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Eighteen Minutes to the Beast, by B.J. Thompson

Maria is a book reviewer, editor, and proofreader, as well as a master of public health, master gardener, photographer, artist, and writer.


Have you ever thought about or questioned what happened during those eighteen and one-half minutes missing from former president, Richard Nixon’s oval office, before they were finally discovered years later, and what was actually on them? Eighteen Minutes to the Beast is a fictional account of the search for them, developed in the mind of a talented writer.

Serious Food For Thought

I read Eighteen Minutes to the Beast at the request of the author, B.J. (Barbara) Thompson, and first reviewed it in October of 2019 This is one of my older reviews moved to HubPages from my former website entitled, “The Grumpy Book Reviewer”. This action-packed and compelling thriller kept me anxious to learn what would happen next, turning pages, even when I should have been doing other things.

In this novel something terrifying for American citizens happens to each new president. It certainly leads the reader to wonder whether something like that could ever actually happen. It’s a chilling and frightening thought.

Governmental Agency Holds A Contest You Don’t Want To Win

In Eighteen Minutes, covert action on the part of the powers that be in a U.S. government agency publicize their decision to hold a contest. Anyone who wants to participate is invited to try their luck at deciphering the eighteen and one-half minutes missing from the Nixon tapes.

Edward “Ed” Tooksberry and Harry McClellan, two electronics geeks who owned an electronics store in an old town suburban area of Washington, D.C. enter the contest, and when they actually succeed at recovering the dialogue on the 45-year-old tapes, and learn of Nixon’s discussions and whom they were with, their lives are suddenly in danger.

As these very well-developed characters try to evade danger and evil, and protect their families, the reader is taken along for a wild and dangerous ride. Before the drama is over, these guys meet some very interesting historical characters who were believed to be dead. Here the reader must suspend the desire for reality, but again, it’s a scary prospect.

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Great Story Needed A Better Editor

This is a great story, and while it is a little bit fantasy, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It flows smoothly, and is action-packed, but the manuscript deserved a better editor or proofreader. I gave the story five stars on GoodReads and Amazon, but for the writing, I would assign only three stars.

What Made The Grumpy Book Reviewer Grumpy?

  • British English used by the narrator is no problem, but when used in the speech of American characters, it doesn’t ring true: a man who grew up in the U.S. is not likely to say “crikey” or to call his friend “mate”;
  • Mixing of singular and plural nouns within sentences;
  • Verb tense disagreement;
  • Mis-used words: gentile vs. genteel, and insure vs. ensure;
  • A few typos;
  • Split infinitives;
  • Missing commas;
  • Some words and phrases run together as one long word;
  • Some words written as two words (e.g., brownstones, not brown stones);
  • A lot of unnecessary capitalizations;
  • Further vs. farther – they are not interchangeable. In British English, “farther” is not used. In American English, “further” refers to more of something, while “farther” refers to distance.

© 2021 Maria Logan Montgomery

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