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May 2015

Book Review - "The Harvest Man" by Alex Grecian

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar

9780399166440_p0_v2_s260x420The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian portrays Scotland Yard Murder Squad detectives pursuing a violent serial killer.  The main plot has the detectives targeting The Harvest Man, while a secondary plot has detective Walter Day trying to find Jack the Ripper.  These series of books includes a mystery, some historical facts, and explores the new techniques of evidence gathering.

The plot begins where the previous book, The Devil’s Workshop, ends.  Readers new to this series might want to start with the previous book to gain a better understanding of the characters and their motivations.  Regarding the sub-plot Grecian fully explained in The Devil’s Workshop how Jack the Ripper was out for revenge against a group of vigilantes who had captured and tortured him. 

Grecian noted to blackfive.net, “It is a tight ropewalk with every book.  I don’t spell everything out, but try to put in refreshers, especially since there is a year between books.  It is like watching a TV show where in the first minute they recap what went on and then start the new show.” 

The main plot has the antagonist, The Harvest Man, killing and mutilating couples by slicing their faces off.  This sadistic killer is named after the spider that hides in attics and eats the pests.  He enters homes during the day and hides out in the attics until the family retires for the night.  In this installment he has killed the parents of two children, leaving them orphans whom Inspector Day finds and takes home. 

One of the most interesting parts of the book is how the author explores the transition to modern day crime solving.  Introduced are finger printing techniques, roping off of the crime scenes, profiling, and drawing sketches of the culprit.  Grecian incorporates his characters doing these duties:  Walter Day is the profiler, Dr. Kingsley is the CSI, Fiona is the sketch artist, while Nevil Hammersmith is the action hero.  These characters compliment each other with Day (the brains,) Hammersmith (the brawn,) and Kingsley (the conscious.)

But Grecian is of the mindset that no character is safe except Claire.  He explained,   “Partly because I am stubborn and want those who told me to kill her off to know that is not going to happen.  They will have to put up with her. I will also give a heads up that at least one of the main character’s lives will be ended.  By the way, those that had the intriguing theory that Walter Day was Jack are wrong.  Regarding Jack there will be a resolution, but done in my fictional universe, not the real world theories.”

The author also gave a heads up about his next project due out in the summer.  It is a collection of the first five issues of his Rasputin comics put into a book. It takes place during and just after WWI.  It will be a fictional version of Rasputin’s life and times that will include the conspiracy theories. 

As with all his books Grecian likes to take a real-life antagonist and place him in different fictional settings.  He places his own mindset on what will happen to the criminal, deciding on a more original version. These books are thrillers set in the early 20th century, late 19th century. Readers will be scared and thrilled as they read these gruesome, violent, dark, and graphic stories.

Talking Syria raid on FOX & Friends

We executed a brilliant raid into Syria, ventilated a bunch of bad guys and got all our folks home safe. Bravo!.

But why did we tell the whole world about the raid before we even had a chance to catalogue the intel we picked up? This compromised our ability to exploit that  intel properly and seems like another example of Obama spiking the football on an extra point.

We also still have no strategy in Iraq and may as well be acting as the Iranian Air Force as they are the Iraqis main allies now. Not that the fight there is even going at all well, with Ramadi falling. So Yay for dead tangos, and Boo for all the rest.

Dirty Dozen- Obama's model mosque

Banned in Boston. The local FOX and NBC television stations in Boston refused to play this ad. That is certainly their right, but sadly indicative of a culture now where messages about the dangers from the Global Jihad Movement are being suppressed. We don't think that is healthy for a our liberty or security. So our policy is See Something, Say Something.

There are jihadists in our midst. There are mosques where they congregate. Many of these mosques hand out jihadist literature and the worst of them preach it openly. But we are supposed to stay quiet, we are told that pointing this out is Islamophobia. Keeping quiet led us to the horror of the Boston Marathon bombing, and a mosque in Boston has not just the Tsarnaev brothers, but a Dirty Dozen jihadists associated with it.

Yet this very Mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, was singled out by President Obama as an example of how his Countering Violent Extremism program is keeping us all safe. He invited members if its leadership to the White House to participate in a summit earlier this year.

Americans for Peace and Tolerance have documented just how bad an example of countering violent extremism this mosque actually is.

Federal agencies in Boston are working with the Islamic Society of Boston and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, which both have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks. Indeed, as APT research has shown, both the ISB and the MAS are Muslim Brotherhood entities that indoctrinate their followers with radical Islamist ideology. Far from being a model, Boston should serve as a cautionary tale – about deception and denial.

