Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Vein to the Heart

The Vein to the Heart
by C. P. Holsinger
(Foremost Press / 1-939-87002-X / 978-1-939-87002-5 / October 2013 / 222 pages / $13.97 paperback / $12.57 Amazon / $4.99 Kindle & Nook)

The Vein to the Heart is this fresh new author's second tale of mystery and imagination starring police detective Nick Greer. Events and details from the plot of the first novel, All the Bishop's Men, are referenced here and there, but any reader with no knowledge of the first one will fully enjoy this second Nick Greer case with absolutely minimal effort. I received the book for review less than twenty-four hours ago, so you know the plot held my attention to the end. I particularly like the way the story was wrapped up at the end. I am usually miffed by authors who suddenly halt an involved plot on the last page with little explanation, just to be clever, I suppose, but this intricate mystery is properly explained. Don't skip to the last few pages. You will regret it!

If you are a fan of the Law & Order, SVU, and CSI television series, you will feel like you are on the case with Nick Greer and his partner Sonny Madison. The characters talk and act exactly like those on the TV dramas. They treat federal investigators with disdain, fight with their superiors, work ridiculous hours while obsessed with cases, run down false leads and rely heavily on computer and lab technology. The reader will recognize numerous similarities with elements of all three of these popular shows. If I really wanted to nitpick, and I don't, I could say that the plot and style is just a bit too derivative. It is as if the author has been watching all the same shows I have for the past twenty years!

While I am picking nits, I could say the cover is a little on the blah side, although the front image and back blurb are both appropriate to the story line. I found the white background on the back to be a little glaring after viewing the dark front cover. One of the very few proofreading errors in the whole production is on the back cover, not a good thing! Oops, I just ran out of negative comments!

C. P. Holsinger's plotting and writing style remind me of the books of Don Meyer, another favorite of mine in this genre. Both writers know how to show, don't tell. The book is a quick read because it is full of character dialog rather than prolific, pompous prose. The reader clearly visualizes the characters, hence the TV references. No lengthy descriptions of characters or scenery are necessary. Oh yeah, I love plot twists, and this one's got 'em!

See also: All the Bishop's Men
Don Meyer's Winter Ghost
C. P. Holsinger's website

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Submissions Are Open!

Heads up! For a brief period at least, submissions for book reviews are now open at PODBRAM. Why are they open now, after all this time? Because I am bored and I need something new to read. All the previous PODBRAM rules and details apply. If you want to know more, refer to the articles listed in the left column under "Submitting a Book for Review". There are no PODBRAM team members involved in this opening for submissions. I assume they are all still busy with their own projects. It's just little old me, just like in the early days.

Here is a refresher on how to get your book selected for review. (1) Only print books are accepted. (2) All publishers are accepted. (3) No children's books, youth books, fantasy, science fiction, or get rich quick titles will be accepted. (4) Genre romance or Christian will not likely be accepted. (5) Mystery, biography, thriller, horror, and various nonfiction genres will definitely be considered. (6) If you are an unknown, self-published author with few or no reviews at Amazon, your work will be more likely to be accepted for a review simply because you need it. (7) I count errors, and although I accept a higher percentage of these from self-published writers, I am never oblivious to them, no matter how strong the book's content.

If your book is accepted for review, here is what you can expect. (1) The review will be posted at PODBRAM and Amazon within a decent timeframe. (2) These two reviews may or may not be identical, depending upon my opinion of the book and other details. I generally tend to mention the errors and technical flaws more in the PODBRAM review since this site is mainly for self-published authors to learn from each other. (3) I shall read every word of the book, as well as take note of the details of its presentation. (4) My reviews are always direct, honest, and well thought out prior to publication. You are getting the opinion of a writer who has published seven substantial, detailed, nonfiction books since POD was in its infancy, so I know exactly what it takes to properly write and self-publish a book. (5) I view paid book reviewers with disdain. The only cost at PODBRAM is the mailing of a printed copy. Some authors send books directly from Amazon as an easy alternative. (6) Accepted submissions are read and reviewed in the order in which they arrive in my mailbox.

Requests should be sent to ice9 at nctv dot com. A detailed description of the book in the e-mail is unnecessary. A simple link to your book at Amazon is sufficient. Your message will be answered promptly. If accepted, the address to send the book will be included in the reply. Thank you for your support of PODBRAM.