Tag Archives: review

By A Thread: "Outrageous, yet believable" 5 stars

Over on Amazon.com, fellow author Johnny Townsend gives By A Thread five stars, and says:

“When I was a missionary in Rome, our mission president told us to be on the lookout for an orange van. Men had threatened to kidnap two missionaries and force them to confess to being CIA agents. I loved reading this novel, ‘By A Thread,’ where it turns out the myth is true. The book is well-researched. I felt as if I were really in Vienna and the surrounding areas. The plot is outrageous and yet still believable.…I loved the book and actually think it would make a pretty good movie, too. I expect good things from Marty Beaudet’s future novels.” [This is an excerpt. To read the full review, click here. ***SPOILER ALERT***]



 

 

 

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By A Thread: A Thriller that delivers the thrills

A review of the political thriller, By A Thread, by Neil Badders

Could this happen? Terrorists take out the president and vice president of the United States. Meddling by cabinet members and manipulation of the Supreme Court result in the elevation of the Secretary of Defense to the presidency, bypassing the rightful successor, the Speaker of the House. Rioting and martial law ensue. Can the country be saved? Exactly who is the enemy?

In a well-honed, tension-filled 312 pages, author Marty Beaudet makes a case for vigilance. Not only does the scenario seem plausible, his work of fiction should stand as a cautionary tale of the fragility of our democracy, shout out a warning signal to all Americans that we should never take our rights for granted. As Beaudet adds layer on layer to the story, it’s like a punch in the gut. I kept thinking, this could really happen.

The key to uncovering the terrorist plot lies in the hands of naive Mormon Missionary, Kevin Davis, who is recruited by the CIA in Austria to befriend a Kuwaiti, Jassim al-Shammari. Al-Shammari may have the answers the CIA needs to protect an America under attack from the outside and from within. The coordinates of Kevin’s moral compass are tested as his friendship with and feelings for al-Shammari grow. Is Jassim devil or savior? Kevin’s realization that he might be falling in love is heartwarming and heartbreaking, his inner turmoil tangible and believable.

“By a Thread” has the ring of authenticity—It’s obvious that Beaudet has done his homework when it comes to Mormon customs and culture, to the finer points of our Constitution, in the descriptions of exotic locales such as Vienna and Munich. Most importantly, he understands that love is transcendent.

In a addition to being featured in the Broadway national touring companies of “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Evita, “Fiddler on the Roof, Mame, and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Neil Badders is also a published playwright, and has been a political reporter and theater critic. He is currently working on his book, “Let’s Get This Show On The Road”.  His essays can be found in his blog, Dreams in a Drawer, on LiveJournal.com.

By Neil Badders

Could this happen? Terrorists take out the president and vice president of the United States. Meddling by cabinet members and manipulation of the Supreme Court result in the elevation of the Secretary of Defense to the presidency, bypassing the rightful successor, the Speaker of the House. Rioting and martial law ensue. Can the country be saved? Exactly who is the enemy?

In a well-honed, tension-filled 312 pages, author Marty Beaudet makes a case for vigilance. Not only does the scenario seem plausible, his work of fiction should stand as a cautionary tale of the fragility of our democracy, shout out a warning signal to all Americans that we should never take our rights for granted. As Beaudet adds layer on layer to the story, it’s like a punch in the gut. I kept thinking, this could really happen.

The key to uncovering the terrorist plot lies in the hands of naive Mormon Missionary, Kevin Davis, who is recruited by the CIA in Austria to befriend a Kuwaiti, Jassim al-Shammari. Al-Shammari may have the answers the CIA needs to protect an America under attack from the outside and from within. The coordinates of Kevin’s moral compass are tested as his friendship with and feelings for al-Shammari grow. Is Jassim devil or savior? Kevin’s realization that he might be falling in love is heartwarming and heartbreaking, his inner turmoil tangible and believable.

