Tag Archives: book review

Debt Cleanse: How to Settle Your Unaffordable Debts for Pennies on the Dollar (And Not Pay Some at All) by Jorge P. Newbery (Review #2)

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

According to the author and company that this book is basically an advertisement for, www.debtcleanse.com, Americans have been duped by creditors, credit card companies and other corporate entities into carrying on several self-serving relationships based on long-term or extensive term debt.

Mr. Newbery narrates the story of his problems when an unexpected natural disaster turned his business and enterprises into huge debts. He went from successful to broke and owning $26 million in debt in the matter of a few days following an ice storm. Instead of following the way of many in America, from the poorest to the wealthiest, he did not choose bankruptcy. He made the decision to not pay his debts, any of them.

Brokla: A Tale of Things Falling Apart by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Brokla: A Tale of Things Falling Apart is the newest satirical, LOL book in author Simon Plaster’s series of novels featuring a small-town Oklahoman reporter known as Henrietta. As with other books in the series written by Plaster, he pulls no punches and he uses the actions and comments of his humorous, larger-than life characters to target several controversial topics that have been in the news in recent months and since the election of President Donald Trump. No topic is sacred or immune from Plaster’s playful jabs and satirical barbs, all related to the breaking apart of the social structure and very fabric of the United States. Plaster uses his large and motley cast of humorous characters to target subjects like the decline of TV viewership in the NFL, the resurgence of Feministas, the continued influence of the Antifa movement, the poor irrigation practices of Oklahoma panhandle farmers, the possible secession of California from the United States, the intense college football rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma and much, much more.
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The author’s female protagonist, erstwhile reporter Henrietta, started off in the earlier novels in the series with big ambitions, and she still has them in Brokla. She longs for the day when she will be assigned to writing the type of newsworthy story that could earn her a Pulitzer. At the start of Brokla, she thinks that maybe she’s finally hit on a story that is big enough and important enough to gain her the fame, and Pulitzer, she feels she richly deserves, when her boss at the local weekly newspaper, SCENE, Nigel Fleetwood, assigns her to cover a Town Hall Lecture Series where a certain Colonel Top Secret, a foreign government think tank expert, complete with a paper bag over his head, is speaking and prophesying about the future of the United States. A man Plaster calls “Agent X” sits at the same table with Colonel Top Secret, helping to interpret the foreign military leader’s dire predictions.

Redemption (Memory Man series Book 5) by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

RedemptionAmos Decker, he who is long on memory and quick on solving crimes is at it again. This time he has returned to Burlington, Ohio where he used to live. He is there to visit the grave of his wife and of his daughter, who would have been fourteen this day. The two of them were murdered in their home some years ago when Amos worked in that city as a police officer.

While Amos is in the graveyard he is approached by a gentleman that at first is unrecognizable to Amos but then he realizes that it is Meryl Hawkins. Hawkins was put in jail back when Amos lived there. Amos built the case that Hawkins was convicted in and sent to jail for life. He has recently been released due to the fact that he has terminal cancer and the state turned him free to die on the outside. Amos talks with him and Hawkins claims again that he was innocent of the crime.

Running Blind (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Running BlindJack Reacher at his best! Strangely enough it would seem that the traveling crime solver would be finished with his specialty. He just inherited a house from an old commanding officer of his who had taught him most of what Reacher knows about crime solving and living! It also turns out that after all the years they had worked together Reacher is now almost married to the old man’s daughter. But that may come later, who knows?

As usual however this story begins with a typical Reacher maneuver. He had just finished dinner at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan when he noticed two tough looking guys talking in a harsh way with the owner. They made some gestures that appeared to show they planned to do damage to his restaurant if he didn’t respond to them. Reacher talks to the owner and finds out the two are coming back in an hour to get his first payment for “security” from other gangs.

The Persistence of Memory Book 1: Déjà Vu by Karen Janowsky

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

The Persistence of MemoryThe Persistence of Memory Book 1: Déjà Vu plunges readers into an intriguing novel that is a blend of mystery, romance, suspense, supernatural, and thriller. Karen Janowsky captures and keeps readers’ attention from the first page all the way through to the last page. Locations vary from Germany to Yemen to the United States with the majority of the story taking place in Washington D.C.

This compelling story revolves around Daniel Hecht and Nina Asher, who are struggling with issues that affect their personal and professional lives. Imagine being used as an experimental subject for Nazi scientists, being transported through time to the future, facing the challenge of dealing with decades of memory loss, and no longer living your life as a sickly person but as one with an extraordinary physically enhanced body. This is exactly what has happened to Daniel, the team leader of a clandestine group of people with various superhuman abilities. However, Daniel is not the only one with memory issues. Imagine suffering from amnesia with no idea of your own identity or any memories of the past. This is the predicament Nina faces as she wonders what kind of person she was in the past. Both Nina and Daniel experience visions transporting them elsewhere, which are smoothly incorporated into the story.

Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

Reviewed by Teri Davis

UnshelteredA single run-down home is what combines two families about one-hundred years apart. Unfortunately, the house is in poor condition for both families. Part of the house with water for the kitchen and bathroom appears to be leaning in mid-air no foundation under this addition. Fortunately, the other part seems somewhat more substantial.

