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Welcome to
Chet Cunningham's
"Wonderful World of Books"

Since his first novel was published in 1968 Chet Cunningham has written and had published nearly 300 works of fiction and 15 non fiction books. He is equally adept on horseback, in the techno-thriller arena, or recounting military history. His output includes 125 westerns and 50 men's action/adventure novels.

Chet Cunningham's Favorite Books:

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John Sandford: Mind Prey

John Sandford's acclaimed Prey novels featuring the brilliant Lucas Davenport have plunged millions of readers into the darkest recesses of the criminal mind. Now Lucas has met his match. His newest nemesis is more intelligent, more deadly, than any he has tracked before: a kidnapper, a violator, and a cruel, wanton killer who knows more about mind games than Lucas himself.

In the wake of the abduction of a woman and her two young daughters, deputy chief lucas Davenport faces the most challenging case of his career, whil the victim, psychiatrist Andi Manette, applies all her skills to outwit her captor.

More of the same. Great Stuff. Sandford has just the right knack for adding little details that make the story believable and fun. That is so great to find. Love the dialog. The characters are consistently developed. I'm so glad Sandford takes the time to get us in to the characters. And he seems to always pick a very small theme to follow through the book that just adds to the fun and adds believablity. The perpetrator line and the engagement ring in this one.

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Tom Clancy: Patriot Games

Tom Clancy's Patriot Games is filled with the exceptional realism and authenticity that distinguished the author's two previous bestsellers, Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising. Patriot Games puts us on the cutting edge of another type of war -- the international battle of terrorism.

Years before the defection of a Soviet submarine will send him hurtling into confrontation with the Soviets in Red October, Jack Ryan, historian, ex-marine, and CIA analyst, is vacationing in London when the Ulster Liberation Army makes a terrorist attack on the Prince and Princess of Wales. By instinctively diving forward to break up the attack, he gains both the gratitude of a nation and the hatred of its most dangerous men. Jack Ryan must summon all of the skills and knowledge at his command to battle back against his nemesis.

From England to Ireland to America, an explosive wave of violence sweeps CIA analyst Jack Ryan and his family into the deadliest game of our time: international terrorism. An ultra-left-wing faction of the IRA has targeted Ryan for his act of salvation in an assassination attempt. Now Ryan must pay--with his life.









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Dale Brown: Sky Masters

War erupts almost immediately when America pulls out of the Philippines and China slips in to fill the power vacuum. A few of the characters flying Brown's gadget-filled war planes previously appeared in Day of the Cheetah (1989). Glossary entries (176) and a warm dedication to strategic air power generalissimo Curtis LeMay accurately signal the approach of a superacronymic, high-tech military adventure. The casus belli this time is Chinese enforcement of that country's ancient claim to the Spratly Islands--a tiny, uninhabitable, barely visible, mineral-rich chain halfway between the Asian mainland and the Philippines.

The Philippines, at last free of their long-term American tenants, also claim the Spratlys, and a shootout in the atoll between the two Asian nations' navies escalates much too quickly into full-scale war as the Chinese, led by a maniacal admiral, pop off a small nuclear device and then take the opportunity to invade the Philippine mainland--where the leftist first vice-president in the coalition government is only too happy to welcome them. A very unhappy American government has to throw together a battle plan on very short notice, but thanks to the inventive skills of the military-industrial complex's most talented techno-weenie, the Air Force has use of a new generation of spy satellites that, when paired with a souped-up B-2 Stealth bomber turns the air war into an immense video game. Genuinely exciting fight scenes are swamped by oceans of technical detail of interest primarily to the pencil-protector crowd.

Dale Brown's powerful tale of America's greatest challenge since the Gulf War: a crisis on the oil-rich islands near China...

Lt. Col. Patrick McLanahan survives the harrowing "Flight of the Old Dog" only to be exiled to a super-secret Air Force base, where he must test fly a new B-2 Stealth bomber.

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Tony Hillerman: Thief of Time

A noted anthropologist vanishes at a moonlit Indian ruin where "thieves of time" ravage sacred ground for profit. When two corpses appear amid stolen goods and bones at an ancient burial site, Navajo Tribal Policemen Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee must plunge into the past to unearth the astonishing truth behind a mystifying series of horrific murders.

