Friday, June 22, 2018

FFB Review: Thorns on Roses by Randy Rawls

I have long been a fan of Randy Rawls work. He hooked me with his Ace Edwards P.I. series that began with Jake’s Burn followed Joseph’s Kidnapping. I could not find reviews of those books so I recently ran again my review of Jade’s Photos which is the third book in that very good series. Right now Randy is out spreading the word of his latest book, Saving Dabba. That new book is the fourth installment of his Beth Bowman series. Today, I want to remind you of another series he has done with my repeat review of the first book, Thorns On Roses. The review below first appeared in this space back on December 30, 2012 in what seems now to have been a lifetime ago.

After you read the repeat review below with the new publishing info, make sure you check out Randy’s guest post from last April on my blog as he discussed his new book, Saving Dabba. You also should read his recent guest post over at PJ Nunn’s Bookbrowsing blog where he discussed how he developed his new book on writing titled Randy’s Boot Camp For Fiction Writers. Finally, make sure you check out the full list of book suggestions today over at Patti’s blog.

You have a lot to read. Good thing it is now officially summer and you have absolutely nothing else to do but pour cool beverages, sip them, and read.

Tom Jeffries has done a lot of things over the years. He used to be a member of Special Forces and still maintains links to his old group. He used to be a Dallas cop. A cop with, according to some, a rather checkered history though nothing was ever proved. These days he is a private investigator in Broward County, Florida.  That means he hands out a lot of business cards with his signature and the slogan--“If I can help, call me.”

The young dead woman in the morgue was found with such a card between her fingers. No doubt a final indignity given by those who raped her and beat her to death.  While the cops have his card, they don’t have her identification or much of anything else. PI Tom Jefferies is in no rush to help them either as he has another way of getting justice.

Mary Lou Smithson was her name and she was in that often difficult time between a young teenager and womanhood. Found in Coral Lakes, the woman was the daughter of old friends Charlie and Lonnie Rogers. Seventeen and sure she knew what she was doing, she was hanging around with a punk boyfriend who sported a certain kind of tattoo. Her parents tried everything to stop her escalating dangerous behavior with no effect. Now, she is in the morgue dead and Tom Jefferies wants answers and justice. That tattoo is going to be a major piece of the puzzle.

What follows is a far more complicated story than your typical vigilante style book. Far different in style and tone from the Ace Atkins series, author Randy Rawls has created a much harder character who isn’t bound by what law enforcement would consider permissible. While there are the occasional inside nods to readers familiar with his other series based in Texas, Tom Jeffries has very little in common with Ace Atkins.

He also has little time for outsiders no matter their intentions as he is on a mission for Mary Lou Smithson. A mission increasingly jeopardized by solid police work, a romantic entanglement, and other issues including the toll the quest is taking on this heavily conflicted character.

Published by L & L Dreamspell, this is the powerful start no doubt of a new series from Randy Rawls. Dark in tone with occasional flashes of humor and romance, the 266 page read takes readers on much more than a vengeance ride. Thorns On Roses is a good one and well worth your time.

Thorns on Roses
Randy Rawls
L & L Dreamspell
July 2011
ISBN# 978-1-60318-375-8
Paperback (also available in eBook format)
266 Pages

Material supplied by the author quite some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012, 2018

1 comment:

Earl Staggs said...

I read this one when it first came out and loved it. I recommend highly and may read it again. It's that good.