Thriller Guy usually steers clear of making any Best Of pronouncements, not because he’s afraid of making his opinions known or promoting one writer over another, (you regular Thriller Guy readers are well aware of that) but because he reads books so far ahead of their publication date he’s usually forgotten what they were by the time the rest of the world is reading them. But because he was recently asked to make such a pronouncement, he’s given the matter some thought and decided on a superb holiday present for the thriller reader in your household, especially if he’s a military adventure reader. The Red Dragon Rising, four book series by Larry Bond and Jim de Felice.
Both of these guys are military adventure thriller writers separately and together. Their years of experience and original, ripped from the headlines plots and excellent writing skills make them masters of the genre. Here’s a summary (taken from Bond’s website) of the first book in the series, Shadows of War: “In 2014, climate change has pushed the world to the boiling point. China faces drought and famine; gas costs $14.39 a gallon in the US; Europe has problems of its own. China sets her sights on food-rich Vietnam and engineers a casus belli designed to justify her aggression, but Josh McArthur, a climatologist doing field work near the border, escapes the massacre of his research team and finds evidence of another - evidence that would discredit Chinese claims and frustrate their plans. Josh must not only escape the Chinese agents hunting him, but he's in the middle of a fast-moving war that is swallowing the country. Josh needs help, and gets it from several places, but he needs to get his information, and himself, if possible, to safe hands.”
The next three books are, Edge of War, Shock of War, and Blood of War. While the “hero” of the first book, Josh McArthur, remains a focal point in the series, it is the other characters that are developed -- in particular Major Zeus Murphy -- who are really the stars. Murphy is on loan to the Vietnamese army, and his brilliant tactics against the Chinese lead to some of the best military action scenes in the thriller genre. At this point these books aren’t bundled, so to give someone a complete set you’re going to have to go to Amazon and buy them individually. As a matter of fact, the fourth book that ends the series, Blood of War, isn’t even slated to hit the shelves until Jan. 23. But you could buy the first three, give them as a present, and then add on the last one when it becomes available.
Thriller Guy has convinced Allen Appel that this is the season of giving, so Appel’s book, Time After Time, is being offered as a free eBook for the next few days. You can go to The Appel Store to find a link; look on the For Free page for this book and other interesting news.