Hunting Zero (Agent Zero #3) ★☆☆☆☆

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Title: Hunting Zero
Series: Agent Zero #3
Authors: Jack Mars
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 293
Words: 102K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

“You will not sleep until you are finished with AGENT ZERO. A superb job creating a set of characters who are fully developed and very much enjoyable. The description of the action scenes transport us into a reality that is almost like sitting in a movie theater with surround sound and 3D (it would make an incredible Hollywood movie). I can hardly wait for the sequel.”–Roberto Mattos, Books and Movie ReviewsIn HUNTING ZERO (Book #3), when CIA operative Agent Zero finds out his two teenage girls have been kidnapped and are bound for a trafficking ring in Eastern Europe, he embarks on a high-octane chase across Europe, leaving a trail of devastation is his wake as he breaks all rules, risks his own life, and does everything he can to get his daughters back.Kent, ordered by the CIA to stand down, refuses. Without the backing of the agency, with moles and assassins on all sides, with a lover he can barely trust, and being targeted himself, Agent Zero must fight multiple foes to get his girls back.Up against the most deadly trafficking ring in Europe, with political connections reaching all the way to the top, it is an unlikely battle—one man against an army—and one that only Agent Zero can wage.And yet, his own identity, he realizes, may be the most perilous secret of all.

My Thoughts:

I am so done with this series now. Agent Zero acts like an angry dad without one ounce of professionalism and breaks every rule even though he knows the rules are his best bet. He acts stupid, emotional and the man I read about would never in a million years have become a top agent of the CIA, or an agent for anything other than a Jihad. His emotionally driven reactions reminded me EXACTLY of jihadi’s in other books I’ve read.

So goodbye Kent Steele, you’ve wasted enough of my time with your lying ass claims to be a secret agent. You’re a dumbass, that’s it.

Rating: 1 out of 5.
  • Not Even Going to Link to the Other Books So You Don’t Waste Your Time On This Garbage

American Assassin (Mitch Rapp #11) ★★★★☆

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Title: American Assassin
Series: Mitch Rapp #11
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 381
Words: 125K



Synopsis:

From the Publishers

Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorist’s worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world…and then tragedy struck.

Two decades of cutthroat, partisan politics has left the CIA and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position. Cold War veteran and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield knows he must prepare his people for the next war. The rise of Islamic terrorism is coming, and it needs to be met abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield directs his protÉgÉe, Irene Kennedy, and his old Cold War colleague, Stan Hurley, to form a new group of clandestine operatives who will work outside the normal chain of command-men who do not exist.

What type of man is willing to kill for his country without putting on a uniform? Kennedy finds him in the wake of the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. Two-hundred and seventy souls perished that cold December night, and thousands of family and friends were left searching for comfort. Mitch Rapp was one of them, but he was not interested in comfort. He wanted retribution.

Six months of intense training has prepared him to bring the war to the enemy’s doorstep, and he does so with brutal efficiency. Rapp starts in Istanbul, where he assassinates the Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives used in the Pan Am attack. Rapp then moves onto Hamburg with his team and across Europe, leaving a trail of bodies. All roads lead to Beirut, though, and what Rapp doesn’t know is that the enemy is aware of his existence and has prepared a trap. The hunter is about to become the hunted, and Rapp will need every ounce of skill and cunning if he is to survive the war-ravaged city and its various terrorist factions.

My Thoughts:

You know, I think this was one of the best Mitch Rapp novels so far. His college sweetheart is already dead, his future wife hasn’t entered the picture yet and we get to see the forging of an unparalleled weapon.

THIS is what I wanted from the get-go. A man unfettered by human connection, touched by tragedy but with an uncorrupted moral compass. A weapon with a conscience, as it were. If Mitch has to have a companion, he needs someone compatible. He’s a Desert Eagle 357 Magnum. His dead wife was a glass of whiskey. Those 2 things aren’t inherently compatible. What Mitch’s gun needs is either a matching gun or a security case where it can rest until needed. I don’t think that’s going to happen though.

