The Terrorists have found a new desert.
A powerful cartel family, a world-class assassin, and a mobile terrorist insurgency set the stage for the most dangerous political power struggle to ever threaten national security. Caught in the crossfire as our nation’s only line of defense is seasoned Texas Ranger Byron Vogt. After he had faced down his fair share of terrorists, domestic and foreign alike, Ranger Vogt’s new assignment is his most dangerous yet and will take him to the front lines of national defense as the nation looms ever closer to the brink of disaster. Faced against some of the world’s most dangerous criminals, Ranger Vogt must circumvent the overwhelming power of the drug trade, outwit one of the world’s most devious assassins and head off a terrorist plot that hits way too close to home.
Reviews for CROSS REFERENCE: A BRYON VOGT NOVEL by Roger King
1. This book by Roger King was great. I was completely engaged in from the action-packed opening pages and enjoyed the personality of the different characters (good and bad) and King’s attention to detail on all fronts, from military to terrorism to the various locations and different countries and historical elements. We feel transported not only into Vogt’s unique and interesting life, but his experiences and it is fascinating to watch the dynamic unfold with him and other characters, especially De Anza and Aeron (and the others). I thought that overall the book. I did wonder on occasion where the story was going, it was interesting to see how it all tied together in the end, which I thought was very good. This story has lots of thrills and action, but also touches on the sentimental and emotional at times. Personally I think that Aeron should get her own book next! Recommend for older readers and for fans of thrillers/suspense
(4.5 stars) Layla Messing— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
2. “Cross Reference” is the follow up book to Insurrection Day -- “Affirmative Action”, another novel by Roger King that I read and enjoyed, and although this one has some same characters it is a complete standalone and can be read on its own (although the first is quite good – check it out!!) Really liked this one as well. Each scene was engaging and flowed smoothly from one to the next… never a “dull part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead… in fact almost the opposite with the various interweaving plotlines and going from one character and crazy event to the next. The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with the author’s word choice… vivid and powerful with a nice literary slant, and while I do think at times some of the dialogue and conversations weren’t really necessary—more chit-chat that did little to advance the plot or the tension— it was authentic and real. And even though the book is written in third-person, I felt like I was genuinely inside each character’s head experiencing the world through his/her eyes, for better or worse. Really liked the scenes with DeAnza and liked the character development with Carla and Aeron. I thought the ending seemed a little abrupt, but I liked how it all worked out. I would definitely read more from Roger King in the future as he has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and bringing memorable characters to life in an unpredictable and engaging way.
(5 stars) Cody Brighton— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
3. Just like the first book I read from this author Insurrection Day, (Affirmative Action) I really enjoyed this book, “Cross Reference” by Roger King. I thought it was well written with great characters and plotlines. But it kept my attention from the intriguing opening to the satisfying ending. It is not a fast read by any stretch, nor should it be. There are too many important events and experiences here to gloss over so the author takes his time in carefully developing the various storylines so that we the readers are thoroughly invested the whole way through. I liked Mr. King’s imagination and vision as he brought these amazing characters to life in a thrilling, unpredictable and authentic way, and found myself completely lost in this world he recanted night after night. Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book, and I just hope that there is another one coming soon. Recommend to fans of thrillers/suspense/political terrorism or anyone who just enjoys an entertaining, well-written story with lots of action and you actually feel like you are a part of the story unfolding.
(4 stars) Cam Jones— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
4. This book “Cross Reference” by Roger King seems to have something of everything… seriously. Action, thrills, drama, suspense, treasures, bioterrorism, romance, and shocking twists… but I was impressed by the seamless narrative transitions and the way that we are able to experience the story through so many different perspectives without it feeling “head-hopping” (my pet peeve!), and while I’m not usually a fan of having so many characters come and go without much grounding or context, it didn’t bother me here much as I enjoyed Mr. King’s careful narrative construct and the way that they all did a decent job of progressing the storyline. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to, as there was never a good place to just “stop”. This is good too. This book will have wide ranging appeal, although due to some adult subject matter and language it’s best suited for mature readers. I can see fans of Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn and Dan Brown gobbling it up.
