I am a huge fan of thriller and suspense novels and read them all the time. Unfortunately, after a while many of them start to feel the same, like many authors (especially new ones) are using the same recycled plot over and over again. But I love how these books totally break the mold, but stay true to the spirit of the genre. I am so interested in this element of the “Director” the entity that is part of these stories and hope we see more about that aspect. I really liked the first book, “Dead and Dead for Real” and this follow up was just as amazing, if not more so because everything in this one is so much bigger and worse! Right from the start it’s one thing after another that is basically the United States’ worst nightmare – the war is carried out on different fronts and the nation is collapsing. Again, I was captivated by the way Clayton weaved so many interesting characters and twisted frighteningly plausible storylines together to create a story that I couldn’t put down until the final conclusion. I was glad to see Katherine. and Nick and Freddy  (and the ‘other one’) back, and it was good how we are filled in on the events of the other book, but you don’t need to have read it to understand and enjoy this one. It is self-contained. (But read it because its awesome!) It was fast-paced, action and high-stakes drama packed, and with snappy dialogue and free from many clichés that riddle this genre.  I was curious to see how this would all work out in the end, and I wasn’t at all disappointed--- the author makes so very profound observations on the state of the nation in general, and its parallels to modern times is not lost on the reader. An intelligent and thought-provoking read that is different from much out there, and probably best suited for mature readers. So glad there will be more of these books to come! 

5 Stars Stephen Beacher— Indie Book Reviewers

Splendid! I love when a book totally surpasses my expectations, and then some. Frequently I’ll read a book by an author that I really like, but then the follow-up is somewhat lacking (I call it the ‘sophomore slump’). Not here! If anything, this one was even BETTER! Everything just gets so crazy on all fronts, and again Clayton does an excellent job with conveying the dramatic and tension filled world-building through the dialogue and actions of the characters and not with boring dense ‘telling’ narrative prose thankfully. Also how he gracefully gives us bits of past info here and there, from events of the prior book ,or the flashbacks to Afghanistan, instead of doing a whole ‘info dumping’ thing which ruins the momentum. It is smooth and organic and makes it able to be easily understood on its own even if you haven’t read the first book. He portrays the political climate and real-life threats in an authentic way that is almost too good… it’s a worst case scenario that we believe really can happen. I am eager to see where these characters go in the next one. Recommend. 

5 Stars John Goldman—Indie Book Reviewers


Okay seriously, these books should come with a warning label: make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! “Dead Reckoning”  starts off with an intriguing, shocking (and sad!) beginning and just keeps going from there, with one awful turn after another… and I don’t say that lightly. These types of books get under my skin the most, because they do seem like very real things that could destroy our country and our world. The story takes place not long after the first one ends, and continues the world-building and characterizations established there, but it stands on its own entirely with its own storyline, but set in the same fictional universe. The characters are good – authentic and carry the story well in their respective roles – and I like how the author has also included a more philosophical voice in the mix, through Ron who seems to be the voice of reason in it all. Even though at times I almost felt like there was too much going on, everything wraps up well enough in the end and leaves room for more with some of the characters, which I was happy to see. Some adult language and scenes, but I like how polished the editing was.  Overall a solid read, recommend for fans of action, thrillers, military, and political intrigue. 

5 Stars Jenna Brewster— Indie Book Reviewers

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Dead and Dead For Real

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Review on Dead Reckoning