“The Tenth Circle” by Jon Land and The Athenian Mystery Series by Gary Corby

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To get 2014 off to a good start, Grit-Lit is recommending one old, old, old friend. And a brand new series from Gary Corby. If one of your resolutions was to get your kid to read more, then the Corby series is perfect. All three books have been read and enjoyed by Grit-Lit readers from 14 – nearly 60. Even though they are supposedly young adult novels, this hard core grit guy couldn’t put them down.

But first an old friend.

The Tenth Circle

“The Tenth Circle” a Blain McCracken novel by Jon Land. (Open Road Media, $16.99, 340 pages, eBook. On the metaphorical shelves just after January 1.)  www.jonlandbooks.com. You may know Land from his Texas Ranger series featuring Caitlin Strong. But years and years ago, before Caitlin, Land created Blaine McCracken, a no nonsense, get the job done, James Bond-Reacher-Spenser type good guy backed up by a team that includes his pal, 7 foot American Indian, Johnny Wareagle.

When really tough men from Delta, Seals and Rangers look at a job, turn pale and walk quickly away shaking their heads, then and only then does Blaine McCracken’s phone ring.

Here’s a sample.

“I’m glad we all agree that the Iranian nuclear threat can no longer be tolerated,” Berman, the highest-ranking member of the Israeli military left alive who’d fought in the Six-Day War, told them. “We’ve been over all this before. The difference is we’re now certain our defenses cannot withstand an Iranian attack, leaving us with casualty estimates of up to a million dead and two million wounded, many of them gravely. Fifty simulations, all with results similar to the ones you have just witnessed.” He hesitated, eyes hardened through two generations of war boring into the defense minister’s. “I want your formal authorization.”

“For what?”

“To destroy the Iranian nuclear complex at Natanz.”

Israel’s defense minister started to smile, then simply shook her head. “We’ve been over this before, a hundred times. Our army can’t do it, our air force can’t do it, our commandos can’t do it, and the Americans are saying the very same thing from their end. You want my authorization to do the impossible? You’ve got it. Just don’t expect any backup, extraction, or political cover.”

Yitzak Berman returned his gaze to the wall-sized screen where animated versions of Tel Aviv and Haifa had turned dark. “The man I have in mind won’t need of any of that.”

“Did you say man?”

Then they called McCracken.

The Athenian Mystery Series by Gary Corby.

Corby is fascinated by ancient history, finding it more exciting and bizarre than any modern thriller. He’s combined the ancient world with his love of whodunits, to create an historical mystery series set in classical Greece. His Athenian Mystery series, starring Nicolaos, his girlfriend Diotima, and his irritating twelve year old brother Socrates is a smash hit in our home.

If the following sample doesn’t separate you from your Black Sapphire Master-Visa-Express card, please have your vitals checked.

“A dead man fell from the sky, landing at my feet with a thud. I stopped and stood there like a fool, astonished to see him lying where I was about to step. He lay facedown in the dirt, arms spread wide, with an arrow protruding out his back. He’d been shot through the heart.

“It was obvious he was dead, but I knelt down and touched him anyway, perhaps because I needed to assure myself that he was real. The body was warm to my touch. The blood that stained my fingertips, from where I had touched his wound, was slippery and wet but already beginning to dry in the heat, and the small cloud of dust his fall had raised made my nose itch as it settled.”

“It normally doesn’t rain corpses, so where had this one come from? I looked up…”
Corby encourages readers to take the books in order: “The Pericles Commission,” “The Ionia Sanction,” Sacred Games” and, coming in 2014, “THE MARATHON CONSPIRACY.” More information about his wonderful series can be found at www.garycorby.com.

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