Book Review – True Death by Dale E Lehman

Book Review – True Death by Dale E Lehman

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – True Death

by Dale E Lehman

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2 Bloggers Review

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
  Rodney Strong
BookGobbler Author
& Top Reviewr

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Three Musketeers

True Death by Dale E Lehman is a marvellous contemporary murder thriller. It is the second book in the Howard County Mystery series but could be read as a stand-alone. I would, however, recommend reading book one, The Fibonacci Murders, first as this story follows straight on from that, being set just a few weeks later.

The plotline was intricately constructed and grabbed my attention from the start. I immediately became engrossed in the action and remained glued to the end. The story alternated between present day and the past, which set the scene for the action to come.
In True Death the reader hears the back story of the main characters. They are more than just detectives, they are ‘real’ people who have loved and lost. The three detectives reminded me of the three musketeers, with the police chief as D’Artagnan. Their loyalty to each other and their fight for justice was admirable.

There was an unknown voice that drew the reader in. I was asking questions – who is this? What have they done?
A cold case collides with present day crimes in the novel. The reader is intrigued and wonders if there is any connection? Or just coincidence?
The story has the themes of regret and revenge. Both have the power to destroy from the inside out.
A theme with far greater power than regret and revenge, is that of forgiveness. Forgiveness frees us from the past, enabling us to step into the future. Without forgiveness, we can become trapped in a prison of bitterness.
Faith in God was a theme that bubbled away beneath the surface. Sometimes life events mean we wander away from God. When life makes no sense or little sense, we realise our need for God and find ourselves returning to Him. God is the God of restoration and new beginnings. We can lean on Him in any storm.
The criminal underworld features. Dale Lehman has constructed an intricate story that has the reader guessing and trying to join the dots from the start.
Dale Lehman is a new author to me and I cannot get enough of his books – fabulous, clean murder mysteries that have me hanging on his every word. I do hope there is a book three.
I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Reviewed by Rodney Strong

The 2nd Book in the Howard Country Mysteries Series…

True Death is the second in the Howard County Mysteries, after The Fibonacci Murders.  In this book the main characters are still dealing with the aftermath of the Fibonacci Murders, and their desire to move on is temporarily thwarted by a writer, who desperately wants them to talk about their experiences so he can write a book at it.  Rick Peller is the only one who escapes this scrutiny as he leaves for a long overdue vacation to visit his son.

Meanwhile the other detectives are caught up in a car theft ring, that may or may not hold the key to the death of Rick Peller’s wife in a car accident years ago.

The main concern I had with this book was character motivations and lack of follow through on set up. Detective Dumas has a subplot relating to his Uncle and running away from family that doesn’t pay off.  Peller is told while on holiday that his wife was deliberately targeted for death, and instead of jumping on a plane to go home and help out, he stays on holiday.
Then there are a lot of flashbacks showing how Rick and his wife Sandra met and their early life together, but halfway through the book these just peter out for no real reason.

All of these are just frustrating and serve to distract from the main story.  It means that for me this wasn’t as strong as the first book in the Howard County Mysteries.  3/5 stars.


The reviewer is the author of the novel “Troy’s Possibilities”, available from Amazon

 


 

 
Book Review – Halfway  by Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma

Book Review – Halfway by Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma

by Dale E. Lehman 0 Comments

Book Review – Halfway

by Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma

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1 Blogger Review

Dale E. Lehman 
BookGobbler Author
 

 


Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

An Amazing Ride, One of the  Better-written First Novels

An old rule of science fiction writing states that an author is allowed one independent miracle per story. In “Halfway,” Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma hit us with a real doozy: your memories are being harvested, and after you die you are remade with an engineered body and a little bracelet that connects you to those saved memories. Thus reborn into a world called Enigma, you are judged for your actions during your Earthly life and either admitted into the paradise of Elysium or condemned to the torment of Hell. But these realms are not religious/spiritual realms. Rather, they are technological realms situated in a distant part of the galaxy. Pardon the pun, but how the hell did that come about? We aren’t told, and for now it doesn’t matter. Independent miracle. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

