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Collateral Damage: A Matt Royal Mystery [Kindle Edition]

H. Terrell Griffin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $9.99 What's this?
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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

Review

"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: #15,204 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in paradise November 28, 2011
Format:Hardcover
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.
Read more ›
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Escapist Mystery June 3, 2012
By Ethan
Format:Hardcover
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 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner. November 20, 2011
By DC
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fair read April 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fair summer afternoon's read. a little farfetched, like the diner waitress is a super hacker and his childhood friend reports directly to CIA Director and has all access to all things data, but a fine read w/ a drink on the beach.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok September 6, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a sucker for this type of mystery - a lawyer or investigator, boats, the water, Florida -- so I will read them all. But does it seem like Matt and friends spend an awful lot of time eating, drinking, stopping for coffee? Don't get me wrong, as I said, I will read them all -- the characters a likeable and I don't care if the plot is a little unrealistic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspicious life style May 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a plot and story line but it seems Matt spends all his time at local restaurants and having cocktails. Tee shirts, shorts and casual dining is what I recall. Hmmm whatever happened with the killer?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. February 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Lots of surprises throughout. Had a few places that got a little bogged down about shell companies and money laundering. Overall I really enjoyed it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another of the Series worth reading February 7, 2013
By Pat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once you read one of the series you are going to want to read them all to see what kind of trouble Matt Royal finds himself involved in again. The Key's seems to brim with good friends, unlawful invaders and romance. Romance is not the main thrust of the story, which is a good thing since that can get old in a hurry, but it does add just a touch of realism to the lives of those involved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars another Miller Lite please
I haven't read 100 pages yet, but I think I'll quit while I'm ahead. this is my second book by this author and I can see that they are all alike. Read more
Published 1 day ago by bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Good Stuff, But...
Collateral Damage has some good writing, some interesting characters, a great setting, but a plot that stinks. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ken C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexplained murders
I very much enjoyed this book. I love the scenes around Longboat Key and some of the places I have been. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Henry Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I am so glad Terry decided to become an author! This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone who likes a good mystery with a lot of action. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Emily V. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery.
Intriguing, great characters. Really enjoyed this book, Matt Royal is an intriguing character and so are his friends. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Sally Weber
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner
The story and the characters held my interest and kept me guessing. Reminded me a little of the Jack Reacher novels.
Published 12 days ago by S. Blair
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but slow reading
Again -- the writing was simplistic and the plot honestly didn't weave well. I like to be able to solve the mystery -- or come close -- in this case too many 'new' plots (most of... Read more
Published 13 days ago by H. Frances Reaves
3.0 out of 5 stars Wore me out.
Too much action and rapid plot development . His two "helpers," Jock and the hacker lady, too easily and too quickly provide secret insight into suspects.
Published 13 days ago by bert barnett
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner!!
I had a question when I was reading the book, so I contacted the author and he promptly responded with an answer. Read more
Published 14 days ago by L. Goodpasture
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story
This is my first "Matt Royal" mystery so it took a while to get familiar with the characters but once I did they were very interesting. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Steve Tincup
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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 www.hterrellgriffin.com.

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