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The clues — Jimmy’s cleared-out office, his impounded car, his “gone fishing” story to his wife — point to something more troubling, possibly foul play. Armed with a framing hammer in lieu of a gun, Spike must sleuth her way through a world of deception, greed, and murder if she’s going to nail a killer.
Posted September 8, 2013
If you love a tight story with a kick-a female lead, then The Concrete Pearl is for you. As a writer myself, I'm drawn to Zandri's descriptions of places and actions which can be down-right eloquent in the midst of gritty plots and locations. A blast!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2011
A thoroughly captivating thriller mystery, I was grabbed at the prologue and remained mesmerized by the unfolding story all the way to the harrowing climax. Ava Harrison, already operating her inherited, sinking construction company on a shoestring, steps into a nightmare scenario when she arrives at her single construction site, on an otherwise rather normal Monday morning. Ava, also known as Spike in the industry and to her friends, quickly finds herself fighting an uphill battle for her beleaguered company and her rapidly disintegrating reputation - then things just keep on spiraling down the drain from there. As ever, obstinate, Spike has no choice but to track down her missing sub-contractor by hook or crook, fair or foul. She has been set-up to take the fall, unfortunately for her unknown opposition; Spike steadfastly refuses to go down without a fight. Told in a straight-forward, shoot from the hip, no-nonsense, style from Spike's point of view, the events in the story will likely strike a chord with most any reader. Safety concerns regarding asbestos and the serious health issues that can arise from improper removal techniques are frightening. This novel delves deeply into many of the associated issues surrounding the topic. It uses that as the jumping off point for a suspense thriller that is set firmly in a competitive industry where cutting-corners and bribery can garner immense profit for an unscrupulous individual. In short, this story kept me engrossed, wondering how Spike could ever extricate herself from the deep morass of trouble raining down upon her. At the end, I hated that the story was over - the journey was just amazing, and the resolution so, so satisfying. This is definitely an author from whom I want to read more. This book was provided to me by the author and Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours in return for an honest review. No other compensation was received by me and my opinions are strictly my own.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2011
Ava "Spike" Harrison might be a beautiful, classically schooled woman, but the single, 38 year old construction business owner is also plenty ballsy. Her late father taught her long ago how to handle the rough boys in an industry that's almost entirely filled with hard-boiled men on the make. But now, with "the business dad built" from the ground up failing due to an unusual series of job-site injuries and just plain bad luck, Spike has no choice but to take on one last project she believes can pull the fledgling firm from the depths of almost certain bankruptcy and family shame: The Renovation of Albany PS 20.
Problem is, Spike had no choice but to take the job on the cheap. To make matters worse, she's not only hired an asbestos removal contractor who, unbeknownst to her, low-balled his price, but she's advanced him $10Gs from her own dwindling cash account as a "good faith" incentive to beat the project deadline.
Now, when that same asbestos contractor suddenly goes missing and it's discovered by OSHA officials that he's cheated on the project exposing more than 300 students to deadly asbestos fibers for months, Spike decides to take matters into her own callused hands and go in search of him. What she discovers along the way however, is a path paved with deception, greed, murder, and eventually, her own ultimate demise.
Armed with a framing hammer as her equalizer instead of a gun, Spike Harrison is one hot, but tough as nails amateur woman sleuth. Cross her, and you just might find yourself buried up to your neck in regret. (excerpt for eBook).
I received this eBook of Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and this one had me hooked from the first page. Being sensitive to my readers this book does contain some profanity and sexual references that one may find common to construction crews dialogue but it does not take away from the value of a well written story.
The character of A.J. Harrison, the daughter of the Harrison's Construction company was a believable one considering she's been doing this kind of work since she begged her father to give her a shot since she was sixteen. Now struggling to maintain a hold on the company on the verge of bankruptcy and multiple fines already from OSHA, if she can't locate her missing subcontractor, James Farrel, she will more than likely lose the business from the amount of pending lawsuits that are building over the cancer cases of the children affected by the asbestos since inhaling the fibers for the nine months she's been working on the school.
When a lawyer, Damien Spain, shows up suddenly and begins offering her help, hired by James' wife, that things begin to take a twisted turn. This novel will hold the reader from the very first paragraph and is so well written, you finish before you realize it which to me is a definite sign of great writing. I award this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
Posted September 8, 2011
"Spike" Harrison is running the construction company left to her by her late father. She is struggling to keep the business afloat when the unthinkable happens. She has contracted out the asbestos removal to a man who disappears. Not only does he disappear he leaves her to deal with his sub-par job of removal and exposing children to asbestos. She is left to deal with OSHA.
This begins her search for Farrell, the sub contractor. Her search leads her to a PI,who she eventually teams up with, as she uncovers that Farrell was involved in a lot more than a poor work ethic.
This book is well written and very fast paced. Spike puts herself in mortal danger as she uncovers more than she bargained for. Spike is a very determined and strong female lead character. Her life was formed around the construction sites and she doesn't take nonsense.
