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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cotton FBI

Cotton FBI was originally a German Dime Novel character, but has been brought back by Bastie Entertainment, with new writers and modern sensibilities. The series is planned to continue under the authorship of several new writers. The story begins when Cotton and his family come to New York from Iowa to visit his sister. He has just finished high school, and doesn’t know what his future holds. A thief steels his wallet, forcing him to chase him down, and delaying his arrival at his sister’s office. When he arrives at the building and starts up, there is an explosion from above. It’s September 11, 2001, and he’s in the Twin Trade Towers during the terrorist attack. His sister and parents are killed, and he is dug out of the rubble, almost dead. It was while lying beneath the debris that he decides to become a policeman and help people.

Cotton FBI Collection #1 (FBI Drama, episodes 1 thru 4)
By Various Authors
Bastei Entertainment
Price $3.99
337 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Fast Action, Well Written, With Interesting Characters.”

This collection contains four short novels: “The Beginning” by Mario Giordana; “Countdown” by Peter Menninggen; “Hidden Shadows” by Jan Gardemann; and “Witness Protection” by Alexander Lohmann.

“The Beginning” begins when Patrolman Jeremiah Cotton and his partner stop in a seedy part of the city, and his partner leaves the car to check on Asian prostitutes that are paying him for protection, something that angers Cotton, but he can’t do anything about the situation. More than one cop in the city is crooked. While his partner is away, a Chinese woman passes the patrol car, and he notices a weapon tucked under her blouse in back. Suspicious, he follows her into a building, and hearing the sound of a body crashing to the floor he enters a room to investigate. As he sees the young woman on the floor in a pool of blood, he senses movement behind him then the blur of a hand and he’s knocked to the floor. The assailant escapes before he can get up. Calling for assistance, he’s arrested when patrols arrive on the scene. Taken to the police station, Cotton is interrogated by the FBI.

The FBI have been investigating a serial killer of Asian prostitutes in several States bordering New York, and the woman Cotton had followed into the building was an FBI Special Agent on the case. When he continues to stick his nose into the investigation, he discovers the unit she was assigned to was the G-Team, a special FBI unit. As Cotton comes up with more clues, the Team eventually allows him in, and the story follows their investigation into an even deeper motive than the murder of prostitutes.

“Countdown” begins when terrorists somehow take control of a passenger plane coming into New York. With a computer they have taken control away from the pilot, and using the plane as a weapon to blackmail America into releasing an Arab prisoner. The plane has six hours of fuel on board, so the case must be solved within that short time. Forced to comply, Cotton and his senior partner, Decker, are sent to the prison to pick the prisoner up in exchange. As they are loading him into the van, a silenced shot it fired from the prison, killing the Arab instantly, then the assassin escapes.

As each of their investigations end in failures, the president closes G-Team after five hours, and assigns the job to Homeland Security. They solve the problem in the next hour, destroying the terrorist office and getting the plane down, though the terrorists escaped. Something isn’t right about the whole situation, but Cotton can’t figure what. Returning to his apartment after being fired, he finds a young girl sitting on the steps, abused and crying. Learning that her father is beating her and his wife, he intervenes, and while helping the girl something she does snaps his mind on a clue to the whole case. But will he have time to save the G Team and bring the culprits to justice?

“Hidden Shadows” begins when Cotton and his senior partner, Decker, are called to investigate the death of Dominick Tarbell, the son of Claudia Tarbell, the Secretary of Commerce. He fell from the Brooklyn Bridge, and a bomb followed him down to explode on a boat below.

The case involves illegal drug smuggling to Canada, as well as a terrorist plot against buildings in New York.

“Witness Protection” begins when a woman is found drowned in the New York Harbor with a false ID. The boss of G-Team puts Decker and Cotton on the case, but Cotton doesn’t understand why a mere drowning brings in their FBI team. They soon learn that somebody is offering a witness protection scheme to people who want to disappear with a lot of money, and this interest the chief of G-Team.

Cotton discovers that there have been other strange deaths of unknown people with false IDs, and other people that have come up missing. It may all add up to the same case. Is the head of the racket working two angles on the disappearances?

These four short novels, each by different authors, set the stage for the new series. The stories are fast, well written, good plots, and lots of pulpy action. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Detective Mystery Stories

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