(5 stars) Megan King— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
5. I really liked the first book I read by Roger King, “Affirmative Action”, and I was happy to read his latest effort “Cross Reference” – a story that is in the same vein as the first, but completely stands on its own merit. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing (which was pretty hard as this is quite a long book!). It was all I could do though not to rush it… this isn’t a ‘quick-easy beach read” by any stretch, but more like something you sink back with for a while and let it take over your soul and get totally lost in for a while. I enjoyed Roger King’s literary “voice” and style of writing—very energetic and quick paced, with authentic character dialogue that progressed the plot without all the “telling” narrative prose so many authors make the mistake of doing. The interweaving plotlines were intelligently thought out and constructed in an organic and rational manner (even when being a bit crazy!) and (most of) the characters were all genuine and interesting in their own right (love Aeron) and well-written, and I have to commend the author on the way that he managed to tell not only a great story, but did so in a way that I didn’t feel like I’ve read the story a million times before. I’d love to read more from him in the future! Highly recommend to fans of suspense thrillers with a political/terrorism angle.
(5 stars) Laura Clarke— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
6. I have somewhat mixed feelings on this novel, “Cross Reference” by Roger King. On one hand it is powerfully written with some of the most interesting and compelling characters and storylines I’ve read in a long time, and I liked how each of them had their own unique set of circumstances and I loved the ‘bad’ characters the most (they were just so interesting!!). But on the other, at times I felt almost like this book was too much at once, and seemed to lose focus of the arc and kept going off in different directions. I feel like it would have been better if it were shorter and more focused, and had higher stakes throughout. Too many long stretches where everything just felt too ‘safe’ and it was hard to get all that invested emotionally. But that is just my opinion, other people may disagree. There isn’t much tension throughout, even though there are moments of conflict, overall, it just felt like it was telling us a story that we are on the outside looking in at, and I like to feel more a part of it. But it is a great story, with lots of unexpected twists and some great characters who feel fresh and well developed and I can see people liking it. It just needs some work in my opinion. (3 stars) Stephan Beacher— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
7. “Cross reference” is definitely a compelling, unforgettable read, and one that will appeal to a wide variety of readers due to its far-reaching and relevant plotlines. I always worry that with these types of books I’ll have to suspend my disbelief and go along with the flow for the sake of fiction entertainment, but not here. It actually felt like something that could happen…and the characters were so flawed it made them more believable, more human, if you will. Nothing I hate more than perfect leads! (Boring!) The story itself was fairly even-paced, but I thought the beginning was a bit slow personally (after the exciting opening and first chapter) but then it picked up and flowed well. One thing I particularly liked was how we see the bigger picture by getting all different angles of the story from various character perspectives as it plays out, and while not every character was as fully-realized as I’d prefer, we feel like we are a part of this crazy ride, and we never quite know what is around the corner. I didn’t like the ending as much as would have hoped – felt a bit anti-climactic after all that had happened, but it was very sweet. I recommend for fans of action/thriller fiction with a political element. This is the second book I’ve read from this author and hope there will be more in the future!
(4 stars) Gillian Hancock— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
8. This was an action-packed whirlwind that I was not expecting! Love these characters, and even though it did take me some time to feel really invested, by about 25% of the way in I was pretty hooked. There is a wide supporting cast and I enjoyed watching the relationships develop (and dissolve) along the way, and see how it all is connected, even in ways that we don’t initially suspect. There are several interweaving plotlines always at play here, from drug cartels, hidden treasure, to kidnapping, terrorism and romance, and it definitely kept me interested to see it through to the end. Fast paced with a tight narrative prose. Recommend for mature readers due to some adult subject matter.
(3 stars) Annabella Johnson— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
9. I’m not sure how to even describe this book by Roger King as SO much happens, and it seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects. Smooth pacing, plenty of action, and amazing characters/personalities, along with true, real-life issues and political/terrorist drama (even if it’s fiction) makes this a definite winner in my eyes. The conversations with the characters were natural and flowed well, even though at times I did grow a bit weary of the punctuation errors and the block formatting – once I got used to it I forgot it was even like that. But there is definitely more to this book than just meets the eye… had a lot more depth than I was expecting, I think that you need to take your time while reading it to really grasp everything the author is saying, as it will require some deeper thought and reasoning, and might even change your perspective on some things and these are some of the more interesting characters I’ve encountered lately. Very easy reading, (even for covering heavy and brutal subject matter at times) and I would certainly recommend to fans of thrillers/ action fiction.
