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Reviews Written by
Frank J. Konopka RSS Feed (Shamokin, PA)
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In Sheep's Clothing: An Action-Packed Political Thriller (Matthew Richter Thriller Series Book 1) (Volume 1)
In Sheep's Clothing: An Action-Packed Political Thriller (Matthew Richter Thriller Series Book 1) (Volume 1)
by L.D. Beyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.99
27 used & new from $8.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Nonstop action, June 7, 2016
This extremely well written book is the type that grabs you from the first page and never lets you go until the end, which you reach in a state of exhaustion! I began the book early one evening and I couldn’t stop reading it until I finished, thereby depriving me of several hours sleep. I didn’t mind, however, because I just couldn’t pull myself away from the text.

The main character is a conflicted Secret Service agent assigned to guard the President. This President succeed his predecessor because that man committed suicide for reasons that baffle everyone in the country. The new leader then selects a Vice President, and the plot takes off from there.

There are murders, plane crashes, struggles for survival, and twists and turns on almost every page. Believe me when I say you may find it extremely difficult to put down once begun. I understand this is the first book in a new series dealing with this Secret Service agent, and I can’t wait to read the next one!


The Devils of Cardona
The Devils of Cardona
by Matthew Carr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.64
84 used & new from $1.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Religion and murder, June 7, 2016
This review is from: The Devils of Cardona (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The history of the supposedly converted Muslims in 16th century Spain is fraught with controversy and terror. From the time the country was united under Ferdinand and Isabella until the Muslims were completely banished, many things happened. This book, although fiction, shows what can occur when the lust for power and money clash with the rights of everyday citizens.

A priest is killed in a gruesome fashion is a small village composed mostly of converted Muslims. The central government sends an honest and dogged investigator to discover the culprits. He finds himself in the middle of a blatant power grab, and there are plots and subplots aplenty.

I found the writing excellent and the plot compelling. Possibly there might be further books covering the career of the main character, and I would be quite interested in reading them.


Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal
Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal
by Jack Kelly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Learn something new, June 7, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an extremely fascinating book about a somewhat little known portion of American history. Most folks are aware of the building of the Erie Canal, but that’s about all that they know. In the pages of this work we not only receive the history of the canal from its inception, to its final completion, but also the beginnings of the Anti Masonic political movement.

Additionally, and what I found most interesting, is the discussion of the religious revival fervor that swept the area of the canal. The author goes into the beginning of the founding of the Mormon religion by presenting the facts as they are known to history. Not knowing very much about the beginning of this religion, I was captivated by the way the story reveals exactly what is alleged to have occurred, and it follows Joseph Smith from the New York area to his death in Illinois.

If you wish to learn things about this country that you didn’t know before, I can highly recommend this book.


Don't You Cry
Don't You Cry
by Mary Kubica
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.19
89 used & new from $9.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulse pounding suspense, May 9, 2016
This review is from: Don't You Cry (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the kind of book that can keep you up late at night, turning the pages to discover what is going to happen next. There are two, apparently distinct, plots lines, and as a reader you wonder what their connection can be. Don’t be shocked if your initial idea is shown to be badly incorrect.

I really enjoyed the way the author toys with the reader, and pulls him or her along for a twisting and turning roller coaster of a ride. All of the clues to the solution are there in the pages, but I really doubt that the casual reader will discover what’s happening until the author reveals it. Highly recommended.


Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill
Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill
by Mark Lee Gardner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.03
80 used & new from $9.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teddy's terrors, May 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I’ve read several biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, and they all, of course, write about his service with the Rough Riders in Cuba. This new book, however, is dedicated solely to the history of that group, and as such can go into much greater detail.

With the expanded pages, the history of both the organization and its founder come to life. This was certainly a much simpler time in history, when a well connected person could get the government to allow him to put together what can be described as a paramilitary unit, and get the type of folks he wanted to become part of it. That I found fascinating and amazing.

The book goes through the whole history of the group, with particular emphasis on its actions in Cuba, and the exploits of its charismatic leader. Anyone who knows a bit of American history knows that this group was the thing that propelled Roosevelt high in politics, culminating in his ascension to the presidency. I can highly recommend this work.


