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book cover of The Critical Element

The Critical Element

(The fifth book in the James Becker series)
A novel by


The scientific community declared the North Korean "weather satellite" dead on arrival in space. And until recently, the scientists were right. But now the satellite has awakened and the Kim regime wastes no time in launching its secret space-based weapon against the American mainland. Unfortunately, the North Koreans' aim is bad and their package lands in the middle of nowhere - Ottawa County, Minnesota - where the deadly delivery sets in motion a sequence of events even its creators in Pyongyang could never have anticipated.

James "Beck" Becker has retired from a twenty-year career serving his country as a military intelligence operative and now practices law in his childhood hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. When local huckster Rodney Holton seeks his legal advice regarding a meteor strike on Rodney's farm in rural Red Wing, Beck suspects that the "meteor" may be more (or possibly less) than a natural phenomenon - a suspicion that is confirmed when the FBI rolls into town looking for the mysterious space rock.

But before the authorities can get their hands on the meteor, it vanishes from Rodney's farm, leaving Beck and the feds behind to deal with an angry farmer and a troubling circumstance - Rodney's cattle have begun to get sick.


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Used availability for John L Betcher's The Critical Element

Paperback Editions

July 2013 : USA Paperback

Title: The Critical Element (James Becker Suspense/Thriller Series)
Author(s): John L Betcher
ISBN: 1-4912-4357-0 / 978-1-4912-4357-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

August 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Critical Element (James Becker Suspense/Thriller Series Book 5)
Author(s): John L Betcher
Publisher: John L. Betcher
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA