Emily Kendricks “Badge Without Honor”

badge-without-honorBadge Without Honor is a new Detective Thriller from author Emily Kendricks.  Previously, Kendricks authored The Fantasy Maker, an Erotic Thriller, but this time she gets down in the dirt with hard-boiled cops and killers. Available on Kindle right now for $2.99, the book runs 250 pages. That’s 3460 positions on my Kindle.

Kendricks sets up a good story, using her working knowledge of New York and police sciences to mold a believable story.The protagonist, Detective John Bocello, cuts his teeth in Brooklyn as a homicide detective before moving out of the city and heading to what he hoped would be is a slower, more productive life in the small town  of Darlington. Of course, things don’t work out that way.

He’s linked up with fellow Detective Steve Parson’s, who provides the annoyance and worry factor for Bocello. Parson’s a friend as well as a detective, but he has trouble keeping his mind on his work. That’s not a good thing, since what starts out as a simple robbery turns into much more, including cold cases that have lingered for years and a modern-day Jack the Ripper.

Is the killer trying to leave a message with his work? The detectives aren’t sure, but Bocello’s life is further complicated by his own interest in a local widow, who may herself be in danger.

FOUR STARS

Characters: 16 Honesty: 15 Originality: 16 Plot and Pacing: 16 Storytelling: 16

CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 79 Points

Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars

 

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James Malone “Rainbow Gardens”

rainbow-gardens-book-coverRainbow Gardens by James Malone is more than a World War II epic, it’s a mixture of historical fiction, fantasy and social remembrance of things  that went right, and things that went wrong in the past. And, just as our service men and women made a commitment to defend our country, readers must make a commitment to the size of this novel: 614 pages.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t likely to be a book you struggle through, it’s just a whopper. Had the author split the book into two parts, most readers would have been happy to purchase the second half after finishing the first.

Personally, I was surprised by the content after seeing just the cover. I don’t read the blurbs and notes by the author, I just start reading, so imagine my surprise when the story starts with a troll named Franco who is struggling through the New Mexico desert trying to make it back to his cave. Hmmm.

So, if you think this is all about war and destruction, think again. The story is much larger than that. This is life, the world of the early 1900’s, where it when wrong, where we could learn from mistakes to make it right. It’s about people, beliefs, attitudes, prejudices – and the foolishness of man as seen through the troll’s eyes – and those who would set the tone and attitudes of the future.

I can’t help but think that many readers of fantasy and science fiction might pass this book by, viewing the book as just a World War II story. That’s a pity.

FIVE STARS

Characters: 17 Honesty: 17 Originality: 20 Plot and Pacing: 16 Storytelling: 16

CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 86 Points

Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars

Henry Simpson “Joey Costa’s Law”

joey-costa-pic

Henry Simpson’s sixth Joey Costa novel is a revelation. Mostly because this fast-paced novel takes us back fifteen years to a time when Joey was finishing college, well before his exploits got us hooked on the character and forced us to turn the pages as quickly as possible!

The best part of Joey Costa’s Law is seeing the character development of Joey Costa.He’s still getting his feet wet, hasn’t hit his stride, but the clues to his life are there to glean from the pages.

Joey is lingering between college and law school and literally bounces into a job at a Hollywood nightclub. A not very safe club with many colorful Hollywood characters including drug dealers, bikers, pretty dancers, hookers, and of course his employers, the Carbone family. They aren’t connected; they are the connection.

There are many characters, so they aren’t always as developed as one might want, but the main characters are, and therefore you get Joey, the prequel, and we now know him well!

FIVE STARS

Characters: 17 Honesty: 17 Originality: 18 Plot and Pacing: 17 Storytelling: 17

CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 86 Points

Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars