An entertainingly dense plot that links flawlessly to its forerunner, with room for more adventures.

Veil of Deception

An Air Force instructor pilot’s new station at a California base in 2001 is immersed in a conspiracy teeming with espionage, murder, and sabotage in this thriller.

Jason Conrad hadn’t anticipated his reassignment from Oklahoma to Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert. But TRENCOR Industries, working with the Air Force, had an ulterior motive for adding the pilot to its team. Jason’s the son of former senator Jonathan Bowman, now vice president of defense contractor Century Aero-Bot. TRENCOR CEO David Ming hopes Bowman will sell his company’s technology, or at least provide access, to complete the F-2000, a jet prototype past schedule and well over budget. New York Times investigative reporter Sherri Davis, meanwhile, gets wind of a body in the Mojave, a TRENCOR employee with a bullet hole in her head. Already in the area for a story, Sherri’s hooked, especially because her father died years ago operating a TRENCOR-manufactured combine. Events are unfurling at both the company’s facility and the base. The shocking reappearance of Jason’s love Kathy Delgato, for one, who left suddenly back in 1995, the same year TV reporter Dane Robinson accused Jason of being a Russian spy. Still fixated on Jason, Dane finds something unusual regarding recent land purchases. As others turn up dead, Sherri suspects someone’s planning an attack that may prove catastrophic. Lewis (Surly Bonds, 2012) carries over a lot of material from his preceding novel. He uses this to his advantage, diving right into subplots like Jason’s sordid history with Kathy. Brisk recaps catch up new readers, but may prove to be spoilers for anyone wanting to peruse the author’s earlier book. Lewis drops clever nods to the time period, characters employing an “amazing new device” (a thumb drive) and new search engine Google. Despite Sherri’s hackneyed undercover role as a stripper, she’s a sublime heroine. She unearths the bulk of the baddies’ nefarious scheme and is hardly fazed when people shoot at her, which happens more than once. One thinks that, even without Jason occasionally rescuing her, the able woman will escape potentially lethal predicaments. Lewis forgoes a climactic car chase for a more fitting—and enjoyable—jet chase.

An entertainingly dense plot that links flawlessly to its forerunner, with room for more adventures.

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9914764-2-8

Page Count: 444

Publisher: SATCOM Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2016

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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TRUE BETRAYALS

Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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