The Mask by Dean Koontz

The Mask by Dean Koontz

The Mask by Dean Koontz

The Mask by Dean Koontz is completely out of the norm for me. I’ve never been one for scary books or movies. Watching Boris Karloff in the film The Mummy as a child, really did finish me off! Actually, if you ever want to see a true classic, way ahead of its time, then I can thoroughly recommend it for a fright night! But given the  current Covid-19 virus obsession with ppe such as gloves and face masks, I thought that I would give it  a go.

Also, I really enjoyed The Eyes of Darkness, again by Dean Koontz, which is eerily close to and some would say foretells the current Wuhan virus pandemic.

An enigmatic teenager with no family or discernible past suddenly appears amid busy traffic right in front of Carol’s car. She seems to have no memories.

Paul and Carol, feel an intense connection to the girl who they call Jane. They had no daughter and she filled an empty void in their lives.

But all is not as it seems!

Horrifying sounds in the night-time, gripping fear and a blood covered face in a mirror add to a terrible sense of dread and a sense of being haunted by something or someone!

Who was this girl, was she a victim in need of their protection or was there something darker in the terrible chain of events!

As I said, this scary genre is not for me, but for those wanting something to make the hairs stand up on the back of their necks then Dean Koontz is a writer par excellence and The Mask is well worth the read! Especially in this surreal time of people who buy and are wearing protective face coverings, face masks, gloves and even in one case a plastic bin on their head- but frankly – who could blame them! In this time of empty cities and scared people, it seems so very like a Hollywood virus film, but one we would rather not all be starring in!

For me however, I’ll stick to Koontz’s other works within the genres I prefer or I will try a Tom Clancy or a Lee Child novel for a change of scenery. Happy reading!

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Midnight Line by Lee Child is another in the Jack Reacher series. I sometimes have to wonder how he comes up with some of his diverse and compelling ideas – but then I think who cares, as long as I get to read them.

Jack Reacher looks into the window of a Mid-western town pawn shop and is surprised to see a West Point class ring. It dates from 2005. So hard to come by, it seems sad and strange that it would be pawned.

Reacher had been to West Point and he couldn’t imagine someone willingly giving something such as this up – if it was willingly.

It belonged to a female cadet who had graduated.

Reacher suspects the ring may have been stolen. Reacher interrogates the pawnbroker who says that the ring was sold to him by Jimmy Rat. He’s a biker who is also a nasty bit of work. Reacher ‘deals with’ the biker’s only to find out that the West Point ring had previously been in the possession of Arthur Scorpio, a fence who also has a laundromat in Rapid City, South Dakota. Reacher knows that Rat will have told Scorpio about him.

Reacher arrives in Rapid City and comes across a detective called, Gloria Nakamura. She has been tracking Scorpio and has tried to build a case against him with little success.

Reacher also meets a private investigator called Terrence Bramall. The PI had been hired by a woman called Tiffany Jane Mackenzie. She was desperate to find her sister, who was, he finds out, the owner of the ring. Her name being, Serena Rose Sanderson.

Reacher tricks Scorpio’s men into abducting him before he show’s them who’s boss! Eventually Arthur Scorpio gives Reacher a name – Seymour Porterfield. Reacher finds that this was the man who gave Scorpio the ring. But Scorpio has sent someone to kill Reacher.

He is consumed with a desire to find the owner of the ring. He tracks her across America to the west and on to a town called Mule Crossing in Wyoming. The plot is a real rollercoaster with crooks, illegal drugs and pharmaceutical companies with little in the way of ethics.

But as always this comes with a price as he tackles dishonest cops, bikers, thugs and a whole host of villains.

The Midnight Line is Lee Child’s twenty-second Jack Reacher book and was released in 2017.

Lee Child is one of the foremost writers of fiction around today and it’s easy to see why.

 

Die Trying by Lee Child

Die Trying by Lee Child

Die Trying, a novel featuring Major Jack Reacher, written by Lee Child.

 

Lee Child’s second novel, Die Trying, was published in 1998 featured Jack Reacher, centre stage, once more.

Whilst working as a doorman in Chicago Reacher becomes caught-up in the kidnapping of Holly Johnson, an FBI agent. She is also the daughter of a US Army general who is serving as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  They are both bundled into a truck and driven across the States for a reason and to a location unknown to them. Holly’s FBI colleagues take some time to notice her missing but then begin to try to piece together her movements and what has happened to her.

Reacher and Holly find on arrival in a remote part of Montana that they are being held by  the Montana Militia, whose leader is Beau Borken.

The intricate plot involves not only an FBI mole in the militia who has infiltrated them, but also a traitor within the FBI who supplies Borken information.

The President, fearful of another Waco type media catastrophe, does not want an outright assault and wishes the matter to be handled sensitively and carefully by the FBI and Army.

The novel is very well plotted and has the ability to keep the reader hooked and guessing. Lee Child is a true master of his craft. I found the novel immensely difficult to put down.

The Jack Reacher character, first introduced by Lee Child in Killing Floor, is sure to become an enduring hero in the mould of James Bond.

Buy Die Trying now on AMAZON:

Killing Floor by Lee Child

Killing Floor by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel.

Killing Floor by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel.

I decided to read the debut novel by Lee Child, Killing Floor, as I had heard so many people speak of this writer in good terms. I am glad I did. The book was utterly unputdownable….is that a word – who cares, it is certainly an experience!

Bieng a first novel it is all the more remarkable, very engaging and great character development.

Killing Floor follows the exploits of one Jack Reacher and it cuts straight to the action. Reacher is a wanderer and a former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps.

He gets off a Greyhound bus and walks many miles into the town of Margrave in Georgia, USA. He is interested in the death of a musician named Blind Blake who died there many years before. In a diner, shortly after arriving he’s arrested for murder. He is interviewed by a detective called Finlay and he tries to prove he was not the murderer. A phone number is found in the dead man’s shoe and Finlay calls it and cons a man into telling him his name, that of a Mr. Hubble. Hubble is brought into the police station for questioning and he  cracks, confessing to the murder. Reacher, however, is sceptical. Reacher and Hubble are then sent to the state prison. Reacher averts an attempt on his life, which was intended for Hubble. two days later, Roscoe, a police woman to whom Reacher is attracted, proves……

Well if you want the rest you will just have to read Killing Floor. But don’t just believe me…this really is top fiction from Lee Child and here is a list of the awards it has won already:
Awards and nominations
1998 Dilys Award nominee
1998 Anthony Award winner, Best First Novel
1998 Barry Award winner, Best First Novel
1998 Macavity Award nominee, Best First Mystery Novel
2000 Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize winner, Best Translated Novel

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Happy reading!