Reviews

“Haunted by his own demons and by the memory of his murdered wife, Al Forte is, by turns, tough guy, tortured hero, and tender guardian. In SNAFU, Glen Allison weaves Forte’s race to thwart an insidious plot into a tale of forgiveness and redemption. The result is fast-paced story both uplifting and heart-wrenching.”
– Jaden Terrel, author of the Jared McKean Mysteries

“What a ride! SNAFU delivers another fast-paced adventure with ex-SEAL Al Forte, a compassionate child rescuer and a kick-ass hero I love.” – Mary Saums, author of the Thistle & Twigg mystery series

“SNAFU takes you on a wild ride through Al Forte’s world of crime, violence and love in southern Louisiana.  Author Glen Allison has created a compelling hero in Forte, a tough guy with a tortured soul and an obsession to protect the most vulnerable among us, young children.  The novel will keep you turning pages; its conclusion will leave you breathless.” – H. W. “Buzz” Bernard, author EYEWALL and PLAGUE.

Realistic characters struggling with their own demons do their best to protect desperate children. Characters Al Forte and his backup Nomad may fill the gap left by the departure of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Hawk.
Allan E. Ansorge
author of
The Bay Harbour Mysteries
The Victor Verie Mysteries

” ‘Snafu’ is anything but … Glen Allison has crafted a superbly written, fast-paced thriller that grabs the reader by the heart and won’t let go. The third book in Allison’s Al Forte suspense series, SNAFU fulfills the promise of the previous two, while whetting the appetite for whatever comes next. Flawed, emotionally wounded, and deeply moral, Forte is like an avenging hero from the Old West fighting modern-day evil in New Orleans. If your tastes run to dark and dangerous, ride along as Forte tackles everything from terrorists to those who would harm young innocents. Fair warning: The ride will get scary. ”

Deborah Sharp, author of the Mace Bauer Mysteries

Glen Allison hails from Tupelo, Mississippi, where he and his wife are camping and motorcycle enthusiasts. One of their favorite destinations is New Orleans, home of Glen’s hero, Al Forte. Allison’s Forte series includes MISCUE, NETBLUE, and now the latest offering, SNAFU. He also authored STILL STANDING, the story of the Williams Brothers gospel group.

Al Forte is a man suffering the worst form of anguish. The love of his life, his wife, was murdered before his very eyes. Al is an ex-Navy Seal who went through the ravages of drug and alcohol addiction after his wife’s death. He is still recovering when the very young man who shot his wife asks for his help. Little does Al Forte know that he is a marked man, and that his enemy, Brock Randall, is a rich psychopath, who targets him because of an imagined slight:

“‘I especially wanted to talk to you, Al,’ Randall said. He waved his hand around the sun room. ‘These plants come from Central America. Most beautiful place in the world. Beautiful flowers. Beautiful people.’ He sipped his drink and looked down at Forte. ‘You have been there before, right? I’m sure you agree.’

‘I didn’t take the scenic tours much. But I know there are good people there.’ Randall chuckled. ‘My company does a bit of business there. We would use a good man like you.’

‘I appreciate that, Mr. Randall, but I already have a…'”

Whether it’s Al’s friend, Seal partner, and faithful sidekick, Nomad, or Jackie Shaw, the tragic and heroic woman who pulls Al out of the depths with her love, Allison’s characters fairly jump off the page. His plotline and style are reminiscent of David Baldachi, with flawed military heroes battling their own demons. An excellent read.

Shelley Glodowski
Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


I’m firmly convinced there are far more writers in the Magnolia state than readers. I cringe every time I get a call form somebody I’ve never met saying, “Hi, I’m so-and-so. They gave me your name. I’ve written a book.”

I should know. I’ve been down that road myself.

Only a small percentage of these calls are the genuine article. So you can understand how refreshing it was to read the opening pages of Glen Allison’s New Orleans thriller, Miscue (Yoke Press, $14.95).

