Archive for April, 2011

The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil-Victoria Christopher Murray

April 30, 2011

The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil

Victoria Christopher Murray

Touchstone, Jun 7 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781439194256

As she nears her fiftieth birthday, wealthy Shay-Shaunte knows what she wants as her special present.  Until Shay-Shaunte offers one of her executive assistant, Evia Langston five million dollars for a weekend with the latter’s husband Adam.  Stunned Evia says no thanks.

However, Evia knows her family could use the money as they are nearing financial ruin with the economy tanking.  She also knows that when she and Adam exchanged vows in front of the Lord when they were seventeen, they pledged a faith based relationship to raise their kids in.  Now Evia and Adam must choose between the she-devil serpent’s glittering offering to save the Langston’s Garden of Eden or trusting in God to take care of them and their children.

The immediate reaction is The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil is a gender bending version of Redford’s Indecent Proposal to Moore and Harrelson; but that is only at the surface.  Instead this is a much deeper profound character driven tale as besides breaking one’s ethics for easy money and the example that sets for their children as well as destroying the trust between Evia and Adam.  There is also an underlying religious issue throughout the engaging story line that will stun readers with a shocking twist at the final confrontation.  Victoria Christopher Murray provides readers with a strong inspirational family drama as free will allows the Langston duo to choose between the devil’s easy money and the Lord’s pious path.

Harriet Klausner

The Delta Solution-Patrick Robinson

April 30, 2011

The Delta Solution

Patrick Robinson

Perseus/Vanguard, May 3 2011, $25.99

ISBN 9781593156473

Mohammed “the Godfather of the Dark Continent” Salat provides the funding and orders to the Somali Marines.  This group of pirates is extremely well trained and equipped to achieve their mission of capturing tankers and cargo ships off the Somali coast. 

Salat sends his brigands to capture the American freighter Niagara Falls whose $100 million dollar cargo belongs to the United States Agency for Internationals Development.  Refusing to pay the $10 million dollar ransom demands, the American government assigns Commander Mackenzie “Mack” Bedford to lead a newly activated SEALs team Delta Platoon.  Their current mission is to mount sea rescues and end the Somali Marines’ piracy by assaulting their headquarters in Haradheere, Somalia.

The keys to this timely engaging thriller are that the SEALs receive focused training and the Somali Marines are a very capable organized unit.  Once the cast is set and the team ready to invade, The Delta Solution goes into hyperspeed as Mack and his elite team assault the impenetrable base of the Somali marines knowing the likelihood that many SEALs will not come home even in body bags and the collateral damage is a certainty.  Less action than Mack’s previous adventures (see Intercept and Diamondhead), The Delta Solution is a more complete thriller as the audience observes two highly trained and effective units prepare for a showdown in the Indian Ocean.

Harriet Klausner

The Phoenix Apostles-Lynn Sholes and Joe Moore

April 30, 2011

The Phoenix Apostles

Lynn Sholes and Joe Moore

Midnight Ink, Jun 8 2011, $15.95

ISBN: 9780738726663

In 2012 at The Reliquary in Mexico City, as he studies the video feed of the tomb University of Miami archaeologist Mesoamerican Professor Daniel Bernal tells his fiancée Planet Discovery magazine writer Seneca Hunt something is wrong about what they have found as Montezuma’s remains are missing.  However, his muses are interrupted with an explosion.  All at the excavation are dead except Seneca.

Mexican official believe a terrorist attack occurred, but a grieving angry Seneca believes there is more to it.  She begins a hunt for the killers of her beloved starting with Carolos the technician assistant who left just before the blast.  Seneca learns that other ancient tombs around the world are being invaded, but whereas the remains of history’s murderous infamy are taken other valuable artifacts are left behind.  When she meets author Matt Everhart who is also following the story, they team up on a trail that leads back two millennia ago in Judea with a modern day scheme that will annihilate millions.

Although Cotton Stone takes a respite, the same frantic pace, starting with the deadly explosion, and never slowing down grips the audience with the first Seneca Hunter thriller with historical and religious underpinnings.  Seneca is a wonderful fully developed lead character who holds the fast-paced exciting story line together.  With a cautionary underlying message of keep the faith as science and technology are important but need ethical boundaries, fans will relish Seneca’s Hunt for the truth.

Harriet Klausner

A Time for Patriots-Dale Brown

April 30, 2011

A Time for Patriots

Dale Brown

Morrow, May 10 2011, $26.99

ISBN: 9780061989995

The financial industry collapses taking down the stock markets with it.  The American economy is in free-fall.  Newly elected President Phoenix and the Congress radically slash the federal government spending and reduce tax rates to their lowest in decades as they heed what happened to those in the last TARP intervention; safety networks are slashed with the massive reductions.  Three types of groups emerge: local vigilante protecting small pockets of people loosely aligned with The Civil Air patrol; murderous terrorist cells; and stragglers with no camp available. 

