Blog Posts by jfreier

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J.Freier has traveled to four continents doing everything from bartending to searching for Cochise's stronghold. He claims he never was a spy.




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by David Baldacci

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04/12/14
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.
by Michael Harvey T.

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03/20/14
 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.
 
 
by Max Allan Collins

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01/30/14
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.
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01/02/14
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.

 
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by C.J. Box

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12/17/13
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.
Tags:  Mystery
by Daniel Silva

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11/14/13
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.
 
by William Kent Krueger

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10/12/13
Fans of William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series will not be disappointed with the newest book in the series, Tamarack County. Cork is called to consult on the mysterious disappearance of the wife of a powerful judge. The missing woman at first seems unrelated to disturbing events that have recently happened to Cork's family and friends, but the more he investigates the woman's disappearance the more he thinks he could be wrong.
 
 
Cork's son and his girlfriend are run off the road by an unknown driver and then the dog of the girlfriend is found murdered at her house. More threats follow as Cork's family life becomes more chaotic. Cork is dealing with the sudden return of his eldest daughter Anne,who has left her order before becoming the nun that was her dream.
 
 
The threats against Corks' family escalate and Cork discovers a connection between the missing woman and a twenty year old cold case. This is a multi layered mystery which also combines the the struggle for Cork to keep his family together. William Kent Krueger gets better with every book.
Tags:  Mystery
by Jack McCallum

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09/26/13
A great inside look at the 1992 legendary Olympic dream team, probably the greatest team assembled in any team sport. McCallum was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and had unlimited access to the team both on and off the court.
 
The off court exploits of Jordan, Barkley, Magic, Bird, Malone and the rest of the Dream Team is like hanging out with the Beatles and the Stones. Their late night card games, golfing, drinking and trash talking are legendary. The author also got to watch a scrimmage which some called the greatest pick-up game ever and also the greatest exhibition of trash talking fueled by a team led by Jordan against another led by Magic.
 
A great sports book, but fun and engaging for anyone.
by Marcus Sakey

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08/22/13
The latest novel by Chicago author, Marcus Sakey, is a great read and totally unlike his past work such as "Good People" and "Amateurs." The story is set in the present but reads like a futuristic science fiction book, it is about the rise of children who are born gifted, called the abnorms. The rate has risen and the government sets up an agency called DAR, Department of Analysis and Response. Told through the eyes of agent Cooper, who is himself is gifted, the gifts are specific and not of the super power variety like X-Men.
 
Agent Cooper's attitude about the gifted changes when he goes undercover to catch the dangerous abnorm, John Smith, whom the DAR has named the most dangerous terrorist in the country. It's a fast, thrilling story and, as I said, a complete departure from his other works.
by Richard Doetsch

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07/11/13
Michael St. Pierre and his girlfriend K.C. are kidnapped by an off-the-books government team to help steal two pieces of an ancient Chinese puzzle which, of course, means mass destruction if it falls into the hands of an evil Chinese triad.
 
The nice difference in this book compared to many of this genre is that the two protagonists are master thieves instead of killer spies. The writing is better than most of this genre also, and the settings are well drawn and exotic (Granada, Macau, and the Forbidden City). This would appeal to fans of Dan Brown and Steve Berry.