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Sam Berretti was born and raised in the High Plains town of Lubbock, Texas. After finishing college at Texas Tech University Sam moved to Florida to attend graduate school at the University of Florida. Sam is an avid naturalist and photographer as well as a writer. Although writing started at an early age and took many forms, the first published book was Double Mayhem in 2012.
on Oct. 20, 2013 :
Unlike many of the other reviewers, I found the first quarter of the book ponderous and difficult to decipher, it did not present an auspicious beginning. I’m a fan of the use of the interior monologue narration WHEN the characters are solidly placed or introduced. But to head-hop too early or too frequently before establishing at least a cursory introduction to the characters is problematic. While avid fans of the thriller / suspense genre may appreciate the instant action and relentless scene switches before there is some sense of the characters, I prefer a little handshake so I have some sense of my characters.
That being said, the book did improve with several unexpected twists and a nice mix of tension with moments to breath that sprinkled in humor and some romance to more fully develop and establish Doris’ character: a strong woman with brains and a heart, and the fortunate advantage of having some military training that will aid her in the trials to come. I enjoyed the doppelganger element, and the faster pace, although I did think that so many elements were converging to create havoc and threat that losing one or two wouldn’t have harmed the story.
When I finished this book, I went back to see if I had missed great swathes of important information divulged early on, and I didn’t find it any more navigable: even knowing the players in the game. While I loved the writing because it was clever and nuanced with exceptional choices that helped fuel tension and emotion, I still feel as if there were just a few too many elements added.
I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 01, 2013 :
Strap on your weapons of choice, put on your favorite disguise and get ready for a book aptly entitled Double Mayhem. Author Sam Berretti is about to take his readers on a whirlwind tour of the dark world of organized crime, espionage and industrial spying. Doris Watson is an ordinary woman, leading an ordinary life who has no way of knowing that accepting yet another blind date will place her in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. This is a book where the bad guys are very bad and sometimes funny and the good guys are likable and always funny. The only thing that would make this story perfect is a cute child and an adorable cat. Oh wait...enter Bucky the cat and a little girl named Linda who is also a psychic "when she doesn't even know she's being psychic".
Double Mayhem, as the name implies, has two very convoluted story lines which run parallel throughout the book until they converge in a chaotic climax. There were times when I had to read back to remind myself of who was who and what was what because we had the CIA, FBI, NSA and the mob vying for the same illusive goal, but all was clear in the end. Along with all the scheming, murder and double mayhem, there is humor, romance and an international cast both good and evil. To quote Doris' unorthodox mentor Della Jamay Charboneau “This whole operation is crazy!”
Double Mayhem is well worth the read if you remain focused and keep the story lines straight. In this first book of the Seekers Mystery Series, we are introduced to a team of very special agents who, I suspect, will populate future books. I am especially looking forward to seeing more of Doris Watson AKA Maria Sebastian Nicole. Sempi Fi, Doris....Semper Fi!! :-D
(reviewed long after purchase)