Cathy chose to read and review BioKill by Stuart Handley.
Here is Cathy’s review.
A chillingly realistic scenario involving a group of terrorists sending a contagious virus over to the United States. Matt Lilburn, a special agent with Homeland Security, along with Dr Evangeline Crawston, a British scientist with a doctorate in bio-pharmaceuticals, are both assigned to the case and in a desperate race to stay one step ahead of the terrorists.
The terrorist cell in the United States, run by the menacing Bomani, had just found two new recruits and they were committed to causing as much damage and disruption as possible.
The Director of Counter Terrorism, Allan Hall, and the Director of Emergency Management, Suzanna Lopez, together with Matt and Evangeline, are under pressure to stop the terrorists but all is not as it seems in Homeland Security.
The action and intrigue, with an unexpected twist, is intense and increases the level of suspense. The concept of the story is fascinating, gripping from the start, bringing home the terrible and conceivable possibility of bio terrorism.
A very well written and researched novel, which has it all…murders, high-speed car and helicopter chases, a rather gruesome mutilation and passionate encounters. The switches in location from the United States to England and the Gaza Strip and back again is accomplished with ease, creating a continuously flowing narrative which is a pleasure to read.
I’m enjoying Stuart Handley’s dramatic and visually descriptive writing style very much. The characters are well-defined and authentic, even down to one-off appearances, such as Bonny, the neighbour of the two young Syrians. I look forward to more adventures with Matt Lilburn.
The scene is set with an attack of an Afghan compound and a US Apache helicopter brought down by an advanced missile.
Scott Jensen works in intelligence for the Us Department of Defense in Washington a friend contacts him about evidence picked up from the Apache attack, the surface to air missile had a very advanced laser guided by a micro-chip made in the US. The technology is owned by New York billionaire Jean Maynard, friend of the President. When Scott asks for an investigation, the top brass shut him down.
Still believing Maynard needs investigating, Scott takes what he has to a journalist, Brooke Kinley. The trail soon leads to a mining town in remote Canada and Brooke sets out by herself to find out more. I like Brooke, she is a strong female character and really good at survival. There are lots of clues and details added along the way which you know will come together later in the story, a couple are victims of piracy in the Indian Ocean and a pair of geologists are attacked in Labrador. Plus someone is following Scott.
Dexter Adams flies into Labrador in search of his missing brother and finds himself involved in Brooke’s investigation when his plane crashes in a lake.
There are quite a lot of characters to keep up with and several intelligence agencies across the world get involved in this race to stop phase 2 of a terrorist attack and to find out just who is pulling all the political strings.
It is also available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks.
“A.S Bond is the pen name of Alexandra Pratt, an internationally acclaimed travel writer and journalist. Alexandra is also the author of six previous books, including Lost Lands, Forgotten Stories (HarperCollins, 2002), which is the story of her canoe expedition to Labrador that later inspired much of the ‘action’ in Patriot. Now married and based in the west of England, Alexandra works as a freelance journalist and also writes adventure thrillers under the pen name A.S.Bond. ‘Patriot’ is an award-winning thriller, which debuted at #13 in its category on Amazon. It is the first title in her series of Brooke Kinley Adventures and is available as both a paperback and an e-book. For more information and the latest news, visit www.brookekinleyadventures.com”
I am absolutely thrill to be posting this review by Rosie’s Book Review Team member Susan Molloy. She blogs at www.susanmariemolloy.com
Susan chose to review “BioKill” by Stuart Handley.
Here is her review.
“BioKill” by Stuart Handley is novel bursting with intrigue, action, a terrorist cell, biological warfare, electrifying chases, lusty scenes, murder, mutilation, a cat fight, government subterfuge, escape, humor, and remarkable characters in an extraordinary plot.
While a terrorist cell conspires bioterrorism in the United States, Matt Lilburn, an American special agent with Homeland Security, finds himself on the case, along with the British Dr. Evangeline Crawston and a slew of memorable protagonists ranging from a tentative neighbor lady, to the virtually hilarious gang of the five Bloods, the bizarre chief of Homeland Security, the owners of an aviation business, and, of course, the terror cell inmates comprised of Bomani, Bashir, and Yusuf, just to name a very few of the rich cast of personalities.
The author is astute in his use of scene-changing within the novel. He cleverly and seamlessly moves his story, chapter to chapter, from Brooklyn, to England, and to places within the United States with such deft smoothness that the reader easily follows the action without questioning or backtracking to previous pages to re-read. Indeed, whereas one chapter may be taking place in Brooklyn and the next in London and later, on a pig farm in New England, Stuart Handley ties each scene so well to another it’s as if the entire novel is akin to a quilt of individual blocks with no visible seams at all.
The players in the novel are real and well-developed, and where necessary, the author gives them accents and vocal modulations. For example, Alessio enunciates his accent well: “I see you ‘ave brought a friend . . . I canna but try.” We can hear neighbor Bonny as she talks to the police: “I was gonna get back on the phone and tell you to . . . bust those A-rabs . . . I see you brought the whole dang station wid you!” We get indignant along with blonde Timothy the caterer/waiter as he “let out his own shriek” when he exclaims that he “’ordered lilac-colored napkins, lilac, not … blue.” Timothy owns and operates The Galloping Caterers, and I could not help to give Timothy a slight, albeit faux, British accent in my mind to go along with his hissy fit, because the name The Galloping Caterers reminds me of the late British gourmand Graham Kerr of The Galloping Gourmet. And when the “lucky” five Bloods found the red Nissan Maxima and attempted to drive it, the manual transmission threw them for a hilarious loop: “Yo man, I seen on the movies – this car had one of those things and you got to push something in with your foot to make it go . . .”
