William Forstchen takes us into his hometown in North Carolina, Black Mountain, for the setting of this novel. In One Second After, we get a brief glimpse of the comfortable life in this rural community until…
“Hey, Dad, something strange.” “Yeah?” “Listen.” He stood there silent for a moment. It was a quiet spring evening with the exception of a few birds chirping, the distant bark of a dog … rather nice, actually. “I don’t hear anything.” “That’s it, Dad. There’s no traffic noise from the interstate.”
I seem to be doing this comparison thing lately in my book reviews and I am not sure that it’s a good thing? This story combines the powerful creature hunting of Mortal Instruments, the competition like Hunger Games, while keeping just enough Scooby Doo humor. In book two of the Fright Squad series, The Monster Games, our trio of monster fighters left BEAST and hung up their own “shingle”. They are functionally broke and are given an opportunity to literally win the weight of their client in gold and the client is quite large. Only catch is that Abe, Maddie, and Zack have to beat the monsters, most of whom would rather kill these humans than win the contest.
Imagine Bond, James Bond meets Cuckoos Nest and you have a peek into Haris Orkin’s You Only Live Once. Instead of Mr. Bond we meet James Flynn, a loveable and adept mental patient or spy or mental patient or spy. I’m never quite sure. Join Mr. Flynn as he takes on layers of organized crime to try to rescue Q, M, and many others and stay one step ahead of the police and the guys with the straightjackets.
Most of my family and I spent a glorious week exploring and hiking in Yellowstone National Park and Grant Teton National Park. So I am profoundly in love with our National Parks. The five of us packed into our son and his wife’s fifth-wheel RV for six nights. While those were close quarters, it was a way to stay close to these beautiful parks as we “boondocked” (camped off the grid). I am a fairly early riser and it was wonderful to go out and explore before dawn as the rest of our group got ready. This got me thinking of ways to do this on a smaller, and more mobile scale…hence car camping.
“Have no fear. This isn’t one of those sad, melodramatic stories you’d find your grandmother watching on Lifetime with a box of tissues nearby. No, this is an awesome account of monster-hunting badassness. And friendship. And sometimes…penis-tentacles. So, allow me to get back on track: Those of us at BEAST [Bureau of Everyday Abomination Slayers and Trappers] don’t drive around in a conspicuously painted van with a talking dog solving mysteries and unmasking bad guys. You won’t see us unmask anyone. There are no masks. Usually. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, goblins, demons, mummies, banshees, Bigfoot (or is the plural form Bigfeet?), abominable snowmen, centaurs, minotaurs, ghouls, zombies—whatever—are scary enough.”
I’ve been traveling to Garret County in the heart of Western Maryland for over three decades as that’s where my wife grew up in the county seat of Oakland. Perhaps best known for summer fun at Deep Creek Lake and winter skiing at the Wisp Resort, author James Rada, Jr. rewards us with a different perspective in the Secrets of Garrett County. This area is fairly close to Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington so there are a lot of weekenders. About 15 years ago the development around the lake has skyrocketed and the lake is not as peaceful as it used to be. One of the more interesting stories was when Albert Einstein spent a couple of weeks at Deep Creek lake for some rest and relaxation. I had heard this story from my father-in-law and he actually met the famed mathematician in a local hardware store that he owned with his family.
Red War is the fifteenth in Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp series and the third (I believe since his death). Kyle Mills has miraculously kept the series alive for us fans and most importantly maintained the quality of both the writing and the non-stop action. Buckle in when you open this one for some edge-of-your-seat action.
“Sokolov actually laughed out loud at that, and at the expression on Krupin’s face. His agreement was a foregone conclusion at this point. Krupin understood that the geopolitical complexities he’d faced his entire life were meaningless in light of his illness. He had nothing to lose by this war and everything to gain. Even if he eventually succumbed to cancer, Sokolov would make sure he was remembered as the man who dared to return Russia to greatness.”
And Then They All Died is subtitled “A dark comedy with no survivors” and I guess that’s the theme. Action starts as our hero, who is down on his luck, gets his wallet stolen while photographing a unique building for a contest that he wants…he needs to win. His adventure includes a narcoleptic lawyer and his cynical friend who seems to have a death wish, or at least a death bet.
Perhaps ripped from the headlines, Tim Tigner’s The Lies of Spies has both the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Korovin and American President William Silver both plotting courses against each other. One to achieve world dominance the other to avenge an attempted on his life and to finally put an end to Russian aggression. Agent Kyle Achilles and associates find themselves trying to carry out the American President’s plan and caught in the middle of trying to foil the Russian plan. Achilles finds a pair of unlikely comrades in this adventure.
Kyle Achilles is a former world-class athlete who should be on top of the world as his father, mother, and brother celebrate business success and the brother’s engagement to a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. His world is turned inside-out as he is the primary suspect when his parents and brother are found dead and the police believe they were murdered. Only the fiancé survived the murder and she becomes an unlikely accomplice in trying to solve the murders. They not only have to outrun the police, but the very powerful folks behind the murders. In Pushing Brilliance they have to use every resource that they have as they struggle with their grief…and attraction.