This is Blackfive's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Blackfive's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Blackfive
USA
Recent Activity
Image
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar. Catherine Coulter's 19th FBI thriller, NEMESIS, keeps the reader turning the pages between two fast-paced and complex plots. This is the first thriller where husband and wife team Sherlock and Savich are separated, each working their own case. Coulter wanted to explore “how each would react when they are not together, including the fear, and helplessness of being kept in the dark.” The most interesting and realistic of the two storylines involves FBI Agent Lacey Sherlock. While in a security line at JFK Airport a man pulls out a grenade and captures a hostage. His plan is foiled when Sherlock is able to take out this jihad terrorist. But this was only a diversion for the real terrorist attack that is occurring at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It is a cat and mouse game played between the terrorist leader, known as the Strategist, and Sherlock, who is irritating him, because a woman is able to thwart his plans. The secondary subplot has FBI Agent Dillon Savitch, with the help of Agent Griffin Hammersmith, trying to solve murders where the perpetrators have no recollection of committing the crimes. Savitch must use his psychic abilities to stop a master manipulator, Stefan Dalco, who evades his dreams, tries to kill him, and seeks revenge killings on others. This story is based on the real Wicca religion, which believes in Witchcraft and supernatural abilities. Coulter stated to blackfive.net, “I did a crash course on ‘Wicca for dummies. It was a lot of fun to work with. But readers should remember this storyline is fiction. If I can scare the reader silly with the psychic dream attacks, then I've succeeded. I also scared myself writing them.” Coulter always introduces new characters, in this case, FBI Agents Kelly Giusti and Callum (Cal) McLain. They are admirable, likeable, and someone readers root for. With the terrorist plot, women are front and center with Giusti, the interrogator, Sherlock, the Agent who connects the dots, and the terrorist’s wife, a ferocious, independent, who stands up to Islamists. From the very first page of Nemesis the action ratchets up. Unfortunately, Coulter will not have these new characters return because “I like bringing in new and different characters in every book. If I were to bring them back they must be able to move the story forward and not stop the plot.” Coulter's third thriller in her new series, A BRIT in the FBI, THE END GAME, comes out in September. Nicholas Drummond and Mike (Michaela) Caine find themselves involved in an extraordinary plot by terrorists committed to the destruction of the West. The plot is very timely considering the situation in the Middle East today. Coulter always enjoys hearing from her readers. Send her an email note at ReadMoi@gmail.com or post her at Facebook.com/catherinecoulterbooks. She posts every morning and replies to all comments. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at BLACKFIVE
Image
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar. The Hunters by Tom Young is a mystery novel for airplane enthusiasts. It takes readers back to the days when pilots had to use many of their own skills and instincts to fly. Because he served in the Air National Guard he incorporates this knowledge into the stories. Young noted to blackfive.net, “ I have had a life long interest in the DC-3. I got the idea for this story when I was personally approached in the 1990s to fly a relief mission. It did not involve a DC-3, but rather my favorite plane, a C-130 Hercules. Unfortunately, this project never got off the ground. I wondered if this group had settled for a less expensive plane, the DC-3, maybe it could have been realized.” This is more of a Colombo type mystery where readers know almost from the very beginning the outcome of the struggle. What makes the pages turn is trying to figure out how the protagonists will escape. The story begins with Colonel Michael Parson, convinced by his good friend Sophia Gold, into using his leave from the Air Force to fly relief supplies into Somalia in an antique DC-3 cargo plane. They come up against an al-Shabaab leader, The Sheikh, who recruits young boys to become Jihadists for food and violently kills anyone working with the aid group. Young noted to blackfive.net, “Parsons has grown over the years. In rank he has been promoted from Major to Colonel and has become a commander. He sees himself as wanting to use his skills to make the world a better place.” The theme of the book is something people have struggled with throughout history; does one good deed overcome all the other horrific acts? Although Young attempted to draw sympathy for the teenage Jihadist Hussein it fell short. His actions were not just violent but horrifying be-headings. How could someone become redeemable, and should they, after committing these acts? The Hunters has a very violent plot so anyone squeamish might have trouble with the storyline. Others will find it a fast-paced, action packed plot. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Marines set up a perimeter after a tactical insertion with an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft as part of an amphibious assault during Talisman Sabre 2015 at Fog Bay, Australia, July 11, 2015. The Marines are assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The bilateral exercise trains U.S. and Australian forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Louis Rojas Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Marines conduct small boat ops using combat rubber raiding craft from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay during Talisman Sabre 2015 in the Indian Ocean, July 12, 2015. The Marines are assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel M. Young Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
