Born in Sweden, I've lived abroad for many years – in Spain, France, and presently in Mexico. In the past, a good part of my life was dedicated to business ... Read full author bio >
"THE LOST IDENTITY CASUALTIES: After Russian mobsters sever his fingers and slash his face, Matthias Callaghan is rushed to a clinic in Switzerland, where doctors equip him with prosthetic hands and a face transplant. He then uses the anonymity of his new face to exact revenge on all involved, losing his humanity in the process.
In this first volume of the Callaghan tetralogy, Ekemar (Destiny Comes With Strings Attached, 2008, etc.) presents a fresh, intriguing tale. Through an intricate weaving of character, circumstance, mistaken identity and coincidence, he constructs an engaging, original storyline. Rather than a potion, it is his new persona that changes Callaghan—a face transplanted from the corpse of a man out of his wife’s past. The author deftly uses Callaghan’s dry, emotionless voice to characterize the evolution of his personality: “The planning for revenge was strangely satisfying, as was the detachment from my friends and former life.” From the beginning, Callaghan is methodical; he even says so numerous times. Also, his participation in a credit card scam early in his career suggests an ember of criminality. Nevertheless, his disciplined, systematic approach allows him to track down all the players involved in his abduction and to construct elaborate cons in order to execute retribution. “My motivation was absolute,” he says. “I wanted to see those who had destroyed my life suffer like I had.” But payback doesn’t end there. He is compelled to bring down peripheral actors such as his former partner in crime Allan, and his ne’er-do-well father, also named Matthias. Even his wife, Julia—evidently a victim of circumstance—must pay. Ekemar plays the plot beautifully, contrasting past and present chapters in well-thought-out juxtaposition. A few symbolic ideas—such as a genetic mutation placing Callaghan’s heart on the right side—spice things up as well. Good thing the next installment is already out there.
A unique, multilayered tale with some fresh twists.
WHERE THE BONES OF A BURIED RAT LIE: In Ekemar’s (The Lost Identity Causalities, 2014, etc.) second thriller in a planned four-book series, Matthias Callaghan returns to London, where he takes on the identity of his late father.
In this latest installment, the author regales readers with multiple plots, cons, identities, and possible outcomes. His protagonist, Callaghan, is back with yet another transplanted face—this time, his dead dad’s. Ostensibly, Callaghan is dead himself, as far as anyone else knows; however, since he and his father so closely resembled each other, he finds it convenient (and sometimes necessary) to switch personas, depending on whom he’s dealing with. He soon finds that he must deal with dogged policemen, gangsters, and even the re-emergence of his ex-wife. Ekemar uses much of this second book to further develop Callaghan as a character—a Jekyll-and-Hyde figure who’s sometimes charming and other times a complete sociopath. Readers will be jolted when the affable Callaghan’s evil persona periodically emerges: “How could I get Rathbone killed without getting myself involved?” This is multilayered writing at its best, as plot tendrils reach in all directions, and at its center is Callaghan himself—a victim of mistaken identity, named after the biblical disciple who replaced Judas, who morphs into a kind of avenging angel. What’s most intriguing about him is that however despicable he becomes, readers will still empathize with him. This is due partly to Ekemar’s skillful writing and partly because Callaghan’s fall began long ago, when he was the victim of a brutal attack. It also doesn’t hurt that the people he takes down are often, though not always, more despicable than he is. Unlike in the first book, which could stand alone, only one of Callaghan’s new plotlines here comes to fruition; most of what happens is used to set up events in future installments. This novel, however, depends heavily on what came before, which makes reading the first part of the Callaghan Tetralogy a prerequisite. That said, it’s a must for those who enjoyed the previous volume.
This well-written thriller’s complex plotting and characterization make for a fine read."
Roger Croft is a former journalist whose news reporting and feature articles have appeared in numerous publications including 'The Economist,' the 'Sunday Telegraph' in the U.K and in the ... Read full author bio >
"Woven with historical fact and modern conflict, Vaux's triumphant return for one last nail-biting mission proves to be a rewarding and satisfying end to this trilogy.--Kirkus Reviews [THE MAGHREB CONSPIRACY].
Surprises lurk behind every character in this original storyline, fraught with suspense.--Kirkus reviews [OPERATION SALADIN]"
Born in Kermanshah, Iran, 1947, he graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of London at 1969. He worked in Iran for 19 years before immigrating to ... Read full author bio >
"This brief look at the history of Iran has an eye toward using region's diverse past as an argument for regime change.
A fine starting point for those interested in the history and future of Iran, but far from defenitive"
Heather Spears Bio
Heather Spears, award-winning Canadian writer and artist, has lived in Denmark since 1962. She has published 14 collections of poetry, 5 novels, and 3 books of drawings ... Read full author bio >
"An inventive and intelligent, yet accessible, approach to drawing; recommended for everyone from amateurs to professionals. — Kirkus Reviews"
Readers Favorite 2014 International Book Awards WINNER (Honorable Mention)
History, art and literature are my passions. I love digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are ... Read full author bio >
Susan Taylor Chehak is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of several novels, including The Great Disappointment, Smithereens, The Story of Annie D., and ... Read full author bio >
"The turns these stories take, structurally and emotionally, prove that Chehak is not only a daring literary artisan, but a connoisseur of human frailty. An acerbic, stirring collection from a master of the craft."
Forrest Carr is a veteran TV news professional with 34 years of experience in broadcast journalism. He started as a radio reporter then moved into newscast producing before becoming a ... Read full author bio >
"Carr employs jet-black humor reminiscent of Vonnegut.... A truly unconventional ending makes for a worthy trip."
The Bestselling author of Exigency (2015), the Matt Turner series (The Dig, 2011, The Opal, 2012), and the Demon’s Story series (A Warm Place to Call Home, and The ... Read full author bio >
"Siemsen has carefully worked out every detail of his story, and manages to infuse a genuine sense of urgency and humanity ... Readers of last year's surprise sci-fi hit, Andy Weir's The Martian, will find the same great blend of technology and storytelling here. A highly recommended, character-driven sci-fi novel in the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein."
Basil Lawrence was born in South Africa. He read English Literature at university in Johannesburg before moving to England, where he earned an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University ... Read full author bio >
"A restaurateur takes desperate measures in Lawrence’s delectably dark debut novel.
The show must go on and does, with deliciously droll scenes . . . wickedly comical moments . . . snappy dialogue . . . The tone is surprisingly light, like an airy soufflé"
Gerald W. McFarland, historian and novelist, was born in Oakland, California. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. During ... Read full author bio >
Paul Mark Tag graduated with degrees in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University and worked for the Naval Research Laboratory as a research scientist for over thirty years before retiring to ... Read full author bio >
William Peak’s debut novel, The Oblate’s Confession, returns us to that lost and mysterious time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.” It is based on extensive research into early ... Read full author bio >
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