Criminal Writing

Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry is a three hundred plus page crime thriller highlighting a larger than life female Main Character acting out her part mostly in India. The geographical setting and the observations of a different culture are the parts that make the novel at least interesting. In the categorizing of “heroes,” there is a level which includes superheroes with incredible powers like the Hulk or the Marvel hero group and a level which includes real-life folks with great abilities like Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris. Between these levels are characters like Kal Medi who demonstrate abilities incredible but believable.


Don’t Believe the Video, Believe What I Say

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Shot to Pieces by Michael O’Keefe is a 414-page police procedural fiction novel I purchased on Amazon after I received an author alert about its availability. As a former law enforcement type, I like novels written by former cops such as O’Keefe. His career was much longer than mine and covered many parts of the job that I only heard about. That was only one difference. My experience was in California, he was in New York. Unless making observations at the federal level, which O’Keefe does, there is not a standardized set of terminology and procedures throughout the United States. There is a standard of training, known as POST (Police Officer’s Standards and Training) that is a goal of police academies but upon graduation, rookies are assigned to training officers where academy training is tweaked to the demands of municipalities and regions. All of this is to note that I learned things from this book.

Unlucky Lindsey

Missing on Date Night by Michael Ace Smith is a forty-five-page crime story. I received an email from the author with several attached PDF files and a request for reviews. Once I saw attached PDF files, the email with unopened attachments remained in my inbox for several days because I hate reading stories in PDF format. Yep, there are programs that convert files to different formats but why should I be forced to convert files to my desired reading form (mobi)? I decided to open one attachment just to get a feel for the style of writing and was pleasantly surprised. Because the story was short, I suffered the pain of scrolling as I read the first one, Missing on Date Night. Putting the title into Amazon, I found the novella available through Kindle Unlimited. I could download the book and it would be a verified purchase. No PDF files! I am happy.

Alaskan Crimes

A Story of Betrayal by Michael Ace Smith is a 92-page story of, just like the title indicates, a betrayal. Ben Churchinoff is a Captain, and thus commander, of the Juneau police force. He is described on the Amazon page as a small-town Captain. I am not familiar with Alaska but I did not think of Juneau as a small town. The way this story is told, it seems the police force is large. In one case, Ben calls his office and seems not to know the person, Morgan Turner, answering the phone.

Fathers Don’t Forget

Full Circle by Michael Ace Smith moves away from Alaska, a scene in earlier Smith novellas, to Alabama and Hawaii. Detective Ralph Houston has achieved fame and recognition as a detective specializing in ransom for kidnapping cases, especially when they involve children. He had been driven to become proficient in this specialty as a result of personal tragedy; his own daughter, Stella, had been kidnapped and killed despite ransom being paid. Ralph had delivered the money to a place designated by the kidnappers. Ralph had found his daughter’s body hanging from a tree.

Lawyers as Criminals

Lethal Lawyers is described by author Dale E. Manolakas as a legal thriller and that is a true claim but much more so for aspiring lawyers and paralegals than for the general public. The story bogs down early because of the great number of characters introduced. It takes reading through a few subplots to get the relationships of the characters straight. With the word “lethal” in the title, a reader can expect a few killings. Several deaths occur so we have a built-in mystery as readers look for the identity of the killer. I knew very early in the novel that it was one of two possible characters, so I felt a need to read through the slow-moving novel to find out if it was one of my two suspects. I was not surprised. For me, this was an “OK” novel, three Amazon stars. Perhaps those with a strong interest in adventures involving lawyers would give this novel a higher rating.

Dead Jealous

Crime: Murder in a Small Town by Michael Ace Smith takes place in a small town in Yorkshire, England. It must be scary to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, no strangers have been observed passing through, and a murderer is on the loose. It must be someone known to the rest of the town’s inhabitants.

Hello Dolly

In Violence Knows No Boundaries by Michael Ace Smith the author again adopts a small town where-everyone-knows-everyone setting. In this case, everyone knows that Sheriff Bob McCallum doesn’t belong. While he is trying to gain acceptance from the community, he faces two additional problems. He is trying to put his life back together and someone is committing murders in a town where such crimes don’t happen. Will McCallum be seen by the town as bad luck?

Family Secrets

In Deadly Secrets by Teresa Burrell, we meet Johnny Philip Torn (JP), only seven years old when he saw his brother Gene sneaking out of their bedroom. Gene said he was going to look for their father, Elvis. When JP heard the front door of the house opening and closing, JP decided to follow his brother and find out what was going on. JP saw his father and Gene outside a neighbor’s house, one belonging to Jerry Durham. JP had heard one shot and now Gene and his dad were struggling over a gun. There was a second shot. JP’s dad shouted at JP to run home, hide, and never tell anyone what he had seen. JP complied.

Twisted Drinks

Coke With A Twist by A. W. Hartoin is a 45-page short story about an assistant to a private investigator. Why Mercy is helping her father with a case by working in a dive serving alcohol to fraternity brother types is a minor mystery easy to solve. Her father told her she had to do it. At the same time, she is working 12-hour shifts as a nurse. It seems to me the hours in Mercy’s day add up to more than twenty-four but that is another mystery.