Saturday, September 2, 2017

Names of the Dead

The Names of the Dead Girls: Eric Rickstad

Someone is watching you but you cannot see or hear the person. Someone wants to end your life because of something your father did to him. Someone attacked you and you have never been able to deal with it and now that someone is no longer is prison and you think he is coming back for you. This man is responsible for killing your parents long ago and now that your uncle some harsh truths are about to come out since your uncle has adopted you, your father, tried to hide and protect you from the horrific truth. But, this man is not finished yet and more girls will pay the price, as the list of the names of the dead girls will vastly grow before we hope this person is stopped.
Ned Preacher is a serial rapist and murderer who has now been released from prison after serving a light sentence. He is taunting and threatening Rachel Rath the young girl in question whose parents were brutally murdered but girls will go missing and one woman named Dana Clark has made his list as former Detective Frank Rath and
Detective Sonja Test must form a strategy to take down a killer but is he the only one? Dana Clark is heading for her daughter’s house when someone seems to be following her in an SUV. Calling her daughter alerting her to the danger hoping she will get her help but the call terminates as Dana claims she’s okay so why doesn’t she arrive at the daughter’s home? Where is Dana Clark?
Frank Rath does not want to go back to his former position but the Chief of Police gives him no choice and in order to protect his daughter he is going to have to pull out all of the stops and use the resources available to him when another victim is found. Rachel in the mean time is using Google to search for Ned Preacher and views him being led into the courtroom in shackles. The expression on his face allows readers by the vivid description provided by the author letting us know he is taunting those in the courtroom and practically shouting out: I DID IT! SO WHAT! SHE HAD IT COMING! THEY ALL HAD IT COMING!
Afraid to be alone yet not wanting to be held captive in her old room she and her boyfriend Felix begin to feel trapped and Rachel is going to do something about it and the first step is to learn more about the stabbing of her parents and the next will surprise readers. Rachel viewed the murder photos and the back-story about Preacher and what he did in 1989 to a young 12-year-old girl. The description is graphic and the end result is more than horrific. But, why did they say he would profit from behavior modification? On page 100 understand why she was fuming, what he did to her parents and the meaning of the knife. Barrons was the person in charge as the reason she received the files is that Test sent them to her. There were several murders and one called in by a boy and his father who even took pictures of the dead body so they would be believed. But, the questioning was extensive and at times you begin to think that everyone is a suspect in these murders. Abby Land is in prison and she is either naïve, stupid, gullible or al three. Held in the prison’s Administrative Segregation area for her safety. When you hear her voice you’ll understand why. Abby killed Mandy Wilkes. Rath questioning her reveals it might have been over Luke Montgomery and the way Mandy looked at him. Jealous rage! Jamie Drake was found hanged and you could tell the killer tortured her slowly but Abby just looked as if she was drifting into another world. Her mannerisms were odd and her reaction even stranger. Thinking she was going to get out I two years was a lie she believed thinking that she would never do hard time. But, in two years it would change when she reached 18 and would be tried as an adult. Even with her lawyer explaining it to her she seemed spaced out and kept thinking it was a lie. Reality never really sets in until the final reveal when she explains her actions.
Rehashing the murders and speaking with Luke Montgomery they inform him about he murder of Mandy Wilks and that Abby Land killed her. But, his behavior was odd and the responses not quite what you would expect and his description of Abby right on target but he did not think Mandy was killed because of him. But, while speaking to him a startling revelation was revealed that Mandy and Jamie’s murders were connected and but he claims he did not know either girl. Was that true?
A phone call from a retired inspector from Canada takes the murders across the border as Rochelle Beauchamp and Vanessa Lancaume’s murders come to light and Rath shares his findings and files about Jamie this man once he realizes he’s legitimate. Page 234 reveals information about the hanging of the murder victims in both countries and something that was told to CTV Montreal about the body found in the Richelieu River. But, the reports came at the same time on CTV television. The murders go back to 1991 and the killers might be the same so what it Preacher in both places?
Pages 252- 255 will enlighten readers even further as we learn some information from the lab, the tests, the fingerprints and how they were received and what Inspector Hubert reveals about Lucille Forte another victim and the fact that each victim was from a well to do family but how do they all link together as Rath enlists the help of a former cop named Grout.
Learning there are other victims from the 1990’s will set in motion events that will change it all as he reads the lists from the Double Black Diamond Resort, the sign-ups for the acting auditions and there is the link to the victims and what they have in common but why kill them?
A simple item will change it all as something from the auditions and the place where they took place links them even more. Mandy Wilks: Notepad: no one puts her at the DBD: killed by Abby Land. Abby attended the auditions at the resort on Oct 12 and killed Mandy.
Jamie Drake was also there and attended the audition found tortured, murdered by hanging. Killer?
Did Ned Preacher do it or Luke Montgomery? Boyd Pratt III was there too for an adoption of a baby girl. Not a suspect in the murders
Luke has no connection to the DBD. He is Land’s motive for killing Mandy. But, this proved nothing until something happens and you won't believe the revelation as Rath was following and stalking Preacher at the time of one of the murders.
Who was stalking Rachel and why did this man appear out of nowhere? Why didn’t some red flags rise? What happens the next time he is there and why does he offer her a ride? But a situation lends itself that she needs a ride and what happens would place her in dire danger. Her father and Felix warned her against being anywhere alone and not heeding their warning might bring the murderer front and center. Throughout the investigation Sonja is dealing with her husband Claude who wants to take a post as a visiting artist and perhaps a permanent position but she cannot focus on this and when she finally does what will her response be to both situations?
Someone was behind the murders and someone was controlling Abby Land but who and how does this relate to what happens to Rachel? Rachel is in danger can she get away from this dangerous person before it’s too late. Texts do not go through but there is someone who would change it all as Preacher opens the door, has no idea what will happen next and the truth behind something else is revealed? Where is Dana Clark? Who controlled Abby and why did she say I did it for him? Rath has always been on the straight and narrow, honest to almost a fault so when you learn the truth about who the real killer is, what really happened to Dana Clark and the startling revelation at the end you the reader decide who is guilty and who is not!
Lies, betrayals, deceits, cover-ups, revenge, survival and one young girl named Rachel that even resorted to buying a gun and learning to use it protect herself from a deadly killer. The ending brings into question whether the story will stop right there or will Rath decide to take it one step further. When you read the last page you decide as author Eric Rickstad created a mystery/psychological/thriller far surpassing so many others that I have reviewed. Frank Rath is a solid character that takes on a case or task and is relentless and will stop at nothing to get to the truth, as does his daughter who works along side of him helping with his cases. What’s next for Rath and hopefully Test too? Only this great author knows that for sure. Heart stopping, suspense filled and a twist at the end that will make you heart beat faster hoping that the final tally will be an end to the list of the NAMES OF THE DEAD GIRLS. Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine


