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

TAKEOUT

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

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DEVOLUTION

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. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A tense history-based thriller filled with anguish and suspense.

THE WHITE LADY

A poignant story of courage, misogyny, and misused power.

In 1947, Elinor White lives in a village in Kent in a grace-and-favor house, rewarded for her service to the crown, and keeps her own counsel. A farmworkers's cottage nearby is home to the Mackie family: Jim, Rose, and little Susie, who befriends the wary Elinor. Jim comes from a family of notorious London gangsters, and when they want him to return to the fold, they'll resort to violence to convince him. In interspersed chapters we learn about the background that Elinor keeps to herself: She was a spy during both world wars. Back in 1914, in Belgium, 10-year-old Elinor, youngest daughter of a Belgian father and English mother, tries to catch a boat to England along with her mother and sister, Cecily, before the German advance, but they're too late and return to their home, now under occupation. Some time later, a mysterious woman named Isabelle approaches their mother and recruits the two girls to spy on the Germans. It's easy for schoolgirls to appear innocuous as they count the number of trains that pass by their village. The sisters are trained in sabotage and self-defense. Elinor is a natural, but Cecily is not, and when Elinor kills two German soldiers trying to rape her sister, Isabelle smuggles them out to England—where Elinor faces another war, decades later, by working with the Special Operations Executive and returning to Belgium. Now she hopes her contacts from those days will save Jim from the clutches of the Mackie family. Her wartime experiences come back to haunt her, leaving her unable to trust anyone. In the end, it’s the gangsters who tell her the truth that will shatter her world and give her hope for the future.

A tense history-based thriller filled with anguish and suspense.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780062867988

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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