Now I’ve read a lot of books about toys, games, creators of toys and games, and the like, but I’ve never read anything like Zapwired! Written by Hal Ross, Zapwired is a fast-paced thriller about a game distributor who unwillingly gets involved in the weaponization of the groundbreaking toy he’s about to put on the market, called Zapwired.
Blair Anderson is a divorced father-of-one to his beloved daughter and is a successful game distributor at the head of his own company. He is very excited to bring his new game to market, when he receives a visit from a member of a secret government agency, who tells him he needs to switch the manufacturer of Zapwired to a different company, because the current manufacturer is linked to terrorist organizations. Anderson is skeptical at first, and doesn’t know who to trust, but after his daughter is kidnapped, he is willing to do anything to get her back.
This book was really fun to read, and very unique. Readers can truly get inside of Blair’s head and understand how he feels and what causes him to make the decisions he does, and you can’t help but root for him. The pace of the book was quick, which was great, because I was itching to know what would happen next.
The book just came out in October, and would be the perfect book to gift someone (especially someone in the toy and game industry!). You can purchase it on Amazon or at a local Barnes and Nobles.
Hal Ross is a veteran of the toy industry, having been involved with the production of Atari, Star Wars, Strawberry Shortcake, and Jenga. He’s also dabbled in the music industry, and is now a full-time author. Zapwired is his fourth book of fiction, and he’s currently working on a sequel to Zapwired, which I already can’t wait to read!
An electrifying read full of twists and sparks.
"Hal Ross really delivers in his fifth novel, an amazingly fast read that keeps the reader focused and wondering. Blair Anderson, a divorced toy executive with a young daughter, is launching a new gaming system, “Zapwired,” which incorporates haptics. In doing so, Anderson hopes to rebuild his company, but he finds himself in an unexpected twisting maze of spies, government agencies, and terrorists.
As Anderson travels from New York to London, Tel Aviv, and Montreal, working to establish his new product, he narrowly survives bombings, car accidents, and other threats on his life. What he can’t understand is who is behind it and what their real purpose might be. Just when it can’t get much worse, his daughter is kidnapped, and the stakes get a lot higher.
The deeper into the story, the more it seems there is no one Anderson can trust, not even those closest to him. It is only a coded clue toward the end that gives him hope, yet even that has a potentially deadly downside. When the countdown begins on the evening of the “Zapwired” launch, the reader will hang onto the edge of their seat, wondering if the game will bring joy or destroy lives. "
"This is a thrilling story with lots of twists and turns every step of the way." Goodreads
Once I started this book I was unable to put it down. ... a book that I thought about even when I was not reading it and hoping to hurry back to it when I was busy with other things."
A quiet Florida community becomes the site of a string of murders in this thriller.
Deputy Sheriff Miles Delany is investigating a murder scene in Bonita Palms. This gated community, with residents’ average age in the mid-50s, is an area with few serious crimes. But this one’s a doozy: It appears the victim, Cathy Sinclair, knew the killer, as there’s no indication of forced entry and no valuables are missing. Subsequent narrative perspectives from various people in Bonita Palms gradually reveal shady goings-on, from infidelity to blackmail. Unfortunately, more homicides with the same M.O. follow, and two local mayors in Lee County demand that Delany find a suspect and make an arrest. Both mayors seem to be looking for a reason to hand the case to one of their friends: former Deputy Sheriff Hank Broderick. Delany is already taking anti-anxiety meds, stemming from a past tragedy, and upping his dosage has unpleasant repercussions, such as getting into a scuffle with strangers. The drug regimen also presents a potential obstacle to his newfound romance with medical examiner Sara Churchill. Once he finally has a suspect, Delany rushes to uncover hard evidence and give himself a chance to stop a serial killer. Ross’ (The Doll Brokers, 2014, etc.) novel is a masterful blend of character development and mystery. Bonita Palms residents, for example, dabble in assorted misdeeds while murders intermittently occur. This results in probable victims who are unsympathetic, but it also makes identifying the killer difficult. In contrast, Delany’s tenacity in resolving the investigation is admirable, despite his grim backstory in Chicago and troubles with prescription drugs. With so much focus on individual characters, the author keeps the plot moving with ease. His straightforward prose never graphically details homicides or the occasional sex. But the mystery eventually relies on Delany’s hypothesis—a wild speculation that gives him a break in the case. The ending, too, is bizarre, though undeniably memorable.
An entertaining, sometimes-erratic mystery with flawed but indelible characters.
Bonita Palms is an exciting page-turning whodunit that keeps you guessing to the very end.
Who and why is someone going around a fancy neighborhood in Florida murdering these perfectly imperfect rich housewives? There was no forced entry in any of the cases so apparently, it must be someone they all know!
Right when you think it’s one suspect, the twists and turns take you to another… even the investigator himself.....who, by the way, has the best miserable back story of them all.
If you love a good puzzle, you’ll want to see how all these pieces interlock. I loved all the details, scandals and angles.
Thanks for a great puzzle, Hal Ross!
Hal Ross, the author that brought us The Deadliest Game and Doll Brokers, releases his fourth book, Bonita Palms; set in a posh community with intrigue throughout and a shocking finale.
The upscale and exclusive community of Bonita Palms, Florida is rocked when a series of murders break out. While affairs, corruption and cosmetic enhancements may be part of the normal, although unspoken lifestyle, murders are certainly not. There seems to be one unequivocal connection; each of the victims must have known their killer. Deputy Sheriff Miles Delaney is on the case and fighting for his job, which, until this moment, had appeared secure. He struggles to discover elusive clues and keep the political gyrations threatening his position at bay. Then he stumbles across an unsuspected correlation between his personal life and what may be happening in the community. The body count rises as Delaney himself becomes a suspect. How many more lives will be taken as a game of politics plays out?
Ross brings us this thrilling story and takes on the relevant topic of opioid drug use in a way that will keep readers guessing and questioning what they know, or think they know. The story arc moves with great pace and Ross’s character development helps the reader connect with all the players. Bonita Palms is sure to raise some eyebrows and leave readers racing through to discover what is reality and what is merely a shadow of what it appears to be.
"…this is a fast-paced exciting novel of intrigue, murder, and dysfunctional family dynamics, which provides a fascinating inside look at the toy industry. One of those books that you don't want to put down.......easy to read with lots of twists. I highly recommend it." Goodreads
"This book becomes the quintessentia