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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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cotton FBI Collection #2

EPISODE 5: THE INFECTION. The man with the inflamed stab wound in the Bedford specialty clinic is no ordinary patient. His name is Jeremiah Cotton, agent of the FBI, and he thwarted a biological weapon attack. Because he might be carrying the pathogen himself, he cannot leave the hospital grounds. Then one of the other patients dies under peculiar circumstances. Cotton starts to investigate - looked over by personnel as just a hobby detective and viewed with suspicion by hospital management. But then there is an attempt on Cotton's life and things get serious - and personal ...
EPISODE 6: BONY BEACH. Human bones were uncovered by a winter storm on one of Chappaquiddick's beaches. While examining the remains the police found a dozen more buried in the sand. Philippa Decker and Jeremiah Cotton from the FBI's G-Team are on the scene to investigate. They are supported by Dr. Connors, a retired forensic doctor from homicide. For a long time he had been convinced that there is a serial killer active on the island, but no one ever believed him. He asks the two agents to help him find the killer. Just as a blizzard blows over the island, a dramatic showdown takes place ...
EPISODE 7: THE KUMO CARTELL. John Saito, an American business man of Japanese descent, lies in his penthouse. He was murdered. All he had on was a condom. He had two Asian ciphers scrawled on his forehead which together form the word ?kumo' - the spider. It seems that the man was killed by some poison during sex games. Saito is not the first person to be killed in this manner. The G-Team is called upon to help solve the murders. Special Agent Jerry Cotton and Philippa Decker first suspect the Yakuza, or a similar organized crime gang, to be responsible for the killings. However, the true meanings of the homicides go far deeper. The traces lead to a network of dirty business and to a woman who is more dangerous than a Spider ... and deadlier.

Cotton FBI Collection #2
By Various Authors
Bastei Entertainment
Price $3.99
258 pages

“Fast, Pulpy Action.”

This second collection in the Cotton FBI series contains the next three stories: The Infection” by Linda Budinger; “Bony Beach” by Peter Mennigen; and “The Kumo Cartel” by Mara Laue.
“The Infection” starts out with Cotton following a suspect with a suitcase of biological germs. During the capture, Cotton is accidentally shot by a G-Team sniper. He is ordered into Belfort Private Medical Clinic for a period of treatment. He’s not there long when he notices things are not on the up and up. The story is actually a bit slow, and not much action with him inactive in the clinic.
“Bony Beach” is set on the island of Chappaquiddick near Martha’s Vineyard, where a mass grave site has been discovered, revealing the bones of many women of different ages. They appear to be the bodies of missing woman the Boston police were investigating for years. When one was discovered in Connecticut it brings the FBI in, but they never find the bodies or killer. Now, with the mass grave throwing new light on the case, Decker and Cotton are sent to the island to investigate. Like the first story, this one was also slow, and a bit boring.
“The Kumo Cartel” has the FBI trailing an assassin who is killing high-ranking members of the Kumo Cartel, a group of Japanese dealing in gun smuggling. Evidently the Yakuza hired the assassin to kill the Kumo Cartel members, but the assassin, a mysterious woman named Yuki, is working for a Brotherhood of ninjas. She is a kunoichi, a Dragon Lady, trained in ninjutsu since childhood, and disappears from every trap. The story follows Yuki as she assassinates her targets, escaping before Cotton and Decker can capture her.
After reading the first two stories I was ready to give this collection a 4-Star rating, but “The Kumo Cartel” blew the collection up to a 5-Star on it’s own merits. This is one of the best stories so far in the series, and I’m anxious to read more stories by Mara Laue. Needless to say, Yuki was not captured and will make a return engagement in the series. For action and character, Yuki probably deserves her own series. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories
& Night To Dawn Magazine

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