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July 2022

I love David Morrell, but he should NOT try to write feel-good Christmas stories.  This book was just a disaster.  Paul Kagan is a double agent on the run.  He’s trying to protect a baby on Christmas Eve, and, with the baby, seeks shelter with a battered woman and her son.  There are so many things wrong with this story, I don’t know where to begin–An opening chase scene that goes on for 51 pages; a retelling of the Christmas story, casting the wise men as double agents and Mary and Joseph as revolutionaries plotting to overthrow Herod; a wife-beating husband that reforms in an evening; spies who use traditional wisemen names as their code names and the list goes on.

If you’re a David Morrell fan, do yourself a favor.  Re-read First Blood and skip this book altogether.


So often, chick lit is centered either on a single girl trying to find love, or on a married woman trying to find a new love.  It was refreshing to read a great chick lit story in which a married main character “finds herself,” without abandoning her family.  Moms of young children looking for a great summer read with an uplifting message will enjoy this book.

My husband works on DNS servers for a living, while I usually go glassy-eyed when the term “DNS” is thrown around in conversation.  Generally, he and I read very different books about very different topics.  So imagine my surprise when the YA fiction book I reserve at the library spent 3 pages chronicling the history of the Domain Name Service (DNS.)  And it was actually kind of interesting!

Doctorow’s novel tells the story of Marcus, a San Francisco hacker, who is accused of helping to mastermind a terrorist attack on his own city.  When the accusations cannot be proven, he is released, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vows that they will be watching him.  And they do.  His computer, phone, purchases, home, school and travels are all being monitored.  With its power unchecked, the corrupt DHS intrudes more and more into the lives of ordinary Americans, all in the name of “National Security.”  Marcus vows to fight back and reclaim the freedoms that our Constitution guarantees.  While I didn’t always appreciate the plugs for the ACLU, the story itself was interesting, if a bit technical for me at times.

As I was discussing the book with my husband, I mentioned how unrealistic I thought it was that the government could seize so much power so quickly.  He pointed out how much power our current administration has seized in recent months, all in the name of “Financial Crisis.”  Good point.  Maybe we should start reading more books in common.

When Willie has to give up his beloved German Shepherd, Cracker, he chooses to give her to the military, rather than the pound.  Cracker is soon paired up with Rick and sent to Vietnam, where she alerts soldiers to the dangers of traps and ambushes.

This was an excellent book. Although it will appeal to readers of all ages, it would be a great choice for middle school boys.  Cracker’s story, combined with the tension of the war and Rick’s struggle to prove himself as the best dog handler in Vietnam will draw in the most reluctant of readers.

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Note from Bookpikks

14th October 2008

Due to the recent birth of my daughter, my reviews will be short and sweet for the next few months.  Please forgive me!  I’m still reading–I just don’t have the time (or energy) to compose any type of in-depth review.

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