Dr. David Fazio is a maternity physician at Chicago-Western Medical Hospital. He is a handsome, divorced baby doctor who has more than his share of personal flaws. But Dr. Fazio has one good moral quality going for him: He is a pro-life obstetrician. In a state where late term abortions are now legal, he is being strongly encouraged by the hospital to perform abortions to any patient requesting one.Dr. Fazio has one other problem…he has horrific sleep issues and has been known to be a sleepwalker. He wakes up one morning with severe burns on his hands, while a family planning clinic one block away has burned down to the ground with casualties. The authorities are now suspicious, as the “Abortion Arsonist” is burning down clinics in Chicagoland, and Dr. Fazio has no clue who it is.Every time Dr. Fazio sleeps, he has no concept of where he’ll wake up or any memory of what damage ha may have done the night before…
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The Panama Contagion follows an attorney who must stop an international terrorist organization from killing people. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
Many strange experiences occurred while my husband and I worked in China with Chinese university students and judges. When China received upgraded trade status with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United States helped with training China’s judges to learn and implement the WTO’s legal requirements including the Rule of Law. One reason why the US did this was because American companies doing business in China were losing millions of dollars from counterfeit products–they were competing against poor-quality knock-offs of their own products. My husband and I were teachers in that judicial training program, working with China’s judges–some as high as their Supreme Court. From my being hospitalized with early SARS (when China was still covering it up), to a mysterious news editor who appeared at our door professing a terrorist group in Southern China targeting Americans, to touring a primitive island village and finding a modern computer inside a plastic tent on an island filled with hidden caves, to hearing the judges complain about the corruption in their judicial system and how hard it was going to be to implement the Rule of Law, it didn’t take much imagination to create The Net thriller series.
Jason Yi is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
When the US stepped in to assist China in implementing the Rule of Law,one major barrier to overcome was the existing customs and practices in China. For example, legal decisions weren’t always based on the law–some were determined by who paid the most money to the judge or who had the best family connections, etc. This was deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. Yet the Rule of Law requires that the written laws be followed,interpreted uniformly, and that no one is above the law. The WTO and the US could send in teachers to train the judges, but only by changing the culture and eliminating the corruption could the Rule of Law really be implemented. Of course, it was purely my imagination but I accomplished this in the story by sending in a few undercover Chinese-American attorneys to serve as judges, ferret out corruption, and sway other judges to follow the Rule of Law. Jason Yi is one of those undercover Chinese American attorneys. How he becomes involved is introduced in book 1–The Net Conspiracy. As for ideals behind his character development, there were several: Judges in China are young–some right out of college. The average age is 35. So, Yi would have to be about that age, fluent in the language sand in Chinese and American law, be honorable and trustworthy, and have a sense of adventure in taking on the risk of undercover work. And it never hurts that the protagonist is handsome!
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was this planned before writing or did it develop organically while writing?
I outline when I write and know pretty much where I want a story to go.However, as I wrote The Panama Contagion, the story moved in its own direction–much different than I had planned and it surprised me. I thought the story would be heavy into the virus and the resulting impact on society. Instead, it played out more about the interaction between the characters and their personalities. The Foreigner (bad guy)took on a much more psychotic nature, and a secondary character (Bao) became more involved than I had originally planned. As it turned out,this made for a better ending and segue into book 4, The Harbin Connection.
This is book three in The Net series. What can readers expect in book four?
The terrorist element of The Net organization has pretty much been thwarted, but the vendetta between the Foreigner and Yi (evil and good)will peak in book 4–The Harbin Connection. Where The Panama Contagion dealt with a deadly virus, The Harbin Connection will deal with human sex trafficking. (If you remember in book 3, Bao owned numerous massage/sex parlors that specialized in Caucasian children–acquired through kidnapping and sold off when no longer useful; sold and lost into other markets through the arctic city of Harbin, China.) Bao and Sarah (Yi’s love interest) will play strong roles as The Net targets Sarah to be kidnapped and sold at Harbin. Other evil ploys will prevent Yi’s ability to save her, and her survival will come into question. Yi’s honor and belief in the Rule of Law will be challenged as he comes face-to-face with taking the life of the man he despises. As with the other books in The Net series, book 4 will be filled with international intrigue, suspense, and fast-paced action adventure, without the use of offensive language, graphic sex or extreme violence.