I do have a content warning. This book is laced with profanity, violence, and sexual innuendo. This book is written for an adult audience.
I became interested in reading books by Vincent when I "met" him at Goodreads. I finally read one of his books and I was not disappointed. I have a couple of his other books on my kindle and will read them at a later date. I received the ecopy that I read to review.
Posted September 5, 2011
In case you all don't know me by now, this is my all time FAVORITE, FAVORITE, FAVORITE suspense author. He rocks. No doubt about it. And, once again, this author brought us another rockin', KILLER novel! I read this back in May when I bought it, but wanted to participate in this blog tour, so it's been absolutely killing ME to keep my mouth shut about this novel. It's INCREDIBLE! I think that, even more than the Dick Moonlights, this novel is off the charts HOT! Ava "Spike" Harrison is an awesome chic! She is bad to the bone, so to speak, and when she inherits her fathers construction company, all hell breaks loose. Literally. She takes on a job, cheaper than what she wanted, and the guy she hired, well, he was a cheater. He endangered children, and, he cheated Ava out of money. So, what is going to do when her already failing construction company faces even bigger problems when that said hired guy goes missing? I'm not going to go into a whole lot about this AMAZING novel. I don't want to give anything away. (Ya'll know me well by now I'm sure, and know that I don't giveaway spoilers). I will tell you this novel is full of so much more than great characters and an author who knows his junk. It's about FANTASTIC heart pounding suspense. A roller coaster ride of ups, downs, ins and outs, that will land you in an unknown place each time you settle in for the ride. Throw in a bit of a medical twist with OSHA, and a rockin' awesome band and well, you've got a GREAT novel! It's a big novel: 581 pages on the Nook. But, despite it's large capacity of twists, turns, and suspense, it's a fast paced thriller that will have you at the end in no time. I highly, highly recommend this novel to every suspenseful thriller lover out there. The awesome thing about Vincent Zandri and his 5 Book worthy novels is that you never know what kind of story you will get, or where you'll land at the end of the novel. This is by far, his best novel to date, and I have read all but one so far. I have a Zandri collection going and this one is at the top of the recommendation list for him. AWESOMETASTIC work, Zandri! Can't wait for the next "Spike" novel to release (hint, hint....)!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2011
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I became a huge fan of this author when I read his first book Moonlight Falls back in May. Since that time, I have read his subsequent novels, The Remains, The Innocent and Godchild, and all have been exceptional. Before leaving to go on vacation, Mr. Zandri honored me by entrusting me to read and review a galley of his latest novel that will be out today.
CONCRETE PEARL by Vincent Zandri
Published by StoneGate, Ink
At the request of the author, a PDF galley edition, was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis: Ava "Spike" Harrison might be a beautiful, classically schooled woman, but the single, 38 year old construction business owner is also plenty ballsy. Her late father taught her long ago how to handle the rough boys in an industry that's almost entirely filled with hard-boiled men on the make. But now, with "the business dad built" from the ground up failing due to an unusual series of job-site injuries and just plain bad luck, Spike has no choice but to take on one last project she believes can pull the fledgling commercial firm from the depths of almost certain bankruptcy and family shame: The Renovation of Albany PS 20.
Problem is, Spike had no choice but to take the job on the cheap or, what's known in the industry as, "at cost." To make matters worse, she's not only hired an asbestos removal contractor who, unbeknownst to her, low-balled his price, but she's advanced him $10Gs from her own dwindling cash account as a "good faith" incentive to beat the project deadline.
Now, when that same asbestos contractor goes missing and it's discovered by OSHA officials that he's cheated on the project exposing more than 300 students to deadly asbestos fibers for months, the ever responsible Spike takes matters into her own callused hands and goes in search of him. What she discovers along the way however, is a path paved with deception, greed, murder, and eventually, her own ultimate demise.
My Thoughts and Opinion: Another hole in one!!! Zandri, once again, proves that he is a master story teller. With this book, he lures you onto a Tower of Terror ride and buckles you in before you have the ability to get off. Brilliant!!! This is what I call a "transport" book, whereas I was so engrossed in the plot that I was unaware of my surroundings. Because of his superb writing style, both the characters and settings, I was able to create vivid visualizations in my mind. Gifted!! Ava "Spike" Harrison, the main character, was charismatic who fought on principals but also had to deal with emotions of loss (vague due to not wanting to include spoilers). Throughout the book she "wondered how a headstrong girl like me" would get into different situations, which made her a likeable character that had this reader rooting for her and hoping that there will be sequels. A nonstop read of twists and turns until the very last word!!!! And just when you think you are nearing the end of the ride, Mr Zandri catapults the reader to the top of the tower at break neck speed. Not wanting to include spoilers, all I could picture in my mind when this happened, was a theater full of people and everyone at the same time sits back in their seats and gasps, which is exactly what I did when I read it!! Zandri delivers another page turning, can't put down novel!!!!! Fantastic!!!!
My Rating: 5
Posted September 13, 2011
No text was provided for this review.