Snippet Reviews: April 2020

So, it’s time for a few more snippet reviews.


After reading only a few Sidney Sheldon books, I found that Bloodline matches his formula very closely. This is not a bad thing. While it doesn’t exceed the excess of Master of the Game, it comes fairly close, and his story of elite “intrigue” is everything you’d expect.

False Flag

A disappointing second entry in the Jason Trapp series, False Flag keeps the semi-serious tone while turning the plot up to full Roger Moore Bond ridiculousness. It doesn’t work well compared to its predecessor.

Extraordinary Retribution

Erec Stebbins’ second INTEL 1 novel, Extraordinary Retribution, is kind of an in-name-only endeavor. Not only are the politics even more blatant and hamfisted, but the main characters of The Ragnarok Conspiracy only appear at the end as a final deus ex machina. Otherwise, it’s a completely separate story. And not the best-written one.

Review: Deep State

Deep State


Jack Slater’s debut, Deep State , is a very zig-zaggy book. It features super-operative Jason Trapp (another action hero name for you) as he foils the same kind of “attempted American coup” plot that has been going on in cheap thrillers since Seven Days in May. Despite its title, it’s not really that political, which was a pleasant surprise.

This book has one of my cheap thriller pet peeves front and center-when the writer repeatedly goes “this isn’t like the movies” but then has the characters do ridiculous stuff anyway. This is why the book goes up and down so much. It wants to go “THIS IS SERIOUS AND NOT MOVIE-LIKE” but then has Trapp doing incredible things. It also has a few extraneous characters, a villain contrivance so powerful it needs a heroic contrivance to compensate, and manages to hit a few too many genre notes (although that could just be me having read waaaaaaaay too many of these kinds of books).

In spite of all this, the fundamentals are good enough (barring the “this isn’t like the movies, he just does incredible things in an un-cinematic way” dissonance) and it flows well enough to make all of that forgivable. This is still worth a read.