Discussion:
August Finishes and September Start
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Nyssa
2017-09-04 20:24:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
The last time I'd reported into ram with my recent reading summary,
I had just started a thriller, "High Hand." I've since finished that
and several others, so here's the rundown.

"High Hand" was a combination of a mystery and a spy thriller. The
main characters include a newspaper reporter Frank Adams, who had
been assigned to Moscow soon after the breakup of the Soviet Union
and his ex-wife who is CIA and was still married to him during his
time in Moscow as an undercover agent operating with non-official cover
status. Also on board are a newspaper editor and publisher, a presidential
candidate, and a group of men and women who were part of a poker night at
Adams's Moscow apartment.

Sound like a normal spy thriller? Nope, it's more of a political thriller
with a mystery on the side. Each of the poker players were parts of
embassy staffs or university students or professors plus just about
all of them had ties with covert agencies including conflicting
affiliations.

Years later each of those poker players are the target of assassination,
including the former ambassador to Russia, now a presidential candidate.
Lots of high tech, conspiracy, financial wheeling and dealing, and trading
of secrets. And murders of those old poker buddies one after another.

What's unusual is that the "author" of this book is really three men
who each have an area of interest and expertise that fitted into
the plot of the book. A lot of effort was put into it to be believable
especially the financial points about oil exploration and reserves in
the Caspian Sea area. It's a nice change from all the poorly written
and edited cozies that I've been subjected to lately.

I'll give this one of my relatively few five star ratings.

A pair of Miss Henry books, "Mural from the Dead" and "Death Arts"
were in the recent mix, Too short, but always well-written and
plotted. I wish there were many more available.

A switch to science fiction came in the form of "The Yellowstone
Conundrum" which was long and even came with photographs and
charts showing geological information and locations that were
mentioned in the story. I'm not a geologist or an expert in
earthquakes, so I have no idea if the information quoted about
those plot points is accurate, but I sure do know history, and
the author mis-identified the president who initiated the Louisiana
Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, so I have to mistrust
the rest of his assertions. The book was based on the disaster
scenario of the volcano at Yellowstone that makes up Old Faithful
blowing its top with a devastating earthquake which then triggers
another off the coast of Seattle. Mayhem and much death ensues.

So much for that.

"The Loyal Servant" by Eva Hudson is sub-titled A Very British
Political Thriller and for a first novel is a pleasant surprise.

The story revolves around a career civil servant, Caroline Barber,
who finds the body of her department head slumped over his desk dead
late one night. She does not believe that he committed suicide and
is determined to prove it. In her digging around in the records
to try to find evidence, she comes across some disturbing
inconsistencies with projects in her department which then lead
her to become a whistle blower to a newspaper reporter who has been
working on a related story.

Evidence disappears, family members are threatened, dots are connected.
Connections are found that involve the newly named prime minister
and some of his associates which explains the political thriller
part of the story. There are subplots about Caroline's family problems,
but since a lot of this ties into the main whistle blowing topic, it's
not distracting from the main plot.

Another 5 star book. Wow.

Currently reading "Murder in the Library" which is #3 in the Murder
in Milburn cozy series by Nancy McGovern. Another strong entry in
the series so far and not a cookie cutter in sight.

Nyssa, who likes cookies but not cookie cutter plots
Nancy Spera
2017-09-05 21:02:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Nyssa
The last time I'd reported into ram with my recent reading summary,
I had just started a thriller, "High Hand." I've since finished that
and several others, so here's the rundown.
"High Hand" was a combination of a mystery and a spy thriller. The
main characters include a newspaper reporter Frank Adams, who had
been assigned to Moscow soon after the breakup of the Soviet Union
and his ex-wife who is CIA and was still married to him during his
time in Moscow as an undercover agent operating with non-official cover
status. Also on board are a newspaper editor and publisher, a presidential
candidate, and a group of men and women who were part of a poker night at
Adams's Moscow apartment.
Sound like a normal spy thriller? Nope, it's more of a political thriller
with a mystery on the side. Each of the poker players were parts of
embassy staffs or university students or professors plus just about
all of them had ties with covert agencies including conflicting
affiliations.
Years later each of those poker players are the target of assassination,
including the former ambassador to Russia, now a presidential candidate.
Lots of high tech, conspiracy, financial wheeling and dealing, and trading
of secrets. And murders of those old poker buddies one after another.
What's unusual is that the "author" of this book is really three men
who each have an area of interest and expertise that fitted into
the plot of the book. A lot of effort was put into it to be believable
especially the financial points about oil exploration and reserves in
the Caspian Sea area. It's a nice change from all the poorly written
and edited cozies that I've been subjected to lately.
I'll give this one of my relatively few five star ratings.
A pair of Miss Henry books, "Mural from the Dead" and "Death Arts"
were in the recent mix, Too short, but always well-written and
plotted. I wish there were many more available.
A switch to science fiction came in the form of "The Yellowstone
Conundrum" which was long and even came with photographs and
charts showing geological information and locations that were
mentioned in the story. I'm not a geologist or an expert in
earthquakes, so I have no idea if the information quoted about
those plot points is accurate, but I sure do know history, and
the author mis-identified the president who initiated the Louisiana
Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, so I have to mistrust
the rest of his assertions. The book was based on the disaster
scenario of the volcano at Yellowstone that makes up Old Faithful
blowing its top with a devastating earthquake which then triggers
another off the coast of Seattle. Mayhem and much death ensues.
So much for that.
"The Loyal Servant" by Eva Hudson is sub-titled A Very British
Political Thriller and for a first novel is a pleasant surprise.
The story revolves around a career civil servant, Caroline Barber,
who finds the body of her department head slumped over his desk dead
late one night. She does not believe that he committed suicide and
is determined to prove it. In her digging around in the records
to try to find evidence, she comes across some disturbing
inconsistencies with projects in her department which then lead
her to become a whistle blower to a newspaper reporter who has been
working on a related story.
Evidence disappears, family members are threatened, dots are connected.
Connections are found that involve the newly named prime minister
and some of his associates which explains the political thriller
part of the story. There are subplots about Caroline's family problems,
but since a lot of this ties into the main whistle blowing topic, it's
not distracting from the main plot.
Another 5 star book. Wow.
Currently reading "Murder in the Library" which is #3 in the Murder
in Milburn cozy series by Nancy McGovern. Another strong entry in
the series so far and not a cookie cutter in sight.
Nyssa, who likes cookies but not cookie cutter plots
Oh....looks like you've given me a couple to follow up on. Not
that the TBR pile, real and virtual need any additions.