Being a prequel, we know that Mitch isn’t going to fail and as such some of the tension is gone but the action keeps up the tempo and this is a thrill a minute. I also wondered if it would be a good thing to start the series here, but I am in the camp of reading a series in which the author wrote it and despite how good I think this book is, nothing about it changed my thoughts on the reading order.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pursuit of Honor (Mitch Rapp #10) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Pursuit of Honor
Series: Mitch Rapp #10
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 402
Words: 129.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

The book opens days after Muslim extremists have blown up a power lunch restaurant filled with members of Congress and staffers. After that, a second squad attacks the National Counter Terrorist Center killing dozens more until Mitch Rapp and his partner Mike Nash send the bad guys off to paradise. With nearly 200 dead, the nation is in no mood to negotiate with the Islamic extremists. The President has given Rapp a green light to be the judge, jury and executioner. The sharp edge of the CIA’s sword has been let loose with few strings attached. The story takes place over the following week.

Rapp is on the trail of a liberal lawyer inspector general of the CIA who has been giving out information that some consider to aid the enemy. Meanwhile, three of the cell that helped carry out the DC attack are hiding out in rural Iowa, waiting for the heat to die down. Hakim is the mastermind who knows about the US after living here for a long time while Karim is the hotheaded soldier who wants a legacy as The Lion of al Qaeda. One day, a dad and son walk up to their farmhouse asking for permission to hunt nearby. Hakim gave them his permission because he knows that’s all they want, but Karim is convinced they are undercover police and kills them both. Now they are on the run, trying to stay a step ahead of the police. Neither trusts the other and they ended up splitting. Hakim to Nassau to get money and hide somewhere while Karim and Ahmed, their loyal servant went to Washington to wreak more havoc.

After the President award a medal to Nash (set up by Mitch for Nash to give Nash a better life), Karim kidnapped Nash’s daughter while Nash and his wife have dinner in a restaurant. Karim and Ahmed brought Nash’s daughter to the Lincoln Memorial and decided to make a deal with Nash. At the exchange point, Mitch successfully killed Karim.

My Thoughts:

Once again, the author gets a family involved and I didn’t know how it was going to turn out until it was all over with. It certainly adds a lot dramatic tension but at the same time I don’t like it. Children being in danger, in one form or another, is not something I want in my entertainment.

This alternates between Mitch Rapp’s point of view of the story and the terrorists who survived the attack from the last book, Extreme Measures. The terrorists are a study in contrasts and there is as much conflict between them as there is between them all and Rapp. It made for an alphabet soup of tension and story telling and I rather enjoyed it.

Director Kennedy (head of the CIA) continues to play a very small part and I have to admit I miss her not having as much to do with the story as in the earlier books. She’s smart as a whip and I always enjoyed reading about her as she maneuvered the politics of whatever situation was going on while Rapp dealt with the physical side of things.

Taking a little break and limiting myself to 3 Mitch Rapp books at a time seems to be the right move.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Target Zero (Agent Zero #2) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Target Zero
Series: Agent Zero #2
Authors: Jack Mars
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 285
Words: 97.5K



Synopsis:

Kent Steele, aka Reid Lawson, aka Agent Zero, is trying to piece his life back together after the events of the last book. He hasn’t made a decision about returning to the CIA or not, his relationship with his oldest daughter is getting rocky as she is smart enough to realize things don’t add up and Lawson continues to get back old memories, all of which throw doubt on everything he thought he knew about himself and his wife.

A terrorist group weaponizes a small pox strain and it’s up to Agent Zero and his team to stop it. At the same time, the assassin from the previous book escapes and goes hunting after Zero’s daughter to use as bait.

Zero stops the plague from destroying the world but the book ends on a cliffhanging concerning his daughters and the assassin. We also find out there is yet another vast and worldwide conspiracy about “something”, again and that Zero’s current love interest might be involved.

My Thoughts:

This has some really nice action scenes, but there are a couple of jarring notes that I suspect will doom this series for me.

First, stupid actions by smart people to drive the plot on. For example, the team needs one of the terrorists alive to interrogate him (enhancedly if need be) but one of the other team members shoots him dead “because he might have been a threat”. Oh my goodness. These are supposed to be highly trained professionals but they act more like characters on a tv show, sigh.

Second, the family drama. Lawson has been hiding his secret identity as Zero all these years and it’s only NOW, in the worst imaginable time, that he begins to wonder how to deal with it? And he’s stymied by his 16 year old daughter? Should have thought of the future Mr Agent Man before getting married and trying to pretend to be normal. Once again, it came across as Hollywood’esque.

Thirdly, the liberal guilt tripping and gun hate. Every time Zero can’t save everyone in a situation, he starts bad talking himself and blaming himself. Now, guilt is a natural thing but the phrases used and the word choices are straight out of Liberal Guilt Tactics 101. The person doing the killing isn’t the bad guy, YOU are the badguy because you didn’t stop them. It is the most illogical and stupid piece of rhetoric and it makes me angry, because it is deliberately dishonest. The gun thing is all about Zero having memories of his wife finding one of his hidden safe guns (he had 11 around the house) and she totally trashes the very concept of gun ownership. Couple that with his daughter’s question about her learning to shoot after the incident in the previous book and Zero’s active avoidance to teach her, well, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

With all of that, the book was still really interesting. Like I said at first, the action is really good and that is what carried me through despite everything else I’ve mentioned. I’m going to read the next book but if any of those 3 things I mentioned above show up, I’ll be done. If I want to watch a tv show, with all the attendant weaknesses, I’ll go do that. I don’t need that in my books, thank you very much.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Agent Zero (Agent Zero #1) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Agent Zero
Series: Agent Zero #1
Authors: Jack Mars
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 322
Words: 115.5K



Synopsis:

Kent Steele is getting over the death of his wife and is doing his best to provide stability for his 2 daughters. One night he is kidnapped and told he’s a secret agent for the CIA, the most lethal agent the world has ever known. Kent, a history professor, knows this isn’t true and is convinced the kidnappers have the wrong man. Then they remove a small module from his head and suddenly he’s having memories that seem impossible.

Turns out Steele WAS a secret agent going after a organization that was so scattered that no 3 members knew more than 3 other members. They had penetrated governments and security agencies and it was obvious to Steele that the CIA had a mole or 3. So he chose to have his memory suppressed, faked his death and was trying to hide in plain sight.

Now that he’s back, Steele means to see the job done. He hunts down the organization and puts a stop to them killing hundreds of world leaders and business moguls. Now Agent Zero is back.

My Thoughts:

Jason Bourne meets John Wick, with kids. This was a decent story. However, this was originally published in 2019 and right now, in 2022, the series has ended at book 12. That’s 4 books a year. I know that output doesn’t HAVE to indicate quality (as evinced by the Galaxy’s Edge series by Anspach and Cole) but it usually is a good indicator. This was well written and I really hope the quality stays this high.

While I did enjoy this, we’ll have to see if the author has the imagination to keep the story interesting for 11 more books. What concerns me is that Kent Steele has a dead wife, 2 young daughters and in this book gets a potential love interest from his past. That’s a LOT of drama potential. The kids especially worry me because most authors either kill them off OR end up making them non-entities. Neither of those options is enjoyable to read about nor does it ever indicate a skill level that is above average in terms of story telling.

I realize I’m being pessimistic here but sometimes it is hard not to be. I’d like to end this by saying I did enjoy the story and the main characters name just made me laugh. If you’re a comic fan, you might have already picked up on it. Kent is the last name of Clarke Kent, who is also known as the Man of Steel.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Extreme Measures ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Extreme Measures
Series: Mitch Rapp #9
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 412
Words: 132K



Synopsis:

From Vinceflynn.com

Now, Rapp and his protege, Mike Nash, may have met their match. The CIA has detected and intercepted two terrorist cells, but a third is feared to be on the loose. Led by a dangerous mastermind obsessed with becoming the leader of al-Qaeda, this determined and terrifying group is about to descend on America.

Rapp needs the best on this assignment, and Nash, who has served his government honorably for sixteen years first as an officer in the Marine Corps and then as an operative in an elite counterterrorism team run by Rapp is his choice.

Together, they have made careers out of meeting violence with extreme violence and have never wavered in the fight against the jihadists and their culture of death.

Both have fought the war on terrorism in secret without accolades or acknowledgment of their personal sacrifices.

Both have been forced to lie to virtually every single person they care about, and both have soldiered on with the knowledge that their hard work and lethal tactics have saved thousands of lives.

But the political winds have changed in America, and certain leaders on Capitol Hill are pushing to have men like Rapp and Nash put back on a short leash. And then one spring afternoon in Washington, DC, everything changes.

