Daily Archives: August 21, 2012

Shake Off by Mischa Hiller

Shake Off Reviewed by Teri Davis

“Everybody behind you could be following you, and it is your job to shake them off.”

How are spies recruited? Most people don’t say that they want to grow up to be a spy. What type of people become spies?

Growing up in Palestine, Michel Khoury has had an unfortunate life. His parents were murdered by terrorists which placed him in a refugee camp. With no family, Michel finds himself being recruited to be a spy. With his keen ability to learn languages and having a Middle Eastern complexion, he is quickly recruited and trained in Russia to be a spy. Being able to fit into any group of people is obviously a trait much valued for this profession.

Michel carries a passport which lists him as being from Lebanon. The group who employs Michel has one goal which is the resolution of peace for all in the Middle East. In order to achieve this, Michel needs many identities, passports, and money.

While living in London, Michel notices Helen who lives across the hall in his apartment building. The two of them share a bathroom where Michel hides his various identities and passports with some money. He wonders why Helen is tolerating her current lover who is an obviously older, married man. Through a chance encounter, Michel and Helen begin a relationship, but he can never tell her who he really is and what he does.

Deadly Little Secrets: The Minister, His Mistress, and a Heartless Texas Murder by Kathryn Casey

Deadly Little Secrets Reviewed by Vickie Dailey

Deadly Little Secrets is a true crime story. It is the story of Matt & Kari Baker. Both come from fairly religious backgrounds. The two meet at school where Kari is pursuing a career in teaching and Matt wants to become a baptist minister. They soon marry and have two little girls. Sadly after a long illness the second daughter passes away.

Throughout the book we learn that Matt has many secrets in his past. Secrets that would have made a difference for what comes next. Numerous times Matt has been accussed of sexual harrassment with various women with whom he works as well as family friends.

Dying for Justice: A Detective Jackson Mystery by L.J. Sellers

Dying for Justice Reviewed by Teri Davis

“Gina opened her eyes, taking in the white blanket and blue-scrub nurse. Her first thought was: This is a hospital. Her second thought was: Someone tried to kill me.”

When someone has been in a coma for two years and they suddenly awake to full consciousness, we consider that to be a highly unusual miracle. After asking for water, Gina immediately told her nurse that someone had tried to kill her. Her nurse called the police so that they could investigate whether this was an attempted murder or as previously thought, a suicide.

Detective Lara Evans is assigned to this case. She is young and inexperienced, but is smart enough to realize that she needs to consult her partner and mentor, Detective Wade Jackson. Wade has recently been allowed two weeks to investigate the death of his parents from ten-years ago. The man convicted of killing his parents recently wrote a letter admitting to stealing money from his parents, but not killing them. Being that the man is dying of cancer, what reason would he have for lying now?

Logically, the local newspaper can’t wait to print Gina’s story. What a wonderful, upbeat surprise. However, if someone tried to kill Gina two years ago, wouldn’t that person still want to kill her? What if Gina really attempted suicide? She had tried it before and was heavily in debt. Would the publicity cause the murderer to try again? Could running this story cause further embarrassment if Gina did try to kill herself?

Conspiracy of Wolves by Ernie Hasler

Conspiracy of Wolves Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

This is an exceptional story about a secret list that needed to be saved for eternity. The list of the top 300 people that ruled the world was sought after by many, most of who should not have this information. The list had changed some over the years but was sought by good and bad humans and organizations. The list was hidden in several places but the locations were known by very few. The story takes the reader on a long ride from when Douglas Hamilton was born in 1976 to his father, Sandy, and mother, Mary. Sandy was a coal miner that worked hard in the mines and eventually was part of the extremely strong union that controlled the miners. Maggie Thatcher was the British Prime Minister. She was known as the Iron Lady who had her fist on everything possible, including unions. Sandy was in poor health from his many years in the coalmines. He now worked with the unions traveling around the country serving as one of many pickets on the strike line. On one of these picket excursions, the miner’s leader gave him the list of 300 telling Sandy to keep this document safe as many were after it and would kill to get it. The family took the list, now laminated and wrapped tightly and securely, to a cemetery and buried it where only the family would know.

