My Blog

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Early Autumn Giveaway


Early Autumn Book Giveaway: Marie Lavender is offering a huge giveaway of several authors’ books on her Blog over the next few days. I am offering one print copy of TALES OF MASKS & MAYHEM V #1, and five PDF copies of it. It is under Action & Adventure. There are many more books available. Stop by and enter for free giveaways. No one has asked for my book yet (hint, hint). http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2017/09/400th-anniversary-post-early-autumn-mega-book-giveaway.html

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Good Life

In this powerful new book from an esteemed novelist and acclaimed short story writer, Marian Thurm expertly draws a chilling portrait of a marriage and the downward spiral of a loving husband and father who has bought a handgun as the novel opens.

Stacy and Roger seem to have it all: a wonderful marriage, a luxury Upper East Side apartment with all the accoutrements of the wealthy, and two endearing young children enrolled in private schools. But what appears to be "the good life" to their family and friends is not what it seems in this fast-paced, suspenseful novel that shows the sinister effects of a destructive marriage and the pursuit of the privileged life.

Thurm, who according to the New York Times Book Review, "writes brilliantly of the battle of the sexes," has done so again in The Good Life.


The Good Life (Literary Fiction)
By Marian Thurm
The Permanent Press www.thepermanentpress.com
ISBN #978-1579624286
Price $29.00 (hardback)
278 Pages
Rating 3-Stars

“A Well Written Story”

Stacy and Roger are a family on the way up. Both are educated, she is a social worker, and Roger is a real-estate developer. With two children, they seem a happy couple, but that isn’t the case. Roger is failing, and the good life is not what it seems. This was a strange story, one that I would not normally read. We know there are dysfunctional families in all walks of life, and marriages often titter on the brink of ruin, ending sometimes in violence.

The publisher sent the book to me for an honest review. The author’s writing was what held the story together for me, but it wasn’t a book I really cared for. They say there is a genre for everyone, and I’m sure there are readers for this type of fiction. I’m sure others will find the book more impressive than I did. It wasn’t a book that should have been sent to me, however. If you are interested in reading about families living the good life – or wanting to live the good life, then I can highly recommend this book to you.

Tom Johnson

Author of COLD WAR HEROES

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nakamura Reality

To understand Japanese culture requires reading between the lines. This is
Hugh Mcpherson's challenge in Nakamura Reality, a beguiling blend of mystery, odyssey, inconsolable loss and obsession.

Absenting himself for a brief intimacy with a former girlfriend, Hugh leaves his surfing-obsessed sons on an isolated California beach. When he returns, the eleven-year-old twins have vanished. A ferocious riptide has swept Takumi and Hitoshi out to sea, their bodies unrecovered.

Devastated by the loss, Hugh and his Japanese wife Setsuko divorce. Severing all ties to America, Setsuko returns to Japan to live with her father, Kazuki Ono, a prominent author of mind-bending novels.

After grieving for ten years and longing for Setsuko, Hugh swims out to sea to drown himself. As he sinks, his sons appear to him, holding the last letter that he had sent to their mother, begging her forgiveness.

Abandoning his suicide, Hugh swims back to shore. The incident awakens memories that throw doubt on the accepted version of his sons' deaths. His doubts are intensified when he learns that Kazuki Ono has come to California to finish a novel called Fingal's Cave, the tale of a brash American who marries a Japanese woman against the wishes of her father, a powerful businessman with ties to the Yakuza.

Provoked by his memories and obliquely revealing passages found in Kazuki's books, Hugh begins a Quixotic journey across the California landscape, encountering numerous characters of ill-will and cross-purpose, but who inexorably lead him toward a film-industry firm called Nakamura Reality, and a labyrinth that challenges him to separate reality from fiction to find his way out... and perhaps back to his sons.


Nakamura Reality (Mystery)
By Alex Austin
The Permanent Press www.thepermanentpress.com
ISBN 9781579624095
$29.00
272 Pages
Rating 4-Stars


“Will Test The Reader’s Imagination”

Leaving his sons unattended on the beach, Hugh McPherson returns to find them missing, believed to have been swept away while surfing in the ocean. The loss of his sons breaks up his marriage with his Japanese wife, Setsuko. She returns to Japan, leaving Hugh to suffer his loss alone. Ten years later he decides to join his sons, swimming into the sea to die, but a vision of his two boys makes him see other possibilities. But when chance presents itself Hugh searches out Setsuko’s father who is visiting to finish his novel. Could his sons still be alive?

This was a strange mystery novel, leaving the reader questioning reality as truth or fiction. What we see as real may not be the truth. The author delves into the Japanese thought process, as well as reading between the lines for deeper meanings. A good read, but there were times I wasn’t sure I was following the story line, and that posed a problem for me. It all works in the end, but expect some odd roads to the final destination. Recommended to test the reader’s imagination.

