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The IOBA Standard is the journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association and covers the book world, with a special focus on the online used, out-of-print, and collectible bookselling markets.


Book review: Department Thirty by David Kent


By: David Kent

Pocket Star Books Mass Market Original Publication date: July 1, 2003 Price: $6.99 ISBN: 0-7434-6998-4

Meet Ryan Elder, a typical college student looking forward to spending Thanksgiving at home with his mother and father in suburban Oklahoma City. Less than an hour after he gets home however, his parents die in a spectacular double suicide. Seven years and many relocations later Ryan receives a letter that should have reached him long ago-a letter his mother mailed to him the day before the suicide.

In Department Thirty, Ryan is lured back to Oklahoma to meet a man from a mysterious government agency known as Department Thirty, a man with vital information concerning his parents. Just after meeting Ryan the man is shot by a sniper, his dying words the puzzling “Adam and Eve.” On the run for his life, Ryan is rescued by a stranger with a hidden past of her own. As the two piece together clues from Ryan’s life, it becomes clear that his parents were not the ordinary mother and father they appeared to be. Their past is catching up with Ryan in the person of a near-legendary figure in the American underground government, a shadowy figure who never speaks above a whisper. He is manipulating Ryan to revive an act of terror conceived before Ryan was born. The world of covert operations, domestic terrorism, and assassinations leads Ryan to doubt his own identity and that of everyone around him. To prevent an ultimate act of terror, Ryan must survive long enough to learn the truth about himself and his parents.

Department Thirty has it all–nail-biting suspense, political intrigue, and a rich plot full of surprises–written in a smooth style that makes it almost impossible to put down. This modern-day Manchurian Candidate will leave its readers breathless and anxious for more. David Kent’s first novel is a winner!  –William Bernhardt, bestselling author of CRIMINAL INTENT and MURDER ONE

David Kent is the pseudonym for Kent Anderson, a native of Madill, Oklahoma. He began his radio career at the age of fifteen, and has spent his entire adult life working as an announcer, producer, and programmer. He holds a degree in communications from the University of Central Oklahoma. Since 1992 he has been program director of KCSC-FM, Oklahoma City’s classical music station. He has also served as a press secretary and speechwriter for Congressional-level political campaigns, and has taught university courses in communications and broadcasting. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and three young sons. Kent can often be found listening to many different kinds of music, particularly traditional and folk music. He enjoys driving aimlessly down rural back roads, walking through cemeteries, and swimming in obscure lakes during the summer months. He also works with All Children Together (ACT), Inc., an organization that sponsors activities including a summer day camp for special needs children in the Oklahoma City area. He somehow manages to find time to create homemade salsa with his wife and serve as a choir parent, sports parent, etc. for his sons’ activities.



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