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Posted May 1, 2012
I got this from a friend who had read it and I have to say I fell in love with Rob's style of writing. I read somewhere that he was a detective for 32 years wich I think makes it even cooler...he actually experienced and lived the things he writes about. Great new mystery writer...hope to see more!
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Posted July 26, 2012
Review by James Sadler of Pacific Book Review
A smart, sharp, solid read for anyone who enjoys good storytelling. It didn’t take long for this book to get its hooks in me, and once it did, it was hard to put down. So hard that I blazed through the final 100 pages late one night… I was just that drawn into it. Besides, I also wanted to see if I had figured it all out. I hadn’t, but that’s a credit to Riley’s plotting and writing. With his first novel, Rob Riley shows a polish and style that most other first time authors should envy. He’s got an easy going, but engaging, style of writing. The kind that makes you feel like you’re sitting across from a friend in a restaurant and they’re telling you about a wild adventure they just had.
At the center of the story is private detective Jack Blanchard. Riley really brings Blanchard to life… not because he’s some hard boiled PI duking it out with the bad guys and rushing from one gunfight to the next, but because Blanchard goes about his business as real PIs do. In fact, Riley gives his readers a realistic glimpse at a “portrait” of a PI’s work. A lot of the work PIs do is mundane and boring. Rarely are they lucky enough to actually find themselves in the middle of a true murder mystery. Throughout the book, Riley paints a picture of the life of a private investigator, and this just makes Blanchard seem all the more real.
Luckily, this isn’t a story of the usual dull work PI’s do. When Blanchard is called by L.C. Veasley to find L.C.’s missing crack head sister, Roniece, the only reason he takes the case because L.C. is a close friend, maybe his only one. He reluctantly agrees and soon finds himself interviewing a convict known as “Four Dead” for information on Roniece’s whereabouts.
Four dead proves to be a challenge to talk to since he’s a schizophrenic who seems to wander all over the map with his answers to questions. But Blanchard manages to piece enough clues together to track down Roniece and reunite her with L.C. Blanchard figures that’s the end of it, except it isn’t. Soon, Roniece has disappeared again and it may have something to do with the murder of a prominent City Hall figure; a murder for which the mayor is the prime suspect.
Soon Blanchard finds himself not only on the trail of Roniece again, but trying to connect the pieces of how she may be tied to the City Hall murder, as well as a two year old unsolved murder. And things only get more complicated as another murder takes place, one that hits really close to Blanchard. Can Blanchard put all the pieces together—including Four Dead’s claim that a ninja (!) was involved in the killings- and catch the murderer, assuming he can figure out who the murderer actually is? It all comes together in a tense, and satisfying, conclusion.
This is a smooth and polished read. You’ll probably figure out some, but not all, of the answers to the mysteries piling up here. And you’ll also probably find yourself refusing to put the book down, because you’ve just got to know how all the pieces fall into place.
Riley’s bio indicates there are two more Jack Blanchard novels in the works. I definitely plan to pick them up as soon as they’re available. But for now, you should start with “Portrait of Murder,” and become a Jack Blanchard, and Rob Riley, fan.
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Posted July 22, 2012
A gripping tale of a former police detective who resigned from the force to become a private investigator. He agrees to help find his friend's missing sister, who is a long time drug addict. The investigation quickly gets out of hand and the PI is dragged into a multiple homicide investigation. The main character is a typical police type cynic, who is not shy about letting his feelings be known. There is subtle humor and even some romance, as the PI goes about figuring out the case. There is a highly unexpected ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2012
Posted May 24, 2012