ULTIMATE POWER by Stephen Frey

February 13, 2018
Stephen Frey’s creation of Red Cell 7 is combined with a young newly elected  partner in the largest financial company in the U.S. and probably the world.  Red Cell 7 is a group of individuals that tackle the mission impossible type of tasks that the regular groups of agents and the military cannot handle. If  you know about them or to whom they report they have to kill you. So there, be warned.

Andrew Falcon Jr. (A.J.) is the youngest hedge fund manager ever elected to partner at a huge Wall Street investment firm.  His financial future is secured and all he has to do is continue making money for the company which of course will also mean for himself.

Suddenly his niece, Claire, is kidnapped and A.J. drops everything to rescue her. Now we find that the kidnapping is tied to national politics at the very top and a task that the kidnappers want A.J. to do for them in order to get his niece back alive.

The first woman president of the United States has come out with a policy that she feels will remake the country into a better place. She lowers the amounts given to the military to operate and vows to begin taking down the evil people that operate with impunity via Wall Street to prevent the lower and middle class from assuming their proper place in the scheme of things. Obviously there is opposition to her plans with both the bad people in command positions of the military and heads of the the huge financial companies take part in.

The plot thickens and action follows action with the completely militarily untrained A.J. being allowed to participate with Red Cell personnel on raids to right the wrongs being perpetrated. Hmmm, will he survive? A minor detail is brought up when A.J. is talking to his mentor after being made partner. He is not married and needs to get a wife in order to more fully fit in to the image he needs to really succeed. So much to do – so little time to do it. What price glory? Stay tuned to find out how everything is worked out.

If the reader accepts every premise laid out in the novel it will become a quickly read adventure story. If not tune into the next book by Frey to see who is around and what their positions are.

2/18 Paul Lane

ULTIMATE POWER by Stephen Frey. Thomas & Mercer (February 13, 2018).  ISBN 978-1503954083. 304p.


ALL SYSTEMS DOWN by Sam Boush

February 11, 2018

Cyber War, Book 1

Boush brings us the first book in what he indicates will be a series about a war between the US and it’s enemies North Korea, China, and Russia.  If volume I is at all indicative of what is to follow we are in for a treat.

The book opens with the sudden advent of the loss of the electrical grid throughout the U.S.  New cars stop suddenly, planes fall from the sky, all lights go out, traffic is a disaster and satellites begin falling down from their orbits above us. Boush indicates that in his personal opinion our electrical grid installations would be simplicity itself to hack into and control.  This is what happens with a technician working for North Korea  who the author utilizes to illustrate what is going  on with the forces allied against America and how this war is being fought.

With Armageddon occurring, the author uses nine people from different areas experiencing the disaster and moving to Portland, Oregon as a possibility to regain some semblance of the now lost civilization.  Two of those nine are depicted taking off from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, losing control and ejecting from the plane before it crashes into the sea.

Another is  Brendan Chogan, an out of work Parking enforcement officer who is introduced as he takes a job interview and told that he has not been successful in getting hired. He is a huge man, formerly a heavy weight boxer whose only desire is providing for his wife and two daughters as best as he can.

The adventures of the nine strangers in safely moving through the disasters around them provide a well orchestrated read about ordinary people suddenly thrust into a situation in which every facet of the civilization they formerly counted on sustaining their lives is gone. Boush is successful in showing these people in moving towards a situation where they are forced to and do adapt to the circumstances they are surrounded with. The novel can easily be read on a stand alone basis, but we are shown enough background to understand that more will come shortly. These books will surely be well received and looked forward to.

2/18 Paul Lane

ALL SYSTEMS DOWN by Sam Boush. Lakewater Press (February 8, 2018).  ISBN 978-0994451279.


HOW TO STOP TIME by Matt Haig

February 9, 2018

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In years of reading books, there are those that are fine for the short time with them, those that prove good enough to remain with you for a longer time. But every once in a while a novel appears that is so beautiful that it becomes a memory that it will stay with you for a long time. Such a book is Matt Haig’s “How to stop Time.”

