Jun 192014
 

I recently received Shadow Maker (Nick Baron Series), the second book in this series for review. I emailed the publicist and told him I prefer to read series in order if possible and he was wonderful and sent me this book to review too!

shadow catcherShadow Catcher: A Novel
(Nick Baron Series)

First Book In Series
Suspense/Thriller
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 1, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Trade Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266878
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Over ten years ago, Air Force major Nick Baron was part of a failed special ops mission that left a B-2 stealth bomber at the bottom of the Persian Gulf. Now, leading his men—the Triple Seven Chase team—Baron must find the bomber and dispose of it for good before any unfriendly nation can steal the onboard technology for its own purposes. But as the team embarks on its mission, there are greater dangers waiting.

When the CIA intercepts a call signal from an operative in China long thought dead, the Triple Seven Chase team is given the perilous task of retrieving the lone soldier from deep within the Chinese wilderness. There is only one plane for such a dangerous mission: the Shadow Catcher, a plane with capabilities beyond anything that has ever flown.

What Baron and his men don’t know is that the enemy is already among them—and that the Shadow Catcher itself may be the ultimate prize.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have Mr. James R. Hannibal to thank for a heck of a book hangover. I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down.

James R. Hannibal is a veteran combat pilot with Top Secret clearance from the U.S. government and he writes what he knows and he does it really well. The thing I really appreciated was this story is written for people like me and the military jargon was kept to a minimum. My husband enjoys Tom Clancy but his stories sometimes read like a military handbook and fail to keep my interest. That is not the case at all with Shadow Catcher. The author had me from page one and held on tight to the very last word.

The book starts out with a prologue from 1988 and then goes into the story in 2013 so you know these things are going to connect and with some very clever twists that is exactly what happens.

Hannibal has created some very engaging characters. Their back stories are meshed into the plot effortlessly. This reader came to care about them very quickly.

The story moves at a breakneck speed so don’t pick it up thinking you are going to read just a chapter or two at a time. It just won’t happen.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about James R. Hannibal and his books visit his webpage here.

I will be reviewing Shadow Maker next week!!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

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May 102012
 

 

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
Penguin Books
Published by The Penguin Group

Paul French, a historian and an expert on China, takes us back to Peking in 1937. The Japanese are surrounding the city. Superstitions are running high. The Chinese believe in things like the “dreaded fox spirits”.

Paula Werner was just a school girl, a bit headstrong and free thinking, living with her father in Peking unless she was away at boarding school. Her father was a scholar and a retired British Consul. She had gone out to spend time with friends but never returns home.

Then a body was found murdered, mutilated, organs removed, it even appeared the killer tried to cut her arm completely off and her face is almost unrecognizable.  The body is later identified as Paula Werner.

Because of her father’s British connection the investigation became quite a circus. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Dennis is brought in from Tientsin to assist the Chinese detectives but both governments really tie their hands to where, who and how they can investigate. With the suspect list growing and few actual clues, will the crime be solved before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a very well researched story. It is a time in history that is pretty unknown in general history of the world taught in school in the U.S.  French presents the information methodically but I almost felt overloaded by all of it. The lengthy descriptions of buildings, streets and alleys.  The history of the time set forth in paragraph and after paragraph of dates and events and their effect on the nation. While all very interesting I felt the story of Pamela Werner got a bit lost at times. The roadblocks met by the detectives were immense and removed the expected drama of searching out the killer. Her father’s continued dedication to getting  justice for his daughter was unwavering. His need to employ private detectives to find the truth, but never enough evidence to arrest or convict was heartbreaking.

I know the author had to follow the facts and this is a true telling. It took a great effort for me to finish this book.  History enthusiasts will appreciate all the detail but everyday readers of true crime and mystery will find themselves like me skimming over the pages to get to a solution that never really comes because of the restrictions/corruption by both the Chinese and British governments.  French probably did identify the real killer but because of the obstacles in place at the time of the crime and the lack of crucial information the murder is still unresolved.  The outcome is not the authors fault as he cannot rewrite history.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

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