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Book reviews for "Land,_Jon" sorted by average review score:

Blood Diamonds
Published in Mass Market Paperback by Forge (2003)
Author: Jon Land
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Excellent Story!
This book once again has as it's heroes Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea.In this story uncut diamonds(blood diamonds) mined in Sierra Leon are traded with a Russian crime figure for awsome weapons.One of these weapons is called the "Black Death".This
"Black Death" is going to be used by a vicious lady guerilla leader named the Dragon. The Dragon is planning on using this weapon on the United States.You have another character in this
story in the person of contract killer Jim Black.He is a stone killer who leaves a pile of bodies in his wake.This book has more
than it's share of action. It is exciting from start to finish.
You will enjoy this book.

Blood Diamonds is the fifth book in the Barnea-Kamal series and Providence author Jon Land writes a brilliant tale of intrigue that is a true page-turner. Chief Inspector (Pakad) Danielle Barnea of the Israeli Police teams up with Palestinian Inpector Ben Kamal in a cooperative effort to solve crime. Together they show that there can be cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and that the two sides may not be so far apart.
Sierra Leone is a diamond-rich nation but an ongoing civil war rocks the country. The instability is made worse by greedy, guerilla rebels who will stop at nothing to get the diamonds and use them to meet their own evil goals. The leader of the rebels is a fanatic named the Dragon who is not content to ravage her country, she plots a coup that will topple Western governments. Ben and Danielle must race against time and numerous obstacles to stop the Dragon.
Ben and Danielle face more than external enemies in this book as each must struggle with internal demons. Land writes, "She had felt nothing for so long it was good to feel even this. Years ago, during her tenure with the Sayeret, it was moments like this that had made her feel the most alive. To do that job you had to accept more than violence; you had to welcome it. After Beirut that had all begun to change, culminating sixteen months ago when pregnancy took away her taste for the very work that defined her. Her own mortality had suddenly become an issue." Her strength is tested even further when she faces an enemy from her past.
Ben also has demons to face as he uncovers pieces of the past and the truth about his father's death. The always colorful Colonel Al-Asi tells Ben, "Your father advocated that the Palestinians make their own peace with the Israelis or risk losing far more than they had already. His was the lone dissenting voice against a violent response."
In Blood Diamonds, Land brings back characters from previous books including Colonel Al-Asi whose loyalty to Ben is unwavering. Ben, Danielle and Colonel Al-Asi are like old friends at this point but just when you think you know them Land throws a few curve balls. The Dragon is not the only new character in Blood Diamonds. She is joined by the deceptive and dangerous assassin Jim Black.
It is the blend of old and new characters along with the unexpected plot twists that make Blood Diamonds a terrific read. Its timeliness reflects the constant changes in the Middle East without getting lost in the politics. Ben and Danielle are strong individuals whose combined strengths are a formidable match for any enemy even one as powerful as The Dragon.
Ben and Danielle are two human beings whose individual struggles do not take away from their strength as a team. Their struggles reflect those faced daily by Israelis and Palestinians, but if like Ben and Danielle they can set aside their differences and work together peace may not be impossible. These characters show us a great deal about ourselves and I look forward to following their exploits with each new book.
If a perfect diamond is flawless and rare, then Blood Diamonds is the literary equivalent of the perfect stone with just the right cut, color, clarity, and carat. As with all of Land's novels Blood Diamonds will leave you yearning for the next one.

timely and believable political thriller
It is over a year since the events in New York and it appears that the relationship between detectives Palestinian-American Ben Kamal and Israeli Danielle Barnea is at an end. He is returning to America while she tries to reconcile with the National Police. On an undercover assignment for her old boss, a trap is sprung and Danielle is arrested supposedly for killing her immediate supervisor.

When Ben hears about this, he helps her escape from jail. The pair learns that African diamonds are exchanged for weapons using corrupt Israeli officers as well as Palestinians and the Internet. The United Revolutionary Front in Sierra Leone led by the fanatical Latisse Matabu is determined to unleash weapons of mass destruction on their own people and the United States unless the Palestinian and the Israeli can work together to stop her.

Jon Land authors a timely and believable political thriller that reflects the complexities of the global social and military infrastructure. His characters reflect the times and culture that they live in so when they intermingle, there is always a lot of action. BLOOD DIAMONDS is one of the author's best works to date and it will be interesting to see what will happen to Ben and Danielle in the next installment of the series.

