Horseplay – Norm Boucher

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.

Rogue Lawyer – John Grisham

Rogue Lawyer (Rogue Lawyer, #1)
by John Grisham (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Apr 11, 2021 

John Grishams’s done it again…gone and proved he can create a totally new character, base the next series on him, and write a great story. The prolific author introduces us to Sebastian Rudd, a street litigator who is even more gritty than the Lincoln Lawyer.
The Rogue Lawyer is done a bit different than Grisham’s other courtroom dramas, in that it contains five parts, with different clients and their individual stories, giving readers perspectives from both the innocent and guilty.
Like Mickey Haller, Rudd uses his vehicle for an office, but for different reasons. He represents the lowest of the low, whom no one else will take on as clients, thus making him very unpopular. I don’t give five star ratings very often, but this book was a very good read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Late Show – Michael Connelly

The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #29)
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Mar 24, 2021  


I really like Michael Connelly and the unique characters he’s created over the years to carry the stories in his crime novels. I wasn’t sure about his latest, Renee Ballard, at first, but grew to understand and eventually like the new crimefighter more as the plot unfolded.


LAPD Detective Ballard is no Harry Bosch, but she is a good cop with her own style, perhaps more representative of the newer breed of crime investigator. In ‘The Late Show’ Ballard is not only challenged by the serious cases that come her way, but she has to stand up for herself and fight to regain her good reputation that was sullied by a former boss.


The story is a bit slow at first, but the intrigue and action build at a good pace. The twist thrown in near the end completely took me by surprise.
I think Renee Ballard is a good addition to Connelly’s cast of characters.

The Wrong Road – Jack Bennett Sr.

I just finished reading, The Wrong Road – A Crime Story, the second book by fellow local author Jack Bennett Sr. More a short story or novella, Bennett weaves a tale of a young and impressionable man from Windsor, Jimmy Burns, who wants to become a somebody by hanging with the wrong crowd.

Burns figures the best way to impress the local stripper he’s taken a shine to, is by showering her with money that he doesn’t have. The solution to his dismal situation is to resort to crime in order to improve his cash flow. Burns soon learns that he’s being taken for a ride and decides to strike out on his own, continuing a cross-country crime spree.

The story finds Burns digging a deeper hole for himself, before he meets the woman who might actually help turn his life around.

The Wrong road is an interesting story and an easy read. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5. It is available locally through the author or at Story Tellers Book Store in Windsor.

Suspect – Michael Robotham

Suspect (Joseph O’Loughlin, #1)
by Michael Robotham (Goodreads Author)
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Feb 17, 2021  
I had never heard of author Michael Robotham, perhaps it’s because he’s from Sydney Australia.
Regardless, I found his book, Suspect, a very good read. The protagonist is a Psychiatrist, but not a character like Alex Delaware in John Kellerman’s novels, who assists police in their investigations.

Joseph O’Loughlin may be trying to get into his patients heads, but it seems more like he needs to examine himself. By trying to get to the truth he only incriminates himself and goes from helping the police to being their number one suspect.

I found the backstory a bit heavy at times but the plot was well written and fast paced enough to keep my attention. I would definitely read this author again.

The Snowman – Jo Nesbo

The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)
by Jo Nesbø 
Edmond Gagnon‘s reviewFeb 07, 2021 


The Snowman is the first ‘Harry Hole’ Jo Nesbo novel that I’ve read. Although a Norwegian author, he can weave a crime fiction tale with the best of them.
I had some difficulty getting into this book, and keeping things straight as the story progressed, because of all the Norwegian names of places and characters. For me, it was hard to concentrate when I couldn’t pronounce or remember most of the proper nouns that were used.
Having said that, the plot was intricately pieced together, with enough twists and turns to keep any crime reader fully engrossed.
Nesbo’s police protagonist and sadistic antagonist were equally likable, especially once the latter was eventually discovered.

Dark Sacred Night – Michael Connelly

38204691._SX318_Dark Sacred Night (Harry Bosch, #21; Renée Ballard, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #31)
by

Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author), 
15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 04, 2020


I’m a huge Harry Bosch fan and have also become a Michael Connelly fan. His writing voice is strong, his cop lingo and research into police procedure is spot on. Having been a cop myself, I can easily relate to Connelly’s other police characters as well as the creeps and criminals they pursue.
I didn’t think this novel deserved the fifth star only because the story didn’t seem to put me on the edge of my seat as his others have. I did like how the author switched perspectives, telling us the story from two different sides, both Bosch’s and Renee Ballard’s.
If you’re a Harry Bosch or Michael Connelly fan you’ll enjoy this book. If you’re new to the character or author you’ll still like the book and probably become a fan.

The Eighth Day – John Case

8th day

The Eighth Day 
by John Case

 

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Feb 10, 2018  
This was the first John Case book for me. It was a good read so I can’t say I was disappointed with the story, but maybe the protagonist – he’s no super hero with special powers, but an almost normal person – an artist who does P.I. work on the side? He makes some pretty dumb moves as far as I’m concerned, but stumbles his way from country to country trying to take in the sites while killers are in pursuit.
The story is predictable, but fun, you almost can’t wait to see what predicament he’s going to fall into next. When he finally discovers the root of the plot the story gets a bit too technical for me. The reviews are all over the map on this novel, but I’d definitely give one of the author’s other books a go.