Authors Showcase: Justified Action by Earl Staggs
April 22, 2014
The Book: Justified Action
The Author: Earl Staggs
The Story: Tall Chambers uses his wits and weapons to stop terrorists before they kill innocent people, but when someone close to him is murdered, he devotes his skills to only one purpose – find the person responsible.
His pursuit is more difficult when he learns he is also marked for death. He fights to stay alive long enough to find the killer, even when it means striking a deal with the worst terrorist of them all.
About Earl Staggs: Earl Staggs took the long path to becoming a novelist, but he got there in style.
A former sales professional, business consultant and trainer with a national trade association, Staggs honed his general writing skills by working on technical articles, training materials and trade magazines.
Always committed to writing fiction, Staggs got the chance to indulge himself when he and his wife moved to Florida, and eventually to Texas. As he did begin to write mystery stories, Staggs found his niche, and his work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and one of them was awarded a Derringer Award for Best Short Mystery Story in 2002.
He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. He was a Finalist for the 2003 Derringer Award, received Best Story of the Year honors from Mysterical-e Magazine, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and the Kathey Clarey Mystery Writer Memorial Award for Best First Chapter.
Review by Marilyn Meredith: Justified Action is a true thriller that reads like a movie. Tall Chambers reminded me of a younger Clint Eastwood. Sentenced to desk duty in the Pentagon, Tall is restless. Stephen Winslow recruits him to blow up two carloads of armed terrorists headed to a huge mall filled with hundreds of people. And that is the beginning of Tall’s new adventures, bringing all sorts of people into his life and it’s hard to know who is an enemy and who is a friend.
Things are often turned upside down, assignments aren’t what they are supposed to be, and in the midst of everything, Tall falls in love. Nothing turns out the way it is planned, and the worst always seems to happen. I guarantee once you get started reading Justified Action you will have a difficult time putting it down until you reach the end.
Review by StLSandy: I enjoy a good action thriller that’s suspenseful and has a touch of romance to show the reader the characters are more than super heros. A lot of writers add detailed bloody and gory scenes. Mr. Staggs shows great restraint and doesn’t go for the obvious. People get shot – they fall down. People get blown up – and a smoldering mess is left behind. We don’t get a description of exactly how those things affect a body and I am grateful for that.
Staggs also shows restraint in the love story of Victoria and Tall – after they’ve been dating a while, she invites him to dinner one Friday night and suggests he bring a toothbrush. He does, along with a change of clothes and doesn’t leave until Monday. Enough said.
Tall (short for Tallmadge) has been forced into a tedious desk job due to an unfortunate run in with a superior officer. He’s in the Pentagon but watching a printer spew reports day after day is boring no matter where you are. A phone call from Stephen, an old friend and fellow officer, changes everything. Stephen works for a top secret agency that stops terrorist attacks before they happen and he recruits Tall to join them.
One of the most elusive terrorists is Remski. The agency has been after him for years and now he’s Tall’s main objective. When agents start dying, Remski is the obvious suspect. He’s been kidnapping and ransoming for large sums of money – the working theory is that he’s raising money for an attack as big as 9/11. When agents start to die, is it because he’s eliminating them before they can stop him? Or is something more sinister going on?
Great detailing of characters – these are the people you want to have your back. Besides being heros, they come across as real people. The plot takes the reader around the world and back again. Conspiracy theories abound but which, if any, of them are true?
This is an excellent read. From start to finish, it took me four hours. When I got to the last page, I wished for more. I hope this is the start of a new series because I want to visit these people again.