Review: The 19th Element by John L. Betcher

This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts July 13, 2010.


Al Qaeda plans to attack Minnesota’s Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant to remind everyone they are still very active and to get back in the international headlines.  They have recruited some homegrown anarchists to add to their terrorist forces, one of which is a Three Mile Island survivor with a huge grudge against the power plant, and two more with questionable education and background.

James “Beck” Becker is a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative who has retired to his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota just a few miles from the Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant.  After a university professor’s body is found along the shore of the Mississippi River, clearly murdered, “Beck” gets in on the investigation and all his instincts tell him, this dead body is just the start of something much bigger.  He is very concerned when he learns the professor’s assistant is missing along with what could be a very dangerous piece of lab equipment.  Later clues like a missing fertilizer truck and an international phone call only confirm to “Beck” that terrorists are involved and that something major is going to happen, but he can’t convince any government officials that a huge threat exists.  So with the help of his American Indian friend “Bull”, he tries to foil the plan on his own.

I am so glad John Betcher sent me this extraordinary thriller.  It is scary good!!  I say this because this fiction could easily become reality.  This could definitely be a “ripped from the headlines” story.  When I think of terrorist targets in the United States, I think of major cities, Washington D.C., New York, maybe Los Angeles, but this story takes place in my “backyard”, the Upper Midwest.  Also we know from history there are terrorists and their supporters here in the states, and this story brings them out front and center.  Yes, this story is fiction but it has all the details that make you realize this could really happen.  While this book entertains it also raises the readers awareness that there are people that want to hurt Americans.

I had the pleasure of reading, reviewing and interviewing the author after her sent me his first book, The Missing Element, and while I truly loved that book, I enjoyed this book even more.  This book is now tied with Harlan Coben’s CAUGHT as the best book I have read this year.  If you like a riveting, page turner this is definitely a book that should be in you hot little hands today.  Don’t wait, click the link below and order this book today!  You will not be able to put it down until you finish the last page and you will be thinking about the reality of it for a long time after you put this book on your keeper shelf.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author.. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”