Category Archives: Stephen Frey
Bruner, Wisconsin Sheriff Paul Summers is at his last stop as a law enforcement officer. Not because Paul is old, but, because he has been screwed over twice before (intentionally) and, like in baseball, three strikes and you are out.
Bruner, Wisconsin is a sleepy town where the locals and rich summer residents rarely communicate other than during their daily routines. When Paul was 16 he was rowing his canoe when he came upon a beautiful girl (from the summer homes), Cindy…naked…in the river. They became friends, lovers, and even years later after both were married, they hung out whenever the chance presented itself.
The local town folk think they are still lovers.
One day….Cindy was found in her summer home…..murdered.
Judging by the physical evidence, Cindy was murdered during a pagan-like ritual…her body had a pentagram carved on her forehead, she was nailed to the floor, naked, and her throat slit.
Rumor, for the past few months, had been circulating that a cult had taken up residence in Bruner. Evidence has shown animal killings, but, people are scared now that the rumored cult has gone from killing animals to people.
Summers, since he was the last person to see Cindy alive (in fact they made love), becomes a suspect. He needs to solve this case….fast.
More murders….and to top it off, nature is playing havoc with life in Bruner….snow is piling up making everything difficult.
What is going on? Who is the murderer? To find out….you will have to read “Heaven’s Fury”. :-)
“Heaven’s Fury” is a very good Stephen Frey read. If you have never read Frey, you are in for a treat. His books (mostly dealing with the financial world) are super fast with the action coming at you from page one and only ending with the last word. This book is a little different in that aspect, but, by only a few pages on each end. :-)
Rating: 3 WaterTowers (a more deliberate Frey)
“The Fourth Order” is a secret government “gray ops” agency that has been activated only four times since the Civil War. The object of the Order is to protect the United States…by any means possible. Including kidnapping, torture, and……… murder.
Unlike other Stephen Frey books, “The Fourth Order” takes a more leisurely approach (for Frey) for the first 250 pages or so. Character development takes precedence over the full-out action Stephen Frey is famous for (at least in my mind). However, with about 100 pages to go, Frey fires up the afterburners and the book takes off as if catapulted off an aircraft carrier. The only thing you can do is hang on and enjoy the ride.
Michael Rose is the CFO of Trafalgar Industries. He, along with colleague David Cortez, are planning another takeover. This time the target is CIS Technologies, an information technology firm. Since Trafalgar is not in the information business, there will be some questioning by the board when Michael and David present their case for the takeover.
Michael has no idea how much his world will change.
Michael is in a marriage on idle, to Sheila, with two children: Glenn and Jamie. One night, after a day of sex and drugs with her lover, Sheila is run off the road on the way home. She survives the crash, but, the car that ran her off the road stops, and the person driving breaks Sheila’s neck….killing her.
CIS Technologies happens to be the cover for the Order’s super secret Spyder computer application that tracks every financial transaction in the world. Ostensibly used to discover and stop terrorist attacks, we find out that sometimes Spyder is used by the powerful to eliminate their foes.
“The Fourth Order” will do anything to stop the Traflagar takeover (and thus preserve the Order’s secrets), while the people behind Rose will do anything to ecourage the takeover (so the secrets will be uncovered and those responsible taken down).
This conflict of interest puts Michael and his family in danger….and costs the lives of hundreds of innocent people.
Stephen Frey is one of my favorite authors (ok, ok…I have a lot of favorites….so many books so little time and I have been reading his books since his first.
“The Fourth Order” is a scary account of the power the Government can yield (for good or bad). Interestingly, because I am a retired DOE employee, Frey includes several Department of Energy locations (with slightly modified names) where the Order carries out it’s evil deeds.
The ending of “The Fourth Order” is typical Frey: Brutal, efficient, scary, and catapult fast.
As I was long term subbing for the 7th grade class, I fell behind a bit in my reading and blogs.
Here are 3 short reviews of the books I read while subbing.
“The First Billion” by Christopher Reich
Jeff Gavallan is planning to take a new Russian telecommunications company public. Unfortunately, Gavallan and friends find out that company is run by a ruthless murderer who needs the money so desperately that he will will do anything to keep the public sale from falling thorough.
