Earl Norman

The Earl Norman books are becoming extremely rare, and publishers don’t seem to be interested in reprinting the series. The only way some of us may ever have all the stories is for collectors to scan and type the stories into PDF to swap with other collectors. I have already completed PDFs of HANG ME IN HONG KONG and KILL ME IN ROPPONGI. I am working on KILL ME IN YOKOSUKA. If other collectors would do the same for some of the other books, we could eventually have PDFs of all ten books. Why not help? I can be contacted at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Share A Crooked Rickshaw

Rick Donovan is having a tough time. First a fellow Hong Kong police officer goes missing, then a friend is killed, and that's only the beginning.  Finding love amid the chaos was an unexpected bonus, then that too is in peril as the dangers spill out of control.

Share A Crooked Rickshaw (International Thriller)
By Norman Price
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1482391497
Price $10.15
268 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

"A Fascinating Story, And Very Enjoyable."

It’s the 1960s Hong Kong, and Chief Inspector Rick Donovan, of the Shaun-Shui-Po police department is leading a raid on a drug house when one of the perps, a Chinese, a killed by one of the officers. Found in the perp’s pocket is a wallet containing the warrant card of a fellow officer. He is told to look into the evidence, and attempts to contact the officer, but learns from his wife that her husband has been missing for several days. Further investigation becomes even more clouded when the officer doesn’t show up for work. Has he turned, and is working with the Triads, or have they murdered him? To make matters worse, Rick has fallen for the man’s wife, and they begin an affair.

More problems arise when gangster disguised as police set up a road check and rob an army bank run, killing the guards, then a smoke bomb is discovered on a tram, and inside is a demand for one billion American dollars, or a dirty bomb will be detonated over Hong Kong. Both seem connected to the missing officer. But everything goes awry when a typhoon approaches Hong Kong.

This was a fascinating story, and very enjoyable. The author ties the whole plot into the Rachael typhoon of the period, and works it into the plot. There was a neat twist at the end, which was totally unexpected, but I definitely liked. Highly recommended. PULP DEN

Tom Johnson


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Spy Across The Table

In this exciting international thriller featuring Japanese antiques art dealer and PI Jim Brodie, a double-murder at the Kennedy Center forces Brodie into a dangerous game of espionage—putting him in the crosshairs of the Chinese, North Korean, and American governments.

Jim Brodie is an antiques dealer, Japan expert, and second-generation private investigator. When two theater friends are murdered backstage at a Kennedy Center performance in Washington, DC, he’s devastated—and determined to hunt down the killer. He’s not the only one.

After the attack, Brodie is summoned to the White House. The First Lady was the college roommate of one of the victims, and she enlists Brodie—off the books—to use his Japanese connections to track down the assassin. Homeland Security head Tom Swelley is furious that the White House is meddling and wants Brodie off the case. Why? For the same reason a master Chinese spy known only as Zhou, one of the most dangerous men alive, appears on the scene: Those murders were no random act of violence.

Brodie flies to Tokyo to attend the second of two funerals, when his friend’s daughter Anna is kidnapped during the ceremony. It is then Brodie realizes that the murders were simply bait to draw her out of hiding. Anna, it seems, is the key architect of a top-secret NSA program that gathers the personal secrets of America’s most influential leaders. Secrets so damaging that North Korea and China will stop at nothing to get them.

The Spy Across The Table (International Thriller)
By Barry Lancet
Simon & Shuster
ISBN #978-1476794914
Price $17.10 (Hardback)
448 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Thrill Ride A Minute.”

Jim Brodie is in Washington DC visiting the Kennedy Center to watch his Japanese friend’s Kabuki performance when the Japanese designer and another friend are murdered. Afterwards, he is approached by the Secret Service and taken before the First Lady. The stage designer was also a college friend of hers, and she wants Brodie to investigate the murders (you would think the FBI would be called in) . No sooner does he take the case, than Homeland Security agents let by Tom Swelley begin harassing him and beats him up. The case gets more tangled in Japan when he brings the Brodie Detective Agency into the Japanese end of the case.  Korean gangsters kidnap the daughter of the Japanese designer at the funeral, and Brodie discovers she is being transferred to North Korea. He must intercept the transfer, and heads to South Korea with a Marine combat squad to stop them from entering a tunnel on the DMZ. However, the team was spotted and the girl is moved to the border with China. Now Brodie must enter China, but tangles with the Chinese spy, Zhou, and is captured and turned over to Chinese torturers. This is all great stuff in movies and fiction.

This was a nonstop thrill a minute ride, with political stumbling blocks along the way. It is a well-written yarn that kept me turning the pages. There were some things I didn’t like about it, mostly the portrayal of agents in our intelligence departments. Men like Tom Swelley would have been dismissed long before he got out of hand. Everyone has a boss, and heads roll when agents go amok. Another thing is our Ambassadors; they do not go against the President of the United States. They represent the president.  The actions of the American Ambassador to Japan was beyond imbecilic. And finally, let’s look at torture. Yes, torture does exist, and it is horrible. But I can guarantee the Chinese would have obtained what they wanted from Brodie within hours without torture, they didn’t need to use physical torture to get the information they wanted.  But Brodie goes through many days of torture. Now, what happens to a person after they have been tortured for days on end? They don’t get up and fight, or cross China in an automobile. They need physical and mental therapy for months before they can perform anything close to normal. I won’t even discuss the subject of a Chinese spy rescuing Brodie, except to say it wouldn’t happen. Still, with all these things I didn’t like with the story, this is a work of fiction, and as such, it is very entertaining, and I highly recommend it to readers.

Tom Johnson