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Archive for March, 2020

The Second Hostage by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

It appears that Deaver has now begun writing the short stories (I suppose for EBooks). If this is a taste I would have to say that it was a great taste! Very short and easy to read but with a great plot, good characters, and great dialogue that are the norm in all of Deaver’s books.

The opening is kind of interesting in that during a meeting a fairly good sized group of deputies in Humble, Kansas receive a call that someone has been taken hostage. The sheriff isn’t available but one of the deputies decides that they as a group need to go and see what is going on.

It just so happens that a fellow named Colter Shaw is in town and was in listening to the deputies talking. Shaw is somewhat unique in that he is a “Reward Seeker”. Not actually a legal cop in any way he does travel around the west looking to earn rewards for finding missing persons or even things. Kind of an unusual occupation but he makes a living doing it and it somehow may be of help here.

Part of the story then goes into some detail as how Shaw is looking for a young teenager named Emma. He used various methods to trace her to the Humble area but wasn’t having much luck getting help from any lawmen as they all pretty much scoff at his occupation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Money Shot (A Teddy Fay Novel Book 2) by Stuart Woods

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Basically it is a Teddy Fay story although the cover claims it features Sone Barrington. Teddy is without a doubt the main character and he carries if off pretty well. As a matter of fact even though he is shot by three shots on the first page of the book he not only survives but he goes on to do many other extraordinary things.

Whoops! I guess I forgot to mention that those shots were not real bullets and Teddy was playing a part in a movie! But it is an interesting beginning to a pretty well written and very fast paced story by Woods.

Although Teddy uses several names and does several different jobs in the book he primarily is put to work as a detective. In addition to those roles he is also a top-flight weapons expert and make-uo artist. But in Hollywood he is a stuntman, a producer, and then a former CIA man turned detective. He fills all the roles well and is well accomplished in them especially the detective bit.

It seems as though someone has been able to get some rather or perhaps very risqué movies of a famous female actress. The actress, Tessa Bacchetti, has come to Teddy to see if he can help her as she is being blackmailed by someone. The blackmail involves some film taken of her and her boyfriend in college. Needless to say the film has sexual scenes. Supposedly the boyfriend, with whom she has broken up some time ago, was to have destroyed the film.

She knows of Teddy’s abilities and hopes that he can help her without her having to go to the police because of the damage to her career.

Teddy agrees to see what he can do and then gets very deeply involved with several different groups of villains. The original pair of culprits who have the film are basically after the money but as the plot grows and thickens it really gets deep. There are others who have now gotten involved. And they are looking for ways to get involved not only in the motion picture industry but to actually take over one or more studios.

Teddy, pretty much always on his own, has to not only sort out who is who and what he is doing but he has to stop it. Luckily his background in the industry puts him in positions that most would be unable to get into. Using his circle of friends and overall knowhow of what goes on he is able to make great strides quickly.

But not without injury! Mainly to himself as some of his stuntman work gets screwed around by the bad guys leaving Teddy “to take the fall”.

When you read the book you will figure out what that term actually means! A good fast read without a bunch of sex or profanity!

One Good Deed by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Shortly after WW II Aloysius Archer ends up in Poca City which is the little town that he is assigned to as part of his parole. He was put into prison for a crime that he didn’t commit. He knows nothing about the town and the townsfolk know nothing about him. While in prison he spent much of his time exercising and actually doing body building so he was in very good shape although not a big man.

Archer quickly realizes that not only does he need to meet with his parole officer but he also needs to find some sort of employment as his room rent is eating up his meager savings.

After getting checked into a hotel he begins to feel the need for a drink although bars and liquor are both listed on things that parolees are not to partake of. But he believes he can control himself so off he heads to The Cat’s Meow. And this first visit is pretty much the beginning of One Good Deed..

While at the bar he meets up with Hank Pittleman who is enjoying his drink with a young lady who turns out to be Jackie Tuttle (though Archer doesn’t know it at the time). Pittleman tells Archer that a man named Lucas Tuttle borrowed some money from him and not only didn’t pay it back but he also didn’t turn over the 1947 Cadillac which was used as collateral for the loan.

Pittleman gives Archer some money to go and get the Cadillac and bring it to him. Archer sees this as a good way to earn some cash and agrees to the task.

The following morning Archer makes his first visit to his parole officer who turns out to be a lady named Ernestine Crabtree. He explains about his new “job” since she tells him there is plenty of work in the area and part of his parole is partaking in three job interviews. She accepts his explanation of his job and tells him that if it doesn’t work out he must do the interviews. He agrees.

All of this is just the groundwork for a very interesting read as Archer gets involved with Poca City residents and especially Pittleman, the two Tuttles, and Crabtree. Those four play interesting roles in this story as Baldacci tells it.

One of the first events is that the Cadillac is actually burned up before Archer can get it or before Pittleman can retrieve it from Tuttle.

However there are many other interesting happenings as Archer begins his new life in Poca City. The ongoing battle for “big man on campus” so to speak between Pittleman and Tuttle is perhaps the largest but the life that Archer lives involving Jackie and his Parole Officer also contribute to the story line.

Another great read by the master, David Baldacci! Read it and enjoy!