Karl Boyd, Author & Storyteller

 

Book Reviewed Reviewer
The Lost Priest Military Writers’ Society of America
The Nearly Perfect Plan Joyce M. Gilmour
The Cyrus Caper David W. Tschanz
The Texas Two Card Hold ‘em Heist John Cathcart
Palmyra, Isle of Death Stephen Phillips
From China with Love Kellie Hunter
From China with Love Michael D. Mullins
From China with Love Joyce M. Gilmour

Book review for "The Lost Priest"

Trekking through the hazardous jungles of Brazil to rescue his twin brother from certain death at the hands of a murderous medicine man, Tim Fitch finds unexpected beauty, happiness and a new beginning.  As the story unfolds, he's reunited with his estranged daughter and given a second chance at a family life.

Tom Fitch begins to question his faith and future after narrowly escaping decapitation and an all too-close call with a plaster sugar container.  But it takes a soulless beast from the cold depths of the ocean to shake him to his core and cause him to change his vocation, which forever alters the lives around him.

The story centers around the Fitch family and spans across many miles.  We meet and witness each character as they serendipitously find love, purpose and fulfillment in their travels.

The story opens powerfully to a great white shark, feasting upon unsuspecting humans on his circular path from Bermuda to Brazil.  Carried along by Boyd's word-tide of strong and powerful descriptions in the first chapter, the net of visualization entangled and hauled me along for the rest of the story.

The Lost Priest is a true romance novel successfully masquerading as a thriller.  Everyone but the lone shark (and quite possibly the crazed medicine man) finds passion and reason in this triangle of the world between Texas, Brazil and Bermuda.  This substantial book is a quick and fun read, most likely written for the sentimental among us.

Book review for "The Nearly Perfect Plan"

Karl Boyd shares quite a story in The Nearly Perfect Plan and readers get a crime drama that keeps them guessing to the very end.  And the good news is, there are two more adventures being written for a trilogy of thrillers.  All three books revolve around the characters of Roger Booth and Carl James, two young and ambitious “con” men. 

This is not a “Who dunnit?” story because the reader gets to see both sides of the crime scene, from inside and then from the side of the police and FBI.  It is more of a “Holy cow (or in this case a bull), how did they manage to pull this one off?” type of drama.  Roger and Carl are able to enlist the help of twenty of their ex-Army buddies to pull off a “perfect plan” that seems to be just that, until the very end of the book. The story revolves around setting up the Crossed X Ranch and using it as a legitimate business to cover up all of the goings-on to pull off a few Brinks’ heists.

This book is a perfect match for readers who enjoy getting into the characters’ minds and are always trying to figure out the mystery of it all.  Karl Boyd does a great job of creating a masterful crime plan and he keeps the authorities at bay, as are the readers.  In the end, “good” wins out over “evil,” or does it? 

In an interview of Mr. Boyd that I read on his website (www.karlboyd.com) I discovered that he gets a lot of his inspiration for his writing from his dreams.  Being an elementary teacher who wakes up from dreams with great lesson plans rolling in my mind, I can truly understand that.  What I am thankful about is that Mr. Boyd WRITES about his dream inspirations and doesn’t act them out!  The other inspiration that I personally received from him is that he only began to seriously write at the age of sixty-five.  I am thoroughly looking forward to reading his other novels.

BOOK REVIEW for The Nearly Perfect Plan
Written by Karl Boyd
Copyright 2008
ISBN 978-0-557-03498-7
Tags: Mystery Thriller, Crime Drama
Reviewer: Joyce M. Gilmour

Book review for "The Cyrus Caper"

We’ve all experienced it. Some books are just plain too fun to read. They’re like a frolic through a fictional world shaped by word images. A book where every sentence grabs you and holds onto you and won’t let go and you don’t mind in the least.

The reason is you don’t want to stop until you’ve finished them and will forego sleep, food, your favorite TV show and other things to keep reading. Heck you’ll even call in sick and tell your spouse you have a headache to keep your eyes glued to the pages.

When you’re done with a book like that a stab of disappointment races through you and you immediately set out looking for other books by the same author and hope he’s been as prolific as Isaac Asimov.

That’s the best description I can come up with for Karl Boyd’s latest “The Cyrus Caper.”