Red Harmon just wants to live his life with his family without looking over his shoulder. Someone is after him or maybe his wife, Lori too as the first scenes in the book are filled with violence, attacks, tension and an enemy that remains elusive is stalking Red Harmon and his family. As you get the meet him and understand his job as the covert leader of a group called DET, Red has yet to uncover a counterfeit plot that spans the snow-covered mountains and ravines of North Korea.
 Lori his wife for all outward purposes is in the finance department of the CIA and although she seems like a typical mom living in the suburbs she is anything but. Secrets are at the root of this novel and although Lori and Red are married and share Intel in this case doors are closed and someone has to unveil the truths before more lives are lost. Meet the guards, soldiers and higher ups in North Korea and learn what they have been planning regarding our 100-dollar bill and how they plan to reproduce it and use it as currency. Meet the Red’s team of covert operatives that are dangerous, deadly and you wonder at times that can be trusted. When his superior finds out that he is taking on this OP as the head of it the response is not what he expected but he forges ahead anyway because somehow the CIA has a mole that is leaking information to the North Koreans and at this time it’s difficult to tell if someone close to him just might be the mole. Distrust reigns over this novel and the people Red is supposed to trust as Carter seems to ignore what Red thinks and claims the end result will not be in his hands and if someone close to him is dirty then this person will be taken out. With the help of an entire team whose names were changed to protect their identities, Ko the Korean guard who has no choice but to help the Americans is a great character who shows initiative, loyalty and manages to get his sister and daughter out of a dangerous and deadly prison in order to restore our national security and safety.
Lori worked on financial intelligence and terrorism funding tops the list gut they deal with all economic espionage or anything that threatens our financial standing. Mossad was involved but how and according to Carter he’s not worried about them but in this case it’s hard to tell whom to trust on every side. The author presents doubts that will linger until the very end is revealed. Red was a military operation and not an investigator. His special ops background as related by the author was mottled and it spans two different military branches, which includes a stint in Force Recon, the US Marines special operations. He is now heading the DET: Detachment 5 of Special Operations Command. It consists of a battlefield where cooperative members share intelligence, assets, and efforts for the common good. No single co-op owned the DET. They were a fusion cell. Red was the commander in charge.
Enter Zhang Dawe whose primary goal it is to take down those that took his family away and his life. Watching his father beaten and then killing his family his revenge seemed justified to take out his uncle.
The author relates that sources indicate that North Korea has started production of an accurate US hundred dollar bill. Over 60 percent of legit US hundreds are circulated outside of our borders and North Korea has been a source of counterfeit currency. Imagine the fact that these bills are so good that they get past screening and are almost flawless. To make matters graver China provided the press and the technical specs were leaked but Red has his mind on Lori and had not spoken to her in several days. But, how could North Korean counterfeiting operation get through unnoticed and she was working fintel. The ministry of intelligence is performing a balancing act, ensuring the counterfeit flow is steady providing benefit but not so much that it would harm Chinese interests. They feel this did not include or have anything to do with the People’s Bank of China and are proposing a solution. Ko now turned against his country and would be contacted to complete a mission or his sister and daughter would be killed. Called Sangsa he is told to not ask questions just follow orders.
Marksman was sent to protect Lori and yet what happens to him was not expected and the revelation that he is gone adds to the suspicion that Lori might be the leak or the mole but is that true? The CIA used Marksman just like Mossad to provide humint only. They claim he had no access to anything deeper and he sold the Intel gathered from his experience with DET to China, North Korea and not long ago after the DET blew up their newest ballistic missile, the KN-08 on the test pad therefore the DET is compromised with both Korea and China.
The joint op if it succeeds is to erase the leaks and destroy North Korea’s counterfeit capabilities at the same time while the CIA deals with China. The DET will handle North Korea.
This would be as the author relates a joint operation that would happen at the same time. Hit all three and nothing should be left. Javeick questioned that he was being asked to authorize an op to blow up the entire data system of China’s Ministry of Intelligence and the response was CIA Takes those all three will be hit by an electromagnetic pulse: an EMP erasing the data. All they want is his approval for the DET striking North Korea’s Ministry of State Security facility in Chongjin where the mole is supposed to make the final transactions. This plot is multi-level and complex as we learn more about the mole being on site and treason but who is the mole? Whether it is authorized or not they intend to do what is necessary and the allegations against Marksman True or False?
Harmon wanted this to end because of the numerous threats against his family and he hoped that this could be done without any trace left behind but the ending will show you the reader. If they eliminate China, the DET will take care of North Korea and he hoped Javick would accept this.
Information alights that someone was ordering as Jamison reveals Marksman to shadow the asset, ensuring protection making it appear that he was an uncover bodyguard which is why he was at Red’s house but how was he connected to Lori? If Marksman was dirty what about Lori? Reloading means to reload the ammunition and they certainly do in the last few chapters as the mole is on foot, the final outcome is about to be revealed but not before guards are eliminated, things are scatted, Mule Neck kicked in the door when Red was about to take him down, will he succeed when coming face to face with the enemy? Within pages 267 we hear the voice of Lanyard, Cooley and we see a women coming out but who is it and is it Lori? Using other names to identify those within this mission Ko is hunched below the dashboard of his vehicle the man in charge is called Jellyfish and his threat to kill his sister and daughter are what’s keeping Ko fixed on the operation. Chapter 35 is crucial to the operation and Ko hoped to save his Soo Jin by making her drink or at least eat something but the tension is heavy and the end result you will have to learn for yourself. Jamison did more digging on Marksman laptop and Mossad as they suspected was doing their own investigation into the intelligence leak. Was it linked to the CIA?
While this was happening Zhang had to get both pallets of capacitors in place and working with a threat to his life if he failed by the man in charge called Blue Tie. Was Blue tie linked to the Ministry of Intelligence? An antenna had to be placed in the right spot and specific lights has to work and light up at the right time for their plan to work. When is it supposed to go off and if the antenna is loose or out of place the man won’t work. Ko Chung, Zwang both in a mission for someone else and both threatened if they fail. Ko Chung working for the Americans and Zhang for the other side who will succeed as the violence erupts, the heart stopping ending will keep you wondering if Red and his team and the others will survive the oozing infections, ammonia, fecal matter and the smells of poor sanitation as the missions come to a violent close and Ko faces off with a young guard and hopes he will come out the winner. The ending will leave you with many unanswered questions and wondering if Red can place his faith in his wife if they ever connect or will the weapons be drawn again, the missions going ahead while Red joins his teammates and once again might have RELOAD.
Characters that are tough, well disciplined and a plot that could be ripped right out of the headlines. Will Korea and China succeed in the plans to reproduce our 100-dollar bill? Is Lori dirty? Only author David McCaleb knows the answer to these questions not even Red Harmon can tell us. Great book, great suspense can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Rat Pack Party Girl: Jane McCormick with Patti Wicklund
Some stories are told with passion, heart and feeling. Some stories need to be told in order to enlighten the world about events that might not always be in the headlines of a newspaper or a newscast but need to be brought to the public. This story needs to be told and retold so that women, children, young boys and girls, young adults become aware of the pitfalls of falling for the lies, deceits, deceptions and unsavory behaviors of those that would prey on the weaknesses of others.
When a young child who is innocent and wants to trust the adults that are supposed to nurture and care for him/her and early on learns that it’s not so. What happens when a mother turns a blind eye to what her husband is doing to her young five year old daughter all in the name of pushing the truth aside, not finding herself at this person’s mercy and allowing right before her eyes this person to molest and rape her young daughter. Jane McCormick early on learned that her stepfather Woody was one of the worst pedophiles alive. Within her own mind as a child she began to believe that she had to resign herself to this fate or face his wrath. So, distraught that at nine years old she attempted to run away with her best friend Lana who decided that if Jane was scared and upset they would find away to get away together. But, unfortunately they were caught and brought to the police and when Jane recanted her story and told it to the authorities they refuse to listen with open ears and she was sent home only to endure more abuse and then seeing a psychiatrist but would this person believe her?
Moving again her mom introduced her at 14 to a boy named Allen thinking that having a boyfriend would help her. But, sometimes the best what her mother thought intentions turned out to be the start of Jane’s downward spiral into a world that she would soon regret entering.
Believing Allen and then Jim was the start of what she tried to play the innocent girl at least for a while. But, this backfired. Friendships with Carol and Curly were on the positive side till this day but introducing her to Bob not the best friendship in the world. Jane fell hard and too fast for his slick lines and his ways. Knowing that he would be away for long periods of time in the service did not faze her but his behavior and his at times callous treatment of her should have been a serious red flag. But, what happened next is serious as Jane was raped and prayed that her child would be alive and live. Her legs bruised her life upside down feeling all alone. Mae, Bob’s mother claimed she did not know where he is and turning to anyone else was out of the question.
Tyler the pimp came next and when Jane got an eviction notice taped to her door owing two months rent she had no choice but to call Bob’s mother Mae to care for her two daughters while she waited for the divorce to become final. Using her to make money and whoring her out was her first step into the world of prostitution. Feeling used, dirty and degraded played in the back of her mind as she realized that she was making tons of cash and hoped it would help get her girls back. Men wanted her and working in a bar was the start until the owner learned she was not of age.
Here is where her life changes even more as she enters the world of Las Vegas the nightlife and slot machines. Her luck was amazing at the slots and even at the tables where some of her johns enjoyed giving her money hoping she would be lucky for them and even for herself. But, becoming pregnant was a disaster and the end result you have to read for yourself, as it will warn others what happens when you do not go to a reputable doctor to take care of your abortion.
Then reality sets in when she has to go for custody of her girls and does not get it. Left with no money and Tyler leaving her things were about to take on a different turn as she becomes involved with some high rollers and famous people.
Joe E Lewis, Vic Damone, and many others as she rolls the dice and wins. Flamingo Lounge more parties, going up to Joey Lewis’s room and earning money sets the tone for many years to come. Going to the Candlelight Room with Damone but when he learned more about what she does to make money he dropped her.
Frank Sinatra became one of her regulars and he treated her like a real queen. Money poured in and many types of soirees in his room along with several other women at one time. Jane soared in this area as she became proficient at please more than one man at a time. Sammy David Jr., Joey Bishop, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and entire Rat Pack and she became their primo party girl. The scenes are quite graphic and the encounters with these stars many but in between she manages to see her two daughters but at the will of Bob and his mother. Jerry Lewis, Harry James, jockeys, actors and even the man who played Tarzan her reach for clients knew no boundaries but things we not always be the same and eventually she would meet two men that would be her downfall. Being kept and controlled by men and thinking each one really cared about her to the exclusion of anyone else would eventually bring her down in more ways than one. Jane just wanted someone to love and care for her but while this might have happened she still went out at night or any time of day and made hoping to entertain as many clients and bring home as much money to send to Mae for her children and to feed her new lavish lifestyle.
Imagine meeting Dan Blocker and enjoying time with him. Jane’s wealth increased for a while due to all of the stars she serviced but was she really content or satisfied with her life? Meeting Johnny she thought was the start of something wonderful but she would learn later on that Johnny Patterson was anything but wonderful. Her friend Annette was always there for her as Carol was too. But, sometimes things change and the person you want to count with you don’t. Learning slowly at times and only wanting to have someone special in her life Jane would later learn that the only person you can depend on is herself and no one else. A hard lesson that comes with a lot of pain and sorrow.