(4 stars) April Dawn— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
10. Trust me when I say you’ve never read anything like this before! It’s not a fast and easy read by any stretch, but it will take you through whole different lives and experiences that you’ve never thought of before. I felt a connection with each of these characters that I didn’t expect, and I thought the author’s narrative prose was great, the way he brought the scenes to life, and the attention to the personalities and the scenes details that gave this story genuine authenticity as well as telling a complex and riveting story that was both unpredictable and entertaining and intelligently constructed. I must say that I thought the editing could be cleaner, but it didn’t ruin the overall experience for me. I hope that King continues writing with these characters as Vogt is a great hero to root for, but I also was surprised at how complex and layered Aeron was as well and I’d love to read more about her. Oh and I liked that the General was a woman. Just saying.
(4 stars) Elizabeth Brown— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
11. “Cross Reference” is one of the more interesting and unusual series I’ve read in a long time. The author Roger King pulls us in to the story right from the beginning pages, quickly refreshes us on the events from book 1, “Affirmative Action”, (which should also be read in my opinion) and skillfully narrates a wide-ranging storyline full of complex and deeply emotional and high stakes issues that are frighteningly true to life. In my opinion it really is the characters who made this story so good, each so original and conflicted in their own way, and we pull for them throughout their personal journeys. Bryon is a great lead, and Doc, Aeron, deAnza, Carla, and all the others… they all add depth to the story as well and it is so interesting to see this all unfold through everyone’s eyes. Makes you wonder what is really happening in certain parts of the world and the length some people will go to get what they want. Evil is real and it is everywhere. A memorable read and a keeper for sure. Recommend for mature fans of political and suspense thrillers. It has adult themes and scenes, but nothing too graphic.
(5 stars) Essie Harmon— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
12. I admit I had no real expectations when starting this series by Roger King when I read the first book Insurrecting Day “Affirmative Action”, seeing as how I’d never read the author before and the description felt a bit generic to me. But I ended up enjoying it more than I expected, so I was happy to read the follow-up, “Affirmative Action’, and I think I actually liked the second more than the first! (although this is not a true sequel, just written in the same universe. One needn’t had read the first in order to understand this storyline). I was so immersed in this book and impressed with the level of detailing on almost every single aspect. A lesser author would have glossed over some of these scenes that Mr. King carefully and masterfully brought to life in a memorable way. And the characters… Loved them all! (even the ones I didn’t like!) Felt like a got a great dose of harsh reality and the darker side of life and human nature, and how different beliefs, ideologies can clash in ways that are detrimental to the safety of everyone. Love the whole ‘good guy/bad guys thing, and liked that even the ‘bad guy (girl)’ can be good! Interesting and complex with social commentary that is not for the easily offended or faint of heart. Very easy to read, with great pacing and narrative. Recommend for adults.
(5 stars) John Goldman— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
13. When I read books, usually I either like the plot, but the narrative seems flat (or too telling and long-winded) or the prose is good, but the storylines (or characters) seem contrived and stale. But I loved how seamlessly everything flowed in “Cross Reference” by Roger King with the nice balance between the two as this made it feel authentic and well- paced, making it hard to stop reading at any one particular point. It had it all and was more intelligent with a deeper worldview and encompassing many elements and subjects (well-researched I might add) than I expected, but also definitely raw and real and gritty…. King did a terrific job of taking us on an unforgettable and shocking rollercoaster ride on several characters’ live that I won’t soon forget, and I am genuinely glad I read this book. Ready for book #3 from Roger King!
(4-5 stars) Brenda Maxwell— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
14. Overall I thought “Cross Reference” was an enjoyable book and a solid continuation of the story world that began in the first book of this series, “Affirmative Action”. It does take a lot to really impress me these days, but there were at least several times in this book that I was caught off guard and surprised or moved by what happened. Although some parts were a bit slow, and there were occasions of the narrator ‘telling’ us what a character was thinking or feeling (or his/her motivations), but overall, it was still an engaging page turner with action, high stakes drama (terrorist and personal), and even a little (unexpected) romance. Even though I’m not a terrorism plot fan that storyline totally works here, so if you aren’t either don’t worry, you will still like it. A few minor pacing issues, and some scenes could have used more focus (I’d wonder what the point was), but overall, a captivating and unexpected experience that (mature) fans of thrillers and action-suspense will definitely enjoy.
