Category Archives: The Golden Reviewer

Hellhound On His Trail by Hampton Sides

Prisoner #416-J in Missouri State Penitentiary at Jefferson City is a slender, fair-skinned man in his late thirties with raven hair flecked with gray at his sideburns. He is a person hard to describe or remember – a model prisoner the guards overlook. He has spent most of his adult life behind bars. Today is the day #416-J will escape (in a bread box no less) and be on the run for many months just under the radar.

It is a happy time in Memphis. Tennessee. The third annual Cotton Carnival, Memphis’ answer to Marde Gras, is about to begin. The barge carrying the cotton king and queen is scheduled to arrive shortly after sunset. It is also a time of unrest. The sanitation workers are on strike. The garbage is piling up on the street of Memphis and the Major refused to negotiate. Martin Luther King Jr, is scheduled to lead a peaceful march in support of the workers.

Prisoner #416-J, or Eric Galt as he calls himself, is in Puerto Vallarta pertaining to be a photographer making a movie. The manager of the hotel where he is staying doesn’t know what to make of his mysterious new guest. Gault is meticulously dressed, is a fidgety gringo who mumbles when he talks and drives a two-door Mustang hardtop.

Former Governor George C.Wallace is running for President of the United States. He is making white supremacy the centerpiece of his campaign. Wallace’s hatred of the back man and King in particular is widely known. King is extremely troubled by Wallace’s popularity. King is crisscrossing the country promoting his upcoming Poor People’s Campaign. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has been obsessed with King for decades. He has carried in a semi public feud with King and the SC LC.

Wallace’s campaign in Los Angeles draws Galt. When did he return to the United States and under what alias? His hatred for blacks and King is growing to the boiling point. He leaves Los Angeles for Memphis and begins stalking King. Martin Luther King Jr, is shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee by an unknown assassin who escapes under the very noses of the Memphis police. At 7:05 pm at St, Joseph Hospital is pronounced dead. Who is the assassin?

Every able bodied man and women of the FBI and all police departments are looking for who. Clues point to a man named Eric Galt, but who is he? Galt, under an alias, is eventually caught by Scotland Yard trying to board a plane to Brussels. He is returned to the United States and put in solitary confinement in the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary – one of Tennessee’s tightest maximum security prisons. By a quirt of faith he escapes and for several days is on the run. He is captured, by accident, in the rugged mountains surrounding the prison and returned. He later died in 1998.

The question is – who is Eric Galt? Some believe he is James Earl Ray or is he. How did an uneducated small time criminal, using so many alias, allude the FBI for so long? A 65 day search that took investigators to Canada/Portugal/England in the most massive man hunt in history. Did he have help – where did he get his money? Was there a conspiracy?

Highly recommended. A very interesting read – a hard book to put down.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

This is a very confusing book. Is Turner a Christian, an atheist Christian or what? The book appears to be part theology, part personal devotion and part rambling of a not so good Baptist who had a crush on Amy Grant. He is forbidden by his parents to attend contemporary concerts, but does so anyway. He is forbidden to listen to certain music, but defies his parents and listens to whatever he chooses. He dreams of becoming the Michael Jackson of christian music, but doesn’t have enough talent. The book is suppose to be funny, but I found it more pathetic than funny. I did not care for Turner’s brand of humor.

Turner’s story is supposedly of innocence, music and the Holy Ghost. Where is the Holy Ghost? I did not sense His presence as I read the book. He is a blogger, speaker and has written other books, which I sincerely hope are better than this one.

Cannot recommend.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Richard Stearns is President of World Vision U.S. He came from a poor beginning. With proper education and hard work he quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become CEO of several companies – the last being Lenox – the china company.

With a single phone call Stearns’ life changed drastically. God had a purpose for his life and it wasn’t selling china. After much prayer in which he asked God if He was sure, he accepts the position of President of World Vision.

Stearns explains why there is a hole in our christian belief. We are responsible for our choices. Stearns is an hero. The book challenges all Christians to move out of the cloister and into the world for God’s sake. God has the power to transform the world through us. He expects more from us. Stearns points out that thousands of children die daily from lack of fresh water. AIDS is rampant in Africa – parents dying and leaving children as orphans to care for themselves. What are we as Christians doing about world hunger, human trafficking, etc. He points out that churches need to get involved – individuals need to get involved. Sponsor a child – pay for a well, etc. Tears will stream down your face as you read about the suffering in the world that we Christians ignore.

Read the book to discover the full power of Jesus Christ and change your life. The whole gospel is a world changing revolution that begins with you and me. What are you going to do about world hunger, AIDS, etc? When you finish the book, ask your self the question – How can I help – what am I doing to do? Will you plug the hole in our gospel? What does God want you to do?

Highly recommend this book. It will change your life in ways you can’t imagine Stearns keeps you turning the pages. A hard book to put down.