The second part of his “Yes, We Con” trilogy (thank you Karl for providing more), this novel continues the adventures of gangster Roger Booth and his partner in crime Carl James on another one of their more unlikely – but who cares, Boyd makes you want to willingly suspend your disbelief  – criminal enterprises.

During the two years following the events of the first novel The Nearly Perfect Plan Roger and Carl, along with their lovely, seductive and insatiable wives Maria and Julie, have been laying low in the sleepy Italian village of Reggio de Calabria — one of those places where watching the grass grow is considered the apex of excitement. Tired of having nothing more to do than work on their tans with and without their Brazilian style bikinis, the ladies decide to seduce, I mean persuade, their husbands into taking a cruise on the Cyrus Lines’ flagship, the Mediterranean Miss. The boys, who are going stir crazy polishing bocce balls and practicing their really bad Italian, readily agree. So off the frolicking foursome goes, with visions of “Love Boat” dancing in their heads. 

What they get made steerage class aboard the Titanic look like pure luxury, the only difference being the Mediterranean Miss didn’t have the good grace to slam into an iceberg and put the passengers and crew out of their misery as it made its way to the floor of the ocean. Disappointed Roger and Carl hatch a plot, as only they can, to return to this floating hell, hijack the ship and relieve ship and passengers of their valuables. Maria and Julie spend several enjoyable pages cougarizing a young assistant deputy purser to gather critical breaking and entering intelligence.

Once back in Italy, the master thieves reassemble most of the gang from the previous novel and head out in search of a World War II era submarine to make good their escape. They find one in the hands of the world’s most wanted terrorist (no, not Bin Laden) through a go-between in Spain. While there the pair is ID’d by Interpol agents who let the FBI know where the pair is residing.  Enter Roger and Carl’s arch-nemesis, Agent Jake Polk, and things don’t look good for spouses of the Julie and the finally pregnant Maria. 

Surprise! Polk comes bearing gifts and offers them all a chance to get off the hook and live normal lives, as long as they’ll do Uncle Sam and the FBI the little favor of helping capture Mustafa Abdullah Zaire.

What follows next, and I dare not say more, is a rollicking amalgamation of double, triple and quadruple crosses that makes a meeting of the College of Cardinals look downright secular; and enough subterfuge and intrigue to satisfy even the most jaded Bondophile.

You want to read this book!

I, for one, can’t wait for the next one.

Review by David W. Tschanz, MWSA Reviewer (February 2010)

Book review for "The Texas Two Card Hold ‘em Heist"

The “Yes We Con” Gang is definitely back at work again!

“The Texas Two Card Hold ‘em Heist”—the third book in the “Yes We ‘Con’” series—is a truly fun, page-turner of a book.  If you’re looking for evil, brooding, sadistic, scum-of-the-earth hardened criminals… this is probably not your kind of book.  If, on the other hand, you’d like to enjoy a more light-hearted crime story; you won’t be let down.

Not only will the reader take pleasure in unraveling the most-recent, meticulously planned “caper” being perpetrated by author, Karl Boyd’s two main “bad guys,” Roger and Carl; you’ll be glad you got to know these “criminal characters.”   That’s because Boyd’s “bad guys” come across like the proverbial “guys next door.”  They’re “nice,” they involve their wives in the action (or at least keep them updated on their progress), they trust each other, go out to dinner together, invite others to get to know them… in other words, the “bad guys” act like “good guys.”

Perhaps it’s because of their meticulous planning that Boyd’s characters don’t need to be rough and ready killers.  Actually, it’s refreshing to have reason to empathize with your main characters… even if they are a bit flawed… well, actually… even when they’re wanted felons.  We have enough of those running our government, and nobody seems to care too much.  Yes, their plan involves ripping off $22 million from a casino… but who cares about “stealing” from a casino.  It’s like feeling sorry for a vegetarian butcher!

“The Texas Two Card Hold ‘em Heist” is indeed a good yarn—and although part of a series of books, you can “jump in” at any point in the series and be well-entertained.  Your reviewer certainly jumped into the middle of the series… and as a result, found himself wanting to find out more about the gang’s earlier exploits.

Go ahead and give it a try… yes you CON!