Howard Hughes, Irving an elderly man with lots of money who made Jane feel special and who gave her many gifts not only to keep her in line to want to be with him but to justify in his own mind cheating on his wife who of course common sense reigns would never divorce his wife who was not blind to his transgressions. So, Jane became a kept woman in New York City and for a while that was fine until it was not. But, first she makes a serious mistake and allows Johnny to find her after she wisely left and hopefully she would realize that no matter what she needed to free her of him for good. Would he follow her and what happens when she arrives on her mother’s doorstep knowing she is married to Roger now? Within Chapter 20 she finally says it all to her mother and although it appears that she cleared the air what Jane still allows reader’s to hear are her feelings of desertion, unhappiness and still wondering why her mother never came to her aid against Woody. But, Jane would get even one night when she sees him in a bar and what she does and how she acts lets readers know she is finally on the right path and the scene is priceless.
Going to a gay bar was the first step she made believe it or not in the right direction but before realizing that there is another world out there for her she had to deal with Johnny and come to terms with his abuse and rid herself of him forever. Meeting several women and beginning relationships she finally meets Patti and her life was change forever. In 2007 her perspective on life took on a different turn and Jane would decide to write a book called Breaking her Silence: Confessions of a Rat Pack Party Girl and Sex Trade Survivor. The title was Patti’s idea and a good one. Printing over 2000 copies and things changed greatly as the interviews came and as Jane Harvey using Bob’s last name she met with FBI agents, law enforcement agencies and more hoping to help other women. Chapter 31 explains how she and Patti have helped other women, dealt with her adversities and had the courage, bravery and forethought to come out and tell this story. This is a story that although some of the scenes are graphic and the language strong should be read by young adults and adults starting out in life teaching them what never to do. Never let anyone own you body and soul. Never become someone you are not. Never let anyone tell you that you are worthless and never stay silent when someone abuses you. Schools need to be more vigilant, parents need to be more aware and Jane your story needed to be told. Some women wind up with STD’S, AIDS, and other communicable diseases some just give up. Jane chose to stand tall and look herself in the mirror and be able to realize she is special, she counts and most of all deserves the admiration of so many for telling this amazing first hand account of what happens when you have to do anything to survive. Told in narrative form and told with heart and soul this book deserves FIVE GOLDEN STARS.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine


