Darkness and Blood #bookreview

First sentence: Pablo de Silva, ex-CIA agent, awoke from the restless sleep of a man on the run.

About the story: When a former American spy, Pablo de Silva, and his former handler, Stuart Bishop, discover top-secret information, they must use their wisdom and wits if they want to remain alive.

My thoughts: Darkness and Blood is the sequel to Haberman’s The Killing Ploy. While I thought its predecessor was an interesting read, I felt Darkness and Blood was so much better. It seemed Haberman had a better handle on the characters. While some of the dialogue didn’t always seem like what CIAs would say, it didn’t put me off. It was more developed in this book than the first.

My only complaint while reading is that there were times in the narrative when I had to re-read a sentence. I like italics to show when a character is thinking. To me, it helps separate the dialogue and the narrative, making the scene more clearly. There weren’t a whole lot of italics within the story, except for when someone speaks French.

As always, the backdrop of the story was great. It took me from the comfort of my own home and I felt I was there along with Pablo and Stuart.

Darkness and Blood was a quick and fun read. I love spy novels and this didn’t disappoint! Although it is a sequel, I don’t think it matters in which order the books are read. The plots are completely different and we get to know enough about the characters in the second book to thoroughly enjoy it.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here!

*For more reviews, visit: Angela Kay’s Books*

A little bit about the author:

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

The Killing Ploy #Bookreview

  • Title: The Killing PloyThe Killing Ploy by [Haberman, Steve]
  • Author: Steve Haberman
  • Print Length: 265
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2012
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Espionage

Pablo de Silva is a former CIA tracker and shooter who is being haunted by the memory of his last mission, when he failed to save the lives of a fellow agent and lover. In this present day, he’s been trying to work through his failure, but it isn’t so easy when his colleagues are holding him in such low regard because of such failure. When his former boss calls him home on a new assignment, he quickly begins to realize that he’s fallen into a dangerous web.

The Killing Ploy was an interesting read. For the first half of the story, though, I found myself slugging through. The characters weren’t rounded out as I liked and a lot of the times the dialogue didn’t quite fit who they were as people. And while the scenery was developed wonderfully in the narrative (marvelous job at that. Coming from somewhere that doesn’t travel to exotic places, I felt I was there), there were a lot of times when I felt the sentence was incomplete. For example: She could remember their panicky flight out to the terrace, stumbling down the steep bluff, and struggling up some dunes to her Mercedes. After that, though, a fog as to why they had escaped to RCB.

I can see what the author is saying in the last sentence, but it, like many others, don’t really sit that well with me.

The second half was much better than the first. I can see a better grip on the writing and details. While the dialogue still wasn’t up to par, I found myself getting a little more into the story, wanting to find out how it would end.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

Murder Without Pity #Bookreview

  • Title: Murder Without Pity
  • Author: Steve Haberman
  • File Size: 623KB
  • Print Length: 319
  • Publication Date: May 5, 2012
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime

Murder Without Pity is a slow-moving suspense, told in a way that makes you want to turn the pages and keep going. If I had the chance to read it in one night, then I probably would have. It wasn’t even the mystery portion of this novel that I enjoyed so much, although I enjoyed trying to solve the crime before reaching the ending. While I had a few suspects in mind, I feel that there could have been a little more foreshadowing or red herrings to help solve the mystery. As a mystery author myself, I certainly understand how hard it is to throw in red herrings without giving the plot away. There were, however, enough twists to keep me yearning for more.

This story was much more than just solving the strange murder of a man. The investigator, Stanislas Cassel, spends a good amount of his time interacting with the people of France, hoping they either won’t judge him or they just don’t know that he’s the grandson of a French propagandist for the Nazis during their WWII operation. This part of his family’s past mortifies him, so Cassel attempts to avoid anything political and hopes no one will recognize him. Of course, we all know that’s not always possible. And as Cassel continues his investigation, he finds himself in the midst of a larger wickedness beyond the small crimes he prefers to investigate.

This wasn’t a book where you can easily skim a few words here and there…let’s face it, we all tend to do that, whether we mean to do so or not. If you’re focusing on solving the mystery, then it’s possible something would be missing between the lines on the pages. Even reading carefully, I’m sure I missed a thing or two. And if you’re only along for the ride to enjoy the beautiful scenery that’s portrayed, then skipping around will force you to miss out. I’ve never been to France, and as someone who would like to one of these days, I felt I had a good idea of what Paris was like during the time this story takes place. The writing splayed across my mind as though I was watching a movie. It was so beautifully descriptive, whether it was about the thick fog smothering the city or Cassel’s thoughts.

I would most certainly enjoy reading more from this author.

Overall rating: 4 of 5 stars

Biography

Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

 

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