James Rollins – Grant Blackwood – The Kill Switch – a Tucker Wayne and Kane thriller!!

The Kill SwitchI have been a fan of James Rollins since I read Map of Bones (Sigma #2) back in 2005. In addition to all the Sigma Force novels, except for the first one, I have read three of  Rollins early stand alone novels and all are great!  The thing that I like best about the Rollins novels is – the science,  no it’s the action, no the political aspects….- the whole package!!! The Associated Press writes….

“The Science…. reads like the best of Michael Crichton.
The machinations of government read like the best of David Baldacci
And the action and thrills read like the best of Clive Cussler. Rollins takes the best of all of these and creates an amazing thriller unlike any other.”

Rollins latest book The Kill Switch co-written with Grant Blackwood, like the rest of his books, has all the above, plus two new heroes, one man and the other canine. Tucker Wayne, an ex-U.S. Army Ranger and his Belgian shepherd Kane have been asked by Sigma Force director Painter Crowe to help the Force out with a simple extraction of a defector from a foreign country. The country is Russia and the defector Abram Bukolov, the Steve Jobs of Russia’s pharmaceutical industry! Soon Tucker discovers that this is not an everyday extraction, and Russia’s military and intelligence divisions plus a deadly sniper Felice Nlsson are out to stop him!!

But why is Bukolov on the run? It all revolves around Bukolov’s research about LUCA – the Last Universal Common Ancestor, of all life on earth – in the right hands LUCA could change the world for the better in the wrong hands it could destroy the world’s ecosystem! Bukolov’s research has led him to the mountains of Nambia, where botanist Paulos de Klerck may have encountered the theoretical LUCA. So now Wayne’s mission expands beyond that simple extraction to finding the LUCA before Russian General Kharzin does!

The trip becomes more hazardous because there’s a traitor in the  midst of Wayne’s group, feeding information back to Kharszin, allowing him to keep the heat in the person of  Felice Nilsson on Wayne and Kane!! Who’s the traitor? Is the LUCA real and where is it? What would happen if Kharzin got his hands on the LUCA?  These are all questions Tucker Wayne and Kane must answer before it’s too late for them – and the world!!

In The Kill Switch Rollins has created two new characters in Tucker Wayne and Kane that you can root for and they need all the help they can get to complete their mission!! The book was a great ride from a Simple Proposition in Vladivosotok, to the Rough Country of South Africa and Namibia, to End Game on the shores of Lake Michigan??  I, for one, can’t wait for this dynamic duo’s next adventure. Until then, I’ll have to settle for Rollins’ latest Sigma Force novel The 6th Extinction!!(

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Tell No Lies – Gregg Hurwitz – “Simply Brilliant”? – It’s True!

STell No Lieso in keeping with the thought that one should write short I will give you my review of Gregg Hurwitz’s book Tell No Lies using the words of Anne Rice……“Simply Brilliant!

So check it out of the library, buy it on Kindle, now you can by it in paperback just get you hands on it and see if you like me yell at Daniel Brasher  - “Don’t do it – Wait for the police!! But you see Daniel is the kind of guy that will not do that – he has to go for it, never, is he half in, never does he sit back and rest, he needs to be out there doing. He could just be sitting back and living the life of luxury like his filthy rich mother, but no he gave that life up and became a counselor to violent criminals, a position that he is about to leave to move into private practice.

Until a letter appears accidentally appears  in his work mailbox, threatening the lives of two people, telling them if they don’t “admit what they have done they will bleed for it” After Daniel reads that the first victim has been brutally slain, and the clock is winding down to the deadline for the second victim, who lives only blocks away from Daniel’ to admit what she has done, Daniel takes off to save her life! And you the reader know – this is not going to end well! True to form it doesn’t and soon……  there are more threats, including one directed at Daniel. So many questions, so little time…… could it really be one of his patients??  how are these seemingly random victims  related?  what are they to admit to, and does it all connect to Daniel?? All questions Daniel has to answer before his time is up!!

So now that I’ve used too many words to tell you about the book, I may as well give you the whole Anne Rice quote….

“Simply brilliant. Tell No Lies is infinitely more than a thriller, yet thrilling to the last page. Psychologically rich and often beautiful…A true page turner in which every phrase, every character, every little incident counts. Stylish, elegant, and absolutely riveting! An unforgettable read.” –Anne Rice, author of THE WOLVES OF MIDWINTER and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.

Yep, it is that good, it was one of those books that I didn’t want to put down. The characters are great, the plot is terrific and the book works on several levels. The themes that the book addresses are real! I don’t really want to say what they are because they deal with the whole storyline!