A U.S. sailor looks out an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter flying by the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in the Indian Ocean, July 3, 2015. The sailor is assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combatant Squadron 25. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Naomi VanDuser Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dave Julazadeh conducts preflight checks in an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft before flying his first combat sortie as commander of 455th Air Expeditionary Wing on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, July 7, 2015. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Thomas Campos, right, fights to subdue Lance Cpl. Devon Borks during a short-range marksmanship qualification course aboard the dock landing ship USS Rushmore while at sea, July 9, 2015. Marines grappled for two minutes before the course of fire to simulate firing under stress and fatigue, which can occur in combat. Compos is an M32 gunner and Borks is an automatic riflemen, both with Kilo Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Exp U.S. Marine Corps photo by Emmanuel Ramos Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
As seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Marines prepare a combat rubber raiding craft for launch-and-recovery drills during Talisman Sabre 2015 from the well deck of the USS Green Bay at sea, July 9, 2015. The Marines are assigned to Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Bekkala Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot waits as airmen complete a final check of the aircraft’s weapons before taking off for a combat sortie from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, July 14, 2015. The pilot is assigned to the 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and the airmen are assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
An MH-60R Seahawk helicopter fires flares near the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during an air power demonstration in the Pacific Ocean, July 11, 2015. The carrier hosted more than 2,000 family members and friends to demonstrate the ship's capabilities. The helicopter is assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Tom Tonthat Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Navy Lt. Christopher Malherek pilots a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft over Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, July 14, 2015, during a routine training flight for the squadron's advanced readiness program. Malherek is assigned to Patrol Squadron 9. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amber Porter Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Army photos by Capt. Charles Emmons Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks through ice in the Arctic Circle, July 14, 2015. An aerostat aircraft, a self-contained, compact platform, produced this image. U.S. Coast Guard photo Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Chance Seckenger participates in launch-and-recovery drills in a combat rubber raiding craft during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 after launching from the well deck of the USS Green Bay at sea, July 9, 2015. Seckenger is assigned to Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Bekkala Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
The following interview and book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category on the right side bar. Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s latest book Ally is a riveting description of the relationship between Israel and the United States. Readers get a behind the scenes look at how the Obama Administration has a one sided point of view. Through his numerous notes and direct insight he tells of the struggles Israel has had with the Obama Administration, especially regarding the Iranian nuclear deal. He warns that Israel is in existential danger, that his only agenda is a reality check regarding this administration’s policies toward Israel. Blackfive.net interviewed him about his book and the Iranian nuclear deal. He gave an exclusive to Blackfive.net, stating that he only tells those people “who come to work with me about this clip. I ask them to watch it so that they will understand me.” The clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImtrifoxW4c) is about the Battle of the Bulge with interviews from participants including Oren’s father, Lester Bornstein, a US Army Corps Engineer whose duty was to clear roads and build bridges during World War II. Yet, in the Ardennes Forest in France on December 16, 1944, Lester along with his friend Jimmy Hill became infantrymen to help fend off the German advance, which had taken the American military off guard. He and his friend bravely disabled the first German tank in line, forcing a halt in the advance. Oren, born in America, feels a kinship with America’s culture, principles, and spirit. He remembers his father telling the family war stories and during