You Owe Me

You Owe Me, a mystery/thriller copyright, assumed published in e-book and written by Kerry J. Costello.
Plot: An American Serviceman saves the life of a British counterpart in an unusual situation during their mutual service in Iraq in 2003. It is a deed performed in passing with neither having previous knowledge even of the other’s existence. The ‘saved’ Frankie Armstrong, overwhelmed with gratitude, tells the American, Joe Nelson ‘He owes him and to call whenever he is in need”. In March of 2017 he receives a call from Joe, now the owner of a boat yard in Naples, FL, opening with “And remember the very last thing you said to me when we last met?” Frankie responds with “I remember I said I owe you if that’s what you mean?” He is answered in the affirmative simply pressuring him to come to Florida to help him find his young nephew Billy Ray who, with his friend Jerry are treasure-seeking divers, but has disappeared without a trace. Frankie, after drifting rather aimlessly for some period of time, joins with army buddie Derek Barnes (Barnsie), to become co-founders of a security agency in GB. He seems to be financially secure, his much-loved wife Penny has just left him for another woman and he is contemplating suicide. The call actually provides an opportunity for him to reconsider. He travels to Florida, meets Joe and begins his search. It seems the nephew, besides diving, also is quite a Lothario and has absconded with the wife of a notoriously vicious and extremely wealthy mobster and is assumed to be somewhere in hiding. The tale continues from this point, gradually building to a satisfying climax with all loose strings gathered together.
Discussion: The author has set forth an interesting fictional take on some historical facts. The resulting plot rambles a bit but offers sufficient interesting aspects to make the reader want to continue through to the end. From this reviewer’s perspective it should be of greatest interest to those who enjoy plot-based stories. Again perhaps for this reader alone, the characters are not particularly well-developed and it is most difficult, at least for this reader, to develop much empathy with other than unfortunately rather distasteful ones for Joe for reasons with which the reader may or not concur. Additionally, judicious editing would present a more coherent tale with far less repetitive material. So, to reiterate, this is a very imaginatively developed story that once begun, begs to be finished.
3* 4* imaginative story; 3* for flaws as described.

Island Terror

 

 

Island Terror, copyright, assumed published, and written by Jo Carey.

Dr. Gina Talbot is a herpetologist working in San Diego at one of the few positions available in the world studying the carnivorous Komodo Dragons. She and fellow worker Chris, like every person in the profession, has applied for and again been turned down in their annual request for advanced study of these reptiles in their native habitat. However, she learns about a former Navy Seal who reportedly had encountered a number of them on a small, apparently uncharted atoll relatively close to Hawaii. She is able to contact the man, Cooper, discovers that it not only is true, but that he had lost his entire compliment of men in the encounter. Because their existence was not believed, Cooper was retired as suffering from PTSD. She is intrigued with the thought of finding such a group of these reptiles and he would love to be able to verify that his report was true. So, with money left to her by a relative, she initiates a small investigative expedition. The story continues as the expedition gets under way, arrives at the small atoll after experiencing a horrific storm, encounters the Dragons with terrifying results, encounter a betrayal and finally evolves at a climax followed by a pertinent epilogue.

Discussion: This is a short, ‘quick’ read that has some difficulty getting to the basic plot. At first the reader is introduced to a protagonist whose ‘love life’ is non-existent until several prospects appear once the expedition begins to evolve. About half of the tale is preparatory to the actual major event, but once begun, it moves at a good pace. So, if one is looking for a tale that fills a few free hours and ultimately provides some suspense, you might enjoy this somewhat unusual tale.

3* Unusual tale to fill a few hours of free time.