Two new thrillers offer varying degrees of exciting entertainment, but each is likely to keep you up reading all night.
"G8" by southeastern Michigan author Mike Brogan (Lighthouse Books, $17.99) is another top-notch, action-packed tale by the award-winning author.
It features Donovan Rourke, a CIA Special Agent, who must try to stop a major assassination attempt at the G8 Economic Conference in Brussels, Belgium.
Even though he's in the domestic division, he's called upon by his superiors (and the President!) to be sure that any deadly attempt will not be successful.
Brogan gets you hooked in the first three short chapters, where the main character's wife and two other of his associates are killed. Soon, Rourke is on the next plane out; most of the action takes place in Brussels and the surrounding countries.
Valek Stahl, also known as Katill, is a clever, cold-hearted, devious assassin who has complicated plans that are already underway. While Katill is being paid a fortune to succeed in the murder of the politicians, he also has his own personal reasons.
Rourke gets assistance from other European authorities and has the help of beautiful translator Maccabee Singh, who has her own share of personal problems.
This is a gripping, adrenalin-charged crime novel with strong, likable characters and nasty, muderous villains. There are numerous close calls and pulse-pounding chase scenes; it's rife with tense suspense and has a violent conclusion. It'd make a great movie!
Brogan has written three other books that are riveting thrillers, "Business to Kill For", "Dead Air", and "Madison's Avenue".
"The Second Letter" by Robert Lane (Mason Alley Publishing, $14.95) is a debut paperback novel that introduces former U.S. Army Special Forces Agent Jake Travis.
Now living in Florida, he's contacted by his former superior to track down and retrieve a 50-year-old Cold War letter that was written by a CIA operative.
It's now in the possession of strip club owner Raydel Escobar, who's trying to blackmail the IRS in exchange for a financial break on his taxes.
With a convoluted plot and a wise-cracking hero, this has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, after a while, the drug dealings and further escalation just become tedious. This is a satisfactory tale, but nothing spectacular.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.
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This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on March 9, 2014.