Allison writes about the Big Easy form a Julie Smith perspective, not a watered-down touristy viewpoint. His inviting prose puts you right on a French Quarter balcony with a black cat named Boo and its well-worn owner, Al Forte.

Wow! This guy’s got depth, scars and charisma. A cross between Jim Burke’s Dave Robicheaux, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford.

Al Forte is an ex-Navy SEAL, owner of Forte Security. Encased in a quarter block of brick and wrought iron antiquity, Forte’s fort is a k a The Refuge: home away form home for kids in peril; children of deposed leaders, drug dealers or anyone important enough to want maximum protection for their offspring.

The Refuge was the dream of Al and his wife Ruth right before she was murdered. Forte’s only recently returned to the land of the living after a near-death experience with alcohol and cocaine. The Refuge is his payback. He’s down to his wits and five Checkers cigarettes a day. Al’s credentials are flawed, but his heart’s in the right place.

It’s gonna be put through the wringer real soon.

Forte’s already got his plate full, protecting the niece of a local drug lord Poochie from Columbian hit men while trying to convince Poochie The Refuge is better than the streets.
Somewhere in the Big Easy, there’s a villain who’s into offing abortion doctors. He’s cunning, patient and very prepared. The murder of R. Tyson Lamberth is Dean Koontz creepy. I won’t give away any of the gory details.

Forte Security is called in to guard the dead doc’s daughter and upper crust wife at their Garden District mansion. During a raging storm of Stephen King proportions, young Hallee is spirited away. The FBI takes over, Al loses the job and old demons come to visit our hero’s head.

But Al’s got sponsors, friends and tenacity. He sets out to find the kidnapped kid. The trail takes Al first to Houston, to an evangelist who’s into enraging his flock against abortionists and gays. Then it’s off to Chicago, where Al learns about the killer’s past, via the Windy City’s finest and a sailing priest. In between, there’s some great action scenes in a chess game Al can’t possibly win.

Acting on his last wit, Forte and old SEAL but Nomad get funky in the Caribbean, sleuthing in classic Batman tradition. Will Hallie become shark fodder? And how does her missing mom (with the butterfly tattoo) fit into the killer’s bizarre equation?

What the good guys discover will surprise you. In fact, Allison pulls surprises out of his gris-gris bag at every turn.

Miscue is filled with great N’awlins scenery and characters, particularly Larue, the old Creole barber who raised al in his teenage years. But the choicest cut of Allison’s debut thriller is yellow-eyed Al Forte, a very vulnerable hero with ghosts and gremlins vying for a piece of his soul.

On the heated topic of abortion, Allison slides across the razor’s edge, neither condoning nor condemning. He lets the reader make their own choice. But in terms of life and death, of mission and murder, black and white quickly turn to gray.

Don’t miss Miscue, a quick, easy and fun escape that’s tightly paced, told with authority and authenticity. And for a little lagniappe, Allison’s already stirring the gumbo pot on his next installment, Netblue. Another helping, please.

JC Patterson | Special to The Clarion-Ledger

From Midwest Review:

Glen Allison is a Southern native who is familiar with the territory between the Gulf Coast to the Kentucky hills. As a freelance writer, Allison co-founded the Mississippi Writers Club, published Still Standing Tall, a story of the Williams Brothers singing group, and presents Miscue as the maiden mystery published by Yoke Press.

Al Forte is a former Navy Seal with a troubled past. He lost his social worker wife to a stupid gang initiation prank, lost himself in a sea of alcohol and cocaine, and finally established “The Refuge,” a safe-house for children threatened by violence or caught in the crossfire of bad situations. Located in the French Quarter, it gives Al a mission and a purpose. When a local abortion doctor is murdered, Al doesn’t give it much notice until he is called upon to protect the doctor’s 11-year old daughter. She disappears under his nose, and his mission changes to one self-redemption:

“Forte looked at the older man and thought for a moment. ‘I’d say YES, I THINK I FAILED and MAYBE I SHOULDN’T HAVE GONE INTO FREIDA LAMBERTH’S ROOM and THE LAMBERTH GIRL BEING IN DANGER AND AFRAID MAKES ME SO DAMN MAD WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT and ‘He looked down at J.D. the dog then back at Manny. ‘What am I going to do next? I’m going to follow u on my leads from Benny.’”

