Book Review: L.A. Rotten by Jeff Klima

L.A. RottenL.A. Rotten
A Tom Tanner Mystery #1
Jeff Klima
Alibi, May 2015
ISBN 9781101882733
Ebook

From the publisher—

As an expert crime-scene cleaner, Tom Tanner charges big money to carve out bullets, mop up fluids, disinfect walls, and dispose of whatever’s left of whomever was unlucky enough to require his services. For a handsome young ex-con determined to stay out of trouble, it’s practically a dream job—until he discovers a grisly pattern to his work: a string of gruesome murders at a cheap motel chain, always in Room 236.
 
While prying into a serial killer’s nasty scheme, Tom finds himself with a sharp-witted strip-bar waitress plastered to his side—and his conscience. Even more surprising, the killer starts prying into his life, luring Tom into a twisted friendship. As Tom struggles against his adversary’s wicked whims, risking the lives of the few people he holds dear, bodies pile up everywhere he turns. With a psychopath calling the shots, Tom has little choice but to clean house once and for all.

I’m usually very good at picking books I’m going to like but, every once in a long while, I blunder and I surely did with L.A. Rotten. Does that mean I think this is a bad book? Absolutely not, just that it’s not the right book for me.

I did check it out first as much as I could before signing on for the blog tour and didn’t see anything to put me off. Once I started reading, the first few paragraphs were pretty gruesome but not beyond what I expected—this is, after all, about a guy who cleans up crime scenes and, by the nature of the beast, such a job is frequently going to be gory and messy. The more I read, though, the more I realized the publisher’s description that accompanies the book is just not clear enough for a potential reader to make a choice. Yes, I expect violence in a story involving a serial killer and I expect gritty language in a mystery labeled by other readers as “hard-boiled”. I did not expect to actively dislike the protagonist or to be confronted with very graphic, explicit sex, both action and language, on top of increasingly gory crime scenes. It was all just a bit too much for me.

My feelings about the protagonist did ease up by the time I finished the book but he’s still not one of my favorite guys, by any means. He feels inordinately sorry for himself and his circumstances but he’s entirely responsible. Rather than do whatever he can to improve his lot, he chooses to indulge in activities to make him forget his life and why, for heaven’s sake, does he think all cops are out to get him? Surely, the LAPD has better things to do than harass an ex-con who did his time for a drunk driving death.

There is one character I liked quite a bit, Ivy. I can’t really say why but she appealed to me in a number of ways and she was a big reason I didn’t DNF the book.

I also found the storyline compelling. It makes sense to me that a crime scene cleaner could be the first to see a pattern and I didn’t find it odd that Tom would feel a need to look into his suspicions. In fact, Tom is much more credible as a sleuth than many other amateurs. (Amateur might not be exactly the right word since an ex-con certainly has more practical crime-solving knowledge than many other non-professionals.)

I should mention also that the actual construction of the book—grammar, formatting, etc.—is quite good. Having read a number of books by this publisher, I was not surprised at all that this one was so nicely edited.

Bottomline, for the right reader, this is a good entry in the hard-boiled crime fiction field and the author certainly has the background to make his storytelling as credible as you can hope. I think many will enjoy L.A. Rotten.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2015.

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About the Author

Jeff KlimaJeff Klima is the author of The Dead Janitors Club and L.A. Rotten and is the cofounder of Orange County Crime Scene Cleanup.

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Book Blitz: Implanted by Heather Letto

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Title: Implanted
Series: Ascension #2

Author: Heather Letto
Release Date: June 2015
Genres:  Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult

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Synopsis

After a narrow escape from the city of Impervious, Fran’s heart
aches for the ones she left behind. Will her brother ever connect
the dots? And, what about Pete? Could he, along with the
remaining Rebels, have survived the Council’s violent oppression?

As Fran ponders the fate of her friends, an even more disturbing
revelation drops into her world—the knowledge that she, along with
anyone who had lived underground remains implanted with the sinister
presence of the Council. A fate rendering her powerless to save.

Yet one with pure blood, untouched by the Council’s defiling,
lives among them. Could he be the new lifeline of hope? Is
salvation of the city worth risking the life of this one-and-only?

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An Interview with Heather Letto

Hey there! Thank you, so much, for including me on
your blog today and getting the word out about
IMPLANTED, the second book in The Ascension Series!

Tell us about your journey so far in this series.

Well, let’s see. Like many authors, this series began when a “what if…?” idea sparked in my head, followed immediately by fast finger action (on the keyboard). After that, came the season of endless hair-pulling with a lengthy detour (changing of publishers and discernment of direction.) Finally, after rounding up of the troops (aka, perfect editors and amazing cover designer), I marched forward. Impervious re-released in the spring and now *taking large breath and chest puffing with pride* I can finally move into the “guts” of the story that began with IMPERVIOUS.


ImplantedGuts of the story? How so?

Let’s just say, IMPERVIOUS was the loading of the weapon… IMPLANTED is the pulling of the trigger. (The final book will be the shot heard ‘round the world.)


Ah-ha! So this is a trilogy!

Yes. But I let’s not get ahead of the curve. I’m going to keep the final installment a bit of a mystery for you. What I can say about IMPLANTED is that it will answer some questions that lingered with the reader after IMPERVIOUS… yet it might stir up a few more.


Wow! Can’t wait… So, tell us a little more about the author. We’ve also head that you are a gypsy-nerd. What does that mean, exactly?

LOL! It means my life is in a constant state of flux! My husband and I have dedicated this season of our lives to meandering about the U.S. He’s a software nerd. I’m a book nerd. And for the past ten months, we’ve been traveling about the contiguous United States in a one-ton dually (um, nerd-speak for big pick-up truck) towing a very bougie trailer… glamping (aka glamour camping). We spent most of the winter checking out the corners and crevices of sunny Florida and right now, as we speak, we’re hunkered down in Hungry Horse, Montana! (Glacier Park). I guess, much like my character, Fran, you could say I like to think of myself “off the grid.” (However, I try to maintain good WIFI and cable TV… and, I’m Accountable.)


Lastly, two quick personals…

Do you work in your jammies?

LOL! Well, typically it’s more like shorts and a tank. But, every now and then, I suppose I’ve been known to keep the jammies on for the better part of the morning.


Favorite munchies while you work?

Blueberries! Fresh, plump and juicy! (and coffee… always coffee at my right hand.)

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About the Author

Heather LettoI’m a book-writing, selfie-taking, latte-drinking, social media gal. I’m living a good life on the road as a full-fledged Bedouin (Well, except, my tent is actually a fully-equipped RV.) Me and my partner-in-crime (Benj) tend to hunker down wherever the skies are clear and the temps stay in the 70’s. We call ourselves Gypsy Nerds because we aimlessly wander the U.S. with glasses perched upon our noses and faces jammed into computer screens (for the first half the day… The second half of the day is typically devoted to playing because we’re also somewhat immature.)

Like most authors, the characters I create are my extended family.  And like most readers, when the story ends, I get a little sad. In real life, I have two handsome, hardworking, grown-up boys who know how to make their Mama proud! *Waves to Joey and Mike!*

The Ascension Series is my debut into the world of YA fiction.

I’m living what I love and loving what I live!

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