And it is an amazing ride. Like their authors, the key characters hail from India and have backstories bound up with the customs and history of that land. Dev, a young computer wiz who pulled himself out of a suicidal funk by entering into an illegal cell phone scam with his over-the-top pal Sid, faces Hell because he was killed when he ran in front of a truck with an old suicide note in his pocket. An open and shut case, except he didn’t kill himself at all. His death was a tragic accident. Meanwhile, a young woman named Aparna is in similarly deep trouble. After her enraged father killed her boyfriend in front of her for the crime of dating Aparna, she retaliated by murdering him. Worse, she’s now killed two of the locals in Enigma, although in self-defense. But in Enigma, justice can be as elusive as on Earth. In fact, the “afterlife” doesn’t seem all that different from Earth, riddled with politics, corruption, lust, murder, and other lesser crimes and sins. Worse still, lurking in the background is the specter of war as Hell’s self-appointed queen Phoenix prepares to attack Enigma. This is an amazingly good story given that the premise makes absolutely no sense. I found it hard to stop reading. Even better (or flummoxing, depending on how you feel about it), this is book 1 in the “Aspiration for Deliverance” series, and in some ways it’s not a complete story. The lives of Dev and Aparna don’t intersect at all. This is just the set-up for whatever comes next. But it works, so long as you’re willing to wait for book 2, where at least some questions will presumably be answered.

In spite of my raving, this is not a perfect book. It’s a first novel by a pair of indie writers, and as usually happens the writing could stand some editing. Not that it’s terrible. It’s among the better-written first indie novels that I’ve read. But it could do with a fair bit of tightening. Some material needs reorganization for clarity, and many of the information dumps should be cleaned up.  The description is a bit klunky. There are too many sound effects for my taste (I’d get rid of them all, guys, and write some engaging action instead). Oh, and many of those hyphenations and capitalizations shouldn’t be there. Because of these issues, I’d make the writing a 3, but the story easily deserves 4+ if not 5. So overall, let’s give it a 4 stars mark.


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” and “True Death” 

 

 

 
Children’s Book Review – For Cats’ Eyes Only  by Olli Tooley

Children’s Book Review – For Cats’ Eyes Only by Olli Tooley

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Book Review – For Cats’ Eyes Only

by Olli Tooley

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1 Blogger Reviews

 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


 

Book Review by Joni Dee

Two paws up! Great witty book for bedtime

I must confess, this is my first ever attempt to review a children’s book. While the basis for comparison (for me) is very much available across many children’s books of various genres: classics such as “The Cat in the Hat”, Disney princesses, educational, books aimed to induce sleep and more, the question remains what are you looking for in a children’s novel, to start with.
While Disney princesses may be good to calm the toddler, and old Dr Seuss appeals more to the parent, I tend to look for the balance between the two approaches. You can only read Cinderella a handful of times before you start imagining the pumpkin-carriage get squashed on the way to the palace, and at the same time Thing Two and Thing One are long dusted and done. When referring to children’s media across the board, one can only be grateful to Peppa Pig‘s creator for introducing subtle jokes, which will go over the child’s head but will get the adult to chuckle. But when your choice of literature is ‘Daddy Pig’s day off’, then Houston you have a problem.
If you dismiss my wife’s claims that I am an infantile – then like me you might be looking for a bedtime story which will keep you interested as well as maintaining a level of sophistication, that can  teach the toddler a thing or two about life. And this is exactly what Olli Tooley does (albeit he exclaims straight off the bat, that he is not looking to educate us). This is a fantastic read, which I enjoyed very much with my little girl.

Felix the cat is an undercover agent, who is in hot pursuit of his arch-nemesis Swifty the tortoise, who naturally gets away without a trace. I don’t want to give up any more spoilers, as I can see through my telescreen that you’re biting your toenails. The book introduces the world of grown-up thrillers to kids, using the same jargon you would find in an everyday spy thriller, but keeping it simple and identifiable. For a thriller author like myself, this was a welcome approach. 
While I have to admit that my four year old didn’t completely understand the sarcastic tone, she was still very much fascinated to the story, and yes – dads are allowed to have fun too!”For Cats’ Eyes Only” is a much recommended read, especially if the old Disney books simply make you yawn. So if you want to zest-up bedtime story and help your kid develops a sense of humors – just say yes to Felix.* I also liked the initiative of this book given to kids 4-11 in Devon, I wish we had initiative like these here in London! Two paws up!
 
