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Posted January 2, 2013
This book quickly sucked me in as the author dropped clues and seeds of curiosity throughout. I found the characters to be three dimensional and well developed. The antagonist is a scary guy who is finds devious ways to exact his revenge.
By the middle of the book I could not stop, staying awake until 2 a.m. to finish. The author did a nice job balancing foreshadowing without revealing the entire plot at once. While it was evident who the bad guy was early in the book, it’s impossible to stop reading until the climax.
In an unexpected twist, I found myself almost feeling bad for the antagonist. We women love to love our bad guys, don’t we?
I highly recommend this book and an ready to dive into the sequel!
Sin and Vengeance is the first book in the Randy Black series, written by ingenious storyteller, CJ West. In this first book, the author skillfully mixes elements of wine making, seduction, intrigue, spying, wealth, and murder to drag the thrill-seeking reader into the masterfully orchestrated revenge of Randy Black.
The book begins with Deirdre Deudon, Randy Black, and Charlie Marston's lusty encounter at an old house at Rue de Beauchene in France. Things get out of control when Deirdre's husband, Henri, unexpectedly shows up and sees his wife engaged with two young men! Blinded by rage while trying to defend his wife's honor, but unable to defeat the perpetrators, he ends up dead. This event marks the beginning of Randy and Charlie's perilous friendship.
Running away from the French police, Randy and Charlie return to Westport, Massachusetts. Charlie goes to manage the family winery, while Randy continues his reckless lifestyle. Randy and Charlie run into a series of unfortunate and life-threatening events, which leads Charlie to reconsider his association with Randy. The warning words of his parents were always echoing in his mind.
Meanwhile, Charlie's dad, Mr. Charles Marston, is receiving anonymous letters from a blackmailer living in Westport who knows about a dark business secret which, if tipped the press and publicly exposed, could ruin his business and destroy his family.
The rest of the book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride pivoted by Randy Black's unscrupulous driving force to destroy those who robed him from his childhood and of his family inheritance. In addition to following Randy Black, the reader will be engaged with Lieutenant Laroche's investigation of Henri Deudon's death, Charles Marston's blackmail ordeal, and Deirdre Deudon's desires to ease her guilty conscience by avenging her murdered husband, Henri.
I admired the way the author developed the characters and surrounding situations according to each one of their unique personalities. From page one the reader gets involved in the drama and becomes another one of Randy Black's manipulated puppets. The reader becomes Randy's shadow. He is the bad boy who you know is dangerous, but you are unable to part from him. You simply go for the adrenaline rush that comes with his company and his lifestyle. This character is so well developed that toward the end of the book you will have ill feelings toward him and will want to help the others find his hideout and bring him to justice.
However, not everything about Randy Black is what it appears to be. Author CJ West's twists and turns during the entire story keeps you wondering about the motives and true identities of some key characters until the last chapters. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Mr. West pulled an unexpected end that left me in shock and totally speechless.
This book has all the elements to become a Hollywood blockbuster. In 2008 the owner of a screenwriting company saw its potential and optioned it for a film.
I highly recommend this book to all thrill-seeker readers and to others daring to walk a mile in the wild side from the safety of their homes.
Bravo, Mr. West!
Reviewed by author of The Window To My Soul; My Walk With Jesus
Posted May 27, 2009
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'Sin and Vengeance' is an action-packed suspense/thriller.
It is very well written and the characters are all well-developed and realistic.
This is the story of a ruthless business man, Charles Marston, who after 15 years of getting away with his underhand activities, is now being pursued by one of his 'victims'. The tables turn so that he now becomes a victim of his crimes. Charles's whole family become targets for a man so scarred by past events. This man, seeking vengeance, is a truly psychotic and dangerous villain.
Although I was able to guess quite early on who was blackmailing Charles, I was still able to carry on reading and enjoying the tale as there are many twists and turns to the story.
As much as I enjoyed the book I had a couple of issues with it. Firsly, it wasn't really fast-paced enough, as there was a lot of description which slowed it down at times when you would expect things to be moving quickly. Secondly, towards the end, on one particular page, I found the description of the violence verged on gratuitous and it almost put me off reading further. This may be just a personal preference, but I don't think it's necessary to describe violent acts to such an extent.
On the whole I found 'Sin and Vengeance' to be a good read and I'm sure it would make a great movie.
Posted April 5, 2009
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I first heard about this book when the author, CJ West, contacted me on my Book Blogs page. After reading the synopsis, I thought it sounded intriguing, especially since I've been getting more interested in thrillers lately. I still hadn't gotten around to getting a copy when I received an offer from West for the e-book version. By the way, this book is also going to be made into a movie and it's funny, while I was reading it I kept thinking it would be an awesome movie and then I remembered that it was going to be made into one. Silly me :-) Seriously, though, there are many scenes that I can't wait to see on the big screen.
I have to say that I'm really glad CJ West contacted me, because I'm not sure if I would have come across this book otherwise--at least not for awhile. I admit it starts out a little hot and heavy for me, but that is relevant to the plot and from there it leads straight into non-stop action. Be forewarned, it's a little graphically violent at times--I had to skim a few sections, just like I'll probably cringe away from the screen at the theater during the more bloody scenes. Oh yes, I plan to go see Sin & Vengeance when it's released, no doubt about it.
