Category Archives: Literature/Fiction

Review of Two Graves by Preston and Child

TwoGravesTwo Graves 

(Special Agent Pendergast Series #12)

by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

If you have enjoyed reading the previous novels in the Pendergast series, then you will like this one. Two Graves is the third in the Helen sub-series, and you should have already read the first two, Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance, before reading this. There are enough plot twists, sub-plots, and inter-twined characters to keep a Pendergast fan entertained or maybe confused at times. It may just be me, but I had a hard time keeping everything straight. I figured it all out in the end, but sometimes these Pendergast novels nearly make my brain ache.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5. The story was good, but I may just be a little over Pendergast.

I received this e-book for free from NetGalley.

Book Description

Release Date: December 11, 2012

For twelve years, he believed she died in an accident. Then, he was told she’d been murdered. Now, FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast discovers that his beloved wife Helen is alive. But their reunion is cut short when Helen is brazenly abducted before his eyes. And Pendergast is forced to embark on a furious cross-country chase to rescue her.

But all this turns out to be mere prologue to a far larger plot: one that unleashes a chillingly-almost supernaturally-adept serial killer on New York City. And Helen has one more surprise in store for Pendergast: a piece of their shared past that makes him the one man most suited to hunting down the killer.

His pursuit of the murderer will take Pendergast deep into the trackless forests of South America, to a hidden place where the evil that has blighted both his and Helen’s lives lies in wait . . . a place where he will learn all too well the truth of the ancient proverb:

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Product Details

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (December 11, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0446554995

ISBN-13: 978-0446554992

Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

 

About the Authors

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child “stand head and shoulders above their rivals” (Publisher’s Weekly). Coauthors of the famed Pendergast series, their books Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the 100 greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number one box office hit movie. They are also the authors of Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance and Gideon’s Sword. Preston’s acclaimed nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published four novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm. The authors welcome e-mail from their readers; you can visit their website at www.prestonchild.com.

Biography

Douglas Preston was born in 1956 in Cambridge, MA, was raised in nearby Wellesley (where, by his own admission, he and his brothers were the scourge of the neighborhood!), and graduated from Pomona College in California with a degree in English literature.

Preston’s first job was as a writer for the American Museum of Natural History in New York — an eight year stint that led to the publication of his first book, Dinosaurs in the Attic and introduced him to his future writing partner, Lincoln Child, then working as an editor at St. Martin’s Press. The two men bonded, as they worked closely together on the book. As the project neared completion, Preston treated Child to a private midnight tour of the museum, an excursion that proved fateful. As Preston tells it, “…in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to [me] and said: ‘This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!'” Their first collaborative effort, Relic, would not be published until 1995, by which time Preston had picked up stakes and moved to Santa Fe to pursue a full-time writing career.

In addition to writing novels (The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon) and nonfiction books on the American Southwest (Cities of Gold, Ribbons of Time), Preston has collaborated with Lincoln Child on several post-Relic thrillers. While not strictly a series, the books share characters and events, and the stories all take place in the same universe. The authors refer to this phenomenon as “The Preston-Child Pangea.”

Preston divides his time between New Mexico and Maine, while Child lives in New Jersey — a situation that necessitates a lot of long-distance communication. But their partnership (facilitated by phone, fax, and email) is remarkably productive and thoroughly egalitarian: They shape their plots through a series of discussions; Child sends an outline of a set of chapters; Preston writes the first draft of those chapters, which is subsequently rewritten by Child; and in this way the novel is edited back and forth until both authors are happy. They attribute the relatively seamless surface of their books to the fact that “[a]ll four hands have found their way into practically every sentence, at one time or another.”

In between, Preston remains busy. He is a regular contributor to magazines like National Geographic, The New Yorker, Natural History, Smithsonian, Harper’s, and Travel & Leisure, and he continues with varied solo literary projects. Which is not to say his partnership with Lincoln Child is over. Fans of the bestselling Preston-Child thrillers can be assured there are bigger and better adventures to come.

