Blog Tour Book Review: The Kurdish Connection (Silver Dagger Book Tours)
Good Morning Secret Agents and Undercover Operatives,
Today is a series of very special posts. In the past month, I agreed to be a part of one of Silver Dagger Book Tours.
This book tour in particular is for Randall Krzak’s Bedlam Series, and I’ll be sharing two reviews with you today instead of the usual one.
This post is all about the first book in the series, The Kurdish Connection. I read the first book back in 2017, but am happy to share my review from the vault!
So before we get started, a little bit of backstory. I first met Randall back on Scribophile some years back. We exchanged many a critique on each other’s work and quickly became good friends. He’s one of my OG friends on Scribe and is a vital part of my existing scribe tribe.
I’m very fortunate to have him as a friend and am very happy to read more of his works!
All right, so without further ado, let’s get into it!
I’m a U.S. Army veteran and retired senior civil servant, spending thirty years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. My residency abroad qualifies me to build rich worlds in my action-adventure novels and short stories. Familiar with customs, laws, and social norms, I promote these to create authentic characters and scenery.
My first novel, The Kurdish Connection, was published in 2017, and the sequel, Dangerous Alliance, was released in November 2018. Both placed in the 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards, with The Kurdish Connection finishing as a semi-finalist and Dangerous Alliance being selected as one of seven first in category winners. I recently signed a contract for the third novel in the series, Carnage in Singapore. Work on my fourth novel in the series, Ultimate Escalation, is underway, as is the first book in a new series, A Cartel’s Revenge.
I also penned A Dangerous Occupation, a winning entry in the August 2016 Wild Sound Writing and Film Festival Review short story category. I hold a general Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Focus, both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. My wife, Sylvia, six cats, and I currently reside in Dunfermline, Scotland. I’m originally from Michigan, while Sylvia is a proud Scot. In addition to writing, I enjoy hiking, reading, candle making, pyrography, and sightseeing.
I gave four stars to this thrilling debut novel!
The general premise of this book is that a Kurdish man near Halabja named Dersim finds a cave with a mix of normal weapons as well as chemical weapons from Hussein’s attacks back 20 years ago.
From there he decides to try and free his imprisoned leader Baziyan from the Turks. US intelligence gets involved and tries to stop the use of these chemical weapons by any means necessary.
Okay, so first off, the pros
—An interwoven braidwork of POVs. I am a big fan of books with multiple POVs, and it works very well in this case.
—Plenty of great action and plot turns. This book was really unpredictable, which really kept me on my feet. I mean you’ve got the Americans, the Kurds, the Turks, and the Syrians, all of which have differing viewpoints. It gets really interesting.
—Nice, short chapters. As a working man, this is EXTREMELY important to me. I once nearly threw out a Neil Gaiman book because a chapter was 40 pages long. Very frustrating!
—Character development. Several of the main characters really grow in this book, especially Dersim and Ismet.
On to the cons, which honestly aren’t too big of a deal in this case.
—Names of Cities. I really couldn’t distinguish the cities from one another as far as a mental picture in my head. They kind of bled into one another at certain points.
—Character Names. Earlier in the book, I remember being confused as to who was who for a while. I think some more physical descriptions of the characters might help the reader develop a good mental image in their head.
—Use of accents. From time to time there is overuse of accents like “Y’all” and “Aye” in the chapters. Y’all is sometimes used towards one person, but is supposed to be used with more than one person. (Not too big a deal, but something I picked up on since I grew up in Dallas, TX)
If you’re big on action and adventure, I definitely suggest giving this book a shot!
Interested in seeing more of Randall’s work?
Check out his work at the links below! Happy Reading!