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Shades of Gray Paperback – December 22, 2011
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January 2013 - #1 BestSeller, American Drama July 2012 -- KBR Semi-Finalist for Best Thriller/Mystery July 2012 -- Semi-Finalist for Readers Favorite, Suspense April 2012 -- Shades of Gray hits #1 BestSeller on Amazon for Fiction - Men's Adventure..... Start your adventure.
"Debut novelist Andy Holloman speeds us on a journey with punch, twist, and emotional dilemmas straight from our worst fears. - Franz Wisner, NYT Best Selling Author
"Shades Of Gray by Andy Holloman is a wonderful suspense thriller that will hook you right from the very start." - Amazon Reviewer
"This was a great read! Enjoyed the characters and what a father would do for his daughter. Very much worth the price." - Amazon Reviewer
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Kudos to Andy Holloman for such an engrossing tragedy.
The two main characters John Manning and Wanda Johnson have almost nothing in common and lead different lifestyles, but somehow they manage to come together for a common goal of making some much needed extra money, by smuggling drugs across borders.
Jamel Scott, a professional drug dealer employs Wanda to smuggle drugs aboard airplanes. He is the father of Wanda's daughter Tonya, but does not know it. Jamel uses strong armed tactics to keep his drug pushers in line and to keep others from honing in on his territory.
Durham Police Detective Travis Hanson is John Manning's younger brother, and he is as crooked as detectives come, he is also rather racist. He leaks info to drug dealers, helps them stiff other rival dealers, and accepts money to sabotage wanna-be rogue pushers and dealers.
John and Wanda are in over their heads from the beginning of their plan to smuggle drugs across borders aboard a cruise ship. They unknowingly seal their fate when they plan another trip after their first successful run.
The story does not end like the reader thinks or would like, but the storyline is very strong and pulls the reader in with a magnetism that keeps the reader extremely engaged. I don't read many tragedies and certainly do not go looking for books classed as tragedies, but this surprise was very well written and I enjoyed the read.
An interesting premise. John Manning owns a travel agency and is raising his only child Lucy after his bride decided she no longer wanted to be a wife or mother. The business takes a big hit after 9/11. Business is zero. He makes the acquaintance of one Wanda Johnson who owes his firm $35,000. He forgot he'd told his office manager Mary that since Wanda was such a good customer, the account could ride, until now. He was strapped for cash and needed it now or face spending his saving to keep the company afloat. Needless to say, they form a coalition in raising cash and raising it fast. See, Wanda has a bit of knowledge of the drug trade and never misses an opportunity when presented. Her cash reserves are dry since she and her boss Jamel can't make any trips to purchase product for distribution. Security is at an all time high. I like this plot.
The first three quarters of the book moves along nicely. Good pace and tension are well written. It is the last quarter of the book where it starts bogging down. At times I did think this was a soap opera that just wouldn't end.
The main problem was connecting the dots at the end. I'm not going into the details as it would spoil it for readers, but to the author, the events surrounding the crash at the beginning of the story and the description in the end don't mesh. There are some holes that need to be dressed-up.
Other than that, this a well written, fun quick read.
The story was captivating and I enjoyed the portrayal of characters, how the author made me empathize with each of them at times, in spite of the decisions they often made. There were times I held my breath, wondering what was coming next. Other times, I was crying because I could feel a character's pain, picturing myself in a situation and all too glad that it wasn't my reality.
All in all, I will definitely read another title by Andy Holloman and I hope it will be as gripping as Shades of Gray was to read.
Stephen McCutchan, author of the mystery thriller A Star and a Tear amzn.to/1aTDdgs
Most recent customer reviews
Not my cup of tea.