“By a Thread” has the ring of authenticity—It’s obvious that Beaudet has done his homework when it comes to Mormon customs and culture, to the finer points of our Constitution, in the descriptions of exotic locales such as Vienna and Munich. Most importantly, he understands that love is transcendent.

In a addition to being featured in the Broadway national touring companies of “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Evita, “Fiddler on the Roof, Mame, and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Neil Badders is also a published playwright, and has been a political reporter and theater critic. He is currently working on his book, “Let’s Get This Show On The Road”.  His essays can be found in his blog, Dreams in a Drawer, on LiveJournal.com.

By A Thread: "I fell in love with the characters…"

OK. So he’s my second cousin, once removed. That had nothing to do with this review of my new political thriller, By A Thread!

“A fun read and a great page-turner…perfect for the stormy season when you want a good book to lift you out of your winter doldrums. I fell in love with the characters. When do we get to see the movie?”

Paul Beaudet (Guemes Island, WA)

(See more reviews at the By A Thread website.)

 

 

 

 

 

By A Thread: "Suspenseful, timely tale"

A review of By A Thread, posted on Amazon.com by
– Bob Lind, Echo Magazine

Kevin “Red” Davis is a young Mormon missionary on a two-year assignment in Vienna. Among the countless people he meets (and attempts to convert) is one he can’t forget: a mysterious, engaging Kuwaiti named Jassim, who seems to awaken in Kevin feelings he has long repressed. When his mission ends, Kevin is recruited by a government agent to continue his friendship with Jassim, whom they feel may have some information about a terrorist plot that resulted in the death of both the President and Vice President of the United States. Meanwhile, a long-planned political plot threatens to turn the US into a militia state, with martial law and hired mercenaries set to take control. A journalist with inside information about the plot searches for Kevin and Jassim to help, if it isn’t too late already.

At a time when many Americans are voicing displeasure about elected officials, as well as government domestic and foreign policies, Beaudet’s story of security agency conspiracies and government takeovers is especially timely and compelling. It also adds to the mix the occasional blurred line between politics and organized religions, carried to an extreme for effect. Well-written and suspenseful, though it adds confusion with frequent use of acronyms to refer to government agencies and policies, it’s definitely an engaging, page-turner of a read, which I give four stars out of five.

 

By A Thread: "great mystery-drama-romance novel"

James Kent, author of Ohana News, responds to By A Thread:

I admit that my opinion may be prejudiced by over 21 years of friendship with Marty Beaudet, but his novel, By A Thread, definitely stands on its own merits.

It was a page-turner for me. I started reading it Friday evening, and finished reading it Sunday afternoon.

I so enjoyed his attention to detail that makes his story very plausible, and a true fantasy for conspiracy theorists. I confess that I once feared something similar to this happening under the Bush Administration.

Having been an LDS missionary thirty years ago, it was especially easy [for me] to step into the mind of Elder Kevin Davis to see the world through his eyes.  This would be especially true for [anyone] who served full-time LDS missions in Austria.

His story begins like a patchwork quilt, with seemingly unrelated events eventually weaving into each other.

The book points out that, because of a few radical extremists, Muslims are discriminated against in The United States and Europe and become easy targets of exploitation.

And then there is the very beautiful story of strangers becoming friends which eventually blossoms into a romance.

I am afraid to say anything more that will spoil the plot of with great mystery-drama-romance novel.

For more info: http://bit.ly/dodgia

I admit that my opinion my be prejudiced by over 21 years of friendship with Marty Beaudet, but his novel, By A Thread definitely stands on its own merits.
It was a page turner for me. I started reading it Friday evening, and finished reading it Sunday afternoon.
I so enjoyed his attention to detail that makes his story very plausible, and a true fantasy for conspiracy theorists.
I confess that I once feared something similar to this happening under the Bush Administration.
Having been an LDS missionary thirty years ago, it was especially easy to step into the mind of Elder Kevin Davis to see the world through his eyes.  This would be especially true for any of you who served full time LDS missions in Austria.
His story begins like a patchwork quilt with seemingly unrelated events eventually weaving into each other.
The book points out that because of a few radical extremists Muslims are discriminated against in The United States and Europe and become easy targets of exploitation.
And then there is the very beautiful story of strangers becoming friends which eventually blossoms into a romance.
I am afraid to say anything more that will spoil the plot of with great mystery-drama-romance novel.

