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The Strategist [Kindle Edition]

John Hardy Bell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description


When a tragic series of events forces an abrupt end to her career as an FBI field agent, Camille returns to her hometown of Denver, hopeful that the presence of family and friends can heal the wounds that time could not. Unfortunately a change in scenery does not bring about a change in fortune. Less than twenty-four hours after her arrival, Camille is left to deal with yet another tragic loss - the brutal murder of her best friend Julia.

Local police immediately target a colleague in Julia's law firm, and all signs point to his guilt. Then Camille receives a computer disk - left behind by Julia herself - that implicates someone infinitely more powerful.

With the help of Chloe Sullivan, a rookie homicide detective whose doubts about her department's investigation increase by the second, Camille must race to uncover the grim truth of Julia's life, and the startling secret that led to her death. Doing so will not only lead her through the darkest corridors of money, power, and corruption, it will also put her on a collision course with her own deadly past - a past that she desperately wants to leave behind.

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Editorial Reviews


"The dialogue crackles, the tension is palpable, and the characters' are
multi-dimensional. I was drawn into the story by the first page, and the twists
and turns kept me riveted. Highly recommended!"
~ Amazon reviewer


About the Author

Suspense author, occasional blogger, and self-described critical observer, John hails from Denver, CO where he currently lives with his wife and son. 
To learn more, visit 

Product Details

  • File Size: 1076 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Second Sight Publishing; 2 edition (September 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,322 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea December 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The Strategist, by John Hardy Bell, is a story that started with an interesting premise. Camille Grisham, an FBI agent who having quit the force after a traumatic incident, has returned home only to have her best friend murdered within a day of her arrival. Though she, at first, resists, Camille begins her own investigation into the murder. The story was fairly well developed with the back story of Camille's last FBI case used to make us understand where she is, emotionally, during the time frame of the novel. The story was interesting, however, there were issues that detracted from the overall experience. To start with were the stereotypical characters - the old, jaded, has-been veteran police officer, the young police officer who has incredible insight and a father who is obviously wise yet isn't listened to by his child. There were typos throughout the book that, while not egregious, were distracting. The overly excessive use of the word 'But' at the beginning of sentences, in fact too often during the reading of the novel, became tiresome and, for me, hindered my enjoyment of the book. Finally, the denouement, was a disappointment in how it played out. I cannot be specific without giving away too much information but I will say that the rule of distance is something anyone in law enforcement knows. That one, basic, mistake by the author took away significantly from what was a good story. Overall I did enjoy the story but was disappointed by the climax. For those reasons, I give 'The Strategist' 3*
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think About the Consequences of Your Actions September 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I give this book 4 1/2 stars

The Strategists is a story about the consequences of actions. They can make you lose everything you hold dear, even your life.

Camille Graham is a former FBI agent, suffering from anxiety attacks, she leaves Washington, and seemingly, all of her troubles to head home to family and friends. Julia Leeds is one of those friends waiting for her at home. Her best friend. But the day after Camille arrives, Julia is murdered.

In his debut novel, Bell weaves a very good story of murder, the far reaching hand of those in power, facing your problems and making decisions that can bring harsh consequences. Everyone in this book suffers from their choice of action. Camille in not getting help with her emotional problems, Julia for delving into uncharacteristic territory, as well as all those that participate in the crime and it's cover-up. The book is about learning from your actions, unfortunately, the author offers, sometimes you learn too late. The characters are real and relatable. The opening chapter pulls you right in, it is suspenseful and enticing. The book has a good pace and even though you know early on who is responsible for Julia's death, you won't want to put the book down. It is that good and well-written. The Strategist is one of those books that gets inside of your head and stays with you even after you have finished it.

For me, hence the 4 1/2 stars, there were logic gaps. Police detectives remiss on Constitutional law, killers pulling up to their mark's front door in the middle of the day to do a hit. And a trained criminal investigator who has trouble recognizing faces. I think that there was too much direction around the dialogue instead of letting the dialogue set the emotion.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars where do I start.... November 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Aside from the numerous typos *throughout* the book, I could've done without the whiny, never ending pity party Camille does the whole way through! There was a lot of eye-rolling; I did not feel sorry for her--I couldn't empathize. I wanted to slap her silly for always cowering instead of being a take charge HERO as she should be! She kept acting the victim instead of an unstoppable force her reputation preceded her to be (at least that's what everyone keeps saying in the book, but I've yet to see!). I think I had very high expectations for this book b/c (1) the past few books I read for same genre were amazing, (2) it was so well reviewed. so disappointed in this book, i dont even know that 2 stars is apt. More like 1 star. I read it allll the way through even though I should've stopped at the 3rd chapter just so I can justify the rating and review. I was right. -__-
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read April 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although not as well written As the likes of the Jack Reacher series, it was entertaining and the plot was totally imaginable. I think if he were to continue writing and turning the characters into a series, it would be an interesting series to get into.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great visual story September 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a an exciting and well written story. The character descriptions were great, but what I liked most of all was the realistic dialogue. The character lives kept my interest throughout the book. I will recommend this one to y friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read February 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Book was fast paced and very realistic. The characters were well portrayed. I couldn't put it down. Thought it was very good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it and look forward to the sequel. February 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story held my interest and I think it is a promising first novel. The author created characters you can believe in and empathize with. Good luck Mr. Bell, I am looking forward to reading the sequel. I hope you give the girls a break and a little more to smile about in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully thought out and well-developed thriller August 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an awesome story. The main characters were believable and the plot plausible; and the story was crafted in such a way that made it flow and maintain interest. Sometimes heroes/heroines are too perfect, too invincible, too convenient. That's not the case in this book. We get to see those characters develop the strength they need to overcome evil. We get to enjoy their discoveries and transitions - personally and professionally. I appreciated that the plot was totally completed yet the ending left a hint of a possible sequel. It would be wonderful to have another taste of Grisham and Sullivan. I loved this novel and am looking forward to this author's next project.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so good
At first the story captivated me, but then i felt like it was being dragged on. I could not even finish the book because it lost my interest.
Published 18 minutes ago by Diana Gualpa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Excellent story. Compelling and interesting characters. I would read more stories about Camille and Chloe. A prequel about Camille and the FBI would be great
Published 3 days ago by Cristine M. Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read!
Published 11 days ago by Alberta M. Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I'm glad I discovered this book. I loved the story, it was captivating from the beginning to the end. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Queenbee 1956
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept my attention!
OK - I liked the book. It kept me entertained the whole way through. There were some distractions by bad grammar (really, just missing words - it needs a good editor). Read more
Published 22 days ago by J. Shoemaker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great fun read. Can't wait to read more.
Published 24 days ago by David B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller
Don't normally write reviews but this was a great Page turner and I recommend it as a good read on the beach!
Published 25 days ago by W. Wohlars
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This is a good story with several twists and turns that make it enjoyable. There is too much meaningless dialogue that does not develop the story line or character development. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Steve Juetten
4.0 out of 5 stars fast paced read
This book moved along at a fast pace. It held my interest. Tough to put down. Hope for more of the same from the author.
Published 27 days ago by Jim Koi
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping reading
Read it in a long day, couldn't put it down, didn't even stop reading to eat and that takes some doing
Published 1 month ago by William Mates
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More About the Author

A proud Colorado native, John currently lives in Denver with his wife and son. His stories feature cops and robbers, FBI agents and serial killers. But beyond the archetypes, he writes about people. "There is darkness in the most heroic among us, and good in the most corrupt. My job as a novelist is to not only tell an entertaining story, but also to cultivate the truth of the characters who drive that story."

To learn more, visit

Twitter: @johnbellwrites


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