• Thrillers

Tom Sylvester

Tom Sylvester is a 1982 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Academy's Department of Astronautics and Computer Science.

He worked as a "rocket scientist" for the Air Force's Ballistic Missile Office, then later as a staff officer in Washington, DC, where he headed the Air Force's Parts Standardization Program for Air Force Systems Command and was the Air Force's representative to the Government/Industry Data Exchange Program.

Tom has over 17,000 hours of flying in his pilot log book. He  ...See more >

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"Rich with vivid characters and suspense."

Kirkus Reviews


Favorite author Jeffrey Archer

Day job Pilot, Boeing 747.


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1480130043
Page count: 322pp

In Sylvester’s (The Bernoulli Award, 2009 etc.) latest thriller, Col. Jack Bolden seeks the truth surrounding the mysterious deaths of his wife and closest friend.

When Air Force Col. Jack Bolden flies to D.C. for the retirement party of old friend Gen. “Snootch” Nogrady, he has no idea it’ll be the last time they meet. Snootch, who has leukemia, drops a bomb by revealing that the 25-year-old shooting death of Jack’s wife was no random act—and he knows who did it. Shocked, Jack dazedly returns home to San Francisco. The news that awaits him is equally disturbing: While Jack flew across the country, Snootch inexplicably died during his first chemo treatment. But the narrative takes a surprising turn: Instead of leaping headlong into Jack’s search for his wife’s killer, Sylvester changes gears and reaches back in time to carefully chronicle Jack’s formative years. This section, which comprises about two-thirds of the novel, is actually its best. Jack is introduced as an 8-year-old, intelligent boy with a strong sense of justice. From there, Sylvester leads Jack through unique, poignant situations full of incredible detail, building a strong, nuanced character with engaging tales from Jack’s youth; each remembrance beautifully crafts his back story, endearing him to readers. Those interested in military life will be entertained by tales of Jack and his buddies pushing their way through the U.S. Air Force Academy. Yet with the bulk of the novel focusing on Jack’s youth, the actual conflict in the story—the search for his wife’s killer—seems underdeveloped. Still riveting, the story surrounding the deaths and Jack’s exaction of revenge is resolved in a little over 100 pages and 10 days’ time. The two parts, though linked through characters, seem almost like two separate stories; a more balanced approach between past and present would help the novel shine.

Rich with vivid characters and suspense.



Three years ago, brilliant student Steve Brinkley was dismissed in disgrace from M.I.T. and charged with numerous federal crimes for a naive mistake in judgment. It made national news for days. The charges were eventually dropped, but the damage had been done: no other reputable school would touch him. Eventually a small college in southern Illinois gave him a second chance and now he hopes to salvage his reputation by winning an engineering competition. Together, he and three other students create and patent a new manufacturing process which will undoubtedly revolutionize all manufacturing worldwide. But an ownership rights battle erupts. At the height of the controversy, one of the students is brutally murdered and the only suspect appears to be Steve. His only chance is to find the real killer before the authorities find him.

ISBN: 978-0615313337
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TRAILER: The Bolden Directive