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The 19th Element (James Becker Suspense/Thriller Series) [Kindle Edition]

John L. Betcher
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.19
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Book Description

USA Today Bestseller 2014.


AMAZON TOP 100 Best Seller

GOLD MEDAL THRILLER – Readers Favorite Book Awards.

"Best Self-Published Book" – Dollycas's Blogspot.

“Rich with intrigue and mind-bending suspense, The 19th Element is a compelling read. Throughout the pages of his enrapturing new political thriller, author John Betcher takes the reader on a nonstop, action-packed ride of true-to-life adventure.” Apex Reviews

“A First Rate Psychological Thriller – Highly Recommended.” Readers Choice Reviews.

“This book is now tied with Harlan Coben's CAUGHT as the best book I have read this year. If you like a riveting, page turner this is definitely a book that should be in you hot little hands today.” Lori Caswell. Amazon Top Reviewer and Book Blogger.

"Betcher writes with intelligence and humor. The 19th Element is an intriguing blend of Robert Parker wit and Vince Flynn action. A fun, exciting read for anyone who enjoys a well-written thriller." Lois Greiman, award-winning author of the Chrissy McMullen mysteries.

“A very realistically portrayed terrorist attack in an unusual setting provided me with a nerve-wrenching adrenalin rush. If you're into suspenseful thrillers, try this one on for size.” Steven Moore for Book Pleasures Reviews.

“John Betcher has written a realistic, page-turning, pulse pounding thriller.” Doug Dorow, Author of The Ninth District.

“The book is a fabulous well-written thriller about nuclear terrorism. . . .In light of the Nuclear Plant disaster in Japan, John's thriller is a timely masterpiece.” Amazon Reviewer.

“The 19th Element is an heart-pounding, pure adrenaline rush. I actually felt exhausted after reading it. This is probably one of the highest compliments that I could ever give. When I get so wrapped up in a book that I feel like I'm the main character, I know that I've read a winner! I loved this book!” Bridget Hopper (KY). Book Blogger and Reviewer.

“The plot takes you right to the nail biting end, hoping that it all works out. You'll have to read for yourself to see what happens. It will be well worth your time. James Patterson move over because John L. Betcher can tell a fantastic story!” Amazon Reviewer.


Terrorists plan to attack Minnesota's Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant, but they’re not your typical band of Islamic extremists. True, there’s an al Qaeda connection. But the heart of the ‘terror cell’ is homegrown, right here in the United States.

James "Beck" Becker is a former elite U.S. government intelligence operative who has retired to his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota – just six miles down the Mississippi from the Prairie River Power Station. He recognizes connections between seemingly unrelated incidents – a murdered agronomy professor, a missing lab assistant, an international cell call, a stolen fertilizer truck, an explosion in the street in front of City Hall – but can't piece the story together in enough detail to convince government authorities that a larger threat exists. Only his American Indian friend, "Bull," will help Beck defuse the threat.

So it's Beck and Bull versus the best terror cell west of the Mississippi.

May the better men win.

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Product Description

About the Author

Amazon Top 100 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. Mr. Betcher has published an award-winning series of "Becker" suspense/thriller novels. The first four are THE 19TH ELEMENT, THE MISSING ELEMENT, THE COVERT ELEMENT, and THE EXILED ELEMENT. He has also authored the award-winning spiritual phenomenon, A HIGHER COURT.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 813 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Self-Published through CreateSpace; Second edition (20 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TXS2VY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #236,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Amazon TOP 100 and Nook TOP 100 Bestselling 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.

Mr. Betcher has published an award-winning series of "Becker" suspense/thriller novels. The first five are THE 19TH ELEMENT, THE MISSING ELEMENT, THE COVERT ELEMENT, THE EXILED ELEMENT, and THE CRITICAL ELEMENT. He has also authored the award-winning spiritual phenomenon, A HIGHER COURT.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Told from the point-of-view of a former elite U.S. military intelligence operative, and the perspective of an Al Qaeda-backed terrorist cell, The 19th Element by John L. Betcher is a first rate psychological thriller that will hook your interest early and keep you reading non-stop until the final page.

Although this is the second release in the series, The 19th Element takes place a few months prior to the author's debut, The Missing Element. James "Beck" Becker has settled into retirement and is attempting to live a normal life, putting his law degree to use with a legal practice in his hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. Not much happens in the small town so when a scientist-professor of agriculture is found murdered and the only suspect, a lab assistant, is missing, Beck takes notice. Beck may be officially retired from government intelligence work, but he cannot ignore his training, experience, or gut reactions. When he discovers that the assistant is Arab he brings his theories to the local police.

