Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

The Cyrus Caper

Title: The Cyrus Caper
Author: Karl Boyd
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Reviewer: David Tschanz

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0557091411

In "The Cyrus Caper" - (the second lighthearted crime novel of the "Yes, we 'con'" trilogy), Roger Booth, his partner in crime, Carl James, plus most members of "The Nearly Perfect Plan" gang are running amok, again. This time aboard a cruise ship.
After successfully escaping from prison and eluding the FBI for two years, at the urging of their wives, Maria and Julie, Roger and Carl decide their notoriety has died down sufficiently for them to take a cruise to get away from the boredom of their self-imposed exile in the small Italian town of Reggio de Calabria.

When their "fun" cruise turns out to be a disaster, Roger and Carl make plans to get even with the Cyrus Cruise Lines by hijacking the same ship and robbing the passengers, casino, jewelry boutique and the Purser's office.

During a visit to Spain to requisition a WWII submarine to use for their escape, Roger and Carl are noticed and identified by agents of Interpol, who, in turn, inform the FBI of where their two most wanted fugitives from justice are residing.

In a surprise move, Roger and Carl are given a chance to complete their plans under the supervision of their old nemesis, FBI agent Jake Polk in hopes of capturing a most wanted Middle East terrorist.

The pair of con men agrees to assist the law, but true to his nature, Roger has other more devious plans. Double and triple crosses abound in the rollicking tale of deception, scheming and subterfuge. As always, with Roger and Carl, nothing is as it seems.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Boyd, Karl

Margaret Mahler: A biography of the psychoanalyst

Title: Margaret Mahler: A biography of the psychoanalyst
Author: Alma Bond
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography
Reviewer: Buddy Cox

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0786433558

Margaret Mahler was from a young age intrigued by the theories of Sigmund Freud and Hungarian psychoanalysts such as Sandor Ferenzci, with whom she became acquainted while a student in Budapest. Forced to flee Europe and rising anti-Semitism, Margaret and her husband, Paul, came to the United States in 1938. It was after this move that Mahler performed her most significant research and developed concepts such as the ground-breaking theory of separation-individuation, an idea which was given credence by Mahler's own relationship with her father.

This volume details the life and work of Margaret Mahler focusing on her life's ambition--her psychoanalytical work. Her experiences with the Philadelphia Institute and her definitive research through the Masters Children's Clinic are also discussed.

USA Book News Best Books Award Finalist and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bond, Alma


Title: Sheepdogs
Author: Al Billings
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Stephen Phillips

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1449034810


Your 17-year-old granddaughter and her friends are kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The U.S. authorities say they can do nothing about it. Where do you go? Who do you turn to?

Nuevo Laredo exists today as a security nightmare, home to heartbreaking drug violence and lost lives. "Silver or Lead" is the new code in Mexico: Pay up or die.

In order to help his friend, Jerrod Hurst is drawn into the fight of his life. Out of desperation, the hardened veteran drafts his wartime brothers to execute his plan. After a daring, knife-edge rescue, the girls are successfully spirited out of Nuevo Laredo and across the U.S. border, a trail of blood and bodies littering the path. They must not only rescue the teens, but also minimize their own profiles. The mission is unauthorized by any government, and one mistake could result in prison, or death.

As the rescue unfolds, Jerrod uncovers a sinister terrorist plot. Beaten and almost killed, he is unwillingly pulled further into the nightmare, when he discovers that government agents have been playing both sides, reaping substantial profit from the drug trade they supposedly battle. Will he be able to expose the corrupt agents before it is too late?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Billings, Al

Roar of the Dragon, The

Title: The Roar of the Dragon
Author: Bill Berry
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0615216080

My novel is an espionage thriller set in China, Panama and the United States. China has stolen secret information on all nuclear warheads deployed by the U.S. Control of the Panama Canal Zone has passed from the U.S. to Hutchinson Wampoa, an arm of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. The Chinese test fired the DF-31 missile in 1998 and it has a range of approximately 5000 miles. Brian Maguire is chosen to regenerate, develop and operate the Star Wars nuclear missile defense system. Sent to UCLA he meets and falls in love with Lin Li Wu an exotic Chinese beauty. But Lin Li and her brother Lu Chin are deep-cover Chinese espionage agents. As Maguire races to launch the Star Wars system, the Wus race to steal the Star Wars technology and a U.S. supercomputer to implement a Chinese plan to force the U.S. to capitulate without firing a single shot.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Berry, Bill

Detachment DELTA

Title: Detachment DELTA
Author: Don Bendell
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: John R. R. Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0425224481

These elite Delta Force heroes are highly trained killing machines. Their leader is Charlie Strongheart, a Lakota warrior. His assignment: enter Iran and eliminate a terrorist threat. But when Strongheart is betrayed by those he thought he could trust, he finds himself alone in the heart of the beast.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bendell, Don