The Exiled Element

A James Becker Suspense/Thriller

Fiction - Suspense
295 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Amazon Bestselling Author, John L. Betcher, 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.

Mr. Betcher has published an award-winning series of "Becker" suspense/thriller novels. The first four are THE 19TH ELEMENT, THE MISSING ELEMENT, THE COVERT ELEMENT, and THE EXILED ELEMENT. He has also authored the award-winning spiritual phenomenon, A HIGHER COURT.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

Beth Becker is retired from her decrypting work for the CIA and lives with her husband, James, a former military intelligence operative, in Red Wing, Minnesota. Then she is called back by those in power in Washington, D.C., to head over to Egypt to "see" her friend Rasha at Egypt's CIS as the new Egyptian President has just been assassinated by someone with a Southern Texas drawl and messages need Beth's decoding genius. Senator Grossman, head of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, is threatened with assassination, as well, and it is not just because he has had numerous extra-marital affairs. While Beth pursues information that will tell why Egypt has stolen plans for the United States' top secret plane, Aurora, her husband James teams up with local sheriff Gunnar and Native American "Bull" to stop attempts on Senator Grossman's life. Will Beth decode top secret information before she is captured and will James, Gunnar, and Bull capture Raptor, the assassin, who has "drawn a bead" on Senator Grossman?

"The Exiled Element" is a follow-up novel in the Beck Suspense/Thriller series and it is well-written, filled with suspense and unexpected twists and turns. Readers will follow the plot as it proceeds to a satisfying conclusion and will love all the characters, especially Dakota Native American "Bull". In fact, readers will adore and even reread the part at the book's conclusion where Bull acts out off-camera violence in the assassin's prison cell. Formatting and editing are above par and fans of thrillers will put "The Exiled Element" at the top of their reading list.

Stephanie D.

"The Exiled Element" by John Betcher is the fourth novel in the James Becker series, but the first one I have read. It is a pulsating modern thriller in which 21st century politics play the major part with treachery, terrorism and technology all involved. It is plausible and spinechilling, but laced with splashes of humour to enhance its entertainment value and relieve the tension. Beth Becker is a tough and experienced field agent whose particular expertise is needed in this investigation. She is ambivalent about returning to service, mainly because of the office politics that grumble away in the background, but soon becomes drawn in by her sense of duty. Meanwhile, her husband James is assisting the Chief Deputy Sheriff in organizing plans for the visit by a VIP. But things go drastically wrong and become critically complicated. James is also keeping an eye on what Beth is doing.

The viewpoint shifts from third person narrative, in which we principally follow Beth’s actions, find out what is going on behind the Aurora military plane project and discover the intrigue building up in Egypt, to first person when Beth’s husband James takes over the narration. There are snippets from memos and even a transcript of a conversation in the Epilogue. Does this authorial versatility work or is it disorientating? At first I found it perplexing but soon thoroughly enjoyed it as Betcher is a talented writer who can carry off these shifts skillfully. The lighter tone of Becker’s narration works well against the more clinical account of unpredictable events elsewhere in the book. Having discovered the Beckers, I shall certainly read more in Betcher’s Element series, and highly recommend other readers to do the same.

Anne B.

John Betcher’s fans will be thrilled with the release of "The Exiled Element", Book 4 James Becker Series. Betcher was a lawyer for over twenty five years; however, he now spends his time focused on his true passion, writing. In Betcher’s first Element book we met James Becker, aka Beck. He became one of my favorite heroes in that book and continues to be at the top of the list. In the latest book, Betcher takes us to Area in the Prologue. Army Colonel Colin Jackson was stationed at Area 51. On this day in July his mission was to escort and introduce Senator Elbert Grossman around the base and make him familiar with the contents of Hangar 16. Although Grossman signed a nondisclosure agreement, not everyone can be trusted. Beth Becker was a former CIA agent. When a man attempted to mug her in the parking garage elevator she more than kicked his butt but her own injuries landed her in the hospital. After a couple of weeks recuperating at home the CIA recalls Beth for an urgent assignment. Meanwhile, back home in Red Wing, Minnesota James was meeting with Deputy Sheriff Doug Gunderson, aka Gunner. A dignitary was coming to town and Gunner needed James’s help. What should have been a very predictable security detail turned into a calamity and chaos when a sniper and private security firm get involved.

John Betcher does it again! He brings readers an exciting, action-filled, fast paced, thriller. Betcher always manages to fill his books with intrigue and a dash of humor. His plots are fiction but could easily be ripped from the headlines. Beth is a strong character in more than one way. I appreciate the way Betcher developed her. She makes me want to take a few self-defense classes. Betcher’s books are equally plot and character driven. He makes me eager for the next book in this series.