The Wrong Man (Jason Kolarich #3), by David Ellis

Eight stars

As my journey through the standalone work of David Ellis continues, I remain highly impressed with all he has to offer. His pieces shine and keep me wanting more, as they explore the legal world with a peppering of current events to keep the plot even thicker. Jason Kolarich has earned his reputation for being a gritty lawyer, mainly because he will go to the mat for his client, no matter their plight. When he is approached by a woman seeking help for her nephew, Kolarich is intrigued, but cannot fully commit quite yet. Tom Stoller is a former Army veteran who is now living on the streets. He is accused of killing Kathy Rubinkowski with a shot to the head. He was found with her belongings on his person and was apologizing for the act, an all but certain ticket to conviction. However, Kolarich sees a great deal of PTSD in Stoller and hears that he was involved in a shooting of a young girl while overseas. Could this be plaguing him after all this time? While Kolarich agrees to take the defence, he is visited by someone with ties to the local mob, asking some highly hypothetical questions. Kolarich is also coming out of his shell on a social level, creating ties with a woman who could prove more useful than a romantic tryst for him. Unable to push the trial into a continuance, Kolarich seeks to pry into the PTSD, but his client clams up and will be of no assistance with that. However, some background on the victim shows that her work at a law firm had her wondering about representation surrounding some highly intriguing substances, things that raise many a red flag for Kolarich. Might Kathy Rubinkowski have been killed for what she knew, leaving Tom Stoller as a scapegoat? Working as hard as he can, Kolarich seeks to convince others of this theory, even as the ADA seeks a slam dunk conviction, to no avail. In the background, something is going on that could make the trial and any verdict matter less than a hill of beans. A great piece that pulls on the heartstrings as well as keeping the reader fully committed. Ellis does so well with this and I’d recommend it to all who love gritty legal thrillers.

David Ellis is an author whose individual work I should have discovered long ago. His attention to detail and ability to pull the reader into the middle of it all cannot be missed. Jason Kolarich remains an integral part of the books and leads the story throughout. His grit and determination help him defend his clients as best he can, without getting caught up in the minutiae of their lives. His legal antics remain aboveboard, but tend to push the case in some interesting directions. He is not afraid to use his silver tongue in court and then pull out some needed fists to combat injustice as he sees it. Other characters help to add depth to the novel in ways that are highly effective. I found the story taking many turns and the strong characters made it all the more effective as the journey continued. The story took on some interesting topics that I feel Ellis handled well, without losing the legal angle that makes these novels so much fun to read. Layering situations and plot lines atop one another makes for some great storytelling and has me reaching for the final book in this series.

Kudos, Mr. Ellis, for more great legal writing. I will do my best to forge into the final novel right away.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Breach of Trust (Jason Kolarich #2), by David Ellis

Eight stars

Continuing my journey through the standalone work of David Ellis, I can see that he is able to hold his own, not needing a popular author to prop him up (which is how I have read his work in the past, a collaborative effort). This legal thriller is another example that there are gripping series right under my nose that I should be discovering and devouring. Jason Kolarich was surely a complex character in the opening novel and suffered much. As this book begins, the reader gets some more backstory on the case of State Senator Hector Almundo and corrupt practices that led to the death of a store proprietor. This was also around the time that Kolarich lost his wife and daughter in a freak auto accident. Saddled with this, Kolarich’s spiral into depression saw him try to isolate himself. However, he has the legal spark inside him and found a way to dust himself off. When the wife of one witness from the Almundo case comes to see him, asking that he help find out why her husband was killed, Kolarich is interested, though he is not sure if it will open a Pandora’s Box best left locked. Almundo is so thankful for the exoneration that he helps Kolarich score a lucrative job vetting state contracts in which kickbacks are going directly to the governor’s campaign coffers. While Kolarich is keen to stay on the up and up, someone alters his memo and the US Attorney is prepared to charge him in the scheme. However, there is a way for him to save his hide, by acting as a confidential informant and offering up bigger fish. Kolarich agrees, somewhat hesitantly, and begins working on the inside, only to discover this is a highly dangerous venture. In an operation that sees Kolarich climb the rungs of power within the state, he discovers that there is more to the Almundo case than he thought and that targets may be tied to a ruthless man in the governor’s mansion, with many around him equally as dirty. If only Kolarich can get what he needs to clear himself, and get answers for a grieving widow as well! Ellis has done it again, pulling me in and making me want more. Recommended to those who love legal thrillers that are anything but cookie cutter cases, as well as the reader who likes a side of gritty in their books.