(4 stars) Sherrie Warner— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
15. This was a totally unexpected delight for me, to be honest from the description I was a little confused just what to expect, but I was intrigued by the quality writing sample and decided to dive right in and see where the story took us (I was especially intrigued by that prologue/first chapter). Well, I wasn’t disappointed at all, in fact I think that “Cross Reference” is one of the more interesting and addicting and easy-to-read books I’ve read in a while. I like how it felt like we were so involved in the story from the beginning, and whomever is telling the story, whether it is Bryon or Aeron or Shoes or Doc Bull or another character, we see what he/she sees, feel what he/she feels. I thought I’d be at a disadvantage because I hadn’t read the first book, and while I certainly want to read it now to catch up on more backstory of the character, You can totally read this one on its own perfectly. Liked how King writes very descriptively and with great passion and authenticity. I kept wondering how it would all wrap up, but it totally did, and was a satisfying ending. Would like to read more from Roger King in the future, and I’ll definitely be reading the other book in this series, “Affirmative Action”. Recommend.
(4.5 stars) Corey Banyan— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
16. I really enjoyed Roger King’s second book, “Cross Reference” He has captured several slices of what feels like a raw, realistic life (for better or worse) with wonderful, well-researched details and unforgettable, high stakes drama starring some really incredible characters. But what I loved most about the book was seeing what they do in moments of great challenge or adversity. Do they rise to the occasion or fail? Are they heroes or cowards? Are they loyal to the people they love most or do they betray them? You never quite know exactly who to trust or what is going on – almost feels like the rug can be slipped out from beneath you at any time, and believe me it does! The characters are all unique and interesting, with great depth and development along the way as well. Mr. King tells this enticing story with finesse and great passion and you can tell he knows his characters and subjects well. It’s hard to read through to the end and remain unaffected in some way, as it seems like these are things that could really happen in the ‘real world’. A definite recommended read, and I eagerly look forward to the next one!
(5 stars) Jason Thackery— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
17. Roger King put a lot of heart and time and effort into this story and it shows. He has a wonderful way with words; his descriptions are vivid; you are there with the characters…I felt like I was experiencing what they were; fear, deprivation, confusion, joy, heartbreak, happiness, etc. I found the book very hard to put down, as I had to know what the outcome for each of these characters would be. Each time I did have to stop reading, I found myself thinking and pondering on what I had read, and what might happen next. This is an excellent book; it makes you feel, it makes you think, and it makes you grateful for what you have, worried what COULD happen, yet is never predictable and will keep you guessing right up til the end. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to adult readers of suspenseful action and political thrillers. A great experience!
(4.5 stars) Darla Ortiz— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
18. I thought “Cross Reference” by Roger King to be very good—excellent writing and a compelling, realistic, frightening plot set against a familiar background. I like the fact that it is a fully-realized political thriller, action adventure without all the bloat that can sometimes weigh down a complex book like this one. King fills you in as we go without getting bogged down in describing every last thing, but still maintains great character and plot integrity. The story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into King’s strong narrative, and liked the way the dialogue sounded authentic and natural. And I haven't even begun to talk about the characters, which were fully fleshed out and move the story forward nicely. Some similar themes and motifs found in political thriller/suspense lore, but King does a fantastic job of putting his own unique spin on them. Recommend for mature fans of action/thrillers with a realistic angle.
(5 stars) Cale Owens— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
19. There is much to be said about a novel that just reads well. I've mentioned this before in other reviews I’ve written, but a book that keeps you reading long after you plan on putting it down ranks high for me. Not only is it entertaining, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down. That is what reading this book “Cross Reference” has done for me. Typical of much of the political fiction I’ve read, it has much in the way of grittiness and high-stakes political maneuverings, yet it remains inventive. With twists and turns, you won't know who… or what… to believe and trust. The plot moved quickly and even though some traditional thriller archetypes show up, it is not in the usual way, which is refreshing. There only a few parts where I was confused but really nothing that hindered my enjoyment any. A very strong effort by Roger King, and I will be looking forward to reading more from him in the future. Recommend for adult readers of terrorist-thrillers/action/adventure.