To learn more visit www.theholeinourgospel.com.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

Rosie Ferguson is a young teenager. She is intelligent, beautiful, athletic and a straight A student. This is only on the surface. She is not the well adjusted teen she appears to be. She hides a deep dark secret. Rosie is an addict, liar and a very manipulative person. She and her two friends, Alice and Jody, will do anything to get high, even trading sex for drugs.

Rosie’s parents, James and Elizabeth, are puzzled by her fits of rebellion, tantrums and down right disobedience. James tries to be the disciplinarian, but most of the time is overruled by Elizabeth, who is very naive. She wants to be Rosie’s friend and not get her angry. Things are rough when Rosie is in one of her moods.

In a rare moment, Rosie admits to having smoked weed (pot) but never doing the hard stuff like cocaine. This, of course, is a lie. Things progress to the point that Elizabeth resorts to taking urine samples to check for drugs. Rosie gets around this by putting a drop of bleach in the sample.

Elizabeth believes is everything is fine and Rosie is no longer doing drugs. The truth comes out when she completely flips out on over the counter cough medicine and ends up in the drug ward at the local hospital. At their wits end on how to handle the situation, the parents send her to a Wilderness Camp in Utah for drug addiction.

Highly recommended for parents of preteen and teens. Ms. Lamott clearly points out the signs to look for to determine if your child is using drugs or other substances. Ms. Lamott is a very talented writer.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman-Bellamy

Josiah (JT) Tucker is a young African American male climbing the corporate ladder of success. He is employed by MacGyver Technologies (a Fortune 500 company) as senior manager. He drives a Audi R8, has a large office and a budget to redecorate to his specifications. He has arrived – right? His life is a far cry from the life of that teen who had to struggle to keep the lights on in a shabby Chicago dwelling. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Fifteen Years
by Kendra Norman-Bellamy
Lift Every Voice
February 2010

Inside JT is a very empty, troubled person. He is the product of an absentee father (he doesn’t know who his father is) and a substance abuse mother. JT spent most of his formative years in foster homes and a ward of the state. He lived for several years with Thomas and Joanne Smith who loved him and took care of him. They gave him a sense of stability and religious upbringing. When he was 14, he is returned to his birth mother. Life was really hard living with a drug addict. The day after his graduation, he is informed by the police that his mother has been murdered. This is where JT’s life become hectic. He does manage to graduate high school, carrying a 4.1 GPA and is valedictorian of his graduating class from Martin Luther King High School. His GPA earns him a full scholarship to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To all outwards appearance, JT has it all, but appearance is only hiding the truth. He is empty, broken and tormented with memories that won’t go away. During a session with Bishop Nathaniel Lumpkin he breaks down and confesses all his hurts, fears and frustrations. Bishop Lumpkin suggest he find his “missing leg” – the Smith family – and reconnect with the people who truly loved him.

JT’s journey to find the Smiths makes for an interesting read. Highly recommend you read the book to learn what transpires when JT reconnect with Thomas and Joanne Smith. They have not forgotten him and has prayed for him daily. Does he discover secrets about his past and the love he has always longed for? The ending will surprise and delight you. A lot can happen in Fifteen Years.

Ms. Bellamy is a best selling author and founder of KNB Publishers. Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Lovers by Vendela Vida

Yvonne is a recent widow and the mother of grown twins – Matthew and Aurelia. Her husband Peter was killed in a hit and run accident approximately two years ago. Matthew has always been the brainy one – excelling at everything he tries, Peter was always so very proud of him. Aurelia is a troubled young lady living in Matthew’s shadow. She has been in and out of rehab since the age of sixteen. Yvonne is sort of estranged from her children. She doesn’t understand them and sees them only occasionally. Aurelia always has some crisis going on in her life. She didn’t have a very good relationship with Peter before his death due mainly to Aurelia’s problems and Peter had simply quit talking about her.

Yvonne was becoming more depressed and didn’t know how she would continue to cope. She decides a trip to Turkey, particularly Datca, a small village where she and Peter spent their honeymoon several decades ago, she finds a rental house on the Internet, contacts the owner, packs her bags and sets off on a journey to immerse herself in memories and try to become again the person she was so long ago. Things become complicated and instead of being comforted by her memories they trouble her.

One day at the beach she meets Amhet, a young Turkish boy, who sells sea shells. She commissions him to find shells for her, but what she would do with them is any one’s guess. This is her way of making sure he would be at the beach each day. Yvonne becomes deeply attached to him and begins to compare him to Matthew when he was Amhet’s age. Unfortunately a terrible accident involving Amhet throws her life in turmoil. She get lost in a sandstorm and believes she is going to die all alone in Turkey.

The novel is really about a tormented women traveling along in a foreign country and being unable to speak the language. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after losing her husband much too soon and in such a terrible way. She wants to connect with her children, but don’t know how. Ms. Vida does an excellent job of keeping you turning the pages, you can sympathize with Yvonne, feel her loss, her frustration, and her desire to become whole again.