David Ellis does so well on his own, though I can see what some of his more recent work is tied to a popular author, where he can still write and ensure some higher royalties as well. Ellis crafts strong legal stories with plot lines that never stop. Jason Kolarich continues to be a worthwhile protagonist with a past that is more thoroughly revealed in the opening section of this book. His grit and determination emerge throughout as he puts himself on the line to help others (while trying to stay out of prison himself) and he never stops playing all the angles. While he may not always make the best choices, he stands by them and works himself out of the corners into which he paints himself. The reader learns more about his post-family life with a law partner and a practice that is mildly successful, alongside a peppering of other characters whose presence serve the purpose of the narrative. More grit than courtroom acumen in this piece, Ellis and Kolarich both exemplify the darker and more troubling side of the law and legal antics. The reader encounters many writing flavours throughout, blended to make a stellar final product. Never losing momentum, Ellis offers the reader something they can enjoy, as they contemplate reaching for the next novel in the series.

Kudos, Mr. Ellis, for another great thriller. I am bingeing the series, so I will grab for the next book right now!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Sucker Punch: Getting Killed Can be the Least of Your Problems, by Jim Carroll

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Jim Carroll for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I was recently contacted by Jim Carroll to give his book a try, as he thought it would be right up my alley. Taking the reader into the middle of the Vietnam War, Carroll looks less at debating troop presence and political choices than to offer the reader a behind the scenes look at things from the air… in a helicopter. John Mack is a young guy whose recently finished some of his Basic Training and learned a little more about flying helicopters on Uncle Sam’s dime. It’s 1970 and Vietnam is calling him, but he has yet to be deployed. After making one wrong move too many, Mack draws the ire of a general and is shipped off to ‘Nam and sent on a mission that is full of danger. He will not only be behind enemy lines, in an area not officials sanctioned for Americans, but will be acting as a mole to inform on a blackmarket scheme that is brewing. Deemed ‘Slick’ by those around him, he flies a medevac chopper with bullets flying by all the time. Slick is unsure if each time the rotors spin will be his last flight, but he is ready to forge ahead. With so much blood and death, Slick cannot be sure how he will find the time to discover who is involved in the smuggling without being discovered himself, but thirty years in jail is a strong motivator. Meeting many soldiers, nurses, and those in between while flying in Vietnam, this is one experience John ‘Slick’ Mack will not soon forget. A great piece that takes a different spin on war and leaves the reader enthralled at the adventure. Recommended to those who like a military thriller without all the talk of troop movement, as well as the reader who needs something gritty as they delve deep into the literary jungles this book offers.

I am hesitant when it comes to new authors or books about which I know nothing. I have had some real duds and find myself wondering if I can be one who leads the way when forging down a reading path. Carroll does a masterful job at renewing my confidence and making me want to read more books of this genre. John ‘Slick’ Mack remains a wonderful character, if a little naive. In his early 20s, he is still trying to discover himself while he pushes into another part of the world. His experience with helicopters may be there,, but this is an entirely different theatre, one in which the rules no longer matter. Faced with situations and characters he could not have dreamed up, Slick must keep his focus and not mess up, as it is more than his own life in his hands. Other characters help to support wonderful development throughout this piece and kept me wanting more. There is a technical aspect to the book, as the reader learns a great deal about how helicopters work, which exemplifies Carroll’s research and ability to convey things without boring the reader with minutiae. I found myself wanting to learn the mechanics and wondering how it all fit together. With a mix of short and longer chapters, I was highly impressed and cannot wait to see if there is more to this larger story. Carroll has a fan in me and I am pleased that I took the plunge, as it was a glorious adventure, and not a napalm-esque disaster whatsoever.

