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Collateral Damage (Matt Royal Mysteries Book 6) [Kindle Edition]

H. Terrell Griffin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The quiet beauty of Longboat Key is shattered when a young groom is shot to death on the beach the day after his wedding. His father is an old army buddy of Matt Royal, and Matt tries to soften the anguish of his friend by finding his son's murderer. Matt's search takes on added complexity when there appears to be a link between this murder and three seemingly unrelated murders that occurred on board a dinner cruise on Sarasota Bay the same day. Fortunately for Matt, his old buddies, Logan Hamilton and Jock Algren, show up to cover his back and to help investigate. But this case rekindles haunting events of Matt's past and incites a web of doubt, deception, and even suspicion, among the closest of friends. When Longboat Key detective, Jennifer Diane (J.B.) Duncan joins the investigation, Matt loses a little focus as he drifts toward more than just a professional relationship. But this distraction could cost lives when they encounter a shady and very dangerous cabal .

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Matt Royal, a fiftysomething retired lawyer living in Florida, jumps in with both feet when an old army buddy (they served together in Vietnam) asks him to find out who murdered his son. But what do the apparently unrelated deaths of some people on board a cruise boat have to do with the case? Not to mention another murder, way off in North Dakota. Matt is an easygoing narrator; he tries to keep his lifestyle laid back, to match that of the Florida beach community where he lives, but it’s tricky when his old instincts kick in, and he’s back in crime-solving mode. Comparisons to John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels are natural, but it’s worth noting that the Matt Royal novels also fit comfortably on the shelf among the thrillers of Lescroart, Margolin, and Grippando. --David Pitt


"Griffin's sixth mystery featuring Florida lawyer Matt Royal (after 2010's Bitter Legacy) draws the reader in instantly by making clear that newlywed Jim Desmond, who's staying with his bride at the Hilton in Longboat Key, isn't long for this world. Sure enough, a sniper shoots Desmond while the honeymooner is jogging on the beach, the first in a series of mysterious killings. Desmond's father, Charles, an old Vietnam War buddy of Royal's, asks Royal to investigate his son's murder. The older Desmond aims to turn up some leads by filing a civil suit, though without a defendant, the strategy appears doomed from the outset. Royal tries to use his close, and increasingly closer, relationship with Longboat Key's lone (female) police detective, J.D. Duncan, to advance the probe. While the ending pulls some punches, the relatively sophisticated plotting makes this one of the better series entries." (Dec.) Subject: 10/10 PW Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 525 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1608090264
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (December 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005V1ZIY6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,809 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in paradise November 28, 2011
Trouble surrounds Matt Royal despite his residence in paradise. It seems that Florida's Longboat Key isn't paradisiacal for everyone. A young man is shot by a sniper while he's walking on the beach near the Hilton, just a day after his wedding. Then a dinner boat runs aground after nearly colliding with Royal's boat. Then the bodies of two more murder victims are discovered, both of whom had been passengers on the dinner boat. When a town resident is killed, it looks like a serial killer has invaded paradise. The killings aren't connected in any obvious way, leaving Royal's friend, Detective J.D. Duncan, without any obvious hope of solving the crimes. Then a former soldier from Royal's past shows up, the father of one of the victims, and Royal joins the search for the elusive killer. Every now and then another death occurs, leaving the reader, like Royal, to puzzle out the connection that links the murders.

Some aspects of the plot are hard to accept. Royal is a retired lawyer. The victim's father wants Royal to start a lawsuit -- against whom, he's not sure -- to help gather information against the murderer of his son. I found it difficult to believe that the police would willingly hand over their investigative file to him; giving open files concerning recent unsolved murders to private lawyers just isn't done. If you can suspend your disbelief in that regard, however, the story that follows is entertaining. It isn't particularly credible but that's standard for a thriller, and it's not much more difficult to believe than some newspaper stories.

The need to suspend disbelief isn't limited to the plot.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Escapist Mystery June 3, 2012
By Ethan
Matt Royal attracts trouble. No matter what he is doing, the retired lawyer always seems to find himself in intriguing and life-threatening situations. In Collateral Damage, the latest installment in author H. Terrell Griffins series, Matt Royal, once again, finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation and a conspiracy that could date all the way back the Vietnam War.

