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The Petoskey Stone [Kindle Edition]

Jon Olson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Hotshot investigative reporter Steve Flaherty takes on a powerful real estate developer, corrupt politicians, and an ill-tempered city editor who hates his guts in this tightly plotted crime fiction novel set in a mid-size Michigan city .

Two construction workers who specialize in high-rise welding have plummeted to their deaths in a gruesome crane accident at the city's almost-completed sports stadium and within minutes there are rumors that someone on the work site knew the enormous crane was going to fall. Flaherty, ordered to stay away from the breaking story by editors who felt his previous coverage of the stadium developer had been too critical, protests and is suspended from his job. He nevertheless races to the scene, and is grudgingly reinstated based on the authoritative story he calls in. The fast-paced plot follows Flaherty's investigation into the two deaths and into the odd behavior of two other construction workers who, after witnessing the crane collapse, got in their truck and fled home to Wyoming .

Flaherty's style is a mix of shrewd, gutsy reporting and horrendously bad career moves and personal gaffes (pursued by a female reporter who finally gets him into her bed, he ham-handedly extricates himself from the fling, only to learn that she's been promoted – to be his editor). Flaherty's constant whiny self-deprecation and social cluelessness make him a hard protagonist to warm up to, but the story – trim and taut and filled with strong, memorable characters – never lets you down.


Robert B. Parker meets early Nick Hornby

Reporter Steve Flaherty is a screw-up. Relationships blow up in his face. Newsroom diplomacy is a language he doesn’t understand. But he knows a good story when he sees one, and when an industrial accident at a stadium kills two ironworkers, Flaherty wants a piece of it.

Then an editor named Keri pays him a morning visit bearing banana bread. Flaherty hates banana bread, and he hates girls who make banana bread. On the other hand, she’s interesting, she’s real, and she’s sitting right there. When she looks at him frankly, Flaherty is thrown into crisis, beginning with whether to put on his pants.

Divided three ways about most things, fretting over every decision, an obsession with falling overtaking him, Flaherty pursues answers to the crime at the stadium, and seeks solace for his obdurate heart.


Product Details

  • File Size: 426 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EYTBM6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Olson's first mystery is a winner !! January 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Jon's The Petoskey Stone twice because this story kept running through my head as I couldn't decide how many stars to give it in a review. When I reread it I took the time to write a list about the story, what did I like , what didn't I like. I realized that Jon Olson has the ability of writing a great story with alot of thought and detail put into it. What didn't I like when I first read it ? There was one thing about Steve Flaherty, so I wrote a list of what type of character was this reporter- likes vs dislikes and I found Flaherty to be someone I would definately want working for me if I owned a newspaper. He is possessed and will not stop his quest for finding the truth about what happened. He is a driven reporter with a hard personality and some tough language at times ( for me) I guess the language bothered me at first but when I reread the story I put everything in perspective and know that Jon Olson created Steve Flaherty in his mind and this is who Steve Flaherty is. Would I want a reporter who slack's off and is mild mannered but not gung ho in giving his all or would I want a Flaherty who gives 100% dedication at getting ALL the facts, working for me? I will take Flaherty any day. Is Flaherty a great character, you bet he is, does he have quirks, who doesn't?

Jon's book caught my attention due to the fact that there has been so many crane mishaps in the news lately. This mystery was very interesting as it made one wonder if there was money tightening due to the economy and cutting back on repairs needed for crane's or was their foul play involved.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing! January 31, 2011
By klhp
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How can I best describe my feelings for this book? Perhaps the best way is to tell you that I have a high-energy two-year-old and still managed to finish the book in three days. I couldn't put it down! The Petoskey Stone hooked me from the first chapter and kept me riveted until the last. Add this one to your reading list -- you won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating December 28, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Petoskey Stone is a highly satisfying, somewhat unconventional mystery. Reporter Steve Flaherty is sent to cover a big news story--a crane accident at the new half billion dollar stadium kills two men. But was it an accident or was it murder? While others are willing to let the story go, Flaherty is dogged in his pursuit of the truth.