Kudos, Mr. Carroll, for a great piece. I hope others discover this and I am able to read more of your work!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Hidden Man (Jason Kalorich #1), by David Ellis

Eight stars

Choosing to begin a new series, I turned to David Ellis, with whom I am familiar through his collaborative writing. Focussing on his standalone work, I turned to this legal thriller, which kept me riveted throughout the process and begging for more (thankfully, there are three more books). Little Audrey Cutler is taken from her bed one night in 1980, stolen from under her mother’s watchful eye. The police turn their attention immediately to Griffin Perlini, a known paedophile in the area. However, Perkins denies having anything to do with it and Audrey cannot be found anywhere on the premises. Twenty-six years later, Audrey’s older brother, Sammy, runs into Perlini in public. Soon thereafter, Perlini is found murdered and Sammy is the most likely suspect. When criminal lawyer Jason Kolarich is approached by a mysterious Mr. Smith to defend Sammy Cutler, he is not sure he wants the case, A best friend to Sammy in their childhood, Kolarich remembers the tragedy well and is not sure if he can be of proper assistance. However, this Mr. Smith is quite convincing and Kolarich agrees to take the case, but is forbidden to seek any continuances or additional forensics. Under great pressure, Kolarich begins his defence prep, trying not only to ensure his client’s innocence, but build a case against Griffin Perlini, if only to give Sammy an out for having committed the crime. In the midst of the preparation, Kolarich learns that his brother has been nabbed with guns and drugs, likely facing a long time in jail. Juggling these two cases simultaneously, Kolarich learns that there is more to each case than meets the eye and that Mr. Smith may not be a Good Samaritan, but a man with an agenda all his own. Fighting against the clock and the legal hurdles before him, Jason Kolarich will have to show his acumen as a defence attorney, or someone will surely suffer, both emotionally and physically. A wonderful start to an intriguing series, David Ellis has me hooked. Recommended for those who love a well-plotted legal thriller as well ad the reader who enjoys getting lost in the fast-pace of a great novel.

I have long known of David Ellis as one of the stronger collaborators with a very popular author, but I wanted to see some of his work where he might be able to come out from the shadows. Ellis does well on his own, crafting powerful legal thrillers that never stop developing. Jason Kolarich is a wonderful protagonist, whose life has not always been very easy. Growing up in an abusive household, Kolarich learned early to fight his own battles and protect those closest to him. This determination served him well when he and Sammy Culter were kids and spilled onto the football field when he made it to college. However, anger may have clouded his judgment, something that Kolarich had to nip in the bud in order to properly defend his clients. Gritty and stopping at little, Kolarich is ready to defend those who need him, while pushing others out of his way. Other characters serve to develop the plot well, impeding Kolarich ruthlessly, but also helping to extract the best information possible. Ellis has created a handful of wonderful characters who enrich the novel in many ways. The reader is treated to countless flavours throughout the book, all of which blend together effectively. With a strong plot and a few legal cases that are time sensitive, Ellis pulls the reader into the middle of the story quickly and never loses the momentum to keep the piece on track. With a mix of short and longer chapters, the reader is ready to tackle “a little more”, which ends up being a sizeable chunk. This series debut has me wanting a whole lot more, something that bodes well as I binge this series.

Kudos, Mr. Ellis, for this fabulous legal thriller. I am not sure why I waited so long to read your solo work!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Time to Pay the Piper, by Andrew Mooney

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Andrew Mooney for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

After struggling with a few attempts at reading the work of new authors, I entered this experience with some trepidation. However, after finishing a few chapters of Andrew Mooney’s book, I could not stop reading this political thriller that pushes the envelope in all ways I enjoy. Special Assistant Director of the CIA, David Seagull, has a secret that he wants to share with the President of the United States (POTUS), which could alleviate many of the financial woes facing America. Pulling on knowledge his father garnered during World War Two, Seagull convinces POTUS to target those who utilise the American welfare system, a major drag on the financial pursestrings. POTUS authorizes a Nazi-tested disease be placed in the flu vaccinations mandated for all those using the welfare system, thereby ensuring that many of America’s poorest will die in short order. Seagull has covered his own ass by secretly investing in stocks that will benefit him in the worst possible case of insider trading. While he is careful, Seagull’s antics are discovered by two men running an online journal across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, China takes the bold move to stop funding America’s financial shortfalls and will no longer buy treasury certificates, as well as a few other major fiscal policies that rock the world. Back in America, Seagull tries to stay one step ahead of those who are trying to find him, especially since his master plan is wavering. The same anonymity cannot be offered to POTUS, who is implicated in this scheme to kill many of his own. Will America be able to weather the storm and become great again? Mooney leaves it to the reader to discover in this well-paced political thriller. Recommended to those who love a political story with some great spins, as well as those who enjoy something with traces of ‘End of Days’.