Tom Hazard appears like any other 40 year old male. But he is certainly far from that; he is actually more than 400 years of age. Due to a rare shift in his genetic makeup, he ages very slowly and also doesn’t suffer from many illnesses. He was born during the Elizabethan period in England and actually met and talked to William Shakespeare.

Over the years, he discovers that there are others like him and eventually a group is formed as a means of self protection. Why self protection? Simply put, there is a great deal of mistrust on the part of ordinary people that notice when someone does not age over time. Tom actually witnessed his mother being drowned as a witch when it was discovered that she had a son that did not grow older.

Instead of being the blessing that centuries of life could convey, the lack of aging causes those that are affected by it have to constantly change locations in order to remain unnoticed by ordinary people. Tom himself meets and falls in love with a girl in his own time and has a daughter with her. He remains happy and content with their life together until the stares of other people make him realize that in the age he was born in he is a danger to his wife and daughter. He decides to leave them and begins centuries of hiding.

Haig describes the emotions that fill Tom’s mind as he literally runs away from the joys and sorrows of life as normal people experience them. The author is adept at presenting the facts and circumstances present in all the ages Tom lives through. We see him taking part in events that occurred, meeting the people that became famous in each period and experiencing a normal longing for a love that has predeceased him by centuries. A book to savor and think about for a long time to come.

HOW TO STOP TIME by Matt Haig. Viking (February 6, 2018).  ISBN 978-0525522874. 336p.


THE BOOKWORM by Mitch Silver

February 8, 2018

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The novel opens during early World War II. A man dressed as a monk is seen entering a monastery which is not his own located in Germany. He is carrying a book and actually doing his best to sneak it in, hiding it from the monks that live there. He finds a place in which religious tomes are kept and proceeds to place it with the others, clearly in a section designed to allow for the discovery of the item when required.

The plot of the novel starts to unfold with the appearance of people famous during the period under discussion. These include Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward and the infamous Adolf Hitler. A scheme is hatched by Noel Coward to prevent the Nazis from launching an invasion of England. Interestingly enough, the plan relies on something written in the book left in the monastery.

The book shifts to Moscow, Russia after the end of the war with Larissa Mendelova Klint, a college professor doing research instead of going on summer vacation like most of her colleagues and students. She comes across references to the book hidden during WWII unearthing an outline of the scheme hatched by Noel Coward. Fascinated she launches a full scale search for the book and enters full force into that task.

Silvers novel flows smoothly bringing the reader from the mysterious placement of the book through the initiation of the plot and termination of those events. The ending of the novel terminates with a trip to Moscow by the President of the United States. And in a very neat way, events provide a logical setup for another book with Larissa M Klint. A very well done novel indeed.

2/18 Paul Lane

THE BOOKWORM by Mitch Silver. Pegasus Books (February 6, 2018).  ISBN 978-1681776415. 352p.


THE DECEIVERS by Alex Berenson

February 6, 2018

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A John Wells Novel, Book 12

In 2007, Alex Berenson published his first novel featuring John Wells. The concept behind this warrior was incredible. He was working for the CIA and somehow had infiltrated a field unit of the terror group Al Quada remaining with them for three years. He learned their language, learned their methods, and thought highly enough of their religion to become a convert. His return to the CIA was forced by having to openly turn on the group he was with in order to forestall an attack on the west.

In this book, Vinnie Duto, former head of the CIA, is now the president of the United States. He calls John into his office after an attack by terrorists occurs in Dallas, Texas. It is the most horrific attack ever and John is positive that he would be assigned to go after the perpetrators. Somewhat to his surprise the president does not want him to investigate Dallas but to travel to Columbia to pick up information from an old asset living there and deliver it to headquarters. However, the trip turns out to be one of the deadliest assignments John has been assigned to. It brings him into a world of sleeper cells, sniper teams and double agents high up in the United States government.

The information obtained also seems to point out a plot by the Russian government to initiate a coup to take over the American government. And the attack on Dallas is found to be related to the scheme.

