Sunday, June 10, 2012


Red White and Dead Again:
Author: Jeffrey A.  Friedberg

From the rooftop she sprinted with the stolen nuclear weapon files tightly fastened in her leader vest. Risking everything 16-year-old Shanna made sure that she was not seen. But, something stopped her cold. The face of the man who created these files, Robert Oppenheimer was somehow drawn out of the safety of his compound and now was in dire danger. Accosted by two men and held under water hoping his lungs would fill with water ending his life, Shanna witness this act and had to make a flash decision. Realizing the immediate danger she was in did not stop her from taking action. But, the end result was not exactly what she expected when she realized just who was behind the attack and why. Facing her was a 17-year-old teen named Yaakov who saved the day and the files. But, why didn’t they return them to the creator and what was in store for them next.

Mercenary turned PI Jack Vane is about to be made an offer he cannot refuse. Jack is down on his luck and his favorite lunch seems to be M&M’s or chocolate kisses. Jack is in debt, good at what he does but when he failed to find a lost treasure he wound up in prison, dealing with an international cabal and tried to steal the mineral wealth or New Mexico. But, let’s not forget that he managed to catch a serial killer and much more. But, here is where our story takes a different turn. Sixty-six years later from when the nuclear files were stolen the following events would occur leading back to where it all began.

Imagine Jack’s face when the Mafia Baroness Sophia Gambeno-Lanksie enters his office and presents him an offer that he at first refuses. Stating his reasons and presenting his case to her did not seem to make a difference. Blackmailing him and reminding him of things that she knew he did not faze Jack. But, he needed money and he was terrified of the old tapes and information the mob had at its fingertips on him. Refusing this deal was the only way to go. One phone call changed it all as Jack picked up a pad and pencil and started to write.

Flashback to 1945 to our young teens and their quest to keeping safe from the submachine gun fire and not allowing the files to get into the wrong hands. With the assassin plane right on their tail how would they escape? Yaakov was assigned to protect her which did not seem to upset our teen. Taken with her at first sight he did everything possible to get away from their attackers. One fighter pilot whom thinks he has them cornered and two teens that might prove him wrong.

Let’s fast-forward to the present and jack to learn more about what he is expected to do and meet Yaakov Irgun, the boss or head of the Jewish Mob our young teen 66 years later. Facing this man Jake is about to learn more about his assignment as the author briefly shares Yaakov’s past as an assassin for the CIA, OSS killer and much more. The assignment would wipe out many of Jake’s debts and bring him a hefty fee but questioning this man would bring down his wrath and although he is now 79 the power he yields is strong and definitely terrifying.

The author enlightens Jake and the reason to the reasons behind his mission and flashes back to the past to where it all began. The secret super weapons plans were stolen from Oppenheimer’s office in 1945 by Shanna where are they now? These top-secret papers are dangerous. While thinking about the past Yaakov allows the reader into his former world, his feelings for Shanna, their relationship and the roles of the spies and the U.S. government. Back then an unholy alliance was formed between the FBI and the families. Secrets were kept, not all revealed, debts paid and cover-ups sealed as the U.S. government and the mob both committed heinous crimes and atrocities left unpunished. But, if these papers were not located the end result would be catastrophic as implied by Yaakov. Learning more about the both Santé Fe and his close call with death, both he and Shanna formed a brief bond for a while ending in her mistrust for him and Yaakov revealing his time in the prison camps. The author includes quotes at the top of each chapter from Sun Tzu related to the events to come.

Flashing forward to the present he includes extensive research that he shares with Jake and the reader regarding some political figures, the FBI, WWII, the KGB and much more. Blending history and the events in this novel into an intricately woven plot keeping the reader glued to the printed page to find out more as the Baroness of the Mob, Sophia returns to the spotlight to explain the mission or job at hand to Jake in more detail. Hoping to learn more about the secret plans and the weapon of mass destruction, Jake becomes enveloped in a plot to find the secret plans for a super bomb more powerful that the hydrogen or any other bomb. But, the story is not only centered around Jack and the mysterious papers it centers around two young people who fell in love, separated for so many years and just might reunite decades later. Shanna is bright and quite astute at the time and although she was only 16 when they met she realized that there was much more to Yaakov then on the surface.  Thinking he was hired to o kill her Shanna overhears a conversation between Yaakov and another man which sets off a chain of events that changes the course of their relationship and causes her to disappear.

As you hear the voice of Sophia in the present and meet her extremely tall daughters, you learn more about the hidden truths behind the plans, who might have them and whether one set destroyed. Dr. Edward Teller is one diabolical mind behind this plot and Oppenheimer the other. Just what happens when Teller is given his own lab and Oppenheimer continues his project will terrify the reader as both have a similar vision in mind but will they succeed? What if I told you the ultimate goal is to create a bomb so powerful if found in the wrong hands it might be used for World Domination.

Added in the story is the history of Santé Fe and the many photos included at the end of the book allowing the reader to actually see the many places discussed and described by the author and feel as if you are experiencing the journey first hand. We meet the investigative team that Jack has put together to help work on this case. Tiffany Chablis who runs a delivery company. We meet Little Boy, a Native American Police Officer, his sister Diana, Adrianna Crow another officer and Captain Roberts. We also meet the FBI link that is not out for his best interest, Christian Cake. The author introduces these players and then brilliantly flashes back to Shanna and her injuries and we learn more about her life and what she learns about Duncan Pike from his son. The plot thickens as we once again find out more about Irgun or Jake “the Ghost” Irgun and his link to what happened in the past and the fact that he just might not be what he appears to be in the present.

One news article would enlighten everyone and bring to light a man named Valentino Reefe and his connection to the original project. This information remains classified so you won’t get any more information from me unless you read it for yourself and make all the connections on your own. Enter a man named Romulus who just might help Jack put the entire situation in perspective since he wants the plans too. Betrayals, mistrust, deceit and one man who was behind it all and it is up to Jack to teach him and many others a lesson they won’t forget but what happens next will surprise the reader and Jack too.

When all of the pieces of the puzzle finally come together and the past comes full circle with the present in more ways than one just where are those plans and will Jack find them? So, what does the sun and the song Let the Sunshine In have to do with the missing plans? Just who has them and how does this all link together? An ending that will keep you guessing and make you wonder what will happen next for Jack and the rest of his team.

What happens when Shanna faces Yaakov? Who is the mastermind behind this devious plot and who wants World Domination? What happens to the plans and the plates? Is this the beginning of the end or the start of more to come? Red White and Dead Again or are they? Read this fiery hot novel and find out just who lives, who dies and who makes it into the next book by our outstanding author. Take the journey into New Mexico and the past with Jack, his team and the others and experience the excitement yourself.
Let’s give this book: FIVE SUNSHINES TWICE IN ONE DAY!

Fran Lewis: reviewer

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