***** Cannot Stop Reading It                          Review by Rox Burkey

Author Caleb Pirtle III creates a compelling picture of the historical events surrounding Night of Broken Glass with the methodical extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany. How and why these events occurred should be exposed before the world is forever changed.

Two opposite characters, Ambrose Lincoln, a master operative of the US, and Rachel Gruner, a Baden-Baden teacher, relate the story from their viewpoints. Pirtle describes each person’s background in the story in a succinct manner that allows the reader to connect to each character and their nuances.

Delving in to expose the mystery of Ambrose Lincoln early on by a renowned psychiatrist is executed flawlessly. It shows the mystery and deception surround this complex man.  

This time, she only needed one.

Tomorrow, she, her notes, and her diagnosis would be gone.

If all went well with Ambrose Lincoln, she would be gone for good.

Of course, it all depended on him.

What did he remember?

What did he know?

Could he be trusted?

Was he still a weapon?

Or, as those at the brokerage house liked to say: Was he still responsive? Or had he already died?

Should she simply put his mind at rest and bury him for good?

“Let’s start from the beginning,” Dr. Sloane said.

The wry grin flickered on his face only for an instant, then vanished altogether. The shadow fell back in place. He wore khaki trousers that had lost their crease a long time ago, a brown dress jacket, still wet from the rain and thrown over a black sweater, and well-scarred boots fashioned from cowhide.

“Most stories have a beginning,” he said. “Mine doesn’t.”

Rachal and Ambrose develop a somewhat complex relationship that leads to evidence that, in the right hands, could change the outcome of history. It is a well-told rendition of a time of hatred, power, and corruption. The prose is written to allow an easy, non-stop read from page to page. The perfect blend of historical facts, storytelling, and characters you hope will survive are waiting for you in this story. I highly recommend this book and this author. You won’t be disappointed.

About the Author

Caleb Pirtle III lives in the present but prefers the past. He is the author of more than eighty books, including four noir thrillers in the Ambrose Lincoln series: Secrets of the Dead, Conspiracy of Lies, Night Side of Dark, and Place of Skulls. Secrets and Conspiracy are also audiobooks on audible.com. All of the novels are set against the haunting backdrop of World War II. His Lonely Night to Die features three noir thrillers in one book, following the Quiet Assassin exploits, a rogue agent who has fled the CIA. He takes the missions no one else wants. He is expendable, and he knows it.

His award-winning Boom Town Saga includes Back Side of a Blue Moon, the story of a con man who comes to a dying East Texas town during the Great Depression, promises to drill for oil, and falls in love with a beautiful woman who just may have killed her husband. In Bad Side of a Wicked Moon, the lawless have come to the oil patch, and justice has left town.

Pirtle also wrote Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever, the story of a high school quarterback whose life spins into turmoil during his entanglements with illegal college recruiting, and Last Deadly Lie is the chilling story of the gossip and scandal that threatens to break a church apart in the midst of greed, jealousy ,and murder.

Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.

Pirtle has written two teleplays: Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, a mini-series for CBS television starring Kenny Rogers, Loni Anderson, Dixie Carter, and Mariska Hargitay, and The Texas Rangers, a TV movie for John Milius and TNT television. He wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild. He wrote the screenplay for one motion picture, Hot Wire, starring George Kennedy, Strother Martin, and John Terry.

Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third bestselling art book of all time.
Pirtle was a newspaper reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and served ten years as the travel editor for Southern Living Magazine. He was editorial director for a Dallas custom publisher for more than twenty-five years.

He and his wife, Linda, live in the rolling, timbered hills of East Texas. She is the author of cozy mysteries.

Find and follow Caleb and Linda on your SM of choice.

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    2 replies to "Secrets of the Dead"

    • Jan Sikes

      Another fantastic review, Rox! Thank you for sharing this one. It is intriguing!

      • RoxBurkey

        Jan, thank you. The start of this one was positively grabbing.

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