A Review of The Intercept by Dick Wolf

The Intercept by Dick Wolf

The Intercept

A Jeremy Fisk Novel

By Dick Wolf

On Sale: 12/26/2012

Format: Hardcover

September 2009, Jeremy Fisk is a New York City Detective. He is a member of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Their main job is to prevent any terrorist attacks in the city. There are many Federal agencies who also are dealing with terrorism, but no one else who focuses on New York City. In this, the first book of an expected series, there is a suspected plot and one known member of the group. The FBI has a line on Bassam Shah, an Afghan, who is bringing something into The City. They want to keep an eye on him, so that he will lead them to the rest of the group. Fisk isn’t happy with that plan, but has to go along with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. That is, until Shah ditches his phone, rented car, and laptop and drops off the grid. He is somewhere in New York City, but no one knows where. Fisk brings in some undercover operatives who are unknown to either the JTTF or the terrorists. They are able to take control of the situation and prevent anything from happening. This action shows that Fisk and the NYC police are able to handle the job that was given to them.

July 1, 2011, an attempted hijacking is prevented by passengers on a plane headed to Newark from Sweden. A potential terrorist is able to depart from the plane after it lands to deal with the terrorist. Fisk and his group have to find him and stop whatever is being planed for the probable target, the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, There are many unexpected plots twists and surprises.

Mr. Wolf presents a fast paced, action filled police novel. He tells the story mainly from the point of view of Jeremy Fisk, but some of the story is told by other characters in the book. This is a very natural way to have the story unfold. It is nearly like you are watching an action adventure film, and the director is cutting the scenes from one point of view to another. Also like an action adventure film, more time is spent describing what is going on than on character development. You are able to get to know Fisk, but most of the police force are rather flat. There is more time spent inside the heads of the terrorists than the members of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. I’m sure that these characters will be fleshed out in future volumes of this series.

This was a very exciting action, adventure police investigative novel. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to fans of quick paced action novels.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Description

Dick Wolf makes his literary debut with this tense, driving thriller, reminiscent of the classic The Day of the Jackal, an extraordinary tale filled with the ingenious twists and high-wire suspense we have come to expect from this master storyteller

Days before the July Fourth holiday and the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, an incident aboard a commercial jet flying over the Atlantic Ocean reminds everyone that vigilance is not a task to be taken lightly. But for iconoclastic NYPD detective Jeremy Fisk, it may also be a signal that there is much more to this case than the easy answer of this being just the work of another lone terrorist.

Fisk—assigned to the department’s Intelligence Division, a well-funded antiterror unit modeled on the CIA—suspects that the event might also be a warning sign that another, potentially more extraordinary scheme has been set in motion. Fluent in Arabic and the ways of his opponents, Fisk is a rule breaker who follows his gut—even if it means defying those above him in the department’s food chain. So when a passenger from the same plane, a Saudi Arabian national, disappears into the crowds of Manhattan, it’s up to Fisk and his partner Krina Gersten to find him before the celebrations begin.

Watching each new lead fizzle, chasing shadows to dead ends, Fisk and Gersten quickly realize that their opponents are smarter and more agile than any they have ever faced. Extremely clever and seemingly invisible, they are able to exploit any security weak-ness and anticipate Fisk’s every move . . . and time is running out.

Product Details

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 400

Imprint: William Morrow

On Sale: 12/26/2012

ISBN: 9780062064837

ISBN10: 0062064835

Trimsize: 6 x 9

$27.99

Ages: 18 and Up

About the Author

Dick Wolf, a two-time Emmy award-winning writer, producer, and creator, is the architect of one of the longest-running scripted shows and most successful brands in the history of television—NBC’s Law & Order. Wolf has won numerous awards, including Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series (Law & Order) and Outstanding Made-for-Television Movie (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee); a Grammy; and an Edgar. This is his literary debut and the first in a series featuring NYPD detective Jeremy Fisk. He lives in Southern California.

A Review of Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

Erebos softcover.indd

Erebos

Ursula Poznanski

Annick Press

Pub Date   Feb 1 2012

Nick Dunmore is on his school basketball team. His friend Colin Harris is also a member of the team. Recently Colin has been missing practice. In fact a lot of the team is absent. Coach Bethune is very angry. Nick wonders why Colin is skipping practice. He tries to get Colin to tell him what is going on. Colin says that he can’t tell him. But Nick knows that it has something to do with the dorky guys that Colin is hanging around with. Guys that he and Colin used to make fun of. So when Nick sees Colin passing something to a schoolmate, Jerome, he confronts Jerome and asks him what he received from Colin. Jerome refuses to tell him anything. Nick is sure that something is going on, so when Brynne offers him a game DVD, he takes it. He promises that he will follow the rules. The game makes the rules and all players MUST follow them or they will be out. Nick quickly gets deeply into the game. The game, Erebos, knows him. It can communicate with him. It gives him tasks to do, first in the game, then in the real world. It wants to control all the players.

