Book one of the Irrevocable Change trilogy starts by introducing the initial main characters and lays a foundation for the following books. Character development is very good in that I felt like they were people of conviction and ethics; their own brand of ethics of course. The story quickly kicked into high gear as Clayton Albrecht is drawn into the criminal world through his friendship with Chicago's worst when they are attacked and he responds by performing vigilante actions. He soon discovered he was addicted to the hunt and the kill as he developed into a professional killer. The language, violence and sexual situations are rough, but I think acceptable considering the people who are portrayed. The detailed description of a hit on a crooked policeman and his emotional dying thoughts struck me as very real and I felt pity for the man. Of course later on there were even more victims to feel pity for. Another interesting feature of the writing is how Clayton's personal relationship with his family and friends is woven into his newfound profession. When I finished book one I couldn't wait to move on to book two. The tension created in the final scene made it impossible not to want to read more.
In book two of the Irrevocable Change trilogy the assassin continued to improve his skills both as a killer and antique dealer. I liked the fact that he is not portrayed as a superman/hero figure. He gets beaten and shot and bleeds and makes mistakes like everyone else. The level of detail in the hits is above average and I liked the fact that the type of firearms used is spelled out. As he gets more proficient and jaded I began to move from liking him to knowing he was becoming evil and dangerous and had to be stopped. The section where he murdered a serial rapist killer and his girlfriend was very real and bordered on being disturbing. Clay's escape from three goons from Philly was truly inspired and the description of the action was superb. I found all of the action scenes in books one and two to be highly detailed and believable, even though one or two did stretch credibility somewhat. His mother's revelation about the long term relationship he forced Adrianna to endure was totally unexpected and I felt his pain over the outcome. The ending of book two drove home the fact that he had fully accepted the power of his role of assassin and had little feeling about ending innocent lives. The Assassin Evolves is a fast paced read that kept me involved while moving Clayton to the top of the professional killer ranks and begins to set up his downfall. Another good read.
Wow! Book three shifted into overdrive with the killing of a half brother and sister in-law, the displeasure of his Mafia handler, and the loss of his two favorite family members. Even though I was repulsed by many of Clayton's actions I still wanted to cheer him on against people wanting to kill him; especially when they began to knock off his family. Toward the end his cunning really became apparent when he implemented a plan to use the FBI to topple many of the Mafia bosses he had worked for before they turned on him. As I thought back over the trilogy it was interesting to note how smoothly his character transitioned from innocence to an evil killer. I've read other assassin novels, but none like this. The fact that this story is told as a character study instead of a mystery presented the writer with the opportunity to fully explore the emotions of a killer; which he did with great clarity. At the end of the story I was grateful that an Epilogue was provided to close out the remaining secondary characters and finalize Clayton's demise. Throughout the three books the editing was good, but not perfect. Overall the Irrevocable Change trilogy is far above average but not in the superb/excellent category, if I could give it a 4.5 I would, but I feel it's a little better than a 4.0. All three stories are highly recommended and I'm looking forward to additional novels by this talented author.
To me, this story is in the wrong category; it should be in something like Religious/Salvation. The plot is weak; a hit man with twelve kills to his credit isn't likely to shoot someone in a crowded church. He especially wouldn't do it if he stands out as noticeably as the author built the character's attributes. The editing is good but the story isn't great, so it's a three.
The first kill isn't long enough to develop the characters so I don't know how to view it. Editing was o.k. but in this length how could it not be. Interesting, but I want to see a full length story line to judge the character and the author.
Crime in the Community
on Aug. 02, 2011
If you like English mysteries you may like this book. I don't and I didn't. It's too slow and plodding for my taste, I like action. The characters are eccentric and funny but I was bored half way through. No rating, because others may like the English style novels. Let them be the true judge.
on Aug. 02, 2011
I quit QUICKSILVER half way through because I never got into it. The lead character is an old hippy type who is a welder and an ass to be around but he has a lot of close friends. He's a rough and tumble kind of guy who fights and drinks too much and rides his bike and ignores the rest of the world. The writing is good and the editing is passable. I'm not going to rate it because I don't like the characters or the premise, but others might.
Death on a Rocky Little Island
on Aug. 11, 2011
I made myself read ten percent of this book and found it to be boring. A man is trying to determine who to take on a canoe trip with him because his wife doesn't want him going alone. Ninety percent of it was rambling narrative that I suppose was meant to be funny. In my opinion it’s a two at best. Maybe some people like the slow and drawn out narrative, I didn’t. I won’t rate it and let the folks who like this do the rating.