Each time I enter the worlds that are created by author Jon Land I often travel back in time to many different periods. The story this time takes place in the 20th century in 1990 where it is told through the eyes of different characters presenting three separate plots and events before they’re all tied together. At the inception of the book we encounter Ben Younger and his partner Dale Denton drilling oil on the impact center of the Big Bang. But little do they know that it is cursed or does this happen to be the way Mexican’s do their transactions? Ben goes down deep beneath the surface and hopes to find what everyone seems to be fighting something that will help them control power and lose the need to have oil as a source of fuel. Max Younger is Ben’s son and was in Yemen fighting for his life. Never been one to follow orders and when told to eject the Ambassador from being help captive by terrorists he disobeys the orders when told to abort the mission. Denton on the other hand will stop at nothing to get what he wants and as usual power, greed and money are his aphrodisiacs.
While Ben’s life is lost and Denton and a professor are left to determine the power of a rock that was found and brought up by Ben. Placed safely away and not able to be extracted or touched by anyone until major tests are completed we meet a virologist named Vicky who worked for the CDC and WHO and is in Jordan at present. While Al-Qadir in Iraq shows his ruthlessness and heartless side as we witness the deaths of many first born as he insists that parents slit the throats of the children or endure his wrath. No one dares to go against this lunatic.
Reenter Max Younger who is a Navy Seal and when enlisted to extricate the Ambassador his rogue rescue mission takes him back in time to a period he would rather forget. Returning to New York the lies, betrayals and truths of the death of his father will resurface as he gets caught up in what Vicky is trying to determine is the worst pandemic ever. Victoria Lewin just lost her fiancé in an accident and the reunion with this infectious disease expert will set off a series of events that will threaten all humans, the planet and date back to the origins of our universe. As pestilence plagues the land and death comes from the Middle East, Max Young /AKA/ called the Pope seems invincible. Trapped by this sick and sinister plot and hoping to learn about his father’s death and the cause, we find Max hoping to uncover the power of the rock, stop the plague and virus from spreading as he reunites with the now Vicky Tanoury together with her team in infectious disease working for the World Health Organization to stop what someone has started.
Vicky and Neal her partner enter the clinic where there are 14 patients. What the author reveals is startling and shocking as she exams bodies that are alive but appear half dead. Checking the first man’s ears, eyes, nose and mouth she finds pockets of blood pouring out and teeth that are loose but rebuilding themselves as if he has baby teeth that come out and new ones coming in. His skin is so hard that when blood is supposed to be drawn the needle breaks without being able to puncture the skin to get the blood. Things take on a darker perspective as Vicky takes on the task of using a larger needle to try and get blood from the first patient. But, the end result will terrify readers as the needle cannot pierce his skin, the body grabs Neal’s arm forcing it to break off and leave him with a stump as we learn that whatever this is, is more dangerous and deadly than anyone can imagine.
The author backtracks as we learn when and how both Max and Vicky were born the fate of their mothers and the death of Ben Younger as he found the meteorite or rock that is now at the base of this novel causing more deaths, destruction as the main premise was for Ben and Denton’s company to strike it rich with oil fields but the end result is going to be catastrophic as Denton in the present along with a man named Beekman sees first hand what this “rock” can do to everyone that it comes in contact with. Ben Younger and his son, Max Borgia both have the same distinguishing mark on the palm of one of their hands. This mark tends to bleed, hurt or change color at times. Dale Denton and his daughter Victoria Tanoury will meet as the plot flashes back from the past to the present and the story centers around this mysterious glowing rock. The rock as the authors relate was founded in 1990 in the Yucatan, where both Ben and Dale hoped to strike it rich in the oil fields drilling for oil. But the end result is catastrophic as Ben winds up down deep within the depths of where he was digging only to find himself not too far form where he started having no idea about the in between. The settings and time periods fluctuate from Brazil, to Yemen and Iraq. But, Papal investigator Pascal Jimenez is enlisted without his consent you might say to uncover what this rock is doing and has to deal with Mohammed al-Qadir a well known terrorist. Coming back to Victoria she realizes that there is an unknown virus or pathogen that is killing and mutilating the bodies of its victims. But, can she determine how and why and what does this glowing rock have to do with it?
Events flashback and forth and we learn that the rock that Ben Younger touched changed the composition of this DNA and body chemistry causing him to react differently to many environmental stimulus but in the present as we move forward Max searches for the same answers that would explain why the birthmark on his hand hurts, oozes blood and why are times he envisions scenes that might actually relate to what happened to those in the clinic that were killed, his father’s cause of death and the death of Dr. Franklin Kirsch and his daughter Laura. Max questions Kirsch after learning where he is hiding and not before questioning his daughter so why are they now dead? Denton and Professor Beekman unearthed important evidence about the power of the rock and its ability to be able to light an entire state even more powerful than a 60-watt bulb. The frightening thing is that Denton is evil, wants to profit from whatever this rock caused and the pathogen that is killing people which is at the heart of this novel just might destroy our entire world. But, remember the terrorist whose a player within this complex plot and has a stake in hoping this pathogen will take out our world but will all of these evil doers succeed?
Younger remembered his encounter with the rock hidden deep underground and leaving a mark on the palm of his hand. The company that grew into Western Energy Technologies or WET has been searching for this rock sparing no expense. The speculation is that the rock can give off so much heat or energy without any indicators or evidence as to how. We then move to Father Pascal and Nigeria. He is a planetary scientist who has been enlisted to get involved with this rock or what they think was a meteor strike.
Denton and Ben have a frank discussion stating that they both know that it is not a rock that he found and that this rock would set off something so horrific, a pathogen that if in the wrong hands and spreads could wipe out a nation and much more. Not able to remember anything, Dale tries to convince him that there is something in the rock that caused what happened to both of their children and their wives.
Father Josef Martenko’s Catholic mission was flanked with native guides provided by the government of Nigeria. Telling everyone to call him Cambridge there is something about him that Jimenez finds unsettling and the swollen path on this man’s hand is definitely a sign. Pascal Jimenez completed his report based on the strike itself but something strikes him off and hoping to learn more from the samples of the meteor itself. The meteor struck the Earth, created a crater, so where did it go?
Fast forward to Cairo, Egypt and Vicky and Neal Van Royce having to enter a village not knowing that what they would see would not only be horrific but would be unexplainable.
When all of the enemies are together and the final scenes are played out what author Jon Land creates is so well crafted, so descriptive that you will hold your breath, find your heart beating faster and wonder what the outcome for both Max and Victoria will be. When the terrorists capture Victoria and a soldier they are holding captive infects her, the end result will be horrific for both. But, is there a cure for her and what happens when they learn her blood type and that only one person can save her at the risk of losing the donor too. Heart stopping, terrifying, mind boggling and definitely an ending you won’t expect as one simple rock controls the fate of the world, the fate of humanity and can create enough energy that can kill the entire human race.
Dale Denton and Orson Beekman think that they have it all figured out. Dale does not seem to take into account what happened or might have happened to his own daughter. Added in he takes on the one person that he thinks can make it possible for him to control the world’s energy and not even listening to the ramifications of what he expects this man to do but he has not choice but to obey him. Wait until you visualize the end result. When Max and Denton meet again the final outcome will clarify what really happened to Ben but will Max survive the encounter? Lives are lost. Deaths are common as this pathogen spreads but will it ever or can it ever be stopped? The ending is striking and startling as once again author Jon Land leaves us wondering the answer to this question: IS IT OVER YET? WHERE IS THE ROCK? TO BE CONTINUED WE HOPE!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine 


