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Rules of Crime (A Detective Jackson Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

L.J. Sellers
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When a call from his daughter, Katie, interrupts his much-needed vacation, Detective Wade Jackson knows it’s bad news. As Katie tearfully announces that her mom—Jackson’s ex-wife, Renee—is missing, Jackson suspects alcoholic Renee has climbed back inside the bottle that destroyed their marriage. But the truth is far worse: kidnappers have snatched Renee and are demanding ransom from her wealthy fiancé.

The very same night, someone dumps a savagely beaten University of Oregon coed on the doorstep of the ER. Jackson’s protégé, Detective Lara Evans, must identify the unconscious victim, then track down the assailant with no leads to go on…except the whispered rumor of a secret sorority.

Meanwhile, Eugene’s new FBI liaison, Agent Carla River, takes charge of Renee’s high-tech ransom operation while Jackson comforts his distressed daughter and retraces the steps of the mother she holds dear. But as the rescue takes a deadly twist and the suspects seem willing to let Renee die rather than crack under interrogation, Jackson worries that Katie will never forgive him if her mother is lost forever.

Editorial Reviews Review

Q&A with L.J. Sellers

L.J. Sellers

L.J. Sellers is an award-winning journalist and the author of the bestselling Detective Jackson mystery/suspense series.

Q. What inspired you to write the Detective Jackson Mystery Series?

A. I wrote the first book featuring Detective Jackson as a standalone story. I had always wanted to write a police procedural because it's my favorite genre, and a couple of news events, along with policy changes, made me passionate about the subject of teenage sex and access to birth control. The Sex Club story evolved from my concerns. One of the main characters is a Planned Parenthood nurse, so I made the detective a male for balance. As I was writing, it occurred to me that Jackson was a great character for a series.

Q. Who was the inspiration for Wade Jackson?

A. Much of his character is based on the first homicide detective I interviewed. But Jackson's compassionate side--and his fierce love of his daughter--is modeled after my husband, who ironically, sometimes thinks Jackson is too soft. Jackson's trike-building hobby and his estranged/renewed relationship with his brother are also modeled after my husband. And of course, Jackson is a little bit like me. All of my characters have at least one of my quirks. That's one of the advantages of having multiple personalities.

Q: Tell us about Eugene, Oregon where your novels are set. Is there a lot of intrigue there?

A. Eugene is mid-sized, college town that used to be a quiet and safe place to live and raise kids. It's beautiful, ideally located an hour from the coast and an hour from the mountains, and culturally diverse. But an active methamphetamine trade contributed to an escalation in violence, then the repressed economy resulted in massive spending cuts to law enforcement and the county jail. The result was a lack of prosecution for minor crimes that, in turn, led to many gang members moving to Eugene. So there are a startling number of violent crimes, police standoffs, and lately, embezzlement cases. But nothing quite as intriguing as the complex cases I dream up for Jackson to solve.

Q. In your newest, Rules of Crime, Detective Lara Evans and FBI Agent Carla River are featured prominently. Might you spin off Evans or Rivers for their own series?

A. I've considered both. In fact, Lara Evans is also featured prominently in Dying for Justice (Jackson #5). I had so much fun developing Evans' character in that story that the next novel I wrote featured Evans as the protagonist, but ten years into the future in a standalone thriller. I also wrote the Agent River character with the idea that she might have her own series. And in Jackson #8, I created yet another FBI agent who I really had fun with, and now I'm writing a thriller featuring her. The new character, Agent Dallas, is most likely to end up with her own series because she travels around, and I need to get out of Eugene sometimes.

Q. What is the favorite reader comment that you have received?

A. I've had such great feedback that it's hard to pick just one. But several readers have contacted me to say that after reading one of my books, they bought them all and read them within a week. I love that!

Q.What is the most gratifying thing about being a full-time writer?

Hearing from readers every day that they enjoy my stories and are impatient for more is the most rewarding experience of my life. It's truly gratifying to bring joy and entertainment to so many people. The next best thing is the flexibility and opportunity to spend more time with my family.