My Thoughts:

This was a good thriller. My only real gripe is the ending. The politician who had been doing her hardest to get Rapp destroyed has a complete change of heart when the bombs go off and suddenly she’s all Super Patriot. It was bogus. People like her WANT this country destroyed, which is what makes them so insidious. It also makes them impervious to logic and all rational thought. Sadly, there is only one way to deal with people like that and it almost never turns out well. So that was my gripe.

Rapp takes front and center in this book. There have been times when Irene Kennedy, the director of the CIA plays as big a part but this time she is barely mentioned and pretty much lets Rapp loose. For the record, I am completely FOR enhanced interrogation methods. They work, despite what the media may trumpet. They are liars, pure and simple.

(Man, I keep going off about real world politics here, sorry about that)

Rapp isn’t just a meat head with a steady gun hand. He’s a smart and capable operator and the badguys and people who oppose him would do well to remember that. Rapp shows his brains through the whole book and it was great to see him outmaneuver almost everyone. There is one other guy, Mike Nash, who is similar to Rapp, but Nash has a wife and several kids. Part of the story centers around him and the stresses this creates. I was afraid the terrorists were going to kill his family much like Rapp’s family were killed earlier. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen. But up until the leader of the islamic jihadists was killed, I just couldn’t tell if the author was going to go there or not.

I had taken a break from Rapp last year and started up again in January. I am finding that 3 books is about the right amount for me. So after this book I’ll be taking another break, reading something else and then coming back to Rapp for another 3 books. Balancing my reading is getting more and more complicated but considering that I haven’t had a reading slump in over 6 or 7 years now, well, that means it is working. * pounds fist * Yeah, I am THAT good.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Protect and Defend ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Protect and Defend
Series: Mitch Rapp #8
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 336
Words: 105.5K



Synopsis:

From Vinceflynn.com

In Protect and Defend, the action begins in the heart of Iran, where billions of dollars are being spent on the development of a nuclear program. No longer willing to wait for the international community to stop its neighboring enemy, Israel launches one of the most creative and daring espionage operations ever conceived. The attack leaves a radioactive tomb and environmental disaster in the middle of Iran s second largest city. An outraged Iranian government publicly blames both Israel and the United States for the attack and demands retribution. Privately, Iran s bombastic president wants much more. He wants America and Israel to pay for their aggression with blood.

Enter Mitch Rapp, America s top counterterrorism operative. Used to employing deception, Rapp sees an opportunity where others see only Iranian reprisals that could leave thousands of Americans dead. Rapp convinces President Josh Alexander to sign off on a risky operation that will further embarrass the Iranian government and push their country to the brink of revolution. As part of the plan, CIA director Irene Kennedy is dispatched to the region for a clandestine meeting with Azad Ashani, her Iranian counterpart.

But Rapp isn’t the only one hatching plans. Iranian President Amatullah, has recruited Hezbollah master terrorist Imad Mukhtar to do his dirty work. For decades Mukhtar has acted as a surrogate for Iran, blazing a trail of death and destruction across the Middle East and beyond. When Kennedy s meeting with Ashani goes disastrously wrong, Rapp and Mukhtar are set on a collision course that threatens to engulf the entire region in war. With the clock ticking, Rapp is given twenty-four hours, no questions asked, to do whatever it takes to stop Mukhtar, and avert an unthinkable catastrophe.

My Thoughts:

Now this was a return to form and expectations. Mitch is set loose on terrorists who have kidnapped Irene Saddler, the head of the CIA. The background is that the Israeli’s have destroyed Iran’s “secret” nuclear facility using an infiltrator and in retaliation the leaders of Iran not only kidnap Irene but also shoot one of their ships and blame it on America.

It’s been 2 years since Mitch’s wife was killed and while he’s holding on, he’s not doing well. He’s at the point of being a mad dog but not one that’s crazy, if that makes sense. He simply doesn’t care anymore. But Irene’s kidnapping makes it personal as she’s probably the person closest to him that he hasn’t completely pushed away.

The action side of things is great. When Irene is kidnapped by jihadi thugs, I was concerned that Flynn might over describe things. Thankfully, he keeps it within bounds of decency while still showing what happens to her. There was no rape, which I have to admit I gave a sigh of relief for. That kind of thing in fiction can be a deal breaker for me. When Mitch gets going he was like a whirlwind. It was exhausting just following along but oh so exciting too!

