Item description for Blood Lines (Military NCIS V3) (Not Available-Out by Mel Odom...
Overview When NCIS team member Shel McHenry discovers that his father is missing, he turns to Commander Will Coburn and the NCIS team. Their investigation takes them to Vietnam, where the team discovers a drug ring that has existed for more than 40 years.
Publishers Description Commander Will Coburn's NCIS team is investigating the carjacking and assault of a young Marine and his wife. All evidence points to Bobby Lee Gant, son of the notorious criminal and suspected international drug smuggler Victor Gant. When NCIS agent Shel McHenry is wounded during a botched arrest, the team rallies around him even as Victor threatens retribution. Meanwhile, in west Texas, Shel's father, Tyrel McHenry, struggles with his own demons as buried secrets from a war long since fought come to light. The path he chooses will change his--and Shel's--life forever.
Citations And Professional Reviews Blood Lines (Military NCIS V3) (Not Available-Out by Mel Odom has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 12/08/2008 page 19
Romantic Times - 02/01/2009 page 60
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Studio: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Dec 22, 2008
Publisher Tyndale House Publishers
Series Military NCIS
Series Number 3
ISBN 1414316356 ISBN13 9781414316352 UPC 031809116357
Availability 0 units.
More About Mel Odom
Mel Odom lives in Oklahoma with his wife and children. He's written dozens of novels in a variety of fields and many based on popular television shows and role-playing games. He currently teaches in the Professional Writing program at the University of Oklahoma.
Mel Odom currently resides in Moore, in the state of Oklahoma. Mel Odom was born in 1950.
Mel Odom has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Blood Lines (Military NCIS V3) (Not Available-Out?
Blood Lines, NCIS #3 Sep 10, 2009
Perfect for : Personal reading, Adventure/Suspense fans, Fans of NCIS and CSI should really enjoy this book
In a nutshell: This is a great book for action and suspense fans. The story will keep your interest from start to finish. This is the last book in the NCIS series (dare we hope for another similar series?). The main character is Shel McHenry, who is investigating a carjacking and assault. He becomes the target of Victor Gant, a hardened criminal, when an arrest goes bad and Victor's son is killed. Throughout the story, Shel discovers that there are some skeleton's in the family closet, and his relationship with his father may never be the same! While it is listed as Fiction/Christian/General, the Christian values are not preached or forced on the reader, rather they are very subtle and help to support the storyline. Loved it!
Extended Review: Characters: I did not want this story to end. The characters come to life, and Shel and his father develop very nicely through the course of the book. I thought Tyrel was very rough around the edges and strange for a father, but it made the story that much better! My only pet peeve is that I don't know too many adults who still call their parents Mommy or Daddy - it's either Mom or Dad, so occasionally it bothered me that Shel called is father Daddy pretty consistently, but hey - ultimately it added to the charm of the family.
Story-Line: Fast-paced with a few twists at key moments. I found myself holding my breath in a few places.
Readability: The 62 chapters (don't let that scare you!) and epilogue help to create an easy transition between scenes in the book. The book was easy to read, and the author did a good job of explaining technical things throughout the book.
Overall: A great book to keep your attention - I loved the change of pace and the resolution of the story!
"Tell him for me that if he don't believe in God now, he should start real soon" May 7, 2009
The third NCIS book by Mel Odom was a must have for me, particularly after the last two wonderful books. Shel has always had a tough relationship with his aloof father. But things are about to get much worse when Shel kills Bobby Lee, the son of Victor Gant, a former Vietnam soldier and leader of a drug-slinging gang, the Purple Royals. Now, the NCIS team must gather enough evidence to keep Shel from Victor's vengeance and put Victor away for good. Meanwhile, Shel is about to learn what his father, Tyrel, has been keeping from him and how it relates to Victor
What I Liked: This is a different story than the previous two entries. It is a far more personal book, which is surprising as the last two were very personal as well (the first dealing with Will and his relationship to his wife and kids and the second dealing with Nita's family drama). In this book, however, there is no mystery to who the killer is. The mystery is instead: what is Tyrel hiding that makes Victor threaten him? Will Shel and his father reunite? And will Victor Gant get his vengeance? A very interesting twist and definitely keeps the reader from being bored with the same procedural/whodunnit. I liked how Odom set much of the story in Texas and got away from the East Coast. I love the East Coast and all, but it's always nice for our NCIS team to get away and investigate other areas of the country. Also, I enjoyed the flashbacks, how the viewpoint switched to the past for the appropriate sections. That was much more effective than a long, boring story that Tyrel tells his son (or that McGowen tells Maggie and Remy). In fact, the whole scene: Tyrel telling Shel, McGowen telling Maggie and Remy, and the switching to the past was a well done move, balancing between how the characters are behaving present day while still getting the action and visceral pain of the past. A smart move on Odom's part. My favorite character was by far Victor Gant. Although he is terrible at actually causing harm to anyone in this book (and he was so good in Vietname??), he is an interesting character. I liked his Vietnam history, his affinity to his son, and his stubbornness. I found myself eagerly anticipating his sections and was rooting for HIM at the end, oddly enough. Also, the father-son reuniting scene at the end was very touching.
