Not up to his usual standard

Don’t Look  Back by Gregg Hurwitz; 2014; $26.99; 386 pages; St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY; 978-0-312-62683-9; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 9/14/14-9/17/14

When Eve’s husband hooks up with some European chick does she just curl up into a fetal position and wish the world would go away, for a few minutes she does.  But then she realizes that her son needs her and she starts living again.  She even decides that she is going to do something for herself and take that Mexican vacation she and the scumbag who left her were going to take for their anniversary.  Little does she know how much that vacation will change her in many ways.  On a day trip into the jungle she finds a digital camera left behind by someone, she also finds a house hidden deep in the jungle.  The man whose home it sees her hat and thinks someone is spying on him and comes after the person with the hat, which turns out not to be Eve but the man she borrowed it from.  After looking at the pictures on the camera and doing some investigating, Eve discovers that the man in the jungle has something to be paranoid about.  He was Osamas’ number two who fled the Middle East to set up training camps in South America, when that didn’t work out he fled deep into the jungle and terrorized the indigenous people of the region.  Now he is after Eve and her fellow tourists,  as the battle him Eve learns tricks from him and the indigenous people to combat him.  An exciting trip and battle through the jungle lead to the expected conclusion.


Did I enjoy it?  I knew within the first few pages how it was going to turn out, it was just a matter of seeing what happened before the end.

What is with the title of the review?  I am a big fan of Gregg Hurwitz’s novels and work on comic books, I didn’t think this one was up to his usual work.

I just watched this movie

Act of War by Brad Thor; 2014; $27.99; 358 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-1712-8; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gregory Heights; 9/11/14-9/14/14

A plot is uncovered that consists of the doctrine of unrestricted warfare, which says that war does not necessarily have to be fought on a traditional battlefield.  It doesn’t necessarily mean any kind of conventional warfare, but even trying to destabilize a country by destabilizing their economy and creating chaos in that way.  Covert operative Scott Harvath teams with members of the Athena Force to uncover the cells in the United States that would terrorize the United States, while a SEAL breaks into North Korea to help uncover details of the plot.


Did I like it?  Yes it was an exciting page turner that I found I very plausible.

What is with the title of the review?  During the time that I was reading this I also watched Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit.  In that movie a Russian villain, with the covert backing of the government tries to destabilize the US economy so that Russia can take over the US.  In the book the Chinese government is trying to do the same thing.

He didn’t talk in circles but he left my head spinning

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer; 1959; $15.00; 316 pages; Touchstone, New York, NY; 978-0-684-81500-8; Purchased from; 9/5/14-9/11/14

Only those who believe obey, only those who obey believe.  This is the phrase that struck me most from the book.  That pretty much sums up what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  I felt like I read the book twice, because I would read something and have to go back and reread it to make sure I understood what I had read.  This is a good exposition on the Sermon on the Mount and the book of Matthew.  I only understood parts of this because Bonhoeffer would refer to the Greek and it was printed in Greek, so I had no idea what it meant because I don’t read Greek. I learned much about being a disciple from the book, so I will read it again.


Did I enjoy it?  No, because it was very convicting.  I learned much from it though so it was worth reading.

What is with the title of the review?  There is so much here that my head was spinning with all the new information that was crammed into it.

When are Zik and Zak going to be part of the story?

Fatal Conceit by Robert K. Tanenbaum; 2014; $26.00; 431 pages; Gallery Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4516-3557-7; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library,Gresham; 9/4/14-9/5/14

Butch Karp and his wife Marlene, are involved in a situation which stretches from the Middle East to upstate New York and involves them and their daughter Lucy and her husband Ned.  Of course there is a criminal case which involves a murder, but the murder is just the tip of the conspiracy that actually stretches to the backrooms of the home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Butchs’ contempt for those in the White House is palpable and comes alive in the story.  Butchs’ legal expertise, Marlenes’ dogged investigation and Lucys’ linguistic expertise are all vital to the story, as are almost all the supporting characters.  The battle here is against those that think they are above the and against various government factions in several far flung places.

Did I like it?  Yes, it was set so securely in today’s news that the fictional pieces of it made complete sense.


What is with the title of the review?  Butch and Marlene have twin sons, who go by the nicknames Zik and Zak are often just on the periphery of the story.  Someday I would like them to be a part of the main plot.



More reading material!

Thrillers: 100 Must Reads Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner; 2010;$27.95; 378 pages; Oceanview Publishing, Longboat Key, FL; 978-1-93315-56-4; 809.3872 T5316; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 8/31/14-9/4/14

When I picked this up I thought it was going to be 100 contemporary thrillers that I needed to read.  The first essay by Lee Child (author of the Reacher series) is about Theseus and the Minotaur.  The Iliad, Beowulf, Macbeth are featured alongside Agatha Christie, Alistair MacClean, Helen Mcinnes, Clive Cussler, David Baldacci and Lee Child.  The essays are all by current thriller writers such as David Baldacci, Lee Child, R.L. Stine and Steve Berry among others.

Did I like it?  Yes I did.  I discovered that many stories that I thought I knew because I had seen the movie are quite different in their novel form, so therefore I will be reading them.


What is with the title of the review?  I discovered several books that I want to read.  Some were the thrillers that were written about and some were books by the authors who wrote the essays.

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