My brother-in-law who was in law inforcement for over twenty-five years read, Back on Murder, and loved it. He said the man who wrote the book had to of either been in law inforcement, or either knew someone who was, or he really did his homework. I totally agree. Back on Murder, was so well executed and so interesting I had a hard time putting it down. If you like crime scene novels, you'll love this one.
I almost passed up this book because my July was crowded already and J. Mark Bertrand is a fairly new writer, but I really liked the book that he and Deeanne Gist wrote together so I thought, I'll give it a go... I'm so glad I did! He has created an amazing character in Roland March, a homicide detective who's lucky streak has ended and he is basically out on his ear, and built up a cast of characters around him that really accentuate his strengths and weaknesses well. The story is engaging and weaves mystery, murder and relationships all into one book. I was very impressed as I followed the story and found myself reluctant to see it all end. Looking forward to seeing Roland March become a regular.
If you like solving mysteries and pride yourself in your ability to answer it early in the book, this book is for you. Mark Bertrand weaves the clues and hints in and out with such skill that you will find it quite the challenge to solve the mystery. It even appears like there is more than one mystery to solve. The character of Roland March is a gloriously flawed policeman down on his luck. This case is his last chance. It will either redeem him or undo him, his marriage, his entire life. And the readers will root for him from the start but are never sure if he is going to make it. Read the book to find out, you will be glad you did.
Back on Murder (Roland March Mysteries) was one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time, and that includes both Christian and non-Christian fiction. I believe I read it in the span of 24 hours? It's gritty. It's raw. And the story and it's characters come across as totally real. Houston homicide detective Roland March is great at what he does. He may have fallen from glory, but he still knows how to get in there and doggedly track down the answers - following every loose trail and analyzing the flaws and motives of every person he comes into contact with, including some intriguing Christian characters.Additionally, Roland March himself is very flawed. Due to the story being written in first person point of view we are blatantly aware of his mental anxieties, his marital problems, his struggles with grief, with work-place politics and his fear that his intuition about this case could be all wrong ... and then he'll feel like he's sinking even deeper into the mud that seems lately to be filling his life.I just can't say enough good things about this book. Some heavy topics are tackled in a very realistic way, but without at all coming across as preachy or providing 'pat' answers. In fact, I get the impression that Roland hasn't decided at all that he wants to model himself after the Christians he has come into contact with during this case ... but you do get the feeling that they have already started making an impression on the way he thinks about them, and about life in general. The ball is rolling, and I can't wait to see where it tumbles next! J. Mark Bertrand has definitely earned a spot on my favorite mystery writer's list! *This book was provided to me by the author for review, but I was under no obligation to post a glowing review. (It's just that good!)
This is follow-up to my initial review when I had read part of the book.I still like some of the word pictures and I still dislike where the word-order in a sentence is confusing. Had to reread to see which of two persons was being referred to.It took effort to get into the story and effort to read through, without skipping back and forth. Some of the book is way too gory and violent, or rather too explicit in the description. I believe the author could have used toned-down-implied-kind of telling? That's just my opinion. The jury is still out on whether I want to keep this book or not. Thus four stars is the best I can do.