Nancy


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Nyssa
2017-09-05 21:10:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Nancy Spera
Post by Nyssa
The last time I'd reported into ram with my recent
reading summary, I had just started a thriller, "High
Hand." I've since finished that and several others, so
here's the rundown.
"High Hand" was a combination of a mystery and a spy
thriller. The main characters include a newspaper
reporter Frank Adams, who had been assigned to Moscow
soon after the breakup of the Soviet Union and his
ex-wife who is CIA and was still married to him during
his time in Moscow as an undercover agent operating with
non-official cover status. Also on board are a newspaper
editor and publisher, a presidential candidate, and a
group of men and women who were part of a poker night at
Adams's Moscow apartment.
Sound like a normal spy thriller? Nope, it's more of a
political thriller with a mystery on the side. Each of
the poker players were parts of embassy staffs or
university students or professors plus just about all of
them had ties with covert agencies including conflicting
affiliations.
Years later each of those poker players are the target of
assassination, including the former ambassador to Russia,
now a presidential candidate. Lots of high tech,
conspiracy, financial wheeling and dealing, and trading
of secrets. And murders of those old poker buddies one
after another.
What's unusual is that the "author" of this book is
really three men who each have an area of interest and
expertise that fitted into the plot of the book. A lot of
effort was put into it to be believable especially the
financial points about oil exploration and reserves in
the Caspian Sea area. It's a nice change from all the
poorly written and edited cozies that I've been subjected
to lately.
I'll give this one of my relatively few five star
ratings.
A pair of Miss Henry books, "Mural from the Dead" and
"Death Arts" were in the recent mix, Too short, but
always well-written and plotted. I wish there were many
more available.
A switch to science fiction came in the form of "The
Yellowstone Conundrum" which was long and even came with
photographs and charts showing geological information and
locations that were mentioned in the story. I'm not a
geologist or an expert in earthquakes, so I have no idea
if the information quoted about those plot points is
accurate, but I sure do know history, and the author
mis-identified the president who initiated the Louisiana
Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, so I have to
mistrust the rest of his assertions. The book was based
on the disaster scenario of the volcano at Yellowstone
that makes up Old Faithful blowing its top with a
devastating earthquake which then triggers another off
the coast of Seattle. Mayhem and much death ensues.
So much for that.
"The Loyal Servant" by Eva Hudson is sub-titled A Very
British Political Thriller and for a first novel is a
pleasant surprise.
The story revolves around a career civil servant,
Caroline Barber, who finds the body of her department
head slumped over his desk dead late one night. She does
not believe that he committed suicide and is determined
to prove it. In her digging around in the records to try
to find evidence, she comes across some disturbing
inconsistencies with projects in her department which
then lead her to become a whistle blower to a newspaper
reporter who has been working on a related story.
Evidence disappears, family members are threatened, dots
are connected. Connections are found that involve the
newly named prime minister and some of his associates
which explains the political thriller part of the story.
There are subplots about Caroline's family problems, but
since a lot of this ties into the main whistle blowing
topic, it's not distracting from the main plot.
Another 5 star book. Wow.
Currently reading "Murder in the Library" which is #3 in
the Murder in Milburn cozy series by Nancy McGovern.
Another strong entry in the series so far and not a
cookie cutter in sight.
Nyssa, who likes cookies but not cookie cutter plots
Oh....looks like you've given me a couple to follow up on.
Not that the TBR pile, real and virtual need any
additions.
Nancy
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http://www.avg.com
One correction: the #3 Murder in Milburn title is "Death
in the Library."

Why the series is "Murder" and the titles "Death" are one
of the many confusing things I often get confused. ;)

Nyssa, who finished "Death in the Library" and is now
reading "Eyewall" about a BIG hurricane which sort of
seems appropriate right now

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