It is long past time to keep quiet about the known wolves in our communities. One shooter in the Garland Texas attack was well known to law enforcement well before his failed attempt to slaughter a room full of peaceful, law abiding citizens.

It appears that this attack is yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome, when the suspect is already known to law enforcement and intelligence. Virtually every terror attack in the West over the past year has been by one of these “known wolf” suspects.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

"Simpson was well known to the FBI, ABC News reported. Five years ago he was convicted for lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Africa, “but a judge ruled the government did not adequately prove he was going to join a terror group there.”

We have been handcuffing our law enforcement and national security agencies in their efforts to investigate and stop these infiltrators for decades. Now in the wake of Garland we are being told that we shouldn’t do or say things that make the jihadists angry. There is nothing in our Constitution that says we have to tolerate those using religion to hide indoctrination into violence or be silent in the face of attempted censorship.

Secure Freedom has launched the CounterJihad Campaign and we will speak freely. We will expose the concerted and organized efforts to use our freedoms against us. We will name the Global Jihad Movement as our enemy, and we will call them out whether they wear fatigues and fly the black flag or business suits and fly the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood and its assorted front groups.

The truth is not hate speech, so if you See Something, Say Something.

Book Review - "Solitude Creek" by Jeffrey Deaver

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar.

9781455517152_p0_v1_s260x420Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver is a riveting mystery. He is definitely the Master of Suspense with the many twists and turns throughout the novel. It is an understatement to say he manipulates his readers as he sets them up for one course of action and then abruptly changes it.  This latest Kathryn Dance novel is no different.

Deaver commented to blackfive.net, “I like to camouflage clues but the surprises must be grounded with a reference somewhere.  Twists are definitely my trademark.  I think it is better to create suspense than depict gore.  I want to grab readers with the story.  I look for incidents that could scare the heck out of them.  It is important to get that balance where the reader is horrified but not repulsed, which is why I cut away with the sex and violence scenes.  To make my books resonate I raise different questions, but never preach.” 

What makes this plot so gripping is that any person can see themselves in the victim’s situation.  Whether in an elevator, a music club, a book signing, or an amusement park, the antagonist is able to manipulate a situation to cause chaos and panic, something he thrives upon.  His first attempt at turning people’s fears and greed into a weapon was at a small concert venue on the Monterey Peninsula in California.  Cries of fire caused people to panic and run for the doors, only to find them blocked.  Investigators led by Kathryn Dance discover there was no fire and the six who died were stampeded.  The rest of the book finds Kathryn and her team racing the clock to find the perpetrator before he strikes again.

Deaver had this idea for a storyline, “for many years.  In the book I refer to the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, where in 1989 at a FA Cup semi-final 96 people were crushed to death. I came up with this quote from the book from a personal experience, “when the crowd takes over.  You become a helpless cell in a creature whose sole goal is to survive, yet in attempting to do that it will sacrifice some of itself…” I remember feeling like that during an incident in Greenwich Village.  There was this parade and the streets were completely packed.  A scuffle ensued and the crowd started to move. I lost control and the crowd was moving me.  I thought if someone or I fall we would be completely crushed.”

Kathryn Dance, a California Bureau Investigator, uses kinesics to question suspects and witnesses.  As a body language expert she is able to tell if someone might be lying if they begin “to speak more slowly, since your mind is trying to craft the lie and make sure it’ll be consistent with everything you’ve said before.  The second is a slight increase in pitch.” Readers will like Kathryn, finding her caring, intelligent, and perceptive.  Deaver came up with the idea of having Dance as a body language expert, “after watching this special where a jury consultant used it to analyze jurors.  I used it as a springboard for Kathryn’s profession. I wanted her to go one-on-one psychologically with the villains.” 

Through her family interaction, including her two dogs, Dylan and Patsy, named after Bob Dylan and Patsy Cline, Deaver is able to show Kathryn’s personal side.  This makes her more of a realistic character, and in this novel the love triangle that was happening between Kathryn and her two beaus will be settled.  Because he was a folk singer and a failed musician, Deaver decided to have Kathryn mimic him, including loving the era of Dylan and Cline.

Solitude Creek, as with all Deaver books, keeps readers on their toes.  He does not have just one main twist and turn, but numerous ones.  This novel is literally a page-turner since on one page the author sets up an expectation and on the next page twists it around.

The author also gave a heads up about his latest projects, past and present.  The Starling Project written in 2014 is set all over the world.  What makes this unique is that it is an audio play where there are over eighty characters.  The protagonist, Harold Middleton, and his team tracks down war criminals, warlords, and individuals responsible for atrocities.  His next project will be a Lincoln Rhyme novel set in Italy involving that country’s illegal immigration problem with a terrorist twist.