Book Review: Hidden Order A Thriller by Brad Thor

Hidden Order Brad Thor

 

 

Scot Harvath book #12

 

Goodreads

 

The most secretive organization in America operates without accountability to the American people. Hiding in the shadows, pretending to be part of the United States Government, its power is beyond measure. Control of this organization has just been lost and the future of the nation has been thrust into peril.

When the five candidates being considered to head this mysterious agency suddenly go missing, covert counter-terrorism operative, Scot Harvath is summoned to Washington and set loose on the most dangerous chase ever to play out on American soil. But as the candidates begin turning up murdered, the chase becomes an all-too-public spectacle with every indicator suggesting that the plot has its roots in a shadowy American cabal founded in the 1700’s.

With the United States on the verge of collapse, Harvath must untangle a web of conspiracy centuries in the making and head off the greatest threat America has ever seen.

 

 

My Rating

 

Four golden stars isolated on white background

 

 

 

Brad has a way of making each thriller compelling and full of intrigue every time. Scot Harvath is one of my favorite operatives of the spy thriller literary world. When the nation is in a bind who wouldn’t send in Harvath? No brainer right?

While this isn’t my favorite thriller of the series, it still packs a quite a punch in the entertainment department. In the midst of the *save the nations* plot, there’s the dynamic relationship between Harvath and a unique Boston homocide detective. She’s bold, brilliant, determined and won’t take no for an answer. Just the right gal for a lone ranger like Harvath.

I’m plugging right along in this series to the next book, Act of War. 

 

 

 

Act of War Brad Thor

 

 

I’m seriously trying to catch up before the newest title, Use of Force, is released June 27, 2017. After Act of War, I’ll have to finish Code of Conduct and Foreign Agent, then will be caught up.

 

 

 

Who is your favorite spy thriller writer?

  • Vince Flynn?

  • Tom Clancy?

  • David Baldacci?

  • Lee Child?

  • Daniel Silva?

  • Sean Black?

  • Other?

Tell me in the comments!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for ridin’ the Train!! Come again and don’t be a stranger!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Books & Blurbs: Ryan Lock, Mitch Rapp and Scott Harvath

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Hi guys!! Later this week I’ll be giving you my analysis of some of characters I’ve been enjoying recently.  Ryan Lock, Mitch Rapp, and Scott Harvath penned by Sean Black, Vince Flynn and Brad Thor respectively.  I’ll be weighing on character similarities, differences, writing styles and use of setting. Great books!! I’m looking forward to sharing the reviews and posting them so be on the lookout.

 

 

 

 

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Books I’m currently reading….

  • Immoral Certainty by Robert K. Tannenbaum
  • Atopia by Matthew Mather
  • Fatal Option by Chris Beakey
  • The Guests of South Battery by Karen White
  • Skin of Tattoos by Christina Hoag
  • Address to Die For by Mary Feliz
  • Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

 

 

Catch you later on the next blurb!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Book Review: Little Black Lies

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In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives – a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother – Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.

As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.

Little Black Lies is about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A stellar read by Sandra Block! Psychiatrist Dr. Zoe Goldman is a memorable character with a hidden mystery. She’s wrapped up in a dire search for her birth mother, whom she never knew, but in the end discovers a lot more than expected. This is a wonderfully written intriguing mystery that’ll keep you turning pages into the night.

Setting. I loved the setting of this book for many reasons. I used to work in different medical settings with the same type of patients seen in this book. So this gave me a familiar feeling.

Plot. The plot was smooth, evenly paced and interwoven with the skill of a seamstress. That’s about all I can say without spoilers!!

I’m really looking forward to the next two books. The Girl without a name, and The Secret Room

 

 

 

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Thanks!!!