Book Review – Sacrificial Lam  by Gary Guinn

Book Review – Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – Sacrificial Lam

by Gary Guinn

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3 Blogger Review

   
Stephen Bentley
BookGobbler Author
 Rodney Strong 
BookGobbler Top
Reviewer & Author
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic 

 


Reviewed by Stephen Bentley

A Good Read!

Thoroughly enjoyed Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn. He certainly knows how to write suspense. I know it’s a cliché but this really was a “page-turner.”
Reminded me of John Grisham and James Patterson.
 What, for me, makes it a slightly unusual thriller is the setting – academia. The plot is set almost entirely on campus. It is where the protagonist, Dr. Lam Corso, is employed as a professor. It becomes clear early in the book that someone is threatening him and his family because of his liberal beliefs. The question of who that someone is remains almost to the very end, when the identity of Corso’s antagonist is revealed.
The storyline captures the zeitgeist of modern America in depicting an essential conflict between those with far right leanings and the liberal thinkers. The author deals with all of that in a thoughtful, stylish way without resort to any kind of tub-thumping. He also skilfully deals with issues surrounding the Second Amendment but in such a way as to weave it into the story without overt politicization. 

Guinn’s writing style smoothly takes the reader along on interesting journey. At times, the author over indulges on the literary references sprinkled throughout the book which became a little irritating as it appears he is trying to “show off” somewhat. Apart from that, and one plot twist involving police procedure, nothing in this book grated upon me.

The characters are real and the pacing is just so. Once I made a start I simply had to finish it.
A good and even a great read!


The Reviewer is the Author of “Who the F*ck Am I?” and a former undercover cop 

 

Reviewed by Rodney Strong

I Look Forward to Seeing What Else Gary Guinn produces.

Professor Lam Corso is a liberal teacher at a conservative university.  His views can often lead to conflict with students, teachers, and parents.  But when he gets a death threat he dismisses it as a prank from a colleague. As it turns out it is a big mistake, as things quickly escalate and he finds not only his life in danger, but the lives of his family.

About halfway through this book I found myself getting frustrated with Lam’s apathy towards the threats, and that’s when I realised that Gary had done his job right.  I was drawn into the world he had created, so job well done.

The book mostly flows really well and there are some very descriptive well written pieces.  The plot, although nothing terribly new, moves along at a nice pace and there is certainly no chance of getting bored by the story.

Sometimes the descriptive pieces came at the wrong time.  The author tends to have his characters conduct internal monologues right in the middle of a tense action piece, which is distracting and unnecessary.

I don’t want to go too much into the story as that will contain spoilers, but I wasn’t overly convinced by the antagonists reasons for targeting Lam in particular, and there were some confusing motivations from other characters as well. I live in a country where there aren’t a lot of guns, so it didn’t seem natural to me that a clearly anti-gun character would think of buying a gun as the first line of defence, but perhaps that’s simply a cultural difference.

All in all, an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what else the author produces.

4 stars out of 5

The Reviewer is the Author of Troy’s Possibilities

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Whom To Trust?

Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn is an edge of your seat contemporary thriller. It will have you hooked and guessing from the start as you become absorbed in the action.

The reader ‘feels’ the threat and danger that lurks around every corner. “A part of him was afraid of everyone.” We suspect most characters until the culprit is revealed.

There are themes of loyalty and family. Family is everything. A mother’s love and instinct to protect means she will do anything for her young… even if it means sacrificing her principles.

Family loyalty may become warped over the years. Impotence to act in the past may influence behaviour in the present.

The novel has religious intolerance and behaviour that will incite hatred. God is a God of love. To use His name to incite hatred is the complete opposite of all that God stands for. “Religious intolerance and extremism… It was the reason she stopped going to church.” Churches should be a place of safety not a place where people in positions of influence abuse the trust of others.

There is a vast difference between standing up for what you believe and abusing your position. We must be people of principle but we must not be people inciting hatred of others.

