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Posted August 12, 2010
Merryll Manning, cop extraordinaire, is on vacation. By his side is a gorgeous nubile nymphet named Susan Ford. Susan is not above using her charms on the man she seeks and Manning, besotted by this dazzling beauty, is only too willing to be her puppet. So much so that he pays two grand for a vacation on an island in the Florida Keys - just to please her.
This vacation is, however, one with a twist. An eclectic group of people have paid a thousand dollars each to be part of a murder mystery setting on an isolated island. They are cut off from any communication with the mainland. The sixteen or so guests comprise of a priest, a lawyer, a novelist, a cop and several actors. They are asked to select a 'suspect' and a 'victim' and solve a 'murder'. The winner will walk away with five grand. Susan has her sights set on the money and Merryll Manning is her trump card. Manning too is keen on getting his two grand back - if he can resist the charms of his sweetheart, that is. As he admits, ' My only hope was her unpredictability. She was a spoilt child. The more I humoured her whims, catered to her caprices, the more likely she'd suffer a sudden attack of guilt."
The stage is all set and the players each have their parts. But the fun and games soon turns to more morbid business when evidence of blood and a real victim are found in the old priory. With no way of contacting the mainland, the only option is to find the murderer. Tension, suspense and mistrust creeps in among the guests. Merryll Manning takes the matter into his own hands and with his clever but somewhat erratic deductive abilities manages to nail the culprit.
John Howard Reid has written a fast paced whodunit with skilful use of dialogue to move the plot along. He points the finger at many, keeping the reader guessing till finally the real murderer is disclosed. Reid has over 70 books to his credit and the Merryll Manning mysteries are great page turners.
Posted August 7, 2010
If your "whodunit" Mystery Island vacation turned deadly, who would you turn too? Who would you trust? Sergent Merryll Manning was looking forward to a short, weekend vacation with his nubile and manipulative girlfriend, Susan. Using his finely-honed investigative skills, Merryll plans to quickly identify the "Mystery Island Killer" and win a sizable-sum of prize money; as luck would have it, nothing goes according to plan.
Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island is a suspenseful story, written in the first person; it flows at a steady pace with numerous, surprise twists and turns that keep the reader guessing, right to the end! The characters are well developed, compelling and easy to distinguish from one another; not always the case in multi-character works of fiction. The setting for the story is very well written; the natural landscapes and man-made structures fairly leap off the page and pull the reader deep into the narrative. Natural elements add further atmosphere, lending a sinister edge to the story. The author, John Howard Reid, is a multi-award winning, bestselling author. If you are a fan of the mystery, suspense or thriller genres, get your hands on a copy of this book as soon as possible!
Copyright © Pinnacle: Author & Book Promotion --- Bobbie Crawford-McCoy
Posted May 3, 2010
This is the first of Reid's series featuring police officer Merryll Manning, working out of Miami. He and his girlfriend Susan take part in a murder mystery weekend in an old Dominican priory on Cross Key Island. As you might expect, this being a mystery, one of the murders is the real deal, and the varied bunch of paying guests has to band together (while falling apart) to figure out who the real murderer is, and how to survive until help arrives.
The crew is varied, all of them colorful individuals. Susan herself is of interest because while Manning is definitely hooked on her, he's also aware that she's not exactly the most angelic of creatures. She's much different than the typical cop's girlfriend you'd expect to find in a mystery novel, and even Manning seems unsure how he puts up with her. Manning himself is an interesting guy: he's a cop and knows how to read a scenario; he's also intelligent and unafraid of debate. His theological debates with fellow guest Father Connor are rich in detail and a certain amount of passion on both sides. He's not afraid to take on the other guests, to take charge, and even to throw a punch. He even manages a few jabs at the mainstream publishing industry.
The story moves quickly, and Reid does a great job of not allowing suspicion to settle on any one character for long. The scenery-the island and the priory itself-is well-detailed. I can well believe Reid personally researched this setting as well as the murder mystery weekend theme. I understand there are at least eleven more novels in this series, and I'll be checking them out!
Posted March 20, 2010
Merryll Manning would rather be anywhere but Cross Keys Island. The only reason that this police sergeant is here is his girlfriend Susan. For some reason, Susan has in her head that she's going to win the five thousand dollar prize during this Mystery Weekend.
Merryll really isn't up for a murder mystery drama. After all, he has plenty of real police work at home. Still, Susan has a way.
The weekend starts off pretty well. Merryll correctly identifies the first "victim". Unfortunately, the second victim turns up actually dead. Now, Merryll and Susan are stuck on the island and there's a murderer on the loose.
Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island is very entertaining. Merryll has a charming wit and a sharp eye for detail. He's a great character.