Framing the Dialogue

Book Reviews

Red Phoenix

Perhaps ripped from future headlines…Red Phoenix takes us to a world where South Korea is at war within itself, their neighbors to the North are lead by an insane man emboldened by his Russian and Chinese masters, and the Americans are facing political turmoil from within by weakened elected officials.  What would happen if the North Koreans attacked?  Who would prevail?  Author Larry Bond gives you some insight into this scary scenario.

Locally Laid

Locally Laid introduces us to author Lucie Amundsen and her husband (her children too) as they jump headlong into starting  a commercial-scale pasture-raised, free range, organic egg farm.  Frighteningly his career prior to this was behind a desk and his only experience consists of raising five backyard hens, none of whom had yet laid a single egg.  Their worthy goal is to reconnect local agriculture with local economies; and at tremendous financial risk to themselves.

Angels In The Moonlight

“As long as you tell me everything you know, and ha – believe me, I can tell if you don’t – then your problem will go away. In fact, I will open this door, leave your car and disappear from your life entirely, providing that the next words out of your mouth are the ones I want to hear. Do you understand?” Jason Armstrong nodded.  “Excellent. I am so happy to hear that we can help each other get rid of these trifling problems. I do so hate problems. You may begin speaking – now.”

The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith

For those of us James Bond fans, we are enamored of the gadgets developed by “Q” for Bond, James Bond.  It turns out that there was a “Q” during World War II and his name was Charles Fraser-Smith.  In Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith the real life “Q” (I’m not sure if I am supposed to keep putting “Q” in parenthesis).  Sorry, no flying cars or watches that turn into a saw here, but many of the gadgets were developed to save lives of ordinary pilots who got shot down over enemy territory or spies being sent across borders to surveil the Germans.

Snap Judgement

“I was loving this. The beauty of being a defense lawyer is that I don’t have to prove anything. All I have to do is poke enough holes in the People’s case to give the jury reasonable doubt. This new information presented exactly the kind of juicy scenario likely to distract and confuse a jury.””

In Snap Judgment, Samantha Brinkman returns when a prominent attorney is a likely suspect to a murder of a young man suspected of killing his daughter.  Needless to say, the attorney does not a good client make.  As all of this is taking place, she is again “compelled” to help an underworld boss in order to protect her secret.  She has to rely on her father, Dale, to help her tread through dangerous waters.

Carte Blanche

“You seem to be a rather rare combination of the best of both…About a new version of the Special Operations Executive.  The answer is yes.  In fact, it already exists.  Would you be interested in joining?’  ‘I would.’ Bond said without hesitation.  ‘Though I should like to ask:  What exactly does it do?’  The Admiral thought for a moment, as if polishing burrs off his reply.  ‘Our mission,’ he said, ‘is simple.  we protect the Realm…by any means necessary.”

How to Make Sh*t Happen

A colleague lent me a copy of this book, though I hesitate to give it that distinction.  Author Sean Whalen gives us around a hundred pages in bold, large font to help us “make more money.  Get in better shape.  Create epic relationships.  Control your life.” 

Oh and “Do it now” so in his words…How to Make Sh*t Happen. His method is “CORE 4” and has four prongs; Power, Passion, Purpose, and Production. 

Overall, his message to strive for a work-life balance is a good one.  Early in the book when he describes a typical day starting with working out with his trainer, sending a nude selfie to his wife, reading two books (I assume chapters), and tons of work. 

As soon as someone who can afford a trainer every day tells me how to run my life, I am skeptical.  He does describe how he was down and out and used this system to get where he is today.  Oh and he drops a lot of F-bombs throughout to emphasize his points. 

I guess that makes it real.

That is how his book reads…bold and big.  This may be inspirational to some…not for me though.

Coyote Blue

The life of Samuel Hunter seems to be falling apart when the very successful insurance salesman encounters a strange Indian (American).  His past comes crashing back while he meets an astounding young woman, becomes an assault suspect, and becomes the target of his fellow condo members.  While he is down, his “friends” do the usual friend thing and try to take advantage of his bad luck…or is it bad luck.

City

“Now, maybe he told himself, they could move out into the country the way Betty wanted to. Maybe he could spend his evenings tramping land that belonged to him. A place with a stream. Definitely it had to have a stream he could stock with trout. He made a mental note to go up into the attic and check his fly equipment.”

Clifford Simak’s novel, City, traces humankind over the course of thousands of years from abandonment of the “City” for rural life to exploration of the solar system to the rise of robots.  This is not an “AI” novel where robots take over, but more of possible path where man no longer is the dominant species on Earth.  Again, this is not a Planet Of The Apes scenarios either.

Amped

In the sequel to Wired by author Douglas E. Richards, we find Kira Miller and David Desh the focus of a vicious manhunt by powerful forces bent on their destruction.  They have been set up as working with terrorists to destroy the civilized world.  In AMPED everything seems to be coming apart and again nothing seems to be as it seems.  There are a number of plot twists as the reader tries to unravel the events in relation to the abilities of the characters’ enhanced state.  Enemies reappear and friends seem to be enemies and enemies become allies.