Sacrificial Lam was a nail biting thriller. It was a compulsive read that had me hooked, guessing and following red herrings at times. A read to be read with the lights on and the doors locked.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


 
Book Review – Pen, Please  by George Mayes

Book Review – Pen, Please by George Mayes

Book Review – Pen, Please

by George Mayes

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1 Blogger Review

Dale E. Lehman 
BookGobbler Author
 

 


Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

An Intense Coming-of-age Novel With a Solid and Engaging Story

“Pen, Please” is an intense coming-of-age novel set in Oklahoma. We meet protagonist Andre Young at age sixteen when he returns home from a summer leadership program in Texas only to find his father hospitalized with a blood clot in his lung. The first of many trials Andre faces in the novel, it’s far from the first in his life. Through flashbacks and present-day narrative, this young black man’s journey is exposed as a chronicle of heartbreak, tragedy, and headlong rushes down blind alleys, some imposed upon him and some of his own making.

Andre is fundamentally a decent guy struggling to make sense out of a life in which every joy is followed by a dozen sorrows. But he’s also headstrong and easily tempted to take the easy way out. His troubled relationship with his father and his distance from his absent mother haunt him throughout life. He can’t sort out his relationship with women, nor can he hang onto a job in spite of being an excellent worker. He even briefly descends into selling drugs. But through it all, he valiantly struggles towards something for which he has no good role models: how to be a man.

This is a first novel by an indie writer, and as often happens in such cases, I have to give two verdicts. One the one hand, I think the story itself is solid and engaging, while the key characters are drawn well and generally intriguing. On the other, the writing isn’t what you would get in a novel released through a mainstream publisher. Author George Mayes has potential. He can sometimes turn a good phrase, and one or two particular witticisms made me laugh. But the narrative passages read like he’s trying too hard, and the dialogue could use considerable work. Also, somewhere about mid-story the novel seemed to become a rush of scenes separated by time gaps of indeterminate length. This may be me–I admit to being easily confused–but by the end of the novel I really had no idea how old Andre was anymore, and I got lost in the sea of friends and coworkers surrounding him. There are scenes I wish Mayes had shown us instead of just alluding to as past events. I would guess this novel could easily have been twice as long. It’s that rich in content.

However, I can’t fault Mayes for these shortcomings, precisely because this is a first novel by an indie writer. Nearly all writers start out this way, and in today’s world a great many publish their first efforts. Rather, I hope he takes this as encouragement to develop his craft, because I think there is a really good storyteller in there struggling to get out. I think the story itself is at least a 4 if not a 5, but overall I’m going to have to go with a 3.


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” and “True Death” 

 

 

 
Book Review – Xenoman by Adam Martin

Book Review – Xenoman by Adam Martin

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Book Review – Xenoman

by Adam Martin

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1 Review

 
 Brittany
BookGobbler & Brittany’s Pages

 


 

Britanny's Pages Book Review by Brittany

I’m usually not a futuristic novel reader, but sometimes I do pick one up. Some of them are just so over my head that I lose interest, but it was not this way with Xenoman.

Xenoman takes place in a future where the majority of the population is addicted to a drug called ‘Sunlight’. But when ‘Sunlight’ is no longer available, most people turn to ‘Black Magic’, a designer drug that unfortunately causes spontaneous human combustion. It’s a culture where everyone walks around with a little black box on their chest and listens to 5-track music. (If you are having a hard time picturing this, think future meets the 80s.)

Xeno has always wanted to enter the Nth Dimension like his idols, The White Boys, a travelling band who are rumoured to be telepathic. He goes to take the Zener Test, and unknowingly gets an implant placed in his brain. However, when this implant starts to act up, neither of his friends Zoom and Trianne believe him. Things start getting a little weird when Zoom disappears, presumably dead, and Trianne begins smouldering. Xeno is then recruited to Intellegalla to save Trainne, and then things start to get real interesting: ‘Klownburger’ characters, robotic synths, and aliens are just to name a few. With everything going on, Xeno starts to even question reality.

“The more I see, the less I see. Time, space, objects, are all smeared like dream logic. The dream has a logic, but the logic is occult to me. Nothing holds its form long enough to register what it refers to. Reality as it really is, is . . . incoherent.”

Xenoman really seems like a satire on culture and a reminisce of the 80s. A future where technology is a black box strapped to your chest and connected with a black node on your forehead, (seems a bit like the large boom boxes and first cell phones), music is provided via 5-track, and the villains are strangely similar to the old McDonald characters. Though all these references are before my time, I found them rather amusing and entertaining.

