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Morgan Cahall "so many books so little time" RSS Feed (Delaware, USA)
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Brute Orbits
Brute Orbits
by George Zebrowski
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.66
5 used & new from $11.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Brute Orbits: They sent away the good, the bad, and they ugly. They had no idea what they lost., September 7, 2014
This review is from: Brute Orbits (Paperback)
This is the story of the Rocks and the "long orbits". In the not to distant future the rising costs of the correctional system, and the rising populace of those incarcerated within, has the countries of the world looking for new ways and places to deal with those that cannot follow the rules of the society that they live in.

An answer comes in the form of an asteroid that narrowly misses hitting the Earth. While it didn't hit the Earth it was close enough were it could be easily caught and mined. This led to a faster expansion into near earth space and more asteroids were captured that could be "near misses" . Eventually someone had the idea of moving prisons up to the moon and then to the asteroids themselves. This allowed the governments of the world to ship their criminals somewhere "out of sight and out of mind".

The idea of the "long orbit" sentences met little resistance and the first Rock was launched outward with a group of all male prisoners that were convicted of violent offenses such as assault and murder. Their sentence was a fifty year orbit. Unknown to the prisoners, and the general populace, there orbit is miscalculated and these men are given a death sentence. With only a few knowing this however the Rocks continue to be launched. Some adhere to the to the original idea, some are used to get rid of those who disagree with various administrations and some are used to get rid of those that have mental problems. For the most part these Rocks have a miscalculated orbit.

Fast forward in time and the first Rock comes back fifty years after it was supposed to. Only ghosts observe a earth that has changed so much from the planet they left over a hundred years before and only silent remains greet those who come to investigate the fate of those on the Rock.

The peoples of Earth have come far in dealing with the issues that those sentenced to the Rocks represented. While not a perfect future for the most part a squabbling humanity has settled down and now focuses more finding ways to get along and expanding humanity's knowledge. There are those who wonder though what happened to the populace on other Rocks and whether they now differ greatly from the main branch of humanity.

Soon a expedition is created to find the remaining rocks and determine what happened to the prisoners on board. What they find will show them that the human race may not have made as much progress as it thought.

-*--*-

I've had this book for a while, but for some reason or another I never got around to reading it until now. In a way though I'm glad I didn't read it when I got as I was more into to action heavy books and would have probably skimmed through it without really reading the story. Don't get me wrong though, there are still a few parts that I skimmed through that were kind of dense but over all the story moves at a good pace as it bounces between the different characters that end up on the rocks and the guy who for the most part ends up putting them there. The really interesting part of the story comes toward the middle when a hundred years have passed and Earth rediscovers the Rock's and starts to investigate the fate of the prisoners.

The story does ask some interesting questions and it's conceivable that one day we will have "space prisons" of some sort. It also makes sense that some people would decide that out of sight is better coupled with out of mind. At the end of the book the author also discusses the research that he did for the book and gives references for several books that examine ideas that are presented in the story and also gives several examples of similar situations throughout history that are similar to the story. If your looking for a sci-fi book that asks some interesting questions and is not entirely reliant on violence and explosions and takes a futuristic look at an idea / practice that has been around for a while then you might enjoy giving this a read. m.a.c


No Other Gods
No Other Gods
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars No Other Gods: A solider fights endless battles for the gods, until he begins to question which side he is fighting for., August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: No Other Gods (Kindle Edition)
Geno and his fellow soldiers have fought endless battles day after day since before they can remember. Each battle is different and the battle field can range from primitive times to the far future. When the battle is done they wake up back at the gathering hall where all the wounds they receive are gone and all those that died during the battle are miraculously resurrected. They are then greeted by a being they know as the god Hermes. Hermes congratulates the victors and then informs all of the soldiers of what they can expect in the next battle.

This cycle has repeated for as long as any of the soldiers can remember. Until after one battle Hermes seems to take a interest in Geno for some reason. While cryptic, Hermes indicates that Geno and his fellow soldiers have been training to fight a war against an enemy that is trying to wipe them from existence and will do anything to do so, even alter history. Soon afterward Geno begins to have visions of a life he never remembers living and the battles he and his fellow soldiers fight suddenly become a lot less random and a lot more deadly.

