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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review with Giveaway: Sleeping Dogs: A Novel by Tony Vanderwarker

This is an excellent thriller with high pace and suspense to the very end!
Sleeping Dogs: A Novel
by Tony Vanderwarker

  • File Size: 1166 KB
  • Print Length: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (February 4, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00I2G7AT8
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
The Pentagon has a dirty, little secret they've been keeping quiet for forty years.
During the Cold War, a number of live H-bombs were jettisoned and lost around the country as a result of mishaps and mid-air collisions.

A disgraced former Pentagon weapons expert, Howie Collyer, who blew the whistle on the unrecovered H-bombs and lost his job as a result, learns from a nurse in a VA hospital that one of her patients has vague recollections of being the pilot on a B-52 plane that jettisoned a nuke. Collyer teams up with the nurse to kidnap the man from the hospital in the hopes he will lead them to it. When the Pentagon learns Collyer is after the bomb, they try to stop him. But they are not alone. An al-Qaeda sleeper cell that has been keeping an eye on Collyer goes into action.

A mad scramble ensues with the Pentagon, al-Qaeda, and Collyer all after the nuke. Will the al-Qaeda find it first and immolate half the Eastern Seaboard? Will the Pentagon succeed in putting a lid on their secret? Or will Howie Collyer expose the mess and vindicate himself?

Inspired and written under the guidance of master storyteller, John Grisham, the plot of Sleeping Dogs takes amazing twists and turns before ending in an unexpected and spellbinding climax.

Howard Collyer is known for two things in his life. In college, even though an unexceptional football kicker, he “nailed” a last minute kick that brought the team victory. Then he became a weapons specialist working in the Pentagon with a relatively unexceptional career except for the fact that he was obsessed with the problem of nuclear bombs lost in the 1950s and 1960s. These lost bombs have been termed as sleeping dogs because the powers that be at the Pentagon have determined they should just leave them alone, trusting that any danger is decaying over time.

Collyer was quietly pushed out of the Pentagon since no one wanted to deal with his harping on the nuclear issues they wanted to keep quiet. He maintains a website called Sleeping Dogs that has placed estimated locations of many of the lost bombs and a wealth of information regarding the types of bombs and the history of why they were lost or dropped.

VA Nurse Sharon Thorsen has been visiting with a cheery, if confused, patient, Major Risstup. Sharon is a bit alarmed when the Major starts talking about a lost bomb. She becomes more distressed when she comes in one morning to find the Major's medication changed to a dose that would kill him. Sharon discovers Collyer's Sleeping Dogs website through an internet search and calls Collyer on Thanksgiving day to request his help to protect the Major.

Collyer races to help Sharon kidnap Major Risstup, triggering a hide and seek chase from more enemies than they realize. A silent “undercover” division at the Pentagon, known as Vector Eleven, has been monitoring Collyer's activities and seeks to shut down any noise or activities that would bring attention to the nuclear issues. If that means eliminating the parties with information that is just considered a cost of doing business.

Collyer, Sharon and Major Risstup are hiding from the threat of their own government secret agency while trying to coax the Major's brain into remembering the location where the bomb was dropped. Their danger increases when an Al Queda cell group, who has also been following Collyer's site, realizes there is activity and sends out a prepared terrorist team to obtain and detonate the bomb.

Collyer is fortunate to be getting some security back-up from his old college roommate, a CIA agent who is a former overseas spy/spook. Winston Straub is willing to help Collyer especially if it means a chance to give a black eye to the Pentagon. When things begin to escalate Straub recruits the help of the head of Homeland Security who is also eager to pin a bad mark on the Pentagon.

This story has a great plot and excellent suspense. I was anxious to turn the story back on each time I could. There is good character development and disturbing, though sadly likely, enmity between the governmental agencies. As the agencies try to out maneuver each other there is the fear that not cooperating could result in even worse damage. Another disturbing aspect is that the leaders seem a bit surprised that terrorists would be following Collyer's website so closely. That is scarily naïve as even I am alarmed to think of all the bomb building and evil activities easily available on the internet.

This is a first rate thriller and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy good suspense!

I received this title for review through BookSavvy PR.

Awed by his experience of writing with John Grisham, Tony decided to write a memoir to share what he learned with aspiring writers and Grisham fans. Writing With The Master: How a Bestselling Author Fixed My Book and Changed My Life, pulls back the curtain on Grisham’s amazing plot development process and gives readers a feel for the crazy roller coaster ride of the creative process. Writing With The Master will release simultaneously with Sleeping Dogs.

About the Author:
Founder of one of Chicago’s largest ad agencies, Tony Vanderwarker is author of the memoir Writing With the Master: How a Bestselling Author Fixed My Book And Changed My Life about his experience being mentored by John Grisham while writing the thriller Sleeping Dogs (both releasing with Skyhorse in 2014). He has also penned the forthcoming novels Ads for God and Say Something Funny.

ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY: The author has generously provided a print copy of his book for Giveaway!

Don't forget to fill in the form for entry!
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.

For 3 Extra Bonus entries comment on the review OR
tell me if you ever worry about lost weapons, bombs or materials available on the internet.

* This contest is open to U.S. address only.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) February 28, 2014.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after February 28, 2014.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.


  1. Maybe I live with blinders on but, I have never worried about it/them. (Not in the areas where I live anyway)

  2. I think sometimes that, with the information available on the Internet, dangers about. Yes, the information is there to build dangerous weapons, if only people know where to look. I feel certain of it.

  3. I do not worry about stuff like that

    tiramisu392 (at)

  4. I try not to think about it but it does bother me that so many things can be bought on the internet and that there is so much info given out.

  5. I do not worry about this but I probably should! Too many other things to worry about!!


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