I read my first Gregg Hurwitz book in 2004 The Kill Clause the first Tim Rackley book. I read the second Rackley book The Program and then three of Gregg’s stand-alones. It seems I read one about every three years. It also seems that has to change!! (Memo to self – get on the stick – take that Trust No One off of your to be read shelf, and get reading!!) So go grab a Hurwitz novel and get cracking and if you don’t like regular novels try Graphic Novels, he writes those to including Batman:The Dark Knight. Bye, I’m off to Trust No One…..

Book 15 of 2014

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Book 32 for 2013 – Harlan Coben’s – Six Years

Six YearsSo it has been a long time between Books No. 31 and 32 for 2013. One of the reasons is that I have  been listening to too much music late into the night and that cuts into reading time. The other is that I just couldn’t get enthralled in any books. I am currently a little over halfway through James Rollins latest The Eye of God and while I am enjoying it, it hasn’t been a can’t put it down page turner for me. That is exemplified by the fact that I’m still reading it!  Now that lack of enthrallment ended when I finally picked up Harlan Coben’s latest Six Years!  It didn’t take long for Harlan to pull me into the world of Jacob Fisher, Professor of Political Science and he never let me go until I finished the book last night. A while ago I read that much of literature involves a quest that the hero has embarked on and that is certainly the case with Six Years. Six years prior to the start of his quest Jake was on a retreat and feel in love with Natalie Avery only to watch his world come crashing down when Natalie unexpectedly marries her ex-boyfriend Todd Sanderson. After the wedding, which a heartbroken Todd attends, Natalie makes Jake promise to leave them alone, forever, no contact what so ever!! Jake keeps his promise for six years until one day he reads that Todd has died, murdered in his South Carolina home. Hoping to for a reconciliation with Natalie Jake heads to SC only to find Todd a happily married man with children older than six and a wife that isn’t NATALIE!!  So the quest begins – where is Natalie?? Is she all right??? Why isn’t she Todd;s wife??  The quest soon turns Jake’s life upside-down and threatens not only Jake, but everyone else who knew Jake and Natalie during that fateful summer when they fell in love!! Like all of Harlan’s books this one is terrific as an ordinary man must overcome extraordinary circumstances to save his damsel in distress! Can he do it before his world and everything he knows and loves is destroyed – including Natalie!! Highly recommended!! It’s taken me a while to get around to reading this book and I don’t know why?? It was released back in March and today I found this article about Hugh Jackman and the book

Hugh Jackman to Lead Harlan Coben’s ‘Six Years’ Novel Adaptation

 

After some new photos from The Wolverine surfaced yesterday, with the promise of the first trailer finally arriving on March 27th, THR says Hugh Jackman is going to take a break from action with a new dramatic adaptation of Harlan Coben’s novel Six Yearswhich just hit shelves today. With no writer or director attached at this point, this kind of announcement seems timed to simply sell more books, but if Jackman sticks with the project being produced by former Fox head Tom Rothman, he would play a man named Jake Fisher whose heart was broken as he watched the love of his life, Natalie, marry another man. Six years later, still heartbroken, Jake comes across this other man’s obituary. Hoping to see Natalie, he attends the funeral, but has another surprise waiting for him. From the official synopsis for the book:   Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart—and who lied to him—soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction. Continue Reading

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Book 8 – The Ark – Boyd Morrison

So this time a scientific word that was not coined until 1982, (well after my high school and college days were over and parenting was in year three of son number one and we were waiting for son two), is the center of Book 8 for 2011! The word is prion and the book is Boyd Morrison’s debut novel The Ark. So what is a prion? From Wikipedia:

A prion is an infectious agent composed of protein in a misfolded form.[2] This is in contrast to all other known infectious agents, which must contain nucleic acids (either DNA, RNA, or both) along with protein components. The word prion, coined in 1982 by Stanley B. Prusiner, is a portmanteau derived from the words protein and infection.[3] Prions are responsible for the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in a variety of mammals, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as “mad cow disease”) in cattle and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. All known prion diseases affect the structure of the brain or other neural tissue and all are currently untreatable and universally fatal.[4]

The novel The Ark combines a little history revolving around Noah’s Ark and a lot of action adventure involving a madman whose plan is to destroy mankind except for those he has handpicked to save and restart civilization!

