Saved by the Ghost

In Ghost Fleet, authors P. W. Singer and August Cole describe the story as “A Novel of the Next World War.” Such a predictive subtitle led me to look at the publication date, June 2015. A reader in 2018 can adjust and interpret to taste. An author’s note prior to the foreword cautions that this is not a novel of prediction; it is fiction. This book came to my attention from colleagues in Indonesia where it seems to be attracting attention. At 418 pages, Amazon lists it as political fiction. The Amazon price is USD 2.99 and is free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans


Family Fights At A Funeral

Fight at a Funeral by Doctor Duke Brown and Professor Judith French is an 82-page short story set in the United States and Jamaica. I would expect to see a story like this in a Literary Criticism class that examines the reader-response theory of analysis. In other words, the reader participates in the construction of the meaning of the story. Were I in the class, I would offer the following observations. Yours may differ.

All Agnete wanted to do was host the perfect meeting for her former school friends. She felt a need to showcase her perfect life. Being a CEO of her own firm took care of the business side of things. Of course, she had to give the house a thorough cleaning before they arrived. Too bad the cleaning lady was off. A part of that cleaning meant she would have to hide her overweight daughter by banishing her to her room. The absent cheating husband was not a problem.

Gone But not Forgotten

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry is a page-turner mystery about a parent’s worst nightmare; the disappearance of a child. Anna Davalos and her husband Tom did not discover that their daughter Julie disappeared overnight from their home; they discovered their other daughter Jane hiding in a closet crying and terrified. Jane had witnessed the abduction three hours earlier and was in a state of shock. Anna learned later that the three-hour time frame was important, and that Julie might never be found. Eight years went by, Julie remained missing, Jane was in an estranged rebellious relationship with her parents in reaction to the abduction, husband Tom had quit his job and worked from home using Julie’s office as his office, and Jane plodded through an academic career which would never progress due to her lack of academic engagement. Then Julie showed up on their front doorstep. Where had she been for eight years?

A Nomad Comes Home

Don’t Go There by Adam Fletcher is described as “From Chernobyl to North Korea– One Man’s Quest to Lose Himself and Find Everyone Else in the World’s Strangest Places.” The subtitle probably suffers from a politically correct faux pas; in Chapter One Adam is losing himself in Turkey but companion Annett is with him. It is not “one man’s” quest until Adam manages to piss Annett off. However, it is a travel novel and for the constant traveler such as myself, this book is automatically interesting. Reading this will introduce potential travelers to practices that might be a culture shock to the unprepared. For instance, in Chapter One Annett and Adam are in Turkey where during anti-government demonstrations they observe much of the population protesting in the streets by banging on kitchen pots and pans. Fletcher describes this as a time-honored tradition going back to 1923 during the time of Kemal Atatürk.

Don’t Monkey With Barbara

Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell could be described as a coming of age novel, if your age is forty-five, it’s your birthday, you have forgotten to place money under the pillow of a daughter who has just lost a tooth, and there are several monkeys in your backyard. This is an age you might look forward to looking back on. This is Book One of a Barbara Marr Murder Mystery series which is available in a four-book collection. I bought only Book One for the Amazon price of USD 0.00. Described as a novel with lots of humor, I relied on the title’s promise of that; I felt the title ridiculous (in a good way). This is also described as a cozy mystery. I don’t know the definition of “cozy mystery,” so I will use this novel to construct my definition.

Here are a couple of samples I found interesting. The Kindle for PC app has recently made changes that revealed to me the number of samples I had downloaded and ignored for some reason. Samples are almost like short stories but with an obvious commercial interest. Would I buy any of the following? Read my impressions to see if their marketing strategy was appropriate (for me).

Moonlight City Drive                                      by Brian Paone

The first sentence caught my attention and made me want to read Moonlight City Drive by Brian Paone. “The tall and broody man hid in the shadows of the looming trees and glared at the single-story building in front of him.” (loc 43). I don’t know what a “broody” man is but I presumed Paone was going to have fun with language and I wanted to observe. A few pages later we have this: “Nikki and the rest of the Mushroom Cult corporealized and stormed the walls of the detention center like a tidal wave.” This sample should be fun. If the sample continues to intrigue me, I will have to pay USD 2.99 for the complete novel. It is not available on Kindle Unlimited.

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll is the first “psychological thriller” I have read in months that truly lived up to the name. I use the quotation marks because I am usually disappointed by the overused descriptive term. However, that term is accurate and deserved here. I give this novel five Amazon stars and highly recommend it. It sells for USD 1.99 on Amazon. Although I read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, I will also purchase the book. Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans Returned books on Kindle Unlimited disappear from my library but this is one I want to keep.

Some Victims Are Groomed

Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell is a mystery thriller with psychological elements thrown in. It is no mystery as to who killed Luke, Emma remembered doing it. She also remembered where she buried the body although admittedly she did not do a very good job which is why she returned to the burial site to do things right. The mystery is: what happened to the body? She knew to a certainty where she had left Luke dead. The thriller element is about who will find the body first. If Emma, OK, but if anybody else finds the body first, Emma’s future looks grim. As the reader looks around the interior of Emma’s mind, there are many hints of a horrible childhood that led to near mental breakdowns.

Spiders are Not Always Itsy Bitsy

Itsy, Bitsy Spider by Willow Rose is the first thriller in the Emma Frost series. I read a lengthy excerpt…