DiscoverThriller & Suspense

Deadly Odds 3.0


Worth reading 😎

This book is an action-packed confluence of good versus evil, revenge, romance and espionage against a backdrop of high-tech ingenuity.


In this third installment of Allen Wyler's Deadly Odds series, it's a race against time for techno-geek Arnold Gold when Islamic terrorists target him for revenge. From Honolulu to Seattle, Arnold must use the tools of our information age to save himself and those he loves.

The story centers around Arnold Gold, an American with ties to the FBI, pitted against Naseem Farhad, a Middle Eastern terrorist with a personal vendetta. The story begins as Naseem presents herself after Arnold had begun to move on from past conflicts between them that left several people dead.

Naseem deploys her team with a vengeance, plotting to usurp Arnold's state-of-the-art artificial intelligence system, SAM, insistent that it could be used as a weapon to strengthen her jihad. The story is about Arnold's quest to protect those he loves as well as his system and obliterate Naseem from his life once and for all. In an attempt to defeat Naseem, Arnold involves Palmer Davidson, his lawyer, and FBI Agent Gary Fisher.

This is a fast-paced techno-thriller suspense story written in the third-person point of view. It is the third in a series, and I think I would have appreciated it more had I read the first two books. I get the sense that if I understood the events and Arnold's personal experiences that preceded this story, certain gaps would be filled. I was trying to understand Arnold's role with the FBI as it was unclear if he served the agency solely as a technical expert, was more heavily involved in espionage or somehow got pulled into acts of terrorism because of his technical skill. To readers interested in this book, I recommend you add the earlier books in the series to your reading list before this one. Also, the dynamics between characters seemed off. For example, Arnold expressed strong feelings of friendship with Palmer Davidson but usually referred to him as Mr. Davidson while Davidson called Arnold by his first name.

The suspense was continuous from cover to cover as I found myself cheering for the good guys. I thought Arnold's affection for his dog, who played a starring role in the story as Arnold's beloved sidekick, was a cute touch and served well to offset the tension of the chase. The ending satisfied my appetite for closure and piqued my interest in the next book of the series.

Reviewed by

Gail has project management experience and specializes in writing for a corporate audience. Book reviews on Reedsy/Discovery include memoir, novels, mystery & crime, fiction, legal & medical thrillers, essays and short stories.


In this third installment of Allen Wyler's Deadly Odds series, it's a race against time for techno-geek Arnold Gold when Islamic terrorists target him for revenge. From Honolulu to Seattle, Arnold must use the tools of our information age to save himself and those he loves.









“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten me already? After all of the good times we had together in Vegas?”

Arnold’s breath caught. Fear quick-froze his gut. He jumped up from the chair and moved away from the floor-to-ceiling windows, just in case the sniper was back on the other side of the ravine. Was Chance out one the deck?

Something wet brushed his hand. He jerked it away and looked. His dog was staring up at him with concerned brown eyes and attentive ears, and whimpering softly.

Shit! He was still holding the phone. He dumped it back in the charger, cutting the connection.

           “Awww...Jesus.” He dropped to his haunches and pressed his nose to the Malinois. “Chance is a good boy.” He gave the dog a flurry of choobers, the behind-the-ear scratches the pooch loved so dearly. The action short-circuited a bit of the raw anger and panic filling his chest. Naseem was back! Or maybe she’d never left the island. Regardless, she wanted him dead.

He grabbed the controller for the sunshades.

Wait! You really want to do that?  What if she’s out there watching, looking for your reaction. What will that tell her?

That she struck a nerve?

Right. Probably exactly what she wants.

Maybe show no reaction?

Well, shit, easy enough to say...

Slowly, he stood and glanced around. Nothing looked out of place; on the TV, Al Michaels and Cris Collingsworth were discussing a play. Everything exactly as it was before the phone rang. Reassuring. Sort of.

Still daylight out, all the interior lights off. Meaning if she was watching from the sniper spot, she probably couldn’t see in.

But then, why call?

Duh! She’s a terrorist. She’s trying to make you feel terror

No, there had to be more to it than that. Think! Had hanging up been a mistake? Should he have at least listened to what she had to say?

Why? I know what she wants.

Now what?

First order of business: make damn sure your security is locked down.

Then he was off the couch, heading into the guest room to check on SAM.


                                               Chapter 2



Naseem instantly recognized the Jew’s voice.



