Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Guardian of Genghis Khan's Tomb

The Guardian of Genghis Khan's Tomb, Michael B. Hickland, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2013

This novel is about an 800-year-old treasure that comes very close to starting a third World War.

In an isolated bit of Mongolia, Genghis Khan buried the spoils from his years of plundering and pillaging across Asia. Over the centuries, many diligent attempts were made to find the treasure, especially during World War II, but without luck.

Kate Barrows is an English paleontologist leading an expedition in present-day Mongolia looking for dinosaur fossils. One day, she stumbles aceoss a very old child's hunting bow, which, through satellite phone calls, is verified to be Khan's childhood bow (the treasure must be somewhere nearby). Russia and China are listening in on the phone calls, so they both amass troops on Mongolia's borders, along with sending "mining equipment" to the area.

Drew Moss, Kate's financial backer and an ex-Navy SEAL, heads to Mongolia with a group of CIA personnel, to take over security for the camp. Kate does not know about Khan's treasure, until now. Attempts are made by Russian and Chinese Special Forces personnel to infiltrate the camp. It becomes a race to see who can first open the underground storehouse. The Americans unearth the front door; of course, Khan thought to include a few booby traps. Who reaches the treasure first? Is World War III prevented?

This one is really good. It has plenty of action and political intrigue. It's plausible, and it's also short, and easy to read. It is very much recommended. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hey, Joe (Jamaica Series)

Hey, Joe (Jamaica series), Jerry Beller, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2013

This novel is about a man who discovers himself by moving to a different part of the world.

Set in the 1980s, River is a high-level Congressional staffer in Washington. Suddenly, he quits his job and sells his car. He packs up his possessions, and hops a plane to Jamaica. He had visited the island in the past, and fell in love with the scenery.

He intentionally bypasses Kingston, the capital, which is full of tourists. His intention is to stay in Jamaica, longer if possible, while he writes a novel set during the Vietnam War. He finds a place to live near the town of Port Antonio. He does not tell anyone back home where he is living, not wanting to deal with people who invite themselves for a visit. He meets a number of decent, reasonable people in his travels, along with people who are best avoided as much as possible. Like it or not, Jamaica is still a Third World country, with a huge gap between rich and poor. Hurricane Gilbert hit the island a few weeks previously, causing a lot of damage.

River's ultimate intention is to be accepted as a Jamaican, not as some rich white tourist just passing through. He writes for several hours a day, as if the story is just pouring out of him. He spends the rest of each day enjoying the scenery and ocean views. He is very uninterested in several romantic offers from female tourists who make it to that part of the island. One day, in a local park, he spots a young woman who, emotionally, knocks him on his rear end. He has no idea who she is, or where she lives, but he can't get her out of his head. Does River finish his novel? Does he speak to his mystery woman?

Here is a very quiet, but beautifully written novel. The scenery of Jamaica is just as much a character as any of the natives, who speak in actual Jamaican patois. For anyone who has visited, or wants to visit, Jamaica, read this book. You won't be disappointed.