DM Coffman’s The Panama Contagion is unlike any book I read this year. Eerily, it seems to be a prediction of the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, this is the least interesting thing about this book. Its plot is well thought out and intricately executed.
It tells a tale of Jason Yi, an American living in China. We are taken through his interesting yet tumultuous fight against an evil terrorist organization that threatens the safety of all Americans. Due to his curiosity and active pro-activity, this undercover Chinese judge uncovers several terrorist plans by this organization and seeks to thwart them.
As such, his life is unquestionably in danger throughout the book. His girlfriend, a Chinese judge now studying in the U.S., is also at risk of attack. Interestingly, some of those he seeks to protect are also against him; a sad affair indeed.
In a span of a mere 236 pages, this book reveals biochemical attacks, explosive attacks, betrayals, and ongoing vendettas. The scenes are well written and extremely easy to read. The author has the innate ability to explain the intricacies of legal and political systems in the simplest of terms. It was therefore not surprising to me that DM Coffman has worked in the legal system for years and is even a former resident of China. Her writing is quite authentic.
The only complaint I have about the book stems from the different perspectives from which it is written. As a reader, I felt that we were hopping from one character’s head to another’s without warning. While the author made an effort to indicate the place and date that each scene was taking place in, little was done to give a heads up on whose perspective we were delving into. With a story that is told from as many different perspectives as this one, it helps to even subtly draw attention to the persona at the beginning of the chapter. Other than that, the book was easy to follow and relate with.
The running theme in this book is the constant fight against evil. It also deeply delves into the issue of self-sacrifice for the sake of man and country. As a man willing to die to protect his country and those he loves, Jason Yi embodies that.
As other characters seek happiness beyond the confines of their native countries, it becomes clear that the pursuit of happiness is another major theme. For its consistent suspense, accuracy, and downright readability I would highly recommend this book.
Pages: 249 | ASIN: B08CJLWND5
Tags: action, author, book, book review, bookblogger, DM Coffman, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, international espionage, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, The Panama Contagion, thriller, writer, writing
Wolf Slayer is a thrilling blend of dystopian science-fiction, adventure, and political intrigue. What served as the inspiration behind the idea for this book?
The current political turmoil in the US is disturbing. Democracy is threatened globally by fascist oligarchs and autocrats. I believe most people are good, and would do something about it if they had the chance. My tale gives such a person that opportunity. I also wanted to show how bad things can get if we do not change our ways, and how humanity can tough it out and survive, like it has done throughout our history. The book is also the lead-in to a series of books where more threats will emerge, and where more everyday hero’s are given the chance to shine, like Matt Adams.
Matt Adams is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
I was thinking of the hero Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984. Matt is caught up in an oppressive political system. He comes to recognize it as evil, and he feels shame for the people he has killed while fighting for his country. His country mistreats him as a veteran, but in the midst of a terrible economic depression, gives him a dangerous job spying on a rebel organization. The organization opens his eyes further, and gives him the chance to really make a difference. Matt grows further as he escapes and flees to his native wilderness of Quebec. He meets the woman of his dreams, and the political system changed by his actions lets them live in peace. So, unlike Winston Smith, Matt fights Big Brother (a.k.a. Uncle Ernie), and Matt wins.
The story takes place in a dystopian future. What were some themes you wanted to focus on when creating this future world?
Climate change and over-population will destroy our world if unchecked. The 1% wealthy run our world, and always seem to win. They will always fight wars over turf, accelerating the end of civilization. But ultimately, the skilled hunter-gathers in remote regions will be the survivors. And with a bit of forethought and investment, we can arm the survivors with a cache of knowledge to re-build a better world.
