Framing the Dialogue

Book Reviews

Red War

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

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.

The Lies of Spies

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.

Pushing Brilliance

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.

Looking Glass

This is the second in Andrew Mayne’s Naturalist series and it lives up to the first novel.  In Looking Glass, Cray is still recovering from the fallout and injuries from his first investigation when he is visited by the father of a missing child who wants Cray to find his child or at least what happened to his child.  The local police are only seeming to look into quick solutions and not an “urban legend” called the Toy Man.  Prof. Cray again seems in almost as much danger from law enforcement as he is from a serial killer.

The Naturalist

In The Naturalist, we meet Professor Theo Cray, who is a computational biologist.  His claim to “fame” is the creation of a computer model which looks for trends using biological data to predict.  On a field trip to Montana, he finds himself drawn into an investigation into the killing of one of his former students.  He is first a suspect, then a pariah when his theory goes against law enforcement’s conventional wisdom.  Neither is a great position to be in when you are an outsider.

Caliban’s War

“How can they have had a whole battle here,’ she said, ‘and no one knows why?’  ‘They know,’ Holden said. ‘Someone knows.”

In Caliban’s War, the second in the Expanse Series, we again meet James Holden as he and his crew happen upon the aftermath of a battle on Ganymede, where a great deal of the food for the universe was grown.  Mars and Earth are still in a very uneasy truce when someone or something attacks the UN forces and then the Martians.  Both believe the other to be behind the attack.

The Plastic Magician

Charlie N. Holmberg is the fourth in the Paper Magician series.  If you’ve not read any, well shame on you, but in case, these are set in England more or less and the stories center around magician apprentices who are bonded to certain materials.  In this novel we meet Alvie Brechenmacher who was fortunate to get her first choice in materials, plastic.

“Alvie admired the mark of her achievement a little longer before removing the hat and untying the knots of the apron, which she reverently folded and set at the foot of her bed. A Polymaker. Her. It was really happening, wasn’t it?”

The Seven Storey Mountain

A number of years ago, I read and wrote a review of a book about the author’s relationship with Mr. Rogers called I’m Proud of You.  The two men only met briefly, but that kindled a long though distant friendship.  One thing that I noted from the book was how this book, The Seven Storey Mountain, was a very important book to Mr. Rogers, so I added it to my wish list to read.  The book about Thomas Merton’s spiritual life started anything but spiritual.

The Call of the Wild

A couple of months ago I received an email from a group that associates itself with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (It was a novel that opened my eyes).  PBS Television is holding a “Great American Read” contest.  The email from the group noted that along with Atlas Shrugged, such novels like Fifty Shades of Gray were listed.  The impetus was to not allow Gray to make it and not Shrugged.  The list is very interesting and I’ve been voting pretty much every day since…and not just for Atlas Shrugged.