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John Brinling

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Member Since: Nov, 2010

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Publisher:  Amazon ISBN-10:  0011076658 Type: 


Copyright:  July 20, 2010 ISBN-13:  2940011076657

Barnes & Noble

A mystery/suspense/thriller that tests the love of a man and a woman. Has more twists and turns than a mountain road. If you like taut plotting and plot reversals, this is the book for you.

The novel is a mystery/suspense/action/ thriller that tests the endurance and love of a man and a woman, and threatens the security of a great city. It is a tale of greed, passion and death centered on a painting of haunting beauty and mystifying significance.  “The Ghost Of A Flea,” painted by William Blake 200 years ago.


Time: 1975.

Location:  New York City.


The murder of Roger’s musician friend, Gideon Whiting, turns Roger’s world up-side-down.  His wife, Natalie, lies to him.  His best friend, Ted, lies to him.  His boss and U.S. Senate candidate, Charlie Holt, lies to him. And Lieutenant Tarrington, a homicide detective, is convinced Roger killed Gideon—but is Tarrington who he claims to be, or is he lying, too?


Peggy Curtis, the blond bombshell who dropped into Roger’s life one snowy night after he left Gideon’s apartment, might be the only person who can unravel the Gordian knot facing Roger, yet she has serious credibility problems, and is the last person he would want to rely on with his life and freedom on the line.


The drug cartel masterminding much of the chaos seeks an address book it thinks Roger took from Gideon.  As their ruthless pursuit intensifies, the police learn of the book and join the chase.  The problem is, Roger doesn’t have what they want and he must get it before they decide he is expendable.


In a climax not unlike the best of today’s action thrillers—Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, others—Roger and Peggy face-off against the surprise mastermind of the drug cartel in a fight to the death!

Roger, momentarily transfixed, could only stare at the blood thirsty demon’s strong naked body, short neck,
and sadistic face. Half-human, half-animal, its scaly skin glistened a green, dusky gold. One murderous eye was in profile, and its eager tongue whisked out of its mouth toward a bloody cup held in its clawed left hand.

"What is that thing?" Roger asked.

Gideon waited an infuriatingly long time before answering. "The Ghost of a Flea."

Professional Reviews

Awesome Action Thriller!
Awesome action thriller! It was a magnificent read from start to finish. I was definitely hooked right from the start. I can't seem to stop reading asides the usual bathroom breaks.

The novel was brilliantly written, never a dull moment and the characters were intriguing. The story goes as Roger being manipulated by contradicting stories from people that he seems to love. When I read a book, I usually know how the story goes or what the characters would do, but with The Ghost of the Flea every chapter was a surprise. When I thought I know how the story ends, it changes to a different direction which makes the book unpredictable in a good way.

I can certainly say that it was a good decision that I have read this book. I would recommend this book to bookworms who enjoy action, mystery/thriller and a good psychological read. This book will leave you thinking and guessing until the last pages.

Book Review - Blogcritic By Tic Toc
Life for Roger Davis is mundane, he works a job that sucks the energy from him, he is married to Natalie, unhappy with how their love has warped since marriage, and one of his best friends Gideon, while a great person to talk philosophy with, has a keen and cutting mind, and a way of making Roger feel very small.

As he spends his usual one night a week with Gideon, defending his life and defending his wife, he is ready to snap. Gideon seems to see this and changes direction with their conversation, talking about all kinds of nonsensical things. He finally brings out a small panel, painted in tempura, asking Robert what he thinks of it. Robert is about done, feeing that Gideon is again setting him up, but Gideon just replies that the painting is a copy of one hanging in London, and is called The Ghost of a Flea. As Gideon tries to get Roger to relax, he invites him as he always does during their weekly meeting, to have a smoke. Tonight Roger finally gives in. He has never smoked marijuana before in his life, and he is amazed how calming it is.

Life as he knows it has just changed for Robert. All of a sudden things begin to happen. He hears conversations that are not happening, he loses things, but when he looks again they are exactly where he thought they should be. He gets called into a meeting by one of his work colleagues, and when he shows up no one else is there. When questioned, his friend knows nothing about a call. He initially wonders if it is a side effect from the marijuana but when he discusses it with Gideon he is assured that it would not affect him in that way. Here he also meets Peggy Curtis, a good friend of Gideon`s, a very attractive woman that actually comes on to him. He is worried and frustrated unable to understand the mind games that he feels are being played on him.

Then his friend Gideon is found brutally murdered, shortly after Roger has left his apartment. And as he tries to figure out the pieces, he runs into Peggy again. Not sure what her part in all of this is, he is distrustful, but she knows so much of what is happening. As they work together to find the clues, at every turn, someone they have been close to or in contact with is found murdered. And who do they go to; even the police seem to be involved? Natalie, his wife, has gone off the deep end, she has moved out of their home, but even then Robert can not go home, he is now a suspect. As his friends are murdered, a young girl is kidnapped and he is now on the run for his life.

He has been cut off from everyone he has known and his only ally, Peggy is possibly at the root of everything happening to him. Who does he trust and will he be able to find Cathy, the young girl in time. He holds the key to it all, a puppet on the string, dancing in what ever way he is directed. But who is the puppet master? He is known only as the Clown. In this fast paced story of greed and murder, will the winner take it all?

This is a well written, and fast paced book. The Ghost Of A Flea is full of surprises and constantly keeps you on your toes, wondering what will happen next. Peggy is a strong heroine, while Roger is a very weak counterpart. As the story progresses he gains strength and confidence and actually seems to enjoy some of the action. The characters are well developed and written with exacting detail. It is easy to see them in your mind as the action takes hold. As the plot thickens it gets a little confusing, as almost every one that Roger runs into is suspect. Are the police on the take? Who do they trust when every were they turn there is murder and madness? Roger tries to steer clear of the danger but when everyone and every thing he holds dear is threatened he calls on his strength and cunning to find the mastermind, because only then will all be made clear and the madness find an ending. John Brinling veers left, then right, and then somewhere in the middle in this madcap game of suspense.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves suspense and mystery. Be prepared to be surprised and on the rollercoaster ride of your life. The twists and turns keep coming and it is anyone's guess where it will all turn out. And really, in the end, it is a love story of note. Not everything is as it seems.

A Real Page Turner
If you like a good thriller you will love this book. It grabbed my interest from the beginning as the main character, Roger, struggles with his sanity following the murder of his friend, Gideon. Everything he believes is questioned when his wife and friend contradict his memory of events. No one is who they seem. An apparent chance meeting with a beautiful but mysterious woman begins a romantic liasson and partnership as the two try to solve murders and mysteries in this story. The twists and turns make it hard to put down. A great plot and very well written.

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