Book Review: Brian Haig’s The President’s Assassin

I have become addicted to Brian Haig’s books.  They are really enjoyable, fast paced and cleverly written.  I really enjoyed the President’s Assassin.  I thought the book was much better than his last one Man in the Middle.  In this book Sean Drummond is back with his trademark smart-ass character.  But he is a clever military lawyer who is on loan to the CIA in this book.  He gets drawn into a murder investigation by the FBI and that is where the action begins.  There are so many twists and turns it will make your head spin. 

Sean Drummond, the JAG attorney whose crime-solving skills are almost matched by his ability to tick people off, has a new assignment: working for the Office of Special Projects, a CIA offshoot. Not long after his reassignment, Drummond is called to a murder scene where one of the six victims is the White House Chief of Staff and where a note was found in which the assassin threatens the life of the president. In this kind of thriller, the outcome isn’t much of a mystery; it’s how we get to the outcome that counts, and Haig leads us there through a series of plot twists, shortcuts, and dead ends that never fail to keep us on our toes. Haig is still developing as a novelist, and readers familiar with his previous books will note that Haig’s appeal is no longer purely plot driven. Action is still his calling card, but his supporting characters are becoming more fleshed out, his dialogue smoother.


Book Review: David Hagberg’s The Cabal

Another great book by Hagberg.  The book is a fast paced thriller that has you jumping all over the globe trying to keep up with the main character, Kirk McGarvey.  It is at times sad to see what happens to Kirk’s family but overall this is a great book.

In Washington DC, CIA agent Todd Van Buren meets his college friend Washington Post reporter Josh Givens at a D.C. restaurant. Josh mentions to Todd he’s investigating an apparent top secret government cell the Friday Club. He insists the group consists of political and military insiders who from the shadows run the government.

Not long after they depart, two snipers assassinate Todd, who ran the CIA training “Farm” with his wife Elizabeth, as he drives on the Interstate near Fredericksburg, Maryland. A few hours later, assassins murder Josh, his wife and their son in their townhouse. Former CIA Director Kirk McGarvey has no time to grieve the death of his son-in-law. Fuming, he vows to find the killers, their handlers, and their leaders as more people are murdered; some even closer to him.

The latest ultra fast-paced McGarvey thriller is an exhilarating action-packed tale with several twists that even the hero never anticipated. Fast-paced throughout, McGarvey struggles with psychological trauma like none he faced before even when he dealt with a best friend mole inside the agency and staying alive as he climbs the pyramid of the Friday Club hierarchy.

Book Review: Foreign Influence

FOREIGN INFLUENCE is a fast paced, thrill ride into the world of covert ops. Former Navy SEAL Scot Harvath is back, and in fine form.  If you like Vince Flynn you will enjoy this book.  I would recommend reading them in the order that they are written.

Book Review

In Thor’s formulaic ninth Scot Harvath thriller (after The Apostle), the ex–navy SEAL has lost his job with the disbanding under a new presidential administration of the Apex Project, a Department of Homeland Security secret antiterrorist program that didn’t worry about obeying any rules. Fortunately, Harvath lands on his feet with the Carlton Group, funded covertly by the Department of Defense, with an identical mission. After a bus full of Americans is blown up in Rome, Harvath travels to Europe to track down a man known as the Troll, who’s been implicated in the bombing. Meanwhile, John Vaughn, a Chicago cop who somehow moonlights as an attorney for private clients, seeks to identify the Middle Eastern–looking man who ran down a woman with his cab. Predictably, Vaughn uncovers a plot against civilian targets in Chicago. Bumbling CIA agents make members of the secret Carlton Group look even more heroic. Fans of TV’s 24 may enjoy the over-the-top setups, but even they might wish for a little more sophistication.

Book Review: Private Sector by Brian Haig

Here is the 4th book in the Brian Haig series.  I found this book to be gripping.  I could not put it down.  It is a big improvement to the last book I read by Haig (the Kingmaker).  The story really is amazing and for those of us that love a good thriller this is it.

