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Posted April 9, 2000
Somewhere in space-time, there is a vector, a place where the fiction writer meets along an infinite line of points with the characters and events s/he has created. That line blurs with Richard Jones's first novel, Cocaine Alley. He brings such realism to the story, in such a matter-of-fact, low-key, believable way, that the reader finds it hard to decide just how much of this detail, just how much of this 'fictional' situation, is indeed invented from whole cloth. Jones is masterful at presenting his main character, Sarge, as a man shaped by the military experience of his youth, but possessed of such quirks and insecurities as the fear of growing old alone. He has crafted this character with an even-handed sense of balance. With his moments of self-deprecating humor and guilt regarding his eating habits, Sarge becomes endearingly human. He also commands a high degree of respect for what he's seen and done in service of his country. Richard Jones brings the reader a well-crafted, noteworthy story, told plainly and strongly, without excessive wordiness. The brief character descriptions give just enough to go on. From there, Jones trusts the reader's ability to fill in the blanks with her/his own imagination. Memorable moments, such as the exchanges between Sarge and the leader of a local motorcycle gang, linger after the book is finished. The love story adds a touch of sweetness. As a child might say when presented with an enormously entertaining event, 'Do it again!'. I look forward to seeing more of Richard Jones' work in print.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2000
Based on the title I was prepared to be put off with too much, two dimensional guy stuff. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a well-balanced piece of work. Our hero is multi-dimensional...with actual feelings, doubts and a good deal of humanity. Not slick and young, but old, seasoned and spicy. Full of complications that mirror real life and bring the reader in close to him. For those of us not-so-willingly meeting the onslaught of years, Sarge Craven is indeed a spiritual brother. Jones certainly meets my ¿great book¿ criteria of being pulled into the imagination of the writer. My detection skills were well challenged. Couldn¿t put the darn book down. But it¿s a pleasant, easy read. A well-told story. This story has memorable, but believable characters well-painted by the author. I like Jones¿ descriptive ability. I could feel the grit of desert sand between my teeth. Arizona is more visible to me now. I¿ll never look at a motorcycle gang again without a twinge of affection.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 18, 2000
Mystery-thrillers are not usually my first choice when I browse for a new book, but Richard Jones has crafted a good one in Cocaine Alley. Jones has a flair for the gritty simile ('¿my mouth tasted like the contents of Love Canal before Superfund¿') and delivers his story in an in-your-face style. A well-researched background, colored by details of Vietnam combat experience (which seemed to come from the writer's own life) and the inner workings of the DEA, give Cocaine Alley the depth and color that kept me turning pages. Cocaine Alley left me hoping Jones decides to write another one soon. I applaud iUniverse, which is a comparatively new company, for getting works like this one into print. My only reservation about this publisher is that their production processes apparently do not presently include copy-editing or proofreading. I hope that as they grow as a company, they solve this glitch to better showcase excellent stories like this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2000
This is a 'can't put it down' book that will appeal to both sexes. A fast paced action thriller that starts with a bang from the very first page, combining thrills and a tongue in cheek humor that is very enjoyable. Add a dash of romance and you have a real winner. I shall be looking for more books by this author.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2010
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