Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review - Jackpot: A Frank Renzi Mystery


Jackpot: A Frank Renzi Mystery

By: Susan Fleet
Publisher: Music and Mayhem Press
Publication Date: September 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9847235-5-3
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 25, 2013

For anyone who loves the gritty, the witty, and perfect descriptions that lure the reader in and make them feel as if they’re standing on-site literally being witness to a crime, Author Susan Fleet has continually given this ‘gift’ to thrill lovers with each novel. This time around, the magician has decided to lead readers back in time - offering a prequel to her Frank Renzi stories so that everyone can see how his transformation, love and hate of the job, and his pure dedication came about.

Feeling like a big screen movie, the curtains part and we begin with an elderly lady living in Chatham, Massachusetts. Her TV has just gone on the fritz and she’s waiting for the cable man to arrive. Sadly, her cable guy just happens to be a brutal killer with a strange mission - taking out winners of the Lottery.

Switching to Boston Homicide Detective Frank Renzi, readers get a look at Frank’s personal life. He’s not exactly in a marriage set in Paradise, seeing as Frank spends a great deal of time having an affair with Gina, a newspaper reporter who is also married.

Frank becomes the lead Detective on the ‘Lottery Killer’ case and is more than frustrated because no progress is being made; this is one killer who’s very hard to figure out.

Readers meet up with a new character, Nigel Heath. Nigel’s life is a bit frustrating; he’s desperately trying to land the job of conductor with the Boston Pops and wants nothing more than to impress Vicky -  the woman he loves. Unfortunately, his gambling addiction is his downfall. Buying a lottery ticket on the off chance he’ll become a millionaire, Nigel has more than a little luck that leads him straight into the path of an uncompromising killer.

Fleet has done another superb job of bringing her surroundings and her characters to life. In fact, there will be some readers who may never take a chance on the Lottery again. Characters you have fallen in love with open the doors to their past, where they’re not all that nice at times. The reader will want to help them, hurt them, and sometimes yell at them; but, in the end, they will come to terms with Renzi’s past and be eager for another Susan Fleet novel in their future.

Quill says: Prequel’s are risky in a tremendously great series, but Fleet (not a surprise) has pulled it off with style!