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Posted January 10, 2013
I suspect that John Lansing is poised to become a notable name in the arena of crime thrillers if The Devil's Necktie, his first fiction novel, is any indication. Having previously read John's non-fiction account of a New York drug-enforcement police officer, Good Cop, Bad Money, I found that really helped set up the world in which this novel takes place, but this story certainly stands on its own as it explores the seedy underbelly of our current drug-poisoned society. All of the characters, both on the good and bad side, are well developed and engaging, the kind you definitely want to see branch out into a series of stories. The situations and violence are firmly rooted in realism with a healthy dose of dark humor to ease the tension. There's ample twists to keep this a real page-turner and action enough to keep one glued to their e-readers despite low battery warnings. Potential readers need not be concerned about this being a first novel . . . John Lansing is a long-time scriptwriter and his talent in setting up and executing the overall plot, building suspense and describing intense action sequences is well translated here . . . hopefully there will not only be more Jack Bertolino books but movies as well! I strongly encourage everyone to give this book a try . . . you will not be disappointed!
19 out of 19 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2013
Although The Devil's Necktie is described above as a crime thriller, I think action-adventure should also be listed as part of the description. I was given a copy of this book by the author's representatives in exchange for an honest review. I was not disappointed with my read. The book is very well thought out and holds the reader's attention seamlessly and again, I found it hard to tear myself away from the action and the characters.
Jack Bertolino is a retired cop and wants to live a quiet retired life in sunny California...the land of sunshine and dreams. However in retrospect, he has made many the enemy during his lifetime of public service and they are not about to let him rest. Jack is well defined, hard nosed and stubborn and relies very much on his cop instincts. A lot of his hunches and gut feelings are in hindsight and it seems he is always a step behind the evil that infuses itself in his retirement. The action begins in chapter one and continues through to the end of the book, affecting not only Jack, but the people he loves and those he works with. It seemed to me, Jack was always putting himself in harm's way; he certainly didn't fear the brutality of the bad guys. I've said it before and I will say it again, I'm glad I am not a cop and I am thankful for those who can provide this kind of service to the public and not dishonor their shield!!
John Lansing's writing was easy to read, fast paced and very gripping. I very much enjoyed the novel. Thank you John!
12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2013
I thought I knew a lot about the crime world of Los Angeles, so I was very happy to find that John Lansing knows it a whole lot better. Everything feels authentic and tough in this book. The hero, Jack Bertolino, thinks he is going to kick back in la-la land before a beautiful CI shows up--and then is murdered in his bed. The drug lord is interesting too, but the true chills in this book come from a psychotic Latino gang member and his best friend. They leave a trail of murders that lead to a truly explosive climax that is one of the best I've ever read. I can't wait to read the next Jack Bertolino book.
9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2013
Watch out Baldacci and Connelly, there's a new kid in town. Lansing is a natural. The Devil's Necktie is a thriller that has your heart racing from the beginning to the end. We care for Mia, we root for Bertolino, and we pray that the bad guys get it in the end.
I can't wait for the book. I hope that Bertolino comes out of retirement for another thrilling adventure.
7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2013
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. Jack Bertolino, a retired narcotics detective is unexpectedly contacted by one of his former Criminal Informants. She was supposed to disappear after they put the drug kingpin away, so why is she here? After a steamy night of passion, Mia confesses that her life is in danger. He’s been set up for her murder, and now he’s on a race against time to find out who the real killer is.
This was an action packed suspense thriller. It kept me riveted from the very beginning. The main character is so realistic, and all of the descriptions so vivid, I felt like I was there. The synopsis had said it was similar to a James Patterson novel and I was skeptical. Truth be told, John Lansing is an amazing author! If you do like James Patterson, you’ll love this book.
6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2013
The Devil's Necktie is a riveting tale that takes the reader into the seedy underworld of crime, drug cartels and murder. Author John Lansing weaves a fast-paced crime thriller set in Los Angeles and written in the third person narrative, that follows the dangerous quest of retired NYPD inspector Jack Bertolino as he investigates the heinous murder of Mia, his former confidential informant, and the woman whom he had recently shared a passionate night together. Jack's investigation leads him into the seedy underworld of drug cartels, where he finds himself caught up in a dangerous and deadly world that he thought he had left behind.
This riveting realistic story is full of intrigue, action, drama, suspense, murder and dark humor that draws the reader in and keeps them captivated and turning the pages. As the reader follows Jack into the shady world of cops and crime, the multitude of plot twists and turns will keep them guessing what will happen next. Jack takes the reader on a wild ride when his dangerous adventure takes him into the upscale areas and seedy gang infested neighborhoods of LA. It is a seedy and gritty world of drugs, gangs, money laundering, and murder ... where he clashes with cops, drug gangs, ruthless drug cartels, and a variety of old and new enemies... all in the pursuit of Mia's killer.
With a multidimensional cast of characters who leap off the pages; gritty dialogue and vivid interactions; richly detailed description of the neighborhoods and local landmarks in Los Angeles; and a no-holds-barred storyline that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats holding their breath as the chilling trail of crime and murders leads up to an explosive climax; The Devil's Necktie is one hell of a thrilling story that you won't be able to put down and leaves you wanting more!
