Tara and Bootstrapper

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
347 Pages
Reviewed on 10/27/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

A seemingly innocent acceptance of an invitation by agents of the FBI lands Tara Chai in a world of trouble. She finds herself on the run, unaware of the identity of the people looking to eliminate her. She has inadvertently stumbled on a plot so sinister it will rock the very foundations of America's centuries-old democracy. This shadowy organization will stop at nothing to make sure no one will stand between them and their nefarious objective. Tara's only support comes from the equally mysterious individual known only by his Dark Web name, Bootstrapper. With intrigue, espionage, and a helping of some comedy, Randall Jarmon's Tara and Bootstrapper promises to entertain.

Tara and Bootstrapper is a dystopian science fiction novel by Randall Jarmon. The storyline is unique in the sense that it does not follow the sequence of what I would call a conspiracy story. The characters are quite entertaining, their flowery code names adding flavor to their conversations thereby giving the story a certain authenticity. The attention to detail is impressive, and following Bootstrapper as he goes into the details behind hacking a government drone is quite the read. Randall Jarmon has no issues combining elements of Christian culture in this story without detracting from the original storyline, all this with a tinge of romance that only an astute reader will grasp, so top marks for ingenuity there. Tara and Bootstrapper is an impressive novel, with a storyline suitable for all readers irrespective of age or orientation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Tara and Bootstrapper by Randall Jarmon is an intense political thriller with a Christian theme. Tara Cai worked as a consultant for several government offices, the FBI being one of them. Her unique skill set of reading people and categorizing scenarios allowed her to see patterns in future behavior others could not see. When Tara pointed out FBI leaders with personality traits similar to Gestapo prison guards, she was kidnapped to silence her before she exposed them. Bootstrapper had been preparing to take down a radical group organizing another rebellion called Coup Two for three years. He intercepts a message detailing Tara's kidnapping. He rescues her before harm can come to her and prepares for her disappearance. The two soon discover they work better together than apart. Will their attraction be a distraction that will give this evil group an advantage?

Randall Jarmon wrote a novel with depth, insight, and adventure. Tara and Bootstrapper feel realistic and relatable in one moment and humorous the next as the author twists the names of federal offices, media outlets, and political parties. The writing style, excellent character development, and critical timing make this book appealing to lovers of action thrillers. Each twist captures the shock and sinister suspense hidden deeply within codes and espionage. I felt the author poured much of his life experiences into the novel as he constructs an engaging storyline. I highly recommend this book for its complexity and addicting reading experience. I enjoyed this novel so much that I look forward to reading more from Randall Jarmon.

K.C. Finn

Tara and Bootstrapper is a work of fiction in the conspiracy thriller subgenre and is part of the publisher's series of American Values novels. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by Randall Jarmon. The book follows the revival of a conspiracy spearheaded by the FBI to stage a coup against the President of the USA. When their initial attempt at a bloodless coup failed, that seemed to be the end of it. Years later the conspirators have learned from their mistakes and are preparing to strike again with the aid of foreign powers and mutinous FBI leaders. They may just succeed.

This deep web of intrigue immediately ensnared me when I started reading its fascinating political scenario of a government agency that refuses to honor its duty to the democratically elected president. Randall Jarmon demonstrates an enviable skill for worldbuilding, especially with the devising of a complex conspiracy that doesn’t sit too far from what may be possible in the real world. Bringing to life the nightmare scenario of an FBI-backed coup against the US President, this is excellent prose that animates every inch of the narrative to something that embeds itself seamlessly in the imagination of the reader. Creating a powerful and compelling plot against democracy itself, Tara and Bootstrapper provide a timeless moral tale about the lengths that are needed to preserve the core tenets of our society. It was a constantly engrossing and exciting rollercoaster of a thriller and I recommend this book to all.

Stephanie Chapman

Randall Jarmon created a politically themed thriller in Tara and Bootstrapper. The FBI had been planning Coup Two for several years. Sinistra was a small cell that was to make sure everything ran smoothly, but Tara Cai could upset their plans. Kidnappers lock her inside a cabin. She does not have to wait long before a stranger passes a note under the door. Caleb rescues Tara and throws Sinistra off track. That evening, he tells Tara that she has to disappear. However, Tara has a different idea. She tells Caleb that they can work together and dismantle Sinistra and Coup Two. The pair set off, emptying Sinistra’s bank account of millions, and using several safe houses to stay ahead of Sinistra’s assassins. Can two people take down a large faction of corrupt politicians and survive?

Randall Jarmon left nothing to chance with this story. The engaging dialogue between Tara and Caleb covered everything from Christian values to the family they both wanted. The danger they were in creates an intensely suspenseful environment. The vivid details of every technique the couple used to evade capture by Sinistra amazed me. The code names for the members of Sinistra were creative and effectively described the part they play in their goal of taking over the United States. As I read, I imagined how multiple scenarios could occur. While this is a fictional story, I know that conspiracies are based on reality. I did like how Caleb's and Tara’s faith was paramount to the story. I recommend Tara and Bootstrapper to readers who enjoy conspiracy theories regarding the government’s power, and a romance based on Christian principles.

Pikasho Deka

Tara and Bootstrapper by Randall Jarmon is a political conspiracy thriller set in a fictional dystopian America. Years ago, one of the two major political parties in America, the Bluezees, with active support from the FBI, had made a failed attempt to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States. This became later known as the Ruskee Gate. Learning from the previous failure, now a secret Neo-Fascist organization called the Sinistra Feebees involving some top members of the FBI is hatching a nefarious plan to execute the Redzee President, the Vice president, and the Speaker of the House and turn the Secretary of State into the new President. To stop America from turning into a full-blown fascist state, an elite hacker named Caleb Yow must partner with the European CEO Tara Cai and prevent the destruction of America.

Author Randall Jarmon uses a utilitarian prose style that isn't too poetic, yet it conveys the political commentary and themes of the story in a seamless fashion. Clearly written for the right-wing conspiracy theory audience, readers of that specific subset will find much to enjoy about Tara and Bootstrapper. The narrative is straightforward, and Jarmon wastes little time in putting the reader into the thick of things. Caleb and Tara slot into their assigned roles and have some compelling back-and-forth. But this is primarily a plot-driven tale where the characters act as tools to support the narrative themes. If you're a fan of conspiracy theories and love action-packed thrillers, Tara and Bootstrapper is the book for you.