The 19th Element, A James Becker Thriller

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The 19th Element

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Overview

FOR A LIMITED TIME -- ALSO AVAILABLE FOR $.99 AS PART OF A BUNDLE WITH 8 OTHER NOVELS TITLED "9 KILLER THRILLERS": http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/9-killer-thrillers-nick-russell/1117705737?ean=2940148812296

B&N Top 100 Nook Book and Top Ten Thriller

GOLD MEDAL THRILLER – Readers Favorite Book Awards.

"Best Self-Published Book" – Dollycas's Blogspot.

“Rich with intrigue and mind-bending suspense, The 19th Element is a compelling read. Throughout the pages of his enrapturing new political thriller, author John Betcher takes the reader on a nonstop, action-packed ride of true-to-life adventure.” Apex Reviews

“A First Rate Psychological Thriller – Highly Recommended.” Readers Choice Reviews.

“This book is now tied with Harlan Coben's CAUGHT as the best book I have read this year. If you like a riveting, page turner this is definitely a book that should be in you hot little hands today.” Lori Caswell. Amazon Top Reviewer and Book Blogger.

"Betcher writes with intelligence and humor. The 19th Element is an intriguing blend of Robert Parker wit and Vince Flynn action. A fun, exciting read for anyone who enjoys a well-written thriller." Lois Greiman, award-winning author of the Chrissy McMullen mysteries.

“A very realistically portrayed terrorist attack in an unusual setting provided me with a nerve-wrenching adrenalin rush. If you're into suspenseful thrillers, try this one on for size.” Steven Moore for Book Pleasures Reviews.

“John Betcher has written a realistic, page-turning, pulse pounding thriller.” Doug Dorow, Author of The Ninth District.

“The book is a fabulous well-written thriller about nuclear terrorism. . . .In light of the Nuclear Plant disaster in Japan, John's thriller is a timely masterpiece.” Amazon Reviewer.

“The 19th Element is an heart-pounding, pure adrenaline rush. I actually felt exhausted after reading it. This is probably one of the highest compliments that I could ever give. When I get so wrapped up in a book that I feel like I'm the main character, I know that I've read a winner! I loved this book!” Bridget Hopper (KY). Book Blogger and Reviewer.

“The plot takes you right to the nail biting end, hoping that it all works out. You'll have to read for yourself to see what happens. It will be well worth your time. James Patterson move over because John L. Betcher can tell a fantastic story!” Amazon Reviewer.

SUMMARY:

Terrorists plan to attack Minnesota's Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant, but they’re not your typical band of Islamic extremists. True, there’s an al Qaeda connection. But the heart of the ‘terror cell’ is homegrown, right here in the United States.

James "Beck" Becker is a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative who has retired to his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota – just six miles down the Mississippi from the Prairie River Power Station. He recognizes connections between seemingly unrelated incidents – a murdered agronomy professor, a missing lab assistant, an international cell call, a stolen fertilizer truck, an explosion in the street in front of City Hall – but can't piece it together in enough detail to convince government authorities that a larger threat exists. Only his American Indian friend, "Bull," will help Beck defuse the threat.

So it's Beck and Bull versus the best terror cell west of the Mississippi.

May the better men win.
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Editorial Reviews

Steve Moore
Do you need an entertaining and action-packed book for your summer reading? This is it! A very realistically portrayed terrorist attack in an unusual setting provided me with a nerve-wrenching adrenalin rush. If you're into suspenseful thrillers, try this one on for size.
. . .
John Betcher's description of how the terrorist attack on the power plant is planned, with technical details all in place, is far too real. . . . this fictional account should scare you out of your socks.
Blogcritics - Steve Moore
Do you need an entertaining and action-packed book for your summer reading? This is it! A very realistically portrayed terrorist attack in an unusual setting provided me with a nerve-wrenching adrenalin rush. If you're into suspenseful thrillers, try this one on for size.
. . .
John Betcher's description of how the terrorist attack on the power plant is planned, with technical details all in place, is far too real. . . . this fictional account should scare you out of your socks.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451521016
  • Publisher: CreateSpace
  • Publication date: 6/23/2010
  • Pages: 330
  • Sales rank: 1,466,181
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Bestselling Author, John L. Betcher, holds a Bachelor's Degree, cum laude, in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. He has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. Mr. Betcher has published an award-winning series of "Becker" suspense/thriller novels. The first four are THE 19TH ELEMENT, THE MISSING ELEMENT, THE COVERT ELEMENT, and THE EXILED ELEMENT. He has also authored the award-winning spiritual phenomenon, A HIGHER COURT.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2012

    Most exciting thriller ending I can remember. And that says some

    Most exciting thriller ending I can remember. And that says something!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    I'm hungry for more.

    John Betcher has written a realistic, page-turning, pulse pounding thriller. The 19th Element is a thriller full of details to make you feel you are part of the story from beginning to end as the hero, Beck, uses his brains rather than brawn to defeat the terrorists.