Xenoman really took me by surprise (I actually started out with an eBook but didn’t connect to it, so I went ahead and bought a hard copy and that made a big difference). Martin has a very thought-out plot and I actually enjoyed going on the mission with Xeno.

A few things would have helped me out more, in understanding the story’s beginning and setting the scene. There was a back-story that the readers don’t get a lot of information about at first, and I found myself a little confused. Also, I would have liked to know a little more in the beginning about how Xeno, Zoom, and Trianne became friends.

Another thing I would have liked to see further developed was Xeno’s relationships. Especially between Xeno and Trainne. But the thing that confused me the most, was his relationship with Garry, his Intellegella handler. They really hit it off, but Xeno just met the guy, found out his company had put an implant in his brain, and then willingly goes on a dangerous mission, all within a day. It was not very convincing…

Overall, this is an entertaining Sci-Fi novel that really took me for a spin.

Xenoman by Adam Martin gets 3.5 stars.

Thank you to Adam Martin for providing me with a copy of your book to review.

BookGobbler is currently hosting a paperback giveaway of this title, so head over there and check them out!

 


Originally Posted on Britanny’s Pages

 
Book Review – Absence of Blade by Caitlin Demaris McKenna

Book Review – Absence of Blade by Caitlin Demaris McKenna

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Book Review – Absence of Blade

by Caitlin Demaris McKenna

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1 Blogger Reviews

 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


 

Book Review by Joni Dee

Miss this on your own peril: this great Sci-Fi will be a Netflix series someday

When I was in high-school, a long long time ago, I came across Frank Herbert’s Dune. It was probably the first complex ‘whole new universe’ type of political Sci-Fi I had ever encountered in book form, and it rocked my world. I was so into it, that I even faked illness to stay home in order to read it (geeky I know). I have since came across only a handful of other authors who were talented enough to invent a universe, plausible enough for me to get into… Roger Zelanzy’s Nine Princes in Amber for one is an excellent example. And so, I turned to more ‘realistic’ genres, neglecting Sci-Fi and disassociating from fantasy altogether (‘Dragons live forever but not so little boys’ – as the famous song goes).

This long intro is not to say that Ms. McKenna had written the next Dune, but she definitely holds the potential. Absence of Blade paints an elaborated and intriguing universe of humanity’s (“Terrans”) future, and I’d certainly stand in line to read more.

The year is sometime in the very far future, Terrans’ Expansion to other worlds in new and remote star systems is underway in full throttle (hence “The Expansion series”). However, after a few bloody conflicts that ended with the Terrans’ army having the upper hand over alien species, the Osk colony of Za stands its ground. The Osk have been winning some key battles against the Terrans, thanks to their killer Seph assassins. The story mostly gives us the Osk perspective. They are four legged, have grey-dark complexion, with coloured mane and a snout rather than a nose. They are extremely sensitive to smells, oh and they have killer bodily blades embedded in their arms.
The power behind the Terrans’ Expansion is the ‘Universal Church’ who has its own army and agenda, trying to bring-in other species into the holy trinity system of beliefs.
Sounds complex? not really. Sephs Gau Shesharrim, Mose Attarish and scientist Shomoro Lacharoksa, all Osk, have their own story and missions; while the Terrans are preparing for their final blow, led by General Shanazkowitz and her son Jan.

McKenna’s English and writing is superb (save the ‘fight scenes’ which I found a bit disorienting). The plot-line, which is enriched with the history of this new future weaved with more human warfare and conflicts, is fascinating and the book in general is hard to drop. Also, while at first I thought the Osk point of view (which dominates the novel) is weird, it grew on me, and I think it’s a fresh way to tell an inter-specie story.

What knocked the score to 3.5-4 stars are a few plot-line weaknesses which disturbed me, along with the failure to elaborate on the key human figure, Jan Shanazkowitz, who I suspect will have a major role in future books. What made me even more annoyed was the story leaping 15 years forward. I suspect things have happened during these years which are crucial to the understanding of the characters’ development and their agendas/motives. 15 years, that’s a lot to miss! And that raised questions, which remain unanswered.

