Bluff

Bluff

Mysterious Book Report No. 346

by John Dwaine McKenna

Bluff is a novel about the practice of sleight of hand, or magic, and magic is done by practicing the art of misdirection.  The conjurer talks the audience into looking over there while at the exact same time doing something over here and presto . . . a deck of fifty-two cards thrown against the wall falls to the floor . . . except for one.  That’s the one a volunteer picked from the deck and showed the audience a few moments earlier then inserted back in the deck.  That particular card is thumb tacked to the wall.  Face out.  T
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False Flag

False Flag

Mysterious Book Report No. 322

by John Dwaine McKenna

In the world of espionage, The business of spies is lies, which makes it impossible at times, to distinguish between friend and foe . . . because all covert operations are designed to advance the interests and objectives of the spying country.  Put it another way and the axiom becomes: TRUST NO ONE.  They all lie all the time.  And nowhere is this illustrated better than in a thrilling new spy yarn in which a trusted ally and friend becomes a deadly enemy.  False Flag (Blackstone Publishing, $26.99, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-5047-9772-6) b
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Rip Crew

Rip Crew

Mysterious Book Report No. 345

by John Dwaine McKenna

With all the rama-lamadingdonging that’s been going on over, under, through, around and about the southern border of our nation this MBR couldn’t be more timely. Rip Crew, (Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company, $27.00, 322 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-50553-6) by Sebastian Rotella, begins in Guatemala where protagonist Valentine Pescatore, an undercover agent for a private security firm, is looking for a human smuggler named Chiclet.  Chiclet, along with a group of tattooed, machete-wielding MS13-bangers, controls access to a rusty, anc
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Blood Standard

Blood Standard

Mysterious Book Report No. 344

by John Dwaine McKenna

The MBR has always had a soft spot for the antihero type: those individuals who’re capable of most anything, but who also possess the same purity of heart as a knight errant on a quest.  They’re the kind of characters who struggle with the world, and themselves, in an idealistic representation of the human condition.  Simply put: we all have our own inner demons, and each of us decides every day whether to be good or bad.  The antiheros are, in the MBRs opinion, the most dramatic, and therefore the most interesting of all literary characte
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Flight of the Fox

Flight of the Fox

Mysterious Book Report No 343

by John Dwaine McKenna

An electrifying, propulsive and timely thriller was just released that, by all rights, should shoot to the top of every bestseller list in the country.  If ever an author stepped up to the plate, took a swing, hit it right on the sweet spot and out of the park . . . this is it. Flight of the Fox, (Down & Out Books, PB, $18.95, 381 pages, ISBN 978-1-946502-61-2) by Gray Basnight is a tour de force of a government agency that’s so out of control it will do anything to protect itself and its secrets.  It’s a story that could
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Spirits of the Heart

Spirits of the Heart

Mysterious Book Report No. 342

by John Dwaine McKenna and June Lynn McKenna

As the by-line shows, this will be a different—and special—MBR.  It’s not within our usual purview of crime and punishment, or murder and mayhem, nor even an exploration of the dark side of human nature.  Instead, it’s a goose-pimple inducing paranormal ghost and romance story which takes place at an addiction treatment center in Middletown, New York.  It’s a place that was once an institution for the criminally insane.  And because it’s for all of the ladies in the audience who aren’t hard-boiled cri
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