Character Driven Enthralling Story – My Book Review

by Louis Bodnar
Pub Date: September 24th, 2019 | January 5th, 2021
Pages: 292 | 238
Categories: Thriller / Terrorism / Conspiracy


El Paso Sunrise

From a Constitutional Republic to a Marxist Dictatorship led by a Muslim President in a Second American Civil War

“Kill him,” the gravelly voice said on the speaker to the cream of the Russian and Muslim terrorist assassination squad infiltrating America from Canada and on their way to El Paso to kill lawyer Steven Vandorol.  Steven was leading the Texas prosecution of Federal government corruption and with national implications before the fall presidential election. 

El Paso Sunrise is the first of two stand-alone novels that together tell a grand story of love, passion, intense hate, violence and horror all brought keenly alive against the intentional radical transformation of America in a Second American Civil War by progressives, Muslim radicals and the American Left from a Constitutional Republic.  It is also a portrayal of a future with the literal choking of Canada, Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, particularly the sovereign State of Israel by Islamist radicals, ISIL, Hezbollah, Hamas and the spreading cancerous malignancy of a worldwide Muslim Caliphate. 

Steven Vandorol had it all but lost everything when he fell hard from grace in the ultra-rich Sunbelt.  Escaping to Washington, D.C., he found himself embroiled in evil, corruption, sexual obsession and addiction but, confronting his own demons, found peace and serenity in El Paso. 

Then stunning Vanessa Carson, Steven’s attorney friend and confidant amid the evil of D.C. brings her sunshine smile back into his life in El Paso and together as one, face their worst nightmares or rape, kidnapping and murder during the ultimate crises of a second American civil war started by powerful forces and only Steven and Vanessa stand in their way . . . 

While El Paso Sunrise is a graphic story of evil in this world, it is also a timeless love story about goodness, faith, grace and friendship blossoming during a national emergency — a clarion call to the world to remember what truly matters — asking the question . . . 

Can Steven force his own country and government to face their own demons before it’s too late?

Purchase: *LouisBodnar | Amazon | Barnes and Noble



El Paso Sunset

Within El Paso Sunset, Steven and his friend, Vanessa Carson, face their worst nightmare of rape, kidnapping, and murder during the ultimate crisis of a Second American Civil War started by dark, sinister, and shadowy forces and only Steven and Vanessa stand in the way. El Paso Sunset is the second and continuation of two stand-alone novels that together make a story of love, passion, obsession, intense hate, pure evil, violence, and horror, all brought keenly alive against the panorama of the radical transformation of the great American Constitutional Republic.

Purchase: *Louis Bodnar | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

*Special Discount if you buy both books through Louis Bodnar’s Website



Copy of My

Character Driven Enthralling Story – My Book Review

“The general continued, “With a few focused keystrokes, our hackers could shut the computer networks down—-or change the settings in ways that might trigger cascading blackouts, even bypassing SCADA systems entirely.”

El Paso Sunrise by Louis Bodnar caught me by surprise. It started with plotting of a killing. The story itself in El Paso Sunrise is one that could be pulled from past or current headlines. It is a character-driven novel that spans from plans of assassination to crippling the electrical grid system for both water and electricity.

The main story centers around Steven Vanderol, a lawyer and appointed judge, who is leading the prosecutorial team in a case against the Federal government.

In addition to the heart stopping assassination attempts of the main character, there is an underlying story of hacking and crippling the computer systems that run and monitor electrical companies and water companies. The ending of the book is where the story turns intriguing. Kudos to Bodnar for knowing what a SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) system is.

One of the most interesting aspects of Bodnar’s crafting of this story is how he used another character’s voice to give detailed background on the main character. The technique is one I have not read in a book before and created an extra layer of intrigue that another character could know another character so well. Also interesting is the underlying theme of religion, which contrasts with but balances the grittiness and violence in El Paso Sunrise; it is there as an undercurrent but it does not overpower the story.  With the host of characters in Bodnar’s book, I would have liked a list of them to reference and help me keep up with everyone. 

“Rommel is sure not shy tonight!” Steven answered. “He usually takes his time in warming up to people.”

And because the canine characters are always important to me, yes – there is a dog named Rommel in the book. And by page 260 I was crying.

While El Paso Sunrise is touted as a stand-alone novel, by the end of this book I was wanting the story to continue. Happily, it does in El Paso Sunset, book two of the series. The book is an enthralling read, especially towards the final chapters.

Note:  Thanks to Clueless Gent’s review of Book 2, the author did include a Cast of Characters list which helps readers navigate the characters in his books. Check out Clueless Gent’s review of El Paso Sunset:



Louis Bodnar is a retired attorney currently living in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with his wife Joan. As a naturalized American citizen, he was born in Vilshofen, Germany, immigrated to Brazil with his mother and brother, and came to America in 1958.

He was educated in the United States in Oklahoma, receiving an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, and was a candidate for an LLM in International and Comparative Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

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