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The Big Bend (Terry Rankin Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Gary Showalter
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.50
Kindle Price: $3.00
You Save: $10.50 (78%)

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Book Description

The day begins like any other: Terry Rankin, sole proprietor of Rankin Personal Security Services in Orlando, Florida, accepts a private meeting with a potential client. Sheila Adamson is looking for a bodyguard to protect her from her abusive husband, but Rankin refuses to take the job until she begins divorce proceedings. Moments later, Mrs. Adamson is dead and Rankin is buried beneath the rubble of his house, knocked flat by a car bomb planted in the dead woman’s Jaguar. When he’s questioned by the local police, Rankin learns that Adamson’s attorney has also turned up dead, his Cadillac riddled with bullets. Suspecting there is more to these murders than a domestic dispute, he teams up with Orlando cop Cathy Diamond for a thrilling—and treacherous—adventure that will lead them deep into the heart of the Everglades and hot on the trail of a dangerous criminal. In Rankin’s sardonic bodyguard-turned-investigator, Gary Showalter has created a new hero for fans of hardboiled mysteries.


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

"The Big Bend" is my first commercial work, and I had a great time developing the characters and writing the story they told me. I have visited the places I write about, and in many cases I have participated in actions similar to those I describe in my stories. Needless to say, once is enough.

About the Author

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. He moved to Israel in 1981, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He resumed service with the Israel Defense Forces Reserves, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. Mr. Showalter currently resides in Silver Springs, Florida.

Product Details

  • File Size: 512 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Booksurge; 1 edition (November 9, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0035G0722
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,962 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
By Rabelad
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read Gary Showalter's book The Big Bend and was entranced by many aspects of this thriller novel.

I was captured by the down-home, personal-narrative style done in such a way that gave me the feeling of being intimately involved in the life of the main character, Terry Rankin.

With many movies and TV shows I'm able to second-guess the writer and figure out what the next move or event in the narrative will be. When I'm able to do that I loose interest quickly. However, in the case of The Big Bend Showalter's writing led me, the reader, down paths where I could not fathom the next step or predict the next move by the characters, and that made this book very hard to put down.

Realistic events are a significant part of this book. Showalter has given attention to little details in the narrative to the point where they are believable and can satisfy one with a critical attitude. Many times in novels and TV shows there are parts of the story line or details that would not be plausible in real life but Showalter has avoided that pitfall and is able to incorporate complete realism in his story line.

The Big Bend is simply a good thriller and who-done-it and the cycles of tension and relaxation are well arranged so that the reader is drawn into the narrative without being overwhelmed by too much action and high drama.

Then there are the interpersonal relationships that are an important part of this book that give meaning and reason for the characters behaving as they do. The relationships among the characters are a vital part of this novel and they make the backbone of the narrative.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars decent but very violent story November 7, 2012
By tvlgds
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
And for someone who tells us how to pronounce "Leaky, Tx" he didn't tell us how to spell it correctly! It's Leakey! It's just up the road a piece.

The story was half decent, albeit extremely violent and not incredibly believable. The author did grab the reader from the very beginning and it was very hard to put down, but the excessive violence was getting tiresome by the end.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read December 20, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has the most unique opening that I have seen. The author grabs your attention and keeps it. The story line kept me interested and I was eager to see what twist and turn was coming next. The author dropped the main character kicking and screaming into a big pot of trouble early on and the character keeps kicking and screaming his way until the case is solved. This is one book I have recommended to all of my family and friends.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing! February 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An easy read to be sure, however it disappointed me within 10 pages. His writing is simple and at times juvenile. There were characters that left a scene and within a few pages were there again (after being removed by helicopter)? Poor editing and lack of detail. The story wondered and as another review stated LONG details were given about irrelevant things.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "That earned you a cup of coffee, big boy." April 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With snappy phrases like this, what's not to like, right? This cop book starts out with a bang (literally) and then sails around in circles. Here's another excerpt "A really nice, really big boat. Really nice, fast, big boat. With a black hull and gray topside and a really pretty flying bridge..." Really? Does this writing make for a really good book? Not really. I'm 38% done and am really going to try to finish, but I have not been impressed thus far...

Gave up at 60% and dumped it in the waste bin. If you are hung on everything about boating this might be the book for you, but way too much wasted pages otherwise to keep an average Joe like me interested.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars nah December 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
i kept thinking it was going to be a good read. but turns out it was mostly filler, a lot of descriptive detail about things that were irelevant. and then the circumstances and dialogue started to become very juvenile and completely unrealistic. that is when i bailed and didnt bother to finish. sorry but i dont recommend. it's unfortunate because it reads as if the author could tell a good tale. but he doesnt.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time March 18, 2013
By ylady
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First of all, there was a great deal of detail about boats and boating that went right over the head of someone uninitiated like me. I don't know why I kept reading the story. It had characters that were interesting and lots of action; in fact, an absurd amount of action, but the story itself never made much sense. Any time the writer needs to spend page after page after page at the end of the book trying to explain what happened in the story, you know that it was way too muddled. I frankly couldn't follow the intricate explanations and just stopped caring and reading.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not believable June 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Began interesting...but went downhill FAST. I did not complete reading after the story moved onto a boat kept at the tip of Florida by a guy that lived in Orlando but had a house in Hernando County. Anyone that boats knows that to cover this much real estate by car would take a weekend...never mind doing it in a boat. Then removing and tossing over a ridiculously expensive tower to disguise the boat? Ludicrous. I live and boat these waters..wanted this book to be AWESOME..to augment my John D. macDonald collection.
Sadly it was so unrealistic I couldn't finish it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reaed
Enjoyed the story, but it got a little confusing with all the coastal travel, trying to figure out who is on first. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Mrs. Sandi C.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story of crooks and crime set in Florida
Shoemaker is very descriptive in this novel set in Florida. His location descriptions, and boating descriptions are authentic. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Marilee Steele
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll Take That Mystery With Lots Of Cream And Sugar
A long, unwinding, on and off the sea mystery with plenty of explosions, shootings and various other violence to keep the pace moving. Read more
Published 26 days ago by William E. Hall
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Could not get into it
Published 1 month ago by Kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
It was great. Hated to put it down to go to bed at 2:00 AM. Thanks for a great read.
Published 1 month ago by Ruth Streb
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop action.
Wow...what a book. Author puts so many twists and turns you cannot put it down. Am looking forward to reading more from this author. Ranks up there with Clive Cussler. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mema0000
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
enjoyed the story
Published 2 months ago by wayne
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pretty good book.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I enjoyed parts of the book. It was a little long winded with some unnecessary fillers. The story and characters kept me reading.
Published 2 months ago by Janice E. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery
Lots of twists and turns. Great main character. I loved his sense of humor. I'm not sure any human is as indestructible but it is a work of fiction. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lisa M Zatezalo
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More About the Author

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making.

In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security.

He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel.

During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites.

Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, "The Big Bend", in the fall of 2008. His second novel, "Hog Valley", was published in September of 2010. "Twisted Key", his third novel, was released in September of 2011, and "Lonesome Cove", his fourth, in April of 2012.

Mr. Showalter has also released a collection of published essays and articles written for newspapers and on-line political science journals during the many years he lived in the Middle East.

He currently resides in Dunnellon, Florida, where he has recently published "A Primer on Roses", a book on the planting and pruning of Roses based on his years as a professional gardener.

Mr. Showalter will soon begin writing the fifth novel in his Terry Rankin series.

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