Monday, September 23, 2013

THE COVERT ELEMENT by John Betcher



John Betcher continues his James Becker series with the third installment, The Covert Element. The semi-retired lawyer, Becker, his wife, Beth, friend, Bull, and the local lawman, Gunner return to create a fascinating foursome of core characters. Redwing, Minnesota, at a glance may seem unlikely, but the thriller gives rise to the evidence.


Again, the author tackles a fragile current issue, using his phenomenal knowledge, he weaves fact into fiction. The thriller’s journey guides the reader back in time, and geography to the 1980’s Columbian drug cartel, into the present day Mexican border drug war, and its contribution to our homegrown meth labs.

The plot is based on a very real problem, one I find all too familiar. I live in a city on the surface seemingly like Redwing, Minnesota, nestled among the Ozarks Hills, near an interstate. The city boasts of being the buckle of the Bible belt, and Queen City of Meth Labs. The details in the novel are a plausible piece of fiction eerily familiar.

The characters are an interesting eclectic mix, well developed by a talented author. John Betcher continues to entertain with his clever use of the language, and warm respectful relationship Becker and his wife share. Consistent with John’s previous novels, the relaxed style adds a fresh element in contrast to the seriousness within the nail biting thriller.

A fabulous read, I highly recommend all of the Becker Thrillers to readers who enjoy a wild ride based on current reality.