The Money Trap (Mason & Sterling Thrillers #1.5), by David Beckler

Eight stars

David Beckler develops the first of his two protagonist in this prequel novella of the Mason & Sterling Thriller series. Byron Mason has been trying to get his security company up and running, though has run into a few snags. These including significant financial issues, forcing Mason to turn to one of his lenders. He learns that the man likes to play hardball and holds some of the iffy press that has been coming in as indicative of larger issues. As Mason tries to handle those he employs, he learns that one in particular might be more a liability than he can accept, firing him after an altercation. Refusing to leap through too many hoops, Mason angers many around him, though he knows that he will not be able to ignore those with the funds he needs to stay afloat. When Mason is involved in a few sketchy situations, he wonders if he is being targeted by those who want to enact some form of vendetta. With his friend and former Royal Marine colleague, Adam Sterling, in town, Mason tries to chase down those who have him in their crosshairs. However, after Mason’s wife becomes a target, all sense of niceties fall by the wayside. An interesting piece that keeps the reader enthralled throughout and helps to develop the Byron Mason character for those who are interested. Recommended for those who like a quick-paced thriller and who may want to test the waters before delving into a full-on novel.

David Beckler offers readers a wonderful story in this one, which mixes the grit of a man trying to put his business on the map with the heroics of someone who is willing to defend himself and his family to the end. Byron Mason proves himself to be a wonderful character and whose passion for work and family come through at every turn. Beckler develops his former protagonist well in this piece, as he did with his latter character in the first novella. There is a grittiness that’s Mason shows and one can only hope that it will stick as the series develops. The story was strong and offered something for the reader to properly judge what is to come when the full-length novel is released. I admit that I am slightly baffled how this, the second novella and labelled as “#1.5” should come out before the first novel “#1”, but I leave that to Beckler and his publishers to tackle the brain cramp that is that rationality. Those who have not tried this series ought to give at least the novellas a try and they will likely soon realise that Beckler has crafted something worth time and invested effort. A wonderful piece by David Beckler, who is able to juggle all aspects of this story.

Kudos, Mr. Beckler, for another entertaining novella. I can only hope that there is more to come, dazzling readers at every turn.

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

Forged in Flames (Mason & Sterling Thriller #0.5), by David Beckler

Eight stars

David Beckler introduces readers to the world of fire fighting in this prequel story in the Mason & Sterling Thriller series, though much of the focus is on the latter character. Adam Sterling works hard as a firefighter and when he is called out to a blaze, he and his team discover not only is there a woman trapped inside, but someone is trying to sabotage the rescue. Sterling sees a young man in a distinctive piece of clothing and presumes that he may be involved, but cannot catch up to him. When he is not facing infernos, Sterling is trying to come to terms with the fact that his ex is pushing her way back into his life. A call to his friend and former Royal Marine, Byron Mason, yields much support, however, Adam is in need of more than that, especially when he learns what’s going on. As he tries to locate the presumed arsonist, more fires occur, placing the same victim into harm’s way. Even when Adam turns to DS Eddy Arkwright, there is a degree of stonewalling. With many things squeezing him from all sides, Adam Sterling must do what he feels is right, even if it could cost him everything he’s worked so hard to earn over the years. An interesting introductory novella to a series that has potential. I’ll keep an eye on these characters, as there is definitely something alluring about them. Recommended for those who like a little police procedural, even when it’s a firefighter at the helm!

David Beckler offers readers a wonderful story in this one, which mixes the skills of the job with a sleuthing curiosity as well. As a protagonist, Adam Sterling does really well to lay his own groundwork and keeps things exciting for the reader. With a mix of backstory and character development, the reader can feast on all things Sterling, who is not yet forced to share much page time with Byron Mason. There is certainly enough with Sterling alone to keep a series interesting, so I am eager to watch Beckler weave both men together into a powerful situation. That is surely to come (and yes, I have read the full-length novel, which was my introduction to the series). The story was strong and offered something multi-layered that entertains as well as in intrigues the curious reader. A wonderful piece by David Beckler, who is able to juggle all aspects of this story and never leaves the reader on the wayside.

Kudos, Mr. Beckler, for an entertaining first novella. I can only hope that there is more to come, dazzling readers at every turn.

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