Review by John Cathcart, MWSA Reviewer (October 2010)

Book review for "Palmyra, Isle of Death"

From the black tip sharks in its lagoon, to its sharp coral formation, to its thick consuming jungle, Palmyra is as unforgiving as it is remote. The American atoll served as a U.S. Navy refueling stop during World War II and is infamous for the double murder highlighted in Vincent Bugliosi’s And the Sea Will Tell.

Karl Boyd takes the reader into this hostile environment through the pages of his book, Palmyra Isle of Death. The story follows parallel journeys separated by time. The first is of the Esperanza and pirate captains Vega Garza and Antonio de la Garza. These men and their crew are shipwrecked on Palmyra with their gold during the early 1800’s. Legend has it that the treasure remains there today. This draws the attention of Boyd’s second thread, following present day treasure hunters Skeeter Whitaker and Clete Williams who hope to find Esperanza’s cargo. Unfortunately, their sponsor - Carter Jennings, has other plans. While intertwining both threads, Boyd shares with the reader other elements that bring Palmyra Isle of Death to an exciting conclusion.

This novel is reminiscent of both Bugliosi’s account of the 1974 murders of Mac and Muff Graham and many of Clive Cussler’s undersea adventures. It is recommended for those who like mystery-adventure tales.

Review by Stephen Phillips, MWSA Reviewer (June 2010)

Book review for "From China with Love"

I was fascinated with the concept Karl Boyd puts forth in his book, From China with Love. The story line did not disappoint. With sharp characterization and fine plotting, Karl Boyd dramatizes the Chinese takeover of the United States.
This thought-provoking book provides insight into China's global power and influence. Karl Boyd has the courage to propose what a decade ago would have seemed preposterous. I couldn't wait to reach the conclusion of this action packed novel.
I highly recommended this novel to anyone who wants to be kept in suspense from the first page throughout the entire book until the final unexpected ending. This tale is not for the squeamish, but more for the brave at heart and true lovers of our American heritage.

Kellie Hunter Manhattan Beach, CA

Written by Karl Boyd
Copyright 2009 - Bluewater Press
ISBN 978-1-60452-035-4
Tags: Mystery Thriller, International Crime Drama Review by: Kellie Hunter

Book review for "From China with Love"

Karl Boyd has done it again. He has written a fiction novel that takes the reader on a journey down many roads, introducing many characters and opening many doors. The story unveils a plot that is world-wide, patient, and unique. His characters are like all of us... both good and bad. The central figures grow and teach us a life lesson, but we have to wait until the very end to learn what it is. From China with Love is a war of cultures fought with technology, but it is not bloodless. I recommend it, but it is not for the faint of heart.

Review by Michael D. Mullins, MWSA Reviewer (December 2009)

MWSA REVIEW

 

From China with Love  -  Karl Boyd
Bluewater Press, LLC
Copyright 2009
ISBN 978-1-60452-035-4
Tags: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Reviewer: Mike Mullins

Book review for "From China with Love"

Author Karl Boyd has stated that he doesn't sleep a lot and he dreams up stories when he is asleep. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, that I am truly glad that Karl Boyd writes about his dreams and doesn't act upon them. From China with Love is built on the premise that China needs land for her millions of citizens, and the ministers of China formulate a plan to conquer all of North America as its "New China."

The main characters in this book could be you, your neighbors, or relatives; just "every-day folk" who managed to survive the attack. How did China take over all of North America without an all-out war? Well, Mr. Boyd came up with a plan that will make you think differently when you drink your cup of coffee and/or use any of your technological equipment. Since reading From China with Love, I reflect on the story just about every time I pick up my cell phone.

It has been said that this book is not for the faint of heart, and I agree that if you cannot handle blood (and guts) you might want to read Mr. Boyd's other novels and give this one to someone you know that will want to read every detail of the gruesome Chinese takeover. This isn't an easy read in that sense, but it truly will make the reader stop and think about our world situation. It certainly relays a plan that I pray will always remain fiction.
Joyce M. Gilmour
Editor, Book Reviewer &
Proud member of the MWSA
Editing TLC
www.editingtlc.com

From China with Love
By Karl Boyd
Bluewater Press, LLC
Copyright 2009
ISBN 978-1-60452-035-40
Tags: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Reviewer: Joyce M. Gilmour


 


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"The Nearly Perfect Plan"

 


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