Berenson’s John Wells novels are all punctuated by constant action and “The Deceivers” is no exception. A turn in the enemy Wells faces seems to be broadcast by the possibility of the Russian government being involved in planning a coup. The author slightly plays down the possibility of radical Islamists being the cause of world wide terrorism by introducing several Muslims who are against these actions. But whoever the real enemy is John Wells being a part of US anti-terrorism activities will remain in the fight supplying the reader with one engrossing book after another.

2/18 Paul Lane

THE DECEIVERS by Alex Berenson. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (February 6, 2018).  ISBN 978-0399176166. 448p.


TRAITOR by Jonathan de Shalit

February 3, 2018

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A very tightly written and  plotted novel about a young man working for the Israeli government.  For personal reasons he makes the decision to approach the American government via their embassy and offer to provide them with information about secret Israeli activities.  The offer is snapped up by the agent that he talked with and Alon  the young man  is interviewed and accepted as a contracted mole.  In a completely unexpected turn of events the man accepting Alon is actually a mole in his own right working for the Soviet government.

Alon rises up in the ranks of the Israeli government and becomes a key adviser to the Prime Minister.  All the while he has been feeding information to his handler thinking it is going to the Americans when it is actually being  sent to Moscow.  Suddenly a hint that a spy is entrenched within the high ranks of the Israeli government causes a team to be assembled to catch him and if possible his handler as well. The chase takes the team from Tel Aviv and Moscow into the United States.

The pursuit of the spy by the team’s members is extremely well depicted with reactions of all involved ringing true in the settings of the novel. De Shalit has another book coming out shortly and due to his previous real life position as a high ranking official in the Israeli intelligence community it is a safe bet that that novel will be equally as mesmerizing as “Traitor.”

2/18 Paul Lane

TRAITOR by Jonathan de Shalit. Atria/Emily Bestler Books (January 30, 2018).  ISBN 978-1501170485. 320p.


THE DAY AFTER OBLIVION by Tim Washburn

January 31, 2018

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One day everything is normal.  People go to work, take trips, go on outings with family. The next day – Armageddon. Iran and North Korea have a pact and attack the United States with nuclear weapons. The destruction is horrific. Millions are killed outright, other millions will die soon after the attack due to radiation poisoning. Not knowing who exactly initiated the attack US elements are ordered to follow prior plans to launch missiles against planned targets. Civilization has come to an end as we know it and survivors must make their way in a scenario not conceived before the attacks.

Tim Washburn presents a frightening, very realistic story about certain survivors that must contend with impossible conditions and somehow come to grips with the horror that exists for them. There are two programmers working for the US government and brought into a meeting initiated by the president. They flee the meeting and begin a journey across half a devastated country to the Texas home of one of them.

A father and his son launch their boat in order to escape the radiation from attacks all over the country, and the crew of an American nuclear submarine after launching their missiles as ordered find themselves at a lose to know what to do. Survivors find themselves contending with conditions never imagined. Money is no good nor are the normal endless supplies of food, medicine and other staples of life available. A barter system somehow arises. Among the items traded for are women and girls who will be used as sex slaves. Vandalism becomes the order of the day and guns and other weapons the norm for anyone that wants to continue surviving.

No punches are pulled by the author. The story describes a nightmare world suddenly placed before those that did not perish during the devastating attacks. The strength of  Washburn’s novel  is the depiction of real people in an unreal world and the lengths they go to simply survive in horror. The ending is just like the rest of the novel. What is there for the survivors and is there any hope for a return to a civilization as we know it. A very well done story describing an impossible scenario.

1/18 Paul Lane

THE DAY AFTER OBLIVION by Tim Washburn. Pinnacle (January 30, 2018).  ISBN 978-0786042500. 560p.


