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BOOK REVIEW: A Bridge Back by Patrick M. Garry


bridgeNate Morrissey has spent the past eighteen years trying to forget the tragic events of a stormy night in Mount Kelven. The decisions he and his Mormon girlfriend Laura made that night, set off a tragic train of events which culminated in their parents’ cars going off a bridge and landing on a boat full of children.

Nate, now a lawyer for a high price firm in New York City, has been sent by his boss to Mount Kelven to undertake some delicate investigations. His firm’s client, a prominent government official, was involved in the case Nate’s father was prosecuting at the time of his death and is now under investigation by CBS’s “60 Minutes” and new evidence may have been uncovered casting new light on the events of eighteen years ago.

“All he wanted, for now, was to feel the presence of some vague and undefined possibility.” p. 76, A Bridge Back

Patrick M. Garry’s new novel, A Bridge Back, is a novel about remorse and redemption. For the past eighteen years, Nate has floated along where life took him. Rather than being an active participant in his life, his focus was on achieving professional success and the rest of his life just happened. The result was predictable; even though he has achieved professional acclaim, emotionally he has remained frozen at the day of the accident.

Garry has crafted an emotionally stunted character who, despite blustering bravado, is an appealing, optimistic child. A naïf swept up in events he would prefer to remain buried, Nate realizes that “the tasks of repairing the past [are] unlimited.” Now that he has returned to Mount Kelven, the past has resurfaced and he is emotionally thawing. Readers will be caught up in this story of redemption and will struggle along with him to untangle the affairs of eighteen years ago.

Tragedy, especially when it involves children, can destroy both people and a town. Garry provides insight into the various ways human deal with traumatic events and the long-term ramifications. As an exploration of guilt, redemption and regret, A Bridge Back provides an engaging read, even though this reader wishes that some secondary characters were more fully realized.

ISBN10: 159299332X
ISBN13: 9781592993321

Trade Paperback
232 Pages
Publisher: Inkwater Press
Publication Date: February 18, 2008

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BOOK REVIEW: There’s Something About St. Tropez by Elizabeth Adler


There's Something About St. TropezIt was the perfect vacation for PI Mac Reilly and his fiancée, Sunny Alvarez – renting the villa, Chez La Violette, in beautiful St. Tropez for the month of June. When filming requirements keep Mac in Malibu for a few extra days, Sunny travels to St. Tropez accompanied only by her chihuahua Tesoro. On arrival, she discovers they’ve been scammed, the villa has been rented to FIVE people for the same time period and the state of the place would make it the perfect setting for a horror movie.

The misfits, as they’ve taken to calling themselves, decamp to a small seaside hotel nearby – the Hotel of Dreams. There their stories slowly come to light: Belinda is on the run from her husband a Russian mobster; Texans Billy and his daughter Laureen who’s still trying to regroup from the death of her mother; shy Sara who’s just broken up with her no-good boyfriend; and former trader Nate who has set up to find himself. As they settle in, Mac decides to track down Madame Lariot in hope of getting their money back. Soon art thefts and a murder interfere with their peaceful vacation and Mac is drawn further into investigations. Will Sunny get any time for romance?

There’s Something About St. Tropez, Elizabeth Adler’s sequel to One of Those Malibu Nights, is the type of fun, light mysteries that many readers look forward to reading in the summer. The easy to follow plot and quirky nature of the characters ensures that interruptions won’t cause readers to lose track of the action.

What elevates There’s Something About St. Tropez above other books marketed as “summer reading” is the sub-plot involving eight-year-old Laureen and eleven-year-old Bertrand, another hotel resident who has been abandoned by his heartless mother. Laureen and Bertrand’s voices ring with authenticity and their tentative gestures toward friendship, magical. Brought out of themselves by Tesoro and Pirate, Mac’s three-legged dog, the children bravely set out to solve the mystery of the art thefts in order to win the reward money and gain Bertrand freedom from his mother. Readers will cheer them on and celebrate their rediscovery of live beyond grief.