A Hero of France: A Novel
A Hero of France: A Novel
by Alan Furst
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.39
80 used & new from $10.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When "The City of Light" was dark, April 11, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Allen Furst’s books are always extremely well written, and this new one is no exception. It takes place in a Paris that is under Nazi occupation. The main protagonist is a member of the Resistance who helps to, among other things, assist downed Allied airmen to escape capture.

There is quite a bit of action, and the usual suspense associated with Mr. Furst’s books. All through the book I kept looking for the restaurant in Pairs that has the bullet hole in one of its mirrors. The book was almost finished when that venue finally appeared, and I was satisfied. Read it and you will enjoy it.


Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour
Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour
by Richard Zacks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.85
89 used & new from $12.69

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Around the World with Mark Twain, March 21, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mark Twain was a great author, but he was a lousy businessman! He made a series of bad investments, and as he was turning 60, he had to declare bankruptcy. Ordinarily, this would have allowed him to pay off his creditors at a reduced rate, but his wife had a strong sense of honor and insisted that they all be paid in full. Thus he, his wife and one of their three daughters, set off on a trip around the world to give lectures and use the proceeds to repay his debt.

The book covers extremely well these travels, and tells the reader much about the places the family visited, and what and who they met. Everywhere Twain went he was lionized and feted. Of course, his talks were the most important thing for him, although he absolutely hated getting on a stage and speaking. He was, however, a master of it.

Many months and many places traveled later, the family came to rest in England, where a tragedy befell them that hung over the rest of Twain’s life. This book is very well written, and I enjoyed it very much.


Death Steppe
Death Steppe
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love and war, February 26, 2016
This review is from: Death Steppe (Kindle Edition)
I found this very well written book quite interesting. It concerns a Russian female conscripted teacher who must work as a medic and then as a navigator on an extremely fragile biplane. The other thread of the plot involves a German officer quite upset with the war and the brutality of the Nazis in control. Naturally, they find themselves tossed together in a struggle for survival.

The prose is taut, and the plot moves along at a good pace. The reader becomes quite invested in the potential survival of the ill matched couple, and where their unusual relationship is heading. That’s enough of the plot to tell; readers will just have to read the book to discover what occurs. I enjoyed this work very much and I do believe most of those who read it will agree with me.


The Survivor (A Mitch Rapp Novel)
The Survivor (A Mitch Rapp Novel)
by Vince Flynn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.05
298 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitch Rapp returns!, February 23, 2016
When I heard of Vince Flynn’s death I was sorry that an excellent thriller writer had died. Additionally, I assumed that I would see no further books about Mitch Rapp being published. Thankfully, that assumption was incorrect, as a new author has been tasked with the job of continuing the Mitch Rapp series.

This is an exciting book, in the mold of the previous books in this series. The usual characters from pervious works are here, and the plot races along at a breakneck pace. It was so engrossing that I kept reading far into the night just to discover what would happen next.

The folks who chose this new writer should be commended, for he did a wonderful job in carrying out the Rapp series. I am looking forward to more Mitch Rapp books in the future


Before the Fall
Before the Fall
by Noah Hawley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.60
68 used & new from $9.25

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good plot, but...., February 11, 2016
This review is from: Before the Fall (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book has many surprises and twists and turns, but I couldn’t work up a lot of enthusiasm for it. That’s not to say that the plot line isn’t riveting, it’s just that there’s so much introspection by the characters that it impeded the movement forward of the story.

A private jet carrying wealthy people, and a down on his luck painter, goes missing, and the painter and a 4 year old boy are the only survivors. That’s the gist of it, and it goes on to tell the back story of many of the passengers, and of the investigator for the NTSB. There’s also a Bizarro Bill O’Reilly type character, which I found both fascinating and repelling.

The ending seemed rushed, almost as if the author couldn’t wait to finish the book. It left many loose ends , and that bothered me quite a bit. Different people have different views of the books they read, and other readers may like this book very much. That’s the beauty of having an opinion.


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