Sandy did die from his condition and Douglas and his mother carried on with their lives. In high school Douglas met a girl named Kelly and they became very close friends doing many activities together. They both spoke loudly for peace and worked with groups to stop nuclear threats and the weapons themselves. After they married they attended the university but all their spare time was spent doing what they could to fight for peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons. They traveled together and saw much of the English countryside and learned much of the history in the area. Douglas met a man who told him about the list of 300 and told him that this mans name was on it. He gave Douglas a copy of the list and told him to safeguard it with his life. Douglas read that this man was found dead in the river. He reported to the police the actions of the preceding night, all but the list. The police took the report but that was the end of anything Douglas knew. He could not get he incident out of his mind.

The Last Israelis by Noah Beck

The Last IsraelisReviewed by Cy Hilterman

A scary scenario of a super modern nuclear submarine and its crew before and during a secret mission to the area around Iran and surrounding waters. The story and its characters are exciting as you meet their families and close friends through flashbacks. The submarine Dolphin is the mightiest vessel in the Israeli Navy. The submarine was on a drill that was cut short when they were called back to their port after just ten days. Captain Daniel Zion had no idea what the reason could be for the fast withdrawal from the practice drill but he followed orders. The crew had been scheduled for a two-week shore leave that was shortened to a four-hour picnic for all the crew’s families and close friends that they would be able to summon on short notice. Reluctantly the crew and the available friends and family arrived for their picnic. Of course all were disappointed that only four-hours were to take the place of a leave where they could all have some fun, but orders were orders. The men and their families shared what they could about their thoughts about the mission but the crew, including the officers, had little knowledge but did have that gut feeling that it would be very dangerous with the short notice and the urgency to get the mission underway. After some tense moments together they all had to separate, head for the ship, and shove off for their unknown mission. Being sailors in the Israeli Navy they knew orders were orders and must be followed. Yisrael Dyan was second in command to Daniel. They didn’t always see eye to eye but Daniel was respected and had control of the sub.

When the ship left the dock, Daniel opened the orders. Another Israeli submarine had not been heard from for some time and the Dolphin was to head for the area from where it was last heard. The submarine, Leviathan, had been on patrol in the very strategic Strait of Hormuz, the area that is always full of ships carrying oil. The ship was thought to have been damaged by a depth charge and was headed back to port for repairs when many of the ships crew became sick from what was thought to be food poisoning. It was shortly after leaving this area that communications were lost, thus making its whereabouts and its condition unknown. The Dolphin headed towards that area with the knowledge now that Iran had finished moving its entire nuclear program to a very safe place. Iran now had usable nuclear missiles that could wipe out Israel and any surrounding nations at its will. For all of these reasons the Dolphin had to try to stay undetectable as much as possible.

The New Boy by Harley Tat

The New BoyReviewed by Rich Stoehr

There’s a real risk in writing an unreliable main character. When it’s done poorly, it will inevitably make a mess of what might have been a good book. When it’s done well, though – when it’s done well it can make a good story great. I’m pleased to say that Harley Tat, with ‘The New Boy,’ pulls off the trick quite well.

‘The New Boy’ doesn’t waste time getting into the thick of it. It begins with a wild ride to a late-night clinic, to stitch up a nearly-severed tongue, the result of a rugby game that got exceptionally rough for at least one player. Enter Andy Martin, the titular “New Boy” on the team and the owner of the wounded tongue. The journey to the hospital, in a VW driven by a fellow rugby player who we only know as The Troll, sets the tone for the rest of the book – chaos and quick bursts of observation.

Later, after Andy is on the mend, a rugby team party turns into a nightmare when he’s witness to the discovery of a dead body – the first, as it turns out, of many.

This is a book about rugby, and it’s a book about murder. Between those two things alone, it gets pretty violent in these pages. Consider yourself warned.