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Trace [Kindle Edition]

Warren Murphy
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)

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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
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Book Description

Devlin Tracy is a very good insurance investigator in a profession that rewards success. He lives in a luxury condo on the Las Vegas Strip and only works when he feels like it. He also drinks vodka by the pint, cracks wise to damn-near everyone, and has what can charitably be described as a complicated relationship with his girlfriend. None of that matters to the Garrison Fidelity Insurance Company. They’re interested in results. Which is why they keep Trace on retainer.

Problem: A patient at a private clinic died, shortly after making his doctor the beneficiary of his insurance policy. Suspicious. Now a wealthy friend of the Garrison Fidelity is a patient at the same private clinic, and he isn’t doing well. Troubling. Solution: Send Trace, who has a natural way of shaking things up. On the surface everyone’s friendly and nothing points to murder, fraud or larceny. A late-night beatdown from two masked thugs sends a very different message, however, and tells Trace that he’s onto something. If only he could figure out what he’s onto.

Trace is the first in a series of suspense novels featuring the charmingly hardboiled insurance investigator.

Product Details

  • File Size: 484 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gere Donovan Press; 1.0 edition (July 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E50OKNO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,744 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trace - What a likeable guy. April 29, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Trace, short for Devlin Tracey, is a drunk, and a womanizer. His girlfriend - or "roommate" - is a part-time hooker. Issues? You-sure-ya-betcha.
Trace works irregularly for an insurance company to check out claims. The latest is a questionable death in a hospital where the deceased had only recently signed over his fortune in life-insurance to his doctor, and then just up and died. Assuming the doctor coerced and then killed his patient, Trace is called in.
What follows is a prolonged excursion into an unimpressive mystery. The ending ties all plot-strings together, but with little substance in the body of the book, the end seems cheap.
However, what lacks in mystery is more than made up for in Trace's character. Granted, he's not a savory character - but the blurbs when he tape records himself, and the snappy dialoge with other characters is what propels this book up to 4 stars. I would definitely take this book to the beach, but only if you buy it from a second-hand book dealer for less that $4. (The book itself was published in 1983 and sold for $2.95.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character May 3, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Devlin Tracy, Trace to his friends, is a P.I. who works out of Las Vegas and lives with Chico, a blackjack dealer/part time hooker. He's your typical wisecracking detective, sarcasm delivered with stunning regularity.

He's an insurance investigator for Garrison Fidelity and is sent to New Jersey to look into a case there. One of their policyholders died in a private hospital and it was discovered he'd changed his beneficiary on a hundred thousand dollar life insurance just a few days before he'd died. The new name was that of the doctor that ran the private hospital.

At the same time, the owner of GF asks him to look in on a rich friend, a recent heart attack victim, residing in the same hospital. He's worried that their might be something to the claims of the first patient's family who's threatening to sue.

Things seem fairly straightforward though to Trace as he interviews all the participants, the lawyers, one in particular representing both the doctor and the rich friends of his boss.

Until he's jumped by a pair late at night, thumping him a bit before he gets the upper hand and drives them off. Both his rear tires had been flattened and he finds a scrap of paper lying beside the car embossed with the hospital's name at the top.

When on a case, Trace keeps a tape recorder taped to his back, a wire running around to a tie clasp/speaker. He records interviews and makes personal notes to himself. He listens to them later to organize his thoughts and maybe gain some insight.

Liked this one. Warren Murphy is one those responsible for two of the most popular characters in adventure fiction. Remo Williams, The Destroyer, and his mentor, Chiun.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious August 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Could be good short story. The tedious recounting of "tapes" is the only thing that stretches this short story into a book. Doesn't the author remember we were there for the original taping? Attempts at character "quips" fall way short-almost as though he had dialog ideas he thought were good and tried to fit them in even though they had no relevance. Unlikable characters with little depth make reading this story a waste of time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A jaded insurance investigator with a soft heart August 3, 2013
By Mags
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Devlin Tracy, a character created by author Warren Murphy, works for an insurance company investigating claims. Any reader who downloads a sample of this book is warned that the first 30% of the story is devoted to describing a chain smoking, vodka drinking 40 year old man who lives with a "hooker" and hates his ex-wife and two children. The story is set in the days before mobile phones and during the transition from typewriters to computers.
Trace is asked to investigate an insurance claim as an elderly man who had been cared for in a sanatorium had changed his will just prior to his death, leaving his insurance money to the Director of the sanatorium. Trace has to check up on this as well as another elderly man who is in a semi-coma at the same sanatorium. Trace rigs up a tape recorder and tapes it to his body. The characters and story are easy to follow as Trace frequently records his self -depreciating, humorous views, as well as the conversations of others. The twists and turns towards the end of this story are intriguing.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series August 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am enjoying the entire series of books. Great, casual, easy reading book series by an interesting author. I'm looking forward to getting through the entire series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned feel to this one August 19, 2013
By Sy Lee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Trace has many bad character alcoholic, a womanizer, a morbid fear of his ex-wife, doesn't want to claim his children--in fact, claims not to remember their names, etc., etc.