Ms. Poznanski has written a very riveting novel. Its aimed towards the Young Adult crowd, but I was caught up into it just the same. The story is well written and believable. The story is structured well and the ending feels right. I haven’t played many computer adventure games, but this one sounds like one that would grab my interest.

I give this 5 stars.

I received a free e-book of Erebos from NetGalley.

Description

An intelligent computer game with a disturbing agenda.

When 16-year-old Nick receives a package containing the mysterious computer game Erebos, he wonders if it will explain the behavior of his classmates, who have been secretive lately. Players of the game must obey strict rules: always play alone, never talk about the game, and never tell anyone your nickname.

Curious, Nick joins the game and quickly becomes addicted. But Erebos knows a lot about the players and begins to manipulate their lives. When it sends Nick on a deadly assignment, he refuses and is banished from the game.

Now unable to play, Nick turns to a friend for help in finding out who controls the game. The two set off on a dangerous mission in which the border between reality and the virtual world begins to blur. This utterly convincing and suspenseful thriller originated in Germany, where it has become a runaway bestseller.

Product Details

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Paperback: 436 pages

Publisher: Annick Press; Canadian and US rights only edition (January 19, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1554513723

ISBN-13: 978-1554513727

Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

Ursula Poznanski was born in Vienna, Austria, where she still lives today with her partner and daughter. The older of two sisters, she enjoyed reading, music, cycling, and skiing when she was a child. Her favorite books were The Flying Classroom by Erich Kaestner, Mio, My Son by Astrid Lindgren, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Ursula started writing when she was no more than seven or eight years old. She was fortunate in that she had teachers who encouraged her a great deal, and loving relatives who would read her essays to everybody who hadn’t managed to escape in time. She found it quite embarrassing, but it did not deter her from writing.

The idea for Erebos (Spring 2012) came from her penchant for stories that include a change of worlds. These usually come in the form of fantasies, but she wanted to tell a story where this actually happens. She loved the idea of a computer game dragging the player so deeply into a virtual world that it would affect his view of reality. She also wanted to write about manipulation and how it works.

What Ursula enjoys most about the creative process are those moments when it seems as if the book is writing itself. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it is pure joy.

Her advice for aspiring authors is to read a lot and write a lot. Don’t believe that success is going to come fast or easy, but carry on nevertheless. Love your story; don’t run after trends. Look for a good writing partner who tells you the truth about what he or she thinks of your work. Appreciate profound criticism.

Ursula’s interests, besides writing, include photography, music (although she doesn’t play an instrument, she has not given up hope that she may still do so one day), talking to interesting people, and traveling.

A Review of Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt

Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt
Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt

 

Ghosts of Manhattan: A Novel

Douglas Brunt

Touchstone

October 2, 2012

Nick Farmer is a bond trader with Bear Stearns in 2005, before the financial meltdown. Mr. Brunt paints a picture of the excesses of a bond trader’s life, as seen through Nick’s eyes. He has spent too many years getting drunk by 5 PM, spending expense money on strippers and drinks. His marriage is in trouble. His life is a mess, but how can he fix it? He went to Bear Stearns right out of college. All he knows is selling and buying bonds. He has been doing this too long. He is 35, not 25. He makes way too much money, but knows that it’s all a sham.

Mr. Brunt does a masterful job of involving the reader into Nick’s life. He takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, as you feel disgust, fear, hope, and finally learn to like this broken and deeply flawed character. He also brings the other people in this novel to life. I didn’t like Nick in the beginning, but came to care very much about him by the conclusion.

This is a very strong first novel. It is written in first person, and really does involve the reader. I give it 5 stars and recommend it.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Description

Release Date: October 2, 2012

A wryly comic, first-person debut novel offering a withering view of life on Wall Street from the perspective of an unhappy insider who is too hooked on the money to find a way out, even as his career is ruining his marriage and corroding his soul.

It’s 2005. Nick Farmer is a thirty-five-year-old bond trader with Bear Stearns clearing seven figures a year. The novelty of a work-related nightlife centering on liquor, hookers, and cocaine has long since worn thin, though Nick remains keenly addicted to his annual bonus. But the lifestyle is taking a toll on his marriage and on him.

