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Rick Mitchell "Rick Mitchell" RSS Feed (candia, new hampshire United States)

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Blueblood (A Marty Singer Mystery Book 2)
Blueblood (A Marty Singer Mystery Book 2)
Price: $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character in a Solid Police Mystery, May 26, 2015
If you want smart, cerebral, police mysteries, grab these Marty Singer books and enjoy them.

Marty Singer is a retired DC cop. he was forced into retirement by his cancer diagnosis. As he gets pulled into investigates he also has to deal with his treatments and mortality. Rest assured, though, this is not a source of depression or pie-in-sky optimism. It is a realistic view of a man trying to continue on with his life in the face of such a diagnosis. To say that Singer is a well-developed character would be an understatement. To say these are good mysteries would be an equal understatement.

In BLUEBLOOD a former colleague asks Singer to investigate the murder of three policemen from DC and neighboring jurisdictions. Because the murders are spread, there is no one police force coordinating them. Singer is the man and he starts on his investigation for a serial killer targeting cops. Of course, nothing is as it seems. Mr. Iden is adroit at plotting twists and turns while staying realistic all the way. There are no superheroes or unbelievable conquests. This is good, gritty realistic police work with a great main character.

This novel stands alone, but it is also well worth reading its predecessor. Got to go...there is another in this fine series.

Crow Hollow
Crow Hollow
Price: $4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Romance Novel, Pretty Predictable, May 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Crow Hollow (Kindle Edition)
This is more a romance novel than historical fiction. The characters are pretty predictable - the stern King's agent and the lovely Puritan widow. Of course they fall in love. Duh! I'm afraid some of the reviewers may not have read the book, because it is very sympathetic to the Native Americans, showing how they were duped by the diabolical English and led into a war in which they were crushed. The violence is not very graphic although battles are recounted and there is reference to torture. The brutal drawing of an Englishman by the English is actually described with more detail than the Indian tortures.

The book started off forcefully and interestingly and veered into the predictable love story leading into the happiest of all endings. The story was ok, not great. The bad guys were identified early, so not much mystery. The only mystery was just how they acted as "bad guys".

About a third of the way through the book, the author makes a terrible historical blunder in a throw-away paragraph seemingly put in to catch the flavor of 1676. He described ice harvesting and storing the ice in sawdust. This happened 150 later. Not only was ice not harvested in 1676, but there was not enough sawdust to insulate it until sawmills got rocking. This was more disappointing than his dressing all the Puritans in the drab clothing as described inaccurately by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Once these mistakes are read, the reader can only suspect that other parts of the narrative are also inaccurate.

A Scourge of Vipers: A Mulligan Novel (Liam Mulligan)
A Scourge of Vipers: A Mulligan Novel (Liam Mulligan)
by Bruce DeSilva
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.70
49 used & new from $11.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Great, May 15, 2015
This is a wonderful mystery/thriller that is different from the norm in that the narrator is a journalist. Not only is he a journalist, but he is working for a dying newspaper that, at one time, was an excellent paper with journalist ethics and investigative excellence. Liam, a winner of the Pulitzer, is hanging non for his love of the old time journalistic ethos of the paper paper. Although the new publishers do not want any good journalism, he is intent on bringing the story home. He has noble intentions. He plays his connections - including Rhode Island's governors who also plays him - to get to the story.

So. We have a journalist in what he perceives as a dead industry doing throwback investigation. We get an excellent mystery. Excellent characters with not a cardboard character in sight. He is in love she is maybe not. He wants to do investigative reporting, his publisher, not or maybe.

The story is rife with current issues, including the death of journalism. Liam is a great, real character with personality to blow the doors off this excellent novel. This is fun as well as thought-provoking (about the plight of journalism) and a darn good mystery to boot. This is part of a series, but it stands alone. Even better, I can't wait for the next installment.

Gathering Prey
Gathering Prey
by John Sandford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.37
108 used & new from $10.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Action, May 7, 2015
This review is from: Gathering Prey (Hardcover)
John Sandford is definitely on the Mount Rushmore of mystery/thriller authors writing today. I have loved all of his "Prey" books. Lucas Davenport is a character for the ages. What separates this series from most others is how Lucas has grown and changed over the years: getting older, more mature, going through relationships, marriage and fatherhood. Along with Lucas has always been an interesting and eclectic mix of a supporting cast. This is an excellent thriller. A psychotic Charles Manson type is traveling across America and Lucas's "daughter" Letty, gets involved, which brings Lucas in and across state lines. There is a very lot of action.

So why four stars? This book lacked any of the excellent supporting cast we've come to know and love except for short mentions. More, it lacked the personal touch of Davenport. He's in full chase mode almost throughout. There is very little of the cerebral sleuthing that usually comes with the thrilling action. There was a bit of his connection with Letty, but not nearly as much personal life as usual, which separates these from the norm of the genre. This book was highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, Sandford books don't get judged against mere mortal authors, they get judged against his others. For that reason, four rather than five stars.

Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America
Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America
by Mary Higgins Clark
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Speak to Entire Book, May 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got a pre-publication excerpt of this book. When you get an excerpt of a compilation of short stories, it means four of seventeen stories. Based upon the that limited sample and the caliber of the writers of the others, I'll assume it is, in totality. at least good. All are based in New York City, so anyone with a special interest in or knowledge of NYC would be particularly entertained. I'm not going out on a limb here, but what can I say about 23.53% of a book except that if a publisher wants a fair review, someone has to read the entirety.

