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Fatal Decree : A Matt Royal Mystery [Kindle Edition]

H. Terrell Griffin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When a serial killer shows up on Longboat Key, Florida after a twelve year absence, Matt Royal is stymied. The first woman killed on Longboat Key has ties to a secretive government agency for which Matt's best friend Jock Algren works. Was this a coincidence or was she a targeted kill? Matt's friend, Longboat Key detective Jennifer Diane (J.D.) Duncan investigates the murders but also seems to be a target of the killer. Why? And where has the killer been for the past twelve years? And why has he come to Longboat Key when his earlier kills were all in Miami? The mystery deepens when Guatemalan gang-bangers try to kill Matt and J.D. and suspicions grow that Mexican drug cartels are somehow involved. The director of Jock's agency orders him to do whatever is necessary to find the killer because of the death of the woman with connections to the agency. Will Jock simply take out the murderer or allow J.D. and the law to arrest, try and convict the bad guys? Matt's life is further complicated by J.D.'s growing dissatisfaction with island living and her thoughts of returning to Miami.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Matt Royal, the retired attorney trying to live the beach-bum life in Longboat Key, Florida, once again steps into trouble. Local police detective J. D. Duncan, who is also Matt’s friend (and, he wishes, something more than that), believes a long-disappeared serial killer, the same one she was tracking when she was a Miami cop a dozen years ago, has resurfaced. Even more mysterious, one of the killer’s victims is connected to the top-secret government agency with which Jock Algren, Matt’s other close friend, is employed. Jock’s people are pretty upset about it, but here’s the question: Will they hunt down and eliminate the perp before J. D. and Matt can find him? A mixture of straight-ahead action and laid-back John D. MacDonald–style narrative (Matt is definitely a hero in the Travis McGee mold), this agreeable tale will be a treat for Griffin’s growing readership as well as Travis fans. --David Pitt


Terry Griffin's latest entry (Collateral Damage) in the Matt Royal set-in-Florida mysteries is a perfect blend of old south, beach bum, funky character driven stories, the kind that made J.D,. MacDonald famous, only Griffin's tale tops the best with its unexpected blend of international intrigue. My hat is definitely off! David Hagberg New York Times best-selling author of The Expediter. -- --David Hagberg New York Times best-selling author of The Expediter.

Product Details

  • File Size: 759 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1608090701
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AC463SW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,553 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Matt Royal Mystery January 30, 2013
By Ethan
Last year, I stumbled upon the Matt Royal series by author H. Terrell Griffin. The novels follow Matt Royal, a middle-aged lawyer who, fed up with the state of the legal system, retired to the small island of Longboat Key, Florida. But small town life didn't stop Royal from finding excitement. Over the course of six novels, Matt found himself directly involved in conspiracies that rocked his hometown. Through his friendship with Bill Lester, Longboat Key's chief of police, and with the help of his drinking buddy Logan, and his friend Jock, who conveniently works for a top secret, high ranking government agency, Matt became a kind of extension of the local law enforcement.

Things seemed to change when J.D. Duncan, a female detective from Miami, joined the Longboat Key force. Her addition, and insistent moral code, caused Matt to not only re-evaluate his actions, but to discover emotions he thought he would never feel again.

In Fatal Decree, the latest novel to feature Royal, we find the characters facing the biggest mystery they have ever faced. When the body of a local woman is discovered floating in the bay, Matt is immediately called by J.D. It turns out, the body has a whale tail earring in her ear, and the initials KKK carved into the back of her neck. Even more terrifying, this is the signature of of a serial killer from Miami who J.D. investigated, and who hasn't been active for years. Now Matt must help solve the case before more islanders or killed. He hates to imagine the worst, but he is scared that the killer may target J.D. next.

I was completely invested in this series the moment I began reading. Unlike other series authors, Griffin has managed to maintain his standards of both quality and content.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Wild Ride January 17, 2013
When a murder occurs on Longboat Key Island, Florida, it looks to be the work of a serial killer who terrorized the city of Miami twelve years ago. But why here and why now? Retired lawyer Matt Royal, his friend Jock Algren who is an assassin for a secret government organization, and the island's only police detective JD Duncan work together to investigate. What they find throws all their preconceived notions out the window - the killer is a great deal more dangerous than they thought. Catching him may not be the problem; getting out alive is.