Death on a Small, Dark Lake
on Aug. 11, 2011
This is the second story I downloaded by this author and I forced myself to read five percent of it before I again gave up. It was all narrative, as would be the case with a man alone in a canoe. My taste in crime novels is for action not goofy inner reflection. Others may enjoy this type of writing, I didn’t. To me it’s a two, but I’ll refrain from ruining it for others since I barely started it.
I had trouble liking any of the characters in Independence Day. They are mostly mental cases who have personalities completely different from the opinion of the other characters. It's more like a continuing TV soap opera than a novel. The dead woman is portrayed as being dearly loved by everyone in the small town, but internal dialog by several characters paints her as a mean spirited, nasty mouthed shrew. I also never had a good feel for the scenes because descriptions were minimal. Editing was O.K. with few enough errors to be acceptable. I won't be reading book.
This author has been one of my favorites since I read his trilogy Irrevocable Change. The description of action sequences is again great and I can imagine each move as it flows from start to finish. The lead character comes across as being real and is a modern day intelligent tough guy with feelings. The story moves quickly as Carter gathers information and is always one step behind the villain. The role of a vigilante to right the wrongs of the judicial system is interesting and is the main theme in this novel. For a first book in a series I thought it was a bit short and suggest the author make the next ones longer.
This book is categorized as Mystery & Detective, Hardboiled. At best it is soft boiled. I've noticed lately that a lot of books are stuck in categories that don't fit the story. I assume that is because there is no category that fits, or the author wants into a more popular listing. The Last Laugh is satire not a serious crime novel. I have nothing against that type of writing, but don't try to sell it me as an actual crime story. The book reads like a comic book not a serious hardboiled mystery. For me it was a waste of time even though I didn't finish it. If you like light satirical stories this may be for you.
This is the second story in a row I've read that is marred by a lack of editing. Dead is Dead has great characters and a plot that made me continue reading late into the night. Unfortunately the author must have an aversion to (a & the) because many of both are missing. That coupled with a lot of misspelled words slowed the pace and made reading difficult. The extra commas and periods could be overlooked on their own but added to the other flaws are too much. What would have been a five rating with good editing is now a three. There is no excuse for an author publishing a book with this many errors.
This story is too dark and depressing for me. The main character spends a lot of time reflecting on relationships with family, girlfriends and inmates and I got bored before I got into it. Neil prides himself on having a history of telling the truth but constantly tells lies with ease. The girl he decides he loves has serious emotional problems and I never did come to grips with why they were together since they didn't mesh well. Even though I don't like the story it is well written and others may be interested in this style so I'll give it a three rating.
I don't know how or why author's places their work in two separate categories, one of which is definitely wrong. In this case HORROR is correct and MYSTERY & DETECTIVE is a deception. I downloaded it from Mystery & Detective and wasted my time; luckily it was extremely short. There is no detective or mystery in the plot. In the story a ghoulish character seduces a young woman over the internet and then, literally, cuts out her heart while a companion films the gory mess. Editing is poor; past and present tense are confused with the use of had and has in the same sentence. For me it's a 1.0
There are so many words missing that the story is difficult to read. The writer uses past, present and future tense in the same sentences. Words are used incorrectly, sentence structure is clumsy, words are misspelled and there are many unnecessary commas. And finally, overall editing is pathetic. The author has made a very confusing effort at telling a spy story. 1.0
The second half of The Leveler wasn't as strong as the first part. But the entire premise of a rookie detective being allowed to head up the investigation of a multiple murder case is far fetched. When the rookie made critical errors in judgment early on department politics would have demanded her replacement. Editing is fair with minor spelling and missing / extra word errors. Some of the dialog was strained and un-natural, too formal and detached.
About two thirds of this is a short story. I don't like stories where the main character is stupid and does stupid acts. I especially don't like main characters who murder someone without knowing who they are killing and then shrug it off and go on their way. The character is a loser and the story isn't worth reading so it's a 1.0.
The remainder is about the author and his advertising.
An excellent novel. The story is great, the pacing is good and the characters are believable. Suspense builds from page one and the ending took me totally by surprise. Editing is the weak spot in the story with missing and extra words and a few errors in putting incorrect names with events. If the author would clean up the editing it could easily be a 5.0.
