The Broker – John Grisham

the brokerThe Broker 
by John Grisham (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 02, 2019  

 

I’ve read four other Grisham novels, with mixed reviews. I’ve also seen many of the movies made from his books and perhaps The Broker needs a few Hollywood twists to liven it up.
The story is about a Washington lawyer/power broker who’s greed lands him in jail. A presidential pardon gives his a second chance at life, but the CIA must hide him so other governments don’t kill him.
Without giving away all the backstory I thought this would be an action-packed spy thriller full of drama or intrigue. I was wrong. The author wasted about one hundred pages describing the Italian lessons the main character had to take while in hiding. Grisham said in his author’s notes that he was enthralled with Italy. I wished he would have spent half those pages describing food instead of Italian verbs.
The story dragged on and became predictable in the end. In thinking about the book and this review I was generous in giving it three starts. I’ve read much better from Grisham.

Jack Reacher – Night School

night schoolNight School (Jack Reacher #21) 
Lee Child (Goodreads Author),

Dick Hill (Narrator)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 30, 2019

 

I zipped through this one in four sittings, I think. It’s the first Reacher novel I’ve read where the story takes place while he’s still in the army. In this one he’s on a mission to save the world, instead of some anonymous person along the back roads of America.
There’s the usual action and fight scenes and even a couple sex scenes. I like the way Lee Child describes the smutty stuff, almost with military precision, and not like fifty shades of pornography.
The book is well-paced and it steadily picks up speed as the action and story unfold. One of my editors explained a writing trick in which the author uses short or brief sentences to speed things along. I completely understand it, having been caught up to the point where I didn’t want to put the book down. It works.

The Secret Servant – Daniel Silva

secret sevantThe Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Sep 14, 2018  
I’ve read a few of Daniel Silva’s novels now, and I’ve become a fan of his spy thrillers and Israeli Intelligence character Gabriel Allon. The stories are action-packed, and take us to different countries around the world. Most plots revolve around terrorism.
The Secret Servant has the Mossad and the CIA working together to hunt down bad guys and kidnappers in Amsterdam and London, England. I like how Silva’s main character relies on his support team to get things done, unlike the superhero characters of some novels.
The stories in this series are fictitious, but right on the mark with it’s tales of terror before and after 911. Allon is infamous hunting down and executing the Islamic terrorists who were responsible for Black September, the massacre at the Munich Olympics.
The story’s pace is quick and it keeps the reader flipping to the next page.

Extreme Measures – Vince Flynn

extreme measuresExtreme Measures (Mitch Rapp, #11) 
byVince Flynn

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jun 05, 2018  

 

This was the first Vince Flynn novel I read and have to admit it was pretty good. In some ways, as a political thriller, it was too predictable, but realistically I think it accurately portrayed the terrorist versus constitutional rights issues America is faced with today.
The characters too may be predictable, but the author easily gets the reader to cheer for the good guy, resent his adversaries, and want to wipe the bad guys off the face of the earth.
Extreme Measures is a fast-paced spy thriller that will easily keep you flipping pages.

The Murder House – James Patterson/ David Ellis

23717678._SY475_The Murder House by James Patterson (Goodreads Author)David Ellis

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

May 24, 2018
Every once in a while I pick up a James Patterson book somewhere, mostly to check out what he and his stable of writers are up to. It’s not hard to find one, according to the Washington Post his publisher says that Patterson’s name is on the cover of one in every twenty-one books sold in the U.S.
Gee, I’d be happy having my name on the cover of one in every hundred thousand.The Murder House is a good story. It’s characters are easy to love and hate. They play off each other well, giving the plot plenty of suspense. I made the mistake of putting the book down for a couple months, and I’d forgotten what was going on, but it was easy to get back into and I wasn’t disappointed that I picked it back up. It’s good read with a respectable pace.

The Target – David Baldacci

targetThe Target (Will Robie, #3) 
by David Baldacci (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 27, 2018  ·

 

I haven’t read a lot of Baldacci, but I can say this book was my least favorite so far. The two protagonists were cookie-cutter type American super spies who save the world with their every breath. I felt the story steered too far away from the main plot with the introduction of sub-plots that really didn’t add much depth to the overall story.
In my opinion the author went overboard in describing the miserable life the antagonist had in a North Korean prison. I’m not squeamish by any means, I just tired of the to-numerous descriptions of human torture and degradation.
The story moves along quickly and is not a bad read, if you’re into a mindless thriller.

A Darkness More Than Night – Michael Connelly – Harry Bosch/Terry McCaleb

darknessA Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #9) 
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 14, 2018  

 

I didn’t plan on reading two of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books back to back, but it was the next available title in the pile. I was surprised by this one and it took me a few chapters to realize it was another crossover book with one of the author’s other protagonists, Terry McCaleb, the FBI profiler. He was portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Bloodwork.
The story is mostly about McCaleb, who comes out of retirement to help police profile and track a new serial killer. Bosch appears later in the story, involved in a murder trial of his own where he says the killer confessed to him.
McCaleb and Bosch had worked together on a case in the past. Without giving away the story I can say their paths cross again in an unexpected way where one of them becomes subject of an investigation. There are a couple nice twists to keep you flipping pages.
My only disappointment was in how the ending left the two main characters, but in considering their individual personalities it was only fitting.

The Crossing – Michael Connelly

the crossingThe Crossing (Harry Bosch, #18; Mickey Haller, #6; Harry Bosch Universe, #27) 
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 10, 2018  

 

I have to say Michael Connelly and Harry Bosch are two of my favorite men, the author and one of his characters. In “The Crossing” Connnelly writes a crossover novel with one of his other characters, The Lincoln Lawyer, bringing the two series’ together in one great story.
Connelly is a master at building up the momentum to the point where you’re flipping pages faster than burgers at McDonald’s.
The Crossing is about the newly retired Bosch helping his half brother, lawyer Mickey Haller, get a suspected murderer out of jail. It is crossing the line for Bosch, who spent his career putting killers in jail.

The Race – Clive Cussler – Isaac Bell Series

the raceThe Race (Isaac Bell, #4) 
by Clive CusslerJustin Scott (Goodreads Author)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Mar 07, 2018  

 

This makes two Clive Cussler novels in a row that I’ve read, but this one was the last book left in the pile that was left here at the apartment in Mexico. I like the Isaac Bell Detective series, but found this book was a cookie cutter version of the last one I read. The good guy chases the bad guy, almost catches his two or three times, gets a little banged up on the way, then gets the girl and lives happily ever after. The names of the characters have been changed.
Need I say more? Okay, in fairness it is a good read and a bit different than all the other crime fiction stuff out there in that the story is about the birth of aviation and a race across America to see who has the best machine.

The Eighth Day – John Case

8th day

The Eighth Day 
by John Case

 

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 10, 2018  
This was the first John Case book for me. It was a good read so I can’t say I was disappointed with the story, but maybe the protagonist – he’s no super hero with special powers, but an almost normal person – an artist who does P.I. work on the side? He makes some pretty dumb moves as far as I’m concerned, but stumbles his way from country to country trying to take in the sites while killers are in pursuit.
The story is predictable, but fun, you almost can’t wait to see what predicament he’s going to fall into next. When he finally discovers the root of the plot the story gets a bit too technical for me. The reviews are all over the map on this novel, but I’d definitely give one of the author’s other books a go.