Yet, there was something so real and creepy when the members of the terrorist cell, Bomani, Bashir, and Yusuf spoke. “Yusuf and I go to a cattle auction” “ . . . when we have finished our work for Allah . . . we return to our home and assimilate ourselves back into Western society.” Their voices and personalities are real and wicked, and Stuart Handley captures this flawlessly. Bomani, in particular, has a distinct voice in using variances in verb usage and not uttering contractions.
I enjoy Stuart’s writing style. It is very vivid, descriptive and intelligent. He uses foul language sparsely, as in those moments when characters are so totally shocked or frustrated that a four-letter word slips out. Lusty scenes are tasteful and allow the reader to envision all the naughty little details within the imagination. Stuart’s background in livestock production and an inspector for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), et al gives authority to his novel.
There are a few instances within the novel where the author (who is from New Zealand) moves from American English to British English, such as “bonnet” for a car “hood,” “petrol tank” instead of “gas tank,” “mobile” for “cell phone,” “air-sock” for “wind sock,” “windscreen” for “windshield,” and a technical description of a helicopter’s speed measured in miles per hour, when airspeed is actually measured in knots. I caught the aviation-related points immediately, since I have a long background and career in the aviation field. It stuck out for me. Yet, I believe it all will not take away from the story for most readers.
Admittedly, this is the first novel in this genre that I have read. I was not disappointed at all. Moreover, I cannot say enough positive statements about “BioKill.” It produces non-stop action; it lays out a very real and plausible evil; it brings a little lightness to round out the reality; and it makes the reader think, laugh, and become more aware of contemporary events.
I highly recommend “BioKill” by Stuart Handley, and if I rated this novel on a five-star scale, I would give it six stars.
Today our guest is John Howell author of yesterday’s book My GRL. Here is a link to the post if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5pr
Let’s find out more about John and his book.
1) Where is your home town?
I was born in Detroit Michigan in the US. I consider it my hometown even though I have not lived there for over fifty years. I have move around while being part of the business community. I now live in a seaside village that we like to say is a drinking village with a fishing problem.
2) How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first novel in 1993 and found it difficult to write and work at the same time. I printed the novel off to edit and it still sits in its original form. I use it hold the laundry room door open in the breeze. I began my second, My GRL which has been published in March of 2012. So that was a roundabout answer which can be summarized as I have been writing full-time since 2012.
3) What was the one idea which sparked off My GRL?
I was standing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Lexington with my sister. Our father was a naval aviator during World War II and he served on the Lexington which is now moored at Corpus Christi. I was thinking about how vulnerable the boat really was with no way to protect it from anyone who wanted to destroy her. We left and I began to figure out how to blow her up and then how to prevent it. The story unfolded from there.
4) Why did John Canon want to take an extra-long break from his Law firm?
John had worked about twelve years straight without a break. He went on a short vacation to Port Aransas Texas and decided he wanted to become a charter boat captain. He didn’t quit the firm he took a leave of absence. His motivation was to want more out of life than winning litigation cases and making a lot of money.
5) How did Gerry become a boat broker?
Gerry was actually working at a bank in San Francisco and decided she needed to get away even thought she was a Vice President. Although it is never confirmed in the book, she was running away from a bad relationship. She visited her parents who were on vacation in Port Aransas to try and sort out her life. She more or less fell into the Yacht brokerage business by accident. Her dad was a friend with the owner and one night at dinner he met Gerry and thought she would make a great sales person. He was right and she did quite well
6) Tell us about the Desert Wolves group.
The Desert Wolves are a small splinter group of terrorists who were once part of the Taliban. They broke away because the leadership felt the Taliban was concerned with its own ends and did not share the degree of militancy and hatred of the western world as the Desert Wolves. The group is funded by billionaire Matt Jacobs who wants to see Palestine returned to his people, as well as justice for perceived persecution by the west throughout the ages. This group is so militant the Taliban warned them to cease their activities or risk being sanctioned. The Desert Wolves have ignored all threats by their fellow Muslims including the church leadership.
7) John’s plans for his last evening with My GRL are spoiled; tell us how John feels about that.
John initially is pretty upset since it was agreed he would have time to take Sarah Barsonne on the boat and have a last cocktail. When John and Sarah arrived dockside John’s boat was gone. The new owners had taken it early. John called the broker only to get little satisfaction and to realize there is nothing he can do about the early possession. He comes around to the point that it was a fine boat and he should be complimented the new owners were anxious to take her.
8) When is it that John finally starts to believe he’s in real danger?
He is handcuffed and has leg irons attached and while he is trying to see some of the container ship he was on a soldier comes up to him and starts screaming at him while firing an AK47 into the air. John cannot understand what the soldier wants him to do and since he was authorized to move around the ship he is terrified and hits the deck. He knows now he is in real danger.
9) I believe your own home is on Mustang Island, how would you entice me to come there on holiday?
I would tell you of the soft sand and warm Gulf of Mexico water. I would describe the wonderful restaurants and the friendly people. There are fine shops and fishing if you would like. I would also prepare a margarita for you and we could sit on my veranda and let the warm breeze and sound of the sea carry all worries away.
10) Tell us where readers can find out more about you and your writing.
Set in war-torn Iraq, this shows the actions of terrorists and civilians mixed with the armed forces. There is fear everywhere and no one is safe. There’s a plan which will kill thousands of people inside the green zone unless the delivery of a poison can be stopped.