This is the first book in the Master Defiance series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book Two will be titled ‘Martian Hermitage’. Earth continues to decline, and natural calamities wipe out the last vestiges of civilization. The people in Moon Base are stranded, but they have been secretly preparing for an exodus… to Mars. Mars is a dry, sterile, hostile place, but it has more life-giving resources than the Moon for tough, ingenious people. But Mars is not as it seems. It has been visited before, by a noble race fleeing an evil alien race. And so, the ‘Masters’ are introduced to the series, and more hero’s will be needed…
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Tags: adventure, author, author interview, Blair Wylie, book, book review, bookblogger, dystopia, dytopian, ebook, fantasy, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, political thriller, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, thriller, Wolf Slayer, writer, writing
The year is 2483. The economy is the worst it has ever been and the country is run by a Hitler-like President, Ernie Wolf. Retired Staff Sergeant Mathieu ‘Matt’ Adams is a retired sniper at the age of only 34. Matt jumps at the chance to take an undercover position in Akron, Ohio, of all places, as he is like most Americans at this time, just scraping by and will take any work he can get. His mission is to infiltrate a supposed rebel group called the Workers Social Club. President Wolf has made himself president for life and rids the government of Congress. He only allows one political party to exist, the Veteran’s Party, so all other groups must be squashed in whatever way necessary.
But after Matt is found out to be an undercover agent by the members of the Workers Social Club (an homage to rebellious groups of people during any tumultuous era in history), they offer him another position to consider, slaying the Wolf himself to try and save not only the country but a space ship currently under construction orbiting the moon that will take a group of humans to another planet to hopefully save the human race, something Wolf wants to destroy.
I absolutely loved this dytopian political thriller. Science fiction is my genre of choice because it is able to portray stark ideas in wild settings. Wolf Slayer is able to capture the magic of science fiction with though-provoking themes and authentic characters in a far off time. Even though this book is set almost 500 years in the future, there are a lot of similarities to today’s world and country. If you enjoy Jason Bourne and Shooter mixed in with a bit of science fiction, then you will love this book too.
Matt Adams is a character you can relate to and find yourself rooting for. What I loved most was the slow evolution of his character throughout the story as what he ‘knows’ is turned on its head. While President Ernie Wolf is your classic villain who is easy to dislike and even hate. There is never any confusion as to who you want to win and lose.
Wylie has definitely made a political statement with his book as there are so many similarities between this story and our current political situation. But he has managed to do it in a ‘Christmas Carol’-like warning. We must learn the hidden lessons from his story or be doomed to live in the world Matt Adams must save. Wolf Slayer is a sci-fi thriller for a modern audience.
Pages: 332 | ASIN: B07XPBFHRV
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The Dark Trail by J.C Fields is another thrilling entry in the continuing Sean Kruger saga. This time FBI agent Kruger must try to determine who killed his friend… who happened to be the deputy director of the FBI. As part of the investigation he is granted access to the deputy director’s computer where he uncovers a spreadsheet of dates, times, and case file numbers. The deputy director started a secret project on a suspicion, and it got him killed. Join Kruger works to find the killer while piecing together his friends work to see it to its completion. This story is not a simple ‘whodunit’, it goes so much deeper than a simple assassination.
What I liked most about The Dark Trail was the healthy balance between gripping thriller and slice of life storytelling, which seems to be a knack for J.C. Fields. The primary plot revolves around the dramatic drive to solve a shocking murder, and secondarily resolving the sinister threads hanging from a dangerous knot of secrets. Just when I thought I was getting tired of the thriller genre, J.C. Fields tosses in the B plot to keep your interest piqued before ramping up into the A plot. Kruger is a man who is equally defined by what he does and how he takes care of his family. He believes it is critical to walk the line of not upending his wife’s career and his children’s childhood but also not “waste away” after his agency mandated retirement on his 57th birthday. He could take a promotion into management, but that would force the family to move. It’s a decision he views as selfish, but if he does not solve the A plot before his 57th birthday it might not get solved at all. That would be even worse. The balance of A plot and B plot was so masterfully woven together that once I started reading, I could not put this book down. I think this story could be enjoyed by any adult reader, even if you have never given the thriller genre a try before. A suspenseful political thriller to rival Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series.
Pages: 301 | ASIN: B084PZ8JZ4
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The Grim Reaper follows Mike who’s reporting on the crimes of security companies when he goes too far and becomes the target. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
On 16 October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia — a Maltese journalist, writer, and anti-corruption activist — was killed when bomb placed in her car exploded. Daphne was one of those few courageous journalists who despite repeated threats against her life, refused to be silenced.
