IRONBEAR REVIEWS


This is not a book report. It is not my function to give an encapsulated version of this novel, name characters, describe events, and reveal the ending. All of that is up to you, should you decide to read it. I decided to, and once or twice I wished I had not made that decision. But it was too late. The One Percenters by John Podgursky wouldn’t let me stop.

 

Mister Podgursky can write. His use of language is masterful. In this novel at least, his style is visceral and demanding, a collage of ins and outs that are unmerciful. It is much like the impending train wreck we don’t want to watch but cannot tear our eyes from. There is a huge amount of honesty in The One Percenters, a peek into a troubled soul whose deeds and actions are only a hair’s breath away from most of us. It is a plunge into the darkness behind the eyes of the guy on the street, the clerk in the store, perhaps even the face in the mirror. The book feels like Podgursky didn’t actually write it, but got rid of it; dumped it out of his brain and then arranged it so the rest of us could get a look at it.

The book is a swirl of love and hate, laughs and lunacy, combined with an honesty that is nearly offensive. It crawls into dark places and crouches there, exposing the reader to things with which he might not want to deal, because he sees glimpses of himself through the gloom. It is not fun. It is, however, compelling. If you’d like a dark and revealing crawl through a twisted mind, this is the ride you’re looking for. John Podgursky does not disappoint.

David R Lewis

Ironbear-ebooks 


First off, let me say the title of this Novel confused me. The Eynhallow Enmity. I assumed Eynhallow was a proper name, but I confess to looking up the meaning of enmity. It was not the only time I tangled with words in this work. The author, Robert Forrester, is a writer living in the United Kingdom. The old saw about “us” and “them” being separated by a common language holds some level of truth, but that was not the basis for my few bits of confusion.


This story, for the most part, takes place in the northern regions of the United Kingdom. While about half of my dubious ancestors hail from Scotland’s Lewis Island, I, alas, am somewhat less than a born and bred Scot. Therefore, some of the dialect confused me a bit, but that’s okay. It confused the hero, Inspector Anderson, too. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate well-written dialect as much as I do well-written dialogue, and Mister Forrester succeeds at both. I find his characters to be handled well also. They are finely drawn, without intruding on the reader’s imagination, and they are not so numerous as to confuse the reader’s experience. The author does not beat you over the head with excess description, but allows you to discover more about the characters as the work progresses. Just like life.

I found the plot and the storyline enjoyable. In these days when “shock and awe” seems to be more important in both motion pictures and novels than content and credibility, Mister Forrester does something unusual. He tells a good story. He is not wordy, complicated, or preachy. He is direct, he is uncluttered, and he speaks to Theatre of the Mind.

The Eynhallow Enmity by Robert Forrester is a good blend of characters and plot, feels real, and is a more than satisfying read. I liked it. A lot.

David R Lewis, Ironbear-Ebooks.com


This book is listed as a #1 New York Times bestseller. That means a bunch of people bought it. Among that throng was my bride. She passed it on to me with a glowing recommendation. I write too much to read a lot, but I took her at her word and jumped in.


I believe that Vince Flynn has done an immense amount of research for his American Assassin series of novels, and that is a good thing. Facts are the backbone of fiction. The acknowledgements in this novel alone cover three full pages. He has populated the book with a swarm of bad guys, not-so-bad guys, good guys and not-so-good guys, to the point that it resembles Saturday afternoon in Yankee Stadium, and he has vested most of them with their own agendas, motivations, and quirks. Now and then, I found that I could not keep up with all the players without a program. In addition to the wide range of characters, the work takes the reader from Langley to Paris to Washington and back again so many times that the surcharge for luggage alone would give even Oprah financial nightmares.

Each of the many main participants in the novel is finely drawn. Mister Flynn has gone to great lengths in letting the reader know why they do what they do and sometimes surprises us with an unanticipated eccentricity. The hero, for instance. Mitch Rapp is a very bad good guy. Top of his class at killing school. Mitch likes it. He likes it so much, he wants his bad-to-the-bone victims to know he’s coming for them. And yet, we suspect mega tough guy Mitch is also in love. He is sneaky, he is crafty, he is sensitive, he is bright, and he has balls. Big ones.

KILL SHOT is a complex and complicated novel, and I am not surprised that a huge number of people enjoyed it. I, however, did not. If there is a fault for that, I certainly don’t blame Vince Flynn. He has done his due diligence with this book. It is an admirable effort of research and development, and he takes the reader into a world that is, I suspect, very close to the sad truth. I also suspect that my shortcomings, not his, are responsible for my struggle with this book. Among other things, I found no humor in it. I fully realize that KILL SHOT should in no way be a comedic effort, but human beings laugh occasionally, even at funerals.