When two corpses appear amid stolen goods and bones at an ancient burial site, Navajo Tribal Policemen Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee must plunge into the past to unearth the astonishing truth behind a mystifying series of horrific murders. Movie rights sold and characters of Leaphorn and Chee licensed to Wildwood Enterprises (Robert Redford's production company).

Tony Hillerman is past president of Mystery Writers of America and has received their Edgar and Grand Master Awards. His other honors include the Center for the American Indian's Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, the Navajo Tribe's Special Friend Award, the National Media Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Nero Wolfe Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book, an honorary life membership in the Western Literature Association, and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policiére. In addition to his election to Phi Beta Kappa, Tony Hillerman has been named Doctor of Humane Letters at Arizona State University and at Oregon's Portland State University. He lives with his wife, Marie, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Vince Flynn: Term Limits

What if America's leaders were held accountable for their broken promises -- and made to pay for their corruption? Vince Flynn brings to life a chilling scenario of Washington under siege -- in the provocative, edge-of-your-seat political thriller that stormed onto national bestseller lists.

In a night of shattering brutality, three of Washington's most powerful and unscrupulous politicians have been executed with surgical precision. Their assassins, vanishing without a trace, have delivered a shocking ultimatum to the leaders of the American government: set aside petty, partisan politics and restore power to the people, or be held to deadly account. No one, they warn, is out of their reach -- not even the president. A joint FBI-CIA task force reveals that the killers are elite military commandos, but no one knows exactly who they are or when they will strike next. Only Michael O'Rourke, a former U.S. Marine and freshman congressman, holds a clue to the violence: a haunting incident in his own past with explosive implications for his country's future....

Taking America back...one politician at a time What if America's leaders were held accountable for their broken promises -- and made to pay for their corruption? Vince Flynn brings to life a chilling scenario of Washington under siege -- in the provocative, edge-of-your-seat political thriller that stormed onto national bestseller lists. Term Limits In a night of shattering brutality, three of Washington's most powerful and unscrupulous politicians have been executed with surgical precision. Their assassins, vanishing without a trace, have delivered a shocking ultimatum to the leaders of the American government: set aside petty, partisan politics and restore power to the people, or be held to deadly account. No one, they warn, is out of their reach -- not even the president. A joint FBI-CIA task force reveals that the killers are elite military commandos, but no one knows exactly who they are or when they will strike next. Only Michael O'Rourke, a former U.S. Marine and freshman congressman, holds a clue to the violence: a haunting incident in his own past with explosive implications for his country's future.... In a tour de force of action and suspense, Vince Flynn takes the ultimate American ideal -- a government of the people -- to a devastating extreme.

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David Brin: The Postman

Gordon Krantz survived the Doomwar only to spend years crossing a post-apocalypse United States looking for something or someone he could believe in again. Ironically, when he's inadvertently forced to assume the made-up role of a "Restored United States" postal inspector, he becomes the very thing he's been seeking: a symbol of hope and rebirth for a desperate nation. Gordon goes through the motions of establishing a new postal route in the Pacific Northwest, uniting secluded towns and enclaves that are starved for communication with the rest of the world. And even though inside he feels like a fraud, eventually he will have to stand up for the new society he's helping to build or see it destroyed by fanatic survivalists. This classic reprint is not one of David Brin's best books, but the moving story he presents overcomes mediocre writing and contrived plots.

This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compelling as War Day or Alas, Babylon, David Brin's The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction.

He was a survivor--a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.

Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.

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Robert Crais: The Lullaby Town

Lullaby Town is Chelam, Connecticut, where L.A. shamus Elvis Cole (The Monkey's Raincoat, 1987--not reviewed) goes in search of Karen Shipley, divorced ten years earlier by boyish filmmaker Peter Alan Nelsen, who's since developed deep pockets (courtesy of a string of action hits beginning with Chainsaw) and a conscience of sorts. Just when it looks like Elvis has found Karen and her son, Toby, all too easily, Karen turns out to be laundering money for the Mafia, and the story takes off like a two-stage rocket. It'll take all of Elvis's wise-guy savvy to pry Karen loose from those other wise-guys without condemning her to the witness-protection program or the East River. Elvis is as sharp as a West Coast Spenser, but without Spenser's nasty/noble attitudinizing--and this story is pure pleasure from the very first page. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hollywood's newest wunderkind, director Peter Alan Nelsen, hires private eye Elvis Cole to track down the airhead wife and infant child Nelsen abandoned on his way to the top.

