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Founders' Keeper (A David and Martin Yerxa Thriller - Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- Elmore Leonard, October 2012
"Founders' Keeper is highly recommended for all mystery readers. The detective procedural is very well written with plenty of clues and twists for the reader to enjoy. The detailed and in-depth development of the major characters in the story is well done. And finally, the historical connections add a deep background for the contemporary story."
"I was surprised at how much I loved Founders' Keeper . . . It was such a page-turner! Each chapter ending felt like a major cliffhanger making it so I did not want to put it down!"
"A great blend of history, current events, characters with dark/troubled pasts, back stabbing office politics, and personal relationships all in the chase for the bad guy."
- R. Tillman, Amazon Reviewer
"If you are a fan of David Baldacci, James Patterson, Lee Child, Web Griffin, Dean Koontz or Robert Ludlum, you will love this book."
- David T. Waller, Amazon Reviewer
"Thrillers/Mysteries are not normally my genre choice, but this book had my undivided attention from start to finish."
- Martha Green, Amazon Reviewer
From the Back Cover
The FBI assigns its best man to the investigation. But while Special Agent David Yerxa chases those responsible for the murders, his own demons are chasing him.
With the help of his father - semi-retired FBI legend Martin Yerxa - David must wrestle with ghosts, both past and present, in order to untangle the murderer's motives, solve a mystery, and prevent a national catastrophe.
- File Size : 821 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 361 pages
- Publication Date : August 17, 2015
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0141ZVEDG
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #527,086 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The latest recommendations are for the work of Ed Markham, author of SON OF A GUN and FOUNDERS’ KEEPER. Because the lineup I see most mornings when I log on is full of brand name authors, I hadn’t heard of him. But at some point, thanks to Amazon, I ordered his thriller, SON OF A GUN. I started it on a Sunday night with that “I’ll just read a few pages before I go to sleep.” mindset. An hour later I was a third of the way through, and completely spellbound.
SON OF A GUN is about a possibility most parents forcibly push out of their minds - the abductions of their kids. In this case they’re 13 and 14-year-old boys living in upper middle class neighborhoods with good schools and nicely tended yards - places where families are lulled into believing they’re completely safe. What the good moms and dads don’t know is that there’s a serial killer who’s obsessed with his need to hide his true nature - a need that’s manifested in his placement of white masks over the faces of the boys he murders. The masks bear no expression, conveying nothing but a blankness that shouldn’t scare you. Except that it does, especially when you realize the masks are a mental projection of the face the killer wears to blend into the regular world, right up to the point where he shoots the boys through their hearts.
This genuinely frightening narrative is underscored by the relationship between a father-son team of FBI investigators. The primary, David Yerxa, is assisted and guided by his semi-retired dad, Martin. David’s eager progress to unravel the psychologically twisted mystery that leads to the abductions and murders is supported and occasionally turbocharged by Martin’s wisdom and experience with a related case. Both characters are natural leaders - exactly the type of guys the parents of these children would wish for in investigators to the disappearances of their kids.
The ticking clock fight to catch the bad guy before he kills again becomes especially compelling in chapters from the perspective of Carson Affeldt, the latest boy to be abducted. Markham does a masterful job of getting into the head of a kid who skips school to smoke cigarettes and look “cool” to older kids, yet bursts into tears in the horrifying moments when he realizes, in the killer’s locked basement, that he’s probably going to die. Fortunately, Carson has wits and gumption, and realizes he might stand a chance when he notices something that’s not quite right about the layout of that basement room. Underlying that narrative is Markham’s keen understanding of the social politics of high school and the vulnerabilities that lead 14-year-old boys to pick and choose friends who will strengthen or propel their position on the ladder of popularity.
From the first pages to the last, I kept wondering what would happen next, and was genuinely surprised by the identity of the bad guy and thrilled with the way David and Martin Yerxa brought him into the light.
