“…the noise she heard now wasn’t a bomb, and it wasn’t the drone of aircraft propellers. This was more like the whine of a thousand trumpets blowing in unison. And it was heading straight toward her…. Then, just like heavy seas parted by a ship’s prow, the clouds slid aside, and a flying object like nothing she’d ever seen screamed out of the sky…”
This is the third book in a series. This review contains no spoilers for The Ark or The Vault, aside from giving away the survival of two characters in the series.
The Roswell Conspiracy, by Boyd Morrison
#3 in the Tyler Locke series
Gordian Fiction, July 2012
326 pages (ebook)
After the 1908 Tunguska blast levels a Siberian forest the size of London, a Russian scientist makes an amazing discovery amongst the debris.
In 1947, ten-year-old Fay Allen of Roswell, New Mexico, witnesses the fiery crash of an extraordinary craft unlike anything she’s ever seen.
More than sixty years later, former Army combat engineer Tyler Locke rescues Fay from gunmen who are after a piece of wreckage she claims is from the Roswell incident. Incredulous of her tale, Tyler believes the attack on Fay is nothing more than a burglary gone wrong. But when he finds himself locked in the back of a truck carrying a hundred tons of explosives and heading for a top secret American base, Tyler knows that he has stumbled onto the opening gambit of something more sinister than he ever imagined.
*** I requested this review copy through NetGalley. ***
This is the third in a series, but all three books stand completely alone; previous events are hardly given a mention and aren’t at all important to the plot. So, if it sounds like something you might want to read, feel free to dive right in.
The book has an interesting story behind it, which you can read here if you want the whole thing. But the bottom line is that, after traditionally publishing the first two novels in the series, Morrison self-published this one… and by the time I’d finished reading it, I was left wondering how it couldn’t find a home by the traditional route. Boyd Morrison isn’t exactly a household name, but he was an established author, and personally I thought this was the strongest book in the Tyler Locke series.
The heroes are the kind that have become standard for many thrillers, those who have prior military experience but are now living the civilian life, only they keep getting tangled up in crazy adventures. Tyler and Grant are a pretty typical buddy team, both likeable, with strengths that balance each other out. In this book they actually spend most of the time apart, following up different leads, each with his own female companion.
I know what you might be thinking, but these women are not mere sidekicks in the story. One of them even has a feisty grandmother along for the ride… and I suppose, in trying to defy expectation, that type of character has become almost an overdone cliche itself, but she sure is fun. Also, the sexual tension between the two couples is understated enough that it doesn’t get in the way of the action.
And speaking of the action, that’s what really got me on board with this book more than the previous two in the series. The earlier Tyler Locke books were fun, with unique takes on old ideas (I particularly liked the concept behind The Ark), but I remember thinking a lot while reading that the action didn’t support the story, that it was there just for its own sake. Here, the whole book worked together much better. And the climax had me breathlessly turning the pages until I finally reached the end.
Obviously, I don’t know what the book looked like when Morrison first handed it to his publisher, and I don’t know what other factors might have been at play, but it just surprises me, reading about the events that led to this book being self-published, especially having been so impressed with the final product. Morrison is taking the self-publishing route again with the fourth Tyler Locke novel, and I’ll be curious to see how it compares.
Be warned, if you’re thinking of picking this one up, that the Roswell incident really only serves as a starting point; if you’re looking for an alien conspiracy story, you might be disappointed. But if you enjoy fun characters, exotic locales, and high stakes, this is worth a read.
The Roswell Conspiracy is available in both print and ebook formats, though it looks like Kindle is the only e-option, at least in the US.
Does this sound like something you’d pick up? What are your thoughts on the self-publishing angle?