Tuesday, August 04, 2015


An Eliot Cross Adventure
By John Hegenberger
Rough Edge Press
144 pages

We so love discovering talented writers like John Hegenberger. Although still relatively new to pulp fiction, he has a wonderful, clean, no-nonsense style of writing that is always a pleasure to read. His new spy thriller, set in 1988, captures the feel and essences of the era and the Cold War tensions that pervaded world politics at that time.

His protagonist is Eliot Cross, a small time private-eye operating out of Ohio whose father disappeared two decades earlier. An only child, Cross grew up with the constant question of why had his father had abandoned him and his mother. Her dying wish is for him to find his father who she believes to be in danger. After her passing, Cross files away her request as a hopeless dream. He has absolutely no clues as to where his father might have fled.

When a shady former C.I.A. contact approaches him with the news that his father is actually in Cuba working as a deep-cover agent for the Agency, Cross doesn’t know whether to believe him or throw him out of his office. In the end he travels to C.I.A. headquarters in Washington, where he meets a beautiful operative who unwillingly confirms what ex-spy had alluded to. But when this fellow is gunned down in his hotel room, Cross begins to suspect he’s inadvertently kicked over a hornet’s nest and could be the next the unknown killer’s next target.

Obsessed with learning the truth, Cross manages to make his way to Cuba where he is promptly captured and thrown into jail. Still he manages to extricate himself from one dire situation after another. As he tries to piece together the complex puzzle that is his father’s ultimate fate, he becomes embroiled in a new conspiracy wherein he may be the sacrificial pawn. Death could be his final reward unless he can discover the truth behind a twenty year old secret.

“Tripl3 Cross,” is a small book that packs an awfully big punch. Hegenberger brilliantly captures Cross’ voice and pulls us intimately into his adventure until the very end where he pulls off a dandy O’Henry style twist that had this reviewer crying, “Bravo!” This is a damn good read by a pro.  Spy buffs will not be disappointed.

1 comment:

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Just about everything you look for in a mystery/thriller: tightly plotted, fast-moving and atmospheric. The author evokes middle-America and exotic places vividly, and best of all, he lets the characters make the story. You never feel like they're just being pushed around to serve the plot, and the result is reading that seems REAL.