This is the first Steve Martini novel I’ve read and I’d have no problem reading more. Comparable to John Grisham when it comes to courtroom drama – but not quite as good, the author tells a good story with believable characters.
I thought the story dragged a bit, mostly because Martini goes into excruciating detail about every little clue or piece of evidence introduced, slowing the story down. Having said that, I enjoyed the plot and was surprised when the truth about the real killer was revealed at the very end.
For Grisham fans out there, Martini is worth checking out.
Cathryn and I have learned from personal experience that not all hotel or vacation property rentals are fully refundable upon cancellation. Some are partially refundable, depending on how much in advance you cancel your reservation. Please read the fine print or look for the Cancellation Policy before you book your next weekend getaway or family vacation.
This was copied from an Air Bnb listing:
Many of us are now aware at how fickle the Airline industry can be when it comes to cancelling flights, although we lucked out and eventually received cash refunds on international flights we had to cancel because of the global pandemic. We weren’t so fortunate with AirBnb. Where we were able to recoup funds on our hotel room bookings through Hotels.com, we lost most of our money deposited with AirBnb.
The policy below is from Hotels.com:
VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) and other companies have cancellation policies similar to AirBnb, you have to read the fine print to see what your different options are. Some give a full refund up to a certain date and partial after another date, minus the up front service fees, where others offer no refund at all.
The list below is from VRBO:
So be sure to read the fine print before you make your next booking.
It’s here – my latest installment in the Norm Strom Crime Series – Trafficking Chen. Tragically, a bit more exciting than the new phone book. Do they even exist anymore?
A young Chinese girl is kidnapped from her home in settlement of her father’s gambling debt. She is forced into slave labor and eventually prostitution. When a new group of Asian dancers lands in a Windsor strip club, Norm Strom joins a task force to investigate.
Trafficking Chen can be purchased locally at Story Tellers in Windsor or River Bookshop in Amherstburg. It is available in paperback or eBook online as of June 1st.
See what all the hype is about and get yourself a copy now.
Horseplay: My Time Undercover on the Granville Strip
by Norm Boucher
Edmond Gagnon‘s review May 05, 2021
For his first true crime novel, I think retired police officer Norm Boucher hits the nail right on the head in recalling and writing about his personal experiences while working undercover in one of the worst heroin neighborhoods in Canada.
Being a retired police officer, with some experience working in narcotics, I was impressed how the rookie author checked all the boxes in putting together a book that gives an unadulterated view of what life is really like on the street within the heroin subculture.
Horseplay takes readers into the underbelly of society, revealing what went on behind the scenes in the early 80’s, in one particular area in Vancouver, British Columbia.
10 books in less than 10 years. (I pat myself on the back) My latest novel, Trafficking Chen, takes readers back to Norm Strom’s working days in Street Crimes. The Detective tries to balance his personal struggles with the demands of his job.
Here is the introduction:
Human Trafficking has affected countries across the world for centuries, and continues to do so today. There are countless victims.
Trafficking Chen is the heartfelt story of one victim, Chen, a young Chinese girl taken from her family home in settlement of her father’s outstanding gambling debt. Forced into slave labor by a powerful Chinese Triad, she becomes a servant to the rich.
Chen comes of age, and must serve using her own body to satisfy her master’s sexual appetite. She becomes a prostitute and is shuffled around her own country. Eventually the Triad ships her and others like her, overseas, to Canada. There she is sexually exploited and put to work as an exotic dancer in their chain of strip clubs.
Street Crimes Detective Norm Strom mostly investigates property-related crime, but he receives a tip from a confidential informant about illegal Asian women dancing at a local club. While trying to handle his personal issues, Strom joins a task force investigating possible human trafficking in his city.
You know those old View Master reels? You put one in the device and peer in . . . It’s a scene. You look closely and become involved with the subject. You don’t want to leave but you are compelled to click down and rotate the reel to the next image. It is related, but different and again so interesting! And so it goes, every click a new exciting scene. Trafficking Chen is like that. A story that dares you to turn the page – but you can’t look away from this engaging narrative of dark events that are written from a whiskey-tinged razor-sharp voice of experience. Real cops, real victims, real bad guys intertwined in a race that will keep you powering through. Enjoy the views! Kay T.
In his latest Norm Strom Crime novel, Trafficking Chen, author Ed Gagnon continues his winning streak of in-depth storytelling and intrigue. As a former Police Detective, Gagnon’s books offer readers an authentic insider’s view of how every day crimes – robbery, vice crimes, etc. – are committed, but more importantly, how they are solved. For fans of the main character, Det. Norm Strom, they will get a dose of reality, as his crumbling private life starts to impede his professional judgment when he begins to investigate a human trafficking case involving a local strip club. A parallel storyline shows the struggles and courage of a young 14-year-old girl, Chen Shen, who is violently taken from her Shanghai home and forced into prostitution, which leads her half way around the world to Canada . . . and onto Det. Strom’s radar.
John Schlarbaum – Author of “Abandoned -A Jennifer Malone Mystery”
I had to check other reviews for this one to find out if wasn’t just me that thought it sucked. Not even sure if it was deserving of one star, I was only able to trudge my way through fifty pages. The only thing I garnered from that read was who the protagonist was.
The book is just over 500 pages, with very small font, and could have easily been less than half that. Call me silly, but I really don’t need to know things like the history of a police car or every little detail of the police department, including ranks, numbers, descriptions, etc.
I’ve complained about fluff in other novels, and haven’t read this author before, but my best description is that it is a plethora of useless facts and information that totally distract from the story – if you can figure out what exactly that is.
I find it strange how Jack Higgins took a perfectly good thriller and turned it into a lack-luster story that was barely worth the three stars I gave it.
I struggled through the first half of the book, trying to figure out what was bothering me so much, and I came up with a few things.
The characters all seem to be rich, drink only champagne no matter the occasion, and lack any type of empathy or emotion throughout the story.
Those same characters lack description, thus giving the impression they all look the same and are cut from the same cloth.
Even the action scenes were dull.
I’ve read two other Higgins novels and have now been disappointed twice.
I was anxious to try some different Grisham novels after scoring a handful at a local store that’s going out of business. The story is not about any of the author’s usual characters, but the intro made it sound interesting.
It’s about an old judge who dies and leaves a secret behind, something to trouble his only surviving heirs, his two sons. The plot dragged from the beginning and was a much slower read than I am used to. I skimmed through the fluff, waiting for something useful to happen.
The main character is a law professor – his quirks bolstered my opinion of such academics, who may be smarter than the average bear, but have no street smarts and lack common sense.
But I forged ahead, hoping our protagonist would wizen up.
It never happened, making the ending predictable and in my opinion, a let down. I can’t call it a happy or sad ending and perhaps that’s exactly what it’s meant to be.