It was only then; when I got ready to post my Amazon review that I realized Markham had another book, FOUNDERS’ KEEPER. This is an astoundingly original story that actually turns the Constitution into an instrument of terror for a serial killer. It’s also pretty scary – first because every one of the murders is vividly wrought with imagery that stayed in my mind; second because the possibility – in a world where people could actually elect a whacko to become the next president – of the possibility that the killer’s justification for the murders could happen in real-life.
In this book - which was written prior to SON OF A GUN - Martin Yerxa’s deep knowledge of American history and the Founding Fathers era becomes an essential compass in the efforts by Martin, David and another FBI agent to navigate their way toward an understanding the killer’s mindset. The trail is lined with clues based on where the murders take place, the ways in which the victims are killed, and the language of the Constitution. Along the way we meet one of the creepiest murderers I’ve seen in recent thrillers, a perfectly realized character who embodies what happens when victims of terrible childhoods grow up to wreak terror in their adult lives.
Once again I was mesmerized by the story and the characters, and sent into that wonderful place where reading becomes more important than just about anything else. I was also genuinely stunned by the ending, which was more surprising than anything I’ve read in recent months. I was also confounded by yet another mystery: why hasn’t a major publisher seized the opportunity to send both of these books right up to the tops of the bestseller lists? Based on more than 250 customer reviews, Amazon knows they’re absolute winners - and if Amazon knows this, publishers should likewise know that Ed Markham is a master storyteller who has everything it takes to become one of those brand-names who commands that first row of “recommendations” every time you log on.
(1) Zero paranormal/supernatural/magic components;
(2) Occasional profanity;
(3) No gooey romance;
(4) No explicit sex;
(5) Violence, graphic and grisly ;
(6) Child abuse;
(7) Animal abuse;
(8) No alternative lifestyle agenda or promotion;
(9) Not a cliffhanger ending;
(10) Grammar and punctuation police, come ahead on: I know you'll find something
That said, this book definitely lost me at #s 5, 6, and 7. I am happy to say I don't know anybody with a strong enough stomach or twisted enough mind to recommend this book to, I certainly would never read it a second time even if it was the last book on Earth, and it will give me great pleasure to delete it from my Kindle. I enjoyed the plot, I thought the writing was more than well done; I liked the characters, flaws and all; and I would have enjoyed meeting them all again. Without those four plusses this book would have received only one star, and that would have been generous. BUT. I cannot fathom how any sane person can think of scenarios like those...shall we say 'perpetrated'?...in this book, let alone think they add depth or interest to a story. Let me offer this caveat: The story would have been a high four-star would it not have been for those three items. They were so awful and distressing I couldn't even read those passages but skipped them as soon as I got a hint where they were headed. I guess one might suggest the author deserves credit for at least telegraphing what gore was up next, like the background music in a horror movie. I will try one more of this author's efforts but if the same three items from my list appear again, his name will be moved to my "don't bother" column.
The storyline is crisp and the tension grows with each murder. Finding the common link tying them together is the task of David Yerxa, his dad, a retired FBI agent, and Lauren, David's second in charge. The tension builds cleverly until the climax, which is a surprise.
They make mistakes, have to simply move on and not dwell on these, so that they can find the killer. But even then, there is another twist in the narrative. What adds to the tension is the slow revealing of the motive behind the murders.
The characters are well developed and they grow as the plot unfolds. Nothing is left unresolved, and it makes for a very satisfying page turner.
Top reviews from other countries
Someone is running around the States killing people. It seems random: different sex, age, professions, even down to the way the victims meet their death, but the FBI know they’re all linked as the killer always leaves a calling card - a chunk of snake & a message at the scene. Who is the killer? How are the victims picked? What is the motive? These are just some of the questions the FBI must answer before more people are killed.
A fast paced story, with a budding romance between David & his co-worker, Lauren, who is not there just for the love interest/ eye candy appeal. The relationship between father (Martin) & son (David) also adds an interesting dimension to the story.