Between a scheming "god", a treacherous memory, and the line between friend and foe blurring; the only people that Geno can trust are the surviving members of his team. If Hermes is not what he seems then who has Geno been fighting and who is the true the enemy?

-*- -*-

This was a decent read that reminded me of another book called Fortress on the Sun by Paul Cook and a few other books in the same vein. The story moves at a quick pace and for the most part doesn't have to many "movie logic" moments. There is enough of a twist in the story that keeps it interesting till the end. The story is more action / adventure than Science Fiction, so expect plenty of explosions and not too much thinking on the mysteries of the universe. Which, when I got to the ending made sense from the characters point of view. Still it would have been interesting to see what effect the war they had been fighting actually had on history. I recommend this book to any one who likes action / adventure, science fiction, and is looking for a fast paced story. m.a.c


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Xbox 360
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Xbox 360
Price: $18.03
33 used & new from $17.88

4.0 out of 5 stars DD:Dark Arisen: An interesting story, an interesting game, and worth playing if you can get past a few missteps., July 12, 2014
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
You are a simple fisherman living in a remote village untroubled by what goes on in the outside world. Cassidris has been your home ever since you were taken in by Quina and her family as a child. You have never felt the need to leave your village and the rumors of returning dragons and marauding monsters rarely trouble your ears or your dreams.

One day you are going about your daily routine when you see the sky darken and the ground is shaken by explosions and the landing of a massive beast on the beach. You see Quina fall and without thinking you rush in and urge her onto safety. With the raging dragon raining destruction down on the only home you have ever known you decide that any action is better than nothing. You grab a sword from a fallen solider and rush forward and stab the dragon in the leg, if nothing else hoping to distract it so more villagers can escape.

For your efforts you are awarded with a body shattering blow that leaves you laying in the surf, unable to move. With your fading vision you see the dragon lumbering toward you for what you assume is the final blow. Instead the dragon reaches down with its claw and you feel like your chest is on fire as you see what appears to be your heart floating out of your body and into the creature's mouth.

Sometime later you awake in your home. You could believe it was all a dream except for the massive scar that is on your chest and the strange vision you had of the dragon challenging the Arisen, you, to find him and defeat him if you can.
Your quest begins with only questions. Why were you chosen to challenge the dragon? What are the Arisen? If you are a savior, why does the king treat you more like a villain? What will it take to be free of the dragons curse?

You will find answers to these questions and more during your journey. In the end only one question will remain:

Which freedom will you chose?
_*_ _*_
I picked this game up because I am a fan of games that let you explore, go on quests and generally allow you to get lost in another world for awhile. I played the original version and was put off by some of the rough edges that I found while playing it. When I heard that the game was being re-released I decided to give it a second try. While there are a few remaining rough edges, for the most part the game is much more playable in the second version.

Here's the break down:

Story:
The story in this game is your pretty standard hero chosen to save the world fare. Except there are enough differences that it is still enjoyable to play and I will say that the ending of the game is.... different. It almost makes me want to play it again just to see how they play with the ending to the game. Without giving away too much... lets just say history repeats itself. If you beat the game you'll get why this is interesting.

Also it is easy to miss bits of the story if you are not paying attention. My best suggestion is to talk to everyone and check the message boards to make sure that your not missing out on any extra story missions. This is especially true of escort missions as they seem to pop up randomly and disappear after moderate amount of time. If you miss enough or do not do enough missions the story may seem to be a little thin and the end game may seem a little vague as the game fills in come choices for you here and there.

The story in the expansion is self contained and is somewhat interesting. By the time I got to that section I was ready to move on to another game so I did not finish it. I can say that it ties into the ending of the main game as it asks the question of what would happen if a Arisen asked for what it would take to end the cycle and was given the power to do so... except that would have meant destroying what he cared for the most.

Graphics:
To me they looked good. Apparently by installing the Dark Arisen content you get access to the HD texture pack which makes everything look a lot better. The game overall looks good and there are a lot of details in the characters and the environments. While not up to Skyrim or Call of Duty standards, they do the job.

Game Play:
This part is a little tricky. The game works well enough, it just does not always explain things very well. So if you don't mind playing around to figure out how exactly it all works then it wont be a problem. If on the other hand you like everything explained then you may get frustrated.