 

By A Thread review: "exceedingly well-crafted…"

Here is the latest review of my new novel, By A Thread, a political thriller:

Reviewed by John Adrian

I’ve read thrillers that begin with seemingly endless, unrelated chapters that set-up wildly diverse plot lines that seem to go nowhere near each other until the last few chapters when they magically bump into each other and, just as magically, intertwine. Marty Beaudet’s first novel, By A Thread isn’t one of them.

I’ve read spy novels in which the hero-protagonist makes James Bond look like a Nancy-boy. By A Thread isn’t one of these, either.

I could go on and on with what By A Thread isn’t, but I won’t. What it is is an exceedingly well-crafted novel with the proverbial “ordinary men doing extra-ordinary things.”

That’s one of its great strengths. The heroes are very ordinary young men. So ordinary that any reader who can overcome any xenophobia over Mormon missionaries, Muslims, and gay men can easily identify with them.

Then, too, there have been a few, if not many, portrayals of Mormon missionary life in movies in recent years. Notably C. Jay Cox’ Latter Days and Trey Parker’s Orgazmo. While Parker’s aim was farce, Cox’ aim apparently was romantic comedy/drama. Neither Parker, nor Cox cared enough about the realities of Mormon missionary life to portray them accurately. Beaudet does care, and his portrayal of missionary life is stunningly accurate, which makes By A Thread that much more compelling reading.

Elder Kevin Davis is a (Mormon) missionary laboring in the Austria, Vienna Mission of the LDS Church. Davis, within weeks of completing his mission, and his rigid, “greenie” companion, are “hosting an informational display” outside a large Vienna store on a Saturday morning. …

As he talks to shoppers whose curiosity causes them to stop, if only for a minute, Davis senses that he is being watched. At length, Davis traces the sense of being more than casually observed to a swarthy young man…. He is Jassim al-Shammari a Kuwaiti living in Vienna.…

Davis (and his companion), and al-Shammari meet in Chapter 3. In Chapter 7 Davis and his companion are in al-Shammari’s apartment giving him the first [missionary lesson]. In due course Davis and his companion report their encounter with al-Shammari as a part of their weekly report to the Vienna Mission office. Unbeknownst to them their Mission President recognizes al-Shammari’s name and initiates events which will help to fulfill [a prophecy] attributed by some to Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the LDS Church (and from which Beaudet has taken his title).

While the young Kuwaiti…is meeting the young American…in Vienna, sinister forces…are at work in Washington. The United States government is in a shambles because no one thought it possible for the President and Vice-president to both be assassinated at effectively the same time.

In the space of a little over three hundred pages and fifty-some chapters Beaudet has carefully woven a well-integrated, believable tale of deception, loyalties betrayed, and young love. Similar books by better-known, popular authors have taken me a week to read. By A Thread took me two days. It’s what’s known as “a page turner.” Indeed the only reason it took me two days is because I started it late of an afternoon.

By A Thread has a cinematic quality which makes it an easy read, and I hope it’s read by someone who is in a position to make it into a movie. Not in the way Patricia Nell Warren’s Front Runner or Peter Lefcourt’s The Dreyfus Affair have been optioned for films but never produced, but for real. I also hope Beaudet has the courage to protect this masterpiece so it doesn’t end-up sold for a film that never gets made.

By A Thread by Marty Beaudet is available online from Amazon, at Barnes and Noble in trade paperback or via the author’s website at www.byathread-thebook.com.

By A Thread: Critical Acclaim!

