Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review/Excerpt of SAVAGE WINTER: Ruth Bainbridge

Mystery / Suspense / Private Detective
Date Published: July 23, 2015

"The Devil lives here … and what he manufactures
is an illusion … covered by lies.”
CURT SAVAGE found the girl of his dreams. Only problem is she’s dead. It falls on him to solve her murder, but someone doesn’t want to be found.
The Curt Savage Mysteries are part detective and part conspiracy. The cases could be ripped from the today's headlines
The stakes are raised as the conspiracy revolving around the abduction of Amy Weissman explodes in unexpected directions. Savage and his cohorts strategize on locating the monster responsible for the heinous crime, but the rekindling of a liaison opens up an opportunity for Savage to do some investigating of his own. The death of a pop superstar prompts his sister to become suspicious. She’s convinced her brother was murdered and enlists Savage to help prove her case. Savage is all too willing, especially since it means becoming more involved with his Fallen Angel.
SAVAGE WINTER is the third part of this four-part series. Going from former cop to private dick, he represents a new kind of detective--the reluctant kind. As his best bud Mike puts it, "Private investigation just got Savage."

The minute I entered the lobby of Wild Dog Inc., I knew I’d entered another world. With lots of creatives running around, there were “the suits” interspersed in the colorful mix. The suits kept order and prevented chaos from melting down the smoothly running beehive that churned out hits.
I received a guest pass that I’d keep for always and forever. Pasting it on the lapel … oh, that’s right … I didn’t have a lapel on my polo shirt. Let me start again. Pasting it over the embroidered alligator, I got in a high-speed elevator. I was aware of the hidden camera keeping an eye on me and wondered what people do in elevators that cause such security. Not owning a billion-dollar complex kept me from securing an answer.
Just in case something was misconstrued, I kept my hands to myself and left the posteriors of fellow passengers alone. It was an “accost free” zone. Even without the sign with the red X over a pair of sticky hands, I got the message.
“Mr. Savage, please follow me. Mr. Hendricks is expecting you.”
The ravishing young girl at the big empty desk put on a pleasant face. Smiling was so yesterday, so I took what I could out of the minute change in her bored expression. Her large, white desk was bare—and we’re talking naked. With not even a pen in sight, there had to be a closetful of gnomes answering phones and taking messages. It left the assistant to the high-powered record exec time to groom, which most likely included pumicing those heels shoved in the expensive mules. No dead skin on this starchild.
The beaming welcome left me stunned. Charisma wasn’t exclusive to his artists because Phil had me believing he was actually happy to see me. While erroneous, it was a nice thought.
“Thank you so much for seeing me, Mr. Hendricks.”
“Please, call me Phil. Would you like coffee or tea? I can have Reisha get it for you.”
Reisha. If I ever had an assistant, she’d be named Reisha.
“Coffee would be great. Add in cream and sugar and it’d be ideal.”
“Reisha, coffee for both of us,” he said, speaking into the intercom before switching his attention to me. “Please, over here.”
I sat at the corner table indicated and gazed out at the view. When you’re this high up in the sky, you can’t see the ugly. The fifty-six floors put quite a lot of distance between me and the grunge on the sidewalk.
“As you know, Dakota Lowell has asked me to look into the circumstances surrounding her brother’s death.”
“I understand.” His face etched with concern; was he really upset or simply feigning compassion? I thought back to the greeting and had doubts. “It was dreadful … just dreadful. I can see why she doesn’t want to let go, but everything was very straightforward.
“The truth is that Crayton was into drugs. I’d tried, we’d all tried, to get him into rehab, but he refused. I don’t need to tell you, that with all his success, he could push the problems away and there was nothing any of us could do about it. His manager, Charles Beaton, even tried an intervention, but Crayton wouldn’t budge.”
“And why do you think that is, Phil?”
“I subscribe to the theory of there being too many skeletons in his closet, if you know what I mean.”
I didn’t, but Reisha interrupted the flow and put my questions on hold. I didn’t want to rush her, but, man, her mincing in those heels meant it took forever for her to get lost
“What secrets were you referring to?” I asked as I spooned in the appropriate amount of sweetener.
“The physical abuse for one, but I suspect there was more to things than that. Every time I tried to touch on what was really bothering him, he refused to talk, but refusing to talk means there’s something to talk about. That’s why I have my suspicions.”
“And what might those be?” I inquired before taking my first sip.
“I think it was related to Dakota’s allegations about her father.”
“You know about that?”
“Yes. I was close with the family and, well, the charges surfaced.”
“Crayton confided in me. It helped to explain the rift that developed out of the blue, but it wasn’t out of the blue. Abuse is, and was, a serious matter, and the accusations quite naturally changed so many dynamics of his relationships.”
“Are you saying that because Crayton believed her, it affected him?”
“It was more than that,” he remarked as he stirred in a chocolate-flavored creamer. The dark syrup blended in as a thought bubbled up from the coffee’s depths.
“I think I got it. You believe Crayton was also molested. It’s why he was so certain she was telling the truth and why he was so messed up. Am I right?”
After a quick appraisal, he nodded.
“Something like that. And he was messed up. He had these horrible nightmares. It’s what first got him hooked on that crap he was taking; he couldn’t sleep without sedation. Then he needed something to wake up and then something to even out his moods. I’m sure you can appreciate that I am human. I’m only saying this because some people can’t fathom that I am.”
It was my turn to eye him. Was he? Those lizard eyes cast doubt.
~ * ~

