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Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Top 50 Amazon Reviewer, 2013 AFN Clarke...knows what he is about ...a master builder of tense thrillers that involve constant input of questions that plead to be answered, but Clarke has the gift of pulling the reader in so perilously close that letting slip even the slightest hint of 'aha!' is left to the very last moments of his book."
San Francisco Book Review. 2014
"These are fast-paced books that you won't want to put down and you won't want them to finish."
From the Author
It's exciting to get readers' overwhelmingly positive responses to the first Thomas Gunn book, The Orange Moon Affair, and so as you might imagine that's a great frame of mind from which to write this second book of the series. Yet there's also more pressure with a second book: it can't be exactly the same; the characters need to be developed more fully and yet also in a natural and believable way; there need to be common threads yet also totally new plot elements, new challenges, new threats, new feelings of turmoil and elation, a new sense of expanded possibility.
It was important for me that amongst the action and suspense of The Jonas Trust Deception, I took the opportunity to delve into Thomas's character and inner world a little more so my readers could experience what it must be like to be him. Thomas is not a one dimensional character, not your typical "strong single-minded hero who goes out and kills the bad guys and saves the girl". Far from it. He was trained to kill and accomplish difficult missions, but he's reluctant to keep re-entering that world. He knows he's good at it, knows there are certain things he can't stand by and let be, yet he also has a conscience. He questions how morally or ethically different he is to the ruthless underbelly of the world like the Mexican Mafia or drug lords. His role both torments and satisfies him.
Again, there are powerful female characters in this book, women who display great strength of character and yet also balance physical action with thought and sensitivity. Julie figures prominently again, and is joined by Sarah who seems to have captured even my heart with her sense of humour, directness, compassion, willpower and willingness to take risks.
Having written more than a couple of reviews over my career as a writer, I often find it quite easy to put down one book that I'm working on and to pick up another, only to put down the second and pick up the first. Aside from "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," almost 50 years ago, I have found very few books that I just can't put down that is until I started reading and reviewing best-selling author AFN Clarke's Thomas Gunn series.
After all the twists and turns in the first book, I wondered exactly what Clarke might have had up his sleeve for book two and sure enough it's there. This time the action begins when a journalist friend seeks his help as being chased by a good with ties to the Russian mob. Unfortunately, she is ultimately taken and tortured she is being tortured by an Eastern European goon -- refreshingly this time a woman, not the usual European, who is about 12 feet tall and wears the usual black leather jacket, even though the temperature is approaching about 100.
They are seeking the solution to an issue that is so big it could bring down the world economy -- businesses, governments, agencies and anyone tied to it. Indeed, it does bring down a U.S. Senator, financiers or, everything it touches, but what is it? It seems that the world is no longer being run by governments, it is being run by bankers and financiers who place Ponzi scheme on Ponzi scheme until their shell game threatens the entire world financial system.
Actually, the financial world loves it because they are making killings left and right. It is a situation only a money person could love. All it would take to ruin it could be just one person -- enter Thomas Gunn, your basic financial scheme wrecker. Gunn, not trained at all for the financial world that is thrust upon him, still finds it his element -- suspense -- as he unearths intrigue after intrigue -- something like an avocado -- and his beautiful Julie.
As you might expect, the financial world fights back, first with Julie's alleged "real" father and her discovery that she had a murdered twin sister, but she is like her man, give her something to chew on and she won't let go.
Unlike other series, where the heroine manages to escape the brunt of the hurt, Julie is seriously injured and Gunn has to worry about that, too, as well as other bang sticks tossed into his way, until he realizes that the best way to beat the best is to join it and expose it.
Gunn, once a member of the elite British SAS (equivalent to the U.S. Delta Force or Navy Seals), leaves the elite service to take over the family business. It is the multi-billion-dollar firm, Gunn Industries, and Thomas is the last scion of the famed family.
Following the death of his father, murdered early in the first book "Orange Moon," trying to unearth the same answer, the murder sets the stage for Thomas and Julie, his beautiful, but resourceful girlfriend, to go careering off in the first book, narrowly missing disaster after disaster, while seeking the answer.
