Official Review: Pat Ruger: Children's Reprise

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any crime, thriller, mystery or horror books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Official Review: Pat Ruger: Children's Reprise

Post by cristinaro » 11 Mar 2018, 09:57

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Pat Ruger: Children's Reprise" by Jack Huber.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Jack Huber’s Children’s Reprise is the fourth book in the Pat Ruger Mystery Series. The author himself confesses that he might have found a niche in the detective/mystery/crime/thriller genres with the novels in this series. Apart from the traditional detective layout, Children’s Reprise does indeed bring something quite original in the field: an insight view on the functioning and threat of teenage-targetting cults.

A former police officer in Denver, Colorado, Pat Ruger is now a PI who has opened up his own agency, PAL Investigations. His ex-fiancée, Amanda has recently got killed because of the FBI case he helped her with. Ever since her death, Pat passes through a serious breakdown in spite of his friends’ efforts to make him pull himself together. One day, a typical middle-class couple asks for his help to find their 16-year-old daughter April who has joined a cult called the Children of Bartholomew. Pat agrees to take their case especially since he knows how dangerous this cult is from previous encounters; in fact, it was Pat who put their former leader Bartholomew Christian behind bars.

Depression is soon a thing of the past as Pat and his friends are thrown in a wild chase for the missing girl. They follow the Children to the small rural town of Rollinsville where the cult had set up their camp and turned into the locals’ nightmare. Sheriff McCoy and deputy John Fielding seem out of options in front of the Children’s new leader, Wesley Jacks. Pat has his suspicions that one or more of the local authorities may be on the Children’s payroll. Things are getting more and more dramatic with every twist of the plot. The members of the cult would stop at nothing in order to continue their dirty business. Drug trafficking, murder and even radiation poisoning are all on their list of wrongdoings. Pat and his team are too close to the truth for their own good.

Jack Huber belongs to Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Children’s Reprise is written in the first person and Pat Ruger seems the reincarnation of Chandler’s famous Philip Marlowe. He is the embodiment of the tough wisecracking private eye who is often cynical and at times contemplative or philosophical. Like Marlowe, Pat somehow ends up the eternal bachelor although women find him irresistible and he was once married or engaged. Fans of the genre will definitely appreciate the character’s keen eye for detail, dry humor and unflinching determination to achieve his own justice. For me, the novel was particularly enjoyable because it gave new life to a type of character who for most had already lived his times of glory. Besides, the plot itself is action-packed with one revelation after another.

An element that saves this novel from anonymity is the description of the inner mechanisms of a cult such as the Children of Bartholomew. Jack Huber craftly uses the storyline to raise people’s awareness on the threat posed by such a cult. For example, Pat takes his time explaining how the members of the cult proceed. They start isolating the teenage boy or girl from everyone they know while never letting them alone without one or more of the members. They use sleep deprivation or blackmail to make the vulnerable adolescents lose their values. Finally, they test them by making them do something illegal, something they would never do under normal cirumstances. In the novel, Terry, one of the taken children, describes the way the cult members made her feel wanted when she felt rejected by her own family. As Pat indicates, one of the brainwashing tenets of such cults is actually disenfranchising kids from their family and reinforcing their beliefs that they were not loved.

At first, I was tempted not to give this novel all its stars because of one or two drawbacks such as the excessive accumulation of sensational elements or some implausible scenes like Pat’s dreams of his dead ex-wife who gives him strength to move on. Nevertheless, I will still rate it 4 out of 4 stars due to the much higher number of positive elements in terms of overall plot and character development. On the whole, the story is well-written and the book is professionally edited. I recommend it to all those drawn to detective fiction in general and hard-boiled detective fiction in particular. Jack Huber proves he is a talented storyteller turning his protagonist into a new emblematic figure of the genre.

******
Pat Ruger: Children's Reprise
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like cristinaro's review? Post a comment saying so!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1613
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 115
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: Lily White Lie
Bookshelf Size: 512
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 12 Mar 2018, 06:27

Wow, the plot seem to offer a fine read! Sounds like a wild ride I'm wiling to take. As mentioned teen are a easy pray target for cults. It reminded me of the movie called Drive Angry. Thank you for sharing!
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6371
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 92
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 234
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: The Third Thaw by Karl J. Hanson

Post by kandscreeley » 12 Mar 2018, 07:17

I'm probably kind of odd, but I enjoy reading about cults. I think this would be very interesting to me, to see the protagonist break up this cult! Sounds like something I'm going to have to look into! Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
jcblue342
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Mar 2018, 15:34
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by jcblue342 » 12 Mar 2018, 08:06

This is a interesting start to the book there mystery and a family worry sick about there daughter. I find it interesting that pat the PI just got done arresting g the leader of the cult just before the middle age family approach PI Pat about there missing daughter.