What I Did Not Like: The first thing I noticed about this book that makes it so much different than its predecessors is that it is incredibly slow! In the past two books, the key incident happens early on and avalanches, the suspense and intrigue building on each page. But in Bloodlines, I felt that things drug on forever. A lot of time is spent on hinting at things, dragging it out so that it stops being interesting and just becomes frustrating. For example, it takes Tyrel an eternity to divulge this big secret that he's been holding for 40 years (basically the entire book, as he only drops bread crumbs about it throughout, which is terribly annoying). By the time he does reveal it, I couldn't help but think, "And this is what I spent 100+ pages waiting for???" Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy suspense, but this whole plot point to me was much less about suspense and more about dragging it out, and that drove me nuts. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to yell, "Just tell me already what the big deal is! Enough of this drippy melodrama!" But the whole book is melodrama, really. I feel everyone acts so dramatic about things that just don't feel that way to me. Shel mopes and gropes about his daddy (what adult male not living at home calls his father "daddy" anyway?) being aloof with him throughout the whole book. I swear each time his viewpoint appears, at least one page has to deal with recounting how isolated he feels from his father, how much like his dad he is, and agonizing over Victor Grant's threat about his "daddy" (even in the middle of an action sequence!!). Don isn't much better. He wangsts about how little like his dad he is, how stubborn Tyrel and Shel are, how his daddy was mean to him, and if it is possible to lie (what the hell?? Aren't we breaking some commandments here??) about his father's involvement in Dennis' murder. And then Tyrel still wangsts about the crimes he committed in the past, suddenly wallowing his sorrows in alcohol, throwing a big pity party because he's a crappy father, husband, and grandfather. You know, I like conflict. And family conflict can be done well. But it seems whenever these guys are shown, they have to spend all this time recounting their sorrows and whining about them. Let's grow up, guys. Let's stop being PMSing women and be men. I know this is a tough situation, that some bad stuff happened, but isn't this supposed to be about getting a bad guy, not "Days of Our Lives" or "Dallas" or something? Wangst on your own time! We got a killer out on the loose! What makes it REALLY bad is when we finally learn the story of what happens in Vietnam (summary for those who don't want it spoiled: it was pathetic).
