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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Zombie Queen

Zombie Queen, Carol Burgess Hobbs, CreateSpace, 2016

David is a Special Forces veteran who is living off-the-grid in very rural Arkansas. His wife, Carol, is about to give birth, and David is over the moon about it. While she is in labor, she is bitten by a zombie who has managed to enter their compound. Carol does not survive childbirth. Is this one of those inexplicable things, or is Something Going On?

His daughter, Queen, grows into a normal, healthy young woman, who becomes an expert in self-defense. The only strange part is that she, physically, needs to consume fresh blood every day. As she grows up, David calls veterans around the country, recalling them to duty. It becomes known that a very secret government program is being tested in the nearest town to David and Queen. People are quietly kidnapped off the street and taken to a barn outside of town. They are injected with a virus that destroys their immune system, and they end up craving red blood cells. Basically, they are turned into zombies (no, the dead don't rise). They are then released to infect more people. David and Queen do their best to kill them before that can happen. The local police have been specifically ordered to back off.

The official story is that the virus is purely defensive, but the opposite is the real story. The US President is a liberal idealist who refuses to believe that there is a target on his back, which was put there by senior members of his administration. Can the veterans get the President to safety?

This is much better than the average zombie story. It is more like a suspense story about zombies. It is pretty bloody, but it is very much worth the reader's time. I look forward to a sequel.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Pinochet Plot

The Pinochet Plot, David Myles Robinson, Terra Nova Books, 2018

Will Munoz is a successful attorney in San Francisco. He is also the son of Ricardo Munoz, a well-known Chilean writer, who died when Will was a child. His mother's suicide note asserts that his father was murdered on the orders of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile for more than 15 years in the late 20th century.

Will learns that his father wrote a novel, as yet unpublished, that would have been very unfriendly to Pinochet. A million-dollar reward was established, by Pinochet, for the return of the original manuscript and all published copies. As Will starts to ask questions about his father's death, focus turns to the CIA's famous, or infamous, MKULTRA mind control program. Chuck Evans was a part of MKULTRA, along with Milton Fisher, his CIA handler. After the program was "officially" cancelled, could Milton have kept Chuck supplied with drugs, and turned him into some sort of assassin-for-hire? As an extra complication, Chuck is also Will's step father. Could he have killed Will's father, and married his mother, to find the novel and get that million dollar reward?

This is a very "quiet" novel, in that there are no car chases or hair-raising escapes from the bad guys, But it is a very well-done novel. It explores a pair of unpleasant bits of recent American history, and it is very much worth reading.