This story never pulled me in. Overall the story idea is very good, but the execution is extremely poor. The dialog is stiff and unreal. There are many grammatical errors as well as some problems with sentence structure and very amateurish writing.
There is a detailed description of a gang leader who is soon murdered. It was not necessary to the story to know how he became the leader. He a minor character. His main role was to be killed.
The author's selection of a .22 caliber rifle to shoot a man across the street from the top of a six story building indicated a lack of knowledge and research. The 40 grain bullet in a high velocity .22 doesn't have enough weight to go through the back of a skull, through the brain matter and punch through the forehead and spray blood on the victims associate. It's good for squirrel hunting, not killing humans at a distance. And from the elevation mentioned a bullet would likely come out his chin or neck.
Another example of poor plot is a sequence where a van is stopped "a few feet from the end of a pier", a brick is placed on the accelerator pedal, the gearshift is put in drive and the van slowly moves forward and plunges into the water. If a brick is used to increase engine speed, would the van move forward slowly? When the front wheels dropped over the edge and the vehicle dropped onto the frame could there be enough momentum to continue or would it stop? And with approximately 3,500 pounds of human weight in the back would the van tip forward into the water? And then a man in the rear of the van escapes through the locked rear door while an assassin is shooting bullets into the back end as the van sinks. One of the bullets hits the lock mechanism and somehow that allows the door to open. These issues and many, many others make the whole story unbelievable because the actions described are not plausible
This story opened by introducing a huge number of characters and detailing the relationships of brothers, half brothers, sisters, wives, husbands and mothers who were pregnant by others prior to marrying husbands. One or more people in the family had been kidnapped and taken to Paris and then rescued, and now the bad guys escaped and were coming at them again. Then a Russian showed up with a four year old child and the writing of the foreign dialect was terrible. At 15% I was too confused to continue. It's not terrible and I won't trash it because you may like a very complicated story that may eventually have something you'll like.
A good short story. Character development is good for a 5.700 word tale. It's spread over an almost 20 year span so fine details are left up to the reader's imagination. The plot is spy stuff, and the happenings in the final portion were as anticipated. While it's a good simple read it's not a great and memorable story. I enjoyed it but can't highly recommend it and won't save it to be read again in the future. I rate it a 3.5 to 4.0.
A good but rather slow mystery at first. I almost quit reading early on but continued. The action intensified about half way into the story. The main characters are believable and interesting. Editing is fair, but the author should clean it up because the story deserves it. It's simple stuff, spelling, missing words etc. I prefer more serious storylines instead of the continual humor interspersed here, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I rate it a 4.5 plus.
The prolog and two chapters of a book comprise the 4,600 words given here. It's not a book it's a marketing effort. The first sentence of Chapter 1 covered ¾ of my e-reader page. Many of the sentences are extra long and difficult to read. Editing is non-existent. Past and present tense are mixed in the same sentences. It's a British story and very difficult to read due to the lack of editing.
Catching Water in a Net
on Feb. 13, 2012
Read 4% and never got into it. Maybe others like the style, I didn't. I don't like the three Ds: dumb, drunken detectives. Won't rate it and ruin it for anyone else.
on Feb. 13, 2012
I read the first part of this and was turned off by a live person being dipped into a vat of acid. Then the father and son detectives were boring so I quit. No rating. Try it, maybe you'll like it.
I'm impressed. The Dogtrot Murder has two main characters and both are super. They are well defined and I cared about both of them. The book is well written and editing is good. The sub characters were also intriguing, especially Kinky Stillbrink. I felt like I could see and smell him. All of the characters are developed so there is a firm understanding of who and what they are. The plot is exciting and Carter is always on the verge of being attacked.
However, if you don't care for vigilantes with a license to kill this is not a book for you.
The Last Killer Standing
on March 06, 2012
Another marketing scheme; the book opens at chapter 10. Instead depending on the reader opening the sample to judge the book this author chose to start you in the middle of the story. I didn't read it so I won't rate it. If I did it would be a 1.0
Popping the Shine
on March 06, 2012
"A special preview edition" means you get the first nine chapters. You can get the same thing as a sample without going to the trouble of downloading it. So, it's not a free book; it's another misguided marketing ploy by a desperate author. No rating. If I were to rate it, it would be 1.0
I'm a big fan of this author's writing. The editing in this short is very good, better than the average found here in my opinion. The characters are not your average people. But who wants to read about boring average folks. The setting is rural on a small farm. The time is when men wore hats and police cars had the single bubble gum looking red lights. The main characters even drove a Studebaker and stole a Hudson. I won't tell you more because I don't want to ruin it for you, but it's a very dark but different and good read.
