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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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Superfall (Humorous Spy/Thriller)
By John Hegenberger
196 Pages
Not Released Yet
Rating 4-Stars

“Well Written Humorous Thriller”

L.A. private detective Sam Wade is working for a disguised George Reeves, whose recent death was staged so he could be placed in the Witness Protection Plan after identifying key mob figures. With Reeves is a female FBI agent who is also working on a commie plot; the communist are infiltrating the mob for their own purposes. Wade and George Reeves, who the Reds believe is Steve Allen now, attend one of their meetings, and are recruited into their organization. The local leader tells Sam that a Russian cell is passing counterfeit money all over L.A., and it interferes with his bigger plan, and he wants Wade to discover how the money is being brought in.

This appears to be a prequel to SPYFALL, and was well written, with a good plot. The name dropping throughout the story is fun, but I’m still not comfortable with the author using real people as characters in the novels. Lloyd Bridges also has a recurring part, and Walt Disney is a behind the scenes as a local FBI boss who uses Wade as his agent in cases like this one. There is lots of humor along with the action, and spy lovers with enjoy this light-hearted, fast-paced, easy read. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson



  1. Using real life people in fiction happens all the time. Probably more than half of all westerns feature at least one historical figure as a character.

    Does it make you uncomfortable because these are people well within living memory?

  2. I'm aware of that. But putting words in the moths of real people, or making them out to be something they aren't/weren't is not being true to their character. Whether Reeves committed suicide or was murdered, he really died, and did not go into the Witness Protection Program. As writers we should be careful how we handle real people. To my knowledge, Disney was not a member of the FBI, and did not lead assignments against anyone, or have others do it for him. It's fun remaking people, but should we? I don't feel comfortable doing it, or when others do it.

  3. You have a point, but I've read dozens of novels, and seen nearly as many movies featuring Billy The Kid as a character, and I don't think any of them are anything like the real guy, especially the movies starring Buster Crabbe. I think you are saying that the scenarios you mention above do not let one suspend disbelief, which is certainly understandable.

  4. The truth is, Billy The Kid was a killer and ugly as sin, not a hero. Yet in just about every movie with him, he's handsome and heroic. When we write about real characters we tend to change reality. But my point is, when I'm dead will someone write me into a story and have me doing things I wouldn't do while alive, and that would be okay? Or put words in my mouth that I did not say? If that happened, I would hope my living relatives sued them.

  5. Thanks for the super review, Tom. Glad you enjoyed the book. Walt, indeed, worked for the FBI. And as to Reeves... well, I'm just following in the literary footsteps of Stuart Kaminsky, Nicolas Meyer and Herman Wouk. The point is, I think, to have fun and feel as if you've discovered a "lost episode." I humbly appreciate your reading and reviewing Stan Wade's novels. Thanks again.

  6. In what capacity did Disney work for the FBI? I've seen nothing to indicate that this is true. Since his death I've heard that he was gay, a racist, and many other things that have proven to be untrue. If I write something about somebody, does it become fact? I don't read Stuart Kaminski, Nicolas Meyer, or Herman Wouk. I do try to research any subject I'm writing about, but I can be mistaken, so I use caution when real people are even mentioned in one of my stories. I know other writers "use" real people in their stories, but I am uncomfortable with the practice. That has nothing to do with your writing ability, however. Your stories are fun, with interesting plots.

  7. Hi Tom: You might want to take a look at Marc Eliot's book, "Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince."

    There's a reproduction of an 1955 FBI Memorandum where Walt is being promoted to full Special Agent in Charge (SAC). This wasn't his first work of the bureau. Like you, I do extensive research and avoid just dropping real people into stories. This detailed research is half the fun of writing the Stan Wade series. There's a lot about famous people that is not well known, but if you dig deep, you can find some fascinating facts that make for great story telling. I discovered that my own great-uncle was the man who provided Truman with solid proof that Stalin had exploded an A-Bomb back in 1949. Fun stuff!