The Covert Element

A James Becker Thriller (Volume 3)

Fiction - Suspense
274 Pages
Reviewed on 07/31/2011
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Author Biography

The author holds a Bachelor’s Degree, cum laude, in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. He has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. He has also been a long-time supporter and coach of youth volleyball there.

He is the author of the "Beck" suspense/thriller series, the international spiritual phenomenon, A HIGHER COURT, and THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF VOLLEYBALL COACHING.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite

Former military intelligence operative, now small town lawyer James Becker, and his ex-CIA wife, Beth, have retired to Beck's hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. Their retirement hasn't been exactly what they'd expected. Now, a new source of crime and intrigue has settled in their small community. A large Mexican drug cartel, tired of risking everything in cross-border actions, has set up shop in their county to make and sell crystal-meth. The new meth production facility is the largest in North America. But, to complicate things a little more, Becker's slightly eccentric, good friend and ex-special operations soldier, Terry "Bull" Red Feather, tells him that there may be other trouble coming their way. Bull's former comrade-in-arms is coming to Red Wing on a mission. After decades of assaults on the cartels, he is determined to finish it, once and for all, with plans to blow up the Minnesota meth plant. He wants Bull to help. The Beckers want no part of that but realize they must do something to dismantle the cartel operations before a full-blown drug war breaks out in Red Wing.

This story is very well written with interesting characters, good straight forward dialog and plenty of intrigue and action to keep the reader's attention and interest. I found it interesting that the author chose to use different points of view within the story. For the protagonist, and actions and scenes centered on him, it was first person; for the other characters, to include other major players as well as numerous flashbacks, it was third person. Although more writers are using the multiple POV format, it isn't widely done. In this case, the author managed to pull it off without any major distractions. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of this particular style of writing, but each reader can make up his/her own mind. Overall, The Covert Element is a good story with a good amount of suspense and action.