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TAKEOUT

This detailed, action-filled cat-and-mouse police story is full of imagination.

Lund, a former Army platoon leader and first-time author, presents the frightening yet fascinating world of law enforcement and government conspiracies.

Dan Busbe seems like an average businessman: He has a loving long-time wife, two children and a sterling community reputation. But under all that he’s a rage-filled alcoholic who believes he must repair the justice system through his vigilante actions. Busbe, who calls himself “The Patriot,” initiates a succession of serial killings, each involving police officers whom he deems rotten to the core. Also, the female president intends to visit Busbe’s Boston hometown; there’s palatable tension between their potential assignation and the president’s determination to maintain her own tough reputation. Lund has an amazing ability to capture dialog and create sparks between his characters, all while providing a wealth of information about the world of police, secret service agents and federal representatives. Yet the novel tends to drag at times, particularly because of its huge cast of characters, each with official names and special nicknames that make it hard to keep track of them all. Furthermore, the riveting story that has its heavy moments, but listening to Busbe’s inner ranting grows tiresome as he winds himself up tighter and tighter on his trajectory toward mayhem. The book is well worth its substantial weight, though, because of its compelling insights into both the mind of a killer and the people who are desperately trying to stop him before he becomes the next Oswald. Lund proves himself an impressive writer and observer, giving this novel a well-deserved place among conspiracy tomes.

This detailed, action-filled cat-and-mouse police story is full of imagination.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2012

ISBN: 978-1466294417

Page Count: 296

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2012

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DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z(2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

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Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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