What a way to end ‘debut’ slumps, as Andrew Mooney blows this book out of the water. I could not stop reading once I got started and wished this could have been longer and more detailed. With a few great storylines, I could not find a definite protagonist, though David Seagull could be one worth the moniker. All the characters in the piece came together in their own ways to create a wonderful story that pulls the reader in for quite the journey. Mooney seeks to keep things relatively realistic with this piece, tapping into a few financial crises that spin out of control with each passing chapter. While a few of the scenarios developing at a pace and with outcomes I would not expect, the reader will have to suspend some of their preconceived notions and ride the wave of this story. With some strong writing and short chapters to propel the piece forward, I could not help but devour large portions of the piece in one sitting. That being said, I could see how this political thriller could have been turned into a series, even a trilogy of sorts. Mooney could easily draw out aspects of this book to lay the foundation for something longer, delving into the China plot over one book, the hunt for Seagull in another, as well as the political fallout that POTUS faced. That being said, the compact nature of the book left me excited and wanting more. Less a doomsday story where the apocalypse is here and people are eating one another, this piece packs a punch and should not be missed by those who like political thrillers with strong characters and a great deal of action.

Kudos, Mr. Mooney, for this great piece. You won me over and I am eager to see what else you pen in the years to come.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

20th Victim (Women’s Murder Club #20), by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Eight stars

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro are back with another instalment of the Women’s Murder Club, keeping fans entertained throughout with their insightful plots and character development. San Francisco is buzzing with an odd series of sniper murders, which forces Sergeant Lindsay Boxer to take notice. What’s worse is that these sniper killings seem to be happening all over the country, timed to occur simultaneously. While Boxer and the SFPD work to track down a killer or at least a motive, Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas is contacted anonymously by someone with information about the crimes and predicts some of the future attacks. While she runs down her own story, Boxer seeks to better understand the victims, soon learning that they are all small-time (and somewhat secretive) drug dealers in their own right. Boxer’s husband, Joe, has his own plate overfilling when a best friend has some information about a local doctor that could have large implications. While all this is taking place, one of the cornerstone members of the Club receives horrible news that could derail her and cause the four central members to fall apart. With a killer communicating through an interesting fashion and calling soldiers to arms, Boxer and her team will have to work quickly to shut it down before the blood keeps flowing. A well-crafted piece that will have readers eager to race through to the end, where truth is apparent. Recommended to series fans, as well as those who need a lighter crime thriller.

I have often struggled with Patterson’s work, as many will know. I find that too often he sees to churn things out too quickly, leaving his collaborators to suffer my wrath as well. After a less than stellar 19th novel (many felt the same), these two have been able to redeem themselves and put on a wonderful instalment of the Women’s Murder Club. The stories were well developed and kept the reader’s attention, which makes the book flow all the better. Countless sub-plots keep the reader entertained, even when there was little movement on the main murder theme. Patterson and Paetro use some of the backstories of these core characters to their advantage, allowing for a little growth or at least some advancement in ongoing plots, without bogging things down too much. I would love to see something truly earth shattering that would force the group to rethink their place and how the Club works, though I am not sure if the authors are ready to pull out such a major event quiet yet. With short chapters and a story that has no time to catch its breath, this book serves as a treat for those who are dedicated to the series, as well as potentially making new fans want to go back and piece this complex web together for themselves. I cannot wait to see what else is on the horizon for this series, and yet would love to see Patterson meld his three great series (Boxer-Cross-Bennett) into a well-timed crossover. That may be too Herculean an effort, but I am hoping.