SPOILER: A drunk Tyrel let Victor drag him out into the jungle so that Victor could get his drugs, which he was handling at the time. Tyrel sees what he believes is "Charlie" and shoots...only to find out it was Dennis instead. Later we find out that Dennis was trying to bust Victor's drug op and was killed by Victor, not Tyrel. What upsets me is that a man spends FORTY years anguishing over a friendly fire casualty that we end up learning he didn't do ANYWAY. What a friggin' WASTE of reader involvement and time! He pushes away his wife (and how the heck did she spend half that time with the beast?), his kids, his friends, all because he thinks he accidentally shot someone--and someone he really didn't know that great (it never sounded like Dennis was a high school friend or anything). Now, I do understand that the military is different, that lying destroys a person, that seeing someone die is horrible (though I've never experienced it), and that fear of repercussions is a good motivation, but I found it overdrawn and pathetic. Why did Odom have this big build up, all this wangst and drama, which lead me, as the reader, to believe that Tyrel acted out of malice, anger, hatred, greed, whatever, and then heap Tyrel with this accidental murder that he ends up being vindicated of anyway? All it does is make me very mad; mad I invested so much and then be told that it was all a lie! Instead of drawing me closer to Tyrel, it does the complete opposite. END OF SPOILER
Related to the last two is how little time is spent on actually doing anything. There is no reason or rhyme for why much of what happens happens. It's like Will and his team are tripping through this without any idea how to proceed. Do they put out warrants for this guy's arrest? Try to hunt him down? Try to tap phone lines or whatever you do to find a criminal? No. And when Victor threatens Shel's family, they stand around like idiots, not sure why Shel is leaving and making a big deal about it. Look, guys, Shel said Victor threatened his family. Wouldn't that be enough for him to want to leave? Don't make a bigger deal out of this than it is. It's almost as if they had so little to analyze, that they decided to over-analyze this trivial action. Lame. And about the team...or should I say, lack thereof. This book doesn't involve all the members working as a unit...not at least until the last half. No, it's about Shel. The other members are thrown about whenever they are needed. Now, I'm not saying that Odom should have forced people where they don't belong. But don't write a book called "NCIS" when it deals with only one team member. At least make an attempt to integrate the whole team. Don't have them fade into the background of non-existence. Nit Pick Section 1.A five month pregnant woman does not just barely show her pregnancy, particularly if she is thin. I have a thin, tall friend that is four months pregnant and you can see she has a belly. 2.Don going NCIS based on cop/western TV shows doesn't work in the real world. TV is NOT reality, and the things they do on it are often done for suspense, not because it actually works. 3.It is amazing how a short stint in a war forty years ago remains with a rancher enough that he can outwit men half his age. And this line, "since the place is his and he knows every inch of it, he might have killed them all." Number one, what is with Shel's immense pride as his father's ability to kill NOW (Tyrel is a fugitive, even if Gant's team are the bad guys)? And I don't care how well he knows the farm. If I get up at night, I will still run into walls and I've lived in this house for almost 11 years! 4.How does a 70+ year old man able to hold his own against a young Marine? The fist fight between Tyrel and Shel just got to be ludicrous after a while. 5.Why does Odom bother including Max when the poor dog is always being told to stand in a corner out of the fight? 6.Isn't Shel the least bit concerned about the SUV rental being destroyed? I wouldn't be surprised if the rental company never lets him rent from them again. 7.How many times does Don have to act surprised that his father might have murdered someone? We got it the first ten times, thank you, Mr. Brilliant! 8.When did Tyrel create this supposed "new identity" he would take up? 9.Another issue I find funny in a way it was not meant to be was how Remy and Shel singlehandedly can kill 5 out of 10 guys on motorcycles and come out unscathed. Who needs Superman? These guys are the Terminator! Seriously, no injuries, no near misses? What's up with that? 10.Let's just call it like we see it: Tyrel is a Marty Stu. He has committed a supposed wrong, but really, it wasn't his fault. He fights as well as a man half his age and can kill three people in the dark, one of whom he shot while bareback riding a horse out of a barn. He is grumpy and aloof, to protect people. 11.Halfway through the book, the whole FBI drug case drops off the face of the planet. 12.Section breaks, particularly at the beginning, are really strange. Typically, at a new point of view or chapter, there is a three to four line setting: Location, State, Time. Well, in the beginning, you could easily find one of those and a few pages later see only a change in time (like 5 minutes) and no change in scenery or point of view. It was confusing and distracting. 13.I have a hard time believing Vietnam would ever let armed Americans into their country especially for something as trivial as retrieving the body of a forty year old soldier. 14.Sort of brought up earlier, Don being gung-ho about lying about his dad killing Dennis. Aren't you a pastor???
Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence: One of the great things about Odom is that he alludes to swearing without feeling the need to litter his books with crass words. And he does this perfectly (though they make a huge big deal out of Shel swearing, which I could never quite feel). Victor goes to bars and clubs containing scantily clad female dancers. Bobby Lee's girlfriend is pregnant. Bobby Lee shoots the owner of a tattoo parlor and is shot twice in the face by Shel. A deputy is shot. Five members of a motorcycle gang that tries to go after Shel end up dead.