Harriet Klausner

Council of Ten
Published in Paperback by Fawcett Books (1992)
Author: Jon Land
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Not Land's best, but still better than most out there
"The Council of Ten", Jon Land's sixth novel, is very similar in nature to his other works. They start at a quick pace and the story never drags. However, if you have read a number of Land's novels, the big "shock" at the end of this one can be seen well before it happens.

This one tells of Drew Jordan, a guy whose grandmother was recently murdered. She, in addition to three other grandmothers, hid their secret source of income -- they were cocaine smugglers. Jordan's grandmother leaves him a note to contact someone upon her death. Before long, Jordan is caught in the web of lies and deceit that ultimately cost his grandmother her life.

Two other characters are also major players in the storyline. Peter Wayman, the Timberwolf, is enlisted by Jordan to help, but Wayman refuses, stating that part of his life will remain in the past. Wayman eventually learns of his error and joins forces with Jordan. Elliana Hirsch, a female agent of the Mossad is also pulled into the fray as she searches for the Council of Ten, the group responsible for the death of her husband.

Like his other novels, Land's "The Council of Ten" will keep a reader enthralled as the storyline, while sometimes extremely unbelievable, occurs with non-stop surprises and action. There is no fluff in his novels and great reads for anyone who is a fan of espionage fiction.

Three paths merge to face a "Powderkeg"!
Peter Wayman,ex CIA black ops agent,Elliana Hirsch,Mossad operative,Drew Jordan,wide-eyed college man,must face one of the worst horrors mankind can imagine.A horror so bad,a pinheads worth could kill everything breathing in a 27 mile radius.they'll need more than luck this time.

Dolphin Key
Published in Hardcover by Forge (1999)
Author: Jon D. Land
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An incredibly moving story ! Thank you !
I'm a big Jon land fan and have read all of his work, including last year's holiday novel HOPE MOUNTAIN. In the same tradition of HOPE MOUNTAIN, this novel is a great story and an excellent gift to give for anyone.

A special, moving and beautiful work
After a stint in Viet Nam, Mike Fontana returned home a changed person. He became an alcoholic, a spouse abuser, and ultimately a family deserter. He remarried, but that failed too as finally his wife left him and their son Joe. Mike straightened himself out to raise an ailing Joe, who recovered. Mike's mission in life is to open the Hope Key Dolphin Assisted Therapy Center in Florida because he believes that dolphins have a special knack to connect with special children that seem unreachable.

Katy Grant has lived a difficult life. When she issues bad checks, the court sentences her to two years in the county jail. Mike offers her an opportunity to perform six months community service at his facility in lieu of prison time. Katy accepts, planning to do nothing. However, Mike shocks her by admitting he is her father and wants to make amends. She reacts by deciding to turn his life into hell. She refuses to acknowledge the healing power of dolphins or that she likes her stepbrother. Only time will tell whether Katy is affected like so many before her.

Jon Land is a great storyteller because of his ability to escort his audience into the inner heart and soul of his characters and leave everyone with a message of hope. DOLPHIN KEY shows how successful dolphins are working with physically and mentally impaired children. However, the tale also focuses on second, third, and nth chances and how one must never give up no matter how hopeless it may seem. Fans desiring a life should read this story of renewal.

Harriet Klausner

The Fires of Midnight
Published in Mass Market Paperback by Forge (1996)
Author: Jon Land
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Really Great-Even For Land
McCracken, Wareagle and Belamo are in it up to their necks in this outing but that's hardly new for them. A good mix of pop-paranoia and action adventure. Just read it and see. The villian whom Wareagle has to go hand to hand with in this novel is one of the nastiest yet.

Blaine McCracken is at it again
Jon Land has once again proven that he is currently the best author at creating troubled characters and twisted plots. The duo of Blaine McCracken and Johnny Wareagle once again confront a faceless enemy with the power to destroy the world. The only catch is that the weapon is a young genius. Definitely worth the read if you like Land, please also try to catch any Jared Kimberlain novel he has done. Enjoy

The Irish File: Images from a Land of Grace
Published in Hardcover by Rizzoli (2002)
Authors: Jon Michael Riley and Nuala O'Faolain
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Absolutely Beautiful!
The Irish File is the strikingly beautiful photographic works of Jon Michael Riley. Riley lives in North Carolina has done award winning works for numerous magazines and other publications. On his journey to the Emerald Isle, Riley incorporate in his photos a conjoining of dramatic elements.

