#NGEW2019, Book Reviews, Crime, Dectective, Espionage Thriller, Fiction, Noir, Crime and Dark Endeavors, political thriller, Tags and Challenges, Thriller

The American #NadiaDalbuono

The American is a complex, intricate tale of international espionage and intrigue that weaves through Italy, the US and the walls of the Vatican. It is the follow-up to NadiaΒ  Dalbuono’s stunning debut, The Few, featuring her flawed protagonist, Leone Scamarcio, who is back in The American.Β 

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Detective Scamarcio is called to the scene of an apparent suicide, one who appears to be an American businessman. But Scamarcio is suspicious when he discovers plaster in the man’s pockets. The set-up is reminiscent of a decades old murder of “God’s Banker,” the Vatican’s treasurer. When a Cardinal with links to the church’s bank is killed and the US government sends in “agents” to threaten Scamarcio, he knows he is onto to something big – and something dangerous. He’s right. As the investigation continues, there are links to every dirty war, conspiracy, “hit” job throughout the past few decades and Scamarcio becomes the target of mobs, governments and the church who all have something to hide and do whatever is necessary to keep their secrets hidden.

The American is an expertly written, fabulously researched and an intensely laid out thriller. There have been times when I’ve read international authors where I became a bit “lost in translation,” but that never was the case with The American. It is a fast paced, edge-of-your-seat story that will hold your attention throughout. If ever a series should be put on the screen, it is this one! The intrigue and suspense is palpable throughout.

I did read The Few, the first book in this series, and I like how Scamarcio is evolving as a character. There are times when a flawed protagonist gets worse or their bad behavior becomes piggish, that is not the case with Scamarcio. He is handled very deftly. Because this is the second in the series, I would strongly suggest that you begin with The Few. While this could be read as a stand alone, I wouldn’t recommend it. I do, however, absolutely recommend both books to anyone who likes thrillers, suspense, international intrigue or well written fiction!

Thank you #Netgalley, and #ScribeUS for my copy of this terrific thriller

 

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#NGEW2019, Book Reviews, Espionage Thriller, Legal Beagles, political thriller, Tags and Challenges, Thriller

Judgement #JosephFinder

Once there was a time when I only read legal, political and espionage thrillers. I cut my teeth on the sharp edges of the race against time, twist backs and back stabbing plot lines. I had to stop because the reality of these book was, in fact, too real. I begin seeing crooks and spies and murderers behind every tree and in every shadow. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love a really well written thriller now and again. Joseph Finder is one of the best writers of the genre and his latest, Judgement, a legal thriller had me captivated from the first sentence to the last.

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In a departure from his long running series, Finder sets this novel primarily in the legal arena. Juliana Brody is a judge who rotates between civil and criminal cases. Currently, while dealing with a very heavy docket, the case taking up a majority of her time and attention is one dealing with a new start-up company, an employee who has been fired and who, in turn, has filed a sexual harassment case against the company. While the case is going through motions, Brody runs into a problem. This straight-laced, never does anything wrong judge has a one night stand and that one night stand miraculously becomes the newest lawyer for the very same start-up company over which Brody is presiding. Admittedly at this point I was a little incredulous but, you know, we have to have a plot and the rest of the storyline is amazing. So read on…. We soon learn that the one night stand black mailer is just a tiny pinpoint of the problems waiting for Brody if she doesn’t throw this case – and that is something she is not willing to do. As the stakes get higher, so do the threats and the thrills. Brody makes mistake after mistake that could very well cost her life and her career. Her allies are few and her enemies are mounting. It’s a race to see who will come out on top in the end – and with Finder, you never really know who what will be!

Finder is great at creating characters that are deep, flawed, realistic and relatable and he has done another fantastic job with those in Judgement. The plot, with the one exception that I mentioned, is so incredibly timely and realistic that I found myself reading between the lines in the newspaper and wondering who this story really was about. You just know it has happened or will happen! It’s too real not to be true. There is some courtroom drama if you like that in your legal thrillers, but not so much to bore you if you don’t. This is more of a cat and mouse, keep you on the run thriller with legal overtones than an actual “court room” legal tome.

If you like action packed, character driven, ripped from the headlines, heart pounding thrillers then this is the book for you!

Thank you to #Edelweiss, #DuttonBooks and #PenguinPublishingGroup for my copy of this thriller

Domestic Noir/Thriller, Espionage Thriller, Fab Fiction Fridays, Fiction, political thriller

The View From Our Window @authorljryan

Every now and again a book sneaks up on me and grabs my attention and my heart. The View From our Window is exactly one of those books! A sweeping family drama that travels from Ireland to France, dips down to Columbia and back again, The View From Our Window is part romance, espionage thriller, and domestic noir all in one book!

