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 love James Patterson’s Alex Cross character so it was hard not to like the book. I was a bit surprised at how fast I zipped through this and the last one I read, maybe it has something to do with the one and two page chapters.
The plot and overall story were good, as usual, but I was confused about the age of Alex’s kids and who their mother was. I had to Google the answers. It was also hard to keep track of his love interests and which job he was working, and when. Thank you Google, again.
I guess it’s my fault for not reading the series in order, I swap books with friends and read them on a whim, when I don’t feel like writing.
This book fell short of my fourth star because I thought the ending fell flat, and it was quickly laid out to tidy things up.
I usually like to rag about Patterson because of all the other writers who gain attention from using his name, but this story is his, and a good one.
What made the book more enjoyable for me is his protagonist, Dr. Alex Cross. I liked the character in other books he’s in, as well as a few movies based on his exploits.
The story moves well, and is a fast read with hardly any fluff. There’s just enough backstory to keep you in the loop, and the other characters added depth to the story.
The plot seemed predictable, but a couple twists kept me curious right until the end.
A truly enjoyable book.
Anh…this Kellerman novel didn’t come close to rocking my world. I had no problem getting into it, but the plot got complicated quickly with too much conjecture and guesswork dialogue between Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware.
The story was interesting and moved well, but I found myself skimming on more than one occasion, bypassing useless back story, and jumping ahead to something interesting. The detective work was realistic, but I think the author goes overboard by having a psychologist doing some interviewing and investigating.
I’ve read books in Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series before and found Therapy the least enjoyable of all. I’m not saying it’s not worth a read, just that I was disappointed.
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.
Maybe you’ve heard the rumors on Entertainment Tonight, Ellen, or WKRP in Cincinatti. Perhaps you only dreamed and hoped it was true. You’ve probably been wondering what Edmond Gagnon has been up to (besides travelling) and where the heck has Norm Strom been.
Let me make it clear…they are not rumors, you haven’t been dreaming, and Ed has finally finished his latest book, Border City Chronicles. Some of you were test-readers, others voted for the title, and a few may find their names used as characters. The book is three short crime fiction stories from the Norm Strom archives.
News of this upcoming book is receiving a positive buzz on the street. Here’s a few comments about Norm’s new stories:
Baby Shay – “The challenges told in this story are heartbreaking and can make strong experienced officers unable to function. This is one story you will not be able to put down.”
Designated Hitters – “This story provides the reader with a unique insight into police work and the thoughts and emotions cops work through every day. Norm doesn’t regret retirement. After reading his story, you will understand why.”
Knock-Out – “Norm introduces Abigail Brown, a Detroit Homicide Detective. He’s her friend and confidant and relies on his expertise to provide her with a little extra help. This is an excellent story and I’m hoping to read more of her exploits in the future.”
Border City Chroniclesis coming to book stores and internet sites across the world very very soon! Feel free to reserve a copy with the author now.
I can’t remember if it was 1 or 2 of the NYPD Red series that I read, but I enjoyed it more than this installment. Of Patterson’s stable of underwriters, I like Marshall Karp and his stories. As was the last, this one is fast paced with colorful and interesting characters. The police drama and content is believable, but like a Hollywood movie, a bit over the top and too familiar at times. The plot delivers an antagonist who is easy to hate from the first sentence written about him. The banter is fun between the cop partners, and references to their personal lives giving the story it’s sense of humanity. It was a good and easy read.
What crime fiction reader doesn’t like Harry Bosch? He’s my kind of cop with an attitude similar to mine when I was on the job, but I surely didn’t take it home with me or let it keep me up at night.
Having read several books in the series I wish I’d stated from the beginning, but I stumble across them while I’m travelling and trade them up as I go.
Michael Connelly knows how to tell a good copy story, his characters and police procedures are spot on. He makes it easy to love the good guys and hate the bad ones.
In this novel Bosch teams up with FBI agent Rachel Walling, after they discover they’re both working the same case from different perspectives. I enjoyed the crossover with the Terry McCaleb story.
The plot builds speed quickly and it kept me flipping pages quick enough to act as a paper fan to keep me cool in the extreme heat here in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
What crime fiction reader doesn’t like Michael Connelly?