This version of the game addresses a couple of major complaints with the original. There is now a version of fast travel in the game where you can set your own fast travel points. Unfortunately there is still a lot walking around to get from a to b as you are not given very many warp crystals to place, not to mention the fact that you actually have to walk to where your going to begin with. This isnt as much of a problem as the game goes on though. The next issue that was improved was the save system as the auto save was made more frequent and an ability to save from the pause screen was added by hitting the back button. This does save time as there is not as much menu digging.

There is also a Dark Souls like multi-player function in this game in the form of pawns that your character can summon. I can't really say much about it as I was playing this game way after its release, but is is kind of neat as you can summon up to two characters that other players have created and have them fight with you. When you rest your pawn information is sent to the server for others to use, if they chose your pawn to fight they can chose to send it back with a gift if they like the character you created Or if you don't want to use the online functionality the game creates random pawns that you can summon as well.

Conclusion:

This is a huge game that does have a lot to offer and if you like wandering around, finding secrets, and taking down giant monster's Ico style then this might be a game to check out. Just make sure you pick up the Dark Arisen because it does smooth over a lot of the rough edges from the original. m.a.c


Micro: A Novel
Micro: A Novel
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.99
388 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Micro: Inner space in the jungle., June 29, 2014
A mysterious company, Nanigen, is making some of it's investors nervous with rumors about it's unstable and ruthless CEO. A local private investigator is hired to see what he can find out about what is going on inside the company and if there is any truth to the rumors that the company CEO may be up to no good. The PI gains access to the companies building but doesn't find anything at all really, or so he thinks.

A few days later the PI, his boss, and another man are found dead in a office that was locked from the inside. They look like they were attacked with a knife or some kind of blade, but no weapon is found.

Meanwhile Peter Jansen receives a visit from his brother, Eric, who is ready to reveal the company he has been working for. It turns out that Nanigen is hiring and he wants to know if Peter would like to come out to Hawaii and listen to what the company has to say. He also extends the offer to Peter's coworkers. They all agree to go out and begin to make preparations for the trip.

Right before Peters is leaves he is informed that his brother has vanished in a boating accident and that a company representative will be waiting for him when he arrives. This is after he receives a strange text from his brother which simply reads "Don't Come". Worried and confused Peter heads out to Nanigen to see if he can find out what happened to his brother.

After he arrives his concerns are confirmed when he finds that his brother may have been "hushed" up in order to hide some of Nanigens secrets. Peter decides to take matters into his own hands and bring Nanigen to justice. What he didn't count on was that the CEO of Nanigne would go to any legnths to make sure that his secrets would only go to the highest bidder. That includes making sure that his "little" problem stays that way.

_*_

I found this book interesting. It was completed after Crichton's death by Richard Preston. I figured this would be a good read since I like Preston's stories as well. For the most part the story does work overall. It just seemed to me that it was easy to tell what Crichtion had actually written and what was basically filled in from an outline of the story that he was going to write.

This also happens with the characters as a few of them seem to be a list of personality traits that were checked off so that the story could keep going. Kind of like the beginning, middle, and end of the story were written but he never got to go back and fill in all the details that would have made the characters "gel" with the story better.

Overall I liked the book, in some parts the story really moves and in other parts it seems like Preston may have been told to just go with what materials he had and not alter the story too much, just make sure that it still made sense. There is one big twist that I did not see coming, but beyond that this book is really just by the numbers. Give it a read if you Crichton or if you are looking for a decent adventure with a few Science Fiction elements thrown in. m.a.c


Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives (Scientific Search for Proof of Past Lives)
Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives (Scientific Search for Proof of Past Lives)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $10.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Old Souls: A doctor spends a lifetime studying reincarnation, May 31, 2014
Tom Schroder was doing a story on a rather unusual subject. His editor has sent hem to interview a doctor that was publishing a new book in the field of reincarnation. While the doctor focused more on using hypnosis to help his patients recall past lives, he mentions another doctor by the name of Ian Stevenson that uses a more hands on approach to studying the phenomenon. He also mentions that the doctor has been studying the field for over forty years. Tom files the information away and writes his story and then moves on.

Except something about the subject interests him and draws him back to it on and off for the next several years. He can't really explain why but he wants to know more. One day he gets his chance when Dr. Stevenson is featured in a news story and says that he is planning to make a final research trip to both India and Lebanon to follow up on some interviews that he conducted twenty years before.

