Monday, April 1, 2013

Joanie McDonell Took Me High on Drama to Somewhat Disappointing Ending...

She brought music on CDs, and when I heard Ravel’s Bolero for the first time and realized it was written to parallel a long, perfect, explosive fuck, Julia laughed. But then we listened to it every time we went to the studio. Sometimes I try, but I can’t forget how she covered my closed eyes with kisses and how she cried the first time she saw the scars on my leg. I said the fucked-up leg got me Owen, which got me to her. We liked making up our own story, and we liked that pretty soon we wouldn’t have to edit any more chapters. I don’t know how Carteret found us out. At home the housekeeper and the cleaning ladies were around all the time, so we kept our distance, but maybe we got careless. Or he had us followed. Maybe he noticed a change in Julia. Maybe he didn’t know until that last afternoon....

“I left my gun in Mrs. Carteret’s bedroom.”
 “Uh-huh,” said Fallon. “If it’s there, which as far as I know nobody saw it, we’ll find it. They did find a pink shirt out in the garden— how do you think it got there?”
 “I don’t know,” I said. “They found a CD on the bed,” he said. “Broke in half. Name was Ravel’s Bolero. Does that mean anything to you?” 
“No,” I said. Fallon waited maybe a full minute before he spoke again. “Oh yeah, another thing,” he said. “The crime scene unit picked up a book out on the patio. Must’ve been on the table that got turned over. Love poems by Emily Dickens.”
 “Dickinson,” I said. Because Julia had told me about her. “Did you ever see that book?” said Fallon. “No,” I said. “I don’t know what book you’re talking about.” 
“There was an inscription,” said Fallon. “‘ To my best beloved Nick.’” 
He stopped pacing and looked at me. “What did you say the husband’s first name was?” he asked. 
“You know his name,” I said. “I forgot,” said Fallon. “So help me out here— is his first name Nick?” 
“No,” I said. “It’s William. William fucking Carteret.”

A Nick Sayler Novel
By Joanie McDonell

I've always loved Ravel's Bolero, so I knew immediately when I read the above, that I'd be sharing the music as background to my review! You see, the woman mentioned, Julia, was the love of Nick Sayler's life. Julia was married to the type of man who wants a "beautiful piece" to display on his arm, but has no real love to give to the woman he married. William Carteret had received death threats and hired the agency for which Nick worked at that time, to guard the couple. Nick was assigned to Mrs. Carteret...

They had become lovers...until William killed Julia... 

Nick had never been able to get over the fact that he had not been there to save her... 

Years had passed and much had changed in Nick's life. For one, he now owned a barge! And lived on it. He was also fairly wealthy... And it had all happened because of "Dumb Luck." So that's what he named his new home! He was also involved with Rue, but she was away when all this started...

“So,” Fallon continued, “the paperwork

 on the homicide got fucked up.
 I don’t know what happened, 
but nobody put the two girls together.”
 “Even with the 44s,”
 I said. “Even with them,” Fallon said. 
“And neither one of the girls were in
 our jurisdiction, so me and Linda 
decided to keep the connection to ourselves
 for a little while. And see what we could find.”
 “On our own time,” said Goode. 
“I don’t care,” I said. 
“We knew as soon as the 44s got on the record—
 which would be when they got an
 anonymous tip from us— 
the news would get picked up, and in five
 minutes there’s 44 hysteria going down. 
Serial killers, yada yada.
Nick had been called by a doctor at Bellevue. The doctor told him that he had found Nick's card in her pocket and that, hopefully he would know her so that she wouldn't be put in the psychiatric ward, which was a bad place to be at that hospital. The doctor explained that she didn't know who she was, had been attacked and cut badly. He admitted she seemed so fragile and the doctor didn't know whether she could handle the psych ward...

Nick initially said no, that his cards were everywhere and he had no need to verify that he didn't know her... Then he had a change of heart, called back and headed for the hospital... 

Justin Greenburg met him there and they went to see his patient. As soon as Nick saw her, he knew trouble was here. The patient looked at him with eyes that were the same beautiful color as Julia's...he could fall into eyes like that and stay... He had to work hard to ask the right questions, but before long Justin heard others coming and he went to slow them down as Nick helped the woman get out of there...

He took her to the barge since she knew nothing about where she was from. Two other men who were friends, Sloane and Meriwether lived on the barge also and immediately fell under her spell. 

It had been Nick who first noticed her feet and knew from another friend of his that she was a dancer. Nick also contacted a cop friend of his, Fallon, and asked about any notices for missing persons... Sloane, who had practiced as a psychiatrist, had been called to check her out physically. He was the first to see what had been done to her... A "44" had been carved into her back...

Soon they discovered that two other victims had been killed, and left with the same symbol. But that also followed the death of Joshua Greenburg... Soon there was an attempt to invade the barge, but they had tried to enter through Sloane's room and he'd wounded the intruder who immediately left. There was now no doubt that another attempt on her life would be made!

Hadley Fielding was finally identified thanks to Meriwether's expert research, but it didn't help Hadley in regaining any memories...Nor did it help when her best friend was identified and Nick took her to visit. But they did discover that she was still married and although they had been separated, Hadley had agreed to try to make it work again. But it was quite clear to both Hadley and Nick that there was something between them...and it was growing...

This is a very good book, which could have been much better. I liked the characters, especially the three men who live on the barge. Unless something happens, Hadley's gone. Personally I'd like to see more of her since Rue really wasn't in the book much and there was definitely a connection that seemed to help ease Nick's earlier story of lost love. 

The search aspect of the attempt to find Hadley's identity as well as who had attacked her was well done. But the reality of the whodunit was disappointing. After so much, I expected a much more dramatic identity and ending. On the whole, I'm still interested in the series and look forward to more from this author. Her writing is fine and her conceptual villains are bound to get better...They have to be hateful, more than pitiful for me to enjoy...LOL!


Joanie McDonell, who once spent a lot of time aboard a barge very much like the Dumb Luck, now lives on the beach near the eastern end of Long Island. She's written poems, screenplays, the novel Half Crazy, and The Little Book of Hope. She is currently at work on the next book featuring Private Investigator Nick Sayler.

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  1. Glenda, I have wanted to add some of your Reviews to my adult Review board on Pinterest, but your page always comes up as "no pictures" they can use??

    You do have pictures, so I was wondering what you did to stop them being used on Pinterest. It is a great way to promote your blog.

    Books for Kins - Manuscript Critiques

  2. Margot, it must have something to do with ownership...Do you use the Pinterest "Pin it" button?

    Also, depending upon what you have in can take pics that I've posted on Pinterest and "embed" them...Have you tried that process?

    I've noticed that the utube stuff doesn't always come up, but you can pin them from utube... If none of these work for you, let me know of a particular picture... I just repinned from your Adult Review Board with no problem...Maybe you have to bring up the Board...Interesting...keep me posted if you figure it out...I've not had any problems as yet...


  3. Margot, I switched everything to the updated need to start at Pinterest perhaps... this is what I did and it brought a cloud of all the pictures up! Whew!