Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A.F. Ebbers - Dangerous Past - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Senior Airline Captain Frank Braden is being stalked in his home town of Austin, Texas, by unknown assailants who must arrange his death to look like a suicide or an accident before a specific deadline. The assassins almost succeed several times, in the air and on the ground. In fact, Braden’s surgeon wife, Nicole, saves his life twice from ground assailants. Both of them don’t know why people are trying to kill him.

Later, he receives a message warning him not to attend a forthcoming Senate hearing in Washington. If he agrees he will receive a million dollars and his wife’s life. When Braden turns to the FBI and local police for help, they doubt his stories since they have been led to believe he is schizophrenic and suicidal, exactly what his assailants want the authorities to think.

Dangerous Past is a story of a man who must choose between doing what ought to be done or keeping his family alive by allowing a murderous and powerful Washington VIP to escape his past.

My Review

Location, location, location. For a good thriller, you have to have movement. And A.F. Ebbers goes backwards and forwards in time, journeying to many different locales. The Vietnam War era shifts to the present. An affluent Texan housing development is visited before traveling to the corridors of power in Washington DC. Buckle your seatbelt and turn on your time travel devices because you're in for one heck of a thrill ride.

The novel kicks off with a shady murder and wartime coverup that happened nearly half a century ago. Then you're instantly transported forward in time to the current day inside the cockpit of a plane as a flight crew desperately tries to save their doomed aircraft after it was ripped apart in midair by a bomb. The shift from a jungle assassination to a plane in mayday is meant to be disconcerting. You can tell the author wants the reader to feel just as upended and confused as the main character, Frank.

Why was it so important to start off with that Vietnam murder scene? Because it shows just how long Frank's been living with the mystery surrounding his brother's death. He's been replaying it over and over again in his head, nearly all his life and he's no closer to finding closure until his plane is ripped out of the sky. After all these years, the trail is no longer running cold. Instead, it's heating up in a hurry.

Ebbers does an admirable job in engaging the reader. You can't help but root for Frank to figure it out and finally get some vengeance for his brother's death. It's been a long time coming and while the going gets tough, now he can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel. He's able to uncover the identity of his brother's killer before going head to head with him in a battle of survival.

It's always good to see the underdog trounce those in power, especially when they're as corrupt as the criminals that Frank's up against. It's not easy for a regular guy to seek justice and clear his name when the deck is so clearly stacked against him. His enemy even kidnaps his dog and stuffs the bomb in its dead body before putting it on Frank's flight. Why? To frame the incident as a suicide attempt on account his unexpected financial difficulties. How sick and twisted is that? These people are ruthless and they'll stop at nothing to silence Frank. But he refuses to stay quiet, and you have to admire him for that.

I don't know too many people who would risk it all in order to right a wrong. But Ebbers creates a character willing to go the extra mile for those he loves. And that's a heartening and uplifting concept for any novel, much less a suspense thriller. Kudos to A.F. Ebbers for deftly infusing such a powerful message in the guise of a mystery novel. It made me like it even more.


Dangerous Past can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Nook

Prices/Formats: $0.99 ebook, $10.00 hardcover
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780978948238
Publisher: SilverHawk Books
Release: May 1, 2007
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

A. F. Ebbers, a journalism graduate of Ohio University was a reporter/writer for major newspapers, ad agencies, and in public relations for Cessna Aircraft Company. He also graduated from Army Flight School and flew for the Ohio and Kansas Army National Guards. Later he was called to active duty and served two flying tours in Vietnam. After retirement from the military, he flew for corporations and for regional airlines. A dual rated ATP pilot, he has written for numerous national magazines, Sunday supplements and trade and travel magazines and has written screenplays and short stories. Today he lives with his wife in the Austin, Texas area and, when not writing, enjoys tennis, flying and piano. Dangerous Past is his debut novel.

Links to connect with A.F.:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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