Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review- The Missing Element

I just finished a great book! The Missing Element by John L. Betcher. It was refreshing to work directly with Mr. Betcher through Bostwick Communications.

This was one of those books that sucked me in and kept me interested from page one. These are the kinds of books I really like. From the beginning the reader is captivated by what is going on. The book begins when computer genius Katherine Whitson vanishes from her home. The reader has a birds eye view of the circumstances surrounding her sudden disappearance. As she lets her would be kidnappers into her home she is shocked when the tables turn on her and she is forced to write a note. A note telling her husband she is leaving him. As she is forced and watched she makes an effort to leave clues she hopes her husband can figure out.

After reporting her disappearance to the police who don't react because of the note; her husband begins searching for help to find his wife.

Enters the main character in the book James "Beck" Becker and his wife Elizabeth who are both retired from government jobs. Elizabeth being an expert in computers who worked for the CIA and "Beck" being a military intelligence operative. Although The Missing Element doesn't really delve into their past or how they got together the reader is drawn into the characters. And left hopefully anticipating the next next James Becker Mystery novel.

Beck begins the job of searching for Katherine and immediately realizes there is definitely foul play involved as he is literally attacked when he goes to the husbands job to ask further questions. Beck recruits help from his friend "Bull" and the two begin surveillance and investigation on suspects in the case.

Betcher does an excellent job of bringing new characters into the plot. I loved his way of developing characters like Becks wife Elizabeth. When their home is broken into the reader is given just a little insight into Elizabeth's character and her experience in covert operations. And the situation she deals with adds a little humor to the story.

As Beck solves the case Betcher does an excellent job of wrapping the story up. And as the story ends the reader is left wanting more and a little sad the story is over. But there is definitely a feeling that there is more coming. More adventures with Beck and Elizabeth and their friends.

I was glad to learn from Mr. Betcher that there is indeed book two of the James Becker Mysteries in the works and it is due out in the fall. I am looking forward to reading it.

I highly recommend The Missing Element. It was a great read. It was suspenseful, intriguing and fun. In my opinion this would be a good book for any age group from older teen to adult. There is nothing explicit that would keep this from being a book that I would offer to the teens in the halfway house where I work.

About the author

John L. Betcher holds a Bachelor’s Degree, cum laude, in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. He has practiced law for more than twenty-five years in the Mississippi River community of Red Wing, Minnesota. He has also been a long-time supporter and coach of youth volleyball there.Mr. Betcher has published three feature articles in COACHING VOLLEYBALL, the Journal of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. His most recent article was the cover story for the April/May, 2009 Issue.His book on volleyball coaching philosophies entitled THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF VOLLEYBALL COACHING has been selling nationwide and is currently available at is also an active member and writing peer coach at the Agent Query Connect writer's forum.

Many thanks to Bostwick Communications for introducing me to the works of John L. Betcher. Thanks also to Mr. Betcher for allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to book two!

The Missing Element may be purchased directly from at Barnes and Noble here or at Amazon here

Mr. Betcher welcomes correspondence at

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