Among the Ten Thousand Things: A Novel
Among the Ten Thousand Things: A Novel
by Julia Pierpont
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.77

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Angst Lacking Empathy, May 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I just couldn't get all the way through this. The first 150 pages or so was filled with nothing but angst and characters that did not resonate at all. A young girl is handed a box of printed e-mails between her father and her lover. They were lewd and lascivious and the author threw in blurbs from them often, seemingly only for the shock value of the language. The girl shares the box with her brother, who shares it with their mother. That all comes in the first several pages and that is the end of the tension. As you can tell by the book description, they (sans father/husband) eventually move away and into the "country" of Rhode island. Perhaps the book picked up at that point, but I got off the train when the fragmented family got on.

This may be a book for soap opera fans, but beware, the language is definitely rated "R" at the least.

The Third Target
The Third Target
by Joel C. Rosenberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.22
127 used & new from $7.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Ending Angered Me, April 27, 2015
This review is from: The Third Target (Hardcover)
This started at a blazing 5 star level only because I couldn't go to six. It was exciting and, even better, informative. I felt I was getting a real education about the genesis of ISIS and a primer on the Middle East. The main character, was excellent, although there were references to his obviously failed marriage and stress with his brother, those unexplained struggles did not detract from him and his story. He was a NYTimes reporter breaking news by getting the inside scoop on the worst of the worst - the leaders of ISIS. It was a great book.

Suddenly, after about 300 pages, it crashed to dullness with too much cogitation and rumination. It was still good. It just seemed like a lull (or filling in some pages). Just as suddenly, the action ramped up into a completely implausible attack scene. That's disappointing after all the realism of the beginning of the book, but fiction often requires suspension of reality. But then the "ending" came to the reader. I put the word in quotes because there is no ending. There is just a last page that starts the next book. It was worthless.

Read this book for the first 3/5. Then you can skip to the last ten pages if you want the lead-in to the next in the series. Very disappointing after a start that, if continued, would have been one of the best novels I've ever read about the Middle East.

Inspector of the Dead
Inspector of the Dead
by David Morrell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.71
70 used & new from $7.71

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Excellent and Informative Thriller, April 13, 2015
This review is from: Inspector of the Dead (Hardcover)
This is a terrific whodunnit thriller set in Victorian London. For those who ahve read MURDER A FINE ART, you know all you need to kn ow about Mr. Morrell's excellence in portraying this period and his principle character, deQuincey. Suffice it to say to those who have had the excellent experience of reading that book: this book is equally excellent. For those who did not read MURDER, worry not. This fine novel stands alone just fine.

The book starts with a bang with a murder in a posh London church during a Sunday service. It keeps its fast pace throughout gruesome, yet artfully completed murders. The plot keeps the reader guessing. The characters are all well-developed, especially deQuincey and his daughter, Emily.

As mystery/thrillers, go this is at the top of the game. However, what Mr. Morrell does so so artfully, is give the reader an education on Victorian London at the same time without bludgeoning him over the head as if it were a high school history course. The afterword describes all that is fact and fiction in the book.

As noted, this is a top of the game novel in the genre. I had a hard time putting it down and was disappointed whe I had finished - two sure signs of a wonderful book.,

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World W ar II
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World W ar II
by Larry Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.04
136 used & new from $3.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Unique View of the War, April 8, 2015
Like a lot of people, I have read a lot of books no WWII - non-fiction, fiction, personal accounts, dry narratives, the works. This one is unique and stands out among them all.

Shortly put, this is the story of an American bomber pilot who was saved - or rather not killed by - a German fighter pilot. That could have been kept a magazine article as it once was. What Mr. Makos has done is turn it into a masterful book. From the individual stories of the two men comes the perspective of pilots during the war. Along with that comes some rather unique insights into the air forces and their effect on the war. Best of all, is the perspective of Franz Stigle, the German pilot. I have never read in a German's words, what it was like for the German pilots who knew from the African campaign on that not only were they losing, but the loss was inevitable. It was a perspective wonderfully told without emotional effects, just stark reality.

This is not a maudlin book by any means, It is an entertainingly told biography of the two men that brings to light the air war from both sides. Highly, highly recommended (as if you couldn't tell).

A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery
A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Skip the Prologue, April 2, 2015
Ian Rutledge is the long-time main character of Charles Todd. From a "good" family he becomes a policeman rather than joining the his father's law profession. This book takes place as World War I breaks out in Europe. Ian faces the crises of finding killers and wondering what the assassination of the Archduke will do to Europe. As the investigation continues, he keeps one eyed turned to the headlines. He also ahs his sister and family to think of as events swirl around him.

The book is not plodding in pace, but a bit methodical. It's no page turner, but it is a thoughtful look at this young man's life. Ian is as important to the novel as the mystery is. The mystery is a pretty good one. However, I will deign to give you a piece of advice. If you want to enjoy the mystery more, don't read the prologue. The prologue telegraphed who the killer will be. If you want the mystery to be more fun, skip it.

This is a character driven book and series. Mr. Todd captures the England and Scotland yard well. If you want thrills and a page-turning mystery, don't look here. If you want really well developed and drawn characters with full lives away from sleuthing, this is the book for you.

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