Friday, August 29, 2014

Michael W. Smart - Five-Star Author




An addictive spine-chilling, suspense-filled mystery!


Deadeye by Michael W. Smart is a clear cut mystery led by a strong woman sleuth, and loaded with escalating suspense. Deadeye is “smart” writing filled with excellent narration, meaningful dialogue, and a delightful and detailed setting to carry the fast-moving plot.

But just as the reader is lulled into thinking things are going to get cozy and comfortable in the laid-back Caribbean setting, the tentacles of mystery reach through, pulling you deeper into international intrigue as a couple of seemingly isolated crimes lead to the major involvement of parties in high places, rattling alliances and allegiances along the way.

Smart demonstrates his writing talent through well-crafted characters immersed in maturity and plenty of mystery. Characters whose lives are tossed about in the stormy sea of humanity and human behavior. For instance, the mysterious unknowns of Nicholas Gage speak as loudly as the knowns. There is a hidden mystique about him. No wonder the female protagonist, Jo or JJ, has such a burning desire for him. Their intimate relationship is delicately balanced with fervor and class, by the author. Supterintendent Johanssen of the CID, affectionately JJ, and Gage’s relationship is mature and reliable as the seas they sail.


The reader will find a bit of humor along the way but nothing silly, just good sharp wit. If you’ve never visited the Caribbean Islands or the Grenadines, don’t worry. After reading Deadeye, you’ll feel like you’ve been there. Smart is that good in painting and flavoring the setting and story with his selected word choice. The author even includes a couple of maps in the front of his book. That sure beats looking for the proverbial landmarks such as the weathered barn or the creaking wharf in finding your way through Deadeye. Overall, Deadeye gives the reader the feeling of being immersed in a realistic, grownup world, but surrounded by this expanding spine-chilling mystery that won’t go away until solved.

Deadeye has earned its place on my bookshelf, and stands tall among the Chandlers, MacDonalds, Flemings, and others. It’s no mystery to me how easily Michael W. Smart’s Deadeye gets a Five Star review from me. A terrific read, Mr. Smart!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Maggie James - Five-Star Author



A riveting psychological suspense thriller!


If you’ve ever tried to separate the variety of flavors swirling together in a fully-loaded ice cream sundae, dripping with succulent tastes, you know the impossibility. Well, Maggie James does something equally impossible with Guilty Innocence, her psychological suspense, in which she separates an intricate mosaic of the human psyche. And she succeeds.



James serves the reader a shocking event in the first few pages of her novel. But rather than leave you with a simplistic journalistic version, she meticulously peels off the layers of complex psychological connections between and among the characters. The author gives the reader plenty of time to know the full dimensions of her intriguing characters.




The story of Guilty Innocence slowly wraps the characters in a web of emotion and deliberation that catches the reader off guard. Keeping the reader guessing is a hallmark of Maggie James as she comfortably exposes her story, while stripping the psychological cover-ups from the souls of her characters. Yes, you’ll see everything, up close, as if sitting in the jury box of a courtroom.



Be prepared to find yourself in a dilemma, as you deliberate the deeper meaning of Guilty Innocence. The author gives the reader all the pieces, but as judge and jury you’ll still be pondering the “what ifs” long after you turn the last page. That’s what I enjoy about Maggie James’s books, her stories continue to resonate.



With that in mind, as a reader, I’m “guilty” of enjoying Guilty Innocence, and I innocently award it Five Gold Stars. Another splendid piece of writing, Ms. James!