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

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Book Review: Winter of Wolves by Marc Rainer

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A Winter of Wolves (Jeff Trask Crime Drama #4)

 

Goodreads Description

 

Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask is summoned to a murder scene. A Park Police officer has been brutally murdered at the Lincoln Memorial. As Trask and a team of local and federal investigators try to find the killer, more police officers are murdered. While attending the funeral for one of these victims, Trask and his team find themselves in a firefight with a cell of radical Islamic terrorists. Disqualified because of his involvement at the scene at Arlington National Cemetery, Trask is reassigned to Washington D.C.’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, where he discovers that the firefight at Arlington was only part of a bigger and much more sinister plot to bomb that threatens the entire eastern seaboard.

 

 

 

My Rating

 

 

 

Awesome Gold Vintage Label

 

 

 

 

My Impressions…

 

I was immediately drawn into this story from the beginning with a heinous crime committed against the ambassador of San Salvador. From there, every line, jot and tittle unravels layer upon layer until you reach the end. the level of detail is not only remarkable, but entertaining and relevant to the storyline.

The distinct effect of this book, as well as the others in the Jeff Trask Crime drama, bear a particular flavor. Marc Rainer a former Federal prosecutor has a working knowledge of law enforcement personnel at every level. Including intelligence, FBI, CIA, investigators, counterterrorism, Washington D.C, U.S. Attorney relations, and Police forces. It’s like the old Prego commercial theme “It’s all in there”.

Having said all of that, the book carried a unique ‘flavor’ to it unlike others I’ve read. It has more realism within it’s pages but not a boring kind of realism. It was still fascinating and kept me turning the pages!

The author really does an excellent job portraying a sense of family among the main characters. They really appreciate one another, play offer each others strength, and truly work as a team. The heroism of Jeff Trask was more balanced within the team approach, which I believe,  had a nice impact.

Winter of Wolves had all the necessary ingredients  for an entertaining read, including humor. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

recommended vintage orange seal isolated on white

 

 

 

 

Marc Rainer

Goodreads | Website | Amazon

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

 

 

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Book Review: The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell

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Introducing the Joe Tesla Thriller Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Description

 

***Winner of International Thriller Writers’s Best Ebook Original Novel award!*** Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell drops you into a vast, dark world: 100 miles of living, breathing, tunnels that is the New York City underground. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes them all out again… except for one. Software millionaire Joe Tesla is set to ring the bell on Wall Street the morning his company goes public. On what should be the brightest day in his life, he is instead struck with severe agoraphobia. The sudden dread of the outside is so debilitating, he can’t leave his hotel at Grand Central Terminal, except to go underground. Bad luck for Joe, because in the tunnels lurk corpses and murderers, an underground Victorian mansion and a mysterious bricked-up 1940s presidential train car. Joe and his service dog, Edison, find themselves pursued by villains and police alike, their only salvation now is to unearth the mystery that started it all, a deadly, contagious madness on the brink of escaping The World Beneath.

 

 

 

 

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My Rating

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You’re going to love Joe Tesla! A brilliant programmer and millionaire debilitated by agoraphobia, a gripping fear of crowds and public places. Throughout his journey to discover the truth about a hidden presidential train car hidden in the depths of New York’s tunnels, you’ll see his flaws and his strengths. Accompanied by his faithful dog Edison, they embark on a journey to discover the truth that might cost them their lives.

I found Joe to be a very compelling character. The mysterious settings and circumstances make this an intriguing adventure. I actually missed him when it was over! What more can you ask for?

 

  • Characters 10/10
  • Story 10/10
  • Settings 10/10
  • Mystery 10/10
  • Emotional Resonance 9/10
  • Antagonist 8/10
  • Resolution 10/10

 

Reading this book brought to mind the importance of creating great characters. Memorable characters. It wasn’t so much the action, or plotting per se, but it was Joe and Edison. A man and his dog confined to a myriad of hidden tunnels in New York City. You throw in a mystery with that and you have yourself a bestseller.