Highly recommended.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Map of True Places by Bunonia Barry

Zee Finch is a psychotherapist working with Dr. Liz Mattei. Zee is treating one patient in particular, Lily Braedon, who has a husband and three children. Lilly has been diagnosed as being bipolar. Lilly is having an affair with Adam, a construction worker. Zee believes he is abusing her and suggests she break off the affair. Zee is engaged to Michael, Boston’s most eligible bachelor, but something is always preventing her from meeting with the wedding planner. Lilly’s condition worsens, she become very depressed and commits suicide. Zee goes to Lilly’s funeral, against the advice of Dr. Mattei. This throws Zee into an emotional turmoil. Years ago Zee’s mother Maureen, had been bipolar, but refused to take any medication, and she too had committed suicide. Zee begins to have doubts about her profession. Why didn’t she see this coming – why hadn’t she picked up on Lilly’s suicidal tendencies? Her whole attitude changes and she is acting strange and doing things she would never had done before.

Zee’s father, Finch, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but has been hiding it from her. She discovers just how sick he really is. She takes a leave from her job to become his caregiver. Finch’s long time companion, Melville, has moved out, but is still very concerned about him. Being a caregiver is very hard on Zee. She becomes confused and depressed. She begins a new life which will not only take her into the future, but her past as well.

The book is a fast-paced suspense novel. The father-daughter relationship is based on half truths and her mothers untimely death.

Highly recommended, this novel is a page turner.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw

Jed McClatchey is having an affair with Marcella Atkinson. Jed is visiting his sister for the summer, staying at their deceased parents’ home on the Cape. While looking for a tennis racket, he finds a swimming suit in a box in the bottom of his parents’ bedroom closet. He vaguely remembers Marcella wearing the suit when attending his parents’ summer parties. How is the world did it get in the closet and why in a wrapped box. On a hunch he decides to confront Marcella with the suit. They seem to hit it off and several visits later the affair begins.

The Swimming Pool
by Holly LeCraw
Doubleday
April 2010

Marcella is divorced from ex-husband Anthony and estranged from her daughter Toni. Toni just happens to be Nanny to Jed’s niece and nephew. Toni sort of has crush on Jed, but he only sees her as the children’s Nanny. He is too wrapped up in Marcella even though she is several years older than he is.

Callie, Jed’s sister, has never fully recovered from her mother being murdered and the crime had never been solved. Their father, Cecil. before his death had been an uncharged suspect. She has suicidal tendencies and sometimes goes off the deep end. Jed is really concerned about the children’s safety. Billy, the children’s father, works on the mainland and visits on weekends.

Did Marcella have an affair with Cecil? Did Anthony know or suspect she had been unfaithful? Does he know about Jed and Marcella? Who murdered Betsy and why? Recommend you read the book to learn the answers to these questions.

The Swimming Pool is a gripping, passionate, intriguing novel full of lies and family secrets. Betrayals of the past cannot be ignored. The story will keep you turning pages – it will complete captivate you. Ms. Lecraw is an excellent author. Highly recommended!


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Shoot to Thrill by P.J. Tracy

This is a Monkeewrench novel. Monkeewrench is a group of computer nerds who can hack into any program – national or international. They stay just ahead of the law. The local police and FBI have a situation. In this most recent book, the crew is called in by the FBI to determine if there may or may not be murders being committed across the country and then published on the web. The authorities need to know if the murders are real or computer generated fakes. There have been several real murders in the past few months, but are they connected to these on cyberspace?

The story will keep you turning pages. This is a book that is hard to put down! The novel has generous doses of humor and suspense. Are all the murders real or fake? If real, are they being committed by one person or several? Who is putting these on cyberspace? Can Monkeewrench help the FBI and the local PD solve the mystery?

The mother-daughter team of Patricia J. and Traci Lambert (P.J. Tracy) are excellent mystery writers. You will want to read all their Monkeewrench novels.

Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Anne O’Sullivan is a 32 year old up and coming realtor. She is abducted on the day of her open house for the new condo development in Clayton Falls. She is taken to a remote cabin in the mountains and held prisoner. Her life is forever changed as she is forced to abide by the abductor’s rules, kept in a locked cabin, repeatedly raped and left alone for days.

The book will keep you spellbound from the first page to the last. As you read the book, you will feel Anna’s frustration and questions as she tries to survive living with a madman. The questions she wants answered is why – who is this person – and who is really behind her abduction. You will keep turning the pages (it is a book you can’t put down) to see if she is rescued, if she manages to outwit her abductor, and does she learn his identity. I recommend that you read the book to find answers to these questions.

The book is a compelling, sometimes funny, mostly sad and a heartbreaking novel that keeps you in suspense the the very end. It is a book you will devour, a tense thriller and completely believable as you feel Anna’s pain, her hopelessness and frustration.

Ms. Stevens is a very talented writer. Highly recommend this book to all adult readers.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.