Title: The Telltale Tattoo by John L. DeBoer
Genre: Currently #9027 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Publication Date: January 29, 2018
Source: Author Request
Title and Cover: The Telltale Tattoo – Cover depicts jungle terrain
John L. DeBoer writes in the legendary style of Mickie Spillane. The plot is pocked with quick action that includes a contrast between law enforcement and gangsters and the hero or protagonist is a gumshoe named Clay Archer.
In 1973 the jungles of Vietnam cloaks the legacy of murder by an over-zealous corporal who kills an innocent mother of two when U.S. soldiers storm his fishing village under erroneous intel looking for Viet Cong. Extolled by their mother to run, the children escape into the jungle, but her son Nguyen Chinh is haunted by the memory of his mother being shot in the back as she fled with her children. In his memory is stamped the image of a tattoo on the arm of one of the soldiers. He and his 4-year-old sister escape to Kuala Lumpur and he eventually winds up being a successful developer. Now, a businessman of status and wealth, he can finally afford to find the way to put his nightmares to rest and live in peace.
That soldier with the tattoo, Vincent Taggart, has also become successful. However, antagonist Taggart is not a nice guy and has run his company outside the law. His marriage is troubled and his wife is convinced he is cheating on her. And, in his shady dealings over the years, he has engaged in services with an organized crime boss, who won’t be happy when he discovers the full extent of Taggart’s betrayal. Right now, he’s worried about the crime family, but soon, he’ll discover the Feds and Nguyen Chinh is also searching for him and that tattoo.
Protagonist Clay Archer is hired by Taggart’s wife to find out if he is cheating on her. She figures it is someone in her husbands’ company and wants to allay her suspicions. The twists are quick and like Spillane’s character, Mike Hammer, the client falls in love with Archer.
Taggart and his company finances and possible Ponzi scheme have come into the radar of the FBI. Their investigation competes with the Mafia in tracking Taggart. In the meantime, Archer is looking for Taggart who has disappeared and escaped with company money. Chinh is tracking the telltale tattoo in independent research on the man he remembers killing his mother and he’s tight with a fella who has an international resort organization. The guy is familiar with the tattoo.
The protagonist and the support characters are all well fleshed and emotive. Descriptive scenes put you in the middle of the confrontations, keeping you on the edge of your seat and the action is non-stop.
This book will have you reading from cover to cover, as it is not a book you will want to put down. You have to know how this will play out. Will Taggart meet his karma? A notable quote in the book is attributable to either Groucho Marx or George Burns. “Sincerity is the key to success. If you can fake that you have it made.” Add to offbeat humor a sprinkling of Chinese and Vietnamese philosophy and you have a very engaging tale that will continue to surprise you around every page. These twists have you flipping pages, but very satisfyingly so.
We were given this review request and gift ebook download directly from the author and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read the second book by this author. This is a must read and highly recommended to any who enjoy a fast-paced action-adventure novel.
Rosepoint Publishing: Five of Five Stars
The Author: (from Amazon Author page-John L. DeBoer) After graduating from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, I did my surgical residency in the U.S. Army at Madigan Army Medical Center, Ft. Lewis, Washington. I then spent three years in the Medical Corps as a General Surgeon before leaving the Army for private practice. Thirty years later, I retired to begin a new career as a writer. I enjoy cooking, tennis, politics, films and film history, the wonders of the cosmos, and, of course, reading. Thrillers are one of my favorite genres, so thrillers are what I like to write. My wife and I (mainly Diane) raised two sons we’re proud of and who are pursuing careers having nothing to do with the medical field! After living in Pennsylvania for a number of years, Diane and I settled in North Carolina, where the winters are easy to take and the only weather we get antsy about is the occasional hurricane. ©2018 C E Williams