Many years ago I encountered an author named Ian Fleming and his agent, Bond...James Bond. I ate those stories up like corn flakes. KILL SHOT is not corn flakes. It is a labyrinthine buffet with too many offerings, too much selection, and does not concentrate on nourishment. This book was just too convoluted for me. That made it slow. Again, the fault here most probably lies with my palate, and not with Mr. Flynn’s smorgasbord. But, as with the latest Titanic movie, I spent most of my time waiting for somebody to get on with it and sink the damned boat.

One thing though. If I were going to kill someone in a hotel room from close range with two shots to the head, I would not use a silenced 9mm autoloading pistol. The slide and ejector make too much noise. A silenced .22 caliber revolver would work just as well, be very quiet, and not leave any brass lying around.

Just a thought, Mitch.

-David


From the moment I read the first line until the second I devoured the last few words, I was totally submerged in THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES. It was a fun read with a light touch of humor, lovable characters, and plenty of action. Reed has a lot to learn as a detective. However, watching him face the challenges of his first official case was wonderful.

Throw in Cal, the perfect, unwilling sidekick, the Goofball Brothers in the condo below, Willie across the street, and Mom’s random calls (which always came at the worst times) . . .well, just let me say the combination of all of that caused me to end up reading the book in one sitting instead of doing the dishes and the laundry and all the other chores I should have been doing. (Did I mention that work the next day was rather tough, also, since I didn't go to bed at my normal time?) As a matter of fact - I have just purchased the second Reed Ferguson book, REEL ESTATE RIP-OFF, and can't wait to digest it in much the same fashion!

-Sue



THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES

by Renee Pawlish

Great fun. This book has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. The hero, as unlikely as he may be, is Reed Ferguson, a self-depracating newbie to the detective biz that is a bit of a blend of Mike Hammer and Steve Martin. Ms. Pawlish has created some truly enjoyable characters and excellent dialogue here, from the Goofball Brothers to Amanda, the sultry siren, and accepted the challenge of doing it in first person. There are some twists and turns, and even the one or two I saw coming were well worth the wait. The dialogue is munchy, the scenes well-drawn, and the result is a film noir romp. My only complaint is a recent cover change. But, as they say, you can’t judge a book. . .

-David





I love words . . . but words should be used for their power - not to just fill pages.

Words should bring magic to the story (no matter what the genre) . . . make the reader want more and more and more . . . then feel full when the story is over.

Disclaimer: I realize a lot of people totally disagree with the observations I am about to make (my sister-in-law lent me her copy of The Name of the Wind with the announcement that it was her absolutely favorite book).

However . . .

That feeling of satisfaction just didn't happen for me. Instead, I wanted the book to get over. That is not to say there weren't moments. There were. I loved the concept and handling of the story within the story. I admired the main character, Kvothe. I cheered for him; I suffered for him; and I tried (in my mind) to warn him about some of his actions. I even wanted to go to the Eolain and hear Kvothe perform.

I feel this book would have been more powerful - would have me clamoring for the next two days (books) if it would have been edited down. There were places where information was repeated unnecessarily. There were off-shoots that really were not needed. There were characters who were not developed enough to be important to, or worthy of, the story. I know, that may all come in a later book - but if I, as the reader, didn't find anything to make me care about those things now, they don’t motivate me to want to read more. For me, the excess words, underdeveloped characters, and random story-lines kept interfering with the movie trying to play in my head while I was reading. It left me frustrated - and hungry for what could have been.

-Ulva




ANOTHER SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION

Before I can begin this review of Fear of the Father, I must give a bit of background so you all won’t think I am totally biased. Back in 2005 a friend of mine arranged for this guy to come visit me at work - with a signed copy of his first published book - just for little old me. It was about vampires, but I read it anyway. I must admit - I was impressed. The next thing I knew I was in possession of a big binder with an unedited manuscript of another book by this guy. I was told I could read it and do any editing that needed to be done (sounded like work to me, but I liked the guy’s writing style!). However, I didn’t do any editing because I got so caught up in the story - was so busy falling in love with the main character - well, I just didn’t have time for something so mundane as grammar and word choice.

My point in all of this . . . I loved Crockett before I ever became a friend and colleague of David R Lewis. (Seriously, if it wasn’t for Crockett, I wouldn’t like David at all!) Now to Fear of the Father . . .

Hardened, reclusive, and harboring old wounds that fester in his mind, ex-cop David Crockett is surprised to have his friend, Ruby, calling him out of the blue with the question, “Gotta gun?” Thus begins the reuniting of Crockett with the world and the caring man he really is.

As this book unfolds, one is taken into a web of deceit, betrayal, and redemption.The plot twists and turns so even the reader isn’t sure who to trust. Lewis doesn’t miss a beat with the portrayal of his characters as he keeps their dialogue lively, their actions real, their relationships explosive, and their personalities ever growing. Add to that the reality of the violence and the improbability of the love story, and you have a novel you can’t put down until the last words are savored.

-Ulva


To find any of the above books at Amazon, click on the cover.


JUST A NOTE: Books rated at less than 3 "paws" will not be posted on this site.

-David

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