The Knights of the True Republic ambush an FBI unit protecting radioactive substances.  They kill the agents and steal the dangerous material planning to launch a dirty bomb on the federal building in Reno.  The Civil Air Patrol’s Nevada Wing led by retired Air Force Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan hunt the Knights hoping to prevent the destruction of Reno.

Fans will welcome the exciting return of not by the book McLanahan (see Executive Intent) though he plays the same shallow character he has been in the numerous tales when he was active duty and retired.  This time he is accompanied by his equally underdeveloped teenage son who joins him in doing it the McLanahan way or no way as this pair is caffeine coffee drinking Cessna pilots.  Extremely fast-paced with a powerful premise of what the impact of sudden massive cuts in spending and revenues mean, readers will enjoy father and son as they team up to try to save Nevada from the terrorist Knights.

Harriet Klausner

The Jefferson Key-Steve Berry

April 30, 2011

The Jefferson Key

Steve Berry

Ballantine, May 17 2011, $26.00

ISBN: 9780345505514

Stephanie Nelle leaves a mysterious message for former Justice Department field operative Cotton Malone to meet her in New York immediately.  Not one to ignore a summons from his former boss, Malone and his beloved Cassiopeia Vitt shut down their Copenhagen book store to fly to the States.

In Manhattan, Malone observes an assassination attempt on President Danny Daniels, but intercedes this saving the life of POTUS.  However, the Secret Service assumes he is the assassin and attacks him.  He soon finds himself in further danger from the Commonwealth Society who has enforced Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution several times with four of them successful in 1865, 1881, 1901 and 1963.  Malone learns of a Jeffersonian cipher deployed by Jackson after a failed assault but unused since.  Meanwhile he and Vitt struggle to survive as Commonwealth Quartermaster Clifford Knox stalks them.  The fugitive pair finds historical evidence of the intent of the Founding Fathers in ratifying that particular clause as the runaways are considered the traitors and the Commonwealth has the highest law in the land behind them.

This is a brilliant exhilarating thriller that uses the Constitution and American history to frame a great tale that will have readers hooked throughout.  After spending time overseas (see The Paris Vendetta and The Emperor’s Tomb), Malone comes home only to be caught in the crosshairs of a secret powerful group applying Article 1 Section 8: “The Congress shall have the Power to … grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules on concerning Captures on Land and Water”.  Filled with stunning spins to American history, fast-paced from the opening 1835 Jackson assassination attempt to the final denouement, The Jefferson Key will be on the short list for best thriller of the year.

Harriet Klausner

Exile-Anne Osterlund

April 30, 2011

Exile

Anne Osterlund

Speak, Apr 28 2011, $8.99

ISBN: 9781101514153

Princess Aurelia travels the Kingdom of Tyralt to meet people and to get away from her murderous ambitious stepsister and her father the monarch who could not care which royal daughter lived or died as long as one of them remained his heir.  Her friend Robert, who loves Aurelia, and select guards join her on her trek.

She wished she could just go about as a commoner, but understands her position prevents her from doing so.  When an assassin tries to kill her, Aurelia learns you sometimes get what you wish for.  She and Robert flee for their lives wearing the disguise of a common couple.  When they encounter bandits, Aurelia meets her mother who is protected by the band.  She is offered a chance to remain with her mom hidden from her father’s world or continue her journey.

The sequel to Aurelia is a terrific high school age thriller as the heroine seeks to get away from her deadly home and meet her subjects.  Robert is her most loyal follower as danger is everywhere from paid assassins to outlaws.  The encounter between mother and daughter is incredible passionate; however the heroine’s inner moral compass will determine what she will do as she has a strong ethical value system (must be maternal DNA).

Harriet Klausner

Blood Law-Karin Tabke

April 30, 2011

Blood Law

Karin Tabke

Heat, May 3 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425240922

Brothers Lucien and Rafael were ten years old when the Fenrir Slayers led by Thomas Corbett attacked the Vulkasin Lycan pack killing many including the twin’s parents and kidnapped Layla the medicine woman.  Thomas is enthralled by his captive.

Years later, the siblings rule their Lycan pack but Lucien has found his chosen mate; Rafael, retuning after a year away, knows she is the enemy Slayer infiltrating their clan.  Lucien kills her leading to a schism between the brothers who through the Gods share one body with one dominating the day and the other the night until the Blood Law of a mate for a mate is avenged. 

