Hawke’s Prey by Reavis Z. Wortham, thriller. This is the first in the Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke series. Ballard, Texas is typical small town west Texas, and not a lot happens there. But the beginning of this book changes that. A terrorist squad shoots up a border patrol stop, then enters Ballard and takes over the Courthouse.
Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke happens to be inside the courthouse, with his school teacher wife, Kelly and her class of high school students, including their twins. The terrorists are an odd bunch, comprised of jihadists, Mexican cartel members and American alt-right militia members. The man in charge put them together in that manner to confound the authorities. The mastermind had a goal, but the guy on the ground in Ballard had a different agenda: terror and control. Expect non-stop action, plenty of shell casings to fly, and because of the 100 year blizzard, plenty of cold and snow. I don’t read much high-action fiction, but I really enjoyed this.
Hawke’s War by Reavis Z. Wortham, thriller. …and this one as well. The second in the series, it picks up shortly after the above described book, and has just as much, perhaps more, action. This time Hawke is lured into an ambush in Big Bend National Park, where he is captured by some of the “bad guys” who escaped in the first book. It’s a grueling time for Texas Ranger Hawke, as authorities search for him and his captors head for the border to deliver him to the vengeful brother of the man Hawke killed in the first book. Tons of action. I liked it even better than the first book and am waiting for book 3.
Billy Boyle by James R. Benn, WWII mystery. This paperback was a freebie way back when Left Coast Crime was in Monterey, CA. I brought it home and stashed it away with the other book bag goodies, and just recently pulled it out to give it a try.
I enjoyed it more than I expected, both character and setting, World War II England, were good, and American Billy Boyle, who was a Boston cop before the draft, winds up as an aide to some guy named Ike. He stumbles his way to a satisfying conclusion to the murder mystery. I may try the next one, which the library has in ebook format.
So how about you?
What have you been reading?
Reavis. An unusual name. Never come across these before. Familiar with Benn, but have never read anything by him. Just finished the new Junior Bender novel by Timothy Hallinan, Nighttown which I enjoyed a lot. One of my current favorite series. Also read The Disappearance of Adele Bateau by Graeme Burnel which reminded me a lot of George Simenon.I liked this a lot also. About have way through Bloody January a first novel by Alan Parks. One of the world noir series from Europa press. It takes place in Glasgow in 1973. A police procedural. Enjoying it a lot so far. Also reading Chrissie Hynde’s autobiography Reckless.
You read interesting books, Steve, what’s your primary source to find new books and reviews?
I get a lot of ideas through certain websites like The Rap Sheet and Crime Fiction Lover. Also from browsing B&N. And from Locus magazine for SF/F.
The Wortham books sound interesting, if not your usual reading (which is a good thing). I liked BILLY BOYLE enough to read four or five of them, but then lost interest and haven’t gone back since. THere is always something more pressing that is ahead of Benn on my list. I did read the first JUnior Bender book (re Steve’s comment) and definitely intend to continue with the next…at some point.
I was sick most of last week, and for several days didn’t manage anything but a short story by O. Henry (I’m reading HEART OF THE WEST now). BUt I did read MISSING, PRESUMED by Susie Steiner, the very good first novel in her Sgt. Manon Bradshaw series. A post-graduate student, whose father is a Royal Surgeon, disappears from her house, leaving the door open and her car outside. As time goes on it seems less likely that she is still alive, but then where is the body. Manon is an interesting character and I’ll read the next one.
A friend recommended Stephen King’s short (very short for him) ELEVATION and I raced through it quickly. The fact that it is dedicated to Richard Matheson and the main character’s name is Scott Carey should give many of you a hint about the story line, which is set in Castle Rock. Good one.
I did start the new Jack Reacher by Lee Child, PAST TENSE, which is set in New Hampshire, and I downloaded the second K-9 book by Margaret Mizushima, STALKING GROUND, from the library.
Again, regrets on your being sick, Jeff. Barbara just read that King, thought it lacked much meat in the way of plot and didn’t have a resolution. I mean, just float away? She has that Child here from the library, but is reading Grisham’s THE RECKONING now. I am just finishing Louise new one, KINGDOM OF THE BLIND. Very good indeed. Next on my stack is a Christie.
The Benn novels seem to be very popular. I think I have a few hanging around here somewhere but they are pretty low on my radar. I, am much more interested in Wortham, an author (an series) new to me.. Thanks for the tip, Rick.
I only chalked up three books this week. Richard Matheson’s ABU AND THE 7 MARVELS (my FFB this week) is a delightful children’s oriental fantasy with equally delightful illustrations by William Stout. F. Paul Wilson’s MIDNIGHT MASS is the author’s vampire novel and raises serious scientific questions about the nature of these undead. (Hint: The questions are never answered.) A very good read, even though it’s not your favorite genre. Finally, Megan Abbott’s early novel THE SONG IS YOU is an interesting look at Hollywood and LA in the late Fifties and early Sixties. The book was as excellent as I had expected it to be.
I’m currently reading Sophie Hannah’s third Hercule Poitot novel THE MYSTERY OF THE THREE QUARTERS. Coming up is Mike Lupica’s first outing with Robert B. Parker’s Sunny Randall.
Have a great week, my friend.
Thanks, Jerry. I have that Abbott, but haven’t read it. Yet. Is that the Lupica who was/is a sports writer?
Yes, same Lupica.
Those two thrillers by Reavis sound worth a try. I did read the first Billy Boyle book and have one more but haven’t gotten to it yet.
In the last week, I finished reading Bruno Chief of Police by Martin Walker and liked it a lot. The problem is now I want to read the next book right away. After that I read Dead Sand, the first book by Brendan Dubois. I had just heard about his books in the last couple of years, and now I want to read that series too. That is the bad thing about discovering new authors.
Now I am reading Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg and I started Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman. Only a couple of chapters into that one.
I have Lee Child’s PAST TENSE in the On-Deck circle. Diane has KINGDOM OF THE BLIND at the top of her book stack. She’s finishing up EDUCATED by Tara Westover for her Book Club. AMAZON has delivered a bunch of books, but I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading them. Our friend, Cindy, who had a stroke just before Thanksgiving, is coming to stay with us while a contractor remodels her two bathrooms.
Richard, I’m putting the two (or at least the first) Reavis Z. Wortham thrillers on my list for 2019. They are my kind of fiction.