From Publishers Weekly

Haig’s wisecracking J.A.G. attorney Sean Drummond returns for his fourth caper in three years (after January 2003’s The Kingmaker). Unpopular with his military superiors because of his sharp tongue and his tendency to attract trouble, Major Drummond finds himself loaned out to a private law firm. Culper, Hutch, and Westin represents some of the District of Columbia’s most staid, old-line institutions, and Drummond begins ruffling feathers from the moment he arrives, though he does prove surprisingly popular with some clients. Meanwhile, a serial killer is taking out attractive young professional women. The first victim is Lisa Morrow, Drummond’s sidekick in Haig’s debut thriller, Secret Sanction, and also a military lawyer working for Culper, Hutch, and Westin. In fact, Lisa’s on her way to meet Drummond when she’s murdered. Chapters from the obsessive killer’s dark perspective alternate with Drummond’s cheeky first-person narration. Not happy with police progress on the case, Lisa’s sister Janet, also a lawyer and a dark-haired beauty, steps forward to help Drummond investigate, even as victims pile up. Both Janet and Drummond prove to be entertaining thorns in the side of crusty police detective Spinelli, the officer in charge of the murder investigation. Haig introduces related subplots featuring corporate greed and criminality, but they don’t have the visceral chills or the sexiness of the serial killer story line. In the end, it’s all about Drummond; though the novel is overlong, the hero’s sharp and devilish style should keep reader interest high until the surprising conclusion.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Review: Bring Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello

I heard about this book from my wife.   This is not the type of book I would normally read.  However, I really enjoyed it and could not put the book down. Michael Tonello’s story held my attention from the first page to the last.  What gripped me was the story of how one man constructed his life – moving across the ocean, creating a business, and enjoying life in the process. I have been recommending this book to my friends.

Here is the official review:

In a funny, whip-smart memoir sure to be a sensation among Vogue and W devotees, erstwhile hair and makeup artist Tonello (now a columnist for chronicles a surprising (even to him!) trans-Atlantic move from Provincetown, R.I. to a city he’d fallen in love with on a short trip: Barcelona, where he knows no one and doesn’t speak the language. Tonello’s initial euphoria dissolves when his new job fails to materialize. To stay afloat, Tonello starts selling items on Ebay with startling results: his first, heart-racing success, a year-old $99 Polo scarf he sold for $430 to a Midwesterner (“I guess he really liked plaid”) makes Tonello an instant believer in the resale capabilities of high-end luxury items. Thus his new trade, and his quest for the Birkin, the “it bag” of all time, famous for its impenetrable waiting list (“What do you mean the waiting list is closed? It’s a waiting list. So I can’t wait?”). After many failed attempts, Tonello plans a weekend drive to Madrid in search of the haute couture holy grail; the result is a both a hilarious raid on fashion’s strongholds and a memoir that satisfies like a novel. Fashion die-hards, and many others, will be delighted from beginning to end.

Book Review: The Kingmaker by Brian Haig

This is the third book I have read by Brian Haig.  I thought it was not as good as the first 2 books The Secret Sanction and Mortal Allies.  Haig’s main character Drummond is just too much of a smartass which starts to become annoying.  However, it is definitely a good read and I would recommend it.

Military lawyer Sean Drummond, the wiseass hero of Haig’s promising new series, ventures into the ’90s aftermath of the Cold War this time out. The rollicking, free-swinging attorney is assigned to defend U.S. Army Gen. William Morrison, a Russian specialist accused of being a Soviet spy for 10 years. Drummond doesn’t particularly want the job. On a professional level, he dislikes traitors. Personally, he resents the pompous Morrison. Complicating matters further, Drummond still carries a torch for Morrison’s sexy wife, who had her pick of the two men years earlier and opted for the one with the higher rank. Despite all the distractions, Drummond hurls himself into the case. The action bounces back and forth in dramatic fashion between Washington, D.C., and Moscow, with Drummond finding nothing but discouragement in both capitals. It is only after two attempts on his life that he begins to suspect that Morrison was framed. Drummond’s tireless investigations eventually put him face to face with a man who has been the driving force behind every Russian ruler in the past 30 years: the so-called Kingmaker. Haig’s third Drummond adventure (after Mortal Allies) rolls along in high spirits, mixing clever cloak-and-dagger tricks, gutsy heroics and edgy, often humorous dialogue. Drummond at times borders on comic caricature-he personally kills five villains, stabbing one fatally in the eye with a ballpoint pen-yet he is easy to root for and fun to watch in action. Remarkably, his smart-alecky personality, expressed in one wisenheimer comment after another, remains fresh from start to finish.