Willa Knox finds that her plans for this stage in her life as she planned. By now, she had expected herself to be a successfully published author and her husband, Iano being comfortably tenured at a college or university. Instead, Willa finds herself jobless with no prospects and her husband as an adjunct professor at a college with the two barely able to make ends meet. She believes her son is successful in life with career and family and her daughter, Tig, is just hopeless.

One-hundred years ago, Thatcher Greenwood moved into the house along with his wife and of course, his mother-in-law. Both are disappointed in Thatcher. They both expect to lead a high-class and wealthy lifestyle which could be difficult on a science teacher’s salary. Thatcher chooses to teach evolution in his classroom based on Darwin’s recent discoveries. Along with his neighbor, the two continue
It does seem strange with both families suffer from the uncertainty of the future, both with worry about the house, feeling of the insecurity of becoming unsheltered is a fear.

You Don’t Own Me (An Under Suspicion Novel) by Mary Higgins Clark

Reviewed by Allen Hott

You Don't Own MeThis is one in the series, Under Suspicion, written by Mary Higgins Clark and is a pretty good read overall. This is also my first read of any of Clark’s books.

Caroline Radcliffe is working as a nanny for Doctor Martin Bell and his wife, Kendra when she hears what she thinks to be fireworks being shot off outside as she watches over the two young Bell children. However as she goes out to check she finds the doctor shot to death in the driveway in his automobile.

Caroline runs into the house and tries to tell Kendra but Kendra is in one of her stupors or at least appears to be. Kendra has been suffering from some sort of postpartum depression for quite a while and she doesn’t always respond very quickly. The police are called and investigations are done but no one can be found to be responsible.

Five years later Kendra is doing much better and is taking care of the children with the help of Caroline. However the parents of Doctor Bell have never accepted the fact that (a) no one was found to be guilty and (b) they suspect Kendra of being involved plus they do not like having her take care of their grandchildren.

The Bell parents decide to contact Laurie Moran of a widely known television program called Under Suspicion. This program with Laurie and her staff do more in depth searching and investigating on cases that though worked on by law enforcement agencies they have never been solved. Laurie had looked into Martin Bell’s murder several years ago but really did not spend a lot of time with it nor did she find out anything of significant value. However now with the pressure of the Bells she agrees to take another in depth look at the situation.

Strong As Steel (Caitlin Strong Novels) by Jon Land

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

Strong As SteelThe tenth time is clearly the charm for the in dominatable Jon Land whose decennial effort in his Caitlin Strong series, Strong as Steel, cements his Texas Ranger’s status as the best female protagonist in thriller fiction today and maybe ever.

The high-octane plot features the classic thriller staple of a long buried, and of course deadly, secret being unearthed, this time from the Texas desert. Caitlin’s father Jim Strong, apparently, was somehow involved in burying three shipping crates there twenty-five years before as part of a case he was working on. Indeed, a particular staple of this series is the seamless intermixing of the past and the present, with Caitlin picking up on a trail left by one of her ancestors. It was William Faulkner who said, “The past isn’t dead, it’s not even past.” Well, nothing describes Strong as Steel better than that, with “dead” being the operative word.

But Caitlin isn’t the only one on the trail of the contents of those three crates; far from it, in fact. Hot on their trail, and hers, is Molinari, an especially maniacal head of an especially fanatical band of religious zealots out to safeguard a two-thousand-year-old secret at all costs. Being once set ablaze by his enemies has left Molinari almost literally faceless and he has long pursued his quest with a degree of violence and rage befitting the grotesque he’s become.

Wrong Light (The Rick Cahill Series) by Matt Coyle

Reviewed by Vickie Dailey

Wrong LightThis was my first Rick Cahill novel – I really like the character – he is a no nonsense PI.

Rick is hired by a local radio station to find out who is stalking their late-night talent via her call-in line. After Rick meets Naomi, he begins the process of finding her stalker – when it walks the Russian Mafia – pulling him in another direction.

While trying to work both cases, Rick spends many sleepless nights which leads to mistakes and death for others. Rick enlists his PI friend Moria to help with Naomi’s case while he pursues the other trying to tie all the trails together toward the final end pulling in favors from the police and FBI.

I really liked the fast pace of the book and waiting to find out if Rick could pull off working two unrelated cases at the same time – lots of story plot to hold your interest.

Splinter in the Blood: A Novel Blood (Carver and Lake) by Ashley Dyer

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Splinter in the BloodHave you ever noticed that murderers who have a touch of creativity in their killings seem to be remembered by a particular nickname making them more infamous? The Son of Sam, The Zodiac Killer, and Jack the Ripper are only a few with this notorious distinction. Add to this list now is The Thorn Killer who slowly poisons his victims from a poisonous ink tattooed to their bodies with thorns, instead of needles. This unusual technique creates the Splinter in the Blood.

Imagine a murder where the hunter becomes the hunted. That is Splinter in the Blood.

Detective Greg Carver is in the sitting room of his home. He has blood on him, obviously from being shot in the chest. His partner, Detective Sergeant Ruth Lake is holding a 1911 Colt pistol. She quickly places the gun, files, posters about The Thorn Killer grabbing anything connected with the case and carrying it to the trunk of her car. All evidence is always left at the police station, not at the lead detective’s home. As she wipes the house of fingerprints, she notices that there seems to be some movement from Greg’s eyes. Could he be alive?