Final Flight by Eric Anderson

flight
source: copy for review via MerylMoss Media and Dunn Books
title: Final Flight
author: Eric Anderson
published: June 9, 2020
genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Political thriller
pages: 284
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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blurb:
On a clear, cold night high above Asia, a China Air passenger jet disappears from radar. An anomaly, a fluke, an unsolvable puzzle-and then a couple of hours later, it happens again.

A former member of the U.S. intelligence community, author Eric Anderson takes us to 2023 in his new book FINAL FLIGHT (Dunn Books: June 9, 2020), and picks up where real-life Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 left off. What happened to that airplane and all the people aboard?

Former Air Force maintenance officer Jason Montgomery and his erstwhile wrench-twister, Rob “Ski” Kalawski, have just landed the gig of their lives. China Air’s aging fleet of Boeing 777s now desperately needs navigation hardware and software upgrades. It’s a multimillion-dollar contract, and they’re just the guys to do it. Too easy, right?

Wrong.

The Japanese firm supplying the gear knows the Chinese will reverse-engineer and steal it, so they’ve planted a deadly navigation bug to trigger at the first sign of theft. Jason’s just the middleman, but he finds himself trapped between yakuza gangsters, a tattooed dragon-lady sales exec, and murderous Russian mobsters looking to make a profit on the missing airplanes and passengers. If these crazies don’t start behaving like moral adults, people are going to die by the hundreds . . . and they do.

FINAL FLIGHT, the latest prescient tale from the man who brought us the “New Caliphate” trilogy Osiris, Anubis and Horas as well Byte, might make you think twice before boarding the next plane.

my thoughts:

Final Flight is different from my usual reading fare. This is a story revolving around two China Air Passenger planes that went missing from radar. The book is based on real life  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which went missing over the ocean in China in 2014. Jason Mongomery and Ski Kawalski have been hired by China Air to install the software and hardware on their Boeing’s. However, Jason soon realizes that the Japanese company that supplies the software planted bugs on it. He just wants to get the job done and get home back to the U.S. Jason and Ski find themselves in the midst of an all out mess and are even blamed for sabotaging the software themselves. As the book goes on you are introduced to a set of several characters like Yamakita, Bao, computer programmer Yatso, the gangster tattoo artist Kanto and his love interest an executive named Sako. Side note, the dragon tattoos Kato does for Sako sound pretty intricate and bad-ass.

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Author Interview and Spotlight: Mary Keliikoa

derailed
Good morning everyone. Today I have an author interview with Mary Keliikoa to share.  First a bit about her latest book, Derailed. How cool is the cover? I have not read this one yet but it sounds like a great start to a new series.

By Mary Keliikoa
Camel Press; May 12, 2020
Trade paperback: $15.95
Pages: 236
You haven’t heard of private detective Kelly Pruett yet, but she’s about to join ranks of
mystery’s most clever and crafty female sleuths, such as Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum or Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe.
Pruett reflects the real dilemmas of modern women in DERAILED: A P.I. Kelly Pruett
Mystery (Camel Press; May 12, 2020). Pruett must balance between being a single mother to her deaf daughter and following in her father’s footsteps as a private investigator.
After years of being her father’s apprentice, Pruett has inherited the family private detective agency. Dad never trained her for a major murder investigation; serving divorce papers and long stakeouts with her basset hound are more her speed. Her ex-husband—and his mother—think her work is too risky. But detective work is in her blood; puzzles are her passion. When a grieving mother begs her to investigate her daughter’s death, how can she refuse?
As Kelly sets out to prove herself, and find something to call her own outside of marriage and motherhood, she realizes she’s being stalked. Taking a frying pan to the face jars her into the realization that she’s stronger than anyone believes—even herself. Dad wasn’t the only Pruett with pit bull tendencies when it comes to solving a case, including one with ties to Portland’s BDSM subculture. As sordid secrets emerge, she must decide: is justice worth it?

Here’s what readers are saying:

“It’s that perfect blend of personal and professional that makes Derailed a welcome addition to the genre. I can’t wait to follow both Kelly and Keliikoa’s careers.”—Kellye Garrett, Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Award-winning author, Hollywood Homicide

“Derailed has it all: an engaging heroine, a twisty, twisted crime, and plenty of food for thought about families and their secrets. I loved this debut and can’t wait to read about Kelly Pruett’s next case.”— Kristen Lepionka, Shamus Award-winning author, the Roxane Weary mystery series

“Mary Keliikoa’s debut novel is an important addition to the PI genre – strong with voice, a compelling protagonist in KellyPruett, and unforgettable family secrets. Derailed was hard to put down – and I can’t wait to read the next book in this crackling new series.” — Alex Segura, author, Blackout and Miami Midnight

Onto the author interview….(these questions were provided by the publisher for this post, I have not read the book yet myself) 

Q. You have owned several businesses in the past. Do you keep a finger in business or is writing now your full-time occupation?
A. I am the VP of a distribution company my husband and I have owned for 19 years, and I continue to work a few hours most week days. I enjoy the connection with our staff, we employ nearly 40 people. But I’m also very blessed to set my own schedule and writing is a big part of every day.
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The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel) by Casey Barrett

tower

source: free review copy courtesy of BookTrip / Meryl Moss Media
title: The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel)
author: Casey Barrett
published: 2019
genre: crime thriller
pages: 326
first line: Danny Soto opened the door to find Mr. Sun flanked by a pair of female bodyguards.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Embracing an improbable stretch of sobriety, unlicensed P.I. Duck Darley has proven himself stronger than the temptations that loom in the shadows of New York City. But the familiar pull of self-destruction lingers like garbage in July when Layla Soto, a sharp-tongued Park Avenue teenager with a family as screwed up as his own, presents a twisted missing-persons case he can’t refuse . . .