SaturdayI love a great fiction story whether it is historical fiction, women’s lit, the classics or a family drama; fiction has so much to offer when it is written well. The View From Our Window, a family drama, revolves around three people, ironically born on the same day at nearly the same time, whose lives continue to intersect with one another. Laurel, our heroine, is a newly widowed mother of two who is trying to escape her family and their treachery, as well as the mounting problems her deceased husband has left behind. Paul, her childhood friend, is a rising star in Irish politics and has just been named Minister of Justice. Unfortunately that means he will be in charge of the investigation into Laurel’s husband. And David, a French movie star – which is not as trite as it sounds – who is recovering from a very nasty divorce that has cost him visitation with his children. Their lives will converge with very dramatic, life threatening results.

cover151262-mediumΒ I admit that in the beginning of the book I was lost and confused as the details and backstory, the births, of these three were laid out for us. However, the writing was so expertly done and the story so compelling that I knew if I continued I would be rewarded – and I was! There is, quite literally, not one genre into which this book belongs. There is romance between Laurel and David but it grows out of a very beautiful friendship that she began with his family who befriended her when she moved to the French countryside. There is international politics and intrigue as we follow Paul through the machinations of Irish politics that is fraught with complications within the EU. There is espionage, drug runners and white collar crime that crosses all borders and familial lines. In all, it is a non-stop intense thrill ride from beginning to end! There is something for everyone within this book! I laughed, I cried, I got angry and still was left wanting more! I want a sequel!! All the stars and accolades for The View From Our Window and L J Ryan, I cannot recommend this highly enough!

Heaps of thanks to #Netgalley, @BooksGoSocial and #LJRyan for my copy of this amazing book!

Fiction, Noir, Crime and Dark Endeavors, political thriller, Thriller

The Washington Decree

WOW – just WOW!! If there is one book that has knocked my socks off this year, it is The Washington Decree by Jussie Adler-Olsen! This is one action packed political thriller that must be read!

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Adler-Olsen is most well-known for his Nordic Noir, Department Q series, which I admit that I adore. He is an incredibly talented writer who gives depth to all of his characters and The Washington Decree is no exception. The characters are so well drawn that I, literally, had a picture in my head of what they looked like, who they reminded me of, what their next course of action might be. It was as though they were people I actually knew well.

The Washington Decree introduces us to the main characters several years before the actual story takes place. However, though this introduction, we begin to get a feel for these characters’ personalities and how closely they are tied to one another. When the actual tale begins to unfold, this background is key to the hopeful outcome in the end.

In essence, this is a story ripped from today’s headlines. A president, a wealthy businessman, is overwhelmingly elected to office. However, on election night his wife is assassinated. Overwhelmed with grief, the president initiates a series of executive decisions that will alter the foundation of America’s political, economic and constitutional foundations. The result, of course, is panic and outrage that grows worse with each day he is in office until the very (!) climactic conclusion. In case you suspect that the book is written with America’s current president for an example, keep in mind that The Washington Decree was originally written in 2006 and only now is being translated into English. In addition, the president in question is a Democrat and not a Republican. It does, however, mirror today’s current events very closely, taking them headlong to their ultimate, tumultuous outcome.

ALL US citizens are subject to arrest and imprisonment without charge in the event of a “state of emergency.” Freedom of speech and the right of assembly may be suspended and censorship of the media implemented.

Just a little something that was appended at the end of the book but is, in fact, part of the government’s right in the event of an “emergency.” It is the right that FDR used in the 30s when he shut down the banks and government while crafting his New Deal. The right to executive decision has long been part of the US Presidential powers but never used to the extent that it has been under Presidents Obama and Trump. This is the premise to the book. Its characters, their actions, the re-action of the various groups and organization in America, were so perfectly depicted that I truly believed that this could happen today, right now. It was/is a terrifying read!

The book is not without faults; it is a long book and there are passages that I thought were unnecessary to the overall theme of the book. I also felt so strongly at times about some of the political actions that I had to set the book aside until I could objectively begin reading again. Regardless of your party affiliation or nationality, remember Adler-Olsen is not American, this is an incredible, gripping read and well worth getting to the end – which will knock your socks off!! Just when you thought it was safe to come out from underneath the bed…… that ending. Just WOW! WOW-WOW!