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review 2020-10-07 00:02
Political assassination thriller detailed and convincing.



When is having multiple personalities, or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), an asset? When one personality is a professional assassin and the others can cover for her. 


When former CIA assassination trainer Troy Greenbrier discovers Shinayne, a disoriented, young woman on the streets of Las Vegas, he selflessly decides to help her out. He gives her lodging; food and the following day buys her some new clothes.  He even takes her to a gun range where he is conducting training for his new government employer. 


Shinayne is a natural marksman as well as having some other personality traits Troy sees as making her a perfect candidate for a specialized career. Sensing her prospects, he makes some enquiries with his former employer, then puts her on military transit destined for a facility where she’ll begin psychological testing and training as a government assassin. 


A few years later Troy is working for the Federal Protective Service guarding Federal employees like judges and Congressmen, but he differs from others in the Service in that he does it proactively and not defensively.  He solves the problem before it shows up.  


So, when Misha Roberts, an American citizen, a known sympathizer to Iran, and a possible operative for other terrorist organizations enters the United States via Canada, Troy gets the call of duty to discover what she’s up to? But right from the start, they are bureaucratic irregularities that make him suspicious. Could someone high up in his own government be actually aiding and abetting this likely terrorist? 


So begins a game of high stakes intrigue with Troy trying to discover who or what Misha Roberts’ target is and prevent her from carrying out her deadly mission. But not only is his investigation being foiled by his own government, he’s up against a highly sophisticated opponent, and though he doesn’t know it, she’s the one he recommended for the job when he first recognized her potential. 


Author Clark Wilkins writes an impeccably researched account of how to plan, prepare, and execute the assassination of a High Value Target in America - all the while eluding the various agencies tasked with preventing it.  And he does by introducing a unique character, a young woman whose psychiatric disorder is an asset, allowing her to convincingly become different people, one of them a sociopathic murderer. 


With High Value Target, Wilkins’ provides the reader with a thrilling story, insight into Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as a disturbing look at politics in America today. 

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review 2020-03-14 10:14
Robie and Reel sent to dangerous mission
The Target - David Baldacci

Robbie and Reel are being sent to camp to be tortured. 


The mission has to do with what they tried to do in North Korea. 


The North Korean has trained assassin on their own. And this one is now go after someone in the US. 


The story is about how desperate persons being forced by government leader who used their talent. It is a lot about the North Korean and how they become assassin. The interesting part is how loyal they are too their supreme leader. 


Is it a survival thing or human stupidity. It remains me for North Koreans waving flag while thousands of their fellow country men being put into concentration camp. It remains me of mainland China Chinese waving flags and cheering while their fellow countrymen being tortured and put into concentration camp for speaking the truth. Compare to them, the Trump followers are probably at the same stupidity level. 


That's the interesting part of the book. As for the Robie and Reel, Reel is still feeling guilty over her attempt to kill Robie. 


Also, the bad guys know that Robie has someone he cared, he saved a girl in his last mission and still keep contact. 


And the North Korean assassin, she has no one until she saved a girl from concentration camp. Would that put her back to the path for being human again. 


Read to find out. It is good. 



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review 2019-05-27 17:40
Thoughts: Hard Target
Hard Target (Cobra Elite #1) - Pamela Clare

Hard Target

by Pamela Clare
Book 1 of Cobra Elite



Derek Tower has spent his life at war, first as a Green Beret and then as the owner of a private black-ops company, Cobra International Security.  When a high-ranking US senator asks Cobra to protect his daughter, a midwife volunteering in Afghanistan, Derek’s gut tells him to turn the senator down.  The last thing he wants to do is babysit an aid worker.  But Jenna isn’t just another assignment.  She’s also the younger sister of his best friend, the man who died taking bullets meant for him.  There’s no way Derek can refuse.

Jenna Hamilton doesn’t need a bodyguard, especially not one hired by her intrusive and controlling father.  She knew the risks when she signed on to work in rural Afghanistan, and the hospital already has armed security.  She also doesn’t need the distraction of a big, brooding operative skulking about, even if he is her late brother’s best friend—and sexy as hell.  As far as she’s concerned, he can pack up his Humvee and drive into the sunset.  And, no, nothing her hormones have to say about him will change her mind.

From the moment his boots hit the ground in Afghanistan, Derek does his best to win Jenna over, posing as her brother so the two of them can spend time alone.  Except that what he feels for her is anything but brotherly. Stolen moments lead to secret kisses—and an undeniable sexual attraction that shakes them both to the core.  But events have been set into motion that they cannot escape. When a ruthless warlord sets his sights on Jenna, Derek will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if it costs him his heart—or his life.

This was another enjoyable romantic suspense from Pamela Clare, and as per usual, I bowled right through this one, stopping once only to go to sleep after three hours of being unable to set the book down.  But why the average rating?

The truth is, Pamela Clare books are wonderfully easy to slip into and get caught up in.  There's a certain attractiveness to her work that I somehow manage to hook onto without realizing it.  Her characters and story lines have heart, and she's actually rather good at writing suspense, and making you want to keep reading to find out how it all ends.  But one of the things that I've always found that Pamela gets carried away with is the schmaltz, and sometimes a way of presenting characters and situations that seem too deliberately structured to be perfect.  If that makes any sense.  It's hard to describe.

