I just finished The BENEFACTORS: Gold Factor and the best way to describe my excitement is to say I'm "out of breath." I love spy and intrigue thrillers. I love the historical grounding and close tie-ins in fiction works. I have a philosophical bent and seek novels that force me to ask questions for which there are no ready answers. This novel hits the bulls-eye on each of these dimensions!
OK - so sometimes I just like to immerse myself into an exciting story well told - and with the Gold Factor I was transported out of reality and into the murky world of the BENEFACTORS. Like gaining a super-power, how could I NOT be intrigued with gaining the means to change the way the world works! The authors effectively convince me it could - and did - happen.
The book is at once, a fast-moving suspense / thriller - but has many sophisticated dimensions: On the one hand, there are the two, seemingly different plot lines - one that arises from the ashes of the world at the close of World War II, and the other spinning around the apparent assassination of the president in contemporary time. In one, we're treated to three strong willed men of remarkable virtue. In the other we're engaged with 4 equally remarkable and strong women. The book explores the classic enigmas of idealism, power, corruption, and the downward spin to perdition. How did it all go wrong? Can redemption be had?
I love how the authors have tied their tale into actual historical events with a very smooth style - their fictional characters engage and interact with recognized historical people using natural and plausible dialog within feasible events and historically accurate venues and circumstances. The Gold Factor story might not be fiction, I convince myself, and I'm not always sure what is the author's creation and what might have actually happened.
Then there are the clever and subtle plot elements that create multiple layers of web-like strands linking events, people, and story lines throughout the book. All of these characters, and the two main story lines are inexorably linked. This is a master tale of cause and effect - and it soon becomes evident the book is really only the first chapter of a tectonic landscape that defines all we see in the world around us, today.
But if you prefer to simply enjoy a spy thriller, it is that too. Jeff Callan and Wes Miller have created an immensely entertaining story with real-as-life characters, sparkling dialog, surprising twists, and exciting action. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
-- Walt Washburn is a published non-fiction technical author who lives and works in Colorado Springs
"I was intrigued by the mixing of actual historical figures with fictional characters. I was also impressed by how the historical figures interacted with the fictional ones. Of course, what made the story even more palatable, was the integration of actual historical events with the story line that affected it's main characters. Plus you got the history right!
... Overall, you have great characters, an excellent storyline, and even very accurate representations of major historical figures, such as Allen Dulles, Harry Truman, Bill Donovan, and Meyer Lansky."
-- Dr. W. Martin Dulaney, Chair and Associate Professor of History, University of Texas Arlington
Gold Factor is available now in online and select retail booksellers. Watch this space for book signings and other events following the launch.
GOLD-FACTOR (1928 – 1948): At the close of World War II a disillusioned Office of Strategic Services (OSS) seizes an unbelievable opportunity and break away from government control. Suddenly in possession of 60 thousand metric tons of gold, they have the means to match their vision of a new global political landscape. Thus was born the oligarchy known as The BENEFACTORS.
Coming in 2018!
MALEFACTORS (1950 – 1967): Communism is on the rise at America's doorstep. A fledgling CIA sets old vendettas on hold and enlists the BENEFACTORS to topple the threat, often in ways the government cannot admit. When an ambitious administration comes to power, their operations come under scrutiny and leads to a double-cross that shifts the cross-hairs from a botched operation in Cuba to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, 1963.
Future books in The BENEFACTORS saga:
CO-FACTORS (1967 – 1999): Cold war threats evaporated with the downfall of the USSR, and the rise of vibrant global economies. The BENEFACTORS find their brutal methods produce less reliable results in this new era. But a turn-around, at the hands of two ambitious women who wield power very differently than the men they replaced, may save the organization.
TRUST FACTOR (2000 – Present): The BENEFACTORS have become sophisticated financial operators in the complex economic world of Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations, but find it increasingly difficult to operate outside of governmental sanction. Seeking an opportunity to come in from the cold they find a way to close a deal with the USA, only to face the heat of the economic meltdown they helped to create.
“…The Benefactors is a terrific addition to the historical fiction market with an interesting take on historical events and strong characters on the page. This also feels like a political thriller ... and this type of story will appeal to readers who enjoy them.
The level of writing quality here is very high… characters say things that readers wish they could.
Overall, this is a strong piece with compelling action and an energetic take on the genre. I think this absolutely belongs with the Bourne series, and this one has several strong female characters who are their own agents and who affect the story. The Benefactors has much to contribute to the genre, and I think it will do well in the market … You have so much good material to work with here, and I think you should be proud of what you’ve written. I wish you the best of success with it!"
-- Belea Keeney – Ms. Keeney is an award winning author, editor and wordsmith, and provided editorial services for The Benefactors
[want to write one?]