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Brick ONeil grew up in America’s heartland, the midwestern United States, receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies then moving to the southern United States for his Masters in Human Resources, living in both Oklahoma and Texas for some time before settling in the Pacific Northwestern coast in the Emerald City, Seattle.
He has been writing professionally since 2001 and before that was a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the private workers’ compensation field, still holding his Certified Rehabilitation Counselor certification. He began writing articles and working on projects for clients while writing his first novel, Aside of Murder under his writing business, Lione Services.
Now he has ten books under his belt in four genres, fiction-mystery, fiction-short story, non fiction-cookbooks and non fiction-biography. He has his mystery series, The Rose Petal Wine Murder Mysteries with two books published now out of the seven; the cookbook series, “Simple, Healthy, Fresh”, with books 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and the Ultimate; three books of short stories, Different Dreams; Unrelated: A selection of short stories and Triad: Fates, Furies and Graces finally,his short biography, Silver Linings on Dark Clouds (My Life with Alport’s Syndrome) is out as well.
Find him online:
http://brickoneil.com (pages for each book)
on Aug. 15, 2012 :
I love a good mystery/suspense book. The thrill of discovering twists and turns in the story is something I look for in books. I looked forward to reading Aside of Murder hoping for this same type of feeling. First, let me say it is a good book; it’s just not what I was expecting. I really liked the idea of how all the characters ended up being connected in some way; these types of story are intriguing to me. In the beginning as I was reading I couldn’t figure out what was happening. Many times it flipped to another part of the story and I was a bit lost. However, I quickly figured out it had changed to the other characters. At first I thought the story revolved around two call girls; Shelly and Ann. But then when the characters Joan and Sue were introduced I was lost; at first not sure what they had to with the call girls.
What I didn’t like about the book was there was no real suspense. Parts that could have been held and released later were told right away. Also, the one main twist in the story was never explained how it came to be. I don’t want to tell what it is because I don’t want to be a spoiler here. However, it left me wondering just how it would have pulled off. There was no explanation so it seemed unrealistic. I know this is fiction and therefore it shouldn’t matter; but it’s a major part of the book. I just feel there should have been an explanation as to how Shelly did this.
I give this book only 3 petals/stars because I did like it; but wasn’t one of the better books I’ve read. I didn’t like how there was no mystery to the story and all was revealed as it happened. Had there been more suspense to the story and that one major twist explained then I would have given 4 petals.
I was given this book for free by the author and was in no way paid for my review.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on July 06, 2012 :
From the moment I began to read, I caught the flavor of an old timey detective movie set in today's time period-- you know, the seedy side of town with it's disreputable characters. Brick paints the seedy underbelly of both lower and upper society as he introduces various of complex characters, each with their own unique personalities; especially one you'll love to hate; Gerald. The story then introduces a change of venue as a whole new set of characters are introduced--as different from the seedier side of life as you can get. As the story unfolds you're exposed to two different worlds about to violently collide. The story descriptions don't leave you wanting, but the plot will keep you guessing as it carries you along to a very surprising, but satisfying, conclusion. I love a story that presents a challenge to figure out. If you do, too, you'll be happy with this novel.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on July 03, 2012 :
In the 1950’s there were a number of crime-thriller movies and early black and white television shows that brought about the sense of the noir that repeated in many ways the feeling of the 1930’s crime dramas. In spite of the modern day feel to the technology and it’s general feel of today, the characters and the essence of how the mystery unfolded very much brought me back to the times I grew up watching those old movies on syndicated television.
The feel of the story, along with the sense of the characters, even the bad people gave me the feeling of once again watching the return of the polite, even to those one disliked. The strength of said characters in turn does not come from the grand gesture but the focus of each character as they develop over the course of the story.
However, in some ways, it remains this way, and as it was in 1950’s Noir, it shows in this book that the main characters have some loosening up to do. Is it a bad thing? No, by no means. I would and do easily give this book four stars for the work and effort put into it by the author. The characters do develop and do show humanity in both good and bad ways. But I caution the reader to understand that the way it’s shown is through the polite ways that today’s more modern day reader might not quite be used to. Just remember that by “polite” I do not mean kindly, or good. But rather the story is focused along those lines of a past behavior not easily seen in today’s culture.
Beyond this, I have found Aside of Murder to be an excellent read and I do recommend it for people to enjoy themselves. It comes with a pinch of caution, but otherwise, it’s my hope that the writer continues in this series.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)