his first combat mission in the war, Operation Peace for the Galilee, thought of his father’s experience, wondering “how I would conduct myself under fire.” Throughout the book Oren emphasizes the closeness he feels with both America and Israel. Yet, some in the media like Newsweek’s Jonathan Broder attempt to discredit him by writing, “The American-born Oren, who renounced his U.S. citizenship and now serves as a lawmaker in Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, transforms from a measured historian into a breathless polemicist.” This is anything but the truth. Oren noted, “By Federal law any American who officially served a foreign county had to renounce their US Citizenship. My loyalties to the United States and the Jewish State are mutually validating.” He wrote in the book how his love for America is filled with gratitude. “From the time that all four of my grandparents arrived on Ellis Island, through the Great Depression, in which they raised my parents, and the farm-bound community in which I grew up, America held out the chance to excel. True, prejudice was prevalent, but so, too, was our ability to fight it. Unreservedly, I referred to Americans as ‘we.’ The United States and Israel, are both democracies, both freedom-loving, and similarly determined to defend their independence. One could be — in fact, should be — a Zionist as well as a patriotic American, because the two countries stood for identical ideals.” Except now Israel is being thrown under the bus with the Iranian nuclear deal. Why do some in the press want to discredit Oren’s roots? Possibly because the Ambassador is publicly warning that the Obama Administration is setting a dangerous precedent concerning the Iranian nuclear deal. As Daniel Silva profoundly wrote in his latest book, The English Spy, “Now the president’s confronted with a world gone mad, and he doesn’t have a clue as to what to do about it.” Oren noted to blackfive.net about another irrational period in history and compared it to the current situation; “Lets remember one infamous example, when the Nazis pursued their insane ends. Even during the last days of World War II, as the Allied armies liberated Europe, they diverted precious military resources to exterminating Jews. The Israeli position is that this Iranian regime is irrational. Unlike Israel, which is in Iran’s backyard, the US is not threatened by the proximity of national annihilation. This is about our survival as a people. It’s about our children and grandchildren. What may look like an academic debate here in America is for us in Israel a matter of life and death.” Asked if he agrees with the quote from former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said of Iran, “the enemy of our enemy is still our enemy,” Oren told blackfive.net, that Americans should not forget that Iran “wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, something they have been calling for the last thirty years. Let’s not forget they also attempted to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC and assassinate the Saudi Ambassador. Iran and its terrorist groups have killed more Americans than any other terrorist group outside of Al Qaeda. This does not even include those in the American military who were killed by Iran during the Iraq War. They are not friends.” But a true friend, an ally, is defined by Oren as assisting “in saving American lives on and off the battlefield. On an ideological level, an ally is a country that shares America’s values, reflects its founding spirit, and resonates with its people’s beliefs. And an ally stimulates the U.S. economy through trade, technological innovation, and job creation. The two countries I love need to unite on issues vital to both and yet they remain separated ideologically and even strategically. However, on issues of security, anybody in the Israeli military, in the intelligence community, will tell you that security relations between Israel and the United States are better now than probably any other time in the past.” In the Middle East Israel is America’s staunchest ally. Even though the Obama Administration appears not to recognize this, Americans do. A recent Gallup Poll shows that two out of three Americans sympathize with Israel, with support for Israel in the United States rising, not declining. Ambassador Oren wrote this book, Ally, to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
An MH-60R Seahawk helicopter conducts flight training operations over the island of Oahu, Hawaii, June 23, 2015. The Seahawk is assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amber Porter Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. soldiers fire the 120mm main gun of an Army M1A2 Abrams tank to prepare for a live-fire tank shoot during Operation Speed and Power as part of Atlantic Resolve South on Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, June 24, 2015. The soldiers are assigned to 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alan Brutus Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Smith, left, walks offWa the track after finishing his race with the help of Army staff member Paul Trujillo during the 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 28, 2015. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sandy Barrientos Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Marines look at the sunset as the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima transits through the Suez Canal, Egypt, June 22, 2015. The Marines are assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is deployed on the USS Iwo Jima and the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to support U.S. national security interests in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Austin A. Lewis Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Marines remove ordnance from a simulated downed UH-1 Huey helicopter during a training exercise on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., June 17, 2015. The Marines are assigned to the 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carson Gramley Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alex Rowan runs for cover before a breaching system detonates during a sapper leader's course on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 26, 2015. Rowan is a combat engineer assigned to the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Krista James Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Hawkins carries an infant aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy in the waters off Papua New Guinea, June 30, 2015. At the request of the government, the Mercy launched a helicopter to transport six passengers, including one infant, who swam ashore after their ship sank. Hawkins is a hospital corpsman assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Valerie Eppler Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
Navy sailors direct an F/A-18E Super Hornet onto a catapult on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, June 30, 2015. The Truman is training for its upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class A. A. Cruz Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
U.S. Navy Lt. Jessica Grupp directs an MH-60R Seahawk as it launches from the flight deck of the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam Philippine Sea, June 30, 2015. The Antietam is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Grupp is a landing safety officer assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Image
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar. Brutality by Ingrid Thoft is a captivating crime novel. Besides the mystery of a “who done it murder,” the author raises questions about sports brain injuries. This plot explores the theoretical and practical, the balance between loving the sport, in this case, soccer, and the compelling evidence of the dangers involved in playing it. The story has soccer mom Liz Barone attacked in her kitchen, where she eventually dies from her injuries. Private investigator Fina Ludlow is hired by Liz’s mother to find the attacker. Through her investigation Ludlow finds out that Liz is suing her alma mater for a mild cognitive impairment head injury incurred while she was a player for New England University. Carl Ludlow, Fina’s father, decides to take the civil case as Fina tries to narrow the list of suspects: Liz’s research boss, her husband who has a hidden secret, other members of the soccer team, and a sleezy booster. In addition to the mystery the family plotline continues with her abusive older brother, a niece wondering about her actual family, and Fina’s relationship with her police friend. The author writes what interests her. “I remember reading accounts of NFL football players suffering from cognitive impairment and other brain issues. I changed it from football to soccer. People assume its only in football and hockey but in reality the lower contact sports have a high incidence of concussions. Also, people historically think that girls do not play as hard as men so they don’t suffer from these injuries. I see it as involving the intersection of money, entertainment, identity, and what it means to be macho in our culture. I thought it had many interesting facets, making it porous on many levels.” Fina is a great character that is independent, sarcastically humorous, tough, tenacious, and quick thinking. The only daughter in a family of three sons, and the only one not to attend law school, she stands out in the family dynamics. Her parents are dysfunctional, the mother more than the father. Thoft told blackfive.net that she came up with the idea for the character while attending a course at the University of Washington. “I learned that defense attorneys, insurance companies, and some citizens use them. The two women who taught the class were investigators, one civil and the other criminal. It gave a terrific overview. We reviewed police reports and had a whole range of guest speakers. I also made contact with some in the Seattle Police Department since it is not unusual for a retired police officer to become a PI. They let me do a ride along. It was really interesting since there were a huge variety of calls: a possible bank robbery, a detox, and someone who threw a hamburger at someone else. It gave me a real appreciation for the work a patrol officer must do. They are social workers, mediators, and have to work with a varied and difficult population. I saw the other side of the police that is rarely seen on the news today.” The author is excited that ABC is teaming up with producer Mark Gordon to adapt the first two books into a TV series. The pilot is possibly being filmed this fall season, about a family drama set around the Ludlow family business, a high-powered personal injury law firm. Brutality balances real-life themes with an exciting story. The protagonist is a well-developed character whose dry narration enhances the action. The sub-plot regarding the complex family dynamics is very well written. Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at BLACKFIVE