Book Recommendation: Mushroom in the Sand

I just discovered a new author Farsheed Ferdowsi.  Again in the Spy Thriller genre.  The book is well written and a very fun entertaining read.

An Iranian-born physicist living the American dream, Dr. Ross Shaheen is at the top of his game. Between his internationally-recognized nuclear weapons research career at the prestigious Berkeley Lab and his picture-perfect family in the San Francisco suburbs, it’s a good life that can only get better – until he is lured into lecturing before an elite group of scientists in his home country. The 7000-mile trip takes Shaheen back to the land of the lion and the sun, yet it also delivers to Iran’s very doorstep an important American citizen with Top Secret security clearance. Taken captive in a subterranean plant by Amir Meshkin, head of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program, will Shaheen be forced to provide him with the access needed to successfully advance the Iranian nuclear agenda? The answer lies in the twisting plot of espionage and survival, putting to the test not only Shaheen’s secret knowledge but also the very core of his allegiance. If he lives, he could walk away a hero for his country. The question is – which one?

Book Recommendation: Triangle of Deception by Haggai Carmon

I have really enjoyed all of the books of Haggai Carmon.  These are again Spy Thrillers.  I would recommend reading these in the
sequence that they have been written as they tend to build on each other.  This is the 4th book I have read from Carmon and I have greatly enjoyed all of them.

In this book, the main character Dan Gordon goes undercover to infiltrate and destroy an international Hezbollah funding plot. But when his cover is blown he wonders if he-s been a sacrificial lamb for the CIA all along.  The book takes you to Paraguay, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Italy, and Romania.  It is fast paced and a great read.

Book Recommendation: The Damascus Letter–A Spy Thriller

Just discovered a new writer named Daniel Dick.  The Damascus Letter is a super fast paced Spy Thriller.  I highly recommend this book.  If you like writers like Daniel Silva or Vince Flynn you will love this book.

Akil Hassan was the CIA’s top agent inside the Middle East, a natural destined for an illustrious career, until he broke the Agency’s rules. Cast out, his dreams shattered, he’s now being offered a second chance. What he doesn’t realize is that his life is about to be turned upside down, because tomorrow morning a terrorist is going to unleash a group of suicide bombers on New York City killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including a member of Akil’s own family. But the bloodshed, as bad as it is going to be, is nothing compared to what’s coming next. Intelligence out of Baghdad indicates a far deadlier attack is in the works, one involving the highest levels of the Iranian government. In order to stop it, Akil will have to channel his emotions, confront his past, and risk his future by breaking the Agency’s rules all over again. And this time there will be no second chances.

Alex Berenson’s The Midnight House

Alex Berenson is one of the best writers in the espionage genre today. His new book “the Midnight House” is great. It is fast-paced and a great read.

CIA agent John Wells returns, in a cutting-edge novel of modern suspense from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Faithful Spy. Early one morning, a retired CIA operative is shot to death in the street. That night, a former Army Ranger is gunned down at his doorway. The next day, Wells gets a call. Come to Langley. Now.

The victims were part of a ten-member interrogation team that operated out of a secret base in Poland called the Midnight House. For almost two years, they put the screws to the toughest jihadis, men thought to have knowledge of imminent threats. The interrogators used whatever means necessary. When they were disbanded, they were given medals for their heroism, Prozac for their nightmares. Now Wells must find out who is killing them. Islamic terrorists are the likeliest explanation, and Wells goes underground in Cairo to seek them out. But the trail of blood he follows will lead him and his boss, Ellis Shafer, to a place they wouldn’t have imagined—and leave Wells facing the hardest of questions about the men of the Midnight House.