Ottawa County's Chief Deputy Sheriff, Doug Gunderson, is somewhat aware of Beck's background and the pair has a friendship that goes back to school days. However, Gunderson is leery about starting a "terrorists in Red Wing panic" based on Beck's gut feelings and little hard evidence. When not one but two fertilizer trucks are hijacked, Beck begins to put the pieces together. He envisions an Oklahoma City-type bombing and the only target worth hitting would be the nearby Prairie River Nuclear Power Plant. Fearing a Chernobyl style meltdown, Beck continues his investigation despite the lack of support from any government agency or Gunderson.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More 'thrill' less 'er' please 7 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
An Al Qaeda terrorist cell plots to attack a nuclear power plant in the US heartland. Only one man, James Becker, can stop disaster happening.

What's the point of a thriller? Well, I guess the clue is in the word itself. Unfortunately there were many issues with The 19th Element from a contrived plot (an Al Qaeda attack on a nuclear power plant?!) that never got out of second gear, to weak characters, and odd dialogue.

First is Becker himself who failed to convince me of his credentials. He's ex-secret service, but then describes himself as wealthy because he invented a new bullet that can kill people at 1.5 miles (great!). He also has an unused degree - this and the money mean he's been able to change profession and still act undercover (although independently of the government) but seems able to call in favours at will, like bringing in two Apache helicopters to take out the bad guys at just the right moment.

The writing isn't bad, it's just overly descriptive and ponderous. It's `tell' instead of `show', observation instead of participation. For example, Becker gets into a fight at one point, it felt like I was watching the process from afar. When Jack Reacher fights, he fights, you feel every punch, every injury, adrenalin pumps. Unfortunately not with Becker. I wanted to put on my pyjamas and go to bed with a hot water bottle.

There were quite a few examples of this over use of tell. Remember the unused degree and new job. From the following, can you guess what Becker does?

'Today was Wednesday and I was at my office. Becker Law Office. James L. Becker, Attorney-at-Law.'

Um, I think he's an attorney? But I could be wrong.

On occasion, there were long, bulleted and descriptive lists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 19th Element 27 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first book in the `James Becker' series by John L Betcher.

Our hero and his wife live in Red Wing, Minnesota. While he occupies his days as an attorney his background, which is only ever hinted at, was as some kind of clandestine military intelligence operative. This `hinting' is quite effective as it allows the author some freedom with the character and the skills he might need to possess for each story.

Beck's wife (also with an intelligence background), his best friend Bull, and local Sherriff Doug Gunderson are the main characters and they are nicely crafted, fitting their surroundings very well.

Some troubled citizens get mixed up with Al Qaeda to get their revenge on a nuclear industry and government they feel has let them down and done them harm. A death and an unexplained explosion make Beck sure that something is going on, and he doesn't think it it going to end well.

My self-imposed rule for series, is to read them in order. In this case I inadvertently read #2 first, then this one, but this did not affect my enjoyment. Having read the two I can say that the feel is the same for both. To me they are thrillers set in a small town, with a very cozy feeling. The Beckers are obviously still very much in love, but not to the point of being distracting. If he needs to go deal with some bad guys, he does it, without angst over the poor woman he had to leave behind. I've read a couple of books recently where this was not the case and those books were ruined for me. They are (mostly) retired spies who periodically need to revive some of their old skills.

This book is a comfortable read, with a hero who has just the right amount of humour.

(I read an ebook edition which I downloaded for free during a promotion)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.
Good thriller, very well written. Kept me interested enough to have to read it completely in one session - no breaks!
Published 6 months ago by ttreen
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I would have liked it to have gone at a faster pace,but it was ok. ...a good read on the whole
Published 12 months ago by Mark
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
What a load of rubbish. Tried to read this twice without success.
Please don't publish anything like this again, thank you.
Published 16 months ago by Ian
3.0 out of 5 stars nice easy read
This is a pleasant, undemanding read where the forces of law and order defeat the evil terrorists. Phrases like "The Great Satan" and the word "Infidel" get a bit overused but if... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scheissefuergehirn
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleased when I'd finished it.
Don't read this book unless, unlike me, you have a great interest in chemistry. Some of the interaction between characters was quite entertaining but I skipped a great deal of the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jan O
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and good solid story
I wasn't sure what to expect but felt it was a well written story with a good storyline. I enjoyed it!
Published on 17 July 2013 by Wendright
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
A thriller set in America about a terrorist plot to blow up a nuclear power plant.

Whilst the author has chosen to use the villains of today, al-Qaeda, they could be... Read more
Published on 8 Aug. 2012 by curly_helmar
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping thriller
Really caught my attention, couldn't wait till the next chapter, plausible storyline, good characters, and well written - well worth the read.
Published on 25 Mar. 2012 by Evie
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