In Sacramento Rafael saves a human female from Viktor the rogue Slayer.  He wants to know why a Slayer would assault a human so he tries to learn the truth even as he heals Falon Corbett the orphan who Rafael soon marks her as his mate. 

Blood Law is a super urban fantasy with a deep Lycanthropic background interwoven into the exciting story of rival siblings at war with one another.  Readers will feel Lucien’s rage and frustration towards his brother while Rafael struggles with his own feelings.  With a great climatic twist, sub-genre fans will relish the Tabke universe as Lycan struggle to survive in a world in which the Slayers stalk them.

Harriet Klausner

Fairer than Morning-Rosslyn Elliot

April 29, 2011

Fairer than Morning

Rosslyn Elliot

Thomas Nelson, Apr 13 2011, $15.99

ISBN: 9781595547859

In 1823 in Rushville, Ohio, nineteen years old Eli Bowen proposes to fifteen years old Ann Miller without talking to her father, but she says no as she feels she is too young to marry him now.  He is angry accusing her of deceit while she thought he was her selected future spouse when she turned eighteen.  However Ann talks to her father a minister who says her late mom would want her to wait.  Ann is angry with her dad who she feels directs her to wait in order for her to raise her two younger sisters (Susan and Mabel).

At the same time in Pittsburgh, teenage orphan Will Hanby becomes an indentured servant for five years to saddlemaker Master Good.  He soon learns his boss is abusive.

In 1826 while Eli is seeing another woman, Minister Miller accompanied by his three daughters travel to Pittsburgh on business.  There Ann and Will meet.  She brings light and intelligence to his dark life.  When the Millers return to Rushville, an energized Will take a stand when Good orders him to commit perjury in court.  Instead after a beating he flees for West Virginia and prays for salvation, promising to help escaped slaves and wanting to head to Ohio to be with the woman he loves and prays she has moved passed her first heart entanglement while a raging Good pursues him.

This is a powerful historical fiction using real persona (the Miller family, Will and Good).  The cast is super as they bring alive the Ohio Valley in the misnomer Era of Good Feelings.  Fans will relish the Saddler’s Legacy as Rosslyn Elliot provides a profound early Americana thriller.

Harriet Klausner

What Happened To Goodbye-Sarah Dessen

April 29, 2011

What Happened To Goodbye

Sarah Dessen

Viking, May 10 2011, $19.99

ISBN: 9780670012947

Over two years ago in Tyler, Mclean Sweet’s parents divorced in an angry public war.  She stayed with her restaurant consultant dad though she worshipped her mother before the split while her mom began a new family.  Mclean no longer speaks to her mom.  Instead since the schism, she and her father have moved four times as part of his job as an EAT INC consultant saving dying restaurants while his only true love is Defriese University basketball. 

Four towns have allowed Mclean to try on a new personality in each one so she can conceal the shame of who she truly is.  As dad tries to save Luna Blue, she wants to end their rolling stone existence and stay in Lakeview as she observes her neighbor Dave Wade the genius trying to pretend to be an average IQ geek.

Although mindful of the author’s Along for the Ride, Mclean makes the tale work as she brings angst with her anger towards her parents, her shame over the public humiliation of their split that makes her the divorce kid and her need to no longer be a rolling stone as she wants to gather the moss of belonging in high school.  The support cast at Jackson High School, the Luna Blue and Lakeview enhance the story line targeting middle school of a teenager trying to finally move on passed the end of her previously perfect life.

Harriet Klausner

Baby Bootcamp-Mallory Kane

April 29, 2011

Baby Bootcamp

Mallory Kane

Harlequin Intrigue, May 3 2011, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373695423

In Freedom, Texas Corps Security and Investigations undercover operative Matteo Soarez sits calmly in The Talk of the Town Café while protecting State Governor Lila Lockhart from an assassin.  Matt also seeks information leading to identifying who the culprit is. 

His two biggest problems with the surveillance is the café owner is eight months pregnant Faith Scott and her cherry pie.  A war veteran who has seen the worst of humanity, she makes him dream of family, fences and five female babysitters.  She feels the same way about him, but refuses to fall for another drifter after Rory Stockett, father of her unborn.  However, when her ex starts to bully her, Matt intervenes.  As they fall in love, he realizes someone wants both of them dead; the unborn is collateral damage.

This exhilarating romantic suspense hooks readers from the onset as Matt begins to know first hand the patrons of the café.  He makes the story line work as he struggles to stay the character of a drifter construction laborer who falls in love with a woman about to give birth and wants the mother and child in his life.  Fans and matt will hope the lead female has faith in her heart as Mallory Kane provides a wonderful thriller.

Harriet Klausner