Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Apart from the presidential "race" which gets almost all the attention these days, there are other, equally important races to consider.

In order to carry out his or her ideas, the president must deal with Congress. So, we, the people, in order to enjoy a more perfect union and reap the benefits of our rights to liberty and justice, elect representatives to congregate and debate and arrive at reasonable solutions to the problems of the nation. Right?

SO we need to "vet" our elected representatives every bit as carefully as we do the President of these United States. I strongly urge you to do so. It seems to me that the nation requires that good ideas, regardless of source, that solutions be implemented, without designation as to liberal, conservative, progressive, socialism and so on. Solutions, good ideas, can work equally well without designation.

So, ask your candidates if they will pledge to  go to Washington, if elected, and work in collaboration with the President and other members of the Congress regardless of party affiliation, to solve the pressing needs of the nation. The candidates answers should help you decide whom to vote for in local elections, in November.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Double Thriller

The Last Refuge
by Ben Coes
ISBN: 9781250007155
A 2012 hard cover release from St.
Martin’s Press, 387 pgs.
Also available in e-formats

Author Ben Coes knows how to structure a taut, clever, tension-filled thriller. The genesis of this story begins with the audacious kidnapping of the grandson of Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir, one of the enduring heroes of that nation. Kohl Meir’s abduction from an apartment in New York is an Iranian act of retribution for an incident in the Gulf of Hormuz. Meir is a decorated commander of a unit of Israeli Special Forces. His capture is considered a great triumph by the rulers of Iran who intend to use Meir’s trial and execution to maximum political advantage. Enter Dewey Andreas, American, a former SEAL, with ties to Meir. He wants to rescue Kohl Meir, in part because Meir did the same for him on a previous mission. What he subsequently learns is that Meir was in the United States to solicit help from Andreas in a daring plan to prevent Iran from destroying Tel Aviv with a nuclear weapon.

So a double clock is ticking. The nuclear bomb is soon due to be transported to Israel and Meir’s execution is imminent. Andreas enlists the help of various above- and below-board specialists in his attempt to successfully carry out theft of the bomb and rescue of the Israeli.

How he goes about this and the maneuvering of the evil forces arrayed against Andreas is the story. There is, fortunately, a minimum of political- us-versus-them ranting. There are complex people working for perceived good and evil on both sides of the equation. Some are competent and some are not, so the characterizations in the novel are interesting and support the plot well, although it’s perfectly clear that the author considers Iran to be a prominent evil empire.

There are, unfortunately, quite a few grammatical errors which readers will have to overlook. One of the most egregious is the careless use of “ground” as a substitute for the floor of an automobile, a steel jail cell, and the deck of a ship. In the case of the automobile, the reader thought the gunman was on the ground beside the car, not hiding in the front seat. In spite of these annoyances, the novel is enjoyable, a fast read with an eye-opening resolution and a plot that has every element of the real and the here and the possible.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hot paranormal murder mystery

The Last Victim  
By Karen Robards
eISBN: 978-0-345-53544-3
An August, 2012 releasefrom
Ballantine Books.

This first novel in a new series by this veteran writer is a ghost story. A romantic hot ghost story. I’m not a fan of ghost or paranormal stories. It’s not that I don’t believe in the possibility of another dimension or two. I do, but too often the paranormal element in a good crime fiction novel breeds sloppiness. Not in this case.

All too often, the inclusion of a strong romantic element in a good crime novel is just a way for the novelist to beef up a weak plot line. Not in this novel. There’s enough good emotional sex in this story to satisfy the most prurient reader, but it’s handled in a precise way that adds to the character of the principal actors, and it comes in logical sequence in the story. The plot line, an increasingly frantic search for a kidnapped teen aged young woman by a serial killer, is tension-filled from the first page and it peaks in the final resolution at precisely the right moment.

The writing is clean, the story line almost impeccable, although some FBI agents lose a little polish in some scenes. The love story between shade and serial killer specialist, psychiatrist Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone, is, well, hot and nicely realized. She had me, almost from the first sentence. Highly recommended.