On the political side, it was ok. A new president had been elected in the previous book and he was a democrat, just like in the previous books. I didn’t know how Flynn was going to handle him. Well, he’s a bloody hawk and pretty much tells Mitch to do whatever is necessary. He showed more backbone than most of the republicans today in real life. So I don’t expect to have any problems, just like I didn’t with previous books and the politics.

We’ll have to see if Mitch falls apart in future books or if Flynn writes him into getting some help. Personally, I’d like to see him get some help. On the other hand, if he goes nutso, I wouldn’t mind him nuking Iran, Afghanistan or even Belgium. You know, for variety’s sake 😉 What I am concerned about is either Mitch turning into a “one book, one girl” kind of man like Mack Bolan the Executioner or even worse, getting involved long term with another woman and getting her killed. I almost quit when Anna died in book 6 and I’ll quit for sure if happens in future books.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Six Days of the Condor ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Six Days of the Condor
Series: ———-
Authors: James Grady
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 159
Words: 56K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

Ronald Malcolm is a CIA employee who works in a clandestine operations office in Washington, D.C. responsible for analyzing the plots of mystery and spy novels. One day, when he should be in the office, Malcolm slips out a basement entrance for lunch. In his absence a group of armed men gain entrance to the office and kill everyone there. Malcolm returns, realizes he is in grave danger, and telephones a phone number at CIA headquarters he has been given for emergencies.

When he phones in (and remembers to give his code name “Condor”), he is told to meet an agent named Weatherby who will “bring him in” for protection. However, Weatherby is part of a rogue group within the CIA, the same group responsible for the original assassinations. Weatherby tries to kill Malcolm, who manages to escape. On the run, Malcolm uses his wits to elude both the rogue CIA group and the proper CIA authorities, both of which have a vested interest in his capture or death.

Seeking shelter, Malcolm kidnaps a paralegal named Wendy Ross whom he overhears saying she will spend her coming vacation days holed up in her apartment. Knowing no one will notice her absence, Malcolm enlists her aid in finding out more about the forces after him. She is shot and seriously wounded in the process, but survives.

It is then revealed that the rogue group was using the section where Malcolm works to import illegal drugs from Laos. A supervisor stumbled onto a discrepancy in the records exposing this operation, thus necessitating the section’s elimination.

Everything works out in the end and the badguys all get theirs and Malcom gets the girl.

My Thoughts:

I have seen the movie, 3 Days of the Condor starring Robert Redford, several times but had never read the book. So when Dix reviewed the movie a couple of months ago and we got talking about the book in the comments it seemed like the moment was right to hunt down a copy for myself and read it.

There is a reason the movie is better known than the book. My first clue was that the introduction by the author was almost 15% of the book. He kept talking and talking and it was more of a mini-autobiography than a simple introduction. It wasn’t bad, but it was NOT what I was expecting.

Once we get to the actual story, it was very similar to the movie. One of the days is spent with Ronald being sick with the flu. You can see why that day got axed from the movie. Then there is Ronald’s obsession with big breasted women. He’s a guy so I completely understand, but I don’t particularly need to know that Ronald gets to work on time every day just so he can watch a girl walk to work and comment on her sartorial choices. Plus, the girl he hooks up with to stay under cover is apparently a horny nympho and jumps his bones every chance she gets. Eye roll.

You can tell this was dated and written by an amateur. In one of the chapters Ronald is supposed to meet up with somebody he knows to bring him in. The traitor gets involved and Ronald shoots the traitor in the leg with a 357magnum and the traitor shoots the guy Ronald trusts in a bid to make it look like Ronald is the traitor. Now, he does that with a 22 pistol. And it takes almost until the end of the book for the forensics guys to figure this out. For feth’s sake!

The one thing that I did like about this better than the movie was how the good guys win. In the movie the Condor is pretty much told that he’s powerless against the Machine and it doesn’t matter what he does because he’ll just be ignored or ground up. In the book the traitors are caught and killed.

Overall, I’m glad I read this but if someone were to ask me whether they should read the book or watch the movie, I’m going to go for the movie. It is just a better, tighter story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Act of Treason ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Act of Treason
Series: Mitch Rapp #7
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 348
Words: 116K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Fallout from a horrific Washington explosion has just begun — and so has CIA superagent Mitch Rapp’s hunt for a killer with a personal agenda.