Overall: In order to fully enjoy this book, I'll summarize the first part so you can skip the wangst and move on to the second part (starting about page 252): Shel kills Bobby Lee Gant, Victor Gant's son. Victor Gant gets mad and seeks revenge. He finds out Shel is the son of Tyrel McHenry. He threatens Tyrel. Shel goes back to confront Tyrel, see if Victor's claims are true. There! Now, you can get to the rest of it. Not that there is really much redeeming in the second half anyway... At first, I felt really disheartened at Blood Evidence, with Nita's wangsting, but was won back at the touching reunion she had with her mom. I am sorry to say, that this book has no redeeming scene, no winning, emotional faceoff that keeps this book out of the gutter. All I see are a family blowing a forty year old incident--which turns out to be as pathetic and disappointing as the rest of this book--out of proportion. The team investigation is almost nonexistent, the action blasé, the plot plodding, and one of the primary characters a Marty Stu. I shudder at doing this, but I feel I must: two out of five.
Brought to you by *C.S. Light*
Great Series-Hope there will be more!! Mar 31, 2009
Great Series---wonderful reading! I like not having bad language and sex in the mysteries I read! PLEASE WRITE MORE IN THIS SERIES!!!!
Great action with a strong faith element Feb 5, 2009
Marine Gunnery Sergeant Shel McHenry becomes a target when he's forced to kill the man he is sent to arrest--a gang member who hijacked another marine's car and left him permanently disabled. The dead man's father, Victor Gant, a Viet Nam veteran who now runs a drug dealing operation, might not have been the best father in the world, but he certainly doesn't intend to keep breathing the same air as the man who killed his son.
Shel's danger expands when Victor threatens his family--and tells him that Shel's father, also a Viet Nam veteran, murdered another solider in Viet Nam. Shel is forced to confront the one thing he's been running from his whole life--the harsh relationship he has with his own father.
The conflict between Shel and Victor escalates, eventually bringing in Shel's entire NCIS team and Victor's Viet Nam drug contacts as well.
While Shel wrestled with survival, he also wrestles with his lack of faith. Although his brother is a preacher, Shel has never had much time for faith. As for their father, he knows he's committed a crime that will cause God to turn away from him forever.
Author Mel Odom weaves the theme of fatherhood through the story. Beginning on Father's Day, then bringing in Shel's issues with his father, Victor's own perverse fatherly love, NCIS Commander Will's estranged relationship with his own children, and the issue of God's fatherly love for humans, BLOOD LINES lets us see fatherhood from a variety of angles.
BLOOD LINES is published by Tyndale House, a Christian publisher, and the issue of God is never far removed from the story. Odom does a great job blending faith with action, making the story appeal both to religious and non-religious readers. Faith plays its role, but doesn't overwhelm the story. Odom's strong characterizations drive the story forward. Although Victor is clearly evil, Odom makes even him sympathetic and understandable. Perhaps preacher Don is a bit too perfect, but he's a minor character. All of the major characters are flawed but doing their best to cope--or to control--their situation.
If you're looking for an exciting action story with a strong element of faith, you won't go wrong with BLOOD LINES.
3rd in the NCIS Series Jan 23, 2009
On Father's Day, Shel McHenry finds himself in a bad mood, thinking about the difficult relationship he has with his own father. So, when he is asked to help investigate the whereabouts of Bobby Lee Gant, a suspected carjacker, he readily agrees to the distraction. But Bobby Lee Gant is no ordinary thug. His father is a known felon and suspected drug dealer. And when Bobby Lee's arrest goes down badly, Victor decides to take his revenge out on Shel.
Unlike the previous installments, this story focuses more on a Marine and his family rather than characters in the NCIS team. Though, the investigation does come from the NCIS. The McHenry family and their relationships are at the heart of it. Shel and his brother were always held at arms length from their father. Shel is more than a little resentful. And his brother is the peacemaker, family man, and minister. But Tyrel McHenry is a tortured soul. An incident in Vietnam changed him forever, and affected his relationship with his sons.
As Shel and the NCIS team slowly begin to learn about a dark secret that ties the McHenry's to the Gant's, they must also deal with Victor's ruthlessness. The main characters are extremely vivid and gripping. And any time Victor is on the page, there is overlying suspense and a feeling of dread. I always enjoy Mel Odom's writing, but he outdoes himself with the villain in Blood Lines.
This is published as Christian fiction, but besides occasional references to Shel's brother being a pastor, there aren't many other instances where faith is mentioned. Blood Lines is just like watching an episode of any crime drama, with all of the intensity and mystery. The characters are flawed and realistic. I sincerely hope Tyndale has Odom continue this series or something similar. These NCIS novels are entirely gripping and thought provoking.