The action starts when archaeologist Dilara Kenner is contacted by Sam Watson an old family friend who says he has information about her missing father.  When Dilara meets Sam at the LA Airport rather than speaking about her father Sam starts talking about Noah’s Ark (her father’s archaeological obsession) and the possible death of billions! Before he is able to fully explain Sam is killed by a mysterious woman. With his dying breaths Sam tells Dilara to find Tyler Locke.

Two days later Dilara finds Locke on an oil rig off Newfoundland. After an attempt on Dilara’s life (her helicopter crashes) and an attempt to blow up the oil rig Locke is convinced that Dilara is in need of help and agrees to help her discover the secret behind Noah’s Ark and her father’s disappearance. Oh, and they also have to save the world from that madman! The more they find out and link together other attacks the more they realize that they have a short time to find this monster and save billions!  And how do prions fit into all this?  Well you ‘ll just have to read the book to find out!

The action is fast and furious and the pages flew by. I liked the lead characters Dilara and Tyler and Tyler’s associates.  The back cover is riddled with quotes from some of my old favorites like James Rollins and Douglas Preston along with  new favorite  Chris Kuzneski. Here’s what James Rollins says:

“Boyd Morrison’s novel is a stunning thriller with a premise as ingenious as it is flawlessly executed. Lightning Paced, chillingly real, here is a novel that will have you holding your breath until the last page is turned. One of the best debuts I’ve read this year.”

So if you want a good read that mixes, history and science and leaves you slightly concerned about the future of mankind,  read The Ark!

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Book 4 – Ghost Country – Patrick Lee

So this week has been work filled. Like I said earlier in the week after being on furlough last week I was working with the drilling department this week. I spent my work days, which started at 7:15 am, in Philly in the area around the intersection of Girard and Lancaster Avenues. Throw in back to back nights at Target until 11:00 pm and by the end of work last night I was beat! The only good thing was that there were periods of the day when I had to wait to take readings on the percolation test so I got to read! I took a paperback that I had picked up at Borders with my gift card that Andrew gave me for Christmas, so Book 4 for 2011 became Ghost Country by Patrick Lee. The book is actually a sequel to Lee’s first book The Breach and by the time I figured that out I was too far along and the storyline so engrossing that I couldn’t stop. If I had it to do over I would read The Breech first!! Anyway this book starts with Paige Campbell an employee of Tangent Corporation, a company that monitors strange entities that come through the Breach.  Some seem benign and others dangerous. As the book opens, Paige and her co-workers are returning from a meeting with the President of the US after showing him one of the entities. The motorcade that they are traveling in is attacked and everyone killed except Paige who is captured. Prior to that capture she gets a message to a co-worker Bethany to take the matching entity to the one Paige has and leave Tangent’s Border Town. Then she should  find Travis Chase, because he can help her. Exploring the entity Travis and Bethany discover that the entity opens a window that can be accessed to travel into the future. When Bethany and Travis use the entity,  they see a US about seventy years in the future. The Washington DC that they see  is crumbling  devoid of people and cars! It appears that the event that caused the havoc is just four months away! That knowledge sets Travis and Bethany on a mission to save Paige and the world!!!

From the cover:  “In a word: Brilliant…..left me breathless and awed – James Rollins

“Wow! Double wow! Starkly original Ghost Country will make Asimov and Heinlein cheer with the angels. The techno-thriller meets sci-fi and the rsult is mind-blowing” Stephen Coonts

I agree the book was great and the action kept me turning pages quickly! I enjoyed the characters and my only regret is that I now have to go BACK and read The Breech!!!

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Book 10 of 2010 – The Midnight House

So, four weeks plus later and two books read in between, I finally finished Alex Berenson’s The Midnight House. The Midnight House is the fourth book in the John Wells series and I loved the first three. The story lines were good and John Wells was a well developed character who I liked. So I had high expectations when I picked up this book, unfortunately, the book fell short of those expectations. It’s not that the book was bad, it’s just that there really was no hook that brought me into the story and made me want to keep reading.

The novel revolves around interrogation unit 673 that operated in Poland at what they called The Midnight House. After their operation ended, the majority of the soldiers have been killed and John Wells is called in to find out the whys and wherefores. The story goes back and forth in time to tell the story of what happened at the Midnight House and at times that seemed awkward and confusing. The last one hundred or so pages were better than the first two hundred some and overall the ending was satisfying. But the story lacked any personal development in Wells’ character, though some things were touched on. Overall this book rates a 2 out of 5 stars for me. Maybe it would be more enjoyable for first time readers of the series. Those with no expectations. But will I be waiting for the next John Wells book, yes I will,  because Berenson may just knock one out of the park next time!

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