In the final weeks of a fierce presidential campaign, a motorcade carrying candidate Josh Alexander is shattered by a car bomb. Soon after the attack, Alexander is carried to victory by a sympathy vote, but his assailants have not been found.

When CIA director Irene Kennedy and Special Agent Skip McMahon receive damaging intelligence on Washington’s most powerful players, they call on Mitch Rapp — the one man reckless enough to unravel a global network of contract killers on an explosive mission that leads back to the heart of our nation’s capital…and the inner sanctum of the Oval Office.

My Thoughts:

After the last book, Consent to Kill, where I rage quit because the author took the easy way out and killed off Rapp’s wife and unborn child, I needed a time out with this series. A couple of months seemed long enough and so I dived back in, not sure what to expect.

Thankfully, I didn’t get Rapp immediately jumping into bed with either a femme fatale or a dusky heroine. The romance was nil and Rapp is shown to be pretty unstable. He’s still able to perform his job but he’s starting to age (I believe he’s 39 in this book) and he’s simply in denial about the tragedy.

I thought Flynn did an excellent job of showing a man who is cracking up. I really feel like killing of Rapp’s wife and baby was a mistake by Flynn, as I was looking forward to how he was going to balance the whole “killing machine vs family man” dynamic he had going. This book, while not redeeming that, at least didn’t make it greater by having Rapp turn into the stereotypical action/adventure character of a bedhopping manwhore.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Spellbinders in Suspense ★★★★☆

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Title: Spellbinders in Suspense
Series: ———-
Author: Alfred Hitchcock (Editor)
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
Pages: 215
Words: 77K



Synopsis:

From the Inside Cover

These are mystery-suspense stories. Some will keep you on the edge of your chair with excitement. Others are calculated to draw you along irresistibly to see how the puzzle works out. I have even included a sample or two of stories that are humorous, to show you that humor and mystery can also add up to suspense. So here you are, with best wishes for hours of good reading. –Alfred Hitchcock

Includes the following 13 stories:

The Chinese Puzzle Box – Agatha Christie

The Most Dangerous Game – Richard Connell

The Birds – Daphne du Maurier

Puzzle For Poppy – Patrick Quentin

Eyewitness – Robert Arthur

Man From The South – Roald Dahl

Black Magic – Sax Rohmer

Treasure Trove – F. Tennyson Jesse

Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper – Robert Bloch

The Treasure Hunt – Edgar Wallace

The Man Who Knew How – Dorothy L. Sayers

The Dilemma of Grampa DuBois – Clayre and Michel Lipman

P. Moran, Diamond-Hunter – Percival Wilde

My Thoughts:

I must have read this back in the day because I recognized over 3/4’s of the stories. Now, some of them have been in other anthologies so that would account for some of them, but not the number I remembered. I’d start reading and then it would be “Ohhhhh, I remember how THIS story ends”, etc, etc. I am very sure this is the collection where I was introduced to the Most Dangerous Game (in short story form), The Birds and The Man Who Knew How.

I still labeled this as crime fiction, because it has aspects of criminality involved, but unlike some of Hitchcock’s other collections, this doesn’t focus nearly so much on that. I wasn’t sure what else to label it as, so inertia won out 🙂

While this was not as thrilling or exciting as some of the others, I’d choose this one collection if I had to recommend one so far. With the authors and stories involved, it gives a very broad collection upon which to build a good literary foundation, even for a Hitchcock book. Let me put it another way. The first story was a Poirot story and while I HATE Poirot with a passion, I still went on and read the entire book. I don’t know what higher praise I could give.

Oh wait.

If you read this book:

  • You will win the lottery
  • Your hair will be the style you always wanted but couldn’t get because of Nature
  • You will be at your ideal weight
  • People of the opposite gender, complete strangers, will come up to you and tell you how amazing you are and how they wished they knew you better
  • Hollywood will pay you 100 million dollars to make a movie about your life, starring your choice of actor to play you
  • You will get a magic fridge that is always full of just what you want to eat, AT THAT MOMENT!

If none of that appeals to you, then you shouldn’t read this book. I’m actually writing this post on my new Lear Jet while on my way to check out locations in the Bahamas for the movie “The Bookstooge Chronicles”. And I’m drinking a Pina Colada Bang. That I just took out of my magic fridge.

’nuff said.

Rating: 4 out of 5.