Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Chapter Review: The Missing Element by John L. Betcher

I picked this book as a freebie for my Kindle back in 2012. Familiar with the author's work, I wanted to own more of it. This is the second book in his James Becker Series.

BLURB:  After decades of clandestine government operations, James "Beck" Becker and his wife Elizabeth return to Beck’s childhood home town to enjoy a settled retirement in the small Mississippi river community of Red Wing, Minnesota. But "settled" is a relative term and no matter where Beck goes, intrigue follows.

When Minneapolis computer genius, Katherine Whitson, disappears under peculiar circumstances, her husband exploits a sympathetic Red Wing acquaintance to encourage Beck’s aid in finding her.

As Beck searches for Katherine, the tangled trail leads from her luxury apartment in the Minneapolis Warehouse District, through her husband’s in-the-closet personal escapades, past the entrenched hierarchy of elite computer professionals, and into the mind-bending world inside computer microprocessors.

Katherine’s kidnapping is clearly more complicated than a typical abduction.

As it turns out, the Beckers must use all of their considerable experience – his, as a military intelligence operative; hers, as a CIA code-cracker – to save Katherine and bring her abductors to justice.

COVER: Though a tad too golden for me, it definitely speaks to the genre and the content of the novel. The font is a nice size and the red/burgundy text is a nice contrast.

FIRST CHAPTER: A middle-aged woman is awoken by a knock at her door. She hadn't expected the man on the other side that night, but she let him in. That was a mistake. Two thugs push their way in, and the last thing she remembers is the chemical-soaked cloth over her mouth and nose.

KEEP READING: Definitely. Betcher drops the reader right into the action and leaves you with a great cliffhanger. The opening chapter is perfect for a suspense thriller because it's concise, fills you with questions, and makes you eager to continue. It's interesting that the entire first chapter is narrative; not a line of dialogue. That worked well because it was short.

I'm a tiny bit irked that I don't know the name of anybody. All I know is a guy, who the woman obviously knows, showed up with a couple of thugs. Yes, that heightens the suspense, but I want to connect with my characters right away. Since these two seem like major players in the novel, I wanted to know their identity--even if I could guess who the woman was. That said, it's such a minor thing it didn't keep me from wanting to keep going.

File Size: 413 KB
Print Length: 273 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1469936909
Publisher: John L. Betcher; Second edition (March 8, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B003E3608G

I downloaded this book for free from Amazon. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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