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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: John L. Betcher – The 19th Element

John L. Betcher - The 19th ElementWhen I added this book to Goodreads and read the description before I started reading, I convinced myself that it wasn’t my kind of book and that I wasn’t going to like it. A book with terrorists in? Not my cup of tea. But as usual, I was wrong, and I found the book plenty thrilling.

The book centers around a terrorist plot to blow up a nuclear power plant in Minnesota. The one thing that I never managed to figure out was how the main character got so involved, although I think like most books of this ilk, it was just through nosiness, curiosity and a sureness that he’s better than law enforcement. Although in the last respect, it was true.

He somehow managed to connect the murder of a university scientist, the disappearance of his most recent invention – a machine which can create elemental potassium and the disappearance of the scientist’s lab assistant to the terrorist plan. Through investigation and sheer bravery, he figures out what the plan is. Now all he has to do is to stop it.

He works together with his friend Bull and his connections with the local police force (and connections from further afield who will become very important later on) to try and stop the terrorists before they can go through with their plan and wipe out half of Minnesota.

But the terrorists are not working alone. Helping them with their plans is a man called John. His entire family was killed by radiation poisoning when he was younger, and the delayed effects have now given him terminal cancer. But he’s determined to seek revenge for his family before he dies. And since he’s dying anyway, what does he have to lose? He’s not a dumb guy, and comes in very useful to Farris, the main proponent of the local Al Qaeda terrorist cell. But can he outsmart Beck to go ahead with his dastardly plans?

Despite my initial misgivings about the storyline, I found myself glued to this book from start to finish. It was another of the 9 killer thrillers set which I bought from Amazon for 74p, which has proved to be extremely good value so far!

4/5

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