Hollywood's newest wunderkind is Peter Alan Nelson, the brilliant, erratic director known as the King of Adventure. His films make billions, but his manners make enemies. What the boy king wants, he gets, and what Nelson wants is for Elvis to comb the country for the airhead wife and infant child the film-school flunkout dumped en route to becoming the third biggest filmmaker in America. It's the kind of case Cole can handle in his sleep -- until it turns out to be a nightmare. For when Cole finds Nelson's wife in a small Conneticut town, she's nothing like what he expects. The lady has some unwanted -- and very nasty -- mob connections, which means Elvis could be opening the East Coast branch of his P.I. office . . .at the bottom of the Hudson River.

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John Jakes: The Bastard

With the recent publication of Homeland, John Jakes's earlier works are enjoying a revival. The Bastard is the first book of his series, the Kent Family Chronicles, published in 1974. It introduces the fictional hero Phillipe Charboneau, aka Philip Kent. John Morris's clear voice and the high quality production of this piece make the story come alive.

Set against the colorful tumult of events that gave rise to our fledgling nation, this novel of romance and adventure introduces Phillipe Charboneau.

The illegitimate son of an English nobleman, Phillipe flees Europe and, as Philip Kent, joins the men who set our course for freedom.

THE BASTARD is the first volume in the Kent Family Chronicles, a series of novels that details one family's journey in the early years of the American nation

As a first book in a series, the scene, tone, and family character is well set. John Jakes writes his story with an eye for detail and for entertainment. As I read this series when I was 14, I frequently use these stories as a reference point when remembering details of American history. I highly recommned this series for anyone who wants to learn early US history but doesn't like to read history text books.

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John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath

When The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, America, still recovering from the Great Depression, came face to face with itself in a startling, lyrical way. John Steinbeck gathered the country's recent shames and devastations--the Hoovervilles, the desperate, dirty children, the dissolution of kin, the oppressive labor conditions--in the Joad family. Then he set them down on a westward-running road, local dialect and all, for the world to acknowledge. For this marvel of observation and perception, he won the Pulitzer in 1940.

The prize must have come, at least in part, because alongside the poverty and dispossession, Steinbeck chronicled the Joads' refusal, even inability, to let go of their faltering but unmistakable hold on human dignity. Witnessing their degeneration from Oklahoma farmers to a diminished band of migrant workers is nothing short of crushing. The Joads lose family members to death and cowardice as they go, and are challenged by everything from weather to the authorities to the California locals themselves. As Tom Joad puts it: "They're a-workin' away at our spirits. They're a tryin' to make us cringe an' crawl like a whipped bitch. They tryin' to break us. Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin' a sock at a cop. They're workin' on our decency."

The point, though, is that decency remains intact, if somewhat battle-scarred, and this, as much as the depression and the plight of the "Okies," is a part of American history. When the California of their dreams proves to be less than edenic, Ma tells Tom: "You got to have patience. Why, Tom--us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." It's almost as if she's talking about the very novel she inhabits, for Steinbeck's characters, more than most literary creations, do go on. They continue, now as much as ever, to illuminate and humanize an era for generations of readers who, thankfully, have no experiential point of reference for understanding the depression. The book's final, haunting image of Rose of Sharon--Rosasharn, as they call her--the eldest Joad daughter, forcing the milk intended for her stillborn baby onto a starving stranger, is a lesson on the grandest scale. "'You got to,'" she says, simply. And so do we all.

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Elmer Kelton: The Day the Cowboys Quit

1883: In the Texas Panhandle, cowboys refuse to be stigmatized as drinkers and exploited by the wealthy cattle owners who don't pay livable wages. When those very ranchers take away the cowboys' right to own cattle because they believe it will lead to thieving, the cowboys decide to rally and fight.

Elmer Kelton is one of the most revered Western writers to date. With more than thirty-five novels an six Spur Awards, Kelton has been voted the Greatest Western Writer of All Time in a Western Writers of America survey of its members.

Recently, Kelton was awarded the first Lone Star award for lifetime achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for the Arts and Humanities. Kelton's classic, The Day the Cowboys Quit, has been included in the WWA's list of the twenty-five best western novels of all time and is now back in print.

Elmer Kelton is "one of the best of a new breed of Western writers who have driven the genre into new territory." -- The New York Times

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