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Dead Wood (A Private Investigator Murder Mystery Series) (John Rockne Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Dani Amore
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

The past never dies...

In the exclusive enclave of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a woman who builds custom guitars is murdered. A disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator is hired by the dead woman's father and immediately becomes the target of a violent ex-convict. An enigmatic music star performs damage control on her links to the dead woman. And a professional killer who idolizes Keith Richards is brought into town by a mysterious employer.

Dead Wood is what great mysteries are all about: love, hate, faith and vengeance, all wrapped up in an explosive story that simply refuses to let up.

Editorial Reviews


"Dead Wood is a fast-paced, unpredictable mystery with an engaging
narrator and a rich cast of original supporting characters."

--Thomas Perry, Edgar-winning author of The Butcher's Boy.

"From its opening lines, Dani Amore and her private eye novel DEAD WOOD recall early James Ellroy: a fresh attitude and voice and the heady rush of boundless yearning and ambition. Amore delivers a vivid evocation of time and place in a way that few authors achieve, nailing the essence of her chosen corner of high-tone Michigan. She also deftly dodges the pitfalls that make so much contemporary private detective fiction a mixed bag and nostalgia-freighted misfire. Amores' detective has family; he's steady. He's not another burned-out, booze-hound hanging on teeth and toenails to the world and smugly wallowing in his own ennui. This is the first new private eye novel in a long time that just swept me along for the ride. Amore is definitely one to watch."
-- Edgar-nominated author Craig McDonald

"As gritty as the Detroit streets where it's set, DEAD WOOD grabs you early on and doesn't let go. As fine a a debut as you'll come across this year, maybe any year."
-author Tom Schreck

From the Author

Dani Amore is an international bestselling crime novelist living in Los Angeles, California. She is the recipient of the Independent Book Award for Crime Fiction.  Sign up for her free newsletter to hear about new stories, free books and giveaways:

Product Details

  • File Size: 487 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Slogan Books (January 27, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KKUVX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,579 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! September 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Rockne: A young police officer who makes a terrible mistake that ends up costing the life of a teenage boy.

Fast forward: Convinced his daughter was murdered by her boyfriend, Clarence Barr hires John (now a private investigator) to prove or disprove his theory.

And so it goes. John is a likable, believable and sometimes hapless man who works hard to find answers for his client. He still feels guilt for his past mistake but we aren't inflicted with prolonged angst, nor is he a boozer or recovering alcoholic. He's just an ordinary guy with two daughters and two strong women in his life; his wife and sister.

The murdered woman was an artist who made fine guitars and was killed while completing one she made for a famous singer. Lurking in the background is a killer for hire who moves closer to John as the investigation progresses.

The story is fast paced and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I liked John so much and got so involved in the book that I wanted to slap him on the back of the head when he did something stupid and held my breath when he was in danger.

