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Choker: An Ike Schwartz Mystery (Ike Schwartz Series) Hardcover – June 5, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Ike Schwartz Series (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (June 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586358
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,821,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ike Schwartz returns to his CIA roots in Ramsey's awkward cozy-thriller hybrid, the fifth in the series to feature the Picketsville, Va., sheriff (after 2008's Stranger Room). While vacationing on the Delaware shore, Schwartz is asked by former CIA comrade Charlie Garland to look into the mysterious disappearance of his niece's fiancé, Nick Reynolds. Reynolds, a pilot and ex-navy man, left an enigmatic voice mail message before he vanished off the radar over the Chesapeake Bay. Schwartz's investigations indicate that Reynolds may have witnessed activities that threaten national security. A Picketsville subplot involving satanic rituals by high school students and missing Communion vessels distracts rather than contributes to the narrative. Ramsay is best when contrasting the smooth professional spies and military men with lively amateurs like the cranky Bunky Crispins, a fiercely independent waterman who shows that it's possible to be a patriot and a rebel at the same time. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In his fourth outing (after Stranger Room, 2008), Sheriff Ike Schwartz of small-town Picketsville, Virginia, is lured away from a long-overdue vacation and back to the CIA. A former colleague at the agency asks Ike to find his niece’s fiancé, whose small plane vanished over Chesapeake Bay months earlier, just after he left an alarming cell-phone message. As Ike puts together pieces of the puzzle with the help of a local waterman, his findings turn alarming, suggesting a terrorist scheme involving stolen Russian missiles that is far beyond the scope of even 9/11. A subplot in which Picketsville Episcopalian priest Blake Fisher fears teenagers are involved in Satanist activities serves to ground the potentially terrifying plot, as do two romances. The result is a high-concept technothriller with a folksy touch and lots of local color, a winning combination that ought to delight Ramsay fans and win new ones. --Michele Leber

More About the Author

Dr. Frederick Ramsay was born in Baltimore. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and received his doctorate in Anatomy from the University of Illinois. After a stint in the Army, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, School of Medicine where he taught Gross and Micro Anatomy and Embryology. Collaborated and did independent research in the immunological system and its relation to cancer. He is the author of several scientific research and general technical articles.
During this time he also pursued studies in theology and in 1971 was ordained an Episcopal priest. After leaving the University, he served two congregations in the Baltimore area full time and several part-time.
He is now retired from full-time ministry and writes fiction.
His first novel, Artscape, was published by Poisoned Pen Press and launched July, 2004. His second, Secrets, (Poisoned Pen Press), was published in August of 2005 and Impulse, July 2006, was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the one hundred best books 2006. He is the author of the Ike Schwartz mysteries, A series beginning with Predators set in Botswana, and a stand alone, religious historical fiction-Judas the Gospel of betrayal.
He is an iconographer, an accomplished public speaker and once hosted a television spot, Prognosis, on WMAR-TV, Baltimore. He currently lives in Surprise, Arizona with his wife and partner, Susan.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Picketsville, Virginia Sheriff Ike Schwartz is relaxing at the Delaware shore on a vacation when a former associate at the CIA Charlie Garland asks for his help. Charlie wants Ike to investigate the disappearance of his niece's fiancé, Nick Reynolds. Charlie agrees to make inquiries though he wonders why Charlie did not go to official channels

A former US Navy pilot, Nick left a strange voice mail message just before he disappeared over Chesapeake Bay. Ike begins to find frightening information that makes the sheriff wonder if the missing aviator observed a threat to national security that required his being eliminated or going underground.

CHOKER is an exciting investigative thriller that freshens up the Schwartz police procedurals (see STRANGER ROOM) with the CIA connection. The story line is superb as Ike delicately balances espionage agents, military brass, and cantankerous civilians. However, when the tale returns to Picketsville where Frank Sutherlin is acting sheriff, the plot loses steam as his inquiry into high school students conducting satanic rites subtracts from the prime investigation. Still with great characterizations and a fascinating main plot, Frederick Ramsay provides readers with an entertaining Ike Schwartz mystery.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on July 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Please, Please, Please religious liberty is covered under the 1st amendment to the United States Constitution, not the the second which covers the right to keep and bear arms. Small point, but it matters. Thanks.
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By Claudette on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like this one. Its the first time we really get the CIA involved since Book #1.

This one starts with a young man, Nick Reynolds, Annapolis Grad and the fiance of Charlie Garlands neice. He's flying over the Chesapeake Bay. He spots something. Takes a picture, leaves a cryptic message on his fiance's phone and disappears off radar. This takes place at night on the 4th of July and fireworks are exploding all over.

A search is made but no plane or body is found.

Charlie contacts a vacationing Ike. Ike is vacationing in the Cheseapeake area minus Ruth and Charlie wants him to look for the plane. He wants to give his neice closure. Ike agrees to give it three weeks. He is, after all, on vacation.

The more Ike investigates, the more unanswered questions he has.

By the time he gets it figured out he needs the help of the CIA, two highly trained Navy SEALS, the FBI, the US Navy and some very, very tough local watermen.

Meanwhile on the homefront Ikes newest and very capable deputy Frank Sutherlin is dealing with Satanic rituals, missing pets, stolen silver from the Stonewall Jackson church, parents who don't want to believe their little darlings can be such idiots, and one idiot of a High School principle. Throw in a sex offender teacher and you get a recipe for a big mess. One Sutherlin and Rev Blake Fisher are trying to nip in the bud before anything really horrendous happens.

One good read with a big surprise for Ruth at the end.

Five stars. Ike rocks.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was fun to read but not particularly memorable. The characters are interesting and it is a good mystery but actually I don't remember any details.
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