Sandstorm

sandstormDebut novels like Alan L. Lee’s SANDSTORM are what makes reviewing books fun. This novel drops the reader right into the thick of it as a longtime CIA operative is gunned down in her home. Why, the reader is not yet given a reason.

Lee then introduces one of his leads in this political globetrotting thriller: CIA operative Nora Moss, who receives a package addressed to a code name which means that the shit has certainly hit the fan. The package is packed with notes and what might be a conspiracy that goes very high up.

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Masaryk Station

masarykstationDavid Downing’s sixth entry in the John Russell series, MASARYK STATION, almost seems to wrap up the remarkable post-war career of intelligence agent Russell. He is a CIA agent, but in an effort to save his family, he has also accepted as paymaster the Russian intelligence agency NKVD. He is a double agent working both sides.

His Soviet controller, Shchepkin, is aware of this. Both men are weary of the cloak-and-dagger stuff and are trying to find a way to escape their respective bosses. They may have found the answer.

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EURO COMICS ROUNDUP >> Largo Is Key

largowinchLARGO WINCH is a globetrotting adventure series of the classic kind, set in the modern-day corporate world. These books are full of spectacular action where a ruggedly handsome action hero, surrounded by beautiful and capable women engage in worldly affairs of the super-rich, inevitably leading into extreme danger, daring and derring-do. 

The series is written by XIII creator and all-about Franco Belgian comic genius Jean Van Hamme and illustrated with casual mastery by Philippe Francq.

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No Show

noshowSimon Wood is one of the current thriller writers whose books I always enjoy. NO SHOW, his latest, is more of the same, with a very clever plot that builds right up to the end.

Terry Sheffield is a brand-new American citizen. He has finally gotten his green card and can’t wait to start his new life with his new wife. But there is a slight problem. When Terry arrives at the airport from the UK after months of being married but apart his spouse, she is nowhere to be found. Chalking it up to traffic or maybe car issues, Terry waits and waits.

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Q&A with THE KING’S DECEPTION’s Steve Berry

kingsdeceptionOne of the top thriller writers of today, Steve Berry is currently on tour (visit steveberry.org for dates) with his new Cotton Malone adventure, THE KING’S DECEPTION. It’s described as a “gripping contemporary political intrigue, Tudor treachery and high-octane thrills.” Here, he talks a little more about the story behind the story.

BOOKGASM: THE KING’S DECEPTION tackles a controversial conspiracy surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s real gender and identity. Do you think it’s real or did you just find it to be a fascinating premise for a novel?

BERRY: I think it’s both possible and fascinating. The most wonderful fiction always has a ring of truth to it. Here, everything centers around the Bisley Boy legend.

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Angel Baby

angelbabyWith only one story collection (DEAD BOYS) and one novel (THIS WICKED WORLD) to his credit, Richard Lange nonetheless has achieved the status of a crime fiction author whose work is revered by mainstream critics and is the recipient of fellowships and awards usually bestowed on far more prolific authors.
 
ANGEL BABY, his second novel and latest work, certainly will add to this noteworthy reputation. It’s a gritty, contemporary and suspenseful story of redemption that calls the readers’ morality into question as they follow the exploits of several varied, yet multidimensional characters.

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Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo: The Complete Flash Gordon Library 1937-41 / Flash Gordon: The Fall of Ming: The Complete Flash Gordon Library 1941-44 

flashgordon-tyrantAlex Raymond’s art in THE TYRANT OF MONGO and THE FALL OF MING is absolutely gorgeous. Each and every panel is like a miniature painting. Much of the imagery is, admittedly, elaborate posing to the “camera” by either the well-muscled and often shirtless Flash or “good girl” Dale Arden gazing longingly in 1930 and ’40s skimpy outfits.

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IMPORTANT >> Authors Love Teachers OK Tornado Relief Auction

authorsloveteaschersOn May 20, the city of Moore, Okla. (part of the Oklahoma City metro area in which BOOKGASM is located), was decimated by an EF5 tornado that killed 24 people, including seven children hunkered down at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Briarwood Elementary School also was among the hardest-hit areas.

To help the teachers of Plaza Towers and Briarwood restock the school supplies they lost (much of which comes out of their own pockets), our sister site of Buzz Books USA has organized the Authors Love Teachers OK Tornado Relief Auction, and BOOKGASM is a co-sponsor.

Starting today and ending June 30, you have the opportunity to bid on autographed books and bundles graciously donated and signed by roughly two dozen authors, and every penny earned will be used to purchase school supplies on the teachers’ wish list. Shipping is free.

You can see the full list here, but BOOKGASM readers might find these items of particular interest:
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s TWO GRAVES and GIDEON’S SWORD
Max Allan Collins’ “Butcher’s Dozen Book Box” including ROAD TO PERDITION, ROAD TO PURGATORY, ROAD TO PARADISE, KISS HER GOODBYE, THE BIG BANG, STRIP FOR MURDER, A KILLING IN COMICS, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU and many more!
• Ed Gorman’s BAD MOON RISING, CAGE OF NIGHT and FOOLS RUSH IN
Lou Berney’s WHIPLASH RIVER and GUTSHOT STRAIGHT
William Bernhardt’s CAPITOL BETRAYAL, CAPITOL DEFENSE and CAPITOL CONSPIRACY

Other authors include such best-sellers as Lily Koppel, Jane Porter, Beth Hoffman and Julia London. We hope you’ll bid — and bid generously — or at least spread the word!

The Lucifer Glass

LuciferGlassI did not like Frazer Lee’s THE LUCIFER GLASS. And I don’t really like to write negative reviews, but a flat “nope” won’t cut it here.

The novella (clocking in at a padded 51 pages) tracks one Daniel Gates, a “fixer” who can help varied clients “get whatever they wanted … at a price.” (In a typical move illustrating my almost-immediate readerly resistance, I scribbled here in the margins, “Isn’t that a finder, not a fixer?”) He delivers the strange mirror of the title to a corpulent corporate hack, who immediately re-hires Gates to track down “The Zero Malt,” a whiskey so rare and perfect that even a sniff will stick in one’s memory ever after.

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The Namesake

namesakeConor Fitzgerald’s third novel featuring Italian police Commissario Alec Blume, THE NAMESAKE, has Blume investigating the world of organized crime. An innocent businessman is murdered just because he has the same name as a famous magistrate. The murdered man is placed to scare the magistrate, but the intimidation does not work.

Blume and the magistrate believe the crime has been committed by one Agazio Curmaci, a leader of the ‘Ndrangheta. Blume then makes a seriously misguided decision to move along the investigation by deliberately falsifying a confession from Curmaci’s wife, putting the woman and her children in instant danger.

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