Book Reviews: Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson, The Tehran Triangle by Tom Reed with Sandy Baker, and Through a Yellow Wood by Carolyn J. Rose

UnwantedUnwanted
Kristina Ohlsson
Emily Bestler Books/Atria, February 2012
ISBN 9781439198896
Hardcover

One of the worst fears a mother must have is the abduction of her child. In Ohlsson’s debut novel, three mothers experience that fear. It is up to a Stockholm investigating team to uncover the clues, connect the pieces of complex cases because the kidnapper won’t stop until he completes his agenda.

A little girl disappears off a train while her mother, distracted at a previous stop, missed returning to her car. Later the little girl is found dead outside a hospital. The word UNWANTED is marked on her forehead. Thus is the case for police legend Alex Recht, consultant Fredrika Bergman, and investigators Peder Rydh and Ellen Lind of the Stockholm police. At first they suspect the mother’s abusive husband but anomalies keep popping up. Fredrika doesn’t think the husband should be the main focus and takes it upon herself to track down other leads. Soon, other pieces start falling into place but before the team has a chance to act, another child is taken. Recht and his team are up against a killer who won’t stop unless they stop him.

This isn’t just a kidnap/murder mystery. Unwanted also delves into the team members’ backgrounds. Troubles at home. Their own relationship with children. Ohlsson did an excellent job of feeding clues and drawing me in, urging me to solve the puzzle. Unfamiliar with the country and its landscape, I had to rely on Ohlsson’s knowledge to keep me guessing throughout. This is a very fine first novel.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, August 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.

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The Tehran TriangleThe Tehran Triangle
Tom Reed with Sandy Baker
Black Garnet Press, March 2012
ISBN 9780983238324
Trade Paperback

Iran is going nuclear and they will not be denied. This is the story spanning thirteen years, tracing the progress Iran makes in its goal to own a nuclear weapon…and what happens when they finally get one. Combing truth with an exciting thriller, Reed and Baker show a scary situation and America’s best heroes who have to cope with it.

In 1999, Elizabeth Mallory gets her first field assignment for the CIA. She has to stop a major Gharabaghi from acquiring nuclear material for his home country of Iran. Foiling the plot only puts her in his gunsights. Moving quickly through the years, Elizabeth adds more responsibility to her career but always keeps in her mind how Iran continually moves forward to become a nuclear power. She learns of a plot to build a nuclear weapon in El Paso and to explode within the United States. Behind the plan, her old  nemesis, Gharabaghi, now a Colonel. And he hasn’t forgotten about Mallory.

I enjoyed the bits of fact with the fictional tale. It’s a realistic tale and shows the might and power of very determined people. There’s some good old American nationalism put up against Muslim fanatics. The authors really did their homework to bring to light facts and scientific know-how when it comes to Iran, the intelligence community, and nuclear physics.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, September 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.

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Through a Yellow WoodThrough a Yellow Wood
Carolyn J. Rose
Carolyn J. Rose, June 2012
ISBN 978-0-9837359-4-6
Trade Paperback

Hemlock Lake heats up with another murder mystery and more drama than a prime time television show. This one has a little bit of everything. A bit of light humor, death, tragedy, tears, love, and hope. There is no rest for the mountain community and by the end of the fall, lives will be changed forever.

Trying to settle down in Hemlock Lake, Dan Stone receives a request to check on Clarence Wolven, a man Dan discovers is a distant relation. When he and his friend Jefferson Longyear arrive at Wolven’s mountain cabin where he raises tracking dogs, they discover Wolven and all but one of the dogs have been murdered. On a return visit, they bring  the surviving dog who leads them to a dump site containing victims of a serial killer. It’s a summer of full of suspense and death of various kinds for Dan as he finds himself involved with not only the investigation but problems relating to his past.

This is a long involved story. I suggest anybody interested in this book read the first Hemlock Lake story unless you want it spoiled. This book references the past Dan Stone adventure and the plethora of characters and their relations with each other may be a bit confusing unless properly introduced. Some good tension and suspense to make a trip Through a Yellow Wood worthwhile reading.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, December 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.

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