HOPE

HOPE published by Dandelion Books Ltd., copyright and written by Julian Papadia.

Sub-titled He wanted to give her freedom, she wanted her daughter back, the story opens in Rickmansworth – Hertfordshire, a coastal small town on the outskirts of London. The protagonist is raging over the telephone. From this early point in the book, the reader is confronted with a quite confusing, constantly twisting tale that involves his once idyllic life with an adored wife and loving young son and daughter. There were difficulties because he, Paul, was a prominent detective in this small English town, and she the same in a Paris, France Police Department. The death of his young daughter, through a situation that both felt was his fault further complicates the story as do the cause of his telephone explosion because the matter about which he is complaining is the unacceptable early release of a prominent Mafia-type Boss’s son after his being the main accuser sending him to prison for a lengthy term. Adding still another problem is his acquisition of a teen age escapee from a religious cult compound who admits killing her mother and father within. The story now begins shifting between Paul’s home town, which is the area within which the compound is situated, and Paris where a brilliant woman surgeon has been taken under the protective wing of his ex-wife in the search for her missing husband who probably is dead and her beloved daughter, missing but possibly still alive after a terrorist attack blew up a visitor’s center in Paris, where her husband and she were going with the child on a vacation. Her delay was the result of having to operate on an enormously wealthy British Legend. After much activity on both situations a final solution is reached.

Discussion/Summary: Spoiler Alert (?) To reiterate, this is a tale with several greatly convoluted plots where the large number of twists and turns are confusing but simultaneously intriguing. Even more confusing is the manner in which the story is presented. Much of the pertinent information is withheld until late in the book. Additionally, a considerable amount of the action, both by the story-teller English detective Paul, and by the surgeon looking for her daughter, seems quite below the age and intelligence level required to reach their levels of accomplishment. So in summary, this reviewer has been left to dichotomize. The suspense/thriller devotee most probably will be intrigued at a high level. The more pragmatic reader, although probably discovering the seeds of an interesting plot(s?) no doubt will be disappointed in the need for good editing.

3*at best. 5 for suspense/thriller devotees; 3 or less, general readership.

Good and Dead

Good and Dead is a book copyright and written by E. L. Pini. It has been published by Producer & International eBook Publishing and sub-titled (An Avner Ehrlich Thriller Book 2) The translation from Hebrew is by Tal Keren.

The story begins in a manner well described to set the tenor for the entire story, or stories. It unfolds in an old rusted building situated in a seedy park outside of Moscow where a no-holds-barred wrestling match is in progress. The end of each match is declared when the ‘referee’ declares the loser “Good and Dead”. A young well-muscled Yuri Rasputin enters the ring shortly after the last loser has been removed and meets the huge reigning champion whom he cleverly eliminates by using a well-hidden blade. The reader does not again meet Yuri until about halfway into the book where he again appears as a major character in the deadly political chess game being waged and a dedicated enemy of our main protagonist, Avner Ehrlich. Avner, although in his thirties and with the physical results of many combative encounters in the field, once again has been sent on a mission. This time to Tehran to eliminate an Iranian nuclear scientist. This elimination is considered crucial to survival for Israel and possibly part of the rest of this section of the world. Complications develop and he is ordered to abandon the mission but in his usual manner ignores the order. Finally working his way into position for a direct sure shot at Hamdani when the man’s young son comes running into the line of fire. He does not take the shot, returning home through a dangerously tortuous series of maneuvers. Ehrlich takes responsibility for the debacle and is dismissed from duty and placed on leave for disobeying orders.

Because his intuitive abilities make him almost indispensable, he is called back quite quickly because Hamdani reportedly now is involved with Colonel Yuri Rasputin of the Russian Military in naval activity where a stealth submarine has been armed with a mega nitrogen bomb that although purportedly headed for Syria, actually is believed as being designated for Israel. Obviously it is imperative to destroy the bomb or Israel will cease to exist.

Discussion: This Book 2 of what is developing as a quite fascinating series appears to delve deeply into the games played by the many minds involved in this international political maneuvering, as well as providing details of the steps an organization such as Mossad must take to counter and survive. The one feature that may be open to question by the more pragmatic reader is his physical ability to react in the manner he does with the number of severe injuries he has suffered, e.g.; three slipped discs, plus possibly the frequency with which a man in Ehrlich’s position  must be saved from death by activity of others. However, the author has introduced a psychological element into Ehrlich’s physical/mental emotional composition that is compelling and quite unique to discover in persons involved in this line of work. So generally speaking, the true devotee of well-written thrillers will find this book as intriguing and enjoyable as any, and probably better than most, presentations in this genre.

5*Well-paced, beautifully written thriller highly recommended.