Kudos, Mr. Patterson and Madam Paetro, for a great piece that adds to this series that has been part of my reading experience for many years.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Girl in the Game (Ray of Darkness #3), by John Manchester

Out of respect for the reader and publisher, because I did not finish the book, I will not provide a star rating.

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and John Manchester for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always eager to try new authors, I turned to John Manchester, who seeks to follow in his father’s footsteps and carve his way onto the literary scene. While the elder Manchester dazzled me with his historical tomes, John seeks to tap into another of my favourite genres, psychological thrillers. Reedsy offered me this third book in the series, though I did try at the beginning. I made it just over 12% in and restarted to see if I needed a mental reset. However, this second read of the first book failed to grab me. I turned to this third book, in hopes that it was just a failed plot that could not draw me in. However, I stumbled here and decided that I am just not able to grasp this series at this time.

The style of writing is strong and I can see how Manchester would lure readers in with the premise of his piece, with a man who is trying to become an author while living in a spooky museum-type residence. I had hoped to like the book and the series, as it does have a certain eerie nature that can really work well. Manchester seems eager to toss a lot in the lap of his protagonist, Ray, though I could not find myself connecting with the man or his various foibles. I am sure there is a group out there who are able to devour and laud these books, but I cannot count myself among them. For now, I will stand aside and let established or more patient fans of John Manchester read and review these books. I may, for now, have to still to the elder Manchester when I return to books by authors with this surname. Then again, everything is worth another look a few months down the road.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

By Order of the President, by Michael Kilian

Eight stars

In a great political thriller, Michael Kilian takes the reader on an adventure like no others, positing numerous things in an era before the 24 hour news cycle, when information had to be scraped together. Many are eager to hear the thoughts of the President of the United States (POTUS) when he makes a speech at Gettysburg on a sunny afternoon. However, no one could have expected the chaos that followed. A gunman opens fire, shooting POTUS before he is thrust into the limo and whisked away. The Secret Service shift into action, firing back, but only make the bloodbath worse, when an innocent reported took a bullet and died on scene. Both the assassination attempt and the death of the reporter were captured on news reel, which is now being played repeatedly. Out in California, a reporter is following all this with much interest, particularly since he cannot be sure if what he is hearing—POTUS is recovering under guard at Camp David—is entirely true. His analysis of the video from the scene leads to some speculation about how severe the wounds might have been. With a Honduran national is deemed to be the killer, some wonder if this runs deeper and whether there was a Central American plot to destabilize the region. The now former head of the Secret Service cannot sit idly by as he is blamed for exacerbating the situation and finds himself making some connections in Honduras, El Salvador, and even Nicaragua, where sentiment towards the Americans is tepid at best. While all this is going on, a curious vice-president is unsure what is going on and how he ought to act. As a national emergency is declared, should he be leading things for the time being, or simply biding his time as his boss apparently recovers. No one will let the VP see POTUS, which raises questions, while the US public is being fed a line. Everything must come together, though at what cost? Kilian pens a great story set in a time when truths and falsehoods rested on word of mouth, rather than over-analyzing tapes and Tweets. A wonderfully refreshing piece from years past, that will keep the reader thinking and reading more. Recommended to those who love a good political thriller that develops with multiple plot lines.

I have had much trouble with Michael Kilian books in the past, having tried two on multiple occasions. However, I wanted to give this one the benefit of the doubt and am pleased that I did so, as it flowed much better and kept me intrigued from the opening pages. The premise of the piece is a 1980s/early 90s assassination attempt on POTUS and the cover-up on both sides surrounding it. Kilian weaves these multiple storylines together to keep the reader guessing and wondering where truth and falsehood meet. I was eager to see so many characters developing throughout, though I am hard pressed to find one I prefer to call the protagonist. There is a wonderful amount of politicking in a Cold War era here, sprinkled with some past romances that resurface just enough to add intrigue to the overall story. With some wonderful political spin, the reader is able to see how the walls go up on both sides—those trying to keep the situation of POTUS from the world, as well as those seeking to shut-down the assassination doubters—which only makes the reader want to know more. Kilian paces things well with his long chapters, as they seem to fill the reader with needed (and sometimes superfluous) information to keep them wondering. I will have to go back to see if I cannot get hooked by the other Kilian pieces, as this one surely made me a believer yet again and kept me from having to hear about Tweets, cyber-bullying, and other tech-savvy things that seem to supersaturate the genre these days.