Finally, what brought the score back to the solid 4 stars ground is the fact that the author managed to paint a plausible universe, for me, and I totally want to hear more about it. As an author I understand the need to keep it simpler in a debut novel; And I personally will welcome a revised longer version someday, which may include omitted chapters (I suspect there are quite a few). Dune is 604 pages long, and that was just setting the scene! Alas, that’s the main problem when fabricating a whole new world.

Great debut Sci-Fi. If you’re into these kind of books, Space Operas, or anything clever and out-of-the-box, you should definitely read it. Miss this on your own peril: when this is made into a Netflix series, don’t come crying to me – instead have the bragging rights to say you were there first!

 
Book Review – The Eagle and the Child by S. Khubiar

Book Review – The Eagle and the Child by S. Khubiar

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Book Review – The Eagle and the Child

by S. Khubiar

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2 Blogger Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

My Father’s Gift

The Eagle And The Child by S.Khubiar is a contemporary political thriller that marries political espionage with an ordinary life. It is an epic read that will have you chewing your finger nails and your emotions ebbing and flowing.

The novel is about identity. Who are we? The leading lady is a complex mix of incredibly strong and unbelievably vulnerable. Her strength of body lies with her strength of mind. Her vulnerability is what endears her to the reader.

There are many instances of racism and prejudice within the novel. People receive racial slurs merely because of their looks. We need to be “seeing others as human beings, not objects.”

The mob reaction is frightening. People get whipped up into a frenzy of hate by others, and carried along with the mob. The novel shows “it’s never okay to target someone for being Jewish or Asian or Black or Arab.” There is just one race – the human race.

Judaism is a focus within the novel. The reader is educated in the Jewish way of life and the role of women.

Anti Semitism raises its head within the novel. “Anti-semitism is a human disease with no known cure.” It happens because of ignorance and intolerance by others. We must see beyond looks and appearance. We must see people.

Political espionage takes up a huge chunk of the story. The reader ‘experiences’ the Arab/Israeli conflict, homeland security, brutal assassinations and torture. It does not make for comfortable reading.

In contrast we see that even assassins have a peaceful homemaker side. They are a complex mix of character.

God is a God of restoration and miracles. His miraculous powers bring a lump to the reader’s throat.

Prayer is important. There are prayers in both English and Hebrew throughout. Sometimes all we can do is “pray… it’s the only thing we have left.”

The Eagle And The Child was a huge read, full of small details enabling the reader to get to know the main character intimately. It is both exciting and horrifying. It took me a while to get into the novel but I was glad I stuck with it as the end was definitely heart and pulse racing action.

An epic read.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Book Review by Joni Dee

S Khubiar writes an action-full alternative ‘spooks’ universe

I was excited to discover a spy thriller which is not really a spy thriller in the ‘traditional’ sense, and went straight to the task of reading the 346 pages long “Eagle and the Child: The Child”, S. Khubiar’s debut thriller, which opens the Eagle and the Child trilogy.

Shahla Markow, is an American/Israeli of Persian (Iranian) ethnicity, who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a self-defence instructor. After suffering a shoulder injury from a prisoner attack (which she eliminated) she meets up with Dr. Philip Sherrod, who treats her, becomes her confidant and eventually her partner. However, Shahla is not just a government employee, she is also an ex Israeli Mossad agent with many skeletons in the closet, which will soon come back knocking.
In the heart of the story, the cultural difference between Orthodox-Jew oriented Shahla and atheist womaniser Philip. The relationship has its ups and downs, while slowly Philip, and us, discover new details of Shahla’s past. It seems that the more we learn, the more the skeletons of her past come back to life, until they catch up with Shahla in an explosive ending.

I started off loving “the Eagle and the Child: the Child”, then as I kept reading some intense-sexual scenes, we fell out. At the peak of the story we made up and I loved it again, only to dislike the last chapters and somewhat-cliffhanger ending. If nothing else I had an intense love-hate relationship with the plot-line, and it brought out a lot of emotions from me.

Having said the above I absolutely loved S. Khubiar’s writing. She paints the story with vivid and rich language which undeniably contributes the the story. Being from Israeli background I found the Hebrew words amusing to encounter, although I am not sure they will appeal to Anglo-American readers.

