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

295 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

--New York Times bestselling author Thomas Perry

"From its opening lines, Dan Ames and his private eye novel DEAD WOOD recall early James Ellroy: a fresh attitude and voice and the heady rush of boundless yearning and ambition. Ames delivers a vivid evocation of time and place in a way that few authors achieve, nailing the essence of his chosen corner of high-tone Michigan. He also deftly dodges the pitfalls that make so much contemporary private detective fiction a mixed bag and nostalgia-freighted misfire. Ames's 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. Ames 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

Dan Ames is an international bestselling crime novelist living in Detroit, Michigan. He is the recipient of the Independent Book Award for Crime Fiction.  Sign up for his free newsletter to hear about new stories, free books and giveaways:  authordanames.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 4087 KB
  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Slogan Books (January 27, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 27, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KKUVX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,019 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 132 people found the following review helpful By CJ McClain on 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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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By RP Dahlke on 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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nash Black VINE VOICE on 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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Deanna D. Yearsley on July 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. To me, that says the author/character is not intelligent enough to express him/herself adequately, so that word is substituted for a more suitable one!!
AND, as with most modern books...the editing leaves much to be desired with grammatical errors, missing words, added words, mixed tenses, etc., etc., ad infinitum!!
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By CAM on July 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I hate to discourage any writer but maybe this one will listen for improvement areas rather than take offense. Other than for a few good moments I was bored throughout most of this book. The hero claims his sister and wife are his most important people, yet they are one dimensional. The disrespectful sister adds nothing to the storyline beyond being a female taciturn bully. The wife cries each time he's been in danger and yet with barely a breath between emotions she's fine with him going back out there. Get real, a true wife is going to know he is a bumbler and have more to say about his job choice. That would, at least, add some believable personal interest to the story.

For some reason the author thinks adding more characters is better than developing the ones he or she has. Just because you can add them doesn't mean you should. A reader wants to feel like he or she thoroughly knows each potential bad guy, and having to figure out if he or she did it is so much more enjoyable than having many undeveloped characters to randomly pick from. The author needs to reduce the sheer number of characters in favor of developing the ones he or she has. If they--and their flunkies--aren't worth developing get rid of them.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Hammer Jockey on May 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Incomplete, have to buy the next book.
Only wraps up a part of the story.
Interesting up to the ending.
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