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4.4 out of 5 stars
Pattern of Wounds (A Roland March Mystery)
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on May 5, 2013
After buying thousands of hardcovers I decided to try a kindle. When I got it I wanted to try downloading something so I searched on "free books" and a list appeared. None of them looked like anything I would read but on the bottom of the 1st page I saw Back on Murder. So I downloaded it not really intending to read it. I started it to play with the features of the kindle and much to my surprise it was good, a little like Michael Connelly or John Sandford which is high praise indeed. Now I've read all 3 Roland March ebooks and they're all good. The key to writing police procedurals is to know how cops walk and talk and this author does. Most of the top writers in this genre were reporters working the crime beat for a newspaper and that's how they learned. I don't know how this author got it but he did. To give an example of the opposite is NYPD Red where Patterson's ghost knew little and the book is garbage. When I looked at kindle books I found a lot of books that cost between zero and a few dollars written by people I never heard of. I figured these were people who couldn't get a book published and self published ebooks. I read some samples and they were lousy. These are the exception that proves the rule.
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on September 25, 2011
**Bethany House Publishers provided me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for posting a review with my honest (positive or negative) opinion of it.**

I hadn't heard of J. Mark Bertrand and Roland March until receiving Pattern of Wounds for review. Thus, I haven't read the first in this series. There was a lot of underlying tension and agitation written into the March character, that I couldn't understand the basis for, and perhaps had I read the first book in this series I would have understood.

I love a who-done-it, and was actually a little disappointed because I figured out who-done-it as soon as the do-er crossed the page (but than I got the satisfaction of "told ya so" at the end).

I know some people won't look twice at this book just because it's "Christian" fiction. However, the Christian twist of the plot isn't overbearing or preachy, and Roland March has some pretty good arguments against an all-loving God (the muscle-builder next door scenario, for example).

This was a good book, and I'm happy to recommend it to Christians and non-Christians alike, who like a good mystery mix of a serial killer, a couple of bloody mutilated bodies, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2014
I liked this story. I am starting to understand the complex characters who are intertwined throughout the two books in the series. I look forward to the next one.
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on September 30, 2011
Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand

If you like a series type of book that can also be read as a stand-alone book, this is a good one. I didn't realize that there were other books in the Roland March Mystery series until I read some other reviews after reading it. This is a good fiction book with a spiritual lining. It takes the typical murder mystery and puts a little background spirituality to it. I would think that God and Christian values will be more evident in the future books because you can see the main character working through his issues of anger towards God. I can really relate to the character because I am also in law enforcement and it is very difficult for people in my field to accept and trust God as loving and merciful sometimes. If you're looking for an interesting murder mystery book without all the language and blood, but with a thread of Christianity woven into it, this would be a good choice. If you're looking for a obvious Christian fiction book, you may want to head somewhere else.

I did find this book an interesting read and a nice substitution to the typical foul language murder mystery books.
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I generally enjoy murder mysteries. This one had what I look for, the dead body in the first view pages. I struggled at the beginning of the story with the main character, Roland March. Of course, I have a feeling Detective March is exactly where the author wanted him. A passionate cop, with ethics that are a little off the straight and narrow.

Regardless of my initial feeling toward the detective I ended up enjoying this story. March is passionate cop he works tirelessly to find the bad guy and see justice served.

This is book two of the Roland March series and although I didn't read book one, but I didn't feel lost in the story. The author gives you enough history to understand there have been previous relationships between several of the main characters, yet there's enough questions in your mind to want to go back and read book one.

This is a well written book, with good detail that engaged me. I did struggle with many of the actions of the main character, but I think the author was very intentional in his writing. Great story!

I received this book from the publisher, but my opinions are just that, my opinions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2014
Mark Bertrand has created an unforgettable character in Roland March...agonizing human weakness is displayed with ultimate triumph in solving a difficult case.
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on September 28, 2011
Unfortunately for Roland March, snow in Houston occurs less frequently than murder. Working homicide in the city keeps a detective hopping even in the holiday season. When a young woman is murdered, one murder scene appears like another. The image of the original murder is burned in his brain. Is this a copycat murder or did he convict the wrong man years ago? With a rift in his marriage and having alienated many of his collegues, March refuses to believe he put the wrong man behind bars and diligently searches for the real killer. The killer escalates matters by sending e-mails and then attacking March's wife. Searching for clues in the pattern of wounds, March works against time to put a face to the evil lurking in Houston.
Bertrand weaves a fine murder mystery. He keeps one guessing until the very end who the killer is and what his reasons are. Well-told and a great read, Pattern of Wounds is worth your time. Having read oodles of mysteries, I was glad to hear a fresh voice and new perspective from character Roland March. I look forward to reading more of the writings of Mark Bertrand.
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on October 11, 2011
Roland March helped convict a man of murder, so when a similar murder takes place, Roland is determined to find out if he put away the right guy or if there is a copycat murderer. When the murderer begins sending Roland cryptic messages and even tries to hurt Charlotte, Roland's wife, the investigation becomes personal. Will Roland catch the murderer before there are more victims?

This is the first book I've read by J. Mark Bertrand, and I wasn't disappointed. The storyline is tightly written with every detail building up to the final showdown.The relationship between Roland and his wife is powerful addition to the murder story as the reader can see the effect being a cop and seeing such horrible things on a person, his view of God, and his relationships. The ending is a chilling beginning for the next book!

It was also cool to read this book since I live just outside of Houston (Kingwood, in fact, just like the book mentioned in the book), so I recognized streets and places.

I was given this book to review by Bethany House. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
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on May 25, 2015
I am an avid reader of mystery novels, and have consumed several hundred over the past 10 years. I read quickly, and am always looking for new authors/books. I read the synopsis of the Roland March mystery series; they sounded just my thing so bought the first 2. I was disappointed on so many levels. None of the major characters are likeable or developed in any manner which would lead me to suppose that the "next book" would explain and round out their characters. I found myself wanting to literally punch Roland March in the nose for his rude, headstrong, stubborn personality. Did not seem to have any understandable or likeable qualities that can make you admire or even like the hero of a novel in spite of his faults. Early on, you learn that he lost a daughter in a car crash, has issues in his marriage, and is always in trouble at work, but this is only touched on briefly and stated in flat, sterile prose, with no emotion noted or linked to such problems. Just not enough character development to keep me interested in "who dunnit".
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on September 30, 2011
Roland March, a Houston city detective, is on the hunt for the murderer of a young woman, whose body position and way of death makes him think it is a copy cat killing to a crime which he had solved about 10 years earlier. And now, a Sheriff's deputy from the county is trying to make a name for himself claiming that this murder, and several others, are the work of s serial killer. March doesn't think so, but since he isn't the most popular man in the office, his superiors are telling him to consider this mans ideas and investigate...

This is my first 'Roland March' book to read, and while I'm usually a big murder mystery fan, this one didn't do it for me. It started out great, but about halfway through, I started looking for an ending, which didn't come for another 150 pages.

Pattern of Wounds (A Roland March Mystery)

I recieved a copy of this book from Bethany House, to read and review. No other compensation was given. I'm not required to give a favorable review, and all opinions expressed here are my own.
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