The Insider Reece Hirsch

Sometimes your well ordered life would unravel when there are forces other than your own that control your destiny. What happens when your associate calls you on your work phone and you fail to respond? What happens when this person repeatedly calls and the next thing you know or see is this person pummeling down the outside of your office building. Thinking Ben Fisher committed suicide is what the killer would have you believe but taking over his major case as the lead corporate attorney dealing with a major merger between Jupiter Software and Pearl Systems will take down one young attorney named Will Connelly and send him on roller coaster ride that might never end.
Hoping to become a partner in the firm he works for he never expects his colleague to fall to his death from the roof right in front of his window. Having to take over, as the lead attorney was the first step to his well calculated and thought out downfall created by someone he would never expect. The major merger between the two technology companies would do more than just give them the intelligence needed to get ahead in technology world it would go as far as raising the prices of the stocks, giving information to the Russian mafia and then all plotted and methodically calculated to destroy Will’s life and career. Never seeing it come at him and the police thinking he was the prime suspect for Ben’s death, realizing it was murder, he is now the prime subject of an investigation by the SEC for insider trading. Foiled by his own hopes for success and yet blindsided when going to a bar and meeting up with a young girl named Katya who sets the plan in motion that was so well orchestrated by her and her cohorts that by the time Will realizes the deception it’s too late and he’s in too far. The merger is Will’s job to executive but when he learns more about it and realizes that the national security of our country is about to be compromised and that he is now a pawn of the Russian Mafia thanks to meeting this girl and now her two cohorts Nikolai and Yuri, Will is now in a no win situation. Can he prevent the leaks from going any further and what will it cost him if it gets in the wrong hands? Claire Richmond worked in due diligence and for some reason the partners fired her for doing poor work. Will told Claire the entire story form start to finish beginning with Ben’s death, through his various encounters with Katya, Yuri and Nikolai. He told her of his suspicion that one of the partners namely Grogan was involved with the Russians and got her fired because she was the one who found the link between Jupiter and the NSA. Added in the author and Will share that the two Russian thugs said they needed his help to get the encryption keys to the Clipper Chip devices that would allow them to hack into our financial systems, the Bart train system and even create a terrorist attack on using sarin gas. Using a friend at Jupiter who knows high-tech security and is guarding these keys, Claire did some fancy flirting and manages to get the key in a subtle way. Handing Will a silver memory stick and talking about what they know about the plan for the BART trains. The man at the helm is Aahif Agha a dangerous man whose associates would probably bring liquid sarin solution onto the train in water bottles or other containers. In each train the terrorists would puncture the bottle containing the sarin and leave it under the seat, just before getting off the train. When the doors shut the sarin would be leaking and emitting a toxic gas and you can imagine the carnage and deaths.
Things change when the authorities bring Will in to talk about what they think they know that he did and the charges are just piling up but will they stick? The DOJ, The SEC, the police, organized crime and the Russian Mob are all after Will. The two thugs will stop at nothing to hurt and torture him and Claire but will he be able to defend himself in the end? Finding a lawyer was paramount even though Sam one of the partners offered him help right after he was fired. Jon Coulter an old friend takes the case but what happens during the interrogations and the final outcome you just won’t believe. If ever anyone decides to become an insider trader author Reese Hirsch’s research, intelligence and vivid description of how it’s done and the end result for Will and others will convince you never to let it happen to you or even to try. The research is extensive and the plot is information driven and fast paced as the lawyers talk, the different agencies question Will and the final outcome is a fight to the finish.
 This is a legal thriller filled with murder and even more our own view of what happens when a huge corporation and its managing partners decide to take on the Russian mob and hopefully get rich in the long run. The merger seems straightforward at first until Will gets caught up in a fight against his own company the mob that he most likely will not win. Realizing that everyone in his company has their own agenda and that the murder and insider trading investigations have merged and the different agencies are after him to press charges they hope will stick, he soon realizes that he is the scapegoat and listening to Marjorie and Dennis question him and pretending to befriend him hoping he will tell what they already know about the mob connection and the Russians it takes every ounce of will power for him to deny any knowledge and keep silent.
At times Will is impetuous and forced into situations that most would think he should not be in a like getting into a car with the Russians or going to the club and confronting Boka one of the men in charge of the Russian operation and then facing off with the one person in his company he knows is behind his troubles. Confrontations that lead to unexpected outcomes and the truth behind the conspiracy is revealed as Will lays it out to someone close to him but the final showdown has yet to come. Ben’s murder, the threat to himself and even his mother, Nikolai and Yuri petty criminals and Boka the head along with someone close to him. What did the Russians invest in and did it involve Jupiter and Pearl? What about Aashif Agha and his role and who was taking money from Boka to go along with the plan? People die but no one involved would care and using the sarin gas to plan an attack on the BART trains did not really make this person pause for thought or think this was wrong.  When Will realized his fate might be sealed and the end result was that shots were fired as he left the one person he thought he could trust and the ending is so explosive you won’t see it coming. As will faces off with a killer in a battle that takes him deep into deadly waters and the final outcome and whether he is charge is something you will have to read for yourself. Tension rises, lives are at stake and Will Connelly’s will to survive will shock readers. A strong character but at times quite reckless and a plot that will give you chills until you find out the dramatic and surprising conclusion. When reading this novel you the reader must decide if you too want to become the next INSIDER!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


The Rising: Jon Land/ Heather Graham

What would you do if you found out that your entire life was a lie and that what you are as a human is about to be questioned and challenged? Football hero and star quarterback Alex Chin is playing at top-notch form when an accident during one of his games sends him to the hospital. Nothing from this point on would ever be the same as the doctor taking his tests realizes much to his impending death that something rings untrue about the CAT Scan he took. Taking it again reveals the same thing an unusual shadow that cannot be identified but just what it is will astound readers later on as the plot becomes more complex and we learn more about Alex, his history and his parents and why things about his life and how he came to live with An and Li Chin. Samantha Dixon is his tutor and is helping him prepare to graduate high school while taking on a internship at NASA hoping to foster this as a springboard for her career. When the football accidents sends Alex to the hospital and Samantha becomes concerned when he does not appear for tutoring what happens next links and binds them together in this science fiction/ mystery thriller by two award winning and outstanding authors.

Samantha works with a Dr. Thomas Donati in the NASA lab but when she sees something alarming he discounts it because he has an agenda of his own. But, things are about to drastically change for not only her but others too as Dr. Payne the doctor caring for Alex is killed and when Alex realizes this with Samantha’s help he leaves the hospital and from that point on they are on the run. When Samantha finally does tell Donati about the anomaly she found she describes a tsunami and an earthquake high on the Ricker  scale caused by immeasurable heat originating at the Earth’s core, pushed upward as the authors relate by the pressure to vent. But, a man at the football game that she did not recognize and then told her to leave and disappear but why stole her IPAD with all of the information?
As the authors continue with their description of Donati’s duties and responsibilities one being watchdog calling for a Janus alert.
Next we are about to meet Alex when he finds Dr. Payne dead and face down on the floor of his office and then receives a message from his mother to RUN and don’t look back but where and why? Sam and Alex area bout to meet the Ash Man who will explain why someone is after him but first should he call the police and wait until you find out when they do appear at his own house and what he learns and finds there will shock readers to the core. When he finally hears his mother’s final words and what appeared to me policemen show up what actually happens is frightening as the figures that appear claim that ALEX BELONGS TO THEM. Just what are they and why do they claim he is not one of us but one of them. Alex and Samantha do not wait for the answers instead he takes action. Realizing and learning later that they were just drones delivering a messages and the Ash Man would explain it even more claiming he must come with him but first we hear An Li tell him to run, leave her there and not look back until he is out of their reach. But, can he and Samantha survive?

 In every science fiction or thriller there is someone who wants to destroy the main character and in this case it is Langston Marsh and another man named Raithman claiming they are going to war as we meet the Guardian called Raiff whose been watching Alex and who is supposed to take care of him and prevent him from harm. Enter Laboratory Z where it all started but first Alex says goodbye to his parents but not before his mother presents him with a special statue and a flash drive hidden in it. As you hear her final words and read them along with Alex you will learn just how he came into our world through a special wormhole and who gave him to An Chin and the story behind how she adopted him but not in a conventional way. Raiff is a guardian, Alex’s guardian and Trackers who call him Zarim are hunting him. His job was to find Dancer or Alex and bring him to the world where he belongs but the dangers multiply, the situations that both Alex and Samantha encounter will prove whether they have the muster to outfox and hide from those that want him dead or those that want to return him to his other world.
Enter the Memory Room and as Raithman defines the history behind the Project Blue Book to the Colonel as he explains and why we are at war and if he is not for the cause he is the wrong man for the job.

Alex and Samantha find themselves needing a way to get some money, new clothes and a place to sleep while finding someone to get a ride from who proves to be an odd professor that just might have some clues to what they need to know and where Laboratory Z is. When both Alex and Samantha find their way there after losing sight of Raiff what they learn when they arrive and finally realize what the experiments were the significance of the wormholes and that there are many aliens, cyborgs and more coming through and it’s only just beginning. A dead doctor, two dead patients, a missing kid and another on the run, as Raiff and Lieutenant Grimes are about to hear the truth as Alex is the only hope for the world to hang on and for our world to survive. But, will they find him in time? Read Chapter 49 and hear the voice An Chin, his mother who will explain Laboratory Z and the menial staff that existed there, her role and how they did not speak out in her presence yet how Alex came to her and why. Alex suffered from memory loss and headaches and the shadow deep inside his brain would foretell his future but will it remain there or will it destroy him and exactly what is it that was implanted and why? Was this what they wanted to destroy him for? As you read Chapter 52 titled the Confession and you hear the rest of the story about his arrival here, how his parents managed to adopted him in a unique manner and the reports of fatalities from Laboratory Z. As Raiff finds Dancer but why? Dr. Chu was the man who made sure that Alex was healthy and a gift, a miracle given to them when she could not have any children. The scary part is what the doctor reveals from his blood tests and the abnormalities that he found that most parents would shudder and shake if the results were the same for their child yet Alex somehow beat all odds. She explains his manner of speech and the indecipherable language he created and the jibberish he spoke at night but at night they would hear him mumbling in his native language of the world where he came from.