The one thing that I liked less about this novel is its length. While the ‘blurb’ describes the family Passover dinner as the climax of the story, it is only one of three or four pivotal points in the plot (occurring less than two thirds into the story which can hardly count as the climax in my opinion). Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get a glimpse of three years of Shahla’s life, but it’s emotionally exhausting. The woman goes through too many random (and not so random) ordeals, which made me wonder why the author needed some of them as the novel was strong enough as it is. It’s a bit like John McClain says in ‘Die Hard 2’ “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?” and three times and more, in Shahla’s case (and that’s on top of her past coming back to haunt her).

S. Khubiar is a retired federal law enforcement officer. She obviously uses her Persian-Israeli background as an autobiographical source for Shahla’s character. She intrigues me, and I want to see what will come of Shahla, Philip and Shai. I especially like how S. Khubiar’s apparent religious observance and Persian cultural background contributed to the story. These were sides which I enjoyed discovering along with Philip.

This is a strong new voice, and while I don’t think “the Eagle and the Child” would be every thriller lover’s cuppa, it will definitely make you think and learn new things.

 
Book Review – The Fibonacci Murders by Dale E Lehman

Book Review – The Fibonacci Murders by Dale E Lehman

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Book Review – The Fibonacci Murders 

by Dale E Lehman

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3 Blogger Reviews

Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
 Rodney Strong
BookGobbler Top Reviewr
 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

The Thinking Man’s Murder Mystery

The Fibonacci Murders by Dale E Lehman is a mind blowing contemporary murder mystery. Murders connected to the Fibonacci sequence really test the reader’s power to figure out what is going on and who will be next?

Not a mathematician but I found the whole book fascinating in its complexity. It drew me in from the start and had me questioning – whose was the mathematician’s voice?

The whole book hung together marvellously with a fabulous plotline and realistic characters. In my head I ‘watched’ the police drama unfold. I could easily imagine a bustling police department, the press conferences and the general panic amongst the public. The novel would make a great film.

As the book unfolded, so too did the identity of the perpetrator. With heart racing, I sped on to the conclusion of the novel.

A fabulous read for anyone who likes both a puzzle and murders to solve. The action came thick and fast, with no time for the reader to become bored. With well drawn and likable characters, The Fibonacci Murdersis the perfect read.

I received this book for free on BookGobbler.com. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


Reviewed by Rodney Strong

Solid first book, with a few issues that stopped it from being a great story

A killer is on the loose in Howard County.  Working the Fibonacci sequence he taunts the police with cryptic clues to his next crime.  The Fibonacci sequence of numbers works on the next number being the combination of the previous two, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,

Meanwhile a serial mugger is clubbing people with a golf club and stealing their valuables.

Lieutenant Puller and his two lead detectives are forced to split their time between the crimes, and as both perpetrators seem to be escalating, they are forced to turn to mathematician Professor Kaneko for help.  Together they must stop the killer before things escalate to unimaginable levels.

Dale Lehman has constructed a solid thriller with occasional flashes of clear crisp descriptive passages.  The story generally works, but for me there were a few issues that stopped it from being a great story.

The subplot of the mugger doesn’t really add anything to the story, and doesn’t really come to a satisfactory conclusion (I don’t want to go into too much detail as it would contain spoilers).

The character of Professor Kaneko is well drawn, but again seemed unnecessary.  Apart from the initial consultation, which required his expertise, the work he does to identify the killer is standard grunt work that could have, and should have, been done by the police.  It didn’t require any specialist mathematical knowledge.

Also I found the intro sections for each chapter too long, and unnecessary.  They didn’t add anything, and the intro to the first chapter indicates a large part for the character than actually occurred.

I liked the three main police officers, they were well defined in both their working and personal lives.  Perhaps due to the shortness of the book though I felt like the character of Leo could have been provided with greater depth.  And the final revelation on why he was doing it was a complete let down.

I’m not American and so don’t know the ins and outs of law enforcement over there, but it seemed really strange to me that the FBI wasn’t involved in a serial killer case.  Especially one that had achieved national and international attention (CNN and BBC at a press conference).  The police department in Howard County seemed content to try and solve it themselves without calling for assistance, which seems odd.

