This post originally appeared on Dollycas’s Thoughts May 18, 2010.
James (Beck) Becker and his wife Elizabeth (Beth) have retired from their high pressure lives as government operatives, Beck in military intelligence, Beth as a CIA code-cracker and moved back to Beck’s childhood home of Red Wing, Minnesota to enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Rest and relaxation doesn’t last long as Beth gets a call from an old acquaintance begging her to help find his wife, who he believes has been kidnapped. Katherine Whitson, a computer genius, has left her husband her car keys, credit cards, most of her belongings and a note saying she’s leaving him, but he doesn’t believe it for a minute.
Beth talks Beck into taking the case and it takes him on a route through Katherine’s personal and professional lives and into the inside the mind-bending world of computers and microprocessors that he doesn’t even understand. He realizes he needs Beth’s help, and the help of some of their friends if he is ever going to find Katherine alive and close this case.
This is such a good book. It is written at the perfect pace that keeps you turning page after page after page. It is hard to believe this is the author’s first mystery novel. The characters are wonderfully developed, my favorite character of the book is Bull, an American Indian, with some very special skills and a very dry wit. The plot is one that may scare anyone who uses a computer, which today is everyone, when you realize this story can actually be true. Are machines running the world? Are humans THE MISSING ELEMENT?
There is also the wonderful love story of Beck and Beth and the perfect amount of humor to keep the story from getting to technical or heavy. If you are a fan of Tom Clancy, John Grisham or Robert Parker, you will truly enjoy this book, but even if you a just a cozy mystery reader this is still a book for you. I truly recommend you add this book to your Summer Reading Lists today!!!
About The Author
John L Betcher is a University of Minnesota Law School graduate and has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. He has also been a long-time supporter and coach of youth volleyball there.
He has authored three feature articles for COACHING VOLLEYBALL, the Journal of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. His most recent article was the cover story for the April/May, 2009 Issue. His book on volleyball coaching philosophies entitled THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF VOLLEYBALL COACHING is available at www.johnbetcher.com and at amazon.com. He is also an active member and writing peer coach at the Agent Query Connect writer’s forum.
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.”