Tom meets with the doctor and explains that he would like to accompany him on his trip to chronicle it and write a book about the experience. The doctor doesn't give Tom an answer right away but does eventually agree to let him go.

Over the next year Tom follows the doctor around as he follows up on old cases and finds a few new ones along the way. Each case has it's merits and also some indications that that the subjects may be making their tale up. Yet Dr. Stevenson keeps on in search of that case that may one day prove that reincarnation is provable.

While Tom provides his take on the adventure at the end it is up to the reader to judge for themselves.

-*- -*-

I came across this book randomly and picked it up because I like to read about the supernatural. This book is definitely different than the usual bump in the night ghost stories I usually read. The author's account is interesting and details the trouble and travails that Dr. Stevens and the group encounters on their journey along with the actual interviews that the doctor conducts. The author is neither for against the idea of reincarnation, which is the approach he keeps throughout the book. He just feels that there might be something there, much like Dr. Stevenson.

The account kept me engaged through much of the book as the author describes very well the conditions found in the countries that they are visiting as well as the details of the interviews. Towards the end of the book the account does slow down a little bit, but that is mostly because the trip has to end eventually. In this case both the doctor and the author return to their homes and the author is left to sum up his feeling on the whole matter.

If you are interested in the paranormal, the phenomenon of reincarnation or the way different cultures view the idea of reincarnation give this book a read. It is definitely a interesting trip. m.a. c


Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
by Steven Levy
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
60 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hackers: The First Computer Revolution., May 14, 2014
Note: There are a lot of players in this story, its history, so I'm not going to go into detail about the who's who that plays a part. Its probably pretty safe to say that if someone had some kind of major to moderate role during this time and was at MIT or at the companies that popped up later, then they are at least mentioned in here somewhere, at some point. It's also important to remember that this was written over twenty years ago so one has to keep that in mind also that there may be information that was found after this was written that changes the stories a little or in some cases a lot.

_*_

This is the story of the first computer revolution. From the strictly controlled first IBM Computers to computer revolution of the 80's.

The story starts off with some of the early players at MIT and follows their early exploits as they fall in love with, and in some cases become obsessed with, the emerging field of computer science. The second part of the book, from the mid 1960's to the end of the 1970's, follows some of the original players and introduces more as people begin to figure out that they may be able to make some money on these clunky boxes if they can figure out how to get people to use them. The third section of the book is set in the beginning of the 1980's to the mid 1980's. This part of the book covers the rise of the software companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Sierra-Online.

_*__*_

Overall I really liked how this book was written and I really learned a lot about how computers moved from being hulking giants that only a few people had permission to use to begin able sit in a family room and where people could play games on them. The author also does a really good job of showing how the hacker ethic sounds good and all, but it is very hard to reconcile it to the realities of business and making money. While some of the people involved found away to at least stick to a version of it, others chose to embrace the ways of what they started out fighting against. The most obvious example of this from the book is Sierra-Online as the creators move from their humble beginnings to making millions of dollars from their computer games.

It's also important to remember that this book was written in the mid 1980's so you might get a few laughs from some of the software companies saying that they are fast, nimble, and never going to be like those huge corporations that they defected from. In fact one of them today is considered to be everything that is wrong with the video game industry. It's interesting how history seems to repeat itself. Which is the other thing that I found while reading this book. Quite a bit of it reminded me of what is happening today with the splintering of the PC market, the rise of the indies and every one trying to come up with what is going to be the next big thing for the next twenty years.

This is definitely a good read though if your interested at all in the history of the industry or how it all got started. Give it a read and you won't be disappointed. m.a.c


Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV
Offered by games_for_sale
Price: $34.99
49 used & new from $20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy IV: A Classic Adventure Brought To A New Generation, April 10, 2014
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Final Fantasy IV (Video Game)
Time Played: 50 hours

Average Last Level: 85

You play as Cecil, the Commander of the mighty Red Wings that serve the great nation of Baron. Cecil carries out his missions without question, trusting that his king knows what is best for the kingdom. Until one day Cecil can no longer rationalize his actions when he attacking innocent villagers whose only crime is having a mysterious crystal in their village. Cecil questions the king of Baron and for his disobedience he is stripped of his command and is ordered to take a package to a remote village in order to prove his loyalty to the king.

