Mike Bowditch is a young game warden and also the son of a poacher. He hadn't seen his dad for two years when he got a message from him on his answering machine. Later that day he learns that two men, one a police officer, were gunned down after a heated public meeting in the same area where his dad lives. Then, he gets word that his dad has been arrested and may be charged for the crime. He decides to put his job on the line and go help his dad. His dad is a brawler and has known his fair share of trouble with the law but Mike doesn't believe he would kill someone, especially a police officer.
This story is different than the books I usually read in that it is set in the forests of Maine. I was interested in the story but it is definitely slower paced than what I am used to. At one point it almost lost me but I ended up getting hooked into the story. I couldn't be sure which way the story would end. Afterward, I found myself thinking about different details still. I enjoyed the descriptions of the area and can imagine how peaceful it would be even though I've never been there. I think it was a nice change from the usual crime mystery and I'm going to get the next book in this series and see what happens next.
This new series starts out with a zap as we meet Nash & Mason, whose families have been enemies for decades. Mason comes back to his hometown to open a tavern with friends. Nash is the Sheriff now, and visits the tavern often to eat.
Nash is attracted against his will so quickly to Mason. He does not want to want him. He just cannot help it. For Mason, the attraction is mutual. It is also agreed upon that they should not do anything about it. There is too much history between their families. But the heart wants what it wants.
I thought this was a very well thought out plot. The characters were well matched and had a series stack of problems against them. Ideally the road to love is smooth, but in real life, family is just one of many factors that can get in the way. I loved these characters and hope to see them again in upcoming books for the Rainbow Cove series. I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***This ARC copy was given in exchange for a completely honest review.
This is the start of the Trident Security Omega Team series. It is advised to first read the Trident Security series in order to avoid spoilers. If not, this book can be read as a standalone novel.
Logan AKA Cowboy is immediately attracted to Dakota. She is not impressed with him when they first meet, as he assumes she needs his help - but she can take care of herself. He meets her again later and the sparks fly all over the room. Now he just hopes he can impress her enough that she gives him a chance.
Dakota is a police officer who is always trying to prove herself in a man's world. With all the odds stacked against her, she wishes for greater things. When it turns out a killer has her in his sights, she is going to need all the help she can get.
Amazing and riveting conclusion of the mystery killer from many books before in the previous series. Introducing the new Omega Team series, where the members are new and very hot. This story has so much heat and such a compelling mystery, the pages nearly singe the reader. I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher, MacMillan, for offering me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.
David Baldacci is one of these authors whose names a reader (and even a non-reader) cannot escape. His books are widely distributed and he always seems to have a volume or two in the bestsellers list (no, not the Amazon one on a little-known genre, but the real thing). Despite all that (or perhaps because of it, as sometimes some names seem so familiar that I feel as if I had already read/watched or whatever it is they do, them before) I had never read any of his books. I saw that coinciding with a book launch, NetGalley was offering a copy of the first book in the John Puller series, and I decided perhaps it was time I read him. (I don’t have any specific opinions on best sellers as such and I don’t necessarily avoid them as a matter of principle but I do prefer to discover them early on, so I can make my own mind up).
The story, narrated in the third person, mostly follows John Puller, a military investigator that is all you probably would wish for in such a character. He has complex family relations (including a genius brother imprisoned for life for treason), he has seen his share of combat and has the medals and the scars to prove them, he is as skilled at fighting as he is at investigating, and although usually he works as part of a team, he can be a one-man-band when required (as is the case here). There are some moments (like the first chapter) when we follow other characters, but this is for a very good reason, and we, by and far, experience the events from Puller’s perspective. Of course, that does not mean we know everything he knows, because the book hides information at times and that means there are some surprises (the number of surprises might depend on how close your attention and on how many books of the genre you have read). The story is a combination of a spy story with highly skilled military investigator/hero in charge, and a more standard police procedural, with big secrets, conspiracies, and environmental issues thrown in for good measure. There are hints of a possible romance, but nobody is up to the task, and the time frame is very tight for such developments.
The investigation is very detailed, and we get to know quite a few of the characters in the small West Virginian town of Drake, a coal mining place that has become almost a ghost town due to the environmental and economic consequences of the exploitation and depletion of its resources by the sole industry in the area. Baldacci shares as much loving detail on the way the coal industry works (or at least some far-from-exemplary companies), as he does on everything else: the way the military works, the different roles of the investigating and security agencies and how they interact, the equipment used, the weaponry… This might be too much for some readers, but I am sure it will make others very happy. I did enjoy more the discussions of the environmental issues and the socio-economic effects of the coal-extracting industry than the details about the equipment, but there is plenty of action and intrigue to keep readers of mystery, and also spy novels, entertained.
My favourite character is Sam Cole, the female police officer in charge of the investigation. She has problems of her own and also a difficult relationship with her family, and seems the perfect match for Puller. I would probably have preferred the novel to be about her, but that is not the genre or the focus of it. In many ways, her character is the one that makes us see Puller as something more than a perfect fighting and investigating machine, all professional, and efficient. Yes, he has a cat, some sort of relationships with his father, and an interesting dynamic with his brother, but she is the only person who is not a relative he seems to relate to at a level beyond the casual, and it is not only because it is helpful to his mission.
I agree with comments that the novel is formulaic in many ways (Puller survives several attempts on his life, has to subvert orders and get inventive to save the day and manages to pull an incredible feat at the end), although as I haven’t read other Baldacci’s books, I cannot comment on how much better or worse Puller is compared to some of his other heroes (Reacher is mentioned often in the reviews, sometimes agreeing he’s as good, others denying it). I imagine once you have such a following as an author, you know what your public wants and expects, so it is perhaps disingenuous to accuse him of writing to a formula. It is not a genre I read often, and I prefer something more distinctive, less heroic, and with a bit of humour.
The book is well paced, the writing supports the story rather than calling attention to itself (as I said, some readers might find there is too much detail, but I doubt his fans will, and after reading the acknowledgements, it is clear that he is well-informed and has had access to first-hand information not many would have), and if you like lone heroes with a conscience, John Puller makes a pretty decent one. Recommended to those who enjoy action novels, spy novels, thrillers, and definitely to Baldacci fans. I am not sure I’d say I’ve become one of them, but I might try another one of his stories at some point.