The photographs are so absolutely beautiful it gives the viewer a sense of a Victorian era painting. The artist gives you the feeling of haunting sounds of music and gentle breezes. The sounds so lovely and celestial like an ethereal song-as he describes his visit in Co. Kerry at the gate entrance of St. Senan's Holy Well. The place inspires the spirit of the breezes tumbling about the metal pipes of the gate [on the front cover]. It's looking at the land with a sense of grace and prefection. Not seeing it as a picture postcard snapshot. Like a scene out of a cinema graphic still with soft overtones. He gives his images a vintage look yet bringing out the realness of their simplicity.

Nuala O'Faolain's author of 'Are You Somebody: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman', poetic words in the introduction expresses the photogrpher's broader ego to the spirit of the place. This would make a beautiful coffee table book for lovers of breathtaking photography and those who want to reminisce their travels to Ireland.

Stunning photography!
If you want to know the soul of Ireland then sit in a quiet spot with "The Irish File" and let the images show you an Ireland you probably never knew. As a photographer I am not easily impressed with "photography" books but Jon Riley's images in his book are absolutely stunning! Well done Jon and thank you!

Omicron Legion
Published in Paperback by Gold Medal (1991)
Author: Jon Land
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"Crazed vengeance dooms America. Only one man can save us."
The title above this review is how the book is described on the front of my battered paperback edition. The man who can save us is McCracken, though Johnny Wareagle and Sal Belamo do their parts. The vengeance is from an almost cliched source of villiany, though the treatment is somewhat different in this novel. Read it and you'll see what I mean. In The Omicron Legion blood and thunder is the order of the day, with helpings of angst and soul searching. It's good thriller material. Read it as soon as you can locate your copy. Even if it's a battered copy with a cracked spine and maybe even missing a cover, grab it and read it. Experience it.

Another Rogue Agent Blaine McCracken Thriller!
I have read several Jon Land Books over the years and my favorite ones are the Blaine McCracken series. Not since Ian Fleming's James Bond books have I been intrigued with a repeating character such as Mr. Land had created with McCracken. Each chapter keeps me on the edge of my seat as I find it hard to put the book down as the anticipation of what is going to happen next is too great. The development of the characters are clear and concise in this book as they are in the rest of the series. You will become intrigued in the adventure of Blaine McCracken and his friend Johnny Wareagle as they try to stop a mad man's plot take control of the Government

The Blue Widows
Published in Hardcover by Forge (2003)
Author: Jon Land
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action-packed provocative tale
Palestinian-American detective Ben Kamal and former Israeli police official Danielle Barnea work in America for Security Concepts. A powerful Arab businessman hires the duo to extract his kidnapped son from the People's Brigade. The mission goes terribly wrong and to save Ben's life, Danielle is forced to kill a number of men including a FBI agent. Unable to stay in the country after that debacle, she accepts the post of Commander of Israel's National Police.

Leading a raid on a terrorist enclave in Gaza, she discovers a document written in Arabic that she faxes to Ben in America for translation. They learn that it is a plan to bring about the bible prophecy to cause the end of all things. meaning the destruction of America. A supply of small pox is stolen from a military fort and ends up in the hands of the leader of the People's Brigade. Layla Aziz Rahani who is the daughter of a Saudi Arabian billionaire is the mastermind behind the plot to destroy America. Her plan is even more diabolical than what it first seems because she plans to unleash a biological weapons a million times worse than smallpox. When Ben and Danielle realize what her fiendish ploy is, they vow to stop her or die trying.

Jon Land is an insightful, creative and colorful storyteller who has a grasp of the politics and the divisiveness that exist in the Middle East. Readers also gain a fascinating glimpse into the culture of Saudi Arabia as seen from the perspective of the women. THE BLUE WIDOWS is an action-packed provocative tale that has more curves than a twisted pretzel. The plot is action-pack and the two protagonists are easv to admire.