I really enjoyed Reich’s “Numbered Account” but “The First Billion” was a bit of a disappointment. There were several technical errors that made reading it kind of fun, for example he explains that a a technology reduced its calculations to a “gigasecond” which is about 1,000,000,000 seconds. I can do the calculation, by hand, much quicker than about 30 years or so….
“Rain Storm” by Barry Eisler
Rip roaring action as John Rain’s “retirement” in Brazil is interrupted by the CIA. They need his help with a project and he is pressed into action in Macau. His task is to make the murder of Belghazi, an arms dealer who the “Christians in Action” would like terminated, look like a natural death. In “Rain Storm” John meets new people, renews old friendships, and has to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds until the exciting climax.
The first book in the John Rain series is: “Rain Fall”. A terrific series.
“Forced Out” by Stephen Frey
Jack Barrett was once a well respected NY Yankee scout. Now he is a down and out retired scout barely able to make ends meet living in Florida. One day he goes to a Single A baseball game and sees the best player he has ever seen, Mikey Clement. He is better than Mickey Mantle and Jack wonders why he is floundering in Single A. But we find out that Mikey is not floundering at all, he is hiding from a NY mob boss who wants him dead.
Jack’s, Jack’s daughter’s, and Mikey’s lives come together in “Forced Out” and the action that follows is pure Stephen Frey (my readers know that Frey is one of my favorite authors)….brutal and fast.
Book Reviews: Stephen Frey: “The Chairman” and “The Protege”
Stephen Frey is one of my all time favorite authors. Most of his books are stand-alone novels, but, the last two need to be read in order and could almost be one big book (like some Harry Potter books (by the way, I thought Half Blood Prince was great!) or “The Historian”).
Frey’s writing is fast, furious, and exciting (and not for kids). The ending of “The Protege” was so exciting, it had me grinding my teeth.
Frey’s books deal with intrigue in the world of high finance. “The Chairman” focuses on the life and adventures of Christian Gillette the new Chairman of Everest Capital, a New York based private equity firm. For those who don’t know, a private equity firm buys companies, fixes them up a bit, and then sells them later, hopefully, for a profit. The recent Albertson’s purchase, I believe, was similar.
In “The Chairman” someone bumped off the old Chairman of Everest and is scheming to get Christian out of the way as well. Christian hires a security firm to protect him, and becomes good friends with Quentin Stiles (ex-Army Ranger/Secret Service agent and tough as nails) the owner of that firm. Together they are lucky to survive several attempts (the last conflict is brutal and one or more characters may not survive) on Christians life while Christian is wheeling and dealing to make sure the multi-billion profits for Everest Capital investors keep rolling in.
I can’t tell you what happens at the end, and in fact, Frey does not tell us everything leaving, at least, one important issue hanging without complete resolution. That was ok though…I just made up my own ending for that issue.
Reading “The Protege” tells you what happened at the end of “Chairman” (my made up ending to “The Chairman” was pretty close). “The Protege” is set about a year after “The Chairman” and the protege is a young up and comer at Everest, David Wright. Christian is ready to trust the running of Everest to David (Christian is still afraid someone is out there trying to bump him off, and they are). Trouble is, David accidentally kills a woman during a visit to a sex shop (hmmm, did I mention these books are not for kids?). Unfortunately, for David, someone evil was watching (and videotaping) the death. This person then sets events in motion, using David, that can destroy Christian. Add to the mix a large ($5 billion) investor of Everest who wants to learn (and maybe take over?) the business (beautiful Allison Wallace) and the action evolves into chaos. From New York to Las Vegas and in-between, with organized crime, the NFL, and rock stars, the book rockets to a perfectly mind numbing ending.
Frey is a very fast read (and I’m a slow reader)…so instead of buying a hardcover like my Friday friends at Barnes & Noble like me to do (and I did), it might be more cost effective (for you) to buy a paperback.
You can also try one of Frey’s other books. All of them are fast, furious, and great fun.