Check out this unsolicited critical review of By A Thread by Jerry Argetsinger, Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology:

By A Thread by Marty Beaudet is a compelling political thriller after the manner of a fast moving “Jack Bauer” conspiracy story. Beaudet’s skill is in creating a complex narrative combining American, Austrian, and Arab locales as well as Mormon and Muslim characters while being true to all elements, propelling the action forward in a clear, exciting manner.

In coordinated terrorist attacks, Air Force One has been blown out of the sky and the Vice President’s motorcade ambushed leaving him hospitalized in a coma. When the Speaker of the House is sworn in as Acting President a constitutional challenge and repeal of the Presidential Succession Act thrusts the Administrative leadership of America into confusion. Seemingly unrelated car bombs and unexplained activities of American intelligence officers embolden the forces determined to tear the country apart. A mysterious Kuwaiti Muslim is believed to hold the key to unlocking the secrets that connect and explain the motives of the unknown mastermind behind these perilous events.

American military, intelligence agencies and an investigative reporter race to find the possible terrorist. When the Kuwaiti’s name appears in a Mormon missionary’s weekly report to his Austrian mission president – a mission president with ties to the CIA – an unprepared, naive missionary becomes the unexpected trump card that might win the game for everyone.

[*Spoiler Alert*]

Through a well reasoned sequence of events the missionary, Kevin Davis is recruited to befriend the Muslim, reporting all of his activities and conversations to the CIA. Under the concept of “lying for the Lord,” Elder Davis becomes plain “Kevin” and is exempted from just about everything, including wearing his temple garments and following the Word of Wisdom, that stands between a typical Mormon boy and his undercover assignment. But no one is aware that Kevin has struggled with homosexual feelings since puberty and the Muslim’s attraction to him is more than friendship. As their bonds become more personal, the love Davis shares for his Church, his country and his new found friend collide in an exciting chase through Vienna and the Austrian countryside as well intentioned, but conflicting powers hunt them down in order to find or bury the truth.

The most important aspects of Beaudet’s book are that he is a skilled storyteller who understands the details of intelligence, investigative reporting, Muslims, and LDS missionary life. While his characters may become involved in unexpected behaviors, Beaudet understands his subjects and is able to logically motivate and justify their choices. The LDS reader may not be comfortable with actions that are taken, but their culture and teachings are acknowledged.

Several LDS themes emerge beginning with Joseph Smith’s statement that “The time will come when the Constitution and Government will hang by a thread and will be ready to fall … but this people, the Latter-Day Saints, will step forth and save it.” The actions of the LDS mission president and his recruited missionary are singularly founded on their belief that the oft quoted statement is prophetic. It may be a surprising take when the Austrian mission president is depicted as an operative of the CIA, but missionaries have been accused of being agents and spies for decades. It is interesting to see the notion presented without question or apology as though it is a given. The church leader justifies his actions on the well documented practice of “lying for the Lord,” the uncomfortable Mormon take on the philosophy that, when it comes to fulfilling prophecy, the end justifies the means.

To his surprise and chagrin, unintended consequences accompany such cavalier justifications. When the Mormon missionary and Muslim are regularly seen together around Vienna, the entire gay underground assumes they are a couple. When they become a couple it coincides with their exploits being reported around the world, outing them to their friends, family, countrymen, and religious leaders. What are gay men, both members of suppressive religions, going to do if they are even alive at the conclusion of the story?

It is refreshing that Beaudet provides a gay Mormon character whose homosexuality is not the story, but is a vital aspect of the story about an unlikely person thrust into confronting his conflicting feelings of patriotism, love of church, and discovery of self while being both praised and demonized in the world press. Not everything in this political thriller works out well in the end, but the reader is left with the total satisfaction of an exciting tale told by a writer who knows his subject.

By A Thread by Marty Beaudet is available online through Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble in trade paperback or Kindle or via his website at www.byathread-thebook.com.

(See the original review posted here.)