Layla saw video evidence of her billionaire father being abducted from their home—at the top of the tallest residential tower on earth. She suspects her grandmother, a Chinese social climber on husband number three, orchestrated the act to silence her only son. Duck agrees to investigate the hedge funder’s disappearance, if only for the rush of a new thrill—and an excuse to reconcile with Cass Kimball, his leather-clad sometime partner who nearly got him killed . . .

As the unlikely duo become immersed in a high-stakes ransom linked to the international drug trade and the delicate relations between the two most powerful nations on earth, survival means trusting no one. Because when confronting absolute power, certain forces will stop at nothing to bury the truth.

my thoughts:
The Tower of Songs is book 3 in author Casey Barrett’s Duck Darley series but this thrilling book reads fine as a stand alone.

As the story starts off we witness billionaire Danny Soto being abducted. Fast forward to his teenage daughter Layla and her mom hiring private detective Duck Darley to find her missing father. They have video of Danny Soto being abducted from their penthouse in Manhattan. Layla tells Duck she suspects her grandmother Nai Nai is involved. Nai Nai is the mysterious matriarch of the family and she is well connected.

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Goodbye Paris by Mike Bond

goodbyeparis
source: free review copy courtesy of BookTrip / Meryl Moss Media
title: Goodbye Paris
author: Mike Bond
genre: crime thriller
published: June 11, 2019
pages: 343
first line: It rose from the deep, a huge wall of roaring green that blotted out the sky and smashed me under, whacked my surfboard into my head and punched the air from my lungs.

blurb:
Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins races from a Tahiti surfing competition to France when he learns that a terrorist he’d thought was dead, Mustafa al-Boudienne, may have a backpack nuclear weapon and plans to destroy Paris. Pono was once Mustafa’s prisoner, and is now the only one left alive to identify him.

Joining forces with former allies from US, French and Russian intelligence, and with an intrepid and brilliant French agent, Anne Ronsard, with whom he soon falls in love, Pono sets out against impossible odds to catch and kill Mustafa and his terrorist cell before they can destroy the most beautiful city on Earth.

Another in the bestselling Pono Hawkins series after Saving Paradise and Killing Maine, GOODBYE PARIS is a hallmark Mike Bond thriller: alive, tense, exciting, and full of fascinating details and places. And that will keep you up all night.

my thoughts:

As the blurb reads, Pono Hawkins is a veteran from the Special Forces who races from a surfing competition in Tahiti to France to hunt down a terrorist he believes was dead. Hawkins is surfing and in need of rescue as the book opens which I thought was pretty cool actually.

Pono Hawkins lets us know early on that he lives in the same house with three gorgeous, sexual women. They dislike each other but just loooove to sleep with him. Get it? Got it? Good. Moving on. He has been through crazy adventurous times, he recently went to jail to cover for a buddy, then he was released from jail and now he lives with three hotties.
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Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

faith

source: free review copy via Meryl Moss Media
title: Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants: a novel in stories
author: Herb Freed
pages: 198
published: 2018
genre: fiction
first line: The top floor of the Rabbinical academy dormitory was the quietest place in Manhattan until six-fifteen in the morning when the clicking of high heels reverberated all the way down the marble-tiled hallway and woke Ben…

Blurb:
Ben Zelig thinks he has his life all figured out. Graduate from rabbinical school. Get hired by a spiritually enriched community. Meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. Simple, right? Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out as long as you have Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants.

Herb Freed, the author of the timeless love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and, according to his mother, incredibly handsome, Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance, family ties, colorful congregants and the meaning of faith. We follow him through the decades as master storyteller Freed takes us from humor to pathos and back again in an uplifting examination of what it means to be human.

My thoughts:
As Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants starts off it is 1969 and Ben Zelig is in Rabbi school in NYC. He is in the intern program and doing hands on work. The novella takes us through Ben’s life through 2007, we meet his family, friends and quirky characters like Uncle Joe, who is his mentor and advises him on everything from business deals to women. The story goes on as Ben goes on dates, trains to be a Rabbi and as he is there when his mom Bertha takes the test to become a U.S. citizen. It is mainly about Ben’s personal journey and how people and events tie in together and there is faith and hope within the pages as well. It all comes full circle at the end for Ben. I enjoyed some of the insightful writing like this passage…

“A soft rain began to fall, as it increased, Ben felt he was Adam banished from the garden. Where to go from here?”
p. 31, Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

Most of the story was amusing and quirky and it was interesting getting a glimpse into Jewish culture. Ben was dramatic and I did feel that some of the dialogue was over the top for the time and place. Like this conversation which takes place at a club.

The Chasid leaned forward , his intense sad eyes trying to understand. He cupped his ear with one hand. “You don’t got a name?”

Ben didn’t know how or why it came out, but the words flowed from the depths of his soul. “I am Benjamin, son of Solomon, of the tribe of Levi,” he said proudly.

p.29, Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

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