The plotting of this book is incredibly involved and detailed, with writing that is appropriately descriptive yet fast-paced. (Unfortunately, I came across a few typos, but nothing that detracted too much from the story.) Really, West's pacing is great, especially when you consider that this was his first book. He develops his characters masterfully--particularly Randy Black, and what a complex individual he is. Since I was working with an e-book, I found myself sneaking peeks at it during work yesterday, continued reading it last night and had to finish it this morning. If you like thrillers, then you will definitely enjoy reading Sin & Vengeance and I bet you'll find it hard to put down.
Posted April 23, 2006
Clearly defined characters, dynamic interpersonal relationships, an intriguing plot, and one of the most wonderfully, insidious characters I've come across in some time mark CJ West's freshman literary offering. The reader of the aptly named Sin and Vengeance will follow the life of Charlie Marston, and those connected to him, after he unexpectedly becomes involved in a murder. Mr. West does a terrific job of working Charlie's character flaws into the story as the young Marston attempts to both ignore, and deal, with the consequences of his decisions, and the choices life makes for him. The short chapters are an asset, but readers will frequently find themselves unable to put the book down, especially in the latter part of the story when Mr. West kicks the plot into high gear. The dialogue is stilted in some places, but that in no way takes away from the overall effect of the story, which is, in a word, explosive.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 17, 2006
Fast, sexy and brutal, ¿Sin and Vengeance¿ is criminal fun to read. The novel starts off with a bang ¿ literally ¿ but the scene turns from X-rated to murderous almost immediately. Charlie Marston, just graduated from college is looking for thrills in all the wrong places with his low-life buddy Randy. Via an Internet sex ad, they hook up with Deirdre, a horny farm wife with a secret or two of her own. But then Deirdre¿s husband Henri bursts in on their menage á trois. Charlie quickly loses his innocence in the scene that follows, as he and Randy kill Henri and stumble simultaneously on a huge cache of money hidden in the walls. Henri¿s body is disposed of so imaginatively that it would be unfair to reveal the method, so I won¿t. This is but one of the dozens of ingenious devices and hairpin plot twists that make Sin and Vengeance a page-turner. Along the way, we encounter blackmail, murder, and practical jokes from hell, as the tale takes us from the winemaking country of France to the winemaking country of Massachusetts. I didn¿t know there was such a place until I read this novel, one of whose side pleasures is a knowledgeable introduction to the process of winemaking ¿ and some of the interesting things that can go wrong when crooks get involved with it. Charlie Marston turns from a wet-behind-the-ears kid, whose college football career has been cut short by a nasty knee injury, to a vulnerable hero who saves the day. But the most fascinating character in this novel is Randy. As a thrill-seeker and mischief-maker, he comes off merely as a bad influence on Charlie. But in the novel's most terrific twist, Randy is not what, or who, he seems. He¿s far worse. I would have liked the author to give Randy a lot more introduction than the brief single paragraph he gets on P. 2 Randy deserves a chapter to himself. And the book is marred by some misspellings and other errors that should have been caught in the editing. But why quibble? This book deserves an A+ for head-spinning plotting and intricate surprises.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 24, 2006
When a young man's knee shatters while playing the sport he loves, his dreams are shattered also. Charlie Marston's life begins to desend in a wickedley, evil spiral. His life suddenly changes from a football star of the future to a crippled but, wealthy winemaker, reluctantly following in his father's footsteps. Charles Marston, the head of the family as well as his winemaking business, resonates cold and distant feelings toward his only son, feelings up until now, Charlie didn't want to admit. Feeling depressed and beatened down, he turns his youthful, and high - wrought emotions that compel him to search for a replacement for his lost dream. He finds a new friend Randy Black and he enjoys the wilder side of life.The makeup of Randy Black is a bar - room brawler, enjoyment of erotic sex, thrill seeking Charlie Manson. Randy escorts Charlie in horrifying dilemmas that entrique, excite and become more precarious with each day that passes by. While Charlie is a willing particapant through all the distasteful, objectectionable, and harmful deeds that Randy Black palms and acts out, Charlie is not without conscious. The aftermath of several terrifying events brings Charlie to weigh where his conscientious and moralistic confines should be drawn. He is confronted with the conseqences of several falsities that are impending to inundate himself and his parents. The title ' Sin and Vengeance ' was well chosen as it depicts the sinful ways of the chartacters and how revenge is better served cold. It is a excellently grounded thriller that is written in such a realistic way, the readers can't help but believe. The readers will definately be drawn into story and into the lives of the characters. The theme of the book brings to light sin and its effects, but this thriller is full of action packed plots and scenes of greed, lust, and the unscurpulous evil side of a person's mind and how it can effect others. I definately could not put this novel down and I thoroughly enjoyed the short chapters. Excellent read and I would definately, without a doubt, recommend this novel. Ameasha BrownWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2010
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