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South Paperback – October 24, 2013
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"South is a riveting work of action/adventure suspense that is a real page-turner of a novel. Author Lance Charnes demonstrates a truly impressive knack for deftly creating a complex and thoroughly engaging story that grabs and holds the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end..." -- Midwest Book Review
"South is a compelling futuristic thriller, as convincing a cautionary novel as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale was in its day (and arguably still is)...these were real people forced to live in terrible times, and I was only too happy to cheer them on--or cry over their tragedies--as the novel raced to its conclusion." -- CriminalElement.com
"You will find no better dystopian thriller than South by Lance Charnes for a host of reasons. If you're a reader, you'll love the literary thrill ride. If you're a sci-fi fan, you'll find the near-future unique and realistic... If you love flesh-and-blood characters, this story packs them in. If you love plot twists, try to figure out the alliances in this one." -- Seeley James, author of The Geneva Decision
From the Author
South takes place in a world that isn't the product of an epidemic, war or zombie apocalypse. Rather, it comes about through our own choices, and the things we allow to happen. It may not seem very exotic to you...but I hope you'll find it all too plausible, and that much more disturbing.
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing, story, & characters are just wonderful, though. The characters tell the story through their actions & hard decisions. People aren't good or bad, they're just people trying to get by. Some do really bad things for what they consider good reasons & good things when they know they shouldn't. It's about survival, though.
While there is plenty of action & some gore, none of it is gratuitous. There is a bit of sex, but it's off screen between a married couple. There are the results of rape, drug addiction, & torture, but only a little is center action.
As depressing as the world was, once I got half way through, I had trouble putting the book down. My lunch hour (I usually only take 30 minutes.) went over an hour today. I got home & HAD to finish. Glad I did. There is some hope, but all is not rosy. The ending is as well done as the rest.
This is a standalone, so you can read it before or after Charnes' other book. I highly suggest you read both if you like spy thrillers. You can't do better. I rarely give this genre 5 stars, but this one deserves it. I'll keep an eye out for another book by Charnes. We're not friends here on GR, but we do belong to a group or two together, so I'm sure I'll see an announcement. Can't wait!
A false flag incident--whose facts have been distorted by elements of the federal government--has made targets of Arabs and Muslims. All considered suspected terrorists, they are persecuted like German Jews in World War II. The fortunate flee the country. The rest are rounded up and sent to `camps', never to be heard from again.
Nora Khaled is an FBI agent, her husband a diplomat. They are patriotic, America-born Muslims. But Nora carries a secret that could bring down the current administration and its entire `counter-terrorism' infrastructure. Consequently, she's been declared a terrorist and must get her family South, across the border. A counter-terrorism specialist herself, Nora is forced to go against all her instincts and negotiate with one of the drug cartels to smuggle herself and her family to safety in Mexico. The cartel taps retired border smuggler Luis Ojedo to get Nora and her family across the lethal,heavily guarded border. Luis nearly died in his last crossing effort and swore to his wife to never do it again. But the cartel threatens Luis and his family, forcing him to take the mission.
Luis and Nora, two characters from opposite sides of the law, must learn to trust each other with their lives. Their adventure, dodging fugitive death squads and intrusive electronic surveillance, facing treachery at every turn, form the plot of South.
As in his first thriller, Doha 12, Charnes creates characters you can understand and care for. The action scenes in South make you feel as though you are a participant. These well-crafted elements combine to wrap you up in the story until the very end. This is a book you will remember for a long, long time, and a cautionary tale about where America might be heading.
South is a brilliantly conceived and executed thriller. As good--or maybe better-- than anything coming out of main stream publishing, South is truly worthy of a 5 Star rating. I can't wait to see where Mr. Charnes takes us with his next novel.
I don't want to tell any part of the story in the review. No sneak previews. Enjoy the story on your own.
In South Mr. Charnes weaves the reader skillfully through a totally believable not too distant future. A world where today’s average family’s struggle for survival is measured by the food they can put on their table, the health care they can’t afford, the housing they can’t pay for and the jobs they are stuck with. That’s until Luis’ former life comes back to haunt him and he is torn between the family he loves what he must do.
In this story a lie purported by the United States Government has changed the nation into a virtual third world country. The descriptions of places so skillfully worded leaving the reader aghast this happened, and the reader believing it has happened; driving through neighborhoods described by Mr. Charnes so vividly the reader knows the street. The story is so engrossing it is impossible to put down.
Some of my favorite writes are James Rollins, Brad Thor and the late Vince Flynn. Mr. Charnes’ writing is on the same par and I look forward eagerly to his next book.