(4 stars) James Masters— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
20. “Cross Reference” by Roger King is a great piece of action-political-suspense-thriller fiction no one should miss reading if they are looking for an adventurous, entertaining read that has high tension and an unpredictable, yet believable, plot… If you're looking for a work that is completely original and lacking in cliché then I must say that you might have a bone to pick with this, as there were many ‘familiar’ elements that made me almost feel at times that I had read it before (I haven’t). But I believe the author's job is not to be completely original (for is there such a thing as true originality, especially in the political adventure game?) here but rather to tell a powerful, authentic story that stays with you. For I believe that the true future for the genre lies not in becoming ‘newer’ but rather by taking old tropes and telling them better. This is done nicely here and I am impressed with the way that Roger King can tell a story in his own way with characters that we love, or love to hate. I looked forward to my reading time each evening and was a bit disappointed when it was over. This appears to be a standalone novel featuring characters from another earlier novel, and I will be interested in checking that one out as well. (4 stars). Steph Coleman — Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
21. Well worth the read! There is a lot to like about this book, great action, cool tech, weapons, authentic military/terrorist combat and action, and an awesome story with lots of shady characters. I did think the beginning felt a bit too slow for my tastes with not enough conflict to really hook me until I was about 20% or so in – but after that I didn’t want to put the kindle down. Vogt is a great hero, and the content is very authentic. It is clear the author is well-versed in political terrorism/international background and understands global tensions and strife. Overall I do highly recommend this book, it is by no means breaking new ground but if you enjoy action and adventure, it is well worth the read. The ending wraps everything up well and this appears to be a standalone novel but if Roger King writes any more like this in the future, I’d be happy to read it! Recommend. (4-5 stars) Leo Gregory— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
22. I definitely enjoyed this book. I’m not exactly sure how you would describe it (Suspense? Action? Thriller? Drama? Romance? All the above??), but it was very good. I won’t rehash the plot, but in my opinion this is one of those books that really is so much more than what the description or a short review can convey. It was surprisingly complex and visionary and managed to keep me complete engaged from the beginning to the end. I noticed that King avoided the common mistake of “telling” instead of “showing” which was a huge relief (especially in this genre where authors so often feel the need to ‘describe’ everything to death), and I felt a part of the action the entire time, starting with the opening pages where we get right to it. He wastes no time setting the tone for the rest of the book with believable narrative and dialogue with the characters. In addition, King does an amazing job with the believable world-building and for the most part the pacing was spot on and kept me engaged throughout. Was surprised at a few things, and the ending was perfect, and fortunately no cliffhanger! Recommend to readers of thrillers, action and drama. Has some adult content and themes.
(5 stars) Darlene Cupp— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
23. “Cross Reference” is wonderful book in which Roger King sweeps the reader away into a multitude of unforgettable experiences and high stakes cat and mouse games on a large, international scale, and with deadly results. He also has the ability to keep the reader totally engaged throughout the entire story, and that is no small feat considering the various of multi layered plotlines, diverse set of characters that come and go, and wildly fluctuating scenery and events and even time periods (occasionally)... You want to keep reading it but at the same time you have to stop to think about it all and let it sink in as it is incredibly intense and disturbing in the subject matter at certain points, and heartwarming and charming at other times, and downright shocking in others. The ending is nice – a bit quick, almost rushed it seemed. I did notice many instances of punctuation errors, but nothing that ruined the book for me. Although I was sad when it was all over, I’d love to read more from Mr. King someday, and I’m happy to see he has another similar book out. Great characters… great writing… great storylines. Fantastic!
(5 stars) Nicole Hastings— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
24. I personally think that “Cross Reference” would make an excellent book club choice as there are just so many topics we can talk about and dissect deeper. There are so many different angles and subjects to talk about, and not even mentioning the dynamic characters who bring the book to life in a believable way. I liked that we are able to really able to delve deeper onto the different characters perspectives and their various backgrounds and motivations for doing what they do – even the bad ones have a real ‘human’ quality to them which is crucial in developing a believable storyline. Everyone has reasons for doing what they do. At times it seems so crazy and dramatic, other times so ‘downhome’ and relatable…The pacing could have used some tightening, I thought and at times I questioned the focus, what the real focus was. Some scenes just seemed unnecessary, like fluff just telling us about incidents that didn’t seem to progress the plot much. But there were some amazing events unfolding that were just mesmerizing and made the book that more impactful. I love discovering new authors, and Roger King will certainly be one to watch! A great choice for fans of political thrillers and suspense. (4 stars) Jhonni Parker— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
25. I LOVE to read but live a hugely busy life. It gets more complicated upon that rare occasion when a book is so captivating, so enthralling, that it is impossible to walk away. With only definitive hours in a day, something has to give. For me, that was sleep! And it was worth every sacrificed minute. “Cross Reference” was the grand slam home run and exceeded my wildest expectations and I would bet, maybe yours, as well. It reads almost like a sweeping poli/terrorist thriller with carefully executed drama that feels ripped from real life, but in an almost unbelievable way. The events that happen are shocking, yet believable, and the characters are drawn in such a way, warts and all, that their humanity comes through, and we sympathize, even when they are not so nice, right up to the shocking climatic conclusion. A must read. Adults only.
(5 stars) Karen Matthews— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
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