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VINE VOICEon February 22, 2013
In his first novel Could You But Find It, Robert Cilley displays a distinctive and enjoyable voice, like an American Alexander McCall Smith. Curiously, Cilley is a judge, and McCall Smith a law professor. Could that account for the similar way of thinking and writing? Although the events in the book are thrilling, the narrative pace is measured, evoking leisurely Southern storytelling.

The blurb really doesn't describe the book well. It's about a young man who comes into an unexpected inheritance of secrets and his three Clemson University classmates who help him in his journey. It's got an international scope, complete with black helicopters, and a touch of mysticism.

I found it to be quite the page turner, and am looking forward to more fiction from Mr. Cilley. Why did I give it only three stars? First, I am pretty strict. Secondly, the final third of the book wasn't as energetic as the first part. The main characters' fates are secure, but the bad guys have yet to meet their comeuppance, and the full back history has to be revealed. With some collaborative editing, the three strands could have been better woven together to arrive at the end at the same time.
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on February 16, 2013
I decided to check out Robert's book because it was mentioned on FlyLady. I clicked on the book icon to read the sample. The prologue didn't get me, but the first page of Chapter 1 did. I didn't stop reading until the sample was completed and then I had to buy the book for my Kindle. I started reading it again immediately and read until after 4 am. I haven't finished the book yet, but if I look at it I am drawn in and can't stop reading it. This is a really good book!

Aunt_Bea
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on February 23, 2013
I really wanted to enjoy this book, and at first I did. The central characters are very well written, and as a reader, I cared about what happened to them. However, I found it began to get very confusing and the stories really didn't have much interlinking; really the whole plot made no sense at all by the end. The ending was especially disappointing, as I wanted it to all come together. I gave it 2 stars for the writing, but would only give it 1 star for the plot.
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on February 17, 2013
I downloaded this book to my Kindle and I was hooked right from the first page. Even though these old eyes find it hard to read for as long as they used to, I find it hard to put this book down, even to go to bed! The characters are great, the scene setting is really good and yet nothing detracts from the story moving forward, it is a real page turner.
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on December 27, 2013
I am a staunch supporter of Mala Cilley and Fly Lady. She has made a huge positive difference in my life and the life of my family, I was hoping after the reviews that this book would be a good one. I've listened to most of the broadcasts she has participated in. I have read most of the stuff she has written. However, I had no idea what I would find when opening the book. I write this review for others like me who love Marla but have no stomach for poor language. There were some flow issues for me as well but not bad for a first book. It was laced with language I haven't heard since I was in the Army--the less polite side. There were quite a few sections that were extremely gritty, and I didn't find the grit needed to tell the story properly. It was for these reasons I gave this book one star. Had I not chosen it for my book club I never would have finished it after the first chapter.

I love the FlyLady program, and give it 5 unabashed stars. However, loving Marla did not equate to loving the book. :-(
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on February 18, 2013
It can be hard to take the chance on a new or self-published author---this one is definitely worth it. There's intrigue, suspense, adventure, humor, well-drawn characters, history, romance, a complex, yet manageable plot, surprises you don't see until.... The author's voice shines through as a natural storyteller. Read the sample, don't rely on the description--it's accurate, but doesn't do it justice. I'm left caring about these characters, which only happens to me when a story draws me completely inside and doesn't (quite) let all of me go. Is an author's ability to do that science or magic? You decide.
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on August 24, 2013
This book was very hard for me to follow with the story flitting from place to place and character to character. The plot was unbelievable and redeemed only by the bad guys getting what they had coming.
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on July 21, 2013
Cons:
No description on the book itself. If I'd have picked this up in a book store, I would have put it right back down. They say "don't judge a book by it's cover" but that is all a person has to go on with the physical book. The amazon description of the story was cute, and would have been better than nothing on the book itself. Also, the "others" (you'll meet them) apparently really like all the ends tied up. The "romance" (actually, there were several) referenced in the description were pre-ordained by the "others" and felt like it. It doesn't take away from the story though.

Pros:
Everyone gets his and her just desserts. The characters were enjoyable. The ride was fun. The romances are sweet asides to the story, like the cherry atop a cake. It's a longish book, which could be listed as a con, but as I enjoyed the entire ride, I was in no hurry for it to end.

The plot was twisting enough to keep me guessing and not so tangled that I lost my way. Somebody complained that the plot made no sense and the ending was particularly bad. I disagree. I found it hard to predict where it would go next but easy to understand once it got there. The ending made perfect sense by the end. Everybody looks at me funny when I say that, so let me explain. I tend to read the first and last pages before reading the book itself, to avoid books where the good guys die horribly or where the plots are so bad that you can predict the whole plot based off those two pages. This book passed both those tests. The good guys live, and the ending doesn't make a lick of sense through most of the book but it does once you actually read everything in the right order. I even had to go back and read the prologue and first chapter again once I figured out what it was referencing, sort of like watching "The Sixth Sense" the second time.

Conclusion:
I would buy another book from this author if he wrote another one. He won't be listed in anyone's future Great American Lit classes, but he gave an enjoyable read. I recommend this author and will buy his next one.
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on March 6, 2013
This book reminded me of "assigned reading" in college. I struggled through it thinking that maybe it had just gotten off to a slow start and would get better. It never did. The first four or five sample chapters are actually the best chapters in the book. I found it began to get very confusing and the chapters seemed to be cut off and really didn't have much interlinking. If there was a plot, it really made no sense at all by the end. I really don't want the plot to be interrupted by the author flaunting his knowledge of computers, physics, religion, atomic energy, etc. It would have been much better if he could have stuck to a plot rather than going off on a teaching tangent. This was supposed to be fiction. Fiction is supposed to be entertaining. Fiction is not the same as writing a brief or textbook. I'm an avid reader and I can honestly say this book wins the prize for being the the driest and most non-entertaining fiction I have ever read! It would be a good book to keep by your bedside for those nights you have trouble falling asleep. Judge Cilley must have lots of friends, relatives and colleagues who gave this book good ratings! I was very very disappointed.
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on April 7, 2013
A boy who lives with his widowed, angry mother receives a ray of hope in the form of a college scholarship to Clemson. His benefactor, a deceased uncle, leaves him other things, which begin a journey of intrigue & espionage. The author is a retired lawyer & judge -- also the husband of "FlyLady" Marla Cilley. He captures the characters well and keeps the reader engaged. I hope he writes a sequel with these characters.
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