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 12 Mar 2018, 10:57

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
12 Mar 2018, 07:17
I'm probably kind of odd, but I enjoy reading about cults. I think this would be very interesting to me, to see the protagonist break up this cult! Sounds like something I'm going to have to look into! Thanks!
I can understand your interest. The organization of such cults and the brainwashing techniques they use to attract more followers get me interested too. Thanks for reading!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 12 Mar 2018, 10:59

jcblue342 wrote: ↑
12 Mar 2018, 08:06
This is a interesting start to the book there mystery and a family worry sick about there daughter. I find it interesting that pat the PI just got done arresting g the leader of the cult just before the middle age family approach PI Pat about there missing daughter.
Thank you. There are many more twists and turns until everything gets solved.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 12 Mar 2018, 11:22

Sahani Nimandra wrote: ↑
12 Mar 2018, 06:27
Wow, the plot seem to offer a fine read! Sounds like a wild ride I'm wiling to take. As mentioned teen are a easy pray target for cults. It reminded me of the movie called Drive Angry. Thank you for sharing!
Yes, I thought the topic was interesting and worth developing even more. Is that movie with Nicolas Cage? He is a good actor. :) Thank you for reading!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
MsTri
Posts: 1143
Joined: 02 Jul 2017, 12:56
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 366
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 15362">The Prodigal Son</a>
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 396
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mstri.html
Latest Review: The Black Canary Diamond by Barbara L Lefka
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by MsTri » 12 Mar 2018, 11:38

You mention this' book 4 in the series, but it sounds like a standalone novel, is that correct?

In any case, it certainly sounds like my kind of read because it's my favorite genre AND because cults is a rare plot, so I'd love to read something new. Thanks for the introduction and thorough review!

User avatar
Jkhorner
Posts: 236
Joined: 09 Feb 2018, 08:32
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 90
Currently Reading: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
Bookshelf Size: 422
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jkhorner.html
Latest Review: The Stipulations of the New Covenant by Ralph E. Bass, Jr.

Post by Jkhorner » 12 Mar 2018, 11:39

This sounds like an absolutely fascinating book! Thank you for taking the time to explain the role of the cult in the story; it sounds fully developed rather than stuck on as a sensational plot device.

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 12 Mar 2018, 12:19

Jkhorner wrote: ↑
12 Mar 2018, 11:39
This sounds like an absolutely fascinating book! Thank you for taking the time to explain the role of the cult in the story; it sounds fully developed rather than stuck on as a sensational plot device.
It could have been even further developed, but the author focused more on Pat's investigation. Thank you for reading!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 12 Mar 2018, 12:22

MsTri wrote: ↑
12 Mar 2018, 11:38
You mention this' book 4 in the series, but it sounds like a standalone novel, is that correct?

In any case, it certainly sounds like my kind of read because it's my favorite genre AND because cults is a rare plot, so I'd love to read something new. Thanks for the introduction and thorough review!
Yes, you're absolutely right. This is book 4 of the series, but it can be read on its own without any problems. I am glad you like this genre. I have to admit I have a soft spot for it too. Thank you for reading and sharing your opinion!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
Dolor
Posts: 2035
Joined: 07 Nov 2017, 14:41
2018 Reading Goal: 200
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 140
Favorite Author: Craig R. Key
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 11731
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dolor.html
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson
Reading Device: 1400697484
fav_author_id: 115430

Post by Dolor » 14 Mar 2018, 07:56

A former police officer in Denver, Colorado, Pat Ruger is now a PI who has opened up his own agency, PAL Investigations. His ex-fiancée, Amanda has recently got killed because of the FBI case he helped her with. Ever since her death, Pat passes through a serious breakdown in spite of his friends’ efforts to make him pull himself together. One day, a typical middle-class couple asks for his help to find their 16-year-old daughter April who has joined a cult called the Children of Bartholomew. Pat agrees to take their case especially since he knows how dangerous this cult is from previous encounters; in fact, it was Pat who put their former leader Bartholomew Christian behind bars.
The summary has piqued my curiosity to pick this book up and read. I feel like this is scary one, but I find it interesting to read. Thanks for the detailed review.

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 14 Mar 2018, 09:35

Dolor wrote: ↑
14 Mar 2018, 07:56
A former police officer in Denver, Colorado, Pat Ruger is now a PI who has opened up his own agency, PAL Investigations. His ex-fiancée, Amanda has recently got killed because of the FBI case he helped her with. Ever since her death, Pat passes through a serious breakdown in spite of his friends’ efforts to make him pull himself together. One day, a typical middle-class couple asks for his help to find their 16-year-old daughter April who has joined a cult called the Children of Bartholomew. Pat agrees to take their case especially since he knows how dangerous this cult is from previous encounters; in fact, it was Pat who put their former leader Bartholomew Christian behind bars.
The summary has piqued my curiosity to pick this book up and read. I feel like this is scary one, but I find it interesting to read. Thanks for the detailed review.
It's not so frightening, don't worry. Thank you for reading.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

User avatar
kislany
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 930
Joined: 16 Aug 2014, 06:17
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 237
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kislany.html
Latest Review: The Road to Trump by Shay McNeal

Post by kislany » 15 Mar 2018, 01:04

I love crime mystery novels, but I worry that it's the 4th in a series. I hope it can be read as a standalone novel. Oh wait, I see in some comments above you mentioning that it can. You have a great review there, if I see the book on offer, I might pick it up.

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 972
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 196
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 15 Mar 2018, 03:56

kislany wrote: ↑
15 Mar 2018, 01:04
I love crime mystery novels, but I worry that it's the 4th in a series. I hope it can be read as a standalone novel. Oh wait, I see in some comments above you mentioning that it can. You have a great review there, if I see the book on offer, I might pick it up.
Thanks for reading. You made me remember one great mystery series by Sue Grafton going through all the letters of the alphabet - A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, etc. What I love about these series is that readers can have a much closer relationship with the protagonist, the detective, investigator, etc. You get to know the characters much better and you have that feeling of familiarity and realism.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
Latest Review: RVN by Tim Gingras

Post Reply

Return to “Crime, Thrillers, Mystery and Horror Books”