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Northcoast Shakedown (Nick Kepler Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jim Winter , Ken Bruen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Book Description

Sex, lies, and insurance fraud on America's North Coast. Nick Kepler is a Cleveland insurance investigator who finds three cases, two seeming slam dunks and an easy cheating spouse job, are all tied together somehow. He soon finds himself in a web of sex, blackmail, and murder that reaches the upper echelons of the city's elite.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1094 KB
  • Print Length: 209 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OF856Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As enjoyable now as it was the first time! January 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I first read Northcoast Shakedown back in 2005, when it was first released in print by a small press. It's a fast-paced, engaging story with a quirky main character who's so real, it's hard to believe he's fictional. Upon the re-read, my original opinion stands: P.I. Nick Kepler's a piece of work (in a good way!) and never fails to entertain.

Kepler is a P.I. with the perfect, cushy gig of tracking down workers' comp fraud and the occasional cheating spouse. When the book opens, he's investigating just that, plus a questionnable life insurance claim that's more a matter of saving an underwriter's job than saving the company money. But the more he digs in, the more questionable the life insurance claim appears, and not for the reasons the company thinks. Before Nick knows it, he's in over his head in a world of swingers' clubs, political cover-ups, and murder, and finds himself next on a killer's hit list. Kepler himself never fails to engage, as a guy who just wants to get his job done and enjoy a beer and a baseball game afterward, with the occasional hot babe thrown in. His quirky dislike of SUVs and ability to be distracted by an attractive female are among the little details that make him relatable and fun.

As good of a read as this book is, it's not perfect, but the criticisms are small. One is that there are so many minor/extra characters in this book, it's hard to keep track of them. I'm not talking about the long list of suspects and persons of interest - the book does very well there. But Kepler is a former cop, and has associates in several different departments in addition to other government types and colleages/customers at the insurance company - enough that they eventually run together in this reader's mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kepler's debut December 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I actually read this a long time ago, before it was even published. I'd published some of Winter's early stories on PLOTS WITH GUNS ezine, and so I got a early peek. It's a story that really *fits* the author, and it has a whole lot of the local touches (Cleveland here) that help a P.I.'s world become so singular in our minds. Kepler is, lets say, "picky"--he knows what he likes and he likes it hard, and dislikes stuff just as hard, so that's the real attraction here. Cleveland as seen by Kepler. I think it's worth your time. A little funny, a little world-weary, a little anal retentive--that's Kepler, and that's cool in a world of P.I.s who can start to feel a bit of the same after a while. That's not a problem with Kepler.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Kepler's debut novel now an ebook December 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Dogged and down-to-earth, Jim Winter's Cleveland P.I. Nick Kepler won me over years ago, when I was fiction editor for THE THRILLING DETECTIVE WEB SITE. Despite Kepler's long, fine reputation online, NORTHCOAST SHAKEDOWN, his novel debut, never received the publicity or support it deserved from its print publisher. I'm glad to see NORTHCOAST as an ebook, and fellow P.I. fans will be, too.
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More About the Author

Born near Cleveland in 1966, Jim Winter had a vivid imagination - maybe too vivid for his own good - that he spun into a career as a writer. He is the author of Northcoast Shakedown, a tale of sex, lies, and insurance fraud - and Road Rules, an absurd heist story involving a stolen holy relic. Jim now lives in Cincinnati with his wife Nita and stepson AJ. To keep the lights on, he is a web developer and network administrator by day. Visit him at , like Jim Winter Fiction on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter @authorjimwinter.


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