Rob's Blog

Tag: thriller

July 29th, 2015 – Book: ‘The Expediter’ by David Hagberg

by on Jul.29, 2015, under Books

The Expediter (Kirk McGarvey, #13)The Expediter by David Hagberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Little did I know as I wandered into this book that the author lives in Florida and places his main character’s home in Sarasota. Though Sarasota is a mere backdrop for a far more involved story, it does place the book on my Florida shelf.

About the Florida setting: Hardly even a setting. It’s a hit and run with little description and no feeling that the author cared to expand further upon the glancing blow. Much like the rest of the book. There is a mention of the Sarasota airport but nothing of the interesting drive along 41 or any other road. Considering the circumstances of the character who arrives in Sarasota, his point of view of that area would have been very interesting. The visiting character seems not to care or aware of where he is. That is the problem with this entire book.

I guess author Hagberg is getting tired of the McGarvey series after 12 books and strung his characters, a see-through plot unto a simple stage with cardboard backdrop. The book starts at an interesting level and slowly comes apart along the way. Seems to me it’s pretty obvious early on who certain bad guys are and even why they are motivated to their actions. With that realized the only fun is a cat and mouse game between McGarvey and the bad guys for a few hundred pages. A bit long for cat and mouse, knowing how likely all will end. Another contemporary book that needed severe editing. If a writer is going to assemble a simple plot, best make the book far shorter.

All of the characters are typical of their rolls. There is some depth written for some, while others are handled with a few sentences here and there. Overall, it’s all too familiar. I really didn’t like how family played a part in this. It’s too simple a plot device.

This was my first Hagberg book. I best go back and try earlier ones hoping for better results and far more depth.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 5 of 10 points.

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August 18th, 2012 – Book: ‘The Faithful Spy’ by Alex Berenson.

by on Aug.18, 2012, under Books

The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1)The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘The Faithful Spy’ is a fantastic thriller of terrorism in the U.S. The various sides are well covered with the viewpoints of each well laid out. Author Berenson has so well laid out the Muslim view that I could see people who are not Muslim take the religion in consideration. The view of being a radical Muslim can have a reading start to sympathize with the terrorists drive.

Same true for the efforts of the C.I.A. as various characters navigate through the bureaucratic maze to get a job done. The hero is very well illustrated as one straddling two worlds at times not knowing for sure which one he’s firmly in.

I really like the location descriptions. Whether US or Middle East, the author gives a great feeling of place.

At nearly 500 pages you’d think this is one I would point to as needing editing. Not in this case. There is some extraneous stuff here and there, but this still adds up to a mean and lean thriller that will have any reader much more aware of the world around themselves after reading.

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March 5th, 2012 – Book: the Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

by on Mar.05, 2012, under Books

e_BouThe Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very enthralling and involved story of an amnesiac who finds out he is an assassin and wants to know why. Author Robert Ludlum created a very thorough story that, though a little wordy in dialogue, is otherwise concise in a long narrative way.

Unlike so many of today’s super spies who are out to kill, the main character, Jason Bourne, turns pacifist as an amnesiac. Though there is violence, it is far less than in current similar themed novels by Vince Flynn or Brad Thor. This is more of a study of a person trying to find themselves.

I love the series by folks like Flynn because they are so much fun to read. But, in light of Ludlum, they are missing the important parts of the story that makes the Ludlum book so much better in it’s writing and plotting.

About the movie: It might as well been named the Schwartz Identity. It’s a separate world than the one Ludlum created and made for the financial purposes of the film industry.

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February 15th, 2012 – Book: Power Down by Ben Coes

by on Feb.18, 2012, under Books

Power DownPower Down by Ben Coes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a thrill ride! All that I read review wise of this book is true. It moves hard and fast. It also reflects much of what we are afraid of these days involving terrorists. The foundation of that is very real. Otherwise realism does have a hard time here, especially involving the financial issues dealt with. Author Coes knows a lot of details but misses some critical fundamentals that would occur due to actions in the plot of the book. Because of that and some logical issues, I’ll trim the rating a bit. Most reading wouldn’t notice the errors anyway. Despite that this is a not to be missed thriller for anyone who is a fan of those!

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