A good well written story. The characters are interesting, the plot is good but requires a stretch of the imagination at times. Editing is better than most, not perfect but acceptable. Plot twists are plentiful and the writing swings from funny to serious. There is a murder at the heart of the story but the characters around the main character are what it's all about.
The description of Kill em Again did state it isn't suitable those under 17 or for all readers. It did not disclose that the story is full of perversion, rape, torture and murder. If you want to read about young boys drugged and having sex with older pedophiles, consensually and forced, feces and urine this is for you. I was disgusted before getting half way through it. The writing is fairly good, the editing needs work.
Rope Enough has good characters and a great plot. The problems are wordiness and editing. It needs professional help to compete on a professional level against recognized authors. I'll give it a 4, but would prefer a 3.5.
When a twenty something construction worker is accused of murder and passes out I should have quit then. I've never met anyone who would pass out after being accused of anything. Redemption has good editing but the dialog is repetitious.
The editing is terrible. Every type of error is made including a mix of past and present tense in the same sentence. It needs a good editor. The writing is clumsy and distracting. Some aspects of the plot just didn't come together because they didn't make sense.
A lead in story for a series of detective books. The war scenes in this are vivid and well written. Characters are somewhat different and engaging. I think the following stories will be a complete change from this and won't have the level of action but I'll want to read one. I wasn't impressed with the sample of the next story at the end because it was boring.
Very well written story about a female P.I. with an attitude. Some of the characters are over the top but the story's twist and turns make up for it. Editing is good but not perfect. If you like smart mouthed, sarcastic characters read this.
This is the most thought provoking story I've read at Smashwords. The characters are vividly portrayed and conflict is rampant from start to finish. New twist continually arise in the life of the main character. Whether you are a liberal, conservative or a libertarian you should read it to the conclusion before forming your opinion. I still believe Ayn Rand wrote the best novels dealing with totalitarianism but Stealing Second points out the dangers we will surely face in the future if the government officials are left to rule unchallenged. Editing is better than average but not perfect. Congratulations to the author.
I liked this story but with some caveats. The writing is overly drawn out and repetitive for my taste. There are scenes that don't ring true, as when the protagonist who has never owned a gun or done much shooting explains the effect of altitude on the trajectory of a bullet. He is an aeronautical engineer so maybe that cuts him some slack. Or at the end when his wife, who is terrified of the whole situation and hates guns, comes to back him up with a pistol instead of her ex-police chief father. On top of those, with a killer chasing them they are having sex out in the open several times a day. Not likely. The editing is good but far from perfect.
This is the first story in this, so far, three part tale. The plot and writing are outstanding with only minor editing flaws. It begins in South America and moves to England. The action is fast and believable. The biggest flaw in my opinion is the use of the term clips, instead of the correct one which is magazine for semi-automatic weapons. The plot is fresh and twisted as the protagonist deals with the sudden murder of two of his buddies amid abundant action.
The second story in the Troopers Tale series. This one continues with the previous characters, good and bad and again is filled with action and surprises galore. I enjoyed it and recommend it to thriller and action readers. An excellent story.
on July 24, 2013
I read 8% of this and it was so depressing I quit. I don't care for stories about drug addicts with emotional problems. No rating.
What a great read. The editing was good and the plot was superior. I was able to correctly pick out the antagonist before the middle of the book because of a single clue the author inserted early on. Hope you find it too. My only complaint, and it's a personal thing, is the overdone descriptives. Actions scenes were melodramatic to the point of being rediculous. But I still enjoyed the story.
A good story well told and the writing is good, my complements to the author. The characters are what drew me in. The story started slow and built intensity as it went, but that provided a clear picture of the personalities of each character. Karolyn's infidelity and then the anger filled confrontation with her husband seemed real and not overdone. The hurt and anger were handled well and worked for me. Lyle was portrayed as a slick con man and just enough hints about him were given to be forewarned. I recommend it.
Excellent but disturbing plot. The main character is eccentric but interesting. I class this as a girly type of story; the action scenes are unrealistic. Example: lead bullets do not cause gas tanks to explode. There are several others. It also needs a good editing. It deserves a 3.5.