Book Reviews

_______________________________________________________________________________ Another Fully Gratifying Course from the William Penn Kitchen, December, 29, 2010
By Rob Duncan
(Crawford, CO)
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
There are many masterful examples of literary trilogies out there, and after reading this most recent offering from this intriguing husband and wife writing team, I certainly hope this topical action thriller will not be their last. Although reading the first two novels, "The Grand Conspiracy" and "The Panama Conspiracy", is not required before this book, it will help set the tone and provide further insight into how Buck and Dolly, the husband and wife spook team, operate. Any references to their previous books' adventures are sufficiently described in overview, but you will want to get the full story and not just a couple lines of reference.

As always, the Penn team's style is fast moving and makes it nigh impossible to put the book down once past the first chapter. The authors are amazing in knowledge of arcane facts and presents them quickly to keep the reader "in the know". It is impossible to tell whether this knowledge is first-hand, or the result of in-depth research. The plot is heavily garnished with factual and historical spice to make a fully enjoyable meal. One example includes a little known incident between Douglas MacArthur and Harry S. Truman - during World War One - which began a festering antipathy which likely had some influence on President Truman's decision to fire General MacArthur over 30 years later during the Korean war.

The plot takes the reader on a well-described tour of Afghanistan, Pakistan, London, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Italy, Munich, Innsbruck, Dachau, and many real places and (fictional?) people in Washington, DC. Besides abounding description of these real-world places, the authors also delve into the historical and current world significance of each location. Each building and fact are described with GoogleEarth accuracy - you can see it all in your mind. Although pilots make up only 0.2% of the US population, they will admire incredible accuracy in the many aviation scenarios with cliff-hanging scenes where Buck and Dolly yet again escape unscathed from certain doom.

I just wish there was a universe where Osama bin Laden was killed, and that there were many Bucks and Dollys protecting us from further terrorist plots. Of course that is why we read fiction, and especially relish those novels so thoroughly flavored with facts. I can't wait for the William Penn team's next course (novel) to be served, and don't want to ever see dessert. But a Buck and Dolly movie would be nice (a hint to Hollywood).
Berlin Conspiracy, December 22, 2010
Kim Stevens  (Phoenix, AZ)
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
William Penn does it again in Berlin Conspiracy as America's favorite husband and wife team from Grand County, Colorado, foil an al Qaeda attempt of revenge. Penn spins a tale of intrigue, humor and non-stop action as the couple mix it up with everyone from Royalty to the dregs of society. Not just a good read, Penn expands our horizons with fascinating details as we enter the world of politics, international relations and the intelligence community. I hope we haven't seen the last of the Madisons.
The Berlin Conspiracy, December 18, 2010
By G.R.Ness (Bismarck, ND)
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
From the caves of Tora Bora to the back halls of Foggy Bottom, Wm Penn has the reader wondering what is around the next corner. Buck and Dolly travel horizon to horizon navigating the dark world of the secret war of international politics. "Conspiracy" transports you into a world that few know. A close reveal of the thought process of those who want the western way of life destroyed and civilization to return to the 7th century. The reader will wonder; "Has Mr. Penn been there?" A common reviewing statement will be made,"A page turner!". From start to final page you will not want the end to come. Buck and Dolly have done it again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A gripping read!,
December 14, 2010
Babette Andre (Broomfield, Co.)  
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
Intrigue, adventure, incredible sequences and chilling encounters mark this novel full of historical and current events. Buck and Dolly Madison, the two protagonists, are retired spooks and linguists who are enjoined by the President of the US to engage Abu Amed, Osama bin Laden's right hand man, to meet his 72 virgins. Osama was dead, assassinated by a previous Madison escapade. ("The Panama Conspiracy" recounts his demise.) Abu Amed is out to destroy the Madisons as retribution for Osama's death.
Under guise of a promoting their book in a European, the Madisons weave in and out of extraordinary situations that gain them checkered and infamous reputations. This reader was enthralled by the rapidly changing scenery and fast-paced, of times humorous dialogue and entranced by the authors' historical knowledge. The aviation/flying scenes spoke of the authors' aviation credentials and added fast-paced airborne sequences.
Just when we thought they had come through myriad exciting explosions and other risks and were home safely, more challenges popped up once they returned the USA.
Be sure to prop up your feet while in your best reading chair, and be prepared to ride the wild side of this clandestine thriller. Story lines and dialogues will grip your imagination and leave you begging for more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Berlin Conspiracy
, December 14, 2010
N. Dale Talkington (Stillwater, OK USA)   
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)

I personally believe this fine book to be based on 97% historical facts and 3% fiction used only to provide enhanced flavoring. These numbers may vary only slightly among different readers.

William Penn, a/k/a Colonel Buck Madison, talks the talk of a CIA spook and certainly can walk that dangerous walk.

He and his wife Dolly always provide interesting attention to the smallest details, such as an exact reference to the 258 acres of the Langley Campus of the CIA.

This peek behind the curtain of international espionage is a series of one exciting adventure after another. Just the ticket for great reading during the coming long winter evenings.

Long time fans of their Conspiracy Series will not be disappointed with this latest literary serving. First time readers will want to hunt down their previous books called The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy.

Both groups will look forward to the next work in progress called The Umbrella Conspiracy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So much intrigue! A Real Page Turner!
, November 29, 2010
Joseph R Penta (Grand Lake, CO, US)
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
What an exciting and intriguing "read"! Moves consistently page after page with thrilling exploits. I could not put this book down! I only regret that it ended as I miss the enjoyment I got out of reading about the adventures of Buck and Dolly as they traveled from one country to the next. Fiction is getting very close to reality in this crazy world we live in and the infiltration of society and the world at large by fanatical groups means they could very well be in your neighborhood too. Hopefully, you have some Buck and Dolly types around that are ready, willing and able to fight back.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WELL WORTH THE WAIT, November 28, 2010
David A Rennie
 (Lexington, OK)
This review is from: The Berlin Conspiracy (Paperback)
Those of us who have been anxious for the further adventures of Colonel Buck Madison and his lovely and sophisticated wife, Dolly, have--at long last--been rewarded for our patience! This time Buck and Dolly have been recalled to the service of their country to foil yet another terrorist plot seemingly centered in the city of Berlin.

Having cleverly disposed of Osama bin Laden, they must now disable a conspiracy led by several of his surviving "lieutenants;" this one just as--if not more--cunning and vicious as his predecessor in terror. They must confront this personification of evil on his own ground and use all of their hard and dangerously earned skills to thwart his attempts to dispose of them before they can upset his devilish apple cart. It takes all their weapon and intelligence skills just to preserve their own lives; much less defeat his fiendish plot to destroy freedom and liberty wherever it may thrive.

This is another page-turner which one shouldn't begin as a casual read. Pack your pipe, get a cup of your favorite caffeine, and sit back in your comfortable reading spot and prepare to be thrilled and entertained as Buck and Dolly mix with civility, royalty, and the devil himself! This Buck and Dolly fan couldn't quit 'til he was finished! Before long, I'll go back and read it again along with THE GRAND CONSPIRACY and THE PANAMA CONSPIRACY.