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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
Bemidji is a place I want to see. I really liked the descriptions of a more rural lifestyle and I wouldn't mind a visit to Bemidji. Two Shots is very well written and the plot is great.

I liked the game warden concept. It was a nice change from the typical PI, FBI agent, etc. The characters are well developed, both good and bad. I couldn't help but like Tony. He's pretty much a regular guy, but he has a tendency to be more dramatic than most men. While his dramatics are irritating at times, this personality trait makes him believable and human. How many people do you know that don't have some little irritating trait?

There is plenty of action and intrigue. I didn't find any "slow" or boring areas. The pace is pretty quick.

There was some coarse language, but it seemed appropriate and wasn't off-putting or overused. There was a small amount of sexual content; it wasn't what I would consider graphic and it was brief. There was violence.

I really enjoyed Two Shots and would recommend it. I would read this author again.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
I just finished reading Two Shots and definitely enjoyed it. The fast paced plot with plenty of turns and a variety of likable characters had me hooked from the beginning. You could tell Joe knows a thing or two about life up in Northern Minnesota and it really comes off in his story telling and adds to the experience. I'll be looking forward to the next book!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
Two Shots was highly recommended to me. I haven't read a book in quite some time, but couldn't put this captivating crime drama down. Albert paints a vivid picture with his words and keeps you guessing until the last page. I was thoroughly entertained by the story and would compare it to the award-winning movie Fargo. I can't wait for the next book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2012
No more books by this author! O stink!

I loved this! Love it!

I appreciate no explicit sex scenes.

As a favor, Conservation Officer Leach is asked to look into the death of a man who was with a group of his friends before deer-hunting season officially began. For no apparent reason, Jennings (not Waylon) was shot in the back while sitting around a campfire. This turns out to be more and more complicated as evidence comes to light and facts are established.

Leach is not portrayed as a macho hunk whom women swoon over but as a real man with real issues that will have the reader upset with him at times and wondering just what he's doing. Leach makes mistakes in his relationships and in his boss' eyes. He's not the best looking or the best at what he does. He listens to Waylon Jennings and other sappy cowboy music. His life consists mostly of eating, drinking, and working. He's not a man whom you'd wish in your life and that's what sets Joe Albert's "Two Shots" apart.

Probably not a page-turner but definitely not prosaic in any sense of the word.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2012
Sometimes a book is just a good read. Something to guiltily pass the waning days of summer with instead of doing all the things one you had planned to do in May and June. If you are in need to spend the time reading instead facing the routine of facing the real world, Two Shots is perfect for you.
It is writing at it traditional finest. Joe Albert, the author found a way to rediscover the art of writing a novel without undue violence, sex or even crude language. It is as refreshing as the wintery Minnesota hunting town that all the action takes place. In this book the town is as much of a character in the story as the actual people. It brings most of us to an America we never knew existed. People know each other's names, hunting is done with respect for the animals that are offered up for sport every year and even the weather plays a role in this. Mr. Albert does not merely write about the town, he paints it, with fine details.
This of course should not take away from the story itself. The story's protagonist , a former Minneapolis cop who has a few issues of his own turned wildlife conservation officer, is happily enjoying hunting season. Making sure people play by the rules, don't get drunk and shoot each other and the usual duties of the start of hunting season , when he answers a call for shots being fired (not unusual during hunting season) and ends up stumbling on a murder scene. The victim is a political strategist involved in a brutal runoff election after a particularly Pyrrhic election.
The beauty of this book, part of what makes it well worth staying indoors or taking your office phone on the hook is the slow, steady build up. The lost art of character development and `Showing not telling" keeps you wanting to turn the page to see what is next and is paced to match the speed of life in the idyllic (and I suppose murderous) town. Characters are flawed but not over dramatically so, they seem to be people it is possible to meet in real life.
Is this a genre changing novel that will find itself in the annals of great influential American literature? It probably won't be but not every novel needs to be. This is a well written book that goes back to good old fashioned writing to tell a great story. Sometimes that is reason enough to buy and read a book.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
"Two Shots" has a catchy story line about a young former city cop turned state conservation officer for the state of Minnesota. The story grabs the reader straight away from the opening page as we wait with the sniper/killer, preparing himself to commit murder in the cold North woods. The writer moves the reader along at a fast pace, keeping the action flowing. Albert did a good job of location and atmosphere description.

Then bam! In Chapter 18, the hiccups began. Misuse of pronouns, misspellings, use of incorrect words, moving from present tense to past tense and then back again in the same paragraph, poor punctuation.
Examples include:
* "Leach he"
* "looked at this watch" instead of "his watch"
* Referred to a state government podium as a "pulpit"
* "your" for "you're"
* "beats" for sugar "beets"
* "let's just say it were me" - do I even need to explain that one?

Regarding characterization, Albert started well, building the premise as to why Leach left the big city for a life in the woods. But then Leach meets Sarah, who shares her story of an bad guy ex-boyfriend who was a mean drunk and took it out on her. Albert then has Leach getting drunk around Sarah during all their dates. What?? Apparently the author thinks Leach is just too dumb to really listen and learn what not to do - or that this is perfectly acceptable behavior when one is trying to impress a new love interest. Hey, but that didn't really stop Sarah who behaved just as stupidly which led to a predictable conclusion. While Albert does a good job of building tension throughout the book, he inserts some fake outs with Sarah's character, which felt like cheap shots at the reader.

Overall, I could only give this book 1 star.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2013
Not so believable - even a casual aquaintance with law enforcement would know how things proceed. Too many typos/grammar issues. Then foul language kept me from reading further. Not my cup of tea.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
Two Shots is an entertaining thriller, crime, detective novel featuring a former city cop who is now a game warden who is caught up investigating a murder.

The backdrop is the northern woods of Minnesota and the politics of a state wide election. The author does a great job in painting the landscape with his description, but make no doubt about it that the strength of the story is the mystery involving murder.

For fans of the murder, crime, and mystery genres, Two Shots is a recommended read and will not disappoint.

This reviewer rates Two Shots at 4.2 stars (rounded to 4.0 on Amazon).

Anthony Wessel
Reviewer for The Kindle Book Review
Founder of
Founder of The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List (updated daily)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2013
If you enjoy well-written, fast-paced suspense novels...I recommend 'Two Shots' by the talented Joe Albert. This story encompasses politics (at its worst), outdoor life in Minnesota, along with a tight plot. There are surprises and twists and turns, a touch of romance, and an ending that will blow your mind. 'Bulls eye'.
Albert has a fine cast of characters who play their parts perfectly. The dialogue is realistic. His descriptions add to the story and are well done, especially those depicting the outdoors and animals. I also became a fan of the MC, Tony Leach. A down-to-earth dude who is a true American.
I highly recommend 'Two Shots'. "Fine writing, Joe! Thank you for an exciting trip to Minnesota. Keep writin' and smilin'..."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2012
First let me compliment Mr. Albert for writing a good crime story without gore, bad language, or erotic sex driving the interest. The plot has the assassination of a high profile political operative as the base topic. Due to lack of progress on solving the case a local game officer is brought into the investigation and he more or less works through the clues to end of story.

Second Mr. Albert's main character Leach is borderline alcoholic and stumbles through a lot of serious poor judgment events. This is okay if Leach is just to be a sideline character, but in my opinion he needs a special something that will make readers root for him and allow readers to walk in his footsteps.

Third Mr. Albert needs, again in my opinion, to raise the tension of his story to give Leach more of a pro-active role instead of just matter-of-fact reaction to events as they happen. I'm not an expert reviewer by any stretch but I know some stories just grab you and pull you in. This one could have but did not.
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