Customer Reviews: The Abbey (Ash Rashid Book 1)
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on April 10, 2011
I purchased this .99 book as one of my first electronic downloads. For .99 I wasn't looking to be wow'd but I was. Most surprising is the main character (Ash) is Muslim. Ash is a Muslim version Dirty Harry! Chris Culver weaves the detective's religion into the story in such a manner that displays Ash as a spiritual man, but a bad boy cop at the same time. As a Christian, I found myself chuckling at the way that Ash recognizes his duty to his religion but does what the 'flesh' tells him is necessary to seek justice; he does it without apology. No turning the other cheek here! Hooray for Ash and Chris Culver in this amazingly fresh look at crime fighting.
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on August 15, 2011
This is my genre and for $2.99 is a great deal (I live in Jamaica, so its 0.99c for people in the US) the prose and writing style is similar to Robert Crais, sans the snappy/type humor we have come to expect from Elvis Cole.

I bought this based on the reviews here and 100% agree with all the good, I was a little concerned that the protagonist being Muslim, I would be bogged down with the writer using this as a forum for Muslim religion, thankfully it wasn't and only made small references which helped/remind the reader, in much the same way as Daniel Silva's "Gabriel Allon". (I add quickly that whether our hero was Christian, Jew, Muslim- I just did not want the story bogged down REGARDLESS of the religion)

In conclusion, the story moved along at a cracking pace and I finished this book in one sitting (1.00am), I saw the twist/Backstab coming but nevertheless great great read.

To the author: I loved Ash's parting comment to his law professor!...Nice *lol*
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on November 26, 2011
There are a lot of reviews on this book. I'm not sure anyone will actually read mine. I'm not a literary type who writes great reviews; mainly, I thought the author deserved another 5-star review to increase the star-average. So, if you don't find my review helpful, feel free to mark it that way. Go ahead, you won't hurt my feelings!

So, for my review, I thought I'd dispel some of the criticisms of the book and mention what I like.

Unfair criticisms:
1) Muslim hero: Some people complained that the religion of the hero -- mainly the constant references to it -- was distracting. I didn't think so at all. There were just enough references to make the hero more human, so the reader can grow attached to him. And they were all very tasteful references. Honestly, the author could have made the hero Christian or Jewish and the impact would have been the same, so there is no reason to complain about references to the hero's Muslim religion.
2) Language: There is some foul language in the book, but no more than you'd expect in a novel about a cop. The swear words are not distracting, as one reviewer put it.
3) Vampires: Who complained about vampires mustn't have read the book. Sure, the villain runs a club where people can pretend to be vampirish, but it's not a book about vampires.
4) Violence: Not more than in any other police drama.

What I like:
1) The book is very unpredictable and captivating. It is almost stressful to read, it is so suspenseful. That is a lot from me, since I usually complain the plots in modern entertainment are all alike. I would put this book on par with any Ken Follet book, in this dimension.
2) The quality of the writing. The author has a very straight-forward writing style. By this, I mean his sentences are clear and succinct and grammatically correct. (As I said, the story itself is not predictable.) A lot of good story tellers bumble out words, but not this author.
3) The hero is very human. You grow attached to him. Like I said above, the references to his personal struggles is what makes him human; the Muslim religion is only the tool.

In sum, this book is not in the same league as most self-published works. It in a higher league than most books put out by major publishing companies. The bulk of reviews are right: this may be the best 99c you'll spend!
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on August 1, 2011
This book was very good! I didn't really expect much, considering it was only 99 cents. But when I started reading, I didn't want to put it down. I absolutely fell in love with the characters. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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on August 27, 2011
I want to add my praise to that of all the other reviewers who found "The Abbey" to be a compelling work. Occasionally, I will be intrigued by a low price book on Kindle and figure that I have little to lose by buying it. Most often those books are disappointing and are abandoned before I've fully read them.

