Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Review: "The Forgotten Soldier" by Brad Taylor

"The Forgotten Soldier" by Brad Taylor will be published December 29, 2015 so it'll make a great New Year's book. I've read several of Mr. Taylor's Pike Logan series and I have loved them all. Normally, a mystery/thriller based in military jargon isn't my thing but I find all the authentic information in Taylor's books to be fascinating.

I previously reviewed "Insider Threat" and "No Fortunate Son" by Taylor and each time I pick up one of his thrillers I'm mesmerized by the sheer amount of knowledge this former Lieutenant Colonel who is a twenty-one year veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces imparts in his books. I love learning when I read but first and foremost, I want the novel to be fun and good. Brad Taylor never misses that mark.

Guy George is determined to seek revenge against the men who killed his special forces brother. When he figures out who his brother was tracking on his last mission, it gives Guy information to do some tracking of his own. The military doesn't want Guy following the leads he has to find his brother's killer because of who Guy is. He is a member of a clandestine group called the Taskforce. These specially trained operatives work under the radar as a counterterrorist unit to anticipate attacks around the world and prevent threats to the United States. By seeking revenge, Guy is putting the secret of the Taskforce in jeopardy. When Guy "goes rogue" Pike Logan is sent to bring him back into the fold and prevent an international incident as Guy goes after government officials of allied nations who may be complicit in his brother's death. Logan is split in his loyalties to his friend and the administration he's sworn to protect. 

As I said above, I really love Brad Taylor's thrillers and this was no exception. I found myself starting to understand (even in just a small way) the intricacies of political infighting and international relationships. I am not a political animal but I do like not feeling stupid if I'm listening to a discussion about political things. By reading this book I find myself feeling a little less stupid. Taylor is such a good writer that he makes ingesting complex information as easy as eating lemon meringue pie. And who doesn't like pie? This is certainly a five out of five star read. Even if this genre isn't usually your thing, I still recommend you trying it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Book Review: "Fixed In Fear" By T. E. Woods

"Fixed In Fear" By T. E. Woods comes out on December 8, 2015. I have read every book in the Fixer series and loved them all. I found this one to be the most intense Fixer yet.

Detective Mort Grant can't believe his beautiful daughter has become a deadly criminal. Mort knows she's dangerous but when Allie shows up at his granddaughter's soccer game claiming she misses her family, Mort is confused about what to do. He is desperate to have Allie back in the family fold but he is unsure if she is prepared to give up her former life as a criminal.

On top of the threat that Allie brings into Mort's life, the detective is also working on a brutal murder case. Mort is helping to find the killer of five innocent people participating in a sweat lodge. One of the murder victims is a family member of Mort's best friend, Larry and Mort wants to solve this painful incident quickly so his friend can grieve in peace. The conclusion of the murder will tear Larry's life apart.

This book was a solid five out of five. If found myself holding my breath as I read page after page. I had trouble putting my Kindle down. Over these five Fixer books I've gotten to know the two main characters, The Fixer and Mort Grant. T.E. Woods expertly lets us learn about the deep personal nuances of her characters and because of her excellent writing skills I found myself hurting for the characters. It is unusual for a book to drill deep into my consciousness. This one did. I found myself days later thinking about how I would feel or what I would do if similar things happened to me. That makes this a stellar thriller. Go read this series, you'll not be disappointed.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Review: "The Masquerading Magician" by Gigi Pandian

"The Masquerading Magician" by Gigi Pandian is the second book I've read in this series. I loved the first mystery (The Accidental Alchemist) so I'm thrilled to be reviewing the second installment that will be published January 8, 2016.

Once again, Gigi Pandian has hit it out of the park. I just loved this continuation of the story started in "The Accidental Alchemist". If you can suspend your disbelief I can guarantee you'll love reading this cozy mystery.

Zoe Faust is an alchemist. She works most successfully with plants to make healing teas, tinctures and salves, she has a real talent for making things grow and bringing out the healing properties of plants. In the first book we learn that after many, many years of traveling the world, Zoe wants to put down some roots in Portland, Oregon so she buys an old house. Her life is made much more complicated when a living gargoyle named Dorian is found hiding in the crates she's had shipped from Paris. In "The Masquerading Magician", Zoe is trying to decipher an ancient alchemy text so she can hopefully cure Dorian from turning back into stone and trapping him forever.

When Zoe takes a rare night off she attends an old fashioned magic show, the magicians remind her of people she knew in the past and she suspects there may be another alchemist in her midst. When a murder happens at the same theatre the next day, Zoe decides to find out if there may be a mystery afoot. She's hoping to find another alchemist to help her decipher the complicate and dangerous alchemy book. The temporary cures she's making for Dorian are sapping her life force from her, making her sicker every time she performs the backward alchemy to make the curative tea. If Zoe can't get help she may be unable to continue and Dorian will die.

What can I say, I just LOVED this book. It is a solid five out of five. It is so fun when you find an unbelievable book that you just want to believe in. I find it so enjoyable to wish there could be a Dorian the Gargoyle out there somewhere. I also really liked the background food theme. The character of Zoe, because of her alchemist background, finds plants to be the most healing of foods. She is therefore a Vegan and I was intrigued learning about the delicious sounding recipes that are being created in her kitchen. Although food is a small part of this book, I found it's inclusion made for even more interesting background for the character.

Gigi Pandian has started a very successful series with Zoe and Dorian and there is definitely room for several more books about the pair. As the reader, I was interested in the magical qualities of Alchemy and found myself wishing that it were somehow true. If you're a dreamer like I am then you'll love this series. It will make you wish for magical truths and unique creatures. Who wouldn't love a little more mystery and uniqueness in our lives, isn't that why we read books?



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