3 out of 4 stars
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Mare's Nest by Larry Darter is a crime thriller revolving around a Los Angeles P.I. T. J. O’Sullivan's mission - finding a lost person. What seemed to be an ordinary missing person case turned into a real mare's nest. She got the gun that killed the kidnapper's accomplice, Jimmy Kamaka. When she reached her hotel suite, she found her client, Mr. Douglas Shaw, dead. Trying to extricate herself from a jam that was not entirely of her own making, she fled to hide while figuring out who framed her. Adam Morton, the kidnapper, was able to follow her. He tried to retrieve the money she got from Allison, her client's illegitimate daughter. When he didn't succeed, he abducted Mrs. Kathleen Shaw and Allison, and threatened T. J. that he will kill them if she could not hand him the money on-time. When both women were found dead, how will T.J. get out from this mess? What does it take to prove her innocence?
The unpredictable storyline with neatly-weaved series of betrayal, conspiracy, friendship, lies, murder, and romance has hooked me up from the beginning until the end. It is narrated in T. J.'s first-person point of view. The emotional arc spins the readers to a roller coaster ride. The characters are likable, relatable, and realistic. Of all the characters, I like T.J. the most. She's a feisty heroine who has more than a sexy body. I love her wit and her strength. On the other hand, greediness has destroyed the antagonists.
I fell in love with the descriptive scenes, the turquoise water of the Pacific, the sandy beaches, and the elegant hotels with fine dining (shrimp fettuccine my favorite!). It made me dream of going there someday. The story still lingers in my mind long after reading. It has a high potential to gain compliments from the viewers if filmed.
Chapters 16 and 17 are narrating the same events; skipping the details on how T.J. managed to escape from Ken (Kathleen's lover who is also Shaw's family driver), who tried to exterminate her. Some conversations are flat. Wrong verb used, irregularly broken sentences, missing words, wrong and missing punctuation, run-on sentence, weird question, and grammatical errors hindered my reading flow.
I rate Mare's Nest by Larry Darter 3 out of 4 stars. Though this book can entertain all the audiences regardless of the genre preference, I recommend this book specifically to all lovers of crime / thriller / mystery / horror genres who are 18 years old and above. There are swear words and foul scenes not suitable for very young audiences. It's best to post this disclaimer despite the few swear words and scenes (murder) to warn those who have reservations on these subjects.
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