    I'm glad there are more books to read in the series because I'm hungry for more.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    A plausible thriller that makes it all the more engaging

    Being a writer myself, I found this book a good read. It had all of the points of a great thriller. Terrorists. Facts that are so real you can touch them. Details about how we have become so complacent in our day-to day lives that we forget how clever people who might want to harm us could be. The characters were believable and well designed.

    In his novel, John shows us his main character nicknamed James (aka Beck), and his wife Beth living in the small town of Red Wing, Minnesota. James and Beth were former agents for the US government, now retired and trying to live out a peaceful life with their daughters. That is, until a terrorist group decides to blow up a nearby nuclear plant, sending poisonous gasses across half of the continent. Beck puts a series of seemingly random incidents around town together and the big picture starts to emerge. He enlists the help of several friends in the area.

    The scary part is that John has done his homework. The threat of such an event happening is laid out in such stark detail that you could see how easily it could be done if we let our guard down. That¿s probably the most engaging part of the whole story. It really could happen.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the book. The ending was action-packed and filled with the kinds of details that kept me wanting more. But to get to this fabulous ending, I found the first half of the book to be a series of very dry, heavy loads of technical overview. The writing in the first half seemed to be written in a different point of Mr. Betcher¿s writing journey in comparison to the last half of the book. In the beginning, the characters were formed very well, but the fact presentation was weak, making it more dry than enjoyable. I know that many readers who are looking for a ¿quick read before bed¿ or a treat to take on the train or commute to work will easily find themselves overwhelmed with the enormity of it all.

    The second problem I have with the story is probably a matter of style. That is to say, I wouldn¿t have handled some of the wording or dialogue that way. There were some stylistic choices that Mr. Betcher employed that only compounded the enormity of the first-half-info-dump. While strictly speaking, there was nothing wrong with the writing itself, these odd choices didn¿t help the reader get through the dry areas. The dialogue tags should never take you out of the story. In fact, they should be nearly invisible as you read. But occasionally ¿ I assume to increase the speed through an action or to keep the speakers straight in a room full of people ¿ Mr. Betcher employed a more script-style format for dialogue that seemed to pull me out of the story and remind me that I was merely the reader, still in my bedroom reading a book.

    If you are in the mood for a thriller that will leave you really thinking and watching the world around you with a fresh set of eyes, this book holds great potential. By the time I got to the end, I found that I REALLY enjoyed the story presented. Just be prepared to put in the time to see the whole story unfold, and look past some of the author¿s stylistic quirks.

    Pros: Great story. Realistic set-up. As scary and thought provoking as any story I¿ve read in recent years.
    Cons: A bit dry at times that makes plodding through difficult, and odd stylistic choices for dialogue that compounds the issue.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    Good

    I found this book to be interesting and it did hold the readers attention but I am not fond of first person books so for me it was a difficult read. The character would have benefited from a third-person write because of the action sequences would have been more enjoyable. If you like first person then you will like this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Very predictable ... they lived happily ever after

    Dear John,
    I really don't want to write a discouraging review yet I have to ask you: where on earth were you raised and who taught you your values? Could it be you believe in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny? Flat Story, boring characters (so beautiful, so cool, so in love with each other, so successful .. so flat! even how you explain their daisy flower sex) ... The plot could've been really interesting but you had to go with Santa Claus and his helpers characters ...
    Sorry. Not happy. And I read the whole book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Liked it

    A page turnrer mc

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    Terrorism and Suspense

    It seems that James Becker hasn't retired completely from the exciting life he led for the government, and his wife is still working with codes as well. When a Mongolian bad guy shows up at his daughter's college, he sets out to find the terrorist. There is a lengthy section dealing with making a bomb from fertilizer--which may be accurate, or not, The stealing of two fertilizer trucks by the boorish couple provides some comic relief. Can they stop the plan to fly a B24 into a power plant? Adventure lovers should like this book. I think I would read another in the series, and might even recommend it to our book group for discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    It didn't hold me at all

    First person thrillers dont work well for me but this book was weak in other ways for as well. Had this ebook cost me less than $4 i probably would not have been so disapointed, but at over $10, i would rather have read something else. I had a very difficult time pushing through this book.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    Betcher Has Done it Again

    Betcher Has Done it Again with his book
    The 19th Element - you've never been scared so "good!"

    The 19th Element - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    "Gentlemen. You sit here in this room, insulated from reality, comfortable in your delusions that you are safe from international terrorism. In your imaginary world, your families are safe. Your neighbors are safe. We are all totally safe. Your delusions have led you to the conclusion that the nuclear catastrophe waiting to happen inside that fence across the parking lot is a fiction. Of course, you all know how extreme the consequences of a successful terrorist attack on the nuclear plant would be. But because of your fantasies, you discount the dangers - not only to yourselves and your loved ones, but to everyone in the eastern half of the United States and possibly beyond. But what if the worst possible scenario proves not to be a fantasy at all, but a deadly fact?"

    These words and more are spoken by James "Beck" Becker as he tries to convince a security group meeting at the Prairie River Nuclear Plant that there is very possibly a real threat of an attempt by Al Qaeda to run a plane full of explosives into their spent fuel pool. They simply aren't buying it.

