Author's Showcase: Thrillers and Romance
March 24, 2012
The Book: Vaccine Nation
The Author: David Lender
The Story: Dani North is a filmmaker who just won at the Tribeca Film Festival for her documentary, The Drugging of Our Children, a film critical of the pharmaceutical industry.
When she is handed “whistleblower” evidence about the U.S. vaccination program, she has to keep herself alive long enough to expose it before a megalomaniacal pharmaceutical company CEO can have her killed.
Review: “Vaccine Nation is a terrific action thriller from an author I’ve read and enjoyed, and a bit of a new leaf for him. He’s a master of building suspense, and this book is no exception, but it has the added dimension of a jackrabbit start and rising and falling furious action.
“It’s well woven with deep characterizations. The protagonist, Dani, is a feisty young activist aligned against Madsen, a vile, yet human drug industry CEO hell-bent on saving his own skin, as well as his career, his company, and his industry from Dani.
“There are enough murders to keep even the most jaded thriller reader happy, and action enough for most. But I found that the characters and their passion, particularly Dani’s, were what gripped me most.
“This novel is carefully constructed and artfully done. It comes off as a quick, action read, but it is much more than that, which is why it has staying power.”
Review: Vaccine Nation by David Lender is quite possibly the best book I’ve read this year. It is definitely among the titles that comprise my list of all-time great books I have read.
“In Vaccine Nation Dani North is documentary filmmaker and an advocate for parents who want the choice of whether their children should be vaccinated and who want more information made available about the safety of those vaccines.
“Dani has just landed on top of the story of the year, only she doesn’t know it, what she does know is moments after handing off a mysterious flash drive to her the scientist who placed it in her hands is killed right in front of her. Before she even has time to consider what might be on the flash drive an attempt is made on her life and she’s on the run from a killer who will stop at nothing to retrieve the data Dani now possesses.
“Lender is a master storyteller weaving together fact and fiction to create a totally plausible story. My heart was racing within reading the first pages of this wonderful work of fiction and it didn’t slow down until the very end. I was enthralled by the story and found myself wondering time and again where fact ended and fiction started because, scarily, the scenario Lender paints in Vaccine Nation absolutely could happen.
“Lender is an exceptional talent whose stories rank him alongside the very best names in thrillers – names like Thomas Harris, Robert Ludlum, Dennis Lehane, John le Carre and Lee Child. He writes broadly across the thriller category and he never fails to deliver a spine-tingling story that is so scary because it is so believable, so well researched and extremely well written.
“If you only have time to read one story this year I would make certain it is Vaccine Nation. It is a magnificent piece of literary fiction that will leave you fearing the big name pharmaceutical companies and the power they wield over each and every one of our lives. I offer it my highest recommendation and I have nothing but praise for Vaccine Nation and David Lender.”
The Book: Knockout! A Passonate Police Romance
The author: Emma Calin
The Story: Interpol cop, Anna Leyton, spirals down into a hopeless vortex of sexual and emotional passion as she fights to keep her professional cool. Who is deceiving who in this fast moving ride across continents? What motivates her art loving prize-bull of a lover Freddie La Salle?
The power of love and trust stands against greed and crime as conflicting forces grapple for that knockout punch.
Review: I read the book Knockout! A Passionate Police Romance in one sitting, and thoroughly enjoyed it!
“A friend recommended Knockout! to me, knowing I like both mysteries and romances, and I am so glad she did. Anna Leyton is a Metropolitan Police Detective in London on assignment to Interpol. In the tradition of romances, she meets her man by pure chance (well, almost), competing for a London cab on one of those rainy evenings when cabs are scarce.
“When she shares a cab with Freddie La Salle and breathing in his male fragrance and his aura of … something … her life has already undergone the change that we expect in romances. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Review: “I really found three things about Knockout! extraordinary, the first being the originality of the plot. Freddie La Salle turns out to be a famous boxing champion, and Anna’s department has launched an investigation into illegal betting and money laundering connected with professional sports. Horse racing, yes. Football, basketball, Formula 1 racing … when was the last time you read a mystery that centered on corruption in the boxing world? The originality of beautiful Anna falling for a crooked boxer drew me in and never let me go.
“The love story juxtaposed with an unfolding crime-solving drama creates an impossible dilemma for the beautiful detective, and this is the second thing about Knockout that really works. Anna falls in love with Freddie before even learning he’s a famous boxer, let alone before finding out that her department will identify him as a prime suspect in the mafia ring.
“The police assign her to watch him, ostensibly to bring him in at the first hint of proof of his involvement, and the stage is set for an impossible choice. Will she choose love, or will she fulfill her duty as a cop? The author carries this fine-spun dilemma to the absolute limit.
“But the most extraordinary thing about Knockout is its poetic language. When was the last time you read a mystery with sentences like this: “It was a short walk to the National Criminal Intelligence Service offices just off the Embankment in Spring Gardens, near the Lambeth Bridge. The first leaves of autumn drifted along the footway. The pushing tongue of the Thames licked around the pillars of the bridges.” Note all those gorgeous words rooted in old English, words like “embankment” and “lambeth” and “bridges” and “pushing” and “licked.”
“The author has no inhibition about mixing a genre story with extraordinarily well-crafted language. Although you might not even notice it, she is stripping the English language down to its most beautiful, basic, original equipment and making gorgeous prose out of it. The language is sensual and gripping and powerful all at once, launching you on a rollar coaster of emotions even as the story unfolds.
“Knockout will surprise you with its qualities, but do not be surprised if you put it down wishing for more. I did.
“I will be looking for more by Emma Calin, this was a great read.”