All in all as I said it was a solid first book, but I felt if the author had taken his time and made it slightly longer, we would have had a much richer tale.



 


Reviewed by Joni Dee

Good Plot… Could have been smashing!

Let me start by saying that I liked Dale E Lehman’s The Fibonacci Murders. For a debut novel I thought he had done a good job, I liked both the idea and the characters, and even though I had solved the case before the police detectives, I thought it was thrilling.

Lieutenant Peller, along with his sergeants Dumas and Montufar, are chasing a serial killer who’s basing his killing spree according to some twisted interpretation of the Fibonacci number sequence (a series where the number is always the sum of the last two). The killer keeps the team on their toes by sending them letters with clues and calling in person, and he keeps changing the meaning of the subsequent number in ways that are too complicated for the team to figure out. They use a Professor of mathematics, Tomio Kaneko, to try and get into the killer’s head. Meanwhile there’s a raging mad golfer who’s on the loose, mugging people around Howard county. Things get complicated as more people die – yet the team has not a single lead…

The plot of the book is solid, and while I found the writing somewhat too mechanic and precise (maybe thanks to the author’s algorithms and software background), it didn’t disturb me – the book was flowing and gripping at the same time.

My issues with “the Fibonacci Murders” lay within a few aspects of the book, and while I don’t judge harshly a debut novel, I thought that if given attention to these back on the drawing board, it could have been s smashing thriller, which would have given a fight to anything Dan Brown had written.

First, the novel is not long enough, I was missing a bit of action, and felt we’re jumping to an early conclusion. Suddenly the team all profiled the culprit (accurately) and that’s that… Moreover, Professor Kaneko somehow manages to find the identity of the perpetrator, and yet goes and investigates on his own – so his revelation eventually has close-t0-zero contribution to the novel. I wanted to find out more about the characters, I thought they were very well drawn and multi-dimensional, and had the notion that we are getting details to thicken the book and not necessarily the right ones (Montufar’s brother’s accident as an example).
Second, I was hoping the author would explore the Fibonacci/Lucas sequences a bit more. I felt Mr. Lehman was playing it safe, rather than challenging our mathematical abilities.

Having said the above, it is an easy read which will keep you glued to the chair. I loved the Howard County police force naivety, it’s not something you see everyday in a crime thriller, and I thoughts the Professor was a character well worth a sequel, unlike any other anti-hero I’ve encountered. 3.5-4 stars, depends upon how complex you like your thrillers.

 

 
Book Review : Heirs of Power  by Kay MacLeod

Book Review : Heirs of Power by Kay MacLeod

by gobbler 1 Comment

Book Review – Heirs of Power

by Kay Macleod

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

Book Review by Rodney Strong User Sign Up

Not an easy task when their number includes an eleven year old …

Kitty is busy organising her wedding when she is suddenly thrust into a world she is unprepared for, and one that may get her killed. It turns out her father was a Constellation, one of nine infused with special abilities to protect the world from invasion. Only now those abilities have come to her and Kitty is woefully unready for the journey ahead.

Along the way she meets several of the other Constellations and together they must work to prevent the end of the world as they know it, not an easy task when their number includes an eleven year old girl, and a teenage swordsman who’s never picked up a sword in her life.

Heirs of Power is a fantasy novel set in its own richly populated world. The characters are well described, if not a little cliched, and the action sequences are nicely done with just the right amount of blood and guts to excite most readers without being graphic.

Kay MacLeod has done a good job building her world, the story flows relatively well, although it does become repetitive at times (it seems everyone they meet is out to kill them which leads to another fight). The author has a slightly annoying habit of referring to her characters by multiple names on the same page, Kitty is also The Archer, Serena is also the noblewoman and The Dancer. This makes it seems sometimes like they are separate characters and prevents the reader from really following the flow of the conversation.

The book is labelled as Book 1, which means there will be more, which is a good thing. But knowing it wasn’t going to have a natural conclusion lessened the desire to get to the end, because it’s not really the end.

There are also some instances which jar you out of the world and into ours, a few modern phrases, and Kitty wearing bunny slippers seemed completely out of sync.

It was a good first book and hopefully there will be more. It’s just the small things that prevent it getting a better rating from me.