The author has a talent for making the characters come alive. From grouchy Flaherty to secondary players like love-interest Keri, I felt I knew them all. Tight plotting and spot-on dialogue keep the story humming along. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness - it's not plastic September 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What an enjoyable read. I am a great reader of the crime fiction genre amongst others. I am so pleased I've got my kindle. These days browsing through the titles in a bookstore I more often then not leave empty-handed. The books are forumulaic and plastic. They seem all very similar and crafted to appeal to goodness knows what taste. Not mine that's for sure. When I started to read 'The Petoskey Stone', I knew I had found something different. You care for the characters and the storyline is so absorbing. The central character is a misfit that you feel for in all his predicaments. The book is a strange mixture in that on the one hand you want to know the why of what is going on and at the same time as the story unwinds you begin to get a sense of the drift but you are rooting for our hero to fill in all the details. Interwoven into the fabric of the plot is a very 'nice' love story. And the resolving of this 'boy meets girl' scenario is so interwoven with unravelling the mystery at the heart of the story and unweaving the complexity of this particular hero's 'being human' that all these threads being unravelled together makes for a very strong identification with the book as a whole and a very satisfying read. The two female characters are not a large part of the story but they are sharply drawn and you care for what happens to them. Try it. You won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense and unexpected twists April 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In "The Petoskey Stone" Olson draws on his experience as a journalist to tell the story of a reporter as he investigates the death of workers in an accident involving the construction of a baseball stadium. The book is full of suspense and unexpected twists. Olson is an excellent writer and his story has a captivating flow. You will look forward to reading every turn of events.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You got it! April 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
A grabbing opening, a flawed but likable hero, and a mystery plot that doesn't disappoint. Loved the pace, the secondary characters, the newsroom scenes and the road trip. Also liked the next book, The Ride Home, which was shorter but equally compelling. Keep them coming!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hang onto your hat December 19, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I've loved this book since the first draft. Olson's characters are bright, engaging and just the right bit of cynical. He kept our critique group in the palm of his hand, waiting for each new set of pages. It isn't often that a writer builds a fan base so early in the game, but Olson did that. I can't wait to read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real life protagonist for a change December 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I give this book a 4 to 5 rating because I liked the way the characters were less than perfect. Their actions were a mix of acutely sharp attuned thinking peppered with bone headed blunders. I think this made the story more interesting and believable.

Story is well told and fast moving. Quality editing job as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars starts out interesting...
I was immediately drawn into the story for the first few chapters. Then enter in the main character, reporter Steve Flaherty....what an obnoxious character. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. Weber
1.0 out of 5 stars petoskey stone
was disappointed in this book. Could hardly read it and kept putting it down. I am a speed reader and if something holds my attention I can read it in an hour. Read more
Published on October 26, 2012 by scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot Plus.
The Petoskey Stone is a compelling story about good journalism, real people and murder. The characters are as real as your friends and neighbors, and the protagonist, reporter... Read more
Published on July 16, 2012 by T. St. Laurent
5.0 out of 5 stars A WHODUNIT WITH CLASS!!
I like a character who gives 100%. I especially like him if he's driven, moody, idiosyncratic, even rude. AFter all, perfect characters are boring. Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by DAVE PORT
3.0 out of 5 stars The Petoskey Stone
Although I enjoyed the book it was a bit tame for me. I normally read thriller books by Peter james and James patterson. Read more
Published on April 22, 2012 by Mrs. C. Carrier
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, quick read
Good book very enjoyable read. The writer has a good mix of humor & character building. Will read other book written by him
Published on March 11, 2012 by Floor Guy
1.0 out of 5 stars I am a prude
I want to first say as the title of my review is where I want to start. I have to listen on occasion to foul language, I don't want to pay for it. Read more
Published on February 29, 2012 by Sunny
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nick Nolte Role
It's 2:00AM and I just finished this book; it was worth staying up. Don't expect great literature, but a good story unfolded as a reporter tracks down his leads and gets his... Read more
Published on December 7, 2011 by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Sharp
From the first, gripping description of the stadium roof collapse, The Petoskey Stone had me hooked. Read more
Published on April 8, 2011 by Felicity
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More About the Author

Jon Olson is a journalist and writer based in Milwaukee. His background includes a graduate fiction seminar with Leslie Epstein at Boston University. His short fiction has appeared in The Antioch Review, and his reporting has appeared in The Milwaukee Journal, and its successor, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he worked for 18 years. He has done research and writing projects for Sports Afield, and for two years produced a weekly TV talk show at the local PBS station. Jon is avid bicyclist. His novels, THE PETOSKEY STONE and THE RIDE HOME, are now available on Amazon as eBooks. Contact Jon at

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