Kudos, Mr. Kilian, for a wonderful piece that kept me thinking throughout. I love this era when politics and deception can be just that, straightforward and sinister.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

A Killer’s Wife (Desert Plains #1), by Victor Methos

Eight stars

Victor Methos is back with another captivating thriller that mixes crime and the law, with a dash of serial murder. Jessica Yardley is a US Attorney in Nevada with an interesting past. Once married to a sadistic serial killer, Yardley is trying to distance herself from that past—one about which she had no idea—and raise a teenage daughter on her own. When she is approached by the FBI about a set of murders, she is stunned to see they replicate those of her ex, Eddie Cal. After agreeing to serve as a prosecutor overseeing the investigation, Yardley cannot get it out of her head that someone is trying to lure her back into a state of vulnerability with these gruesome crimes. If that were not all, Yardley’s daughter is brilliant but making all the wrong choices and finds herself mixed-up with the wrong crowd. Juggling both a personal and professional life, Yardley finds the momentum she needs and isolates something that connects the crimes, only to realise she knows the killer. When the accused is brought to court, Jessica Yardley can only watch, told that she is too close to participate in the courtroom. However, this accused is wily and a legal powerhouse, shredding the US Attorney prosecuting at every turn. With a killer set to be freed and double jeopardy sure to take effect, Jessica Yardley will have to do all she can to prevent disaster yet again, no matter whose help she seeks. Methos does it again with a thriller that pulled me in and kept the story strong. Recommended to those who love quick paced legal thrillers, as well as the reader familiar with Victor Methos and his work.

I discovered Victor Methos and his wonderful collection of novels last summer and have not been able to get enough. He mixes the thrill of a legal story with the sharpness of a great set of crimes, finding that healthy balance that keeps the reader wanting to know more. Jessica Yardley takes the protagonist’s seat and does so in fine form. Her wittiness is balanced with a work ethic like no other. She is in it for the long haul, not the praise or adoration. That she has had much placed at her feet in years past is another thing that keeps her going, though she is careful to conceal that as much as possible. Sharp in the courtroom, Jessica hates those who do not take the law seriously or seek to protect the weak and vulnerable, but she is also aware that she cannot save the world. Other gritty characters find themselves in the web of this book, developing their own backstories and complement Jessica’s effectively. I am eager to see how things progress, as this is supposedly the debut of a new series. The story was quite strong and took some wonderful turns that kept me guessing, as the court case seems almost to come apart on numerous occasions. Methos tells the story so effortlessly and left me wanting to know more, while pacing things out so that I am not too sure what to expect next. This is a great legal thriller and those who dislike serial murders may actually be able to put them aside for the great narrative and short chapters that push things along so effectively. I am eager to see what else this series brings, though I realise that I will have to be patient.

Kudos, Mr. Methos, for another great thriller. I am surely keeping an eye out to see what else you have in mind for your fans!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Brightest Fell, by Nupur Chowdhury

First and foremost, a large thank you to Nupur Chowdhury for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I was approached by the author, who commented on my past reviews and large online friend base, to read and review this book. She talked me up with a spin of political intrigue and a dash of fantasy, hoping that it would pull me in. While Nupur Chowdhury offers both of these elements, I could not get interested in the book, giving it two tries on consecutive days. While I can see much potential here and some decent narrative work, alongside strong dialogue, I was not captivated. A country at war with terrorists holds some serum or injectable item that could make them docile. The country’s government ministers are torn about it, which causes a chasm like no other. Sure, it sounds as though it could be a blockbuster, but it fell flat for me. As I did not finish, I will respect the author and the publication, leaving a star rating blank.

Kudos, Madam Chowdhury, for taking the time to write this and search me out. I may be the odd reader in the mix who could not get hooked, but I prefer honesty rather than false platitudes.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons