The Covert Element: A James Becker Thriller

The Covert Element: A James Becker Thriller

by John L. Betcher


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The Covert Element: A James Becker Thriller by John L. Betcher

SILVER MEDALIST - 2011 and 2012 Readers Favorite Book Awards.

"I loved this book, I couldn't put my Kindle down! I can't wait to read more of this author's works. This book was so intriguing and suspenseful and best of all WELL WRITTEN." Amazon Review.

"An intelligent thriller that weaves the echoes of recent events into a lively narrative. Plotted deftly, this is a recommended read for all who appreciate stories in the vein of Clancy and Flynn." Ryne D. Pearson, Best Selling Author of Simple Simon (aka the movie, Mercury Rising)

"This is a well-plotted and exceptionally written and researched thriller. Betcher tells a convincing story and yet manages to keep the violence and coarse language to a minimum and thus ensures a wide and satisfied audience. All the players are brought together as Betcher builds momentum and suspense for a satisfying ending that will leave you entertained and excited for the next episode. The book stands alone well, but I dare you to read this one without needing to quickly purchase The Missing Element (book 1) and The 19th Element (book 2). Highly Recommended. READERS CHOICE REVIEWS.

"This novel tells a complicated tale of revenge that comes to those who wait." Marty Dodge for Book Pleasures.

"Follow the potential life of one Mexican-American individual who dedicated his life to eliminating the Drug Cartels. John Betcher's choice to use this character is intriguing, allowing us to see into the heart of many Mexicans who are just as concerned, and maybe even more so, about the influence of drugs in the United States and throughout the world. I commend John for this effort and look forward to future important books in this series. Highly recommended." GA Bixler for REVIEWERS ROUNDUP.


Former military intelligence operative, James "Beck" Becker and his CIA code-cracking wife, Beth, have retired to Beck's hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. Their retirement has already proven more exhilarating than they'd expected.

But they could never have anticipated the new source of crime and intrigue in their small community. A Mexican drug cartel has set up shop a few miles down the road. And they're not just selling. The new meth production facility is the largest north of the Rio Grande.

To complicate matters further, Terry "Bull" Red Feather's former comrade-in-arms has come to visit. And he's on a mission. His decades-long assault on the cartels is coming to a head. His plan is to blow up the drug plant . . . if he can find it. He wants Bull to help.

The Beckers' challenge? To dismantle cartel operations before a full-blown drug war breaks out in Red Wing.

THE COVERT ELEMENT has the characters you love, battling the cartels you'll learn to despise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461084532
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/28/2011
Pages: 274
Sales rank: 413,875
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Amazon 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. He has also been a long-time supporter and coach of youth volleyball there. He is the author of the "Beck" suspense/thriller series and the international spiritual phenomenon, A Higher Court.