When a nerdy analyst approaches him with apocalyptic prognostications of where Bear’s high-flying mortgage-backed securities trading may lead, Nick is presented with the kind of ethical dilemma he’s spent a lifetime avoiding. Throw in a hot financial journalist who seems to be more interested in him than in the percolating financial armageddon and the prospect that his own wife may have found a new romantic interest of her own, and you have the recipe for Nick’s personal and professional implosion.

By turns hilarious and harrowing, Ghosts of Manhattan follows a winning but flawed character as he struggles to find the right path in a complicated urban heart of darkness.

 

Product Details

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Touchstone (October 2, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1451672594

ISBN-13: 978-1451672596

Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces

About the Author

Until 2011, Douglas Brunt was CEO of Authentium, Inc., an Internet security company. He now writes full time and is currently working on his second novel. A Philadelphia native, he lives in New York with his wife Megyn Kelly and their two children.

You can read a conversation with Doug where he talks about Ghosts of Manhattan over on the Q and A page.

Get email alerts and author updates from Simon & Schuster

A Review of The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson

The-Black-Stiletto-3-D3

The Black Stiletto

Raymond Benson

Oceanview Publishing

September 5, 2011

Martin Talbot has discovered that his mother may have been a masked and costumed crime fighter in New York City back in the 50s. His mother, Judy, suffering from Alzheimer’s, is in a nursing home. Her lawyer gives Martin a package that leads him back to the empty family home, where he discovers a hidden room in the basement. When he enters the room, he finds some black leather costumes, weapons, and a bunch of books. When he looks inside, he sees that they are diaries. He starts to read the first one. The story unfolds from this diary. But while he is reading the diary, life continues in the present. A mafia bodyguard has spent over 50 years in Sing Sing Prison in New York State. He has served his time and is looking for The Black Stiletto. The mafia Don that he was supposed to protect died at her hand and she killed his brother.

This is an interesting story. The diary tells the story, but the events that happen in the present are another twist. Martin found quite a few of his mother’s artifacts in the hidden basement room. There are many more volumes of The Black Stiletto’s diary. There are many more stories to be told. I will be reading and reviewing the next book in this series, THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE.

I give this 4 stars, because while I like the premise of the diary telling the story, it seemed a bit too predictable. I hope the next book has more suspense.

Description

Could Martin Talbots elderly, Alzheimer-stricken mother, Judy, really have been the Black Stiletto? When Martin discovers several volumes of her diaries hidden by his mother, he is stunned beyond all imagination. His mother, the underground heroine of yesteryear? The famed, still unidentified woman who battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and preyed on common crooks? The woman who exacted punishment on evildoers without mercy? But it is all described, in great detail, in the diaries. What caused her to begin her quest for justice. Her decision to act outside the law. Her feats as the famed and feared vigilante. How her reputation exploded. In short, how it all played out. Could it be true? Talbot is filled with doubt and disbelief. But the reappearance of one of the Stilettos old enemies with a thirst for merciless revenge makes the story more than real and could imperil the life of not only the Stiletto, but her son and granddaughter as well.

About

The Black Stiletto was a legend in her own time, an underground heroine who made a name for herself during the late Eisenhower years and early Kennedy years as a New York City vigilante. Although she was wanted by the law and would have been arrested had she been caught or had her secret identity been revealed, the Black Stiletto was a competent and successful crime-fighter. A feminist before the term was in everyday vernacular, she battled common crooks, Communist spies, the mafia, and worse—and was responsible for their capture and, in some cases, their deaths. But the Stiletto disappeared midway through the sixties and was never heard from again. Most people thought she had died, and no one ever knew her identity. Like pin-up queen Bettie Page, her mythical image resurfaced in comics and other media during the 1980s and 90s. Millions of dollars were made by others exploiting her likeness and persona. Today, the questions remain. Who was she? Is she still alive? If so, where is she now?

The answers can be found in THE BLACK STILETTO and THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE, by internationally known New York Times best-selling author Raymond Benson.

The July 2011 issue of Library Journal calls THE BLACK STILETTO “a mashup of the work of Gloria Steinem, Ian Fleming, and Mario Puzo, all under the editorship of Stan Lee.”

Product Details

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (September 5, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1608090205

ISBN-13: 978-1608090204

Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

Raymond Benson is the highly acclaimed author of six original James Bond 007 novels, three film novelizations, three short stories, and two anthologies on Bond. Writing as David Michaels, Benson is a New York Times best-selling author, an Edger Alan Poe Award nominee, and a Readers’ Choice Award winner for Best Thriller.

