Showing posts with label Tom Schwartz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Schwartz. Show all posts

Monday, 7 November 2011

Book Review: Wrongly Accused (Jack Shepherd Book 1) by Tom Schwartz

Wrongly Accused: Jack Shepherd Mystery Thriller Series, Book 1I read the second book in this series, Fourth Reich Rising, back in September. Upon reading my comments author Tom Schwartz promptly offered me a copy of the first book so I could see how the tale started.

Author Jack Shepherd is driving home from a meeting with his publisher when two cops mistake him for a big league drug dealer. Looking to retire on a high they use an unauthorised procedure to force him to stop, and when Jack, thinking he is being car-jacked, goes for his mobile phone one of the officers opens fire. Events unravel quickly and the officers, realising they have wrongly identified him, re-write events and falsify evidence to cover themselves. Jack was over the legal limit for alcohol and he pleads guilty to a lesser offence with a view to reducing his sentence. While he is inside he befriends a savvy repeat offender and manages to negotiate life on the inside with only the odd hitch. One of those hitches is an attack by another inmate who mistakes Jack for the same drug dealer, and when he calls Jack by another name events start to become clearer.

While I couldn't be entirely sympathetic towards Jack, because of his drunk driving, details of his time in prison and the overall impression of his character was of a good man who had made a heck of a mistake but been labelled an attempted cop killer and had his name further tarnished thanks to the officers involved. Having read the second book it was interesting to find out more about Jack, wife Judi and other characters including successful lawyer Maggie.

This wasn't a particularly short book, going on the number of locations on the kindle, but I raced through it. It was an easy and enjoyable read that I completed in a day or so. I particularly liked reading about Maggie's team's efforts to clear Jack's name and liked the portrayal of the hierarchy found in the prison.

In places I found it a little too much tell and not enough show but all told really enjoyed this book which ends with all the threads brought together, along with a nice summary of what happens to the main characters next.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*

Friday, 9 September 2011

Book Review: Fourth Reich Rising by Tom Schwartz

Fourth Reich Rising (Jack Shepherd Mystery Thrillers)Sometimes reading a book at a particular point in time heightens its impact, and that was definitely the case with this one. Unwilling to accept the defeat of Hitler's Third Reich the children of members of his inner circle plan to use their children to reignite the flame and bring about the reign of the Fourth Reich. A key part of their plan to rise to power is bringing the USA to war with Islamic countries and heightened racial tensions by carrying out a major terrorist attack on New York on the anniversary of 9/11 and laying the blame at the feet of Al Qaeda.

This book had a particular resonance reading it approaching the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and it felt quite strange reading some of the book on the days the events were meant to be taking place. Sadly, but not entirely unexpectedly I turned on the news this morning to see alert levels have been raised in the US because of a credible threat. I just hope to God we never see a repeat of the events of almost ten years ago!

The book is written from two main perspectives, that of the members of the new Aryan Way Party and that of an assembled group on cruise ship Oceanic who find themselves as the last line of defence against the weapon the Fourth Reich is planning to unleash. As I read I felt that I got a better feel for the group trying to unleash hell than I did for the good guys. It seemed an unusual approach, but since finishing the book I have discovered that this is not the first book of the series, the Jack Shepherd Mystery thrillers, so I imagine had I read the previous book first I would have been better acquainted with the six or seven main characters in that group.

I think the plot was good, and worryingly plausible, the solution the Oceanic team find is clever, and I really liked the updates about how the attack had affected the East coast at certain intervals after the attack (although in some places where the use of the present tense was adopted it felt a bit out of place with the rest of the book)

Had I been aware of the earlier book or books in the series and read them I think I would definitely have given this 4* but as a stand alone book there was too little characterisation of some of the key players which made me feel something was missing.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 3*