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Archive for November 20th, 2018

The Amendment Killer

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The Amendment Killer by Ronald Barak

“WE HAVE YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.”

So begins a text message forcing a supreme court justice to decide whether saving the course of our nation is worth his grandaughter’s life. Feisty, 11 years old, diabetic, and a rising superstar athlete, the young girl barely has enough insulin to keep her alive one more day.

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Ronald S. Barak

About the Author

Described by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.

Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country’s dysfunctional government representatives—not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today. Barak’s extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly pollenate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.

In his latest novel, THE AMENDMENT KILLER, Barak calls upon his real world legal ingenuity and skill to craft a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution criminalizing political abuse and corruption that Constitutional scholars across the country are heralding as a highly plausible answer to the political chaos destroying the very moral fiber of the country today. It’s difficult to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not imagine what could—and should—be expected and demanded of those political leaders who have forgotten they are there to serve and not be served.

Barak is also a committed and strident advocate of finding a cure for diabetes. One of the primary characters in THE AMENDMENT KILLER is the feisty and precocious 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter of the Supreme Court justice holding the swing vote in a case in which Congress is challenging the validity of Barak’s hypothetical 28th Amendment. It is no small coincidence that Barak is himself a diabetic. Or that he has committed 50% of the net proceeds of THE AMENDMENT KILLER to diabetes research and education.

Barak is singularly qualified to have authored THE AMENDMENT KILLER, which will appeal to political and legal thriller aficionados alike. Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the United States.

Present-day politicians would do well to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not underestimate the potential of Barak’s 28th Amendment. You can read his 28th Amendment here. You can also read his occasional political blog.

Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

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My Review

5 stars

The potential 28th Amendment is a proposed rule that would change the responsibilities of the congressional members and more. The amendment has not followed the normal course to be elected and the hearing has become a televised event. But some powerful people don’t want this amendment to pass and they are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it.

Justice Arnold Hirschfeld gets the message that his granddaughter has been kidnapped and that he won’t get her back unless he follows instructions. This becomes a race against time both is nullifying the amendment but also for Cassie. Cassie is a diabetic and has had her insulin pump removed and only a little insulin on hand.

I will be the first to admit that I shy away from anything legal or political, especially because of our current political situation. But this story could easily be one in our news today. Of course there is the controversy of the 28th Amendment with how it is being voted on and what it will cover. Of course you have people on both sides that have strong feeling about this amendment.

Of course there are those that are willing to kill to get what they want. Mixed in the hearing is the story of Cassie, a young girl with aspirations to be a tennis star and has diabetes that normally would be controlled. It becomes a race against time to get her rescued before that causes more complications.

This is an amazing thriller that will appeal to anyone. Although the topic is not my normal read I am so glad that I got the chance to listen to the story. But that could also be because Chris Andrew Ciulla does a fantastic job narrating this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Michele at Forte Business Consulting for the opportunity to listen and share this book.

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Wasp Latitudes

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Wasp Latitudes (DI Will Harlan – 2) by Allan Watson

Against a background of brutal attacks on people and property by a rag-tag group of homeless men whom the media quickly dub Berserkers, DI Will Harlan is juggling with a head-in-a-bucket patricide, a lethal wife-swapping session, a sex-tape scandal involving the Royal Scottish National Orchestra – and perhaps most discomfiting of all – a spate of late night phone calls from his favourite serial killer, Howie Danks.

As the wife-swapping investigation spirals into a glut of cold-blooded slayings carried out by a mysterious pair of killers known as the Wasp Queen and the Priest, Harlan has to look into the past where a cold case may contain uncomfortable answers. But it’s in the present where the real danger lies as he follows a twisted path of mind control and madness leading to a cruel land some call the Wasp Latitudes.

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About the Author

Allan Watson is a writer whose work leans towards the dark end of the fiction spectrum. He is the author of seven novels – Dreaming in the Snakepark, Carapace, The Garden of Remembrance, 1-2-3-4, Monochrome, Heart Swarm and Wasp Latitudes.
In between the books, Allan wrote extensively for BBC Radio Scotland, churning out hundreds of comedy sketches, in addition to being a regular contributor for the world famous ‘Herald Diary’.

He occasionally masquerades as a composer/musician, collaborating with crime writer Phil Rickman in a band called Lol Robinson with Hazey Jane II whose albums have sold on four different continents (Antarctica was a hard one to crack)

Allan lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland, but has never worn the kilt or eaten a deep fried Mars Bar. He also once spent three days as a stand-in guitarist for the Bay City Rollers, but he rarely talks much about that…

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My Review

5 Stars

DI Will Harlan has his hands full. A group of homeless men dubbed the Berserkers by the media, have been going around killing people. You have a wife swapping group that has gone deadly. Then there is the famous musician caught up in a sex tape scandal. Even though his case load is over full he also finds himself in a Youtube video and being questioned by his bosses over the incident.

Things seem to be going dark and dangerous with no leads when a phone call from serial killer Howie Danks gives Harlan a lead that might connect everything to a cold case from 20 years earlier. But can Harlan trust Danks?

I admit that I have not read the first book in this series, Heart Swarm. But I had no problem jumping into Wasp Latitudes with both feet and not missing a beat. This story is dark and full of bloody violence. But it is a great thriller that will hook you from the first page. Although it seems a lot is happening, everything is linked and the closer we get to the end.

This is a great thriller and one that I recommend checking out. I can’t wait to go back and catch up along with see where Harlan finds himself next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Books On The Bright Side for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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