April 30, 2013

Book Review: Devious by Mark Love

at 4/30/2013 11:33:00 AM

Jamie Richmond, reporter turned author, is doing research for her next book. Attempting to capture the realism of a police officer’s duties while on patrol, she manages to tag along for a shift with a state police trooper. A few traffic stops and a high speed chase later, Jamie’s ride takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses the trooper being shot. Although it is not a fatal injury, Jamie becomes obsessed with unraveling the facts behind this violent act. While she is trying to sort out this puzzle, she becomes romantically involved with Malone, another trooper with a few mysteries of his own. Now Jamie’s attention is divided between a blooming romance and solving the crime which is haunting her. Jamie begins to question the events that took place and exactly who could be behind the shooting. It was a devious mind. But who?

I loooooooooove mystery thrillers. I am a long time fan of James Patterson and his cop/mystery books. I liked how this book had a bit of a Stephanie Plum and Castle feel to it. Jamie Richmond, lead heroine, sounds like my kind of buddy. Jamie likes to write and jumps from job to job and is a free spirit. Resourceful and clever, yet clumsy, she managed to get a book deal and an advance on her second book. With a criminal mystery thriller in mind, Jamie contacts her ex-step-father, who also happens to be the captain of the police force. While researching her a character role for her next book, Jamie witnesses a shooting that leaves her escort incapacitated and bleeding on the road. Captivated by the mystery of the shooter, Jamie begins an investigation of her own, but someone doesn't want her to figure it out.

I loved the characters in this book. Jamie and her ex-step-father are kinda close, even after her mother divorced him. Despite his gruff exterior, he loves Jamie like she was his flesh and blood. Another good thing about this book, is how the police are portrayed as human beings, instead of power hungry and obnoxious peeps. While on patrol with her escort, Smitty, there are several incidences that show how much leniency a cop can deliver especially when warranted. Not all cops are bad people and there are a number of good ones, but I think with all of the caught on camera beatings and scandalous hood top sexcapades, people tend to forget that. 

Now about the hero of the story. I guess it's my fault for reading too much about muscley guys with guns and spy routines. I had a picture in my mind about the hero, Malone, but he turned out to be an average Joe who sweeps Jamie off her feet with confidence. Their attraction reminds me of the relationship between Cilla McGowan and Ford Sawyer in Nora Roberts' book, Tribute. It was an odd but reasonable pairing. Good-looking girl with the dorky average guy; you think it's impossible with how most romance novels feature a hottie with a body, but love and attraction can happen between average Joes and beauties. Another thing is the age difference. Malone is 42 while Jamie is 31, but there's not really a problem with age when it comes to love, but in society today, it's a stigma to be dating someone younger than you or vice versa.

The mystery behind the shooter was thrilling and kept me guessing until the end.  
This book had everything! Steamy sex scenes balanced with a sweet romance, crime, mystery, and fantastic plot lines. Overall I give this book a......

4½ stars!

I have been told by the author that there is a sequel to this series and I'm super excited to read it. I can't wait to see what Mark Love has in store for readers. :D

If you want to buy a copy and read it yourself, click on the following links below:







About the Author?


I am a Michigan native, who up until recently lived in the Metro Detroit area, where crime and corruption always seem to be at the top of everyone's news. So there's always the chance to find something that can trigger a story idea and enough interesting characters to jump start your imagination.
While I have worked in many industries and career paths over the years, one of my passions has always been writing. I was even able to parlay that passion for a while, working as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers in the Detroit area. Writing features and hard news helped me hone my talents. But while newspaper worked was interesting and paid a few bills, it was a far cry from the fiction writing that I enjoy the most.

I've always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, the kind of stories that have a fast pace, that keep you moving and keep you guessing as to what's going to take place next. Mix those in with some elements of crime, perhaps a glimpse of the seedier side and you've got me. So it's always been one of my goals to write stories like that.
While taking a creative writing course in college, the instructor suggested I might have more success getting short stories published first. So I tried my hand at some short stories. And he was right. I was able to publish a number of these in small press magazines. Seeing my name and stories in print was definitely a kick. I realized my short stories looked like episodes from "The Twilight Zone" or "Tales from the Crypt", with a mix of humor and an unexpected twist at the end. Recently I packaged three of those together and published them on Amazon under the title "Three to Get Ready"

A few years ago I discovered a new online publisher looking for novels. I submitted one, a mystery/romance story for consideration. They jumped at it. Then I submitted "Fade Away" a thriller with a little sci/fi twist. They wanted that one too. Two more years and two more books were published. But sadly, they folded their operations. Fortunately, all the rights reverted to me. So I decided to put two of my novels, "Fade Away" and "Desperate Measures" on Amazon's Kindle Prime and see how things go.



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