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is first of a new series, published, copyright and written by Larry Richardson and is a truly entertaining story delivered in the time-honored manner of all of the good ‘story tellers’ of old. It begins with the killing of the wife of Vincent Marshall by the prominent and formerly untouchable Mafia Boss, Santino Giovani’ A spectacular court scene describes the face-off between the two men with subsequent assignment of Giovani to Federal Prison and necessitates Vincent’s assignment to the Witness Protection Program. Meanwhile,  Phil Branson, a rapidly rising General Manager in one of the largest Retirement Living Organizations is offered to leave his highly successful position in Orlando to take over the similar, but foundering organization, in Billings, Montana with the firing of their manager. From this moment a steady mystery thriller begins to develop and expand with a side of possible rising romantic attachment for this man who lost the love of his life shortly after an idyllic relation with this wife. The sub-plots are many and beautifully intermingled as this Retirement Home the Sanctuary had been selected as the scene of the Witness Protection Program; an assassin ‘who never failed had been hired by the Giovani family was closing in on Vincent; pieces of evidence against the former Sanctuary General Manager was playing with the CEO of the General Organization: a dedicated cop was working diligently with Phil in his attempting to gain the required evidence; and the one girl who seemed ready to replace Phil’s lost love suddenly was offered a career choice that would fulfil the dreams of her childhood.

Discussion: The author has set forth a mystery, thriller romance that should appeal to every aficionado of any of these genres as well as those readers who, as stated earlier, enjoy a well-paced, well-characterized, and intermingling of interesting and well-designed plots.

5* Highly recommended

Mailstrom: Part II (Ryan Cunningham Book 2) by Rip Converseip

Maelstrom: Part II (Ryan Cunningham Book 2) Kindle Edition  by Rip Converse.

 The first book in this series was quite well-written. The characters are credible, even in highly dramatic scenes of being involved in a believably violent storm in the middle of the ocean. When the protagonist’s relatively small but seaworthy sail boat housing him and his adopted family is attacked by a large modern ocean going power boat seemingly owned by a South American cartel member, admittedly the reader may become a little ‘uneasy’. The story continues in this first part of the trilogy with the owner continuing to battle the elements and simultaneously the drug/alcohol saturated power boater as well. Part I  ends when the protagonist is rescued after losing  his boat, money and one of his adopted family and is  returned to his port of origin to be aided by close friends. This transition occurs for the reader by provision of 2 chapters of Part II, as the conclusion of Part I. The plot for this second portion of the story develops when the cartel member actually turns the situation into a personal vendetta against the former sailboat owner, now living ashore with what is left of his adopted family, the adult female of which having been again returned to her drug/alcohol habit. He meets a State Trooper who has had similar experiences with drug dealers and convinces the returned land dweller to accompany him in an effort to deal with this unrelenting miscreant. Part II again ends by introducing the reader to chapters of the next book in the series

Discussion: This time, for this reader, there did not seem to be sufficient credibility or interest in the story to purchase the next volume. It was regrettable, but the ‘uneasy feeling’ developed earlier in reading the first book continued its gradual decline of credibility in the tale. It really was quite disappointing because the original plot proceeded with so many possibilities including knowledgeable descriptions of sail boats, the seas and psychological possibilities underlying the entire project. Much beautifully described activity based upon genuinely believable details of boating and psychological attitudes and reactions was sufficient to lead to purchase of the second book but disappointingly, this particular reader did not believe there was sufficient hope for a return to the author’s basic knowledgeable early plot to progress further.

2* regrettably at best for this individual reader, as described.

Maelstrom Part I

MAELSTROM Part I [(Ryan Cunningham Book 1) KIndle  Edition] : ISBN: 9781646692484 assumed published, copyright and written by Rip Converse.

Part I of a proposed trilogy and including the first two chapters of the second offering at the end of this portion. It is the fictional story of a 37-year-old Ryan who is “in love with love” but never makes the declaration to anyone because he doesn’t want to ‘cheapen’ its meaning. Terrified of ending up alone, he continued to search for ‘the right person but unfortunately, his idea of the ideal mate kept shifting monthly, weekly and even daily. He also is a recovered alcohol and drug addict after having spaced out. He lived in the small Cape Cod village of Sippican with its somewhat staid mores and decided to sell his house, live on his 65-year-old but well designed and cared for 42’ full keel sailboat Parthenia, with thoughts of leaving the homey town with his huge black Labrador Clifton and sailing south. He had sold his home, bought the boat and moved on to it 6 years ago. It was a sturdy, well designed wood 42 foot full keel, mahogany bronze strapped dark oak frames, edge-glued by master ship builders built 65 years before. It was a well-cared for craft that was capable of many more years of blue water sailing.

