Review - The Puppet Master by Ronald S. Barak

By Carmen, 15 December 2018
My Copy of the Book

Year Published: 2018

Genre: Crime; Suspense


What would YOU do if they took everything you had, your family, your home, your business, your dignity, even--perhaps--your sanity? Ronald S. Barak's latest, The Puppet Master, prequel to The Amendment Killer, and the second in the Brooks/Lotello Thriller Series is a gripping story of a political system gone awry--and those who feel compelled to fix it. "Have you ever killed anyone? I have. I'll do it again. If I need to." Three prominent political leaders in Washington, D.C., murdered in as many days.

Not a plausible story premise? What about the real world villain who recently mailed a series of pipe bombs to a number of prominent political figures? Ripped from the headlines? Barak gives new meaning to the word "timely." The Puppet Master isn't ripped from the headlines; written first, it forecast the headlines that followed!

The Puppet Master begins with a bang. Literally. Three of them. Not a page wasted. Capitol Hill panics. Who will be next? Others whisper that our political leaders are only getting what they deserve. Anxious to see who will be next. And why.

Crafty D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello is tasked to find the killer. Cliff Norman, a local businessman with ample motive, is arrested. Politicians breathe a sigh of relief. However, when Lotello discovers a disturbing White House connection, he suspects Norman may not be what he appears to be. Things may not be what they appear to be.

Norman's trial commences in the courtroom of savvy D.C. trial court judge Cyrus Brooks. An angry nation rallies behind Norman. The jury debates whether Norman's actions may be legally justified by a rampant abuse of political trust, and threatens to unravel the very fabric of our dysfunctional government.

In an unprecedented and questionable manner that may destroy their respective careers, Lotello quietly approaches Brooks and they form a secret alliance to uncover the truth in this classic whodunnit mystery. Before it's too late.

Blurring fiction and reality, The Puppet Master will have you dangling from the first page to the very last.

About the Author:

Described by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.

Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country's dysfunctional government representatives--not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people's lives today. Barak's extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly cross-pollinate his fiction and today's sad state of political reality.

Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

Connect with the Author:

Facebook: Ronald S Barak Facebook

Twitter: Ronald S Barak Twitter

Author Website: Ronald S Barak Author Website

Buy the Book:

Amazon: Amazon Purchase Link

My Take on the Book:

This book absolutely enthralled me – from beginning to end! Anyone who likes crime thrillers that has a backdrop of politics will enjoy this one. There are a range of characters in this novel, some that readers will like, some not. Cliff Norman sounded like a creepy character at times…though by the end of the book, you find out what really happened. Rachel Santana was quite daring and brave; though I got the idea that she needed to learn about discretion as well as when to do and when not to.

Everyone seemed to be looking out for their own interests; and one thing I wasn’t a huge fan of at times was getting into the characters heads with some story developments. I also found it nice that neither of the attorneys knew what was up – since it made for some interesting revelations. One character that I really ended up liking was Judge Cyrus Brooks, especially for his upstanding principles – I also liked how there were some things that he explained to the jury during the trial. Even though this book isn’t without its faults, I ended up giving it a five star rating and got an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Last Word:

This is the first book that I’ve read from this author – and it was a wonderful introduction. I look forward to keeping up with this author and their future works.