Tom Johnson

Author of THE MAN IN THE BLACK FEDORA

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Third Hell

With a bullet lodged too close to his heart, LAPD Detective Nino Angelo is no longer able to do the job he loves. He believes being forced to retire after a 25-year career might be the worst thing that could happen, until his twelve-year-old son goes missing.  

Mathew vanishes in the middle of the night from the Hollywood Hills condo of Nino’s ex-wife, but Nino blames himself for the boy’s disappearance, knowing his addiction to police work cost him his marriage and ruined any chance he had to be a real father. 

School friends tell the police Mathew ran away, but none of his son’s clothes or other belongings are missing. Nino’s ex-wife is frantic but even his rusty police instincts are warning him both she and Mathew’s friends are not being completely truthful.

After months of searching, he’s unable to find a trace of his son. He looks in every Hollywood shelter and follows leads from homeless encampments along the LA River to the mansions north of the city in Canyon country, his son’s Catholic School, and finally to a children’s home in Texas. The police department isn’t helpful except for Charley Harper, a female detective at the Hollywood station, and Detective Reggie Madison, his ex-wife’s current boyfriend. Reggie is a hard-charging cop and although Nino doesn’t approve of the man’s “end justifies the means” approach to police work, he knows his help is crucial.

Nino’s life is about to change. He goes through a personal hell and battles evil in unlikely places to find out what kind of man he really is.


The Third Hell (Detective Mystery)
By Connie Dial
The Permanent Press  www.thepermanentpress.com
ISBN #978-1679624941
Price $29.00 (Hardback)
276 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Connie Dial Does It Again”


Retired police detective, Nino Angelo feels that he failed as a family man due to his dedication to police work. When he learns that his son, Matthew, has disappears in the night, he blames himself. The police department doesn’t help. Following the trail, he leaves no stone unturned in his search, and with the help of his ex-wife’s recent boyfriend and Hollywood Detective Charlie Harper, they stick to the scent.

Visually real, we see the sordid lifestyles of unscrupulous and dangerous people in the world around us. People in power that can’t be touched, yet do despicable things to those we cherish the most. Will Nino find his son in time? The reality is sometimes unfair. This was a real page-turner, and the characters memorable. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Author of BEHIND THE MASK

Friday, September 1, 2017

Alien Species Intervention

Alien Species Intervention (SF)
By J. K. Accinni
Books 1-3
ASIN # B00GS2W6T2
J. K. Publishing
Price – Free On Kindle
517 Pages
Rating 1-Star

“Could Not Finish The Book”

I loved the premise and the cover of this book, and I always take a chance on Free SF books, but sadly this one didn’t prove to be a good read. As much of the book I read was 90% tell, and 10% show, which turned me off from the very beginning, then add to that it read like a 1950s True Confession magazine, not a good science fiction novel. Basically, Netty escapes from her abusive husband and returns to her farmhouse where she hopes to salvage her life and rebuild the old house she grew up in. On her trips into the forest, she loses a special coin down a crevice, and digs down for it. Inside is a huge cave and she finds a strange animal that looks dead. Picking it up she cuddles it, and suddenly it is alive, and they soon bond. At first she believes it’s a forest animal resembling a squirrel, but it isn’t. It has horns and its head rotates completely around on its shoulders. Taking it home, after awhile she begins to change, becoming healthier and her complexion improves, plus the creature she now calls Baby communicates through telepathy. The alien doesn’t remember what its mission was, but whatever Netty needs, it provides, giving life to dead seed, trees, and other dead animals. A shame the story line wasn’t more interesting, as the concept was good. I wasn’t able to finish the first story, but I hope it improved with the second and third stories. I can’t recommend this book in good faith, but some might find it enjoyable.

Tom Johnson

Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES

Monday, August 28, 2017

Majestic

Majestic (SF)
By Whitley Strieber
Putnam
ISBN #0399134692
Price $18.95 (Hardback)
318 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“Am Interesting Read”

The author takes UFO reports, as well as interviewing eyewitness accounts, and changes names of the real people involved and writing his own fiction around the UFO phenomenon. Most of the book covers the Roswell incident in 1947. A lot of the plot involves the author’s own belief in the case of the alien’s agenda, and what he thinks it is about. It is certainly an interesting concept, but I doubt very seriously anyone knows the truth yet of what happened at Roswell, or what is really going on. I have my own opinion, as I’m sure everyone else does. I do believe the aliens interact with humans, but I don’t believe they dance and sing. However, I enjoyed the book, and anyone into UFOs should find this book a good read. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Author of THESE ALIEN SKIES