As you know, I've written a few military thrillers. Though many in my family have served or are currently serving in the military, they rarely speak about their experience no matter where it might have been -- Vietnam, the Middle East, or the South China Sea. So when I began writing about those areas, I surprised them as much as I surprised myself.
My last book, The Culmination, a new beginning, was particularly demanding to write, because it required enormous research. When it was finally published in late November, I wondered if it would be received well by the military community. I did a Google search and discovered a group entitled the Military Writers Society of America and decided to submit my book for review. Last week, I heard back from them. I am elated by the evaluation and want to share it with you today.
Writers work alone and depending upon the topic, they may climb mountains to find just the right word. With The Culmination, I struggled up and down peaks I never knew existed. But I'm ever so glad to have made the journey, for I have learned so much. Thank you all for accompanying me and a special thank you to all who offered a review. There is nothing more cherished by a writer than a review. 💗
The Culmination: a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller trilogy by Gwen M. Plano. Despite being written in the present tense, it is a gripping, engaging mystery that fares well as a stand-alone book. From the first chapter surrounding an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in California, this story grabbed my attention. The Culmination has everything: interesting characters, romantic love stories, international intrigue, and politics. Ms. Plano details the interplay among the leaders of countries facing off against each other during negotiations to craft a denuclearization agreement. The actions, reactions, and apparent motivations of each foreign leader are fascinating to read as the events unfold resulting in a murderous turn. In the midst of personal and international struggles, an unlikely but captivating, romance blossoms.
The President of the United States becomes physically incapacitated and Vice-President Margaret Adler is sworn in as the new leader. With the advice of the former president, Adler has to determine who she can trust within the cabinet and staff during a difficult world situation while establishing credibility and trustworthiness among fellow world leaders. It’s up to President Adler to form alliances and avoid massive destruction during what appears to be the beginning of World War III. Adler and the Joint Chiefs, along with other freedom-loving nations, work together to save the world from absolute biological and nuclear destruction at the hands of the Chinese and their evil allies.
Although the author seems to lack a clear understanding of weapons systems and military authority, she weaves a compelling white-knuckle tale from beginning to end climaxing in a nefarious attack in the Middle East. The Culmination is an exciting read.
Review by Nancy Panko (March 2021)