I bought "The Abbey" based upon the positive early comment of some of the above reviewers. What a surprise!? This is a book I'd expect to pay full price for and which I'd still consider a good buy. It's very difficult to believe that this is a first effort. It's uniformly laudable; the plot, character development, economic but fulfilling description. They all satisfy. I'll be buying more books by Chris Culver.

I really don't understand how digital publishing works, but I know that many cheaper books have an unpleasant font, are rife with errors and generally make it an effort to read them. Not so here. The quality of the proofreading and editing are immediately apparent. The Abbey is the real deal. It's an effortless and entirely enjoyable read!
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on August 7, 2011
I think that what I found most appealing in this book was the believability of the main character. Ash is a religious family man with flaws that he recognises. He goes out of his way and out of his depth risking his career in order to get justice for the people closest to him and in the process gets involved in some pretty tough stuff. Well done to Chris Culver on a great first novel.
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on September 3, 2011
Never before have I felt the need to review a book, but the positive reviews for this book have compelled me to.

In a word, this book is TERRIBLE. There is nothing that rings true about the central character (a somewhat troubled, but ultimately good, Muslim detective from Indianapolis, with a bit of an alcohol problem!), but I found the number of cliches crammed into the first couple of chapters mildly amusing. However, as the cliches began to pile up I just got irritated by them and the bad writing style. I only finished to book so that I could write an informed review.

This book is about murdered teenagers, vampires, drug gangs, the Russian mob and biological weapons, although it would appear good value to get that many plot lines for 99c...I advise you not to bother.

My advice to the author...don't bring this character back in Fall 2011, like you threaten to do at the end of the book. Instead enroll in a writing class and learn how to develop credible characters and coherent plot lines.
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on September 2, 2011
My husband was the first one to read this book and told me it was a great read, and he was right! I buy books all the time but this is the first time I've felt that a book warranted an enthusiastic review encouraging others to buy and read the book. It's an incredible value at 99 cents, in fact, I have never read such a great book at this price. The main character, Ash, is such a well-developed and REAL person, that you get immediately caught up in the story. I sincerely hope that the author has a whole series of books planned with Ash as the main character. My husband and I will definitely be looking for them. Read this book! You will be glad you did.
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on September 9, 2011
Like other reviewers, I took a chance this Kindle book because it was so inexpensive. With Kindle prices for better-known authors becoming greedier, these special promotions open valuable opportunities for both the lesser-known writer and the lesser-budget reader. Also like others, I was intrigued by the idea of a Muslim lead character who's so much like others of his kind, but thinks and acts with a subtly different flavor.

The book is intriguing and moves fast, and I enjoyed it. That said, I have a couple bones to pick with switching themes in mid-stream. While the wannabe-vampires of The Abbey are another interesting glimpse of a subculture unfamiliar to me, they weren't really fleshed out (sorry!) in any depth. The plot twist near the end explaining the villain's motivation doesn't seem to be integrated into the rest of the book. Nor is it explored in any depth at all. There's a statement near the end (readers will know what I mean) that seems to open up a whole new chapter ... but just quits when the crime is solved. I was left with several questions that the pat, action-drenched last chapters ignore.

I'll definitely read Chris's next book. Especially if it's not $12! And now, a word from my soapbox: With no printing, warehousing, shipping or shelving costs, it's unconscionable that e-book prices now rival trade paperbacks and are headed for the level of discounted first-run hardcovers. Shame on you! With access to bookstores fading for many of us in the American outback, it's opportunistic and, yes, greedy to jack up the cost of an electronic alternative!
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on September 11, 2011
I bought this book for my Kindle, because it sounded interesting and it was only .99. What surprised me was how good the story was and how quickly it moved. I read this book in a few days during the first week my students were back in class. This NEVER happens!
Ash Rashid is your average detective working in middle-America who just happens to be Muslim. He gets caught up in the death investigation of his niece, and the more he looks into the case the more complicated the situation gets. His bosses believe the case is solved when the girl's boyfriend commits suicide. Rashid is warned off the case, but you know, this wouldn't be a good story if he did that.
The only thing that disappointed me was that the follow-up novel has yet to be released.
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