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on May 22, 2011
This was a good and easy read. The story was set in Arizona and the location descriptions were easy to imagine. The author did a great job of giving enough, but not too much, info on each character. This prevented me from knowing ahead of time what the probable outcome was going to be; and I must confess, I truly "didn't see it coming." The plots twists were exciting and unexpected and kept me interested all the way through the story. There were no areas where the story seemed to lag.

I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to a sequel.
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on May 24, 2011
Put aside any scheduled chores and errands you have for the day, because once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down. A talented wordsmith, Nick Russell has created an easily imagined town with believable and endearing characters. The book moves along at a crisp pace and the plot twists and turns keep you engaged. The ending surely came as a great but believable surprise...did not see that coming...very clever.

Sure hope the sequel is in the making as I would like to visit Big Lake again and see how the residents are doing.
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on May 24, 2011
I guess I should say: Move over Stuart Woods !! Nick Russell does a great job of fleshing out his characters. The occasional bit of humor is pure Nick Russell. And there even a bit of love-making to fill in the relationships. The plot has lots of twists and turns, with a very surprising ending to the whodunit. Congratulations to Nick Russell.. a great first novel and I look forward to many more. Keep em coming, Nick..
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on December 29, 2011
Big Lake. I have read all of the Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, and Richard Castle books, and was looking for a new author that might write novels of the same caliber. After reading the reviews for Big Lake I was so hopeful that Nick Russell might be my new "must read" author. The book was inexpensive as a kindle edition, and I began reading with great expectations. It turns out that I wasted my $.99, and the several hours it took to read the book.

The writing style was amateurish, the characters were poorly developed, and the plot was thin. I figured out who the killer was in the first few chapters. I was dismayed at what a shallow lead character Jim Weber turned out to be. After reading the entire book I cannot give a full physical description of the man, nor do I know much about him as a man. I'm glad to learn that Big Lake is a fictional town, because there is virtually no reality to the description Russell gives of small town life in Arizona.

There were also numerous glaring editing errors in the book. One chapter had Sheriff Weber and FBI agent Park searching the cabin of murder victim Phil Johnson. Astonishingly the sheriff was doing laundry of his uniforms at this cabin, and the agent commented on a truck the sheriff was restoring in the garage! Then Park noticed that Johnson's vehicle was missing from that same garage! I'm fairly sure that you don't do laundry at a crime scene, nor do you restore trucks in a crime scene garage.

The story took place over just about a week, and the sheriff managed to make love with two different women that he had never bedded before, and he wanted badly to sleep with a third. Only his "virtue" stopped him from sleeping with her. The sheriff's office was staffed with keystone cops, and the FBI agents were laughable in both their dialogue and conduct. There is no reason to believe the book was a comedy as several people were murdered, yet I found myself laughing at just how sophomoric the dialogue was.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't read this book. But if your standards for quality writing are of the Connelly or Baldacci vein, then you probably will feel that you have wasted your time with this author and his work.
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on September 11, 2014
This was a good book. The author did a good job of making the reader choose the perpetrator only to find out it was the wrong one.
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on July 31, 2014
Nick Russell is one of my favorite authors. Excellent mystery, written with humor. Love the characters, and the way the story evolves. Read the sequels, too! I can't recommend these books highly enough.
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on July 15, 2012
I will try not to abuse the author int he same manner of the other 1 star reviews. There is a lot left to pounce on.

If you like Clive Cussler -- you may like this book. I don't mean for the oceanic theme -- I mean if you a fan of macho men, who smoke and drink and are men's men. Shallow plots, Inane dialog, misogynistic behavior... The book was written in 2011 -- you'd think some of the police and FBI would pick up a clicker and watch an episode or 2 of CSI.

The book is interesting -- our romeo (the villain who crokes in Chapter 1) is a playboy. He fought in Vietnam (say he was 20 in 1971. So 40 years later he is 61. He manages to seduce every woman in town... The woman at the bakery, the woman at the biker bar, the woman abused by her husband, the hottie married to the rich hunky real estate developer, the wife of the grocer store owner... I'm thinking he is a Jedi with that mind control thing. Roger Sterling of Mad Men?

The book is odd... It features cell phones maybe circa 2004. The attitude towards women is very 1950-1970 sexism (sorry before my time so I am guessing on the years). It was written in 2011 but there was smoking at places of employment and multiple employee vehicles. Arizona went smoke free in 2007 so I have no idea what era this book is supposed to take place in.

My guess -- I think the author wrote this book in 1990. He stuck the hand type manuscript in a box and dug it out 20 years later and typed into a computer. He added cell phones to show he is modern.

I do like the guy who violates a restraining order, hits his wife with a bat, smashes up a grocery story, breaks the ribs of a police officer -- then "He'll get six months but he'll be out on bail before that." Wife beaters of the world Big Lake Arizona is the place for you!!!!

I do have to add -- the best part is where his sister-in-law gets all amorous at her brother's funeral. Yeah, I'm here burying my brother but I'm going to jump the bones of brother-in-law. Kind of creeped me out.

I want my 99 cents back.
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on August 22, 2014
This was a new author for me. I liked it so much I went ahead and bought three more of the series based on the Big Lake Az and featuring Sheriff Jim Weber.
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on February 28, 2012
As a federal law enforcement officer (female) with 27 years experience, I found the characters in this book to be totally unbelievable, especially the law enforcement officers. In this day and age, an officer would be sued for sexual harassment, in a heartbeat, if he "gave her rump an affectionate pat" as Russell described his main character Sheriff Jim Weber doing to his administrative assistant. Russell also has FBI Agent Larry Parks making suggestive comments to the dispatcher about the size of her chest and talking down to the local townsfolk. Federal Agents are trained, from their first day on the job, that comments like that would get you investigated and fired. This is 2012, not 1960. I felt that Russell never fleshed out the characters in the book, I have no idea what Sheriff Jim Weber looks like, I only know he smokes nasty cigars, yet Russell describes women characters, in detail, from their clothing to their body size. I only finished this book to see if I guessed the killer correctly. (I did.) Russell should make an effort to shadow a real federal agent or local law enforcement officer to get a feel for the true everyday ins and outs of law enforcement. I felt like I was reading an older guy's fantasy, where he is the omnipotent ruler of the kingdom and women are nothing but lust filled crazy bimbos, who alternately cry or want to bed him down.
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on October 20, 2014
Really enjoy the story associated with Arizona high country. Good characters and very factual details of life in our summer place. Would buy more of this series
0Comment6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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