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Too Hard to Handle (Mara Cunningham Series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

John Perich
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $4.00 (40%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


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Book Description

"Running for the rest of your life isn’t a plan ..."

The last time Mara Cunningham saw her older brother Jimmy was ten years ago, when he jumped bail after robbing a bank in Salem. Tonight, he showed up on surveillance footage at the scene of a police officer's murder.

Now every cop in Boston wants his head. Every gangster in the city wants the money he stole. And Mara wants answers to the questions Jimmy ran from. But she'll have to find him first.

Too bad Jimmy Cunningham has plans of his own ...

TOO HARD TO HANDLE is the second book in the Mara Cunningham series. It follows Boston's most dangerous photographer as she solves mysteries, uncovers corruption and busts some heads. It's dark, gritty and action-packed.

Editorial Reviews


Praise for the Mara Cunningham series: 

"Strong, flawed, independent female lead [...] ? Check. Political intrigue and conspiracy? Check. Cast of characters that get just enough page time to whet your appetite for future stories? Checkmate. Somebody option this quick." - Jeremy Lott, Splice Today

Product Details

  • File Size: 550 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009NDYT7A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as the First, Still a Solid Stand-Alone June 26, 2014
By Hello
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Honestly, I preferred the first book in the series to this one. To compare, the first book felt had a sense of tension as Mara couldn't escape the trouble that came after her, whereas in the sequel she seemed to take a lot more initiative in advancing the plot. On the one hand, I have to appreciate a female protagonist who drives the complex, but the book looses a lot of narrative steam when you feel like the main character can step away from the danger at any time.

This story is personal to Mara, focusing on her family life and her childhood. I feel like the character was already well established by the end of the last book, and while the back story added interesting dimension, I felt it was unnecessary. Ironically, this sequel felt a lot more like a prequel to me.

Obviously, my opinion is highly subjective. Others may have different takes, and if you haven't read the first book, you may not respond to these specific criticisms. The only real weakness to this novel as a stand-alone was the romantic subplot, which never connected to the main plot. I was waiting for a big twist or for the love interest to get kidnapped or killed or something, but instead, he was just kind of there through the story, never quite integrating with the rest of the plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel January 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Perich's crime novels about Boston photographer Mara Cunningham are great to read. He fills his Boston with crooks from both sides of the law, and gives neither his heroine nor his readers too much time to breathe. Mara is a capable investigator who never feels superhuman, and every story she gets involved in feels personal. Read this book, read the one before it, and read the one after it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good October 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I cannot tell a lie. this book is super dope. I wish I was Mara, but I will settle for reading about her and pretending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Handled Just Fine August 3, 2013
By mlr
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked the characterizations and the way the author folded in the back story. Lots of action -- and credible. I'm looking forward to reading another by this author.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the first book in the series July 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
i didnt enjoy this book as much as i did the first and pretty much had the plot worked out from the start. i still read it to the end but found the characters slowness to understand what was going on annoying at times. hope the next in the series is better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome sophomore outing May 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first Mara Cunningham book, but this second entry in the series was even better. Each page was gripping and the flashbacks were a great way to give backstory. The character development felt more nuanced than the first novel and the mystery easier to follow.

I'd read Too Close Too Miss first, but don't stop there.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first Mara Cunningham December 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed "Too Close to Miss." It is unusual for this kind of thriller/mystery drama to be my top choice, but it was a good read featuring a brilliant lead character. The second in the series, "Too Hard to Handle", gives us more insight into who Mara Cunningham is, where she came from, and how she became the tough-as-nails modern heroine we know and love.

The writing is tight, and the book is hard to put down. Actually, if I have one complaint about this book, it's that I wanted it to last longer.

Every gritty moment, every hard-earned victory, every punch-in-the-gut memory of childhood pain, I was with Mara to the last. The scenes were all well described but the style was fast-paced. Reading this was like watching the movie play out in my head. In fact, if this doesn't get made into a movie I will be very surprised.

Mara Cunningham is smart and real. But the real heroine of the book is the city of Boston herself. Ok, yes, I live in Boston, so saying I felt like I was really there is superfluous. I WAS really there. But the research on the city is impeccable. This is not the Boston of stereotypes and bad movies. The city was a living, breathing part of Mara's story and Mara's life. And I can't wait to see what Mara, and Boston, do in the next book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the author's first take on the character November 12, 2014
Even better than the author's first take on the character. A fast fun read that will keep you turning pages. Thrills and surprises aplenty. The fight scenes were described like a well choreographed ballet.
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More About the Author

While working in a variety of Boston-area tech startups, John Perich has still found time to write and publish several gritty crime thrillers, particularly the Mara Cunningham series (Too Close To Miss in 2011; Too Hard to Handle in 2012).

A Baltimore native but a Massachusetts resident, John teaches and practices jiu-jitsu, turns a winking eye to pop culture on Overthinking It, samples whiskey indiscriminately but responsibly, and rocks a mean karaoke mic.

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