I don't mind it, because those instances are quickly overshadowed by the stuff that I DO love about her books.

Anyway, Hard Target was a pretty good start to a new series, taking place in the same world as her other romantic suspense series, I-Team, which is nice, because then you get a chance to briefly revisit some favorite characters from the past.  I especially loved the sparse guest appearances from Holly Andris, as I think she will forever be my favorite of the I-Team heroines.  And unfortunately, her few brief appearances kind of managed to overshadow our main heroine in this book, if only because, of all the Pamela Clare heroines, Holly has been the only one so far who gives us a streak of bad-ass that I loved.

No offense, and maybe this is my own issue, but for the most part, Jenna Hamilton, and the majority of the I-Team heroines (except maybe Kat James), somehow tend to end up being overly sensitive to a lot of things.  I'm not saying that Holly is without compassion or anything, quite the opposite, but she also never got faint or anything at the slightest evidence of evil.  She took things in stride, did her job, saved the world, and moved on.

But this review is about Hard Target, so let's go back to Jenna and Derek.

Truth is, while this book was pretty entertaining and attention-hooking, I did find that I wished it had been a bit more fleshed out.  Hard Target is a pretty standard romance, featuring the standard hero and heroine with hearts of gold, who are just great people all around and no flaws.  Story-wise, our author does well to bring awareness to the terrible treatment of women in Afghanistan, the lack of women's health, the lack of prenatal care, and the lack of, or even unwillingness to understand the importance of it all.  We get to see how even a Westerner like Jenna is expected to abide by cultural dictates--not speaking or even being seen in the presence of men she is not related to, as it somehow is seen as her attempting to tempt men and be flirtatious, which is evil.  We get to see how her one time breaking of the cultural rule, albeit out of the goodness of trying to save a young mother and her baby, almost caused trouble to the hospital that could have ended in her being beaten and flogged.

It's a terribly horrific thing to even think about.

The story progression itself presented well, but I feel like the entire book and each scene was a bit short and rushed.  Maybe that was just me.  The romance between Derek and Jenna was typical of Pamela Clare's love stories, but I DID like that Jenna was so open about her wants and her desires in a non-traditional romance heroine kind of way.  As per usual, the action and suspense was good, even if some parts might have been a bit overmuch.

And once again, I liked seeing Holly again, and hope to see more brief cameos from her in future... of course, only if we can naturally slip her into the story.  =P

All-in-all, a pretty good start to a new series, even if I feel like it still had potential to be seen.



Booklikes-opoly 2019

Roll #1:
How it fits:  Book is set in Afghanistan
Page Count:  261
Cash:  $3



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/thoughts-hard-target.html
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review 2019-04-16 22:57
Not For Me
Hot Target Cowboy - J.D. Faver,June Faver

Eldest son Colt Garrett is the biggest, strongest and steadiest of the Garrett brothers. Colt accepts his responsibilities, knowing his future is tied to the land. Colt has stayed centered—but when he falls in love, he falls hard. He is mesmerized by Misty Dalton, the younger sister of one of his brother’s friends. Misty Dalton has held together a family plagued with problems since her mother passed away. But when the threats to her family turn deadly, Misty turns to Colt. If anybody wants to hurt Misty, they’re going to have to go through the toughest of the Garrett boys first.

I really tried getting into this story, I really did. Unfortunately I really just had a problem in Colt’s POV and found myself struggling. DNF.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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review 2019-01-25 04:18
The prototypical Lew Archer novel
The Moving Target - Ross Macdonald

When millionaire oilman Ralph Sampson goes missing, his worried wife hires a private detective to track him down. Lew Archer soon discovers, though that what initially seemed a matter of a man on a bender may in fact be a case of kidnapping. As he investigates further, he encounters an eclectic group of individuals connected to Sampson, all of whom are possibly involved in Sampson's disappearance. With the likelihood of finding Sampson alive diminishing with each passing second, Archer races to discover everyone's secrets, even if doing so comes at the cost of his life.


Though The Moving Target was Ross Macdonald's first novel featuring his signature detective Lew Archer, it is the sixth one in the series that I have read. Because of this, it serves as an interesting contrast with the others. Though in some ways a prototype of the future volumes in the series, many of the elements that characterize Macdonald's Archer novels such as the long-held secrets and connections with seemingly unrelated crimes decades beforehand are absent from this book. Instead what Macdonald provides is a more straightforward mystery involving a grief-ridden family and the dangerous characters orbiting around them. In this respect it's a refreshing change of pace from the regular patterns that would come to characterize the series, which can grow a little tiresome when read back-to-back. This may explain why I enjoyed the novel as much as I did, even if the book did not possess the virtuosic plotting and character development that would become a hallmark of Macdonald's writing in subsequent years. Once again, variety proves to be the spice of life, even with works of such rare quality as Macdonald's.

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