Miscue is a well written mystery with lots of psycho-drama in the person of Al Forte, who is constantly having to get past his own demons to help the children he is committed to. Allison doesn’t hesitate to comment on his own version of social justice, which lends grit and realism to a character the reader can’t help cheering for. Al Forte is a flawed but resilient personality who exudes strength even in the midst of his own self-doubt, which lends credibility and a sense of justice fulfilled when he finally cracks the case.

Allison writes with a sense of urgency and values. His characters aren’t quirky, which is refreshing. He just writes a straight-ahead, entertaining whodunit with enough twists and turns to confuse the most astute student of detective novels. His dialogue is stunning.

Miscue
Yoke Press
ISBN: 0-9718105-0-8, $14.95

Shelley Glodowski | Reviewer

Vigilante justice in the Big Easy: Hold on to your gumbo!

There I was, zipping through Glen Allison’s second New Orleans shoot ‘em up, when all of a sudden, the pages went from 212 to 247 in the bat of an eye.

The author had warned me there was a dropout in the advance reader. No problem, I said, I’ll just wait till the finished product, put it aside and move on to something else.

You can’t do that with Glen’s books. Once he gets revved up, there’s no pushing the pause button.

Help, I e-mailed. Send those pages, pronto! The Tupelo author cybered ‘em into my office and I was back on track in nothing flat.

Glen’s Al Forte series is always full of firepower and controversy; lots of gray areas. 2002′s Miscue took on the abortion issue. Net Blue serves up vigilante justice for child predators. While this guy is gunning for every villain in the crime-laden world (particularly John Travolta), Allison’s Micah Cray, a former Rangers super sniper, is popping pedophiles.

Is it right to do the world a service by killing vermin? The mystery killer has a growing fan base, from talk shows to angered parents. His next target: N’awlins.

Down in the Big Easy, yellow-eyed Forte is into a plot of his own. The owner of Forte Security and sworn protector of kids, Al is guarding young Fizer Beal, a sulky lad whose incarcerated dad has stashed $5 million of the mob’s money. Lucky Battier, mob frontman and Al’s old nemesis, would like a word with young Fizer. He’s ready to use any force necessary.

But another security job is being forced upon Al. Bratty rich gal Exxie Graham’s missing, and her alcoholic, self-consumed parents think it’s foul play. Exxie’s been surfing the Net, cruising the chat rooms and picking up strangers. Now the overdeveloped 14-year-old wants a face to face. Al and crew ride to the rescue, but the Big Bad is only a duped college kid.

While Al and Fizer are pursued by Lucky’s lads, Exxie decides to play another dangerous Net game. This time, crying wolf could get her killed.

As the gumbo starts to bubble, Al’s past trickles in to haunt him: his wife’s murder, his cocaine addiction-held in check for three years and his inability to open up his heart to new love. Forte’s old Creole barber pal, Larue, and former nun-turned-mercenary employee, Jackie, are the only ones who can keep Al from losing his steel resolve.

The action comes on hot and spicy as the serial sniper worms his way into the mix, saving, then shadowing Al from a bullet-riddled Irish Channel mansion to a secret swamp stocked with people-hungry gators. The mob’s missing millions, two kids in peril, several nasty villains and an anti-hero with punishment on his mind are all on Big Al Forte’s dance card. And Death is doing the Cajun two-step.

Glen Allison’s Al Forte series is quick, down and dirty action with a conscience. The author’s Sin City wisdom gives his setting a very “local” flavor. Characters pulse with adrenaline, leaving you wanting more.

JC Patterson Special to The Clarion-Ledger