More about the author

As of Summer 2012, Raymond Benson is the author of twenty-seven published books. These include the new BLACK STILETTO series (www.theblackstiletto.net) featuring a 1950s costumed female vigilante:THE BLACK STILETTO (2011) and THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE (2012); six original JAMES BOND novels (now collected in the recent anthologies THE UNION TRILOGY and CHOICE OF WEAPONS); three 007 film novelizations; and the first two best-selling TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL novels (for the latter he used the pseudonym of “David Michaels”). With John Milius he penned HOMEFRONT: THE VOICE OF FREEDOM. He also wrote the novelizations of other popular video games–METAL GEAR SOLID and METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, and HITMAN (HITMAN: DAMNATION, July 2012). Raymond writes his own original suspense books as well–stand alone thrillers such as TORMENT, ARTIFACT OF EVIL, SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS, FACE BLIND, and EVIL HOURS, or his two “Spike Berenger Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits” featuring a music industry detective–A HARD DAY’S DEATH and the Shamus Award-nominated DARK SIDE OF THE MORGUE. There’s a lot more, so if you want the full story visit the author at his website… www.raymondbenson.com!

Review of The Sum of Her Parts by Alan Dean Foster

The Sum of Her Parts by Alan Dean Foster
The Sum of Her Parts by Alan Dean Foster

The Sum of Her Parts (The Tipping Point Trilogy Book 3)

Alan Dean Foster

This is the final segment of a 3 part story. The picture of the world that was portrayed in the first book, “The Human Blend” was quite intriguing. The future was one where global warming had fulfilled all of the dire warnings we have been hearing for years. The oceans had risen which flooded the low-lying coastal cities. To combat the rising water, some cities had been built on stilts or floats. The warmer climate had driven tropical animals toward what had formerly been the temperate regions. More powerful tropical storms hit the coastlines more frequently. They had fashioned large moveable shields to divert the winds. And the most engaging part of the new world was the dramatically improved ability to adjust ones self. To have any sort of modification to your body  that you could imagine, as long has you could pay for it.

This was the world in the first book. The third book takes place entirely in the desert of South Africa, on the lands of a South African company, SAEC. The two  protagonists of this series, Dr. Ingrid Seastrom and Whispr continue on their quest to discover what the metallic thread found in the first book, has hidden inside of its encrypted data. They are trying to break into the SAEC research facility, which is in the middle of a large heavily guarded and patrolled desert.

I was hoping that Mr. Foster would be using the setting that was developed in the first book as a basis for many more stories, but the ending of this book makes that very unlikely.

If you have started reading the series, you will want to finish it. I think that the series had more promise than it delivered. I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Net Galley.

Title Details

Random House Publishing Group

Del Rey

Paperback: 288 pages

Publisher: Del Rey (November 27, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0345512022

ISBN-13: 978-0345512024

Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

Price: 15.00

Currency: USD

Edition: Paperback

Description

In this thrilling science fiction adventure-the triumphant conclusion to the Tipping Point trilogy-New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster returns to a near future in which genetic manipulation and extreme body modification have changed profoundly what it means to be human.

Dr. Ingrid Seastrom was once a respected American physician. Whispr, whose body has been transformed to preternatural thinness, was once a streetwise thief. Now, in a world on the edge of catastrophe from centuries of environmental exploitation, they are allies-thrust together by fate to unravel an impossible mystery-even as they are stalked by a relentless killer.

Ingrid and Whispr are hunted fugitives bound together by a thread: a data-storage thread made of a material that cannot exist, yet somehow does. Their quest to learn its secrets-and, in Whispr’s case, sell them to the highest bidder-has brought them to South Africa’s treacherous Namib desert. Beyond its dangers waits a heavily guarded research facility that promises answers, if they can survive long enough to get there. But that won’t be easy, not with Napun Molé on their trail. They’ve already escaped the assassin twice, and as far as Molé is concerned, finishing them off isn’t just a job anymore . . . it’s personal.

About the Author

Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The Approaching Stormand the popular Pip & Flinx novels, as well as novelizations of several films, including Transformers, Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, live in Prescott, Arizona, in a house built of brick that was salvaged from an early twentieth century miners’ brothel. He is currently at work on several new novels and media projects.