Joe Tesla stands for a certain group of people. People who have fears and weaknesses. Yet this man became a hero when it counted most. In the midst of life or death circumstances his brilliance in programming, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and will to survive are exemplary. That’s why I love Joe Tesla.

People are a combination of strength and weaknesses. Flawed virtues and quirky traits. But I found Joe’s character to rather refreshing and teeming with originality. Simple, yet resoundingly profound. Most of the ‘flawed’ characters we see today are very heavily flawed, troubled individuals. Those aren’t bad by any means, but maybe too much on the extreme side of things. Joe was certainly flawed but it seemed within reason.

Then you have his trusty companion, Edison. You can sense the love he has for his dog. Much more than a dog to him though. As he’s resigned by no fault of his to the dark tunnels beneath the city, he’s accompanied by no except Edision. Faithful Edision. What a team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THANKS FOR RIDIN’ THE TRAIN!! DON’T BE A STRANGER!

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

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Book Review: Midnight Obsession by Melinda Leigh

midnight-obsession

 

 

 

Wall Street Journal’s Bestselling Author Melinda Leigh releases her latest masterpiece, Midnight Obsession. She’s also one of our awesome authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week celebration. Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

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BOOK TRAILER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 

In Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s edgy new thriller, Louisa Hancock thought she was safe…but there’s a new killer in town.

When a mysterious package lands on Louisa Hancock’s doorstep, the Philadelphia museum curator can hardly anticipate the nightmare that’s about to envelop her. The package is addressed to her father—an expert in Viking culture—and inside is a ninth-century sword, a chilling thank-you note, and photos of two dead bodies in a tableau evoking a Nordic funeral. The gruesome images match a recent crime scene. But before the police can investigate the killer’s connection to Louisa’s father, Ward Hancock vanishes.

Sports bar owner Conor Sullivan wants nothing more than to spend his life with Louisa. Devoted and protective, he refuses to leave her side after her father’s disappearance. When a troubled young boxer he’s been coaching is suspected of the murders, Conor is pulled in even deeper. Desperate, Louisa and Conor take it upon themselves to find her father, but soon another ritualistic slaying makes it clear there’s a Viking-obsessed serial killer on the loose. And he has a new target: Louisa.

 

 

 

MY RATING

 

 

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You won’t find any dull moments in this one. Melinda Leigh does an excellent job of building suspense, action, and mystery to keep the pages turning!

When I first began this book I knew it was going to be a great read. I could feel it in my gut. Gotta love those guts, eh? YES. I was right!

The tension, pacing, characters, plot, romance, antagonist were perfect. Conner Sullivan is every woman’s dream of a gentlemen who is hell-bent on protecting the love of his life, Louisa Hancock.

Louisa is a vulnerable yet strong individual who is no pushover despite her circumstances. I can’t say more without spoilers.

Louisa’s father is an renowned Viking culture expert who has a demented secret admirer. It all begins when Louis starts receiving strange packages at her doorstep. Her father’s life is at stake and possibly her own…You’ll never guess who the killer really is until the very end! And the ending is exquisite to the last drop! A must read!

 

 

 

 

 

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CONNECT WITH MELINDA LEIGH

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Trail of Secrets by Laura Wolfe

listen to music (+clipping path, xxl)

 

 

 

 

AUDIO FORENSICS EDITION

 

Featuring Trail of Secrets by Laura Wolfe

 

 

 

 

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Laura Wolfe is one of our participating authors in Mystery Thriller Week. To find out more about Laura go to her website.

 

 

 

 

 

trail-of-secrets-audio-book

 

 

Trail of Secrets by  Laura Wolfe

 

Narrated by: Kelli Andersen

Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 3-04-16

Publisher: Author Laura Wolfe, LLC

 

 

 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 

2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist (First Novel)

Spending three weeks of her summer at the elite Foxwoode Riding Academy in northern Michigan should have been one of the happiest times of sixteen year-old Brynlei’s life. But from the moment Brynlei arrives at Foxwoode, she can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched.