Each chapter heading helps to foretell what the reader is about to experience along with the characters as we meet the Drone things in chapter 62 and we watch as Alex, Samantha and Raiff fight them off. Alex finally gets to know Raiff, his job as Guardian and his role in saving his life plus dealing with the drones who are like soldiers ready for war. As we hear the voices of Donati and the link to Laboratory Z and why all the paperwork was destroyed and no copies remained in the original report. As the report that is delivered and talked about by Donati talks about wormholes as he speaks to people who are officially not there just numbers and places in different directions. Wormholes the authors relates are a postulated method, within the general “theory of relativity, of moving form one point in space to another without crossing the space between.” As the author elaborate and describe this on pages 246-248.
 Enter the Bishop Ranch, see the bracelet that Alex took from his father’s wrist and learn how killed his parents and why. As we get to know the Professor who explains the ability to create a wormhole and how it changes the very nature of the journey as Alex learns who caused the fire and the explosion that originated in the particle accelerator. Someone from the other side ! Thinking about his mother’s words tucked inside the statue, Meng PO for safekeeping providing proof in the form of Dr. Chu’s lab results which are hidden in his pocket. Claiming Alex is human yet not completely human and looking at Raiff he realizes he is from another planet and is human because as is revealed because,
“ your people seeded Earth millions of years ago to create another version of the human race,” but why? But, the startling part is why Ash Man and Shadow killed his parents angering him when told they were not his parents and the result you just won’t believe. As all the forces come together and Donati reveals more to Alex and Samantha he learns the reason why he was brought to earth but since this is a confidential area I won’t reveal it to readers because it might place Alex in more danger.

An ending quite violent, quite terrifying as Alex and Samantha fight for their lives against as you hear the ash man’s voice and his final words telling Alex just who and what he is but will he survive? Some will die others might live but who will be the final survivor and will his life ever be normal again. Does he have the means to defeat them that might remain unsolved? Were his parents dead or alive? Was this a veil or mist to hide him from the truth to get him to return to wherever they wanted him to be? This is Alex’s story and the rising world just might be committed to destroy everything but will they? Only authors Jon Land and Heather Graham know what’s next for Alex, Samantha and any remaining wormholes when they decide to pen the sequel. What happens when you learn that you are not the person you thought you were? What happens when the harsh truth and realities face you head on? Read the Rising and enter the pages of this novel at your own risk and beware of THE RISING!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine


Silent Source: James Marshall Smith
Sometimes death comes when you least expect it and the source or reason remains an enigma or puzzle to those trying to come up with the cause. Within this novel we will visual and see the carnage and desecration of many people who died a painful and gruesome death at the hand of an unknown killer and substance that might remain unknown unless one man can uncover it. Dr. Damon Keane is a well known sleuth scientist who will stop at nothing to uncover and detect the truth about these deaths that no one else will or has the expertise to do. The Atlanta PD is stymied and stumped and when the Mayor of Atlanta requests the help of Dr. Damon Keane things will take on a new turn and the killer or the catalyst will hopefully be stopped. A death the causes the victim’s organs to shut down completely, one that forces the victim to give up everything in their stomach. Faces are bloated and distorted and some are even dismembered. The thought of what the crime scene photos show would sicken anyone even someone that is hardened to death. As the forensic expert and detective Keane realizes that he is up against someone unknown but when he comes across the first two deaths and then a priest is just seconds away from being third, the police are hospital officials have no clue but one is offered a startling revelation by the priest who worked with the dying Father Shannon: When you noted the color of his rosary beads they turned blood red. Just who is this phantom that seems to be eluding everyone? When he asks for the tox screen results and other lab work he thinks it might be some type of rat poisoning but it’s not. Is it alpha radiation or some type of gamma radiation but why doesn’t it come up in the results of the tests taken?
As Keane gets closer someone is blocking his way and creating obstacles that no one sees until something happens that changes it all. A source reveals something about the investigative officer and then the heat is on to find Felix Thornton the man behind the radiation attacks but even he does not escape from predators. Escaping the police, the security at the airport and winding up in Russia he thinks he is home free and wants to obtain certain radioactive materials that would set off a Geiger counter as soon as you come into the same room and not from a close distance. But, when dealing with these people he makes a fatal mistake and will he survive what he has done to others as Keane and his assistant work their way into the area where he was last scene hoping to escape undetected.
With Jessie Wiley at his side Keane just might find a way to stop what Thornton has started which is to eliminate as many people in Atlanta that are not white. He feels that anyone who is not white does not deserve to live in his air space or anyone else’s air space. With the help of a Russian named Osken, Thornton manages to obtain help to ship his radioactive canister undetected to a location in the United States but not before doing several things to make him no longer welcome in Osken’s family’s home. As Thornton takes out those that attacked him for trying to have his way with someone’s wife, things turn even more out of control as Keane tries to stop the death toll from rising as he travels to London’s Hyde Park, finds clues in Piedmont Park, in Siberia where there is a huge black market business in nuclear materials and the backwoods of Georgia. No matter how fast Keane travels or tries to catch up with this man he is always behind him. Thornton has a major terrorist attack planned and he will take down an entire city in a storm of nuclear death the magnitude of more than an earthquake of 10 on the Richter scale.
With the Detective on the case removed and with the help of Dr. Rutledge the team of Keane and Wiley might be able to stop what this person has set in motion. Hate for what someone took away from him. Revenge and retribution on those who killed someone close to him and now he would take down Atlanta. An African American who ran a newspaper stand, a retired dentist, who lived near Piedmont Park who was also black. A parish priest included the neighborhood on the west side of the park and a John Doe found in the middle of the park but this victim was white. Tremors, cranial nerve palsies, seizures and bouts of hallucinations and much more as this sick and diabolical killer keeps escaping. Suzanne Fowler works for the APD and has the ability for provide answers so what is she holding back? Detective Selsby is on the case but why is he discounting everything that Keane requests and explains? With the aid of Jessie and his personal security and valet and more Mr. J, can Keane outsmart someone so clever and dangerous before he too falls prey to what he has planned? A young child named Ronnie Davenport another victim hoping that he will pull threw. Police questioning him, gamma radiation at the helm and one man that will stop at nothing to take down Georgia and anyone that stands in his way. The author brilliantly includes research into the Chelyabinsk region of Russian where the hiding of the massive weapons operations from high-altitude American spy planes have been noted. He elaborates about the U2 flights with pilots like Francis Gary Powers and the entire chapter 29 explains it all. Added in we learn more about the radiation substances that Thornton wanted to buy and the end result Cesium 137. “ I kill because I hate. I kill again because it feels so good the first time and even better the next. And I ‘m not just another killer….I’ve been called to a higher duty. That raises me above the others.” Will he prevail or will Keane and Wiley plus a special team from Atlanta be able to race the clock and stop what he and someone else plan? The ending allows readers to know that this is not over and that someone is still out there that wants to destroy Keane and the little bit of happiness he might have just found. With his daughter finally responding to him and Andy, his son as a monk finally spending time will they live to return to school and the monastery? Only author James Marshall Smith knows for sure when he pens the next chapter in the life of Dr. Damon Keane. Using his expertise and experiences working for the CDC and serving or consulting on nuclear and radiological threats and countermeasures for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and may other organizations, the author uses his knowledge giving readers a first hand view of nuclear and radiation warfare.  An ending that is explosive and a story that could be ripped right out of the headlines. This is one thought provoking and excellent debut novel.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine

Questions for the interview:
When creating this novel how much of your real life experience did you put into creating the major plot line of radiation poisoning? When describing the victims did you take it from real cases or from your work with the CDC?
Tell us about Damon Keane and why the Mayor insisted that he consult on the cases and what appeared at first to be rat poisoning but was not? Why did he discount his refusals and assume he would investigate and in what role?
When things started to get under what he thought was his control why did law enforcement seem to resent him and not want him to consult? Tell us about the Atlanta Police dept and why they wanted to handle the case on their own?
What was the target group of this killer and what was this killer’s method of murder?
When the priest died what odd thing happened and why? Why does Keane think that something strange is happening and why asking for specific tests to be done what happens when they don’t show what he is looking for and how do the officials he imposed on to do these tests react?
Tell us about his ex-wife and his two children
Tell us about Krystal and her relationship to her father Felix?
Who is Jessie Wiley and why does he enlist her help in this case? Tell us about Kay Lynn Fergusson and victim still drifting in and out of consciousness in the hospital. Why is Piedmont Park a significant clue and what happens when Jessie asks how much time Kay Lynn spent there and why?
Who was Matilda Thornton and recount her murder? Tell us more about her husband. Tell us about Detective Selsby and why he resented Keane?
Explain gamma and alpha radiation and their differences. How can too much of either or any radiation cause cancer, other illnesses and death? What are radioactive isotopes and what role do they play in this novel?
Tell us about Felix Thornton and why he was fired from his job.
Tell us more about Father O’Shannon
Why was Thornton so hard to capture and what happens when they have him in their sites?
What link does he have to Russia and what does he hope to gain by going there?
Who is Osken and how does he come into play with Thornton and why do they create an unusual alliance? But, when Thornton tries to come on to one of his relatives what happens and why? Why does he think he can do anything he wants?
What does Keane find in the dense forest that allows him to know that something is going to happen or has happened?
What is cobalt 60 and what happens when he goes to a lab and the person in charge realizes that some isotopes are missing? What damage could that do and why?
Why is Keane estranged from Andy and what happens when he learns what he has decided to do after high school?
What happens when he faces the killer and has to use everything he has to escape?
What are Keane’s strong points and why does the Mayor rely on him so much yet obstacles are placed in his way every step of the way?
When he demands that the chief gets on the phone why does he find himself getting so frustrated?
When creating the plot did you create the main story line first or create the characters and decide where they fit in?
How did you create your villain?
When creating your villain what makes this one so unique?
When creating Keane and Wiley is there a chance they will become more involved?
When reading this novel and reading some of the violent scenes how did you create them and why so graphic?
I could picture what was happening to Keane and Wiley and the other characters that were tortured: How did you create these scenes? Are they from real cases and real pictures or did you create them from what you pictured in your mind?
What would you say is the main reason you chose this topic and what do you hope readers and law enforcement will learn from reading this novel?
What is next for Keane and Wiley as we can tell from the ending there is more danger to come?
Where can we learn more about you and your work?


A Life for a Life: Lynda McDaniel

Stereotyping people is wrong and even misdiagnosing a student or older person because they appear to you on the surface to be mentally challenged or slow is not always the case. When the book opens we meet ABT a young man who befriended the other voice heard throughout this novel. Her name is Della and she too has a difficult past as this young man finds himself sitting outside of her store everyday a murder is committed in the woods not far away as Della and her dog Jake take some time to chill out and relax as she finds the body of a young girl and from this point on their two lives not only intertwine but will change forever. What happens when a murder, a tragedy turns into something positive for two mismatched people? Living in a small town everyone gossips and knows practically everything about everyone else. This town is no different. When Della alerts the sheriff about the death of someone named “L” he dismisses her and claims it appears to be a suicide based on a note that she found on the victim. But, something does not ring true and Della begin a former reporter and very inquisitive won’t give up until she finds out who this young girl was and allows her the dignity of being properly laid to rest. A Life for A Life is a heartwarming story of how a serious tragedy gave two people a new start in life. With a sheriff named Bower who discounts much of what he hears about most things she turns to ABIT or Vester Jr. his real name to help her decipher the clues, find clues and even learn that he too has a strong value in life as we learn in the prologue when they decide to collaborate and write a book about that spring day.

ABIT’s father is abusive and cruel and although at times he shakes off the insults and physical abuse he seems to muddle through. Thinking he is worth not much and no longer allowed to do the one thing that matters to him, attend school, he trudges along each day sitting outside the Coburn story that his father once owned and hopes to see Della, get into some conversation and feel wanted. But, things take an unusual turn because Della is consumed with the murder and with the help of her friend Cleva who alleviates her stress when things get hard; they aim to learn the harsh truth about many of the people and a killer that just might be hiding in plain sight.

Della and Abit formed an alliance and since she needed help in her store she asked him to stock, watch the store and even created a Rolling Country Store that he and a man named Duane would run together. Since he was not old enough to drive they traveled together bringing food and other supplies to people that needed them. Laurel Falls, N.C. is the setting and the dialogue at times represents it so that readers get a flavor of the community and the people. Della was married to a man named Alex and the author shares their past together and when he shows up things starts to drastically change.

Finding out the name of the murder victim and meeting her family was the start of honing in on why she might have been killed. But, learning about an organization named Green Treatise whose members hated the government, did not want to pay taxes and resented anything about the government unleashed a whole group of suspects and some surprised Della and Alex when they decided to attend one of their meetings. Someone was calling Della threatening her to back off and to make sure she got the message they torched her store. With the help of ABIT things got under control since his powers of observation helped save the day. But, this fight was not over and a funeral for the dead girl was planned and the suspects were all present but who chose to gain from her death?

Someone received a phone call to come to that clearing and said he was needed there. He thought that it was some kind of joke or prank by the Green Treatise. Maybe an initiation, of some guys from the government who were trying to “broker a deal.” This is the man that Della saw at the sight in the clearing where the girl was killed. He touched her to see if she was alive but she was dead cold. As he stated if the sheriff bothered to look into things he would find his fingerprints at the scene but then something changes and someone is arrested for the murder but is he guilty. Working for the forest service and having feelings for Della, Gregg becomes a suspect and Della and Abit along with Alex went on a crusade to prove him innocent. This is a story told from two different voices and two different perspectives yet in the end they intertwine and blend together. Della not accepted by everyone in Laurel Falls with a somewhat checkered past and wanting to start over again yet at times floundering. Wondering why Alex was willing to help her solve the murder yet at times doubts and concerns popped into her mind. Abit has been labeled at mentally slow or challenged but as you get to know him and understand him better you will realize that he has an innate ability to sense situations, care for people and just wants his father to finally be proud of him but he feels he will amount to nothing hence living down to his own expectations by sitting outside Della’s store in his own chair, an nobody better take it, and laments, listens to gossip and hopes to spend time with Della.

