Monthly Archives: February 2014

BROKEN ALLEGIANCE by Mark Young ~ nobody gets out alive from a gang

Broken AllegianceAn accident that killed his son, shattered Detective Tom Kagan’s life. The offending driver, a gang-banger, ran from the scene and was never brought to justice. Now back from a temporary assignment with the FBI, he’s once again hunting down gang members in Santa Rosa, CA.

The author pulled me into the emotional turmoil that is Tom Kagan’s life. Although he deeply loves his wife Sara, since the accident, he has shut down all emotion and is often remote from her. We see Tom with all his warts. He drinks too much and is also a first class cheap skate who begrudges tips he gives to waitresses.

Having been called to the murder crime scene of Paco, a high ranking, seemingly untouchable, “all good” member of the Nuestra Familia (NF) street gang, he knows this could become a no holds barred fight within the gang with innocent people getting hurt along the way. What he doesn’t know is a gang leader named Ghost is calling the shots from his cell within Pelican Bay State Prison, CA.

Kagan has a history with the Hispanic gangs since the accident that killed his son — a bad one. His sergeant thinks he’s a loose cannon who should be retired back to patrol, but the chief wants Tom in gangs. The detective has been receiving photographs of himself, his wife, and his partner’s wife with the message: we’re watching you. His partner, grounded in the spirituality of his Christian religion, is a sharp contrast from Tom’s depression and rage. Kagan keeps knowledge of this surveillance from his supervisors out of fear he will be removed from working on gangs, which is where he gets intelligence with which to protect his wife.

When Kagan and Hector Garcia, a gang expert with the Special Services Unit (SSU), visit Ghost in Pelican Bay, the gang-banger taunts Tom. He says he was the one driving the car that killed Tom’s young son, years ago. Agent Garcia has to hold Tom back. Ghost screams, “You’re a dead man.”

After an assault on Ghost in the prison, he’s transferred from Pelican Bay to a community hospital from which he escapes. Now the gang-banger is hunting Tom Kagan and his partner Detective Bill Stevenson. There is an emotionally wrenching scene where Tom and his wife go to his partner’s home for dinner, unaware that Ghost lurks outside watching the house. Bill reads his young son a story and then he and Tom listens as the boy says his prayers before bed. They have no clue there is evil lurking outside.

It is obvious the author has personal, career experience in law enforcement with gangs. He is totally successful in getting across how senseless gang violence is, that nobody gets out alive from a gang. Regardless of the demand for loyalty by the gang, there is no loyalty within. Eventually every gang member is killed by a rival gang, or by a stronger member of his own gang who seeks power. This novel is well written and readers who are thrilled by a good detective novel will love this one’s authenticity.

Amazon/Kindle. http://amzn.to/1keJgBd


The Glamorous Digs of an NYPD Precinct Detective

We all see the pristine, spacious offices and shiny cubicles of police detectives on television. So, I was somewhat shocked to see my where the detectives were quartered at my local police precinct.

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I’m sure I must’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.

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Actually, this seems to be it.

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Yes, indeed, this is it. Right up there it says, “DETECTIVES.”

Actually, I’m impressed with the way they’ve handled shabby-chic to perfection.

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What impeccable interior decorating skills. I can only conclude that these aging file cabinets are here solely for their “vintage effect.”

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Taking a closer look, I see this is the door through which detectives go for “roll call.” Oh, my, this doesn’t look anything like the duty rooms I’ve seen on television. Clearly the interior decorator who designed this precinct was going for another look. That’s got to be it.


DEAD LIKE ME by Kelly Miller ~ a review, Scary Childhood Memories

Dead Like MeThe sexual abuse of a pedophile, in my opinion, is akin to premeditated, attempted murder. It destroys the core being of it’s victim(s).

Detective Kate Springer and her partner, Detective Patrick Jessup arrive at a murder investigation crime scene where a young teenager’s body is partly covered with leaves and twigs. When Kate gets a closer look at the girl’s face, her world is shaken. The face is a dead ringer for Kate’s own face at age thirteen, except that the victim has dyed black hair. The girl had been strangled with bare hands, indicating a perpetrator with some physical strength.

So, either the resemblance is a total coincidence, a product of an over active imagination, or the victim is somehow connected to Kate. This is not your ordinary detective, hunt ’em down, murder mystery. It only took a few pages for me to “get” who Kate is…to understand how the demons from her own childhood sexual abuse impact her ability to handle this case. Her emotional trauma causes her to withhold this identity-connection from her partner and her superiors. In the beginning she even wonders if she harbors such intense repressed feelings from her own abuse that she’s projected her own childhood image onto Kimberly Callahan, the dead teenager. Something, that in fact, is entirely possible.

However, when she interviews Kimberly Callahan’s tipsy mother, who reeks of alcohol, Kate examines a recent photograph of the girl and again notes how similar Kimberly is in appearance to her own childhood self.

Kate uses sarcasm as a means of communication, no doubt because her emotions have been shut down for a long time. She has just finished therapy with the department psychologist after a two week mandatory leave, and this case sends her running back for additional therapy. She is tough and is a survivor, but her past clouds her judgement and she makes more than one questionable professional decision. Of course, that only adds to the novels twists and turns.

