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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 fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Friday, July 20, 2018

Nameless Serenade

Years ago, Vinnie Sannino left Naples on a ship bound for America, where he found fame and wealth as a boxer. But his gilded life in the new world came to an abrupt end when, during a fight, with a heavy punch to the head of his opponent, Vinnie killed a man in the ring.
Now, Vinnie's back in Italy, pining for the woman he left behind. Cettina, however, is now a married woman. She was, at least, until recently when her husband was found dead, killed by a single blow to the head. For Commissario Ricciardi, one of the most faceted cops in fiction, and his partner Maione, it is a going to be a long, rainy, week in Naples.


Nameless Serenade (World Noir)
By Maurizio De Giovanni
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609454609
Price $18.00 (Paperback)
Price $9.99 (Kindle)
399 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

The publisher sent me a copy for an honest review. It’s autumn in Naples, and raining. 16 years previous a young boy and girl declared their love for each other, but the boy, Vinnie stows away on a ship to America to make money and promises his sweetheart, Cettina he would return for her when he had enough money. He becomes a boxer, known as the Italian Snake, and obtains the light heavyweight championship. After accidentally killing a man in the ring he decides to return to Naples and his sweetheart. But things have changed. Cettina has married, not waiting on him any longer. In a drunken rage Vinnie threatens to kill her husband and the next morning her husband’s body is found. He has been beaten to death. Pressure is put on Commissario Ricciardi to arrest the boxer, but the detective doesn’t believe the case is closed and continues the investigation.

What a wonderful story. The author’s writing and story-telling ability keeps you turning the pages, and the mystery is never what it seems. This is the best mystery series coming out of Italy, and Maurizio De Giovanni is my favorite author in the genre. My one complaint, Commissario Ricciardi and Enrica Colombo should finally get together, and the sooner the better. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA


Monday, July 16, 2018

Lilith Cohen: Merchants of Death

Lilith Cohen the stoic veteran assassin augmented by Nanotechnology lives a double life with her husband of two years. Keeping him believing in a beautiful lie that his loving wife is just a fashion designer.
Agent Cohen travels to Golan Heights, Israel for what she thinks is just another run of the mill assassination, but to her surprise, there’s something off about the bloody Civil War that rages throughout Syria.
What starts as a routine kill order turns out to be anything but. This terrorist leader and his men are armed with advanced weapons, which leads her to one conclusion, there’s a Merchant of Death profiting from the bloodshed. Will her hunt for this shadowy profiteer send her down a road she wished she never went down?


Lilith Cohen: Merchants of Death (Men’s Action Novel)
By William J. Manning
Solstice Publishing
ASIN #B07B7PV4S4
Price $4.99 (Kindle)
356 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

The author gave me a copy of the book for an honest review.  Lilith Cohen is an ex Israeli Mossad, now working for a special unit of assassins called the Hunters. She’s married to a doctor in Florida as a cover, and pretends to be a fashion designer. On an assignment in Israel she discovers someone is arming the terrorists with advanced weaponry. This leads her to an American based security firm, Black Reign. Not only are they providing high-grade weapons, but drugs and sex slaves around the world. Lilith wants to go after them, but the upper command refuses, and eventually dismisses her from service. But she and her ex-trainer continue their research into the organization, while she hires out to the CIA and DEA until she can attack Black Reign.

This was an interesting plot, but the story needed tightening. It was all over the place. She gets ten million dollars for one assignment, five million dollars for another, yet does penny ante assignments locally when she doesn’t need to, and has no connection to the story. It’s merely keeping the action going. I liked the action, but keep it focused. What hurt her character most, I think, is all the crying she does. Here we have this well trained killer who can enter secure compounds and destroy the camp and kill all within; she’s trained in weapons and martial arts – Krav Maga, Hapkido, and Kapap, and should be a cold, calculating assassin, but she’s constantly breaking down and crying. I think the author will have a winning combination of good plot and characters once he tightens his writing style and mold his characters to their full potential. Regardless, the action keeps the story moving, and I think readers will appreciate that. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Author of ASSIGNMENT: NINA FONTAYNE

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dr. Vigilante

Doctor by day. Vigilante by night. Robert lives a double life in New York City. He spends his days treating patients at the St. Jude's Hospital ER and his nights going after the psychopaths who wrong them: the child molesters, wife beaters, and rapists. But when the fiery, beautiful new social worker discovers his secret identity and their love affair takes off, Robert is forced to face some hard questions: Do the ends justify the means? After years of hunting down psychopaths, is Robert turning into one himself? An action thriller with strong, distinct characters, filled with suspense and surprise, Dr. Vigilante is also a love story unfolding amid the turmoil and drama of a busy ER.


