As you may already know, I started writing “Eight Decades of Insights” 50 blogs ago mainly to promote my novels, of which there are now three. I’ve been lucky enough to have the books reviewed in a local daily newspaper where I live (The Sun News). I’m always happy to hear the opinions of what others think of my books — good or bad — because I think people’s opinions are important. But also, if someone is confused or unsure about something that happens in the novels or wonders why something happened a certain way, I like the opportunity to clear up the confusion or curiosity. I’m posting the most recent review of “Shades of Justice” here for you to read and to welcome you to leave your own comments here, on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/factsandfictions) or on my Amazon author page.

Reading Corner | Myrtle Beach area author’s third book boasts good writing, but lots of violence

Books one and two of Pawleys Island author and retired CIA agent Barry Kelly’s good-guy-bad-guy series caught me in their snare.

I’m now a fan of his writing and of his hero Jack Brandon and sidekick wonder dog, Shadow. The animal is part Lassie, part Rin Tin Tin and part Wonderdog with a dash of his own breed’s (Bouvier) special talents tossed in.

shades of justice cover copyI’ve come to enjoy the freedom from reality, a utopia of sorts, where the good guys have all the resources (money, material, training and skills) that they need to outfox the bad guys.

I love Kelly’s writing: It’s crisp, has clear style, good plotting and pacing. His place descriptions are wonderful. Of course it helps the settings include some of my favorite places in the world – Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., metro area and the Grand Strand. The details are spot on and integral at many times to the unfolding of the plot. I’ve even been willing to accept a certain amount of vigilantism in the books – heroes step outside the law to bring the bad guys to justice – even when justice involves shootings.

The third book, “Shades of Justice,” takes on the very topical and important issue of human trafficking – people who brazenly steal young women from the streets and transport them to other countries to make them sex slaves.

By the end of this novel, the hero, Jack has also shown his respect for women by rescuing them but also by empowering female members of his team with training in fighting and technology. Even more telling is the way he treats his own wife – a woman who is his intellectual equal and partner in action – with love and respect.

However, this third book descends so far into violent vigilantism and outside of the law justice, it is simply too violent for me.

“Shades of Justice” has so much shoot ‘em up by the “good guys” that several times I wondered if I was in the middle of a violent video game. Kelly himself obviously felt the burden of this violence and his characters justify themselves more than once in philosophical conversations that offer the rationale for this violence.

“Leave no witnesses” seems to be the refrain in “Shades of Justice.” It was only Kelly’s good writing that kept me reading on in spite of the awful acts his good guys commit.

Once a reader accepts Kelly’s alternative world where Jack, wife Kathy and the others operate with unlimited monetary resources and wicked good physical, mental and technological skills, I think they would accept a few plot manipulations to allow for the rule of law and fewer bodies strewn about by the “good guys.” I’m hoping for more of that sort of thinking in his next work and look forward to reading it, because the man writes well.

If you have not read Kelly’s work before, start with his first two books: “Justice Beyond Law” and “Justice Without Mercy.” Read “Shades of Justice” with my warning – good writing but extreme violence ahead.

You can purchase “Shades of Justice” and the other two novels in the Jack Brandon thriller series at Amazon.com as print or ebooks or by contacting the author directly.


Filed under Action thrillers, bouviers, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Spy novels

2 responses to “EIGHT DECADES OF INSIGHTS 50

  1. John Nugent

    Dear Barry: Hi and thanks. I will order a copy today, John

  2. jjennifer McCay

    Bk love the cover. Enjoyed reading this one and am slightly puzzled by the reviewers hangup on violence. Your novels do not go “gently into the night.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s