Customer Reviews: WHERE'S MY SON? (A Clean Suspense Murder Mystery) (Detective Jason Strong Book 1)
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on June 14, 2012
There was very little which was believable in this short novella. Between a grieving young mother dying of uterine cancer - a supposed DNR - in a nursing home with a feeding tube (people who request that nothing be done don't generally have feeding tubes inserted prior to an expected death) and a father torturing a suspected kidnapper he conveniently finds taking a bath by repeatedly dropping a plugged-in hairdryer into the bathtub - and the kidnapper managing to live through several shocks, giving up the requested information, before finally succumbing to electrocution, there's almost nothing that makes this story ring true.

The ending is the most fantastically unbelievable wrap-up of all. I won't give it away for those who want to read the book but it's pure fantasy to think that any police department would handle a similar situation in the manner this is handled.

The editing is poor. An abundance of capitalization of random words, off-center formatting and bad puncuation is scattered throughout the book.
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on June 8, 2012
Just finished this book and it was great! There was little to no profanity and no sex, which always gets my vote as profanity adds NOTHING to a book and I really dont want to read pages of graphic sex scenes. The subject of this book is something that could so happen in real life today. It was suspensful and had a great story line. If I could have read it in one day I would have. I enjoyed the book very much.
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Note: This review was originally published at Red Adept Reviews on March 9, 2012.

Overall: 4 1/4 stars

Plot/Storyline: 4 stars

The storyline was one that any parent could relate to with a sense of horror. Michael Barton came home from work one afternoon, found his wife Tammy napping, and their infant son Kristian missing from his crib. The police investigated and determined that Kristian had been kidnapped, but there were few clues, and the police were baffled. Years later, Michael found a single clue that put him on the trail of the kidnappers-and his son.

Since the story was narrated from the third person omniscient point of view, I knew who the kidnappers were, so there was no suspense about that. The suspense came as Michael Barton homed in on the kidnappers, with the police on his trail. The tension cranked up steadily, and the story ended with a big climax.

I had a few problems with some of the plot details. They weren't decisive issues, but they were noticeable. One of these was the ease with which Michael broke into homes. With no prior burglary experience, he had no problem entering homes using only a credit card. With deadbolt locks and alarm systems in many homes, that just didn't seem realistic. Another thing that didn't seem likely was how easily Michael obtained personal information about others, including names, addresses, and phone numbers. Granted, Michael could be very persuasive, but the police and a hospital were just a bit too cooperative.

Character Development: 4 stars

The story was primarily plot-driven, and there was not a lot of detailed development of the principal characters, their relationships, or their motivations, except for one family-Wade and Kate Duncan. With their two sons, Jack and Jesse, they were the All American family, the kind that Norman Rockwell painted for the old Saturday Evening Post magazine covers. Their lives were nearly perfect until an event from the past threatened to destroy their family.

Michael Barton was a character study of a man who had everything he loved taken away from him. His anger led to a single-minded pursuit of revenge, and it was chilling seeing him gradually transform from a mild-mannered person into a ruthless, coldhearted hunter.

Writing style: 4 1/2 stars

The writing style was quite good, with little of the awkwardness often found in debut novels. The story was fast-paced with no wasted words, dialogues were realistic, and the descriptions of people and places were enough to carry the story without bogging down with details.

Editing: 4 1/2 stars

Editing was generally good, although there were a few misspellings and grammatical errors. The most common error was repeatedly using "yea" instead of the correct "yeah."
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on August 20, 2012
I ignore the usual grammar and punctuation lapses in self published books and concentrate on the story and characterizations. Having said that, there is no way that this novel warrants a 5 star review. The whole story is implausable and the adopting couple would have to be totally naive not to have realised that this was all illegal. The ending was completely unbelievable, the story line utterly miserable and what I disliked the most is that you are left feeling sympathy for a cold hearted killer.
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on July 12, 2014
It might be "clean suspense" to some, but it is a violent thriller.
The first half of the book is a clean mystery. The second half is dark, depressing, and not my style. I could not finish reading it.
It starts out with a kidnapped baby, and moves to a angry revenge filled murderous father out to get his son back.
So glad I only bought the first book in the series.
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on July 20, 2012
I am baffled by the outpouring of cheerful reviews for this novel - one beset by problems. It is in dire need of professional editing, the characters lack depth, the development of the criminal is implausible, and the entire plot jumps the shark before the halfway point. In addition, there are Kindle-specific layout and capitalization errors throughout. Overall, it's a mediocre effort of the kind that gives self-publishing its often tepid reputation. I love the self-published treasures one can encounter on the Kindle but this simply is not one of them.
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on July 29, 2015
The story of Where's My Son starts and ends with with a bang! Seriously sad and really pulls on the heart strings as a mother. This book is a series about Detective Jason Strong, but is written and follows the victim and bad guy, not through the eyes of the great Detective Strong. I loved that aspect of the book, following the people involved in the case instead of vice versa.

The book starts with Michael and Tammy Barton having a baby. Baby Christian is taking a nap in his crib while mom Tammy follows suite with a nap on the sofa, while Michael is at work. When Michael returns home from work, he finds Tammy napping on the sofa and goes to check on Christian...he's gone! Wake up Tammy! Where is my son?! Meanwhile Wade and Katie Duncan are expecting their first child. Katie goes into labor at 6 months into her pregnancy. The baby doesn't make it. This was their third child lost, what do they do now?

Let me just start by saying WOW! I have mixed emotions about the story. I loved the writing style, and the characters, but I'm not sure about how the case went down. It is believable, that's not it. I even felt the rage and owned my feelings on revenge! I just didn't feel like Michael got what he deserved...justice. He was a tad overboard with his methods, but can you blame the man! He went through a lot since his son was kidnapped, and he needed closure, hell I needed closure! I was so involved in the story that I wanted to punch Wade in the face for being a lying sack of potatoes about what he really knew! Wade also withheld a lot of details from not only the police but from his wife! I think this book is a great start to a new series, and I can't wait to dig into the next one! If you love Detective stories Det. Jason Strong is one for your TBR list!
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on January 16, 2016
Having read a few other books by this author I wanted to get book one in the series and follow the characters from the beginning. If I had started with this one the author would be on my naughty list. As a mystery, it was a five-star book. But the violence was more than I care for. It was pretty tame by most standards, just not mine. It earned two stars on the clean scale since there was no sex.
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on July 29, 2014
Quite possibly one of the most amateur books I have read. Poor story writing ability, errors throughout and totally fantastical ending. Just got more and more ridiculous. Shame, as the plot itself was a good one, just very badly executed.
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on May 8, 2014
When a baby is stolen from his house, life, of course, is never the same for anyone involved. It could so easily happen. Your heart goes out to the baby's family and you keep hoping the detective will find the baby. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but there are 2 tragic families in this book. Yes, there are some editing problems and Michael seems to get the info he needs way too easy. However, the writer kept my interest throughout and I just overlooked those things. There have been some mentions that the end is not what a police department would do. I, liked the ending, given the circumstances. That there might be a detective who would do what this one did is believable to me. Perhaps most would do differently, but some might follow the heart and end it that way. I like this well enough that I bought the other books about this detective.
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