Book Reviews Cont.
Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars
Snooker’s Legacy: Matt Preston Series, Book 5 is a noir political thriller novel written by Paul Shadinger. Matt was in the decidedly uncomfortable position of still feeling the aches and pains from his recent foray into the Middle East, where he helped a friend in need and nearly lost his life in the attempt. The slowness of the healing process this time around made him aware that his aging body just didn’t heal as well or as quickly as it used to. He also realized that he wanted his long-distance relationship with Lois to get to the next level -- or did he? They were perfect together, and he always couldn’t wait to see her, but was she the one? While he mulled over his rather uncertain and short-term future, Matt received a call from Senator Albert Bradson, a long-time friend, who had an important decision to make and needed Matt’s help. Matt knew he would not leave his friend in the lurch.
Paul Shadinger’s hero finds himself in a darker place than his previous tales. Matt would be the first to admit, to Lois at least, there was an anger that fueled his actions since that nearly fatal Middle East mission, and the reader can’t help but see it in his occasionally brutal responses to the bad guys he encounters and his air of nonchalance about that brutality. Though PTSD is never really mentioned, Matt and his veteran friends are no doubt fairly cognizant of the condition and Matt’s vivid dreams and acknowledgment of that anger seem almost to lead to something that might be addressed in a future book. Anger aside, Matt is his usual caring and compassionate self, whose “knight in white armor” persona shows up again and again, most vividly when he rescues an abused wife on the run. As I read, I couldn’t help but wonder what comes next for the hero who is clearly having issues with change, anger, and the future.
Snooker’s Legacy is well written, and the plot will delight thriller readers who like their literature thought-provoking and occasionally deep. Shadinger’s characters are intriguing and credible, especially the diminutive Mouse whose inner rage is also something the reader is witness to in this book. Classic detective fans will also encounter the occasional nod and homage the author pays to his forebears in the genre. I appreciated the marvelous entrée into the world of classic cars the author leads into later on in the book. Snooker’s Legacy is highly recommended.
Reviewed By Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars
In Snooker's Legacy by Paul Shadinger, rescued from a dangerous secret mission in the Middle East, Matt Preston arrives back in the US hoping to heal his emotional and psychological wounds. Unfortunately, a friend is in need of his help. Senator Albert Bradson must make peace with his past and keep a scandal from destroying his career before he runs for the Presidency. Matt is the only man who has the bravery, connections, and skill for such a task. His investigations attract unwelcome attention from the Don of the West Coast Mafia and once more his life is on the line. As Matt struggles to keep his head and relationship together, another friend and fellow Vietnam vet leaves him with a huge legacy which brings on another set of problems.
The entire storyline is written with brilliant descriptiveness and creativity. There is so much going on within the main plot but also in the equally interesting sub-plots. The characters are dynamic with dialogue to match. I absolutely loved Matt and I thought his values and morals were commendable, especially where loyalty to his friends and Lois was concerned. My particular favorites were Jade and Mouse. What a cool couple who complemented each other so well. I enjoyed learning more about the characters through their backstory, cleverly inserted into the dialogue. The scene when Sal is ambushed by the Mafia hitmen was gripping as was the confrontation which followed. There is enough suspense and tension to keep you engaged with twists and turns in the story to make this a very gripping read. The added touch of Matt's psychological state of mind because of PTSD was handled sensitively too. I feel there could be a sequel to this book as there seemed to be a lot more to explore with not only the main story but the minor storylines too.
Reviewed By Asher Syed for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars
Snooker's Legacy by Paul Shadinger is the fifth volume of the Matt Preston Series, preceded by Houseboat, Code Name: Crescent, The Gypsy Queen, and Quick, Quick, Slow. This political thriller launches upon the immediate return to the States of war veteran and protagonist Matt Preston, struggling with both the physical and psychological consequences of his last charge in West Asia. When his friend, Senator Albert Bradson—who has ambitions to fill the highest office as President of the United States—calls needing assistance with a scandal that could topple his life's work, Matt once more pushes himself out front with little regard for his own health and safety.
Classic cars, weapons, loyal friends, danger, love, and a masterful adventure. No, this is not my Christmas list (yet); these are a handful of the delights Paul Shadinger delivers in Snooker's Legacy. Matt Preston is an imperfect man with imperfect friends, which honestly is the reason that he makes such a perfect character. He isn't in his youth (or even his prime, really) and this elevates him further as I feel like literature has lost its love for suave, older protagonists in action thrillers. Matt is James Bond meets Rambo, a true friend with an elevated moral compass that flickers occasionally when the going gets rough, but never gratuitously and always with a strong redemptive arc. I haven't read the other books in the Matt Preston Series and am now quite keen to, but fear not if you find yourself in the same flaming plane. Snooker's Legacy reads well as a stand-alone and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy alpha-male action/crime/political thrillers.
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars
Snooker’s Legacy: A Matt Preston Novel is a work of mystery fiction written for adults by author Paul Shadinger. Forming the fifth book in the adventures of the psychologically fragile Matt Preston, in this story, Matt must once again use his military past and his newfound crime-solving smarts to explore a new case as a favor to a friend. Once again the web of deceit and intrigue must be unraveled, and there are many dangers on the way. But as each case unfolds, Matt becomes more and more fragile as his past and future issues collide, and it looks like there may come a time when one such case will be the end of him.
Deeply character-driven but also smart in its plot construction, this relatively short mystery novel packs a tremendous punch. Author Paul Shadinger has clearly taken time to develop the intrepid and capable Matt Preston over the course of this series, creating a beloved but also highly realistic action hero for readers to be proud of, but also really worry about. The commitment to the unpacking of Matt’s psyche is just as important and engaging to read about as the actual mystery plot at play in this particular episode, and when the two collide and intertwine expertly as the revelations are unveiled, the real magic of storytelling takes place. With zippy dialogue, colorful characters and great action sequences to fill the gaps, Snooker’s Legacy: A Matt Preston Novel is sure to please series fans and keep them guessing from cover to cover.