KILLER CHOICE by Tom Hunt

January 30, 2018
Killer Choice by Tom Hunt

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Killer Choice is Hunt’s first book and certainly highlights the entrance into the literary world of a very promising author. The plot is indicative of a fascinating story about ordinary people caught in a horrible situation and their reactions to their quandary.
Gary Foster and his wife, Beth, have been trying for many years to get pregnant, then when Beth finds that she is pregnant, that news makes a happy marriage even better.
Suddenly their joy is destroyed when it is found that Beth has an inoperable brain tumor with only a short time to live.  The couple are devastated with the news and Gary is horrified to think of having to live the remainder of his life without his love.  They do not have an estimated $200,000.00 to try the only possible solution that may help  Beth.  That is, a new treatment being tested by a company in Germany which has proven  helpful in some cases.  The Fosters receive gifts from many kind people but the funds received do not even come close to the amount needed.
Enter an offer made by someone to Gary.  The money will be given to him; but only with the condition that he has to kill someone. Gary’s anguish on facing a normally total unacceptable choice is well described here. The actions and reactions of all the characters in the novel are well delineated and make a good book much better.
A very well done novel about normal people caught in an abnormal situation not of their doing.

1/18 Paul Lane

KILLER CHOICE by Tom Hunt. Berkley (January 30, 2018).  ISBN 978-0399586408. 352p.


SNOW by Mike Bond

January 29, 2018

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Snow is a typical novel by the very prolific Mike Bond.  It has bad guys and good guys set against each other in an environment, to say the least, hostile for all involved. And that environment is definitely snow and lots of it.

Zack, a former NFL star and currently renowned sportscaster and his friend Steve a successful wall street broker meet every year in Montana with their guide and friend Curt to have a boy’s time out and go hunting for elk.  This year each has a money problem – that is a lack of it, and a need for it sooner than later.

Introduced is the discovery of a crashed private plane with a cargo of two coffins.  The coffins filled with high grade cocaine multi millions of dollars worth even at low end street pricing.

The three individuals each have thoughts about what selling the drugs will do to get them out of their monetary problems. They find that someone survived the crash and walked out of the area certainly to get help in transporting the cocaine to a place where it could begin its normal journey into the hands of the people addicted to it and desperate to get it.

Diego is the name of  the individual tasked with taking care of bringing the drug to Maria Christina the lady that is in charge of the cartel’s operations in the US. Diego has a crush on her and imagines that if he is successful in handling the tasks given to him by Maria she will someday decide that he is worth her devotion and marry him.  These five people are the main players in the novel and Bond does a good job in fleshing them out a process also including those that love them.

The book is not overly complicated and the reactions of all those involved are easy to follow. The ending is a predictable one for those taking part in the story and provides a more than satisfactory ending. Well done and certainly continuing to enhance Bond’s reputation as an author of captivating novels making his next works eagerly waited for.

1/18 Paul Lane

SNOW by Mike Bond. Mandevilla Press; First Publication ed. edition (October 1, 2017).  ISBN 978-1627040372. 268p.


SMOKE CITY by Keith Rosson

January 26, 2018

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A well done story of an individual living an extraordinary long life, but with a difference. In the majority of the novels dealing with a life span significantly longer than ordinary, it is the same individual moving through many lifespans having to hide periodically in order to not raise suspicions.

In this book, Marvin Deitz is the latest incarnation of Geoffrey Therage, a man who was the executioner of Joan of Arc in 1431.  Since that event, Geoffrey has lived, died, and been born again many times. In each instance he, or she, as the case may be, regains complete memory of past lives at about the age of one year. The guilt associated with the burning of Joan follows Geoffrey through all his births over the centuries.

The novel begins with Marvin Deitz viewing a TV show featuring a woman claiming to be the reincarnation of the fabled Joan of Arc. He immediately sets out to see the woman in Los Angeles. Along the way, he is picked up by Mike Vale, an alcoholic remnant of a once great painter who made and lost millions with his great talent.  Mike is traveling to attend his ex-wife’sthe funeral of his  who is the only woman he ever loved and who loved him.  She left Mike at a point where he was completely unable to experience a normal relationship due to his drinking.

Rosson’s novel is one that deals with guilt and redemption in a way that will haunt the reader and certainly makes a case for further reading books by him.  A very well done scenario by an up and coming author.

1/18 Paul Lane

SMOKE CITY by Keith Rosson. Meerkat Press, LLC (January 23, 2018).  ISBN 978-1946154163. 330p.