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Covert Element - A James Becker Thriller 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
EsquireJack More than 1 year ago
A timely subject dealing with the brutality and economics of Mexican drug cartels. They have infiltrated the U.S. and Betcher presents an intriguing situation concerning their future expansion, if we don't act now. Well written and intelligent.
Ryne More than 1 year ago
An intelligent thriller that weaves the echoes of recent events into a lively narrative. Plotted deftly, this is a recommended read for all who appreciate stories in the vein of Clancy and Flynn.
Martha-A-Cheves More than 1 year ago
The Covert Element - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds 'Whether drugs or not, it was hard for me to imagine that the scene I had observed this morning could possibly portend anything but headaches and misery for the residents of Ottawa County. "But twenty-three dead.When's the last time that sort of mass execution happened in the U.S.?" Beth stared into space. "Gotta be when that crazy Hennard guy drove his pickup truck through the front window of Luby's Café in Texas way back in - what was it - '91? Long time ago, anyway." "This morning's atrocity looked like something out of Kosovo. Like an ethnic cleansing. Or like the mob sending someone a message. But we don't have 'the mob' in Minnesota.just a few rag tag street and motorcycle gangs that shoot each other once in a while." I thought for a moment. I could see Beth was trying to make some sense of all this, too. "I s'pose Hells Angels is the closest we've got to any organized crime syndicate," I said. "But if it was a biker gang, the BCA should find evidence of motorcycles all over the place. I didn't see any tracks around that house this morning. never know." I was out of ideas. Maybe some solid police work would give me new options to consider soon. In the meantime, while ruthless killers roamed loose in or around Ottawa County, I would sleep very lightly indeed.' James Becker, Attorney-at-law, called "Beck" for short, came back from a smoldering meth cooking lab where 23 men had been killed. Beck had been invited to go to the scene by his friend Ottawa County Chief Deputy Sheriff, Doug Gunderson, also known as "Gunner." The biggest problem was, how were 23 men talked into lying down on the ground while each one was individually shot in the head with the same gun? But that is exactly how they were found outside the lab as it burned. Beck believes there has to be more to the story but after the BCA appeared on the scene, he and Gunner are left out of the loop. So what do they do? They create their own "loop." After Beck is contacted by another friend Terry "Bull" Red Feather, an American Indian who served his country as an Army Ranger, he becomes convinced that this "little" meth lab is just the beginning of something even bigger. And after a conversation between Bull, Beck and Bull's military comrade Master Sergeant Fuentes, they know that the Mexican drug cartel known as Los Cinco, is involved. Following Beck, Bull, Gunner and Beck's wife Beth, as they take on one of the largest cartels in existence, keeps you on the edge of your seat. And then there is Ralphael Santos who has worked his way up from the ground floor to become the head man and leader of Los Cinco. He will have you quickly turning the pages just to see what evil he will inflict on his next victim. But wait until you see who his victims really are. I've read several books written by Author John L. Betcher. He has a way of writing that makes you feel as if you're on the sidelines watching the events take place. His knowledge of the topic he is writing about educates to happenings that you only read bits and pieces of in the local papers. He brings out the full truth as to how things are toned down and released on a need to know basis only. The Covert Element is a perfect example of his great style of writing.
Goldentrill More than 1 year ago
This is my first James Becker thriller, and I will definitely be coming back for more! As a writer, I appreciate the skill with which John Betcher wove a very complex story, casting the plot back and forth from earlier days to the present. His Becker character is immensely likeable, and the chemistry between Becker and his technomaven wife is unique and refreshing. Their magnetism is exceeded only by their mutual respect. Betcher's knowledge of all aspects of his story contributed hugely to making this a great read. His easy explanation of equipment, black ops paraphernalia and methods, drug cartels, meth labs, and even Minnesota agribusiness made this a rich tale on many levels. I heartily recommend the book to those who want to immerse themselves in the kinds of adventures John Betcher writes so very well.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
This is the third installment featuring James Becker (Beck), a former Military Intelligence Agent and his ex-CIA code cracking, computer expert wife, Beth. They are both retired from their stressful jobs, Beck does some work as an attorney now, but they just can't seem to stay out of trouble. In this edition the Mexican Drug Wars come way too close to home, very near to their quiet Minnesota community, and they aren't just selling the drugs, they are manufacturing meth at a huge grain company. The organic grain elevator and small dairy is a great cover. The CEO doesn't even know what is happening right under his nose. To add even more thrill to this thriller we find out about some of Beck's friend Bull's past. A friend from his time in the military shows up and he is on a mission and wants Bull's help to carry out his plan. He has set up his planned assault for many years and it is all coming to a head now in Minnesota. Beth and Beck try to help their friend Bull accomplish his friend's mission in the most legal way possible because if they don't they could all end up in jail or dead. I LOVED IT!!!!! I was privileged to be one of the first to read the first book in this series, The Missing Element and then The 19th Element which tied with Harlan Coben's CAUGHT for my selection of Best Suspense/Thriller for 2010. I was worried that after the last one John had set the bar too high for himself, but The Covert Element surpassed both of the previous novels. I think that John is not only a brilliant writer but he takes huge current issues in the world and brings them alarmingly close to home. He had made Red Wing, Minnesota the hotbed of some critical world issues in a truly believable way. I just hope the wrong people don't read his books and get ideas. The dialogue between Beck and Beth is so real. I know some critics have panned their romance and relationship taking too big of part in these stories, but to me it makes the stressful situations even more real. There is less of that in this installment but you still see and feel the calming effect Beth has on Beck. Without that he could develop quickly in a character out of control. She is a vital character and their strong relationship is a huge part of why these stories work. You can see the author takes great pains in his research in every one of the books but this one took intense investigation to get the facts right to make this story credible. It continues his "ripped from headlines" style. This is yet another book by John L. Betcher I recommend you click the link below and order today. You will be enthralled from the first page until the very last and you won't be able to wait and tell your friends they have to read it too!!! Well done John!!! Now get to work on the next one!!! By hot little hands are waiting!!! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author.. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspense right up to the end, very enjoyable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only problem I saw was the bud lite. If you like you aren't from that region of the country
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and so far, his whole series on James Becker. John Belcher is a good author and leaves you wanting to read more and more. I highly recommend this series of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1. Insanity: Twisted Child. <br> 2. Sugar: Sugar Cube. <br> 3. Weirdness: Lopsided. <br> 4. Partying: Balloon Cakes. <br> 5. Laughter: Giggle E. <br> 6. Excitement: Pop Hairi.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think you should have separate reses for each group, and then a res where any benders can congregate and chat. Maybe there could also be a bending school or something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah good idea oh and also from now on lets talk at pg5 res six to talk cause imma post thebrules an map here!!