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The Flies of August [Kindle Edition]

P. J. Lee
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $7.00 (64%)

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Book Description

When a wealthy insurance executive is gutted with a garden tool amid his rhododendrons, a quiet Connecticut town bursts into the public eye. Rookie detective Donna Bradley, snubbed from the high-profile case, is saddled with an unrelated search for a teenage runaway. The girl’s parents—a beaten-down father mired in debt and an ailing mother—are mysteriously evasive. A reclusive Englishman seems to have an unhealthy interest in the girl.

As the town’s startling secrets are uncovered, Donna’s search for a killer becomes a search for herself, as the pressures of the investigation tear away her defenses.

“The Flies of August” unfolds through one hot, harrowing summer as the American recession drives rich and poor alike to desperate measures.

Editorial Reviews


"Lee's prose is elegant and evocative throughout...The pacing is swift and sure, with plot twists that keep readers' interest without sacrificing credibility, and the momentum builds inexorably to an exciting, emotionally satisfying conclusion." - Kirkus Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"The default setting for teenagers is liar. They lie like they French kiss--to see how it feels in the mouth." - the judgment of Detective Donna Bradley, who has a clear eye, a skeptical soul and a chink in her emotional armor that she will learn about the hard way.

She's looking for a runaway teenager in the town of Webster, Connecticut, but everyone - not just teenagers - is lying to her. At the same time, the town is reeling from the murder of a wealthy insurance executive, who had his intestines removed with a gardening implement. Yes, you could say this usually quiet town is in crisis.

As the town's startling secrets are uncovered, Donna's search for a killer becomes a search for herself, as her own weaknesses are exposed by the pressures of the investigation.

"The Flies of August" unfolds through one hot, harrowing summer as the American recession drives rich and poor alike to desperate measures.

Product Details

  • File Size: 384 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Saltwater Publishing; 2 edition (February 27, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BMWE8F8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,641 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new great author July 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is rare pleasure to discover a good author! This is an excellent mystery book. The hero is a female police detective both ambitious and filled with self-doubt. She has good training and good judgment, but sometimes she is just too quick. She has a complex relationship with her mother: it is plausible and interesting to follow, and it does not slow down the pace of the mystery. She is in charge of finding a missing young girl, a revolted teen who turns out to have been murdered, and there are no suspects to start with. The enquiry leads to rich and poor neighborhoods of a small Connecticut city.

This is what I like about this book: 1) it is well written 2) the construction of the book is faultless 3) the characters are developed and plausible 4) the mystery is sustained and the development is logical 5) the book does not have the cruel streak of so many blockbusters (Sanders, Kellerman). Many characters are likeable. I am tired of books where there is nobody to love. 6) the author understands dogs.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Flies of August is a powerful novel March 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Flies of August is a police procedural in the same sense that Dashiell Hammett was only a “crime writer”. The Flies of August is a powerful novel about a family and a town caught up in a terrible crime and the police officers who must speak for the victims.
P.J. Lee’s characters are flesh and blood people. People you might actually know or even live next door to. I do not want to provide a spoiler so let me just say that the novel is superbly paced and plotted. The Flies of August will not disappoint.

Richard Arvedon
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant April 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I don't know if I can adequately relate how much I enjoyed this book. It had everything that I look for, but rarely find. The plot was well-thought out and beautifully paced. The author took the time to develop all of the characters, major and minor, and I found myself caring about each of them. I guess that the best way I can describe The Flies of August is that it reminded me of a truly excellent film, where you're moved along through the plot while real life happens around the characters. It's not flashy - there are no explosions or horrifically detailed, gory descriptions. No explicit sex scenes. No gratuitous vulgar language. It's just a really, really good book. If you decide to give it a try, I hope you settle in and enjoy it as much as I did.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new police procedural March 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's a whole lot of good indie writing out there in Kindle-land... and The Flies of August from new author P.J. Lee is a prime example. It's a police procedural easily equivalent to name brands like Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell, John Sandford, J.D. Robb.

Rookie detective Donna Bradley is on her first major case, a missing-girl situation that turns into a murder investigation. Donna is favored with a keen intellect and intuition for people but beset by feelings of her own shortcomings, and worried about screwing up her first shot at the big time. The complex plot unfolds neatly, with just enough ambivalence and subtle misdirection to keep you guessing at possible outcomes.

The author has carefully researched police procedure and so far as I can tell is right on the money with respect to both investigative procedure and evidentiary requirements. Investigational missteps reveal how secrets that maybe should not have been kept can come back later and bite you in the ass.

The economy of the language and its nuanced meanings reminds me a little of the late great Ed McBain's style. Gruesome or dark cop humor woven into all the right places. Wry observations of human nature and class differences and sexual tensions. Thoughtful insights into the psyches as well as the minds and behaviors of cops.

And there's an emotional richness here, too. Right and wrong on a legal basis can be quite different from right and wrong on a moral basis, and the plot plays very effectively off that difference. Donna is not quite such a black-and-white machine as, say Carol O'Connell's Mallory character. So when Donna steps outside accepted police investigational protocols she worries about it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book moves along at a good pace and doesn't get bogged down in side stories and fluff that don't add to the plot. The writing is tight, the plot is believable and it doesn't stray into unnecessary gore or voyeurism. I was on the edge of my chair more than once in anticipation of what would happen next. And I couldn't wait to get to the end, but I hated to get to the end. A lot of people don't notice what should be in the background, but the grammar, spelling and punctuation are all correct, so there are no irritating distractions from the story. Kudos to the editor for that. I hope this isn't the only book P.J. Lee has written. I'm about to look for more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Pleasant Surprise July 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this book up when it was on the Amazon Top 100 Free list, and it is hands down the best book I've ever read off that list. I thought this was a brilliant and engaging police procedural, with dynamic and interesting characters and a plot that was perfectly paced. I particularly LOVED the main character/primary narrator, Donna Bradley. I thought she was a very sympathetic character with a lot of grit and guts, a perfect balance between a very strong female personality with very empathetic, humane faults. I loved the dynamic between her and Tony and her and Bryan. I literally can't think of anything to criticize about this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story
Never read this author but will read whatever else I can find. I had to read some of it in spurts, as my tears blocked my view. A very different type of a story for me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Kirshfield
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I don't recall why i chose to purchase this book (most definitely was not because of the cover), but whatever the reason, i couldn't be happier. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sis
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read and ready for more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found myself wanting more when I finished it. It would make the perfect beginning to a series of novels about the characters and dare I say... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tom
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed the plot. Good character development. It held my attention. I would recommend it to a friend looking for an interesting but easy read.
Published 5 months ago by angielee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Not much I can add to the other reviews. The Flies of August does not read like a first novel, but like one from a very experienced author. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Pat1360
5.0 out of 5 stars May be the most well written detective novel I've read
I highlighted many phrases and sentences in the book because he said something in a surprising way, many vivid images that broke through lethargy and awoke me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars first rate police procedural
The story is neatly crafted and the characters well-defined. No stereotypes. No infatuation with jargon. Reminiscent of Canuitz. I shall recommend it to friends.
Published 7 months ago by Eileen W. Zulli
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written crime novel; great character development.
This story by P.J. Lee allows its main character, a newbie female police detective, to discover her flaws and grow into a better cop and a better person when she's assigned her... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating murder-mystery/ police procedural
An intricately plotted mystery/police procedural set in a moderately-sized Connecticut community with the usual continuum of poverty through lower-middle and middle-class to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes Haws
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first novel
I really enjoyed the characters in the sorry . Detective Bradley showed a very human side to being a detective. Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Morton
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