Review of The Human Blend by Alan Dean Foster

The Human Blend
The Human Blend by Alan Dean Foster


The Human Blend (Tipping Point Trilogy Book 1)

by Alan Dean Foster

Mr. Foster develops a very engaging world in this the first novel of the Tipping Point Trilogy. This is a world of flooded coastlines, powerful hurricanes and altered national identities. The human populace has also changed. There are people who haven’t undergone any body modifications, the Naturals, and people who have done nearly any imaginable thing to their bodies, the Melds.

In part one of this Trilogy, Whispr and Jiminy Cricket murder an unknown tourist in Savannah, so that they can steal his meld, a mechanical hand. During the crime, Whispr finds a small hidden metallic thread and takes it. This thread is the focus of the whole story. Police and underground groups are looking for it and will kill anyone who stands in their way of getting it.

The Human Blend is book one of a trilogy, and at the end of the book there is no resolution to the plot. This is similar to a three part television show. You will have to continue reading “Body, Inc.” and “The Sum of Her Parts”.

This is an interesting world and could be used for much more than the story that is being told here. I enjoyed the story and read it very quickly. I hope that Mr. Foster will develop other stories in this setting. I give this 4 stars out of 5.

Description

In this first novel of a thrilling new series set in our near future, New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster reveals a place where criminals are punished through genetic engineering and body manipulation—and poses profound questions about what it means to be human.

Given his name because radical surgery has reduced him to preternatural thinness, Whispr is a thug. In a dark alley in Savannah, Whispr and his partner in crime, Jiminy Cricket, murder what they take to be a random tourist in order to steal his artificial hand. But the victim is also carrying an unusual silver thread, which Whispr and Jiminy grab as well.

Chance later deposits a wounded Whispr at the clinic of Dr. Ingrid Seastrom. Powerful forces have been searching for Whispr since he acquired the mysterious thread, and Jiminy has vanished. All Whispr wants to do is sell the thread, and when he offers to split the profits with Ingrid, she makes an astonishing discovery. So begins the formidable partnership between the Harvard-educated physician and the street-smart thief—as long as they can elude the enhanced assassins that are tracking them.

Product Details

Paperback: 256 pages

Published November 22nd 2011 by Del Rey

ISBN: 0345511980

ISBN13: 9780345511980

edition language: English

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces

About The Author

Alan Dean Foster’s work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as “Star Wars”, the first three “Alien” films, “Alien Nation”, and “The Chronicles of Riddick”. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first “Star Trek” movie. His novel “Shadowkeep” was the first ever book adaptation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel “Cyber Way” won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so.

Foster’s sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several “Best of the Year” compendiums. His published oeuvre includes more than 100 books.

A Review of Bullets Are My Business by Josh K. Stevens

Bullets Are My Business by Josh K. Stevens

Bullets Are My Business: A Dutton Guilt Edged Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Josh K. Stevens

Levi Maurice piles up scars, bodies and dames at the start of this hard-boiled detective novel. The action comes fast and furious. In the first dozen pages, there is a mysterious pale green envelope, followed by an unknown woman in the shower, who turns out to be Natalie, Levi’s working girl informant, and finally a shootout as three thugs burst into his cheap apartment and start firing. After those three are down, three more come though the door with their guns blazing. After a heated battle, Levi takes stock of his situation. He’s wounded, has a load of dead guys and a light green envelope from an unknown woman who needs his help.

So begins an exciting look though the eyes of Levi Maurice. Josh K. Stevens brings the classic feel of a pulp novel to life. It nearly feels like a 10 round heavyweight fight. If you like to read the real old-fashioned, action filled, hard-boiled detective novels with heroes like Sam Spade or the early Matthew Scudder, you will love this book. I give this 5 stars!

I received this book for free from Net Galley.

Description

Josh K. Stevens masterfully draws a hit man’s underground world of bullets, sex, death, money, and betrayal in his mile-a-minute debut of dark modern noir.

Levi Maurice has always had his eye on the money in his career as a hit man. A chain-smoking alcoholic with a penchant for all the wrong women, Levi is never short of improvised plans and smart-assed remarks to ensure he makes it to the next paycheck. But when the tables are turned and a hit is put out on him, he suddenly finds himself fighting for his life. Along with his crooked cop neighbor, Jacks, and his radical protester little sister, Chenille, Levi has to find out who has it out for him before he finds himself six feet under. Not helping are the mysterious mint green envelopes appearing on his doorstep, asking for his help just when Levi himself needs it most, and Megan, his sexy new girlfriend, who may not be as honest as she looks.

