Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Blood of the Rose

Date Published: February 2018

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Jesse Fairlane is missing. 
Max Larkin and Special Agent Michaels are unsure if this is related to a recent case involving human trafficking or something else. On top of trying to locate his partner, Max has to make a decision as to whether he leaves Rockton to work with the FBI or stays to become captain at the local police department. 
As Larkin, Michaels, and the other detectives work furiously to find Jesse before it's too late, Max finds himself despairing they'll find her alive. He struggles to maintain his relationship with Veronica and trying to be a friend to Jesse's girlfriend, Melissa, all while following a maze of clues to Jesse. 

I read mysteries. I read a certain type of crime stories. I admit I am more of a light weight and picked up this book because of its connection to Rockton, Illinois. This book has a darker, more sinister edge than my typical reads. The topic would be perfect for fans of television's Criminal Minds. 

The writing reminds me of John W Mefford. If you are made of sterner stuff than I am, you might rate this a full 5 stars. As I said, I am a wimp so I will give it 4.5 yet I found the way this book reads fascinating.
We are placed inside the mind of not only the killer but also the victim. We ride along with the detective on the case, who is also the partner of one of the victims. 
After reading this book, no matter how tired I am and how trusting of my surroundings, I want to believe I will still be more alert and aware when venturing out alone. Scared straight????

I mentioned I know something of Rockton, IL. After reading this book I checked crime rate averages. Rockton is rated 20% lower than the national average. For violent crimes, Rockton, IL shows a crime rate that is 79% lower than the Illinois average and 76% lower than the National average. 
Now think about flower shows. Gardeners are not violent people, are they? Gardens should be places that reduce our stress. They are beautiful and smell good. Thousands of people look forward to spring garden shows each year. I learned that a rose convention can be more competitive and deadly than a major dog show! All because humans are involved.

So if you want a fascinating dark read and can stomach some violent content, I am betting you will appreciate this series. It takes some surprising twists. 

About the Author

Perhaps you wouldn't characterize the Finance Manager of your local automobile dealership as an Amazon best-selling author--until you get to know Todd Thiede. 
He has worked for the past decade at Elmhurst Toyota, but Thiede is in the driver's seat as the writer of a murder mystery series featuring his hero Detective, Max Larkin. "Time Killer," which Kirkus Reviews deemed "a fast-paced thriller" that will "keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective,", "Lies To Die For" (which reached No. 1 on Amazon in the "Serial Killer" category), Miss Me? (3rd in the series) and Slashtag (4th in the series) are available via Amazon Kindle.

Go to for more info on Todd and his books.

According to Kirkus reviews (the toughest book reviewer in the business):
A fast-paced thriller centered on a brutal, time-obsessed serial killer.
The expression "killing time" rarely means murder, but here, the victims of a serial killer must pay for time they've wasted, often with both their money and their lives. 
In a brutal scene from the opening chapter, an entire family is murdered after a stranger invades the family's home and accuses the patriarch of wasting his time. Veteran cop Max Larkin is on the case. Unfortunately, he's also been assigned a new partner; though she's green in the field--she has "very sad eyes" and prays upon arriving at the first crime scene--she gives the hardened old detective a new perspective he never knew he needed. But as the serial killer claims more victims, a pattern emerges that neither Max nor his new partner can ignore. 
With brisk pacing, Thiede's debut brims with action, violence and, occasionally, emotion. Though the book takes a while to find its heart, procedural fans will feel right at home. Larkin feels like a guy worth rooting for, despite filling the shoes of the beaten-down, grizzled, old loner cop trope a little too well. 
His interactions with his new partner, plus the twists and revelations regarding his past, give him enough of a pass to get readers invested in the story
and looking forward to his next outing. 
Larkin's story doesn't break any boundaries, but it'll keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective. 
Plenty of shock value and a charismatic, if formulaic, male lead.

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