Mike is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
The organisation Reporters Without Borders revealed that in 2017 two journalists were missing, 54 were being held hostage, 65 were killed, and 326 were detained. Democracy is not possible without a free press.
This novel has a focus on private security companies operating in war zones and third world countries. What kind of research did you undertake to ensure the accuracy of the subject matter?
Apart form information available on the internet, I obtained further details on PMSCs from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under The Freedom of Information Act; spent a week in Hereford — the hub for UK PMSCs — interviewing former and current PMSC personnel: and covered the International Conference Confronting the Privatisation of War and Security which was held in Barcelona on November 22-23, 2018.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on a nonfiction book about the causes responsible for the current turmoil in the Middle East with publication due early next year.
The mad dogs of war are on the loose and out of control …
Freelance correspondent, Mike Walker, has made it his mission to condemn ethnic cleansing in Palestine and the West’s complicity in senseless wars of attrition in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere in the world.
Wars in which Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) provide assistance – legitimized, packaged, and presented by PR consultancy companies as “risk management” and “security solutions” – to governments and corporate interests operating in high-risk, complex environments for the purpose of extracting national resources.
In short, he’s playing with fire and he knows it. But he won’t be intimidated.
He won’t stop reporting the true facts that these “security solutions” which cost billions of dollars every year result in gung-ho mercenaries committing heinous crimes and premeditated femicide. Or the corruption, cruelty, and crimes against humanity which happen everywhere on a daily basis.
When a British PMSC begins paying him close attention, however, and MI5 get involved, has he finally gone one report too far?
Will he and his girlfriend escape the intrusive surveillance?
Or will he be silenced forever?
Find out in this fast-paced, exciting, gripping page-turner of a political thriller.
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Once again we are plunged into the world of Sean Kruger and his particular brand of justice in The Assassin’s Trail by J.C. Fields. While reading the first novel in the series is not necessary, it does provide excellent backstory for those who like to know everything. We follow Kruger once again as he gets pulled into another debacle. While he might groan about it, Kruger is excellent at his job and his reputation precedes him. With such greatness comes great expectations. Can Kruger deliver? Or will the case be his undoing? Hold on tight for a wild ride as we follow our favorite FBI special agent as he hunts down his prey. Fields shows us crime drama at its best: twists, turns and heightened anticipation for the good guy to win. The question then becomes, at what cost?
You can tell this is not Fields’ first time writing a book. A lot of attention and care went into the crafting of this story. A complication that can arise when writing a book in a series is losing track of subtle details and hoping your readers don’t notice. Happily, there is none of that in this installment of the Sean Kruger novels. The way Fields’ crafts the world of Kruger is deliberate and very well done. There is no shortage of action and readers will find themselves glued to the pages in order to find out what happens next. Some true crime stories can lag in the middle or when there is no action present making them almost a chore to read. You won’t find that here and even if crime drama isn’t your thing, this is a hard book to pass up. It’s not filled with useless jargon or procedures and policies only die-hard fans or those who work in the field can understand. This was truly a piece meant for the reader.
What makes a good story in this genre is suspense, action and realism. If the crime is too outlandish or the way the criminal is discovered is too unrealistic it can ruin the entire experience for the reader. Fields understands this and crafts the tale to reflect that. Readers will need to prepare their hearts for the twists and turns in this book as Fields’ expertly dangles disaster in front of us. There are no complaints about this easy to read and equally easy to enjoy story.
There is so much to gain and so little to lose from enjoying The Assassin’s Trail by J.C. Fields. The action is well paced and the story doesn’t suffer for it. The realism makes our main character, Sean Kruger, that much more relatable. While he is a special agent with the FBI he really just wants to enjoy his life. That is something we can all relate to. Kruger doesn’t seem able to catch a break on the work-life balance of things. Things will come to a grinding halt though as Kruger is faced with the greatest decision of his career. Is this the end of Special Agent Sean Kruger? You’ll have to read it to find out! You won’t be disappointed.
Pages: 317 | ASIN: B01JAW1VI8
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