Can't recommend it enough. As soon as I read the last page I went online and bought Dani Amore's previous book Death By Sarcasm
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best new mysteries of this year! December 8, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The dead wood of this book refers to both old wood salvaging from Michigan's Lake St. Clair and the incredibly gifted guitars made of them by Jesse Barre, the young, talented, beautiful and recently murdered daughter of an elderly retired country western crooner/songwriter who is asking John Rockne, P.I. for help finding her killer.
The author gives us wonderfully complex characters, a P.I. who is not, as his wife says, Russell Crowe, a sister who is the Grosse Pointe's Chief of Police and whose biting remarks about his sleuthing abilities would discourage a lesser mortal. And though John covers the barbs with clownish humor, he's also a guy that isn't easily discouraged. After all, as the author shows us, he's successful at what he does since has a back-log of business waiting for him, if he can solve this murder case . And, John will get to the end of case or die trying, because people keep trying to kill him. From a retired CIA spook, to the low life characters who traffic in stolen property, it seems like everyone is trying to cut off some or all of him. He doesn't quit, which is after all, what I'd want if I were were to ask a P.I. to help me find the killer of my daughter. And, because he doesn't quit, the end has a very satisfying twist to it.
I very much admire an original story and the ability to make me turn the page again and again. So, for me, never mind that the book is only $.99 I'd happily pay a lot more for another John Rockne mystery.
This is a well deserved five star read!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary PI with 'No' hangups. July 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like John Rockne, who is an ordinary guy with no addictive hangups, he doesn't need crutches with the load of guilt he carries around. Dani Amore creates a compelling character in DEAD WOOD. The story's plot twists around the upscale neighborhood of Grosse Point, MI and its close neighbor Detroit.
John's sister Ellen is the chief of police who spends much of her time getting her little brother out of hot water.
This is not your normal PI story, but it is a fun read.
Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Liz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not a "funny" book, yet somehow I laughed throughout. The author has a wit that is easy to relate to, and at the same time the "whodunit" remains in the forefront. If you're looking for a great detective mystery that is not the same old thing, you'll love this author. This is the first book of hers that I've read, so when I finished this, I immediately went looking for more, and was very happy to see that she has a lot out there. I'm now reading To Find a Mountain, and it's almost as if a whole different person wrote this one simply because it's so very different, yet still such a great book. I look forward to reading more and more. When I stumble on a great read like this, I always wonder how I've been in the dark for so long. This book is a bargain at ten times the cost. Act now before the secret gets out!
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45 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead Wood dead on arrival December 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While the overall plot was passable, the writer has absolutely no feel for detail. There were many inconsistencies, and it almost became a game to find them. Most probably arise from lack of actual life experience on the part of the author. For example, in one scene the PI is beaten so badly that his eye is described as being almost immediately and totally shut, but afterwards he makes such a miraculous recovery that he thinks he can prevent his wife from noticing....hate to tell you this Dani, but when you are beaten that badly you don't bounce back that quickly. This happened throughout...this wasn't worth the $.99 I paid for it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Robuster November 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a lot worse ways to spend a buck.The story is better then average.The brother sister relationship is far fetched and written badly.Once you overcome this aspect, the story is entertaining. I liked the plot and the ending was well crafted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but unpolished May 29, 2012
By Sophic
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This felt to me like a first effort - a fairly well done murder mystery with unpolished prose, a clear (and clearly overused) distaste for Detroit, and all sorts of odd tangents, many of them sexual in nature (don't share with the kiddies). The lead character's reliance on sarcasm felt more than a little forced and very unrealistic at times, though I enjoyed the interplay with his sister, the chief of police where all the dirty doings are taking place. Overall not a bad little story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book. Good story with gritty, funny characters
Published 19 days ago by JButler
3.0 out of 5 stars and my least favorite. It was an OK detective novel with plenty ...
This is my third book by this author, and my least favorite. It was an OK detective novel with plenty of twists and turns. I didn't care much for the detective, John. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Domino
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story
I love reading this author`s books. She combines mystery, intrigue as well as humor to further her storyline. The main character is believable as well as humorous.
Published 1 month ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I liked the book. It was well worth reading.
Published 2 months ago by Linda Heal
Published 2 months ago by Rob
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-Hitting Humorous Mystery
John Rockne lasted six months as the youngest cop on the Grosse Point, Michigan police force before a major mistake cost him his job. Six years later, he is now a Grosse Point P.I. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Edie
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be sorry.
This was a good read. Put me in mind of "Fargo" a little. ever bored a minute.
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Shannon's special guitar
A very lively P.I yarn that's a very enjoyable read. "Dead Wood" by Dani Amore features protagonist John Rockne, a former disgraced cop turned P.I.. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jim mccarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you Love it
Published 3 months ago by Rima M. Mathewson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but....
Though the story line and characters were good, albeit sometimes a little far fetched, I do NOT see need for the f-bomb to be used every other sentence. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Deanna D. Yearsley
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More About the Author

-New York Times bestselling author Thomas Perry on Dani Amore


My name is Dani Amore, and I'm a crime novelist living in Los Angeles. I currently have nine novels for sale on Amazon. They are KILLING THE RAT (A Thriller) THE RECRUITER (A Thriller), THE CIRCUIT RIDER (A Kindle Serial) BEER MONEY (The First Burr Ashland Mystery) MURDER WITH SARCASTIC INTENT (The 2nd Mary Cooper Mystery) THE KILLING LEAGUE (A Thriller), DEATH BY SARCASM (The First Mary Cooper Mystery), DEAD WOOD (The First John Rockne Mystery), and TO FIND A MOUNTAIN.

I love to hear from my readers and I answer all emails. Stop by my site, or email me at dani (at) daniamore (dot) com.

Thank you for your support, I hope you enjoy my books.


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