Then she hears the story of a girl who vanished on a trail ride four years earlier. While the other girls laugh over the story of the dead girl who haunts Foxwoode, Brynlei senses that the girl—or her ghost—may be lurking in the shadows.

Brynlei’s quest to reveal the truth interferes with her plan to keep her head down and win Foxwoode’s coveted “Top Rider” award. Someone soon discovers Brynlei’s search for answers and will go to any length to stop her. As Brynlei begins to unravel the facts surrounding the missing girl’s disappearance, she is faced with an impossible choice. Will she protect a valuable secret? Or save a life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY RATING

Four golden stars isolated on white background

 

 

 

AUDIOBOOK PERFORMANCE

 

Narrator Performance: 7/10

Voice switch over: 7/10

Story  resolution, climax: 10/10

Overall: 8/10

Sound quality: 8/10

Emotional Resonance: 8/10

Characters: 8/10

Dialogue: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

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HEAR ME OUT…

Narrator Kelli Anderson did a good job connecting to the story and bringing it into life. For me that’s very important component. Otherwise it’d drudgery.

When it comes to voices of narrators it’s a pretty subjective experience. It may or may not reflect on their skill. In this case it wasn’t so much the voice I enjoyed but it was keeping my interest in the story. For that I give a thumbs up. Kelli Anderson does a great job of pacing her reading, dialogue and keeping things going.

 

 

 

 

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My impression…

Being short on time, I decided to go with the audiobook version. The story premise grabbed me from the beginning and kept me going. I wanted to find out what the story was about. Once the story got going it began to center around the mysterious death of Caroline Watson at Foxwood.

For a first novel it was great! Loved how everything unfolded especially in the resolution. It exceeded my expectations when everything was wrapped up in such an orderly way.

Brynlei is very likeable character who enters into a new, yet awkward, social experience at Foxwood. She definitely comes to life when she meets some new friends and begins to obsessed with the death of Caroline Watson.

If you like Young Adult reads, mysteries and horses, this is a good one.

 

 

 

CONNECT WITH LAURA WOLFE

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

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A new Political Thriller by J.C. Peters

 

Everyone please welcome J.C. Peters!

 

 

 

peters

 

 

 

 

The Dog and its Day

 

 

There has been only one assassination on a Presidential Candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, in 1968. Has the time come for the next serious attempt? Legal Philosopher, historian and author J.C. Peters uses this scenario in his first political fiction novel, The Dog and its Day (Odyssea Publishing), available now on Amazon and major online retailers. As the United States comes to elect the next President in the coming months and with the first debate completed, Peters is compelled to depict the main characters in the book off current political and presidential candidates.

In The Dog and Its Day, two conservative billionaires decide to hire the best assassin $10 million can buy to kill Republican presidential candidate Ronald Drump, realizing any other candidate would have a much better chance of winning against the notoriously unpopular Valery Clayton. The assassin, an American, is meticulous, methodical and he never fails. As a rule, he does not operate stateside, but the chance to retire in style, with a legendary campaign season swings into high gear, the killer chooses his time, place and method. The hour is fast approaching. One main can change the course of history. The question: who will it be?

To learn more about the book and author J.C. Peters, visit www.JellePeters.comTwitter, or LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*How did you go from writing historical nonfiction to fiction?

After finishing my latest nonfiction history book, World 2.0: A History from Enlightenment to Terrorism and Beyond, which had taken me more than three years to write and research, I was actually planning to take a small break. But as I watched Donald Trump rise in the Republican primaries, I began thinking about how incredibly high the stakes would be if he actually became the Republican nominee, how the entire country could be swayed into one of two very different directions and how the course of history is often determined by just one person. Truth is, I had come upon many Donald Trumps while writing World 2.0. Of course, if one man can change the world, it also takes just one man to stop him. And that is how the story of The Dog and its Day was born.

It’s amazing how one person can affect the world and turn it upon its hinges.

