Friday, May 14, 2010

My take on: The Missing Element

James "Beck" Becker and his wife Elizabeth (Beth) return to his childhood home in Red Wing, Minnesota to enjoy a quiet life. They try to settle into small-town life after years of working on secret government operations. All that is about to change when computer nerd Katherine Whitson is kidnapped from her luxury apartment.

Upon first glance, it's assumed Katherine is just a woman who got tired of living with her obsessive compulsive husband, George. But her husband and friends refuse to believe that. Beck is drawn into the mix by his friend and cop Gunner. The most obvious suspect, George, is man with a secret. Could Katherine have done something that set off her husband? Did she discover George's secret? Or was it a jealous co-worker at Katherine's office ComDyne? Maybe Katherine was working on something that got her trouble? With help from his "computer goddess" wife and enforcer friend Bull, Beck sets off to explore the complex world of computer technology.

The Missing Element by John L. Betcher is a fast-paced, tightly written mystery novel filled with lively characters. The husband and wife dynamic between Beck and Beth is a source of much comic relief. Regardless of the stress of the day, they can still sit down to a glass of wine and mock each other. Beck's friend Bull is a man of a few words, but you just know he doesn't take any crap. He's a character who wants to get right to the point, and do away with all the nonsense. With just a look or a gesture, you know what Bull is thinking.

Just reading the blurb on the book, I initially got a little scared off. A book where computer technology plays a big part seemed daunting. I'm not very savvy in that area. But, Betcher's writing style makes it very easy to follow. If you're a mystery fan, sit down and get to know James "Beck" Becker.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Being a geek, the computer aspect makes the book sound more interesting to me. I will have to track it down and review it on my blog. Also nice interview above the review.

  2. If computers are your thing give it a try. Thanks for stopping by!