Exciting, Suspenseful, Intense!!! 
Music superstar Crayton Lowell has died. While police ruled his overdose accidental, his sister Dakota suspects foul play. Curt Savage is hired to discover the truth, and with billions of dollars at stake, there’s a lot riding on the outcome of his investigation. Savage digs in, peering behind the glitz and glamour of the music biz. What he finds is the scummy underbelly where deals are struck and lives are ruined. Along the way, we learn all the tricks and meet all the tricksters who offer Savage this advice: “The Devil lives here … and what he manufactures is an illusion … covered by lies.”
This is SAVAGE WINTER, the third in the Curt Savage Mysteries and the best one yet. Exciting, suspenseful, intriguing, this book is cleverly-written and entertaining. I was completely blown away by the plot and characters. It’s totally original and unlike anything I’ve read before. This series has me hooked!
The City of Angels is the perfect backdrop for this tale of greed and wanton desire. The locale gives Savage the opportunity to reconnect with Sophia, and things quickly heat up. The scenes with her are smokin’ hot with just the right amount of sizzle. The Amy Weissman investigation is still on Savage’s mind, and the twists in that case are mindboggling! That’s all I’m gonna say! Oh, except you will never guess what happens! Never! Our favorite conspiracy theorist Blanchard is on the hand offering his brand of crazy as more clues about Ruth Warwick’s murder emerge. What Savage finds is disturbing, but not as disturbing as a warning from Dr. Shadows. “You’re trusting the wrong person again, and it’s going to cost you dearly.”
Truth? Fact? Fantasy? It’s up to Savage to find out. The writing is taut and the action doesn’t stop. This story doesn’t twist as much as writhe, so be prepared to hang on for dear life. The characters introduced are complex and so believable that I found myself wanting to hug a few—and slap many others. There’s so much packed into these pages, but the storyline … it speeds to a climax that will knock your socks off! I did not see that coming … did not!
My recommendation is to download this series ... and we’re talking immediately. If you love mysteries, treat yourself to this suspense-filled thriller!!! Five stars to this superb outing from Ruth Bainbridge! Lord, this woman can write!
Ruth Bainbridge was born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, and has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life. Ever since she was a child, she’s consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved matching wits (and still does) with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney. In fact, she was so inspired by their brilliance that she began trying to emulate her writing idol's achievements by composing her own short stories. However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime--on paper at least. She devoted myself to her marriage and the raising of four delicious, sometimes obedient children. But the empty nest syndrome happened and gave her the impetus to return to her first love--murder.
The Curt Savage Mysteries are the first series out. She is feverishly working on Murder Most Fowl, an Alex Trout Mystery, and Deadspeak, a paranormal detective series. To keep up with all that's happening, please join her newsletter.
Contact Information
Twitter: @Ruth_Mysteries

Purchase Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1pvs8Ml

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