Where the "Orange Moon," the first in the series, leaves you at the edge of your seat (at least you can put the book down for a few minutes), the "Jonas Trust Deception" grabs you from the first page and you just can't put the work down. I spent about three straight days on my Kindle app reading the new thriller as we meet new characters including Paul, the senator, a killer, who worked for the Eastern Mafia and more. Even the Middle East gets its share of abuse as an Arabian prince is beheaded.
Clarke has broadened Gunn's character and has given him a backstory as good as his front story. The same is true of his relationship with Julie.
Everyone it seems you can trust turns out to have an agenda, while those who are just this side of the law are the honorable ones. I could go on about this work, but I'll let you find out for yourself, although I will say the characters seem much more real and alive in this work, the second of three planned.
All I know is if Clarke is planning only three works, I would hope he would consider doing one or two more because his writing is so good, I lost at last one whole night reading (and the following day).
If you are in the market for a great thriller set, start with Clarke's "The Orange Moon" and then move onto "Jonas," you won't be disappointed. I just wonder what he has planned for book number 3.
The `Jonas Trust Deception' is the second installment in AFN Clarke's Thomas Gunn thriller series. Once again, we join Thomas Gunn and his girlfriend Julie, in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, where the stakes are high...for wherever Gunn goes, `trouble, death and destruction' follow him. Like its prequel, `The Orange Moon Affair', this novel is a fantastic, all-absorbing read. You will find it difficult to put down once you've started, so make sure you have a few hours of uninterrupted time to enjoy the ride!
Although classed as a military/spy thriller, this book will appeal to a wide audience, with underlying themes that are realistic and very relevant to the world we live in today. For how often has it been suggested that globalization has enabled a powerful few to control the masses, creating a world system of financial control, able to dominate the political system of each and every country and the economy of the world as a whole? Terrifying, if those select few are experts in abusing their power, and it is this deadly game of `Big Brother' that Gunn finds himself immersed in, in this suspenseful, riveting read that will have you guessing till the very end. For can Gunn win this dangerous game of `global three dimensional chess', when he's up against formidable agencies, cartels and consortiums?
Clarke is an expert in his field, easily building suspense with an air of mystery, carefully allowing the reader to put certain pieces of the puzzle together but never disclosing the missing links before delivering a thrilling climactic finish. Cleverly, and no doubt purposely, even the novel's titles give little away, engaging the reader from the get-go to indulge and uncover.
If the first two installments are anything to go by, the third book in the Thomas Gunn thriller series, `The Bonefish Run Conspiracy', is sure to be another ripper. Another top-notch read; the Jonas Trust Deception is classy, complex and cunningly compelling.
After reading the author's previous work THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR (A Thomas Gunn Thriller) I was not as surprised by the way this starts but as before it drags you right into the story with a near death experience in play, then after giving you just enough to make sure you can't leave, it backs up in time to give you the story as to how we got to this place. My review cannot describe how effective this is to a reader, you have been taken prisoner and can't let go.
Our all too mortal hero Thomas Gunn has once again inserted himself into a situation with worldwide implications and in yet another plot that would have Ian Fleming cheering, you are presented with this tale. I should warn you that it will take about half the book to get to the point where you start the book and then you get "the rest of the story". It is edge of the seat stuff and hard to put down. Once again you should not start this late in the day or you might find putting it down for sleep a very difficult task.
One of the most unique things about these tales are that the women in them tend to rise to the occasion and are not cardboard cutouts sitting around sobbing while our hero is doing all the work, to the contrary they are part of the story's appeal, they do indeed come out as strong, versatile and usually key to our hero's success.
Even though Thomas Gunn is a much more complex character than James Bond but you cannot help but make mental comparisons of mental pictures of the scenes and settings after a lifetime of films about 007 but these novels of Thomas Gunn leave those comparisons far behind to this reader since Thomas is all too human in many ways and bordering on superman in others.
Rather than drone on about the novel and it's qualities let me just say this is yet another page turner you do not want to miss and if you have any love for the genre this is a top reading choice.