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Posted January 22, 2014
A fantastic mystery
Contemporary, Mystery, St. Paul, Minnesota
Nick Rice knows someone is following him. He just doesn’t know why or even who. If he could figure out who he just might be able to figure out why. While doing his daily morning run he finally comes up with a solution that should be able to help him with who and why. It also gives him the first chance to start to relax after weeks of dealing with the stress of the unknown.
Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney are investigators for the St. Paul Police Department. They are put on a case where they must figure out if a horrific crash in an accident or if it was deliberate. With every step they take and each clue they uncover they come up with more people that had a secret to hide. It also gives them too many people as a suspect.
This is a mystery that will keep readers trying to figure out just what is going and who might behind what is behind it all. With all the suspects the reader is given several to choose from and with each clue that is revealed it gives the reader a fantastic whodunit to try and solve. With several twists and turns the story gives the reader a very enjoyable read. This is actually the second book in the series but is easily read as a stand alone. For readers of mysteries this is one that will be sure to be very much enjoyed.
Posted December 10, 2013
The review of this book (donated to The Magnolia Blossom Review for a review) was completed by John C. Laird based
on a rubric designed by the site’s owner, LA Brown. John has graciously allowed the owner of the site to post this review on his behalf.
And Now for the Review
Review prepared by John C. Laird
Book Title 5/5
JCL: A catchy title; Running Scared brings up any number of scenarios for the reader-none of them positive. It could apply to either the
victim running from his pursuer, or the suspect running from the police.
Book Cover 5/5
JCL: A good cover. Someone running down a deserted road at night-scared, running from someone? The picture is stark & the title is
bold--white on dark-the font ragged, eye catching & well placed.
First 500... 8/10
JCL: The book starts with a prologue. The victim thinks he's being watched by someone, although he never sees his pursuer.
After the initial uptick in intrigue the author goes into too much backstory & what-ifs, bogging down the intro & failing to hook the
reader as much as the author could have.
Blurb Effectiveness 9/10
JCL: It's ok. It details the dilemma for the victim, then switches to the police investigators & their efforts to determine
whether they have an accident or a crime on their hands. After the victim's line 'For the first time in weeks, he relaxes', the author
switches to the investigators & a traffic accident (we assume involving the victim). I think adding a sentence after that line, to
hint at what happened to him when he relaxes, would have helped better hook the reader.
Age Recommendation/Genre Classification 8/10
JCL: Pretty tame for a police mystery. No gratuitous sex, excessive violence, or swearing. I'd say 12+ could handle this. It's listed
as a mystery, a criminal investigation by the police. But excessive details failed to make it a 'page turner' for me.
JCL: The formatting & presentation of the book was impeccable. Paragraphing & dialogue were clear & concise.
JCL: It's a procedural mystery & as such it conformed to the crime, investigation & resolution parameters that normally define the genre.
It's a formulaic who-done-it. Nothing really out of the ordinary.
JCL: The author did well in describing the environment and characters. But when it came to the details of the investigation, it was TOO
JCL: The intrigue was blunted by overabundant detail. I found myself wanting things to speed up, to move on.
JCL: Perfect grammar & mechanics. Flawless. I couldn't find anything amiss.
Overall Impression 7/10
JCL: I had a 30-year career in law enforcement & I can say she did her homework & research on procedure. However, it's actually too
detailed. The author included too many secondary characters. The primary characters, their relationships & histories didn't seem to be
developed adequately. There was no action, thrills or chills. The only 'action' was a foot chase involving a cop & an 18-year old
student & it's near the end of the story. It wasn't a page turner for me. For readers who want a story involving detailed & convoluted
police investigation-this book could be for you.
The Bestowing of the Blossoms
Running Scared: A Pete Culnane Mystery has earned 86 of 100 pts giving it a 4.5 blossoms. But B&N doesn't use a 1/2 system so it's
been rounded up to 5.