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2013
Jack Bertolino, is a retired detective in the NYPD, who has moved to Marina del Rey, he thought he was done with cases, done with the evil men he has put way for so many years. Like most detectives he has made enemies while serving the public, and protecting the innocent. An old contact and ci contacts him, after a tryst, he finds she needs protection. Not knowing how immediate it was he leaves her asleep, safety locked in her apartment. What he does not expect is that he is the last person she will see. He is accused of her murder, and found that being on the outside does not help. Faced with charges and enemies on both sides of the blue line, Jack needs to find who are is true friends, and enemies, and see if he can solve Mia’s murder. This is a dynamic, multi tracked leveled book that uses many view points, and convolutions to delay the reader into finding the solution. This book is a seat of your pants thriller, with epic gun battles, intrigue and danger.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2013
Posted January 11, 2015
The first of the Jack Bertolino series, this is a thrilling but enjoyable read. The characters are a little larger than life, but several of the main ones change and grow as the plot unfolds and you find yourself surprised that instead of being a typical "tough guy", Jack manages to change in order to be a better parent. Of course, he meets an exciting new woman and of course he solves his ex-informant's murder that he was framed for, but along with all that excitement, there is more! John Lansing has managed to create a powerfully human and complex character in the land of the tight jawed, close-mouthed, tough guy detective. You might not notice it though, as the action and adventure in this book will have you in it's grasp, as you're racing through the pages just to see what happens next. I forced myself to put it away, unfinished at 2 am the day I got it. I think that pretty much says it all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2014
A special thank you to Gallery Books, Karen Hunter Publishing, and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wow, loving protagonist, Jack Bertolino! Was dying to read The Devil's Necktie, after having just finished an ARC of #2 in the series Blond Cargo (10/20/14). Was intrigued with the sexy and complex Jack, and how he found himself in LA on the west coast. Highly recommend both!
John Lansing delivers a riveting and intense crime thriller debut novel, The Devil’s Necktie (#1 Jack Bertolino) a hero and ex-NYPD, now in LA in the middle of a world of danger, violence, gangs, drug cartels, and murder while mixed with Hollywood glitz and glam!
Jack Bertolino has left his hometown of New York City, and his position of NYPD narcotics chief after ongoing back pain side, taking early retirement, and relocates to Los Angeles, CA to enjoy life at a slower pace. (for like 5 seconds)?
Unfortunately, at the opening of the novel, his leisurely evening on the balcony of his loft in Marina del Rey, grilling a steak and nursing a glass of wine, is interrupted when he receives a call from Mia, one of the best Columbian CIs in the business, for the DEA, the NYPD, and the federal government. She and Jack had teamed up with groundbreaking work together. With the help of Mia and DEA agent Kenny Ortega, Jack and the team of NYPD narco-rangers he headed up—put away a heavy hitter in the cocaine trade.
The only problem, informants had a short shelf life. Once a major domo got busted, the cartels worked very hard to discover where the sickness had come from. If your name ended up on the short list, you turned up dead. Jack had made a promise to Mia that if things ever got too hot to handle, he would do whatever he could to help her out of the jam. She was calling in the note (chit, or favor).
From the 18th Street angels, cops, sex, drugs, money laundering, murder, violence, danger, cops, mafia, Mexican cartels, and some cool LA hot spots, fancy cars, yachts, upscale neighborhoods to seedy bad ones, and a hot romance, for an explosive and mega bucks’ ending of killing two birds with one stone with delicious revenge.
What makes Lansing’s novel so enjoyable is his unique character development, Jack’s personal life with his son, Chris, his east coast ex-wife, new relationships; his strengths, weaknesses, and humor—mixed with the fast paced action – a dynamic winning combination! Hope we see a movie upcoming!
The Devil’s Necktie, lives up, and I was not disappointed! Highly recommend reading both books; high quality, with superb and sharp writing. They can be a standalone; however, you cannot stop with one. (I tend to read new releases, get hooked, and then devour their previous work).
Jack Bertolino is Jack’s Lansing’s dangerous, and sexy LA hero; similar to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller; Karin Slaughter’s southern and troubled GA Bureau of Investigation agent, Will Trent; J. Carson Black’s Cyril Landry, former navy seal; and Paul Cleave’s Christchurch PD, Theodore Tate.
Lovable tough heroes, fighting the bad guys; ones we support, root for, and keep reading, and reading, anxiously awaiting for the next, while hoping the series never ends. The Blond Cargo carries on the explosive action and cannot wait for the next one!
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Posted February 11, 2014
Good first novel. I picked up this book looking for something in the hard boiled genre. I thought the book was good, not great but good. I found Mr. Lansing's descriptions of characters physical appearances a bit over the top. The brief romance with Mia, while required for the advancement of the plot, could have taken a bit more time and space to develop. The action is fast paced and generally well written. As a voracious reader of this type of fiction I would encourage the author to do research on the weapons his characters use, in this book he mentions taking the safety off of a Glock pistol, Glocks do not have any safety mechanisms outside of the "safe action" safety built into the trigger. A small thing but also an easy fix.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2014
Posted February 4, 2014
I love books of this genre' and this one didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the author's style of writing and found it easy to read.
It was a good book and I would recommend it for anyone who likes either the author John Lansing or the type of book. You will find yourself immersed in the book from the very beginning.
Posted February 1, 2014
Action, thriller and a very enjoyable read. Find it hard to believe that this is the author's first novel. Eagerly looking forward to Mr. Lessing's next offering. Some little instinct tells me that the wait will be worthwhile.
J M Lydon
Posted January 31, 2014
This was my first full e-book experience and I absolutely loved it. (No more books to dust!) This book was a quick and pleasurable read. It was fast-paced and once I got about half way through...EVERY time I thought I was out, it PULLED me back in! (my homage to The Godfather)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.