He meets a young woman, also a recovering alcohol/heroin addict at an AA meeting and in a relatively short time they become mutually attracted. She has a young daughter and a several years younger son, both of whom become quickly attached to Ryan as a true father figure, a position he cherishes. He decides to include them when setting sail for Bermuda. The story evolves into a series of close disasters as they encounter a rogue Atlantic storm with many changes evolving in each individual under the duress of the continuing storm. The two chapters introducing the second book in the series build upon a chance meeting during the stay in Bermuda that begins to develop into what appears to be another developing storm of a different type.

Discussion: the author demonstrates an intimate knowledge of sailing ships and problems that can be encountered anytime sailing in large bodies of water. The story line is believable. The characters are believable and the action is non-stop. The two chapters of Part II provide a strong hint of continued thriller activity introducing a different element. This is a credible plot with believable characters and almost non-stop action

5* Recommended, as described.

The Girl from Columbia

 

The Girl from Columbia ISBN: 9781642378900 Gatekeeper Press, copyright and written by Julian Rodrigues.

This is a story covering a significant portion of time and activity that had taken place in Columbia and the United States before 1884 where the story begins in Sea Girt, New Jersey and extends well into the next century. The author offers some introductory remarks referring to a story by Guy de Maupassant that presents, perhaps somewhat mystical characters that are most representative of those set forth in his own forthcoming tale. It is one of tragedy resultant of the unscrupulous activity of several totally amoral, vicious men as they proceed through life with seemingly only hedonistic goals and acquirement of personal wealth and more significantly, power. The action begins with a general depiction of the Columbian youngster and her activities in rather ghostlike familiarization to obtain knowledge of all of the nooks and crannies of her father’s huge house. Also gradually exposed are a description of the father’s (Samuel Johnson) personal appearance, undesirable traits, alliances, and the eventual consequences as other characters appear and are incorporated into the mixture.

Discussion: The author has set forth a dark story of abuse of power, not only of personal love, but of against an entire class of people. It is a tale of the effects of the despicably deceitful acts of a man who acquires power and money and employs it literally in almost inhumane ways that are destructive to many individuals. The characters associated with, as well as those contrary to, his desired goals are appropriately introduced and gradually developed with respect both to reasons for, and action taken against, the man. The book does exhibit some author unfamiliarity with some aspects of the book which would enhance enjoyment, but this no doubt will be unnoticed by most readers.

5* Unusual, relatively fast-paced, dark mystery/suspense

The Carry Out

The Carry Out ISBN: 97811736734209 Seacoast Press, copyright and written by Kali Gadomski.

The author has presented a most intriguing fictional tale centered upon a group of characters each of whom has lost a loved one in the disastrous destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City by the airplanes purposely flown into them on 9/11. It is a story primarily about this group of freshman high school students being thrown together by being in the same area by residence and their class and associated activities in which they indulge. The title of the book, is the name of the cleaning establishment that offers service to residents of the area and where much activity of the pertinent characters is discussed, often next action decided, frequently initiated and decisions made for future moves. The characters exhibit the complexity of thought that assails every growing person of these ages but are provided a further depth by the nature of each person’s singular loss, the story it entails, and the underlying ethnic considerations.

Discussion: The author has set forth an appealing, even somewhat riveting coming-of-age tale for young readers that adults also will discover to be most thought producing. Perhaps it may be considered rather ‘Pollyannaish’, but the characters are well ‘fleshed-out’ and nicely managed as their gradual growth ensues. Occasionally their patterns of activity, as well as their depths of thought, are difficult to accept as high school freshmen, but are acceptable in the situations that do exist. To provide further actual details would be a disservice to the prospective reader, so suffice it to say: the book presents valuable lessons to the young adult, and a fascinating read (with even thoughtful suggestions for the fully adult) reader.

5* for reasons set forth.

 

The Helpers

The Helpers Library of Congress # 2010902607 assumed published, copyright (2010) and written by S. E. Nelson.