Longboat Key, Florida is a quiet coastal town that sees little excitement outside of the tourist season. When a young groom is shot while running along the beach, the town is shaken. That same evening, while fishing with his good friend Logan, Matt witnesses strange events on a dinner cruise boat, sailing by them, that leads to two other deaths. When he receives an unexpected contact from an old war buddy, whose son happened to be the young murdered groom, Matt promises to help investigates the murder, and searches for a connection between the shooting and the mysterious murders aboard the cruise.

As in the previous novel, the supporting characters help to keep the plot moving. Matt's best friend, Jock Algren, works for a secretive government agency that gives him practically unlimited resources to assist in the investigation. This James Bond like character, while highly unbelievable, works well within the world of the novel, and allows for an easy way for Matt to have some credibility as an investigator. The love interest, Longboat P.D. Detective J.D. Duncan, is written with a subtle touch, allowing the budding relationship to simmer throughout the novel, without falling into the stereotypes of most thriller love elements.

Griffin's love for the place and people of Florida permeates the novel, providing the fictional world with some much-needed reality. While the plot becomes a bit hard to follow at times, the story resolved nicely. This novel is a fun, escapist type read, that is sure to provide fans of mystery thriller novels with a great time.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner. November 20, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Matt does it again. Another episode in the tales of Matt Royal and his buddies. Lots of action and intrigue. This one will keep you guessing until the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed the story! June 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Collateral Damage was a great read. It was my first H. Terrell Griffin book and was a good purchase. I just ordered a second book in the Matt Royal Mystery series yesterday and looking forward to reading it as well.

I have always enjoyed an intriguing mystery/thriller with a bit of detective and attorney story lines weaving throughout, and this novel did not disappoint. The characters were well created and the story kept me guessing to the end. It also moves around the Southeast with excellent descriptions of the cities, history, and sights. I actually learned quite a bit about the South Florida area and the Bahamas. Terrific writing!

There is a little typo at the end of chapter sixty six. At one point Jock is called Jack. It actually made me back up a few pages to see if I missed a character. Might want to correct this. :o)

I would highly recommend this book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars See Jane run. March 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Everything in the novel (the plot, characters, setting) is bogged down by simplistic sentences: "I'd left Jock....He was working....He was calling....I drove back....I typed my notes....." Leaves much to be desired in expression complexity which is needed to create rich characters, realistic action, and well-drawn plot lines. Repetitiveness is also an issue. How many times does it need to be pointed out that Floridians don't move too much outside in the summer and the tourists come in the winter? Didn't even get halfway through it before deciding I could get more intellectual stimulation from watching birds.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
pretty good
Published 11 days ago by Jonwins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Outstanding. Holds your interest through out.
Published 12 days ago by William B. Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 14 days ago by Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good
I don't remember ever reading one of his books that I didn't enjoy. he is a good author and the matt royal mysteries are great.
Published 20 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome edge of your seat book. You never know what's around the next corner.
Published 1 month ago by purpleindian
3.0 out of 5 stars So Much Like So Many Others
This is one of those books where the hero knows every helpful person in every possible agency and has every usual thing happen. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Leeanne
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish and plot far too complex
The main characters traveled so much in this book, I lost track of where and why. This author looks up obscure words and inserts them into passages as if we all know what they... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ken Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Living in Florida it was nice that the book took place mostly in this...
Living in Florida it was nice that the book took place mostly in this state. The book kept my interest throughout. I thought it was well written and definitely enjoyable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Beach Book
This was a good beach read. Fast paced, smart and thoroughly enjoyable.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Robb
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good,a bit too much detail, but other wise pretty good
I will Keep reading griffin's books though, they seem to be very interesting and pretty well,written. We will see what more he has to offer.
Published 1 month ago by wayneirv
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More About the Author

I grew up in Waycross, Georgia and Sanford, Florida, and enlisted in the U.S. Army when I was seventeen years old. After three years of active duty, most of it in Europe, I began my studies at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and received degrees in history and law. I became a board certified trial lawyer and practiced law in Orlando, Florida for thirty-eight years. I wrote my first book, "Longboat Blues," the first of the Matt Royal series, in 2005. Since then, six more books in the series have been published, and the eighth one, "Found," will be released on November 13, 2013. I have just finished my ninth book, "The Assassin's Game," which is not part of the Matt Royal series, but introduces another protagonist named Ethan Fitzgerald.

I'm married to the former Jean Higgins of Macon, Georgia, and we have three sons and two grandchildren. We live in Maitland, a suburb of Orlando, and Longboat Key, Florida, where the Matt Royal series takes place. I invite you to visit my website at

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