Best book I’ve read in a long time. You might call me bias because like the author, I’m a retired police officer and also an author. But with the help of Matthew St. Amand, former O.P.P. Constable Todd Ternovan offers an emotional and insightful view of what policing it really all about. It’s about people. If you want an honest and accurate picture of what it’s like to work the front lines in law enforcement, this is a must-read. Many of Todd’s stories brought me back to moments in my own policing career – the good and the bad. Our paths crossed at least once or twice during our respective careers, somewhere in between 1990 to 2009 but I didn’t really know the man. Reading this chronology of his career made me realize we shared a lot of the same work ethic. He’s done an amazing job on his first book and is obviously a great story teller. His use of witty and colorful metaphors had me laughing out loud. His dry and sometimes sarcastic sense of cop humor showed through. I thought the title was weird at first, but as Ternovan says, it is befitting the surreal, upside-down and unbelievable experiences police officers face every day.
I haven’t read much of Jeffrey Deaver but like his Lincoln Rhyme character. I’ve also see The Bone Collector movie. I wasn’t sure at first that I liked how the antagonist narrated his part in the story, but it was an important part of the plot and went to understanding the character’s motives. The Vanished Man is the name of a particular illusion, performed by illusionists or magicians. And this story is all about magic and illusions – it has more surprises, twists an turns, than watching a motocross race on a dirt track. The story is good and characters believable. I can promise that you’ll be fooled more than once reading this book and Deaver will keep you guessing right up until the end.
This was one of three Bosch novels I traded for while in Sayulita, Mexico. All are out of order, something that happens when you pick up cheap second-hand books to read while you’re away. If that’s not confusing enough, I’ve made it worse by watching all seasons and episodes of the Bosch TV series. So, where it was nice to read the more in-depth literary versions of certain stories, it also had me confused at times where certain characters, partners and cases have been changed or condensed for the theatrical version. Either way, it’s all Bosch and it’s all good. This story is typical Harry, where he won’t rest until he brings a killer to justice. Throw in an old case that comes back to haunt him, worry about his daughter, the usual politics that comes with police work, and you have another good Bosch novel.
When will Harry Bosch be old enough to fully retire? It mentions in this book that he’s almost 70! That means he’s been chasing killers for over 40 years. That would be way more than enough for me to want something more out of life. But then who could we count on to fight for all those lost souls…the one’s that matter because they all matter. Even though Harry is retired from policing it doesn’t stop him from teaming up with one of his old partners (Renee Ballard) to hunt down killers. And Bosch’s brother from a different mother (Mickey Haller) gets a bit of ink in this book, now that the two of them have found some common ground to get along. I enjoyed The Night Fire but the Ballard character just doesn’t do it for me. As usual, Bosch is the anchor that holds Connelly’s ship fast. Hopefully the author can get a few more stories out of our favorite cop character before he gets stuck in the mud at the bottom of the ocean.
Something tells me that Michael Connelly enjoys writing novels like Fair Warning, reliving his past as an investigative journalist, something we don’t see much of these days. Jack McEvoy is likeable character who tells us a great crime story about an elusive serial killer who keeps reporters and police stumped while his list of victims grows longer. The plot has good momentum and held my interest throughout the book. Although in my opinion it’s not as good as a Bosch novel, I definitely recommend you add this Connelly book to your reading list.
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.