Dr. Vigilante (Action Novel)
By Alberto Hazan
VB Publishing
ISBN #978-0578127095
Price $12.99 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
275 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Tortured and beaten by his stepfather as a child, he watched as his mother was also beaten and tortured, and his brother raped by his stepfather. Now an adult, he saves lives in the ER during the day and hunts psychopaths at night. During the first quarter of the book we don’t know which doctor he is until a new social worker captures his heart and discovers his secret identity. The police are after the Manhattan Vigilante because he mains and tortures criminals. He knows how to hurt the bad guys medically, and doesn’t hesitate. Using his medical skills and karate, he disables hoodlums within seconds. But the social worker loves him, and wants to help cure him of his obsession, while the police secretly admire him. “Criminals can be rehabilitated,” the social worker tells him. “Let him do what he’s doing,” the detective says. In the end will he choose love or continue his hatred for psychopaths?

This was page-turner from the beginning, and I finished it in one day. We see the tortured man who has all the skills, to both save lives and kill, as he struggles to help the victims and destroy the evil. There is little plot, as he merely goes after those men who abuse their wives and children. But halfway into the book neo-Nazis become the central target for his fight and causes him the most grief. They discover his social worker girlfriend and target her to get to him. This is not a story based on plot, but characters, and lots of action. Highly recommended for the action lover.

Tom Johnson
Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Three Against The World

Richard's house is broken into, he loses his job, is ditched by his gold-digging fiancĂ©e, and a daughter he didn't know he had is dumped on him by his ex-wife. Has Richard’s life become a disaster, or is fate offering him a chance to escape a lifestyle forced on him by his father? Will Richard find another love? Fourteen-year-old Maria knows her mother doesn’t want her, but can she believe her father does, or is she a burden he'd be happier without? Ben, a rescue centre dog adopted by Richard, supposedly doesn’t like children, but he likes Maria. The Jack Russell defends the girl, but will his life be forfeit and Richard jailed?


Three Against The World (Romance)
By Sarah Stuart
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN # 978-1720541882
Price $7.50 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
288 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Shakespeare would have had a filed day with this story. It would almost be a comedy if it weren’t so tragic. Some people are just born unlucky, and as we meet poor Richard we find a man who isn’t having any luck in life. His home is burgled, he loses his job, and his only friend seems to be Ben, the dog he rescued from the shelter. To make matters worse a 14-year-old girl shows up on his doorstep claiming to be his daughter. Unwanted and unloved, she’s a teenager that needs help and understanding. Richard discovers that she’s not really his daughter, his ex-wife just told her he was her father, but he doesn’t have the heart to tell her. Instead, he cares for her and tries to help her while his own life is a shambles.

This was really a neat story, and I expected the twist at the end, but it still kept me turning the pages. Will Richard ever find romance, and live happily ever after? Read the book and find out. Highly recommended.

Ginger Johnson
Author of COWBOY FROM TEXAS





Saturday, July 7, 2018

Texas Law

1879 – San Antonio, Texas. Stagecoach robbers steal the mortgage money from Cat Devine, the rancher’s daughter. Cat’s father hires a Pinkerton detective to restore the money and protect his daughter from the disfigured desperado who threatens to kidnap Cat and take her for his woman. Travis McGuire, the Pinkerton Detective, is a man to be reckoned with. He faces down a flood, gunfights, and Cat’s father. But can he restore Cat’s sullied reputation? Cat Devine confronts stage robbers, her demanding father, and gossiping neighbors. But can she resist Travis McGuire, a hero with a heart as big as his Texas home. He’s a man who wears a star and upholds his commitment.


Texas Law (Western Romance)
By Anne Greene
Winged Publication
ISBN #978-1946959814
Price $6.27 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
118 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“The Author Can Tell A Good Yarn”

The author sent me a copy of the book for an honest review. The story is set in San Antonio in 1879 after the hard days of settling the West, and when towns and cities were building. But they were still experiencing the occasional outlaw hold-ups. Our main characters, Cat Devine, a rancher’s daughter, and Travis McGuire, a Pinkerton detective are brought together when the stagecoach Cat is on is robbed by outlaws, stealing her mortgage money, and her father hires the Pinkerton detective to get the money back and take care of the outlaws.

This was a rip-roaring western adventure by a multi-genre author who knows how to tell a good yarn. Texas Law was an enjoyable romance told by Anne Greene. Ms. Greene had my interest with the front cover and kept me reading to the end. The author is also a Christian, and like all of her books, her characters seek God in their final solutions. This story was no exception. I appreciate well-written stories with a touch of Christian morals in my reads, and Anne Greene never fails to entertain. Highly recommended.

Ginger Johnson

Author of COWBOY FROM TEXAS