Also on this journey is Kane, Cecil's friend and commander of the king's dragoons. He is ordered to accompany Cecil due to trying to defend Cecil's actions. The next day the two off on a journey that will set them on two very different paths and test their loyalty to each other and to their kingdom.

-*- -*-

I remember playing this game when it first came out on the SNES. Even back then this game drew me in and made me want to keep playing to find out what happened next. Unfortunately since I didn't own this game and I had to rent it from a local video store, what are those right?, I didn't get to experience the story in any coherent fashion. One week someone would save over my progress and the next someone would be so far ahead I had no idea what was going on. In one case this was helpful as someone did a power play and got to level 99 with all the good weapons so I was able to find out how the game ended.

In any case I decided to pickup this up and see how they did with the remake and finally get to play the whole story. I think they did a good job of remaking the game while keeping the spirit of the original and pretty much sticking to the original story that was good to begin with. In this version the main plot points are there and I believe there are only a few scenes added to clarify the story in some parts. The story is still epic / simple, which is good in this case because it makes it easy to follow, but there are some twists that aren't obvious especially if you haven't played the game before. It's also important to remember that when this came out not many games where attempting to have complicated stories that had hero's and villain's that were much more than one note.

Another issue that I hear about a lot in relation to this game is the difficulty. Make no mistake, this game will punish you if you do not pay attention. Especially later in the game. When I was playing I would sometimes get the sense of dread I get when I play the Soul's games. Like that game though mostly if you die, it will be your fault. Either you did not have high enough levels or you didn't figure out what the enemies weakness's were. Now there are a few cheap shots and tricks to some of the bosses that are not obvious, but once figured out either by trial and error or giving in and looking up the strategy, to save the DS from becoming a Frisbee of course, it's easy enough to get around the stumbling blocks and keep moving.

Also in this game the player can acquire "augments" from fallen enemies or departed allies. I only found a use for one or two of them and I'm guessing what you end up using really depends on your play style. I would recommend though that you wait until you are near the final party line up to start assigning them. Even though you have a semi stable line up for most of the game, you can end up losing a augment you like because the story takes a character away. Once the augment is assigned it stays with whatever character you assign it to.

One problem with this system though is that, for whatever reason, the game does not tell you what the augment does without equipping it first. This can only be done once on one character and then you can see what it does. Some are self explanatory like counter attack and abilities that you used with other characters that were in the party but others are just kind of vague. It's simple enough to just equip them and then reload to a earlier save game if you don't like what it does, but I think it's just an extra step that was not necessary.

Finally there is a wireless capability with this game that deals with one of the creatures that Rydia is able to summon. I didn't use this feature at all so I cannot comment on it other than you can raise the creatures stats by playing various mini games or by having duels with other people who have the game.

In conclusion if you like old fashioned JRPG's that have a good story and are challenging or you are looking for a game that has Dark Soul's vibe to it, consider checking this game out. mac


Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy III
Offered by eknight-media
Price: $20.92
152 used & new from $8.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Final Fantasy 3: An Old Fashioned Save the World Adventure, March 5, 2014
This review is from: Final Fantasy III (Video Game)
The balance between light and dark is being threatened and the only hope that the world has is the legendary warriors of light.

A young man, his book worm friend, a reluctant apprentice blacksmith, and a devoted knight are called to take on the darkness enveloping the world. Their only hope lies in power of the remaining crystals of light and the powers they hold.

Can they succeed or will a mad man's twisted dream cover the world in darkness forever?

*-**-**-*

If the above description of the story seems a bit bare, that is because the game itself really doesn't focus too much on the story itself. This is one of those titles where you can see that Square started to get more serious about the story telling in their titles but, its not quite as... robust as it is in later games. More or less after the introduction the story goes on hold till around the halfway / three quarter part of the game. It then turns back as the final battle approaches and there is definitely some interesting moments around those points.

Until I got to those points though I mostly had fun beating up monsters using this entries focus on the jobs mechanic.

There are around twenty jobs and most of them either have a special function or able to use varying levels and types of magic. For example a black mage can use black magic, a white mage can use white magic and a red mage can use both black and white magic and is also effective as a fighter. Other specialty classes such as the monk have a higher agility than most classes and can cause massive damage, the Knight has high defense and can cover other characters when they are attacked, and the Geomancer is able to cast random terrain based spells that can cause massive damage.