    After the murder of a professor who had been experimenting with potassium turns up on the shores of the Mississippi, Beck started putting things together. When he learned the name of the professor's assistant, Farris Ahmed, he knew he was on to something big. After researching potassium, as well as the procedures taken to secure nuclear waste, Beck was positive that there would be an attack -- and the nuclear plant would be the target. But getting the attention of those responsible for security without appearing to be a total fool was almost impossible.

    In reading The 19th Element, I've had a quick enlightenment as to how power companies make power. I've learned what actually happens to "spent" nuclear fuel. I've also been educated on the true hatred that seeps from the influence of Al Qaeda. And to be totally honest with everyone, it scares the pure hell out of me! I can see the possibilities of a nuclear disaster such as the one envisioned in The 19th Element actually happening. My question is, are we truly prepared for this or anything even close to this happening? I can only pray that we are. The 19th Element is definitely a "wake-up America" book that we should all read and listen to.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    The 19th Element is an heart-pounding, pure adrenaline rush. I actually felt exhausted after reading it. This is probably one of the highest compliments that I could ever give. When I get so wrapped up in a book that I feel like I'm the main character, I know that I've read a winner! I loved this book!

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Mind-Bending Suspense Thriller

    (Official Apex Reviews Rating: 4.5 Stars)

    When James "Beck" Becker, a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative, retires to his hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota, all he wants is to do is settle into a normal, routine life with his newly established law practice; however, when the body of a local university professor mysteriously turns up on the shores of the Mississippi River, Beck begins to suspect foul play. Shortly thereafter, the professor's assistant goes missing, two fertilizer trucks are hijacked and stolen, and even more strange events begin to unfold - putting Beck on high alert that something terrible is about to go down...little does he know, an all but forgotten terrorist organization has plans to re-launch itself on the international stage, and - unless Beck acts quickly enough to thwart their efforts - the small town of Red Wing will soon be the new Ground Zero...

    Rich with intrigue and mind-bending suspense, The 19th Element is a compelling read. Throughout the pages of his enrapturing new political thriller, author John Betcher takes the reader on a nonstop, action-packed ride of true-to-life adventure. Alternating between the perspectives of Beck and the terrorist cell, The 19th Element is sure to keep readers guessing as the plot thickens, the characters clash, and the winding tale ultimately unravels at breakneck pace. After all, as a nation, our collective memories of the horrors of 9/11 are not that far removed, and with the looming threat of terror attacks omnipresent in our daily lives, Betcher does an effective job of reminding the reader - like Beck - to stay ever vigilant, lest the wounds of the past are tragically reopened...

    An entertaining read.


    Josee Morgan
    Apex Reviews

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A first rate psychological thriller

    Told from the point-of-view of a former elite U.S. military intelligence operative, and the perspective of an Al Qaeda-backed terrorist cell, The 19th Element by John L. Betcher is a first rate psychological thriller that will hook your interest early and keep you reading non-stop until the final page.

    Although this is the second release in the series, The 19th Element takes place a few months prior to the author's debut, The Missing Element. James "Beck" Becker has settled into retirement and is attempting to live a normal life, putting his law degree to use with a legal practice in his hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. Not much happens in the small town so when a scientist-professor of agriculture is found murdered and the only suspect, a lab assistant, is missing, Beck takes notice. Beck may be officially retired from government intelligence work, but he cannot ignore his training, experience, or gut reactions. When he discovers that the assistant is Arab he brings his theories to the local police.

    Ottawa County's Chief Deputy Sheriff, Doug Gunderson, is somewhat aware of Beck's background and the pair has a friendship that goes back to school days. However, Gunderson is leery about starting a "terrorists in Red Wing panic" based on Beck's gut feelings and little hard evidence. When not one but two fertilizer trucks are hijacked, Beck begins to put the pieces together. He envisions an Oklahoma City-type bombing and the only target worth hitting would be the nearby Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant. Fearing a Chernobyl style meltdown, Beck continues his investigation despite the lack of support from any government agency or Gunderson. Beck has no faith in the FBI, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), state police, or power plant security to ward off a terrorist attack and calls in his ex-military friend, Terry "Bull" Red Feather, for help.

    We meet perhaps the strangest sleeper cell imaginable. An Arab lab rat (desperate to show his worth to Al Qaeda) who is capable of turning a truck load of pot ash into a powerful bomb, and a pair of brainless, redneck anarchists led by a bitter and dying survivor of the 1979 Three Mile Island incident.

    The author brings all the players together for a tour de force final few dozen pages that make The 19th Element one of the most entertaining, exciting thrillers I've read in a long time. Becker is a character that you can cheer for. The banter between Beck and his wife, and Beck and Gunderson shows the author's substantial talent for writing dialogue. A relentless pace, quirky yet realistic dialogue, and fascinating, believable characters keep the pages turning. Considerable research, attention to detail, and a well-plotted story make this a memorable read. Highly recommended.

    By William Potter for Reader's Choice Book Reviews

    Review copy provided by author.

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    Posted July 15, 2011

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    Posted July 30, 2013

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    Posted April 21, 2011

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    Posted July 30, 2013

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