The investigation leads Kate and Patrick from the victim’s mother who is falling apart, to a group of alienated students who dress in black, to a junior high school teacher who supplements his income by selling kiddie porn.

We are introduced to a villain who is beyond creepy. As the novel nears its end, there are a few graphic details where Kate recalls her own sexual abuse. Graphic, yes. Exploitative or gratuitous, not at all. These details are organic to the story as Kate comes to grips with her abuse at the hands of a virulent and murderous pedophile.

Amazon/Kindle  http://amzn.to/1mppB35


PERILOUS SHADOWS ~ Not Your Mother’s Valentine Read, but grandma loved it

Often I’ve found that grandmothers have lived long enough, and through enough difficulty they have more forgiving attitude toward mere mortals and their issues, even when there are deep, dark secrets, most carefully hidden. These seasoned ladies have survived quite a bit of stuff, some of it was between a rock and a hard place.

Perilous Shadows

PERILOUS SHADOWS, set in the late 1940s, features Kiera Devane, a pioneer newspaper woman struggling to make it in a man’s world. Grandma and great-grandma recall how hard it was for career women back then. It was a glamorous era, but not all of the men were as gentlemanly as we might like to think. In fact, Kiera’s had it with men. She’s created a tough exterior and has just about given up on the opposite sex. She plans to spend her life alone with only the companionship of her Boxer Aggie.

When a cooed is found dead at the local radio station, Kiera scoops ace radio broadcaster Argus Nye, writing a newspaper story about a new lead in the case before his scheduled broadcast. Everyone warns Argus away from the ‘ice queen,’ but the two decide to team up and hunt the killer.

Mystery readers will love this story as a Valentine’s read. Argus is finally able to gain Kiera’s trust and takes her for a glamorous dinner at the fabled Garden City Hotel, where presidents, politicians, and Hollywood stars have dined. This classic whodunit has no end to twists and turns, and also possesses an unfolding love story.

EXCERPT:

From Chapter 3

Argus walked Kiera out of the diner and took her elbow as her heels tapped down the cement steps. Her suit was austere, yet somehow she made it sizzle. He shifted his eyes away so as not to be caught staring, but not before taking a second look. “I’ll walk you to your car.”

“No, that’s quite all right. I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time.”

“Still, lass, I don’t feel quite right.”

“This is the Tastee Diner parking lot. It’s well lit. What could happen?”

Argus rubbed his chin. “Oh all right, if you insist. I’ll say good night here.” He’d tried to be the gentleman, but she was skittish as a young filly.

“Trust me. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself.”

Fighting against an uneasy feeling in his gut, Argus walked to his car on the other side of the lot. Since Ada’s death, he’d become overprotective toward women. Fishing in his pocket for his keys, he heard raised voices. One of them, Kiera’s.

“Leave me alone. You cheated on me.”

Argus dashed for Kiera’s car, thinking he recognized the male voice, yet he couldn’t quite place it.

“Give me another chance. You misunderstood. It meant nothing.” Paul Gregorski, sportscaster at the station, had a hold of Kiera’s arm.

A jolt like an electrical charge shot through Argus. “Let go of her if you know what’s good for you.”

Paul dropped the arm and turned to face Argus. “So, you bumped my show for your special report, and now you want my girl.”

“My relationship with Miss Devane is purely professional.” He would not allow the slightest insinuation.

Kiera squared her shoulders. “Look, Paul, I wish you well, but let’s let bygones be bygones.”

The sportscaster slanted his head toward Argus. “I don’t want to discuss this in front of him.”

“I’m not going anywhere unless Miss Devane asks me to leave.”

Kiera pivoted away from them and pulled her car keys out of her purse. “I don’t give a hoot what either of you do. I’m going home.” She slid behind the wheel of the Pontiac, backed out of her spot, and gunned it out of the lot.

Argus watched her signal light flash a right. She made the turn and her taillights disappeared into the twilight. He laughed aloud.

Paul growled. “What’s so funny?”

Argus shook his head and walked to his DeSoto, got in, and put the key in the ignition, but didn’t turn it on. She’d never be mistaken for a Carmelite nun. Not in a million years. Blunt, not soft and feminine like his Ada had been. And where’d Kiera get that short Betty Boop hair-do? Not his style at all. No Sir. Where Ada was a sensitive and godly woman, this one was so hardboiled he couldn’t imagine her on her knees praying. So, why was she so captivating?

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon/Kindle. http://amzn.to/13WXqdM

Barnes and Noble/Nook. http://bit.ly/1euVanJ

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AUTHOR BIO:

Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary novel, HARMFUL INTENT, is scheduled to release in the spring of 2014.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). https://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/

Roses, red

 


The Colossal Chocolate Caper ~ barely believable

Two of my favorite things: chocolate and a crime scene. What’s better than this little story.

A bodacious black bear breaks into the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Now that’s a bear I can relate to. Check out the video.

This is such a cute story I had to share it. For people living in mountainous areas, it’s so important to be able to live in harmony with wildlife, but this sweet-tooth bear took harmony just a tad too far.


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