Book Review: The Toymaker, by Chuck Barrett

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Book Review: The Toymaker by Chuck Barrett

I just finished an entertaining novel by an author new to me, Chuck Barrett. This second novel in the Jake Pendleton series was published in 2012. I didn’t realize it was a series when I got The Toymaker or I would have read them in order, but this one is definitely a stand alone. It has a beginning that will draw you in, and an satisfactory ending. That is to say, it doesn’t leave you with a cliff hanging finish that requires the next book to resolve.

The Story

In this entry, we find Jake still in mourning after the murder of his fiance, his anger turning violent. One too many killings while on the job lead his superiors at NTSB to parcel him out to a man who believes he can direct the anger more effectively.

That man would be the Toymaker.

The Toymaker got his name from building gadgets and equipment for spies, much as you might see in a James Bond movie. He sees a need, then works backwards to figure out how to make it happen. His inventions come in quite handy in this book.

Without giving away the exciting plot, I’ll just say it becomes a dangerous adventure. Jake Pendleton is led across the globe on his mission. First a rescue, then searching for terrorists preparing to loose suicide bombers. All they know is worldwide attacks are expected, with no idea of  when or where. At the same time someone is on a killing spree designed to draw Jake into his path. Is it a coincidence? Is it different factions? Or is it all masterminded by the man who killed Jake’s fiance?

An Exciting Thrill Ride

I found the book very entertaining. It was fast moving with plenty of action to keep me listening. I enjoyed the audio version so I could keep listening while I worked around the house. Narrated by a favorite, Scott Brick, it was very well done. He always does a very good job narrating.

One wish I did have for the book was that the toymaker himself had been more developed, both who he was and what exactly a toymaker does. Perhaps the first book provides some of the background that seemed to be missing. It didn’t stop me from appreciating the book. I will definitely be reading the next in the series, Breach of Power.  It is already in my library now, so watch for the review coming soon.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

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