ISBN10: 0312385145
ISBN13: 9780312385149

400 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: July 7, 2009
Author Website:

BOOK REVIEW: The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski


US - ThroneAt Holy Trinity, a monastery atop a towering cliff in central Greece, seven monks hold a secret meeting of an ancient brotherhood. Their inaccessible stronghold is invaded by a stealth force of warriors wielding ancient swords; a squad that quickly beheads all the monks and hurls their bodies off the cliff. Nick Dial, a senior member of Interpol, is assigned to investigate the bizarre events at Metéora. He arrives to secure the scene and meets Nicholas, the sole surviving member of the massacre. Yet, when he questions the local police about the monk, he’s told there were no survivors. Who is the elderly man and how was he able to penetrate the police barricades?

In St. Petersburg, Russia, Richard Byrd is desperate. Having uncovered the location of an ancient treasure, he’s running for his life. Trying to meet-up with Allison Taylor, his research assistant, Byrd is executed by a sniper. With no where to turn, Allison follows Byrd’s instructions and calls on Jonathon Payne, ex-MANIAC. With the help of his best friend, D.J. Jones, they set out to save the girl, find out who killed her boss and find the treasure.

The Lost Throne, the fourth book in Chris Kuzneski’s Payne and Jones series, is an edge-of-your-seat read from the first page. Payne and Jones, former members of a secret unit of the armed forces, utilize their specialized skills to help friends out in difficult situations. Readers will find their banter endearing. Kuzneski wisely uses this brotherly teasing to provide a release for tension, providing readers with a breather before once again spiraling up the action.

Kuzneski’s research and fascination with St. Petersburg is evident. In a pivotal chase scene he describes the buildings in astonishing detail, bringing the scene to life with cinematic vividness. In an interview with Mark Terry he describes the way he: “…took photographs of the buildings and landmarks and attached them to a street map of the city. When my characters ran down a street I knew exactly what they would be looking at.”

While part of a series, The Lost Throne can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Those eagerly awaiting the fall release of the new Dan Brown may find Kuzneski’s newest just the thing to fill the gap.

ISBN10: 0399155821
ISBN13: 9780399155826

512 Pages
Publication Date: July 23, 2009
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Author Website:

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BOOK REVIEW: The Ignorance of Blood by Robert Wilson


bloodSummer in Seville and Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón is called out in the middle of the night to the scene of a spectacular car crash. The victim, a high-level member of the Russian mob, is carrying close to 8 million euros and discs implicating high ranking officials in compromising positions. Desperate to keep his promise to Seville’s citizens to bring the perpetrators of a terrorist bombing to justice, Falcón is convinced he now possesses evidence of the Russian mob’s involvement in the plot to subvert the Andalusian parliament.

His investigations carry him into the midst of a mob turf war and he soon discovers the mob plays by their own rules. Pressure is applied to those nearest to him in an attempt to distract him from his investigations. His best friend Yacoub, a spy for the Spanish government, reveals that he is being blackmailed by Islamist extremists and Consuela, Falcón’s lover, suffers a mother’s worst nightmare. Will he have to pay an unthinkable price if he wants to discover the truth?

With The Ignorance of Blood, Robert Wilson brings his Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón series to a close. The series, begun with Blind Man of Seville, is both police procedural and psychological thriller, psychological because it delves into the purpose and identity of its hero. Each volume can be read alone; however, taken as a series Wilson’s overarching themes of appearance, reality and family come strongly into focus. While Falcón is clearly the hero of the series, Seville is its heart. Wilson’s extensive research and love of the city is evident from the first word.

The Ignorance of Blood explores idealism and values, and before the end each of its main characters are pushed to their limits and forced to face their inner truths, often at great cost. Wilson has created a stunning finale; however, the pages are periodically painted with blood and human misery. While this is a stunning work and definitely a worthwhile read, those extremely sensitive to violence again children may wish to consider carefully before beginning.

ISBN10: 0151012458
ISBN13: 9780151012459

422 Pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 8, 2009
Author Website:

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