I’m off to summer camp this coming Saturday, two weeks in the forest with a bunch of wild, rambunctious Czech kids. We’ll be doing drama, swimming and hiking, scaring each other with ghost stories and taking scary midnight walks in the woods. In my free hours, I’ll be reading a couple of fun crime novels that I’ll be reviewing shortly here at Crime Scene Reviews. Both books on my short list are taken from Book Club Reading List.
The first on the list is Thomas Sawyer’s Cross Purposes and here’s a blurb to whet your appetite:
Manhattan Private Investigator Barney Moon can hack, charm or con his way into or out of damned-near anything. Barney is driven — to solve cases, nail bad guys, and to anyplace not reachable via the NY Subway. Barney never learned to drive. And, like most born/bred New Yorkers, he regards pretty much anywhere else as “Out-of-Town.” But there is one place for which he has a particular, lifelong aversion: Los Angeles, California (which he thinks of as an Alien Planet). And — guess where he finds himself stranded? In CROSS PURPOSES, a case takes the reluctant Barney and his driver, Al Drobowsky to Los Angeles to obtain a single fingerprint. Things quickly get complicated. That night, of what by then seems sure to be only two in Tinseltown, Al learns he must immediately return to Brooklyn. Next morning, Barney notices his rented car being hot-wired by a young woman. Pragmatically, in exchange for not having Melodie Seaver arrested, he enlists the gorgeous 18-year-old Southern California delinquent to drive him around for — at most — one day. Except that things quickly escalate for this comically ill-matched pair, into murders, conspiracies, and mortal danger. Very fortuitously, the Good News for Barney: Melodie’s driving skills are awesome. Together, our off-the-wall team narrowly survives, and solves the complicated mess they’ve stumbled into.
The second book is Manipulation by Australian screenwriter, Dawson Howard. This one tickled my fancy because it involves a special forces soldier trekking through the desert seeking spiritual enlightenment. I thought, well, that’s a twist, but why not? I’ll give it a go.
The Australian desert.
Wade Ross, Special Forces soldier, has been trekking through the sandy wasteland of Australia on a journey of spiritual enlightenment.
That is, until he is shot by a 7.62mm SLR.
Ducking for cover and hastily bandaging his wound, he knows that the rifle-men are still out there.
They were his assassins.
It is time to return to civilisation and determine who these men work for, why they want to kill him and how he can find and destroy them first.
Ross will need assistance from Stefan, the French Foreign Legionnaire who works on undercover missions out of his disguised fishing boat in the Darwin harbour. On board is Crystal Cartos, a US Navy helicopter pilot and Ross’s new partner.
Their investigations lead them to a possible lead: Samantha Cooper, the older sister of ex-Vice President Daniel Cooper. Cooper could inherit the family’s millions and has a large stake-holding in the world’s diamond houses. With such money, comes great power…
Can Ross track down his assassins before they find him?
When those close to him begin to get hurt, the mission changes. It is no longer about survival, but revenge.
‘Manipulation’ is a fast-paced international thriller that transports readers from the deserts of Australia and Israel to the coast of Porto Cervo and the lakes of Geneva.
‘Action packed.’ – Tom Kasey, best-selling author of ‘Trade Off’.
Dawson Howard, born in 1959, lives with his lovely wife in Brisbane, Australia. Having served as a teenage soldier he spent most of his working life in the construction industry. Drawing on his military experiences and association with the Australian Aboriginals, his debut novel introduces Wade Ross, an ex-SAS soldier, highly regarded among secret service agents. Having completed the second of his Wade Ross series, he is now focused on a psychological / action thriller.
I’ll be back from camp in about three weeks and hope to have reviews up about these two entertaining summer reads, plus lots more.