This is “A (fictional) International Tale of Espionage and Corruption” set in the African Congo. It is a tangled web of activities involving primarily French and Belgium internationally military and diplomatic trained members of these governments assigned to espionage positions in this country. Numerous other individuals of English and various other nationalities also are involved in this quite intricately involved plot that explores and lays bare the power hungry rulers of Colonial times and presents a picture of how pervasive it was and of the possibilities of the existence of persistent remnants of similar activity. Several major characters are murdered along the way with a few making it through to the end, mainly a dedicated American Free-lance Journalist and her photojournalist partner, a small local schoolgirl and her mother, a British world health worker and his wife, a wily French Intelligence Officer and his protégé, also some of “The Helpers” – the powerful secret group that is responsible for the constant warfare and “ethnic cleansing” that constantly causes the mass murders repetitiously occurring and set in position by their minions. The action is non-stop from beginning to end, and even beyond because the story makes most clear the fact that the use and misuse of power is a never-ending commodity in world affairs with seemingly special emphasis on Africa and its abundance of natural resources

Discussion: The author has set forth an intriguing multi-genre thriller that includes mystery, suspense, a degree of romance and large quantities of distrust, betrayal, treachery, deception and deceit. It also includes strong demonstrations of empathetic behavior and well fleshed-out characters. The story begins with a “Brief Synopsis” explaining the Congo and their interrelationship with “The Helpers”, a “very powerful underground organization whose members include international businessmen and high priests (who) are determined to maintain a stronghold on the natural resources of Congo.” In all, it is a long story that still will hold most readers interest throughout, even though the frequent switches to different characters, their thoughts and activities, do add considerably to the rather abundant repetition and redundancy as the author has handled it sufficiently well that most will not find it too annoying.

4* Long, but hard to put down, fast-paced multi-genre book, with noted slight flaws.

The Collaborators

 

The Collaborators first published 2020 by Cassiopeia Publishing copyright and written by R. P. Nathan.

The author cleverly has divided this book into two parts; 1. Day into Night and 2. Night into Day with the significance not truly discernable until close to the very end of the presentation. The story itself is that of the Nazi occupation of France replete with descriptions of the brutally cruel treatment of villagers as the army searched for Jews being hidden by them. It particularly depicts the activity of Karl, a Nazi army Captain and two of his detachment who have been with him through his campaign in Russia previous to this assignment as he performs under the approving eye of his immediate supervising Major. As the story unfolds, it also details much of his earlier life – a close friendship and secret love for a beautiful French university student, Céline, and the third member of this close triangle, an accomplished Jewish Athlete against whom he constantly competed and who also was in love with, and favored by, Céline. Now just a short time later, Germany and France are at war and Karl, along with his accompanying invaders are employing their inhumanly cruel tactics in searching the neighborhoods for hidden Jews, and Céline and her family as they hide her now Jewish fiancé 3rd member of the old closely related triumvirate and his family, are directly in their path.

Discussion: The author quite adeptly has employed the remembrances of several characters to explore factors of good and evil as they affect basic morality, love and loyalties developed through years of learning and the struggle provided when faced with duty to country, personal honor and perhaps even survival that require action totally contrary to long existent already thoroughly incorporated attitudes and beliefs. The author has set forth a most introspective thought-involving study in a fictional setting. The tale contains only one scene that provided a questionable moment for this reader, but may be an individual thought feature of this reviewer and thus, overlooked by most.

5* Cleverly written fictional tale that should provide introspective material for thoughtful readers.

The Danger Within

The Danger Within.  Assumed published, copyright and written by E. L. Pini. Translation from the Hebrew by Tal Karem.

The story follows the actions of singularly daring, rule-breaking Avner Ehrlich, functioning (in name only) as 2nd in command of one section of Mossad agents whose almost irreplaceable commander is heroically fighting pancreatic cancer. The story progresses through a maze of International political intrigue and vicious confrontations ranging largely through European countries and the Middle East. Ehrlich’s counterpart is Imad Akbariyah a ruthless, cunning Muslim rapidly gaining stature in Al-Qaeda activities. (The book’s Prologue provides an early look as his abilities.) His ultimate goal is to unite all Muslims into one huge group of activists that can control the world. His scheme is to have a number of terrorists implanted with a highly destructive, undetectable explosive surgically implanted in their bodies that will wreak wide-spread damage and havoc when detonated in leading cities and Holy Places throughout the world. An additional goal is to gain ultimate revenge upon the man responsible for his father’s death, as well as numerous others closely associated. The story as presented here, contains three episodes (labeled Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3) each addressing another Mossad action to attempt to nullify the ever increasing thrusts provided by Imad. Further intrigue is provided by the involvement of this latter character’s close personal physically involvement with a Mossad agent whose psychological problem lends to her unique personal attachment. Together with other included features, “The Danger Within” builds to provide readers with a fascinating, often gripping, thriller.

Discussion: The author has created a Mossad agent who portrays all that one could expect from information constantly reiterated about this shadowy organization of security for the much maligned and almost constantly attacked Israelites. The plot develops from a somewhat slow-moving beginning to accelerate to a high-speed pace leading to an action-filled conclusion that is filled with suspense to the very last page. Readers who enjoy thriller/suspense tales especially will find this book most satisfying.

5* Highly recommended, especially for thriller/suspense devotees.