Bullets Are My Business is a bloody, fast-paced, darkly humorous ride into the life of a hired gun who finds himself on the wrong side of a hit — and may not make it out alive.

Product Details

Bullets Are My Business: A Dutton Guilt Edged Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Josh K. Stevens (Author)

File Size: 617 KB

Publisher: Dutton Guilt Edged Mysteries (November 20, 2012)

Sold by: Penguin Publishing

Language: English

ASIN: B009RYKQZY

Text-to-Speech: Enabled

X-Ray: Not Enabled

Lending: Not Enabled

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,110 Paid in Kindle Store

About the Author

Josh K. Steven’s short stories have been published in RAGAD, Boston Literary Magazine, 55 Words and decomP. A nonfiction piece was published in The Great Lakes Reader. He presently resides in northern Illinois with his wife, their son and two cats, where he is currently hard at work on his second novel.

A Review of Crashed by Timothy Hallinan

Crashed (1)Junior Bender is a burglar. He started when he was 14 and has been practicing his craft for 22 years. Now he is being set up. And the fun is non-stop.

This first book in a new series by Timothy Hallinan is very enjoyable trip though the darker, seamer side of Hollywood. It is populated with many crooks and other dubious characters. You will be won over by some of them and wish that some of them would become fish food, but you will enjoy every twist and turn this story brings. If you are a fan of Elvis Cole or Bernie Rhodenbarr, make sure that you put this new novel on the top of your Christmas List.

Book Description from the Publisher

Release Date: November 13, 2012 | Series: A Junior Bender Mystery

Introducing Junior Bender, the favorite burglar-turned-private investigator of Hollywood crooks

Junior Bender is a Los Angeles burglar with a magic touch. Since he first started breaking into houses when he was fourteen years old, he’s never once been caught. But now, after twenty-two years of an exemplary career, Junior has been blackmailed by Trey Annunziato, one of the most powerful crime bosses in LA, into acting as a private investigator on the set of Trey’s porn movie venture, which someone keeps sabotaging. The star Trey has lined up to do all that’s unwholesome on camera is Thistle Downing, America’s beloved child star, who now lives alone in a drug-induced stupor, destitute and uninsurable. Her starring role will be the scandalous fall-from-grace gossip of rubber-neckers across the country. No wonder Trey needs help keeping the production on track.

Junior knows what that he should do—get Thistle out and find her help—but doing the right thing will land him on the wrong side of LA’s scariest mob boss. With the help of his precocious twelve-year-old daughter, Rina, and his criminal sidekick, Louie the Lost (an ex-getaway driver), Junior has to figure out a miracle solution.

Product Details

Hardcover: 356 pages

Publisher: Soho Crime (November 13, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616952741

ISBN-13: 978-1616952747

Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches

About the Author

Timothy Hallinan has lived, on and off, in Southeast Asia for more than 25 years.  He wrote songs and sang in a rock band while in college, and many of his songs were recorded by well-known artists who included the platinum-selling group Bread.  He began writing books while enjoying a successful career in the television industry.  Over the past fourteen years he has been responsible for a number of well-reviewed novels and a nonfiction book on Charles Dickens.  For years he has taught a course on “Finishing the Novel” with remarkable results – more than half his students complete their first novel and go on to a second, and several have been, or are about to be, published.  Tim currently maintains a house in Santa Monica, California, and apartments in Bangkok, Thailand; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  He is lucky enough to be married to Munyin Choy-Hallinan.

A message from Tim

2012 has been a great year.I moved to Soho Crime for the fifth Poke Rafferty book, The Fear Artist, and the book earned stars from three of the four publishing trades that give stars to the books they like best. Oh, and it was just named one of the Best Crime Novels of 2012 by Deadly Pleasures magazine and got some of the best reviews of my career.

And then lightning struck my ebook series about the Los Angeles burglar Junior Bender. First, Soho acquired them for publishing. Then the series was bought for film by Lionsgate and for audio by Blackstone. The first book in the series, Crashed, will come out on November 13 of this year, with Little Elvises scheduled for January 2013 and The Fame Thief set for June—three books in less than seven months.

Looking forward to 2013.