 

 

 

 

 

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*Can you note the differences you experienced?

Interestingly enough, the difference between fiction and nonfiction was far smaller than I had expected. In the last six months of working on my history book, I sometimes fantasized about finally being able to throw off the constraints of having to research and double-check every single fact. In fiction, I thought, I could do whatever I wanted, I would finally be the king of my own universe! But when I started writing The Dog and its Day—actually even before that, when I was still just thinking about the story—I realized that for me at least, the main difference would be to recalibrate reality a few degrees. When it comes to thrillers, I was never that interested in outlandish stories where the villains do unspeakable things. In The Dog and its Day, I wanted to explore how an assassination plot on Donald Trump would be conceived, planned and executed. That turned out to take quite a lot of research as well, but at least I didn’t have to name sources, write footnotes and create an index anymore.

That’s awesome. I’m writing a my first fictional piece and hope to pen nonfiction one day. 

 

 

 

 

FICTION REVEALS TRUTH THAT REALITY OBSCURES -RALPH WALDO EMERSON

 

 

 

 

*Does your book explore a particular theme?

One man can change history. Nothing is set in stone and history does repeat itself.

This is very fascinating. I guess it all depends on who is changing history and how they’re doing it. 

 

 

 

 

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*What can you tell us about these two billionaires and their relationship with one another?

They are lifelong friends who together founded a coal-mining company 30 years ago and expanded it into a global empire in the decades that followed. They have had people standing in the way of their business interests eliminated before. When one of them suggests to have the Republican nominee assassinated, the other first recoils, but then he realizes the time for moral objections has long since passed.

Sounds like a great premise! Two power hungry billionaires with their own agenda.

 

 

 

 

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*Tell us three things about Ronald Drump. 

He is the Republican nominee for president. A New York real estate developer without any political experience. He is brash, arrogant, notoriously unreliable and far behind in the polls when the two billionaires decide to have him eliminated.

Well, may the odds ever be in his favor.

 

 

 

 

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*Tell us three things about Valery Clayton.

She is the Democratic nominee for president. Her husband, Richard Clayton, was President in the 1990s. She has vowed to close all coal mines in the United States if elected.

I’m surprised they the billionaires wouldn’t have her assassinated instead. Especially if she’s trying to close the coal mines!

 

 

*How meticulous is this legendary assassin? 

He is the kind of man who, if he had an unforeseen chance to take out his mark with a 9mm handgun in a dark forest with nobody else around, would still do nothing more than mumble a greeting and walk on, if he had planned to take him out a day later with a .300 Winchester Magnum from 800 yards away.

I’ve always thought assassins were cool for some reason. It must be the nature of the job and how they manage to get away with it, or not.

 

 

 

 

 

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*If you were Ronald Drump and realized an attempt on your life what would you do?

Probably the same as what the real Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has done. Hire extra private security—much to the dismay of the Secret Service.

Yikes! Sounds like a high stress job. Whew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*If you had opportunity to change the world as Drump, Clayton, the billionaires, or the assassin which person would you be?

The billionaires and the assassin can only stop someone else from becoming President of the United States. I would prefer to be in power myself.

Good answer! 

 

 

*What is your favorite time period in history?

I find that once you start digging and are transported back in time, each period has its own unique stories to tell and adventures to share. Fourteenth century France might seem less interesting than World War II at first glance, but once you start exploring the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and it all comes to life again, it quickly become another favorite period in history.

It would be adventurous to be a time traveler and go back to observe how things unfolded personally. 

 

 

 

If you think you have it tough, read history books. -Bill Maher

 

 

 

*Will you write more political thrillers?

I already have a new plot. One that strikes at the heart of the presidency and puts the President in an impossible situation. So yes.

YES. More political thrillers! Keep us posted!

 

 

 

 

 

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THANKS J.C. PETERS!!!

 

 

THANKS FOR RIDIN THE TRAIN!!!

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com