A story told in two voices and yet there a many more that are heard as Della and Alex start to bond yet one simple misunderstanding might alter it all. While Della found a suicide note at the crime scene, Cassie who is Gregg’s assistant found another one and there lies where the mystery takes on a new tone. As Della looks at both notes she realizes that something is off. Enlisting the help of a former forger named Nigel who now works for the Treasury Department with his help she uncovers a major clue that forces Bower to realize that this might not be a suicide and that someone other than Gregg might have committed the murder but will he follow up on it or is there something else we don’t know? Evidence found in Gregg’s truck was it planted? Who wanted everyone to think he was guilty? Why didn’t the sheriff want to look further? With the Rollin Store doing well and Abit and Duane working together Della determined to find the real killer. When Alex disappears for a while Della becomes suspicious but when he returns with Abit you won’t believe what you see and how Abit’s transformation changes it all. Labeled, thought to be slow as the novel progresses you learn how much he yearns to go back to school, make himself and his father proud of him and why doing this job and working for Della has changed his life and hers too. With the killer on the lose they have to sort it out before Just who was scamming and stealing for older people? Who was pretending to house people in need but in reality taking what they owned and using it for herself to profit feeding them oatmeal and pretending to give them a clean and safe place to live?
Just who wanted Lucy dead and why and was coming after Della? Warnings not heeded and more lives on the line will they stop this person or will another body be found? An ending that will create some surprises and twists and a former Washington, D.C. reporter named Della who had investigative reporting in her blood and just might prove to be more than just the owner of a the Coburn Store and Rollin Store but maybe Ellicott City’s new sleuth. Characters whose voices are definitely defined and a plot that keeps readers wondering until the very end. A LIFE FOR A LIFE: How far will you go to save yours? What happens in a small town when a murder saves not only life but opens new doors for even more?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine

Monday, January 21, 2013


The Moon and Beyond

John E. Siers

Piloting the maiden voyage of an aircraft headed for new horizons would be any pilot’s dream. Creating a ship or vehicle that defies gravity to some might be impossible but to others just months away. Major Lorna Greenwood divorces her military career in lieu of joining The Deep Space Research Institute. Scientists, engineers and computer geniuses comprise some of the elite staff. High security checks, in-depth background information obtained on many working there including Lorna, prevent the information and research from getting into the wrong hands. Lorna Greenwood disenchanted with the U.S. government, loyal to only herself and one man named Ian Stevens, she would now join 5 other people and begin testing a new aircraft that would take them and many others to colonize the moon. As the author explains the procedures needed to test the aircraft he also explains the way it works, defines many terms as readers become familiar with more than just what the characters need to know to begin their journey.

Imagine being able to interface or have discussions with an artificial brain that is housed in a high level and high tech computer named “Iron Mike.” Your questions answered, your responses heard and this computer or Mike as it is called will present you with the information needed as long as no unauthorized person is present or within earshot. As Ian or Mike explains the design to Lorna she has many unanswered questions and meets with the three engineers who designed this craft to discuss her operational concerns. But, before I continue the author relates and would like readers to know that there are others who do not agree with what the Deep Space Research Institute is doing. There are some who would like to know more but upon investigating have found nothing.

Next we learn about a State Senator named Blackthorne who seems to have his own private agenda in mind. Defining the word Naturist, which refers to a conglomerate of many environmental causes the author, elaborates on the work done, the movement and how they hope to move forward in Chapter 2. But, the concern is what is going on behind the closed doors of Deep Space Research and the only way they will know is if the plant a mole on their staff. Blackthorne raised concerns about the DSRI and learned he would pay a heavy price is he continued.

MIC 77 is what most would call the most powerful computer system and the DSRI has one but it seems to be lying dormant as if it does not exist. The author explains the technology in detail as we meet the team that NCSA has in place and their connection to the Senator and one man named Mr. Malcolm. As this organization run by Mr. Malcolm hacks into the computer system of DSRI they learn a hard lesson. Able to access their emails, website, network and research data someone found out and burned them right in cyberspace. Just what can’t they see? What are they up to and where do they want to go are just some of the questions that this organization is trying to find out but with the computer technology and skill of one man named Charlie Bender they would hopefully never find out. Both sides able to hack into the systems of the other and yet only one succeeded undetected.

Next, we find Lorna and one young man testing out the new ship, learning how to remain afloat and trying to prevent the side effects from lingering. The author then introduces Carla who is to join this elite group but Charlie is not quite sure about Lorna and now needs to focus on her. The author then reveals the real reason behind Lorna’s military career, why she left, the orders she countermanded and did not follow and Charlie’s reaction as the real mission is revealed. How are they going to take all of the brilliant and independent thinkers working on this project and turn them into the Free Democratic State Of Luna? How about in 6 months time? As Ian, Charlie and Lorna discuss the structure of how their new government would be created the author reveals that the only way they can operate would be in a militaristic environment, status, ranks, uniforms and Charlie in command. The author then introduces Thomas Perry whose job to teach history just became history for him as the Principal of the School chastises him for educating the students, daring to give poor grades to those who do not meet his standards and teaches information about war. You have to hear the conversation between them as he learns his fate and why. The end result will make you shudder.

Carla has now become an integral part of the Alpha Management Group as she learns her new duties and roles the reader to get to know more about her and her organizational skills yet Charlie is still apprehensive about her. Is he right?

A sovereign nation living on the moon as the author and Ian takes Carla and introduces her to Iron Mike, allows her to understand how he operates, his knowledge and then reveals more about each member of the team to her. Added in Lorna confesses her feelings for Carla, Carla’s father is Thomas Perry who has decided to visit her and the members of the team discuss the project, their objectives and the reasons why they need to move fast, get everyone on the moon and the ramifications of what will or would happen if the United States Government learns what they are doing and tries to stop them. Just what will happen when the truth comes out? Added in what about the one person who is trying to find out more and present the other side with information? What happens to him if he fails?

The Exodus is next as they prepare to colonize the moon and more people are to follow to live in this military environment where everyone does their part and no one questions why. Things change and one man hacks into the computer system, his identity revealed, the government alerted and the need to leave their present location vital. As the author and Ian reveal along with Mike what they are truly planning, the lengths to which they will go to complete their project, those to be involved, the way the environment will be set up and the government they hope to establish. As they ready themselves to move to the next phase and hopefully land on the moon we learn about more of Mike’s capabilities, Carla’s concerns and just how many people are involved.

Imagine what happens when the NY Times is alerted and the truth comes out that a small group of people that are engineers, researchers and computer experts landed on the moon after working under the guise of the Deep Space Research Institute creating a small Lunar City. When Mr. Malcolm learns he was right and the ISA reveals what it knows the end result was Federal Agents from several agencies went to the DSRI with warrants for arrests, an international hunt is on for those missing and the end still remains to be seen.

News stories created for the public to read, no mention of his agency or him and sources revealed that hundreds are living on the moon as the Editor in Chief of the Times tells all, the President becomes involved and Blackthorne comes back into the picture hoping the President will take action stating these people have made them all look life fools and the President wants to retaliate as Chapter Ten relates the First Battle of Luna and then their fourteen are killed and funerals are planned and the damage is great and one of their leaders gone.  Battles ensued, casualties many and their provisions low as they needed more skilled people possibly turning to Korea and the need for funds primary but where would they come from and who would support this Lunar Free State. Different countries involved, threat or supposed nuclear attack and the Lunar State Strikes back. Will they try to eliminate them? Are they really a threat to the earth? What is China’s role and Japan’s? Do they want their technology? Will they nuke them first? Just what will their final fate be as author John E. Siers takes us to the moon, shows us how a group of people can colonize and uninhabited land, work together, unify their resources and prove their loyalty to one another at the risk of being considered traitors to our country, leaving their families and exploring new frontiers. The Chinese Connection, the next battle to be fought and the end result you will have to learn for yourself. Who survives? Who survives the nuclear blast? What happens to those on the Moon? What happens to many cities will shock the reader as those that went to the Moon and Beyond new frontiers have yet to be explored but not before the new President and Ian Stevens come to terms with their differences. What ‘s next? Find out when you read book II: in the Saga of the Luna Free State. Can they survive a nuclear war? What happens to those on the moon? What is the fate of the world? Only author John E Siers knows what is in store for everyone and you will too when you read this book, take a seat on the next flight and join in the journey.
Fran Lewis: reviewer