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The Strategist: A Novel (Grisham/Sullivan Book 1) Kindle Edition

121 customer reviews

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Length: 371 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Set against the frightening, and all-to-plausible backdrop of a win-at-all-cost political environment, THE STRATEGIST a gripping, fast-paced read filled with crackling dialogue, remarkable characters, and dizzying plot twists. It also introduces the world to former FBI agent Camille Grisham and Denver P.D. Homicide Detective Chloe Sullivan, two fascinating new heroines who are destined to take the genre by storm. If you are a fan of heady, character-driven thrillers, combined with a dose of political intrigue, then THE STRATEGIST is the read for you! 


About the Author

Long exiled from the world of politics, John now spends his time with his wife and five-year-old son, binge-watching full seasons of his favorite television shows, and writing thrillers. He lives in Denver, CO.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1424 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Second Sight Publishing (September 2, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 2, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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: @jhardybell


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D.L. Hodges on 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Padma Walker on 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 By W Miller on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Copperfield on October 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In "The Strategist," FBI agent Camille Grisham's meteoric career trajectory is derailed by the onset of a panic attack during a confrontation with a serial killer, resulting in the death of her partner. The stress of the event leads her to quit the FBI and head home to Denver, only to encounter an even greater tragedy within the first twenty-four hours of her arrival.

Camille seeks to excise the demons of her past while simultaneously probing the circumstances of the latest trauma. As she relentlessly pursues the case, a cloud of evil conspirators gathers around her, leading to a dramatic confrontation in book's finale.

I rarely give five-star ratings, but with "The Strategist," first-time author John Hardy Bell has defied the odds and delivered the goods. Finely-described, three-dimensional characters, lucid descriptions of people and action, a plot that keeps the reader guessing until the very end, and protagonists possessing the right balance of strengths and failings all serve to move this page-turner along at a brisk pace. While the book certainly stands on its own merits, it also invites a sequel, which this reader would welcome.
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