Fatal Decree is a taut, fast tale with lots of action and plenty of twists and turns to keep you turning pages. It is also an interesting departure from the usual black-and-white thriller. As the trio of investigators move toward the solution, it becomes clear that each of the three has a different idea of how the story should end. This made the story seem, at once, more thoughtful and more suspenseful.

If you are looking for a thriller with a slightly more nuanced view of outcomes than usual, try this one. it is smart, savvy, and a real wild ride.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate mystery with a Florida vibe January 15, 2013
H. Terrell Griffin has replaced John D. MacDonald as my favorite author.His blend of intrigue amongst the backdrop of southwest Florida's sub-tropical atmosphere makes for an excellent read. I highly recommend reading everyone of his books and assure you that you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read! January 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This review was based on the ARC from NetGallery.

I really enjoyed this tale of twisted revenge that draws unlikely folks into fatal confrontations. I will need to read other tales by the author to see if they read as well. The one feature I disliked was the foretelling at the end of chapters regarding what happened next. But in all, it was time well spent.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging investigative thriller January 8, 2013
Longboat Key, Florida's only cop Jennifer Diane "J.D." Duncan asks her lover retired lawyer Matt Royal to help her with a case that brings out repressed memories. When Duncan worked at Miami PD a dozen years ago, she failed to find the Whale Tail serial killer who executed his middle aged female victims with a bullet to the head and found bound to a tree. Her current investigation deals with the death of a stranger eerily similar to those earlier victims as she has a whale tail earring on her left ear.

Matt and J.D. investigate the homicide and finds the victim has government ties, but fails to answer why here and whether the killer returned or a copycat emerged. However, the inquiry spins weirdly when Guatemalan gangbangers attempt to kill Matt and J.D. Further complicating the murder mystery is Matt's best friend Jock Algren is directed to eliminate the killer as he works for that same agency the deceased worked at.

The latest Matt Royal whodunit (see Collateral Damage) is an engaging investigative thriller. The whodunit is interesting because each new clue convolutes the case but not as much as Matt's fears that J.D. soon will leave the Key to return to the big city. Fans will enjoy the competing hunts for a killer.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but no Robert Crais February 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased this item because Amazon called it "similar to Robert Crais' 'Suspect'." That's like saying oranges and prime rib are similar because they are food.

H. Terrell Griffin isn't a bad writer, and he spins an interesting yarn. But Robert Crais is a master. Compared to Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, Griffin's Matt Royal is a bit one-dimensional. His characters are good, and his plot is interesting, but neither have the depth that Crais brings to his characters and stories. A good tale, but in no way similar to Robert Crais.

I think I would have liked this book better if Amazon hadn't made that comparison. As it is, this is the last time I will take one of their recommendations for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fatal Decree
Wow, this one is spellbinding. I am intrigued by the geographical setting, so much about Florida I do not know. Great story, just sucks you right in.
Published 28 minutes ago by Barbara S Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the last?
I love this series of books. I am a little worried that this may have been the last book in the series. I sure hope I am wrong, but here is why I think it might be. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Claudia Burt Green
4.0 out of 5 stars I want more!
I love the Matt Royal mysteries........I have read them all and awaiting for the next one. Love the facts and places Matt frequents.
Published 14 days ago by Kathleen McCourt
1.0 out of 5 stars a bad way!
I was sent a free copy of this book and was asked to provide my frank opinion.

It was hard to invest my time and interest this in book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A good read, full of excitement. Very entertaining. Keeps the reader on edge at all times. Never a dull moment.
Published 2 months ago by Otha D. Shannon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read when it is cold outside.
It is nice to read about the warm Florida when it is so cold in the North, The action scenes are a little over the top sometimes. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JESSE R TEAL JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I really enjoy this series. Longboat key is a favorite place and I like that I can relate to the setting.
Published 2 months ago by susan verellen
4.0 out of 5 stars We're family
I've read all of Mr. Griffin's Matt Royal mysteries except "Found" - and I'll be getting that shortly. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JeanBean
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent read
I enjoy the Matt Royal series but this book was not as good as other ones that I have read. The story line is very confusing and, at times, a little boring. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kato Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars another good Matt Royal read
A lot more characters in this book so had to slow my reading down a bit. However, Griffin gave us the chance to get to know some of the regular characters better and that was... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carolyn R. Pardue
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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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