About the Author

L. J. Sellers is a native of Eugene, Oregon, the setting of her thrillers. She is a former award-winning journalist and editor, and current standup comic, cyclist, social networker, and mystery-conference attendee-as well as a skydiving and thrill-seeking fanatic. A long-standing fan of police procedurals, she numbers John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Ridley Pearson, and Lawrence Sanders among her favorites. Her own novels, featuring Detective Jackson, include The Sex Club, Secrets to Die For, Thrilled to Death, Passions of the Dead, Dying for Justice, Liars, Cheaters, & Thieves, and Rules of Crime. She's also penned three standalone thrillers: The Baby Thief, The Gauntlet Assassin, and The Lethal Effect.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1489 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611098068
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (February 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0099TF4R2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plot is great but the writing lacks a little... January 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoy these Detective Jackson novels because I used to live in Eugene. I love being able to read a book and when they go somewhere say, "Hey, I know where that is!"

That being said, I also think LJ Sellers has a great knack for plots and twists. However, I was sorely disappointed by the writing in the first half of the book. It seemed canned and cheesy and really detracted from the awesome plot lines she was weaving. It got better in the second part of the book but by then it had already cost her one star.

I really don't want to give you the plot because trying to spell it out could cost some of the nuances that make it such a great story. I will say that the book consists of Detective Wade Jackson, the hero of several of her novels and the Violent Crimes Unit in the Eugene Police Department (not sure if there is one in reality, Eugene is not heavy on crime). His wife, Renee, has been kidnapped for reasons unknown to anyone, especially since Jackson himself is not the target. In the meantime, a separate crime has been committed where a young woman was dumped naked and beaten in front of a local hospital and it is unsure if she will survive. This is being investigated by Detective Lara Evans, still new to the VCU and appears utterly separate from the kidnapping. In this book, any of the usual characters other than the law enforcement officers, such as Jackson's girlfriend Kiera, his brother Derrick and other members of the cast in previous books really take a back seat. The only up front character is his daughter Katie, who is distraught over her mother's kidnapping but even she too has a seemingly minor role.

If this is your first LJ Sellers' Jackson novel, don't count her out from the bad writing. All her Jackson books are wonderful and I am proud to own them all.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful emotional thriller February 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the author's tenth novel and readers will immediately recognize they are in the hands of an experienced and talented writer. It's another suspense novel following the adventures of a crack Eugene, Oregon, police detective assigned to the Violent Crimes division. There are serious problems in this small western community. Crime is rising and budget woes are cutting into the police department's ability to protect the citizens and to do the necessary heavy lifting leading to successful prosecutions.

Detective Wade Jackson is called back from a badly needed vacation with his new girlfriend with news his ex-wife, Renee, has disappeared. It quickly becomes clear she's been kidnapped. What follows is an increasingly tense effort by local law enforcement and the regional FBI office, to locate the woman and apprehend the kidnappers. A subplot involving a case of brutal assault on a girl attending the local university winds its way through the novel.

The novel is populated mostly by cops and a few of their immediate family members. The interactions are interesting and add dimension to the story. The range of law enforcement personnel is unusual and also interesting, from Carla River, head of the local FBI office, to Detective Jackson's superior. With only one or two exceptions, the novel illuminates emotional responses of the characters as they meet and deal with the many twists and turns of the plot. For the most part, readers will receive a solid sense of the turmoil, tension and neediness at various times of the players.

Detective Jackson, a central player in the novel, is searching for his former wife. That may be seen as a bit of a stretch, and his life is complicated by the presence of his daughter, Kate.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rules of Crime Meet Rules of Writing April 25, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in the peaceful town of Eugene, Oregon, Renee Jackson slips out of her AA meeting, polishes off some vodka from the thermos in her car, goes to check herself into Rehab... and is promptly kidnapped.

Meanwhile a young female college student is dropped off in front of the ER, beaten within an inch of her life, and naked except for her pink socks.