The catch with this system is that the characters job level resets whenever a new job is chosen. There is also a small amount of battles that must be completed before a character “learns” the new job, this means the characters stats are very low for a few battles. This happens every time a job is switched. Generally this means it is not a good idea to switch your entire party to new jobs in a difficult dungeon as you will probably get demolished.

I didn't really have a problem with this system until around the end of the game as this is when the final jobs become available for selection. I tend to want the latest and greatest when I get new abilities so I “upgraded” all my characters to their next logical class. The problem with this is that I now had a level 4o or so party that had job levels of 1. This sort of thing is common with older rpgs as they often require a lot of “grinding”, leveling your party by beating up a lot of monsters before progressing, but I took the easy way out as there is a “trick” you can use to make sure that all your characters will gain a job lever after battle. Just Google the game and most walkthroughs mention it. Or do it the old fashioned way, I just didn't have that much patience.

There are also side quests that you can perform if you have a internet connection and know someone else that owns the game. I don't, so I can't speak on that part of the game.

All in all this a great game if you like old fashioned role playing games, are looking for a simple dungeon crawler, or are just interested in final fantasy games. m.a.c

Time Played: 52 Hours
Final Party: Dark Knight, Sage, Magus, Ninja
Final Level: Around 63

Story: The story in this game doesn't start off strong, but towards the end there are a few interesting moments. The story is linear though so it's A to B to C... as far as I know there is nothing that changes the flow of the story. So you might want to find a FAQ so you can find everything. Also there is some kind of New Game plus. I didn't play it, so I'm not sure what's in it.

Game Play: I had fun with it. Standard NES/SNES RPG game play The battle system is not complicated. It's turn based so the player attacks an then the enemies do. The battles move pretty fast. In this game I found it easiest to set the cursor to remember in the options since there is no auto battle option. As I pointed out earlier most jobs have one function that they tend to use. This just made it easier as I could just keep hitting A when I was trying to level.

Graphics: This is a remake so the graphics are updated for the DS. They do their job and most of the character and monsters look good. One interesting option that they added was the ability to zoom in so that hidden items or doors have a sparkle that makes them easier to find. It seems to work on and off though. I usually walked around the towns and found more hidden goodies by tapping a constantly.

Controls: The game can be controlled by both the stylus and the control buttons. I chose to play using the control buttons as they are what I am used to. The stylus control seems a little touchy but it works well enough.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Xbox Wireless Receiver for Windows., February 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had no problems with this device. I installed the software from the included and Windows picked it right up and I was ready to go. One note though, if a game does not automatically detect the 360 controller and configure it you may have to go find a program that lets you map keyboard commands to the controller so you can play games that way. I used Xpadder which has both a free and paid version but there are several others out there.


Private Berlin
Private Berlin
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $29.99
65 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Private: Berlin: A Horror from the past causes Tragedy in the Present., February 21, 2014
This review is from: Private Berlin (Hardcover)
Chris is Private's top investigator in Berlin. His current cases are not high profile, but more of the standard wife cheating on husband type along with a bribery / corruption case that involves a high profile athlete. There is one case that would be considered high profile if Chris had told anyone about it. Even his ex-fiancee Mattie, also a Private investigator, has no idea that Chris's past has come back to haunt him with a vengeance.

Even though they are no longer a couple Mattie becomes concerned when Chris misses his usual check ins and begins to try and locate him. Eventually with the help of the other Private investigators Mattie is able to track down where Chris was going before he disappeared. The lead takes them to a old abandoned warehouse.

What they find there will reveal Chris's past and bring to light one of the darker secrets that was hidden away in the final days before the fall of the Berlin wall.

-*- -*-

I picked this book up randomly and I'm glad I did. I'm not normally fan of collaboration books as I have found in other series that whoever is doing the co-writing either takes over and changes the original author's style or they have to force themselves to write like the original author which can make the story feel stilted.

This doesn't seem to be the case in this story as Patterson's fast pace seems to be intact and there are quite a few good passages that keep the story moving. When I picked this up I was not aware that this was a series, this doesn't really affect this story as it seems to more or less stand by itself.

While the story does seem a bit by the numbers here and there it's still a good read well worth reading to the conclusion. I recommend this to any one who likes thrillers with mysteries mixed in and those who like their books with a little history in them. m.a.c


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