Harriet Klausner

The Doomsday Spiral
Published in Paperback by Kensington Pub Corp (Mass Market) (1983)
Author: Jon Land
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Superb espionage/technothriller
"The Doomsday Spiral" is Jon Land's first published work. It's long out-of-print, but a definite "must read" if you can locate a copy. Land's novels are always entertaining, but this one is the best of his that I have read.

The story centers around a plot by a thought-to-be-deceased madman to eliminate half the population of the United States. However, this would not be done by obvious means -- nuclear or biochemical warfare. Three agents are sought by the U.S. to prevent the madman from implementing his plan. Friends come and go via various means, all which make the battle that much more difficult.

Like all great espionage thrillers, this one grabs the reader from the start and never stops until the book ends. There are betrayals, multiple gunfights, deaths of key and/or well-liked characters. The story's rapid pace will keep a reader enthralled long into the night. Like Land's other works, he presents a well thought and prepared story with all the elements that make a great espionage/technothriller.

Egypt and the Holy Land in Historic Photographs: Seventy-Seven Views (Dover Photography Collections)
Published in Paperback by Dover Pubns (1985)
Authors: Francis Frith and Julia Van Haaften
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Photographs of a lost world
If the Egypt and holy land of the 19th century explorers interest you - or if you love David Roberts prints of Egypt and want to see what the temples look like from an objective view, then this book is for you. The photos presented here were taken by Francis Firth a Derbyshire photographer who travelled to Egypt and the middle east a number of times in the 1850's and 60's and recorded what he saw with these fantastic photographs.

The photos are all clear, beautiful shots, like the best of 19th century photography. You get to see views like The Pyramids of Giza and Dahshur, the temples of Dendera, Karnak, Luxor, Thebes and Edfu all buried in sand or in their "original" ruined 19th century state. In addition to the wonderful parade of Egyptian photos there are also scenes from Jerusalem, Gaza, the dead sea and Baalbek in Lebanon.

This is a wonderful book that takes you on a visual trip to the past. Recommended for anyone interested in Egypt or 19th century photography.

Iceland (Signed Edition): Land of the Sagas
Published in Paperback by Villard Books (1998)
Author: Jon Krakauer
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Not Just a Coffee Table Book
Another coffee table paperweight? Not by a long shot! I am planning a trip to Iceland and have been reading fairly intensively in the subject. When I began reading this book, I did not expect to learn much. What a pleasant surprise! I spent a whole Sunday poring through it and was surprised at how excellent the text is -- and how well Jon Kracauer's superb photographs supplements it.

David Roberts digs deep into the sagas, quoting from such relatively abstruse sources as GIMLI'S SAGA, GRETTIR'S SAGA, and BARD'S SAGA. The helpful bibliography lists a number of works I never knew existed, including a book by Sir Richard Francis Burton, the African explorer, about a summer he spent in Iceland as well as a number of rare travel books written by Europeans going back as far as the 18th century. One thing unique about this book is that Roberts and Kracauer visit many out-of-the-way places mentioned in the sagas, such as the almost inaccessible Isle of Drangey, where Grettir the Strong met his death.

If you hope to visit Iceland, get this book first. It will give you not only an excellent background in the sagas but an awe for this isolated land that is so close and yet so far.

Nice Photographs--Neat Sagas
I ordered this book before coming to Iceland-- When I received the book I first was amazed by the Photography, it was outstanding. I couldn't wait until I was in Iceland so that I visit some of the places I saw in the book. (It looks even better in person-- no trick photography here) I also read about the sagas-- Sagas in Iceland are a very big part of the culture--No ifs ands or buts. They love telling stories about the sagas and thanks to this book I have been able to carry on some interesting conversations with the local Icelandic folks. Most sagas are rich with excitment. If you are looking for a book with great photos mixed with Icelandic culture-- Here's your book!

Gorgeous and informative
Truly a beautiful book! I would have expected to pay quite a bit more for the heavy paper and breathtaking pictures.

I found it to be an excellent introduction to Iceland. The first 40% of the book is devoted to a general introduction to the land, early history, and flora and fauna. After that, the authors intertwine travelogue and stories from the Icelandic sagas to give a picture of early Iceland, and how the history, geography and people have all combined to produce today's Iceland.

About half text, half stunning pictures, this book is a must-have!

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