Detective Wade Jackson, of the Eugene PD, is vacationing in Hawaii with his girlfriend when he gets the call from his daughter Katie. His ex-wife (Renee, see above) is missing. Wade drops everything; he and his girlfriend fly back to Eugene to find her.

So Wade, pretty much defying all rules of police procedure, takes on the case of finding his ex while Det. Lara Evans takes on the task of finding the identity of the pink sock patient.

There is no real reason anyone would want to take Renee. Her stockbroker fiancé Ivan thinks maybe the kidnapper is a disgruntled contractor who lost his nest egg courtesy of Ivan. The FBI arrives. The story proceeds as we follow the various cases.

And while it has the potential of being a fascinating taut tale, that whips back and forth between two stories of intrigue... sadly, it isn't.

L.J. Sellers peppers the book with an enormous cast of characters. You actually need the handy chart at the back of the book to keep them straight. There's the female FBI agent who used to be a guy. There's Ivan's beautiful newscaster daughter. There's Wade's broken-hearted daughter Katie. There's Wade, there's Lara, there are gang bangers and thugs and grumpy people.

But none of them has much personality. Katie's a teenager. Ivan's... well, a stockbroker who drinks. Carl/Carla is an FBI agent with a new body.

Apparently L.J.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... now and it holds my attention so far I enjoy the book extremely
I'm reading it now and it holds my attention so far I enjoy the book extremely.
Published 2 days ago by David Comeau
4.0 out of 5 stars Another exciting story with Detective Jackson
I've enjoyed each of the Detective Jackson mysteries I've read. And I can hardly wait to read the next one. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Rules of Crime by L.J. Sellers
Another excellent read. This was true suspense. I couldn't guess the kidnapper until the very end. The author tied in everyone and each case brilliantly. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Anne Gricks
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could have read it all at one time!
This is the first L.J. Sellers book I have read and I really enjoyed the people in his story.
Published 6 days ago by Patsy Finster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everything worked just the way it should. What's to complain about?
Published 7 days ago by kwilding
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are following the Detective Jackson series you will not be...
This was entertaing. The plot had enough twists and turns to keep my intention and the the climax actually caught me off guard. Sellers characters are very well defined. Read more
Published 8 days ago by ROBERT MYERHOFF
The story was a good mystery that flowed nicely. I did have a couple of things figured out before the ending, but certainly not the answers to the full mystery and the incredible... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Susan Moore
3.0 out of 5 stars O K book
I wish there was someway I didn't have to rate each book. That's the worse thing about reading the books
Published 19 days ago by T.a.m-z
4.0 out of 5 stars Rules of Crime
Good construction of creatures. Enough twist and turns to keep you interested. Liked the way both crimes ended as being one crime
Published 22 days ago by Dorothy Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
L.J Sellers does it again with his two main characters detectives Wade Jackson and Lara Evans. Two seemingly different crimes each one was working on Sellers manages to intertwine... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Francis T. Villante
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More About the Author

L.J. Sellers writes the bestselling Detective Jackson mystery/thriller series--a two-time Readers Favorite Award winner--as well as the Agent Dallas series and provocative standalone thrillers. Her 16 novels have been highly praised by reviewers, and she's one of the highest-rated crime fiction authors on Amazon.

L.J. resides in Eugene, Oregon where many of her novels are set and is an award-winning journalist who earned the Grand Neal. She's also the founder of Housing Help, a charity dedicated to keeping families from becoming homeless. When not plotting murders or working with her foundation, she enjoys standup comedy, cycling, social networking, and attending mystery conferences. She's also been known to jump out of airplanes. For more about L.J., visit her website:

Detective Jackson Mysteries
The Sex Club
Secrets to Die For
Thrilled to Death
Passions of the Dead
Dying for Justice
Liars, Cheaters & Thieves
Rules of Crime
Crimes of Memory
Deadly Bonds
Wrongful Death (March, 2105)

Agent Dallas Thrillers
The Trigger
The Target
The Trap (Dec., 2014)

Standalone Thrillers
The Baby Thief
The Gauntlet Assassin
The Lethal Effect

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