I have to begin by stating that I am quickly becoming a true lover of this Blackthorn Book Tour that I have become a part of. I am getting access to some incredible pieces of work that I would otherwise probably never have found, seeing as how I never really look for fiction when I go to buy books.
This novel was sent to me to review for the tour. Now, you guys know I am always honest about my reviews, so don’t think that because it’s part of this tour project I am a member of that every book will get a glowing review. The thing is, they just haven’t sent me a book I didn’t enjoy yet. I wonder if they ever will because the works I get the opportunity to read are pretty damn good on a consistent basis.
In this story, we have all the makings of a great murder mystery. There’s money, murder, lies and deceit, police detectives, family is involved, romance. I mean, talk about encompassing the whole kit-n-kaboodle.
So much happens in this story, it’s going to be hard to give you an overview without giving anything away. So, here is the blurb that made me want to read this book:
“Six months after a drug cartel infiltrated Charleston, Ronan McCullough continues to fight the drug war that plagues the city. His investigations are halted when the body of a mutual acquaintance, Sarah Gilmore, is found in the trunk of a burning car. In an investigation that takes him deep into the professional and personal life of the victim, McCullough discovers secrets lurking in her past, and a tangled web of personal and professional conflicts, suspicion, and betrayal. Was Sarah killed for those reasons or something larger? As Ronan seeks answers, his life and the lives of those closest to him are used as pawns in a deadly game that has no ending.”
So, who’s interested now????
This book was a real page turner, I have to admit. It certainly wasn’t one of those that I was trying to get through that seemed like it was going on forever. There’s so many little details and major happenings, so many little twists and turns that you are on the edge of your seat frantically flipping pages. Reading this novel ACTUALLY proved to me that I have started to read faster than when I first began my website of reviews.
Now, I’m not going to tell you much about the story because I think the blurb says a lot and I don’t, actually I refuse, to spoil this story for you before you get the chance to read it. So, I will tell you a little about the characters first.
Ronan McCullough is a Detective. He lives at home with his nephew, a teenager named Nick. Accompanying them in their family home is the love of Ronan’s life, Ty Andino. Ty works as an ER nurse and sees just as much horror in is line of work as Ronan sees in his own. Nick is a typical teenager who is quickly falling in love with a beautiful young lady named Ashley.
Life is perfectly normal for the loving family. Until Nick happens upon a dead body while out riding his bicycle. He was on his way to a girl’s house to try to get the gumption to go knock on her door and talk to her. However, he had passed her house multiple times and still couldn’t summon the courage he needed, so he was just riding around trying to pump himself up with a pep talk. That’s when he found the dead body.
Immediately he was a suspect, but with his father being a member of the department, the badgering quickly subsided when a Detective Seam Carter intervenes and tells the patrolman to ease up and back off. I mean the kid DID just found a dead body. He was more than a little unnerved by it.
Soon, lines are being drawn between the found victim and various people throughout the city, including Ronan’s life partner, Ty.
There’s also this independent company that specializes in forensics. They are desperately determined to get the city to sign a contract with them thus employing them to process all forensic evidence in investigations rather than the city crime lab. This is a big opportunity for the company, called BTech. This is a contract that could generate millions in revenue.
But suspicions start to be raised when the investigation of Sarah Gilmore, our dead body, and her death start leading the Detectives all over the place. It seems everyone is affected or involved in one way or another.
And then the threats start. It’s never good to threaten a cop’s family. Just a tip. Loved ones are threatened, people are hurt, people are kidnapped. Things are frantically spinning out of control.
Now, the race is on. Find the murderer. Keep his family safe. Solve the case. It’s almost like you’d need a SuperCop do get all that accomplished.
If you like detective stories, murder mysteries, violence and suspense…this is a MUST HAVE for you to get yourself immediately.
Here’s a little about the author whose creativity put this fantastic book together.
Eliot Parker is the author of four novels, most recently A Knife’s Edge, which was an Honorable Mention in Thriller Writing at the London Book Festival, and is the sequel to the award-winning novel Fragile Brilliance. His novel Code for Murder was named a 2018 Finalist for Genre Fiction by American Book Fest. He is a recipient of the West Virginia Literary Merit Award and Fragile Brilliance was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize in Thriller Writing. He recently received with the Thriller Writing Award by the National Association of Book Editors (NABE) for his novels.
Eliot is the host of the podcast program Now, Appalachia, which profiles authors and publishers living and writing in the Appalachian region and is heard on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network and Blog Talk Radio. A graduate of the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University with his MFA in Creative Writing and Murray State University with his Doctorate in English, he teaches English at the University of Mississippi and lives in Oxford, Mississippi and Chesapeake, Ohio.
Please feel free to visit his social media and website to see what else he is working on and has in store for us.
Check out the rest of the reviews on this book by visiting these websites:
The Night Police
Beyond the Line of Duty
By Chris Berg and Paul James Smith
As the direct child of a former police officer, this book was almost like a small flashback to my childhood. While it wasn’t a special fraternity of cops that was over at my childhood home practically every other weekend, I did grow up with a small group of five to seven cops that were on my Dad’s crew around A LOT. Dad was Crew Chief and so Crew Parties, lol, were at our house. So, I have a unique perspective in reading this book. I’m going to try to share that with you. This book was written by two former police officers, so, if you will, try to imagine the following:
You have a group of cops, small group, say…five to ten guys, max. They are all very close. The work together side by side every day and have for years. When cops get close like this, they have certain ways they interact with each other OUTSIDE of the precinct.
One of these ways is something that has long been referred to as “Choir Practice”. Choir Practice is the cop slang for when the guys from the squad get together and go out drinking after shift. Inevitably, during such meetings and certainly over an ice-cold beer or two, they unload the stresses of the day on each other, tell stories about previous calls or stops, tell cop jokes and try to unwind from the stress of the job before they go home to their families.
So, picture these guys, some newer to the force, some veterans of the department, all getting together to drink and tell their kind of war stories.
That’s basically what this book is. Now, I found it a great read because, like I said, it took me back to my childhood. Some stories you only hear once. Some, like the really good ones, you get told to you over and over again. Cops have a certain sense of humor but they also have their own language at times, and that shows in this book.
Most of what I read came off as very realistic, although I do feel like, because of things I know from being raised around cops, that some things may have been dramatized for effect. Which isn’t really abnormal, now is it?
I liked the stories because they do sound like legitimate cop stories, similar to the things I grew up hearing. The portrayal of the police in this book is fairly accurate to what I grew up with. While not all of what is in this book are things the cops I knew did, they did tell stories that strike similar chords.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was fun and a trip back to my childhood. I recognize that the language in this book hasn’t been soften for the average civilian. That doesn’t matter to me or bother me. I heard all kinds of things growing up. But I thought the style and presentation of the stories had an excellent transition instead of just listing the stories out one by one, with no connective tissue to help you get to know the storytellers themselves. This would have been a book that I think my father would have really liked and I plan on getting a copy for his best friend and old partner on the job, because I still talk to those cops I grew up with. It’s a family. Just like the military. You never lose those bonds.