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  • By Harley Sachs/IDEVCO Intellectual Properties
    Feb 27, 2012
    Review of Harley L. Sachs novel: Burnt Out. By Doc Macomber, author of the Jack Vu Mystery Series. At the opening of Burnt Out, the third in this popular mystery series by Harley L. Sachs, Irwin Glass is looking forward to the birth of the couple’s first child. Recently married and settling nicely into home life with his PhD professor in Copper Country, the last thing this former Foreign Service agent wants is for this quiet life as a teacher of English as a Second Language at Michigan Tech to come to an abrupt end. Glass wants no part of his past, no more days being accused a Soviet agent; or running from the KGB; or skirting the lurking CIA agents out to betray him. But a storm is brewing. FBI Agent Wilkins from both Mr. Sachs’ previous books has returned. He wants Glass to provide him with a class list of his foreign students, a number of whom are Muslims. In order that the government may keep tabs and ferret out any potential terrorists who might pose a threat to National... More > Security, Glass is faced with a moral conundrum. If he refuses the agent’s request, he possibly puts the university in harm’s way and potentially his own wife and daughter, if he goes along with it; he is violating the student’s rights and university policy. Glass figures he’s got no choice. That sets into motion Agent Wilkins next request. Now he wants Glass to spy on the Muslem Student’s Association for which Glass is appointed faculty advisor. Find out what they are up to, essentially prying into the lives of the members. Something the agent thinks Glass knows something about. Yet, when Glass tries to put his foot down and refuse, the ice begins to crack and the water is very cold. Nothing is sacred when the government’s so-called interests are at stake. Meanwhile, Katarina Putinsky, or Putin as she likes to call herself – Glass’s daughter – a sexy raconteur herself, and who captured the reader’s attention in Sachs’ previous novel, reappears in Glass’s life. Glass convinces her to move back in with them and return to college. Within hours things begin to get messy – especially when his daughter begins dating a suspicious Muslim. Tensions between Glass, his students, and his daughter, swell. Mr. Sachs is at the top of his writing game with this book. He knows his history and sprinkles it throughout nicely. The writing is tight, the style consistently smooth. He steals us away on a well-plotted journey where religious and personal freedoms are at the heart of the matter. Always boiling under the surface is this tension, this implied racial hatred, involving Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and the American way of life that has been going on for centuries and is the root behind many societal problems and yet Mr. Sachs delivers it in a new and refreshing way that keeps the reader turning the page. If there is anything to criticize in this intellectually satisfying, fast-paced novel, it would be that the relationship between Glass and his wife feels slightly forced. We get a sense that Glass loves Ivy, enjoys being married, is looking forward to the birth of their child, but we don’t see the passion of the moment that might have transcended the inevitable outcome we all tend to experience in relationships. In all fairness, perhaps the author wanted to make a point of how easily we can become complacent both in relationships with loved ones and society and how that can often led to unexpected outcomes. Mr. Sachs has done an excellent job of weaving and unraveling a tale of world views that are at the forefront of everyday life and affect us all. And what more can you ask of a writer….< Less
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Product Details

IDEVCO Intellectual Properties, The Idea Development Company.
March 12, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.9 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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