He lies to his "roommate" but when she lies to him, he dumps her. They have an unhealthy relationship.

There is some gutter language, and some extramarital sex (but thankfully no descriptions). Many of the characters are a little too over-the-top.

It was a quick read and a fairly interesting mystery. Would I read the next one in the series? Maybe, but only after a long break.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars did not like much June 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This one I did not finish. I am not sure I gave it much a chance but did not like the way it was done and the story did not keep my interest at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Nasty Language - Couldn't Finish
Such nasty language! I wish authors could utilize the English language more appropriately.
Published 15 days ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read!
This first outing of Trace turned out to be quite the enjoyable read. Kind of reminded me of the older Lawrence Saunders books. This book made me laugh out loud a few times. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Krayz
3.0 out of 5 stars ok read
The main character, Trace, is not the best example of mankind, but he has some redeeming features. His honesty when he tapes his notes is refreshing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by reader dear
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading.
This storyline was a bit slow to grab my attention. Once I got into it I found some of the dialogue was a bit tiring but my interest was piqued and I continued on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, interesting
I liked this whole "Trace" series. It's difficult to find sophisticated, mature characters with a real sense of perspective. I bought and loved the whole series. It's a GO!
Published 2 months ago by Joel Levy
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book.
very good book. I enjoyed it from the beginning, the storyline kept me interested and wanting to know more. I would recommend this book to others.
Published 2 months ago by Vickie Olsen
3.0 out of 5 stars Some dumb prose.
I gave this book a three because of the hero,Trace. He and his part time hooker roommate slash girlfriend maybe?They will drive you nuts figuring them out must less the case. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ralph E. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Start of something
This is the first time I have read this author,but I liked the humor and characters in the I am going to have to read this series to keep up with the adventures of Trace.
Published 2 months ago by john chase
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Enjoyed the story. Laughed out loud at some of the clever writing. Would recommend this book for a light , fun read.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
Trace and his girlfriend are well drawn characters, if a little way out, but the dialogue is excellent and the plot holds up well.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Warren Murphy's first jobs in life were working on a pig farm, then as a movie usher, a sequin polisher, a public relations man for a brothel, a newspaper editor and a Democratic politician in Jersey City, New Jersey. "And then I went bad," he says, "and became a novelist."

That was back in the last century, and after some 200 books and several threatened retirements later, he is still at it. Now he is moving full-bore into the world of electronic publishing. Murphy has collaborated with his sons in forming his own publishing company, Destroyer Books.

Murphy is probably best known for the Destroyer series, which he created with the late Dick Sapir. With over 150 books and worldwide sales of over 50 million copies, the series is one of the longest-running and bestselling series of all time. The books were made into a movie, "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" (a second movie is threatened to be in the works), a TV pilot, as well as more film and TV rip-offs than anyone could ever imagine.

Called "a mentor and teacher to a whole generation of crime and thriller writers" by Encyclopedia Mysteriosa, Murphy is no one-trick pony. The St. James Guide to Mystery Writers states that "The breadth of Murphy's talent staggers the imagination. Comic detectives, caper novels, large suspense novels, sword and sorcery spy novels, and locked room mysteries, together with short stories, comic books, movies, and countless collaborations do not even begin to mark the parameters of his creative genius...Murphy is the professional's professional, with work of consistently high quality."

Some of the other work on Murphy's resume would include:
- The Trace series
- The Digger series
- The Razoni and Jackson series

Not to mention Leonardo's Law, Ceiling of Hell, Grandmaster, The Forever King (those last two written with Molly Cochran), along with dozens of other works.

His books have won ten national awards, including a pair of Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America, two Shamus winners from the Private Eye Writers of America, and countless nominations.

In Hollywood, he wrote The Eiger Sanction, starring Clint Eastwood, as well as Lethal Weapon II. His Trace books inspired the TV show "Murphy's Law."

He has served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America, and also has been a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, the American Crime Writers League, and the Screenwriters Guild.

Murphy is also a member of the Adams Roundtable, a New York writers' group, whose members also include Mary Higgins Clark, Peter Straub, Susan Isaacs, Lawrence Block, Harlan Coben, Judith Kelman, Mickey Friedman, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Justin Scott, Stanley Cohen and Whitley Strieber, and who occasionally produce mystery anthologies.

Murphy now lives in Virginia, and says he can be found at his desk or on the golf course. He has five children. Most of them, he says, "wash up pretty well."

His website is, where he is currently writing a blog on how to write a book.

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