled into a peaceful life when NARCOM comes knocking.

Review: One reviewer stated that this novel was neither a mystery or a thriller and I would have to agree. Everything that occurs is evident and no surprises to the story line exist. The plot is fairly straight forward and the overall character development was weak. His hot girlfriend is always stating the same thing over and over “Violence stops when we choose to be non-violent” adds a tired air to the whole story-line as does his inner-dialogue on terrorists whom killed his wife. The author does provide very good scene development so visualization is a snap. Tough trick that. The cover art is lame-o. Is that Iceland?

The author talks about rifle accuracy and the need to get a uniform crimp on the bullet. Not true. A uniform brass neck diameter that seats the bullet is more important to accuracy than crimping. The only way to get a uniform crimp is to develop necked brass that you make concentric by trimming the outside of the neck to uniform thickness. Then get a case fired neck die made to your specific crimp specifications and your good to go. Weighing bullets as the author states is a fairy tale and belongs in an urban dictionary. If the shooter is going to those lengths for accuracy, they will be selecting bullets that perform (Berger, Sierra, Hornaday, Nosler) by their Ballistic Coefficient. The higher the BC the less drift the bullet has downrange.

It is easy to find flaws in any novel, if that is your bent. I assure that isn’t mine. I merely point out what I see and make the call. Despite a few technical and development flaws, I had a fun time reading this novel. The author is a creative story teller, there just needs to be some refinement. If your on the fence with this one just jump and have a good time.