Monday, April 28, 2008

"The Second Horseman" by Kyle Mills (published 2006)

Way back in October, 2007, I discovered Kyle Mills by reading his book "Darkness Falls." His writing style is one that keeps you on the edge of your seat and anxious to turn the page. His genre is government thrillers. Most of his books feature a returning character, FBI Agent, Mark Beamon. Actually 5 of his 9 books have Agent Beamon. The other 4 fall within the same genre but with little twists here and there. In my "fanboy" lens I created about Kyle Mills ( ), I state, "Tom Clancy, look out Kyle Mills is on the scene." Because I believe that you can easily count his work up there with Tom Clancy.

This book, "The Second Horseman," does not have the character of Mark Beamon but does have a great lead character in the guise of Brandon Vale, a career thief, the best there is. One of the great things Kyle Mills is that every single character in his book has depth and that depth is shown through both a good side and a bad side. So Brandon Vale, the thief, has the bad side, his attitude to life and his humor offsets the bad with some good.

The story starts out with Brandon in prison on some trumped up diamond heist charge. Sure he was framed for this one, but he's not exactly innocent. But, for some reason when it comes to time for lights out a guard takes Brandon out to the gate, gives him a cell phone and says go. Confused, Brandon stares at the guard, the guard then takes his nightstick out and proceeds to knock himself out. Brandon then realizes something is awry. He then makes for the woods bordering the prison. He then is led to a change of clothes and a house via calls on the cell phone.

It turns out that Brandon's last job was merely a cover as Brandon cased Las Vegas. After all, how does Vegas keep all that money from just piling up? It turns out Brandon had almost all the plans figured out as to how to heist the money leaving Vegas and heading for the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco. About $200 million would be good money, for anyone. It would also be good money for the government, supposing they wanted to buy some black market nukes to get them out of terrorist hands and not have to keep records of the money or the nukes. Also $200 million would be good for purchasing same nukes and destroying a middle eastern country.

So what turns out to be a mix of Oceans 11 and a Tom Clancy novel Kyle Mills delivers an action thriller which first takes us through a "fun" heist releiving Vegas of some funds and then saving the world through government double crosses.

Some great action and very fun dialogue in this book, so be prepared to be thrilled, entertained and kept on the edge of your seat when you read "The Second Horseman" by Kyle Mills.

"Buy From" button 90x28

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by Gil T. @ 7:50 PM Comments: 0

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Book Review: "Smoke Screen" by Kyle Mills

Okay so I've now read all of Kyle Mills' books that feature FBI agent Mark Beamon, now what? Well, I now am reading his other books and "Smoke Screen" is one of them. While this book is not the thriller that the others are, it does keep you on the edge of your seat and anxious to turn the page to find out more.

This book is actually quite fun and some nice humor thrown in to a "What-If" situation. The what-if is; What if the tobacco companies all shut down and stopped producing the deadly products? Kyle Mills ponders this question and in the middle of telling a fun and interesting story gives a little lesson in civics. You see the government is so dependent on monies from the tobacco industry that while saving lives a lot of other lives would be put in harm's way and, most important to the government, lots of money would not be arriving in the political coffers they've come to depend on. These monies come in the form of taxed product, bribes/donations from the tobacco industry and even the people working in the industry.

So what would happen? This book offers one possible outcome and does so in a well researched way that it makes you stop and think about this crop that pretty much was highly influential in the development of the United States of America as a country back in the break from England.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have finally found the weakness they’ve been searching for and filed a $200 billion lawsuit that the industry will be unable to appeal. America’s tobacco companies react by doing the unthinkable - they close their plants and recall their products from retailers’ shelves.

The book's hero, Trevor Barnett, is from a family who made the tobacco industry what it is. One of the most powerful industries and political decision makers. However Trevor is not a rich person. He lives off a trust that basically pays little until he's 60 then he gets a few million dollars to enjoy. But until then he must be in the constant employ of big tobacco. So he's got a mindless job in the company his family founded.

But now he's charged with the task of going on national television and making the announcement: Not another cigarette will be manufactured or sold until the industry is given ironclad protection from the courts. This all because he wanted to get fired. When asked to summarize the latest surgeon general's report for the CEO of the company, he simply writes "Tobacco still kills and we don't know what to do about it." This is the first time anyone has ever talked "straight" with the CEO, Paul Trainer. So through an inexplicable series of unwanted promotions, Trevor Barnett has become the lead spokesman for the tobacco industry just as it’s on the verge of extinction.

As the economy falters and chaos takes hold, Trevor becomes the target of enraged smokers, gun toting cigarette smugglers and a government that has been off from one of it’s largest sources of revenue. Soon it becomes clear that this has always been his function - to take the brunt of the backlash and shield the men in power from the maelstrom they’ve created.

While the author, Kyle Mills, is a great thriller writer, in this book he takes a different approach that makes this book fun. Lot's of humor, tongue in cheek pokes at pretty much everyone and to top it off it's told in first person with Trevor Barnett as the narrator.

This book is a fun read that may also jolt the brain into thinking about some interesting issues. Some great sarcasm here for folks that love it (like me).

"Buy From" button 90x28

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by Gil T. @ 9:55 PM Comments: 0