“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten me already? After all of our good times we had together in Vegas?”

She listened closely for his reaction, hoping to pick up the slightest indication of hitting a nerve. Was there shock? Fear? She wanted the Jew to clearly understand that the issue between them was far from settled and that he knew exactly how she intended this to end.

The line went dead.

Ah, so the Jew was rattled. Good. Smiling, she powered down the cell and pushed a straightened paper clip into the small hole on the side of the case, popping out the SIM card, and replacing it with the usual one. She’d toss the just-used card out the window on the H1 freeway during the drive back to the safe house, virtually guaranteeing its destruction. Nawzer argued adamantly and repeatedly against employing this technique to disguise calls, claiming that buying and discarding cheap “burner phones” was far safer. Not her thinking. Burners were more easily found and, if not carefully cleaned before discarding, served as a source of both DNA and fingerprints. A destroyed SIM card—especially one pulverized on a freeway—was infinitely more difficult to find and analyze. Not only that, but SIMs were less expensive. 

She raised up on her elbows to continue watching the Jew’s house across the ravine. The sky was still light enough for him to turn on the interior lights, making it impossible to see his reaction. This would soon change. Evening was near. She knew his routine by now, having surveilled the house the past three weeks. At least twice a day, for example, he drove his dog to one of two parks and sat at a bench or picnic table while the animal ran for a half hour. Each morning before their walk, he stopped at a Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich and grande latté to eat as the dog ran. The Jew’s schedule was more regimented than the Japanese railway.

Dusk... For some reason these past days, dusk evoked vivid memories of older brother Fadi, a gentle soul, a grade-schoolteacher rather than a warrior. Fadi died senselessly, a victim of a drone attack. For what reason? What had he ever done to deserve such a brutal and senseless death? Nothing. The Americans claimed the school housed ISIS fighters. A lie.

The moment she’d learned of his pointless murder her hated toward arrogant Americans—and their insistence on enforcing their particular political and religious beliefs on those who chose to believe differently—skyrocketed. That hatred had fomented unabated ever since.

And the Jew? Ha! Simply being a Jew intensified her hatred of him. From the start of recorded history, Jews had been the main source of problems plaguing the civilized world. Since the establishment of Israel, their unquenchable expansionistic appetite has done nothing but oxygenate incendiary Middle East politics. Kill the Jews, and you will do wonders for bringing peace to this earth.  

But Arnold Gold was more than just a Jew. He was directly responsible for her husband’s incarceration as well as the deaths of Karim and her brothers in the warehouse. Mere words could never describe the hatred burning in her heart toward him.

She could already taste the delight that killing him would bring.

But the Jew possessed a thing of great value: his computer system’s ability to evaluate and predict the outcome of future events, a feat he proudly demonstrated to her in a bout of adolescent bravado. Grave stupidity on his part. For her, learning of his system was a sign from Allah, for it would provide yet another weapon to employ in her Jihad.

But she had blundered by overestimating the spell she cast over him. She’d also gravely underestimated his gullibility. He eventually saw through her fabricated story, and when he did, he attempted to disappear, only to give himself away by making amateurish blunders. It’d been mere child’s play to track him straight back to his Seattle home.

Her iPhone vibrated softly, jarring her from these dark memories. She glanced at the screen: Kasra.

“Yes?” she whispered even though she doubted that a neighbor could hear her at normal volume. Plus, a breeze rustling through nearby foliage provided sufficient background noise.

“He is leaving by the front door with his dog, heading for the car.”

Naseem wiggled backward a few feet from the crest of the hill to a point where she could stand without being seen from his house.

“Good. I am coming. FaceTime me so I can see exactly what happens. He may simply walk the dog along the sidewalk.” She started working down into the rocky ravine, heading back to her car, one eye on the narrow scree path and the other on the phone.

Naseem smiled. The Jew would be highly predictable and probably drive his dog to one of two parks. The only thing she didn’t yet know was whether he’d contacted the lawyer yet. Nawzer could answer that question soon as she checked with him, a task she planned to do the moment she returned to the safe house. Meanwhile, there was still a great deal of work to finish this evening.



About the author

Allen is a retired Neurosurgeon and thriller writer who had twice been nominated for a Thriller Award. He has served on the Board of Directors of the International Thriller Writers and is also a member of the North American Crime Writers. He lives in Seattle. view profile

Published on July 07, 2020

Published by Stairway Press

60000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

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