Best Books of 2020: Paul Lane

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1) Miraflores by Keith Yokum:  A novel of Panama and the canal built to allow ships to cross between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans without traveling all the way to the tip of South America.  A new member of the recently forming CIA is sent to Panama tasked with finding bad guys looking to sabotage the “Big Ditch”.  Filled with facts only a person that has lived in the canal zone would know.  An enticing read to draw in readers.
2) Rock of Freedom by Noel Gershon:  Fact-based account of the settling by the Pilgrims of the Massachusetts area of the new world.  Written by an author with a huge number of historical novels to his credit.  Now deceased with an apparent attempt to reselect his books and publish some. Try one – you’ll get hooked.
3) Germania by Harald Gilbers:  The height of Nazi control over Germany with the systemic hatred of Jews and other chosen groups guided by Hitler in order to provide focus centers for the population that he was guiding into wars of conquest.  The police are stymied by a serial killer loose in Berlin and due to whom they think it is being forced to rehire a Jewish detective to find the murderer.  Filled with the forced hatreds pushed by a leader desperate to control his subjects.  A very unique book.
4) The Palace by Christopher Reich:  One well-done action novel written by a master of the genre.  A book moving all over the world and featuring a man that picks and chooses problems brought to him, fixing them with no charge. You like action – get some coffee and plunge into a lot of it set up by a master of doing so.
5) Violent Peace by David Poyer:  The next novel by the author about a war between China and the United States. There is a peace conference going on although no one trusts the Chinese to play fair.  The stage moving from Russia through radical Islam and to the next probable enemy.  Military sequences described by an expert.  Very likely aim in real life is the desired annexing of Taiwan by China and this is very well played out in Poyer’s book.
6) Assassin’s Strike by Ward Larson:  Any series of favorite books have just got to include the exploits of an assassin.  And we have Larson’s David Slayton who at first worked for the Israeli Mossad. Migrating to the United States Slayton is asked to do the CIA a favor once in a while and agrees.  In this novel, two women acting as translators at a conference between Russia and Iran overhear something they shouldn’t.  One is killed and the other gets help from Slayton.  I do so love action adventures and this book will satisfy anyone’s desire for the same.
7) Muzzled by David Rosenfelt: Of course, Andy Carpenter and his entourage must make an appearance in this list and so they do in this novel.  Andy inherited enough money to live without working and of course, that’s the way he does at the start of most books. But the normal mitigating circumstances intervene and Andy takes a case aided quite well by his wife Laurie (his investigator) the very vociferous Marcus who requires translation services, Willy his partner in a dog rescue business, and other sundry characters including a few dogs and an office manager that has developed allergies to working. Formats of Rosenfelt’s books always include sarcastic comments, very astute and penetrating observations, and a happy resolution for all (especially the dogs.)
8) Home before Dark by Riley Sager:  A novel that asks the question Is this a ghost story or not?  It asks the question but doesn’t answer it.  How can that be??? Seems that a young girl was murdered in a house that the principal character lived in years ago and the murder was never solved.  Is the young lady hanging around hoping that her killer is discovered? Maggy Holt and her partner are in the business of restoring old houses and have picked the one that the girl was murdered in.  What Maggy does not remember is that she lived in that house when younger and during the period of the murder. Ingredients of a great ghost story or something else??? Read it and get in line.
9) The Haunting of H.G. Wells by Robert Maselo: An author that has earned a place in writing well-done novels that feature a bit of the macabre to spice up the story.  In this book, the very famous H.G. Wells investigates ghost sightings on the battlefields of World War one Belgium, meets a young lady that becomes his lifelong mistress with the underlying okay of his wife.  Where do you get those type of women?  His wife also cares for a downed German airman not turning him in for many years.  The girl keeps soldiering on, doesn’t she? Finally, his mistress helps Wells to bust a man interested in launching a chemical attack on England.  Wells not only writes them but also lived them.
10) Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia:  Set in the country of Mexico when a rather spoiled rich young lady is sent by her father to check out the complaints of a newly married member of the family.  That girl has taken up residency in her new husband’s mansion. Noemi, the young lady sent to investigate, goes through a growing up period, meets her husband, and helps her cousin in solving her problems with the new marriage. An interesting study of a class of well to do people in the country of Mexico.

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