Book Reviews: The Homecoming by Carsten Stroud and Lowcountry Bribe by C. Hope Clark

The HomecomingThe Homecoming
Carsten Stroud
Alfred A. Knopf, July 2013
ISBN 978-0-307-70096-4
Hardcover

This was a very interesting book.  I hadn’t read Stroud’s first novel, Niceville, but the book blurb seemed unique.  So, I cracked it open and was sure glad I did.

The characters were strong and believable, the plot was quick, and the dialogue was witty.  I wasn’t sure I was in to the “other” world plot of the book, but I have to say, it didn’t take away from the superb writing.  I don’t think it was needed, but it was interesting and began to grow on me.

The two main characters, Nick and Kate, work well together and there was a hint of romance and love.  I thought the police procedural throughout the plot was sound and made complete sense.  So many people today write about how law enforcement does things and are completely wrong.  Stroud was spot on.  The book isn’t too gory and the concept was terrific.

The Homecoming was an excellent read.  I liked it so much I purchased Stroud’s first book.  I would recommend this book to readers interested in great suspense.

Reviewed by Chris Swinney, August 2013.
Author of Gray Ghost.

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????????????????????????????????????????Lowcountry Bribe
The Carolina Slade Mystery Series
C. Hope Clark
Bell Bridge Books, January 2012
ISBN 978-1-61194-090-9
Trade Paperback

I thought Lowcountry Bribe was a great read.  The book started out quickly and never quit.

The main character, Carolina, is a neat woman with a sense of humor and common sense.  Unfortunately, she finds herself in precarious positions.  I’m into suspense novels with a police procedural plot.  Lowcountry Bribe fits this bill perfectly.

The dialogue was entertaining and made sense.  The supporting characters were blended nicely into the story.  I think C. Hope Clark has something going with this Carolina Slade series. I would highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by Chris Swinney, August 2013.
Author of  Gray Ghost.

Book Review: Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman

Don’t Ever Get Old
Daniel Friedman
Minotaur Books, May 2012
ISBN 978-0-312-60693-0
Hardcover

Buck Schatz, an eighty-eight-year-old member of the “greatest generation” has, as ordered by his wife Rose, gone to the bedside of a dying comrade in arms—against his better judgment. Once there, his old army buddy, Jim Wallace, confesses he once took a bribe allowing the SS officer who ran their POW camp to escape. The bribe consisted of one gold bar, and according to Jim, there had been many more where that came from. What’s more, he knows the SS officer, Heinrich Ziegler, has lived all these years in the U.S. free as a bird. Who better, Jim demands, than the man who survived Ziegler’s worst brutalizations and who is a former police detective, to go after the war criminal. Oh, yes, and the gold, which he wants Buck to share with his family.

For such a supposedly well-kept secret, Buck soon finds just about everybody imaginable knows about the gold, and they all want a piece of it. Some want all of it. So Buck, suffering from increasing frailty and forgetfulness (he has to write himself notes about everything he wants to remember) is swept into one more case. He can’t count on the cops to be his allies, but his grandson Billy—under the nickname Tequila—becomes his sidekick as violent murder dogs his investigation.

I loved this book. Buck, with all his foibles and supposedly deteriorating mental acuity is a real kick in the pants. And the reader just knows that Tequila is sure to one day become as interesting as his grandfather. The mystery is good, but it’s the characters who make this book. Author Friedman brings them to life with sharp dialogue and just the right amount of description.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2012.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.

Book Review: Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman

Don’t Ever Get Old
Daniel Friedman
Minotaur Books, May 2012
ISBN 978-0-312-60693-0
Hardcover

Buck Schatz, an eighty-eight-year-old member of the “greatest generation” has, as ordered by his wife Rose, gone to the bedside of a dying comrade in arms—against his better judgment. Once there, his old army buddy, Jim Wallace, confesses he once took a bribe allowing the SS officer who ran their POW camp to escape. The bribe consisted of one gold bar, and according to Jim, there had been many more where that came from. What’s more, he knows the SS officer, Heinrich Ziegler, has lived all these years in the U.S. free as a bird. Who better, Jim demands, than the man who survived Ziegler’s worst brutalizations and who is a former police detective, to go after the war criminal. Oh, yes, and the gold, which he wants Buck to share with his family.

For such a supposedly well-kept secret, Buck soon finds just about everybody imaginable knows about the gold, and they all want a piece of it. Some want all of it. So Buck, suffering from increasing frailty and forgetfulness (he has to write himself notes about everything he wants to remember) is swept into one more case. He can’t count on the cops to be his allies, but his grandson Billy—under the nickname Tequila—becomes his sidekick as violent murder dogs his investigation.

I loved this book. Buck, with all his foibles and supposedly deteriorating mental acuity is a real kick in the pants. And the reader just knows that Tequila is sure to one day become as interesting as his grandfather. The mystery is good, but it’s the characters who make this book. Author Friedman brings them to life with sharp dialogue and just the right amount of description.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2012.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.