Blog Posts by jfreier

Posted by jfreier on 08/28/14
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 A great look at the pinnacle of hotel luxury, the Hotel Ritz in Paris from it's opening in 1898 until the present with much of the book focusing on the years of the Nazi occupation. The portion of the book during the occupation is perhaps the most interesting, the Nazis occupied one wing and left the adjoining older building to the rich and famous, Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Edgar Degas and many others.
 
Joseph Goebbels demanded that the party must go on and even the German army was not to wear uniforms while in bar or dining rooms. There are tales of wild parties, intrigue, and even romance and leads up to the night Princess Diana left on her last night and up until present.
 
A romantic look at the famous hotel with great gossip and wild stories, some of which are hard to believe, but an entertaining read.
 
Posted by jfreier on 07/31/14
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Secret Service agent Ethan Burke is sent to the small Idaho town of Wayward Pines to search for two missing agents, Ethan comes to in a hospital with amnesia. Ethan finds out he was in a car accident and his partner was killed, as his memory comes back he finds out this picture perfect town isn't what it appears to be.
 
Ethan is unable to get his personal belongings back and can't contact his family or boss. Outwardly everyone and everything looks perfect until he tries to leave and finds the whole town fenced in by a 30 foot electrified fence, keeping who out or who in.
 
Ethan starts to realize that it was not an accident ending up in this town and the closer he gets to the truth the stranger and more deadly it becomes for his survival, suspenseful, break neck pace and a touch of horror and sci fi, the first in the Wayward Pines Trilogy. Blake Crouch has wriiten several other horror books and is just fun to read.
Suspense
Posted by jfreier on 06/12/14
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John Wells is back in the 8th book in this series following the exploits of the deep cover C.I.A agent.
 
The Chief of Station in Istanbul is approached by an Iranian with intel on two upcoming attacks on Israeli embassies, when they come true, the Iranian hints at an attack on American soil.
 
The agency calls on John Wells to follow leads to see if the informant is genuine or a false flag trying to set up the Americans.
 
The leads take Wells on a twisting and dangerous mission from Panama City, Bangkok, Manila and to Istanbul.
This is a timely and well paced novel by a great spy writer Alex Berenson, a former N.Y. times foreign correspondent.
spy thriller
Posted by jfreier on 05/15/14
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A man's body is found beaten and bruised under an abandoned Yorkshire railway bridge. The first police on scene rule it a suicide, but are unsure when they find 5,000 pounds in the victims' pocket. DCI Alan Banks is called in and after further inspection the man is found to be a former professor who was fired due to a sketchy sex scandal.
 
Inspector Banks and detective Annie Cabot follow the leads which lead to Lady Chalmers, a former Marxist and now famous author and member of an aristocratic and politically connected family. Banks and Cabot find out that the victim and Lady Chalmers were once former students and activists together at University.
 
The duo rule out suicide and random foul play and follow a complex trail to blackmail and betrayal that leads to the very top of british society. A complex and well plotted mystery set in the haunting Yorkshire Dales, thsi is Peter Robinson's 21st Alan Banks mystery, and another well written story.
Posted by jfreier on 04/12/14
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King and Maxwell are back for the sixth book in this series by David Baldacci.
Tyler Wingo a teen is given the tragic news that his father was killed in Afghanistan, but later hears from him after his supposed death. Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to investigate and it leads to a larger and more dangerous conspiracy that puts all three in danger.
 
The two are lead to higher ups in the Pentagon and to the White House in this typically fast paced style of Baldacci, the relationship of Sean and Michelle deepens and actually adds to the story, as does their protection of Tyler, a bit of a slow start, but the pace picks up and is another easy but escapist read. Sorry to hear the T.V series King and Maxwell was cancelled.
Posted by jfreier on 03/20/14
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 The first day of class at Northwestern University's Medill school of journalism and three brilliant students are chosen for a special class investigating cold case files.
 
 The enigmatic Jake, Sarah and Ian are tasked by professor Z to look into past files, but Jake already has one chosen, he has had a cryptic message sent to him leading the three to a case, but the problem is the killer is already dead.
 
 The three are drawn into a case where another body turns up and interest in the three becomes a dangerous game where trust is tested, and police corruption and deception leads to the students being the hunted. A fast, intriguing new book by Chicago author Michael Harvey who wrote the Chicago Way and 3 other in the Michael Kelly series.
 
 
Posted by jfreier on 01/30/14
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One year after the JFK assassination a rash of suspicious suicides catch the attention of Chicago P.I Nathan Heller.
When he and his son are almost run down Nathan teams up with famous columnist Flo Kilgore to investigate.
 
The suicides aren't what they seem and lead to LBJ's henchman Mac Wallace and New Orleans mafia kingpin, Carlos Marcello.
Bobby Kennedy gives Nathan the go ahead to investigate and how it may tie in to the failed Mongoose operation to kill Fidel Castro.
Max Allan Collins is excellent at bring real figures to life in his Nathan Heller series, one of most enjoyable. Flo Kilgore was based on famous columnist Dorothy Kilgallen.
Posted by jfreier on 01/02/14
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5.) English Girl by Daniel Silva
The latest in the series featuring Mossad agent Gabriel Allon. Gabriel is brought back to work to help with the kidnapping of the mistress of the British Prime Minister. Enjoyable thriller by a great author.
 
4.) Ask Not by Max Allan Collins
An historical mystery with Nathan Heller, a Chicago P.I. working on the fallout of the J.F.K assassination, filled with real figures, such as Bobby Kennedy, Carlos Marcello and many more.

3.)Highway by C.J.Box
A very intense and often disturbing mystery about missing persons and long haul truckers. Fast paced, a true page turner.

2.) Kings of Cool by Don Winslow
The prequel to the best selling Savages. This book tells the reason of how Ben, Chon and Ophelia become a threat to the Mexican drug cartel. Action packed, violent , funny even, with great characters.

1.)Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
Interesting novel about the explosion of people being born with special talents known as the gifted. A look at how a special government agency lead by a gifted agent struggles to deal with a growing group who are having a huge impact on society.

 
Posted by jfreier on 12/17/13
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Blue Heaven is a fast-paced thriller by C.J. Box and is a stand-alone from his Joe Pickett series. Annie and William, a 12 and 10 year-old sister and brother, leave their house to go fishing after a fight with their Mom over her low-life boyfriend. Sadly for them, they witness four men murder someone and are spotted by one of the killers.  Their nightmare begins.
 
The two, led by a determined and strong Annie, evade the killers and find refuge at a loner ranchers' home.  The rancher, Jess Rawlins, is having his own problems and he provides a safe haven for them and also wants to find out who the killers are. It turns out that the men are retired cops from L.A. who are bound together by a large robbery they pulled off in L.A. and not even two children are safe from them.
 
This is a suspenseful and fast paced-mystery and it reminds me of the classic movie Night of the Hunter.  It has a great setting and Annie and Jess are well developed characters and the bad guys are really bad.
Mystery
Posted by jfreier on 11/14/13
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Madeline Hart, a rising star in the British political arena, has gone missing. She has been kidnapped and, in a message to the Prime Minister the kidnappers are demanding ten million pounds or she will die in seven days. Gabriel Allon, master Israeli assassin and art restorer is called in by the Prime Minister to repay a favor and find Madeline. Gabriel is told that Madeline was his mistress and someone is trying to topple the British government.
 
Gabriel brings in his trusted team and connections to various criminal elements to track her down before it's too late. Gabriel travels to Marseilles, the mountains of Provence. and finally to Moscow to save the Prime Minister and the English Girl. This book is another great thriller by Daniel Silva.
 
Suspense Spy
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