Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

Mysterious Book Report No. 304

by John Dwaine McKenna

One year ago, (MBR 254,) we alerted readers to a new series by award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Steve Hamilton that featured an anti-hero protagonist named Nick Mason.  Mason’s the guy who, in order to get out of serving the last fifteen years of a twenty year sentence in a maximum security prison, makes a Faustian bargain with a super-criminal named Darius Cole.  Mason gets out, but he’s nowhere free.  He’s at the beck and call of a mysterious cell phone.  When it rings, Mason must answer immediately and do whatever he’s tol
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Here and Gone

Here and Gone

Mysterious Book Report No. 303

by John Dwaine McKenna

Recently, there’s been a growing movement in the publishing world, attempting to increase readership and sell more books by encouraging some A-list male crime fiction writers to produce new novels using androgynous-sounding names.  The reasoning behind this is that unisex pen names will attract more female readers, since they tend to avoid the tougher, more hard-boiled stuff they associate with men.  Since women make up eighty percent of the readers in the world today, they’re going to be catered to.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about t
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Dark River Rising

Dark River Rising

Mysterious Book Report No. 302

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Mysterious Book Report is always on the lookout for promising debut authors with unique protagonists and interesting points of view, that are set in unusual places which are all wrapped up in an original and compelling plot.  This is such a one, an outstanding new murder mystery that takes place down south, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dark River Rising, (Minotaur Books/St. Martins Publishing Group, $26.99, 293 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-11009-1) by Roger Johns features Baton Rouge Police
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The Force

The Force

Mysterious Book Report No. 301

by John Dwaine McKenna

According to Dwight, one of my retired cop buddies, only a few crime fiction writers Really get it, when writing about the demands, the stresses and the effect—on marriages, children and personal lives—of being a police officer in America today.  It’s a career that is rewarding, exciting, sometimes monotonous, and always dangerous enough to take your breath away.  Not many outsiders can even begin to understand what it’s like to bear the weight of a badge and a gun, much less write about it.  But, lucky for us, there are a few who do.
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American Static

American Static

Mysterious Book Report No. 300

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Mysterious Book Report has reached another milestone with this, our 300th review.  It’s taken a little more than six years and a couple of hundred thousand words to get to this point, so we wanted to mark the occasion with something special . . . something out of the ordinary . . . something so memorable that every reader will recall the plot whenever they look at the cover.  We found just what we were looking for in a novel one reviewer referred to as A hot dose of pure adrenaline that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more
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G-Man

G-Man

Mysterious Book Report No. 299

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Great Depression of the 1930s was a time of unrelenting misery, hardship and economic deprivation.  It was an era that left indelible scars upon all who lived through it, for who could forget the massive unemployment, the endless bread lines, or the dislocation and migration of tens of thousands of impoverished farmers who’d been forced off their land by the drought that spawned the dust bowl, and the aggressive foreclosures by banks throughout the south, midwest and Texas.  The bottom of the Depression—as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average
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