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Wicked Break (Noah Braddock Mysteries, No. 2) Mass Market Paperback – June 5, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Noah Braddock Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

San Diego PI Noah Braddock interrupts his surfing for a missing persons case in Shelby's action-packed follow-up to Killer Swell (2005). Noah isn't eager to take on new clients, but he's moved by Peter Pluto's pleas to find younger brother Linc, a college student, whose apartment turns out to contain a stash of guns. The tension escalates when Linc's neighbor is shot after being questioned by Noah. Soon after, Noah's untimely arrival at Peter's ransacked house in a quiet cul-de-sac irritates a couple of vicious skinheads. Noah awakes in a ravine, left for dead, and a bit too cozy with Peter Pluto's corpse. Later, accompanied by his pal Carter, conveniently six-foot-nine, Noah boldly wades into plenty of life-and-limb"threatening situations, including verboten gang territory and a secluded skinhead gathering. Strong characterization and wonderfully biting humor compensate for a straightforward plot that's overly generous with tough guy posturing. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Surfer-sleuth Noah Braddock, introduced in Killer Swell (2004), returns to crack another case. When a college student disappears, his brother enlists Noah's aid in finding him. What should be a fairly straightforward case gets frighteningly complex when Noah discovers the missing student has a serious interest in guns and an unsettling connection to a white-supremacist group. Is the missing man a victim or a runaway? With the traditionally witty, first-person, PI-novel narration and a collection of characters who range from entertaining (Noah's best-friend roomie, Carter) to terrifying (Mo, a large brute who beats Noah nearly to death) to alluring (Liz, Noah's police-officer ex-girlfriend), this one is a winner. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451412419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451412416
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,303,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on July 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
WICKED BREAK by Jeff Shelby

July 12, 2006

Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars

This is my second novel by Jeff Shelby and as with the previous book, WICKED BREAK was very entertaining as well as a fast read. WICKED BREAK is another thriller featuring private investigator Noah Braddock, who grew up and currently lives in the San Diego coastal area of Southern California. His love of surfing and the ocean is a big part of these stories, as they define his personality and is what is unique about this protagonist.

In this second novel, Noah is approached by Peter Pluto, asking him to locate Peter's missing brother Linc. Nearly the entire novel is Noah's search for Linc, while all around him dead bodies are being found. Noah as always gets into a lot of trouble by taking the law into his own hands, and not letting the police know what is going on. A few times he comes close to being a dead body himself, but with dumb luck he always survives.

Carter, his best friend, helps add to the comedy relief and the two of them get into trouble together, nearly losing their lives a number of times before the story is over. The main gist of the story takes the reader to an Aryan Nation type of group, a San Diego based racial hate group that is somehow involved with the missing Linc (pun intended). There is a twist at the end, which I didn't see coming but it made a lot of sense, knowing how the story began.

There are two small subplots which involve Liz, a San Diego cop who was once romantically involved with Noah, as well as the story of Noah's relationship with his alcoholic mother.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm starting Killer Swell after reading Wicked Break--so I can say that Wicked Break was good enough to make me want to read another Noah Braddock mystery. For years I lived in San Diego, and Shelby has the ambience down just right, and he doesn't over- or under-do it. The characters make a good ensemble to work with the main character for a good series of novels. Braddock is conflicted enough to make him human, but not so much to make the reader neurotic. The story carries the reader along, but near the end it seems a bit contrived and ends on a somewhat disappointing note. However, it's not disappointing enough to keep me from reading more of these novels.

I'd really like to see an OTL tournament novel with the main characters.
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Format: Hardcover
Jeff Shelby is the author of two novels, the first, Killer Swell, worked on all levels. This one is no less assured and should be a big seller and keep the author with more on the way in this fresh new series.

Noah Braddock is the typical detective who doesn't want to be a detective, but is set apart by the storyline of the author as well as the delving into his personal story. The novel opens with Noah being asked to look into the disappearance of Peter Pluto's brother, Linc, a suspected Aryan. He begrudingly accepts the job and soon is surrounded by death and mayhem. Bailed out again at times by his sometime sidekick Carter, Noah stumbles along with bodies and trouble from the law providing occasional roadblocks.

Twists and turns make this novel a revelation and set it apart from other mysteries in the genre. When you think you have it figured out, something new will pop up, and when you really think you have it down, it goes in another direction. Shelby has a winner in Noah Braddock and I for one can't wait until we see where Noah goes in the future. The reluctant detective must have more in store. Keep them coming.
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