Tag Archives: J. Mark Bertrand

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors Dad Will Love

13 Jun

Father’s Day is only a few days away. Have you picked out a tie or socks for your favorite dad yet? Don’t do it! Get them something they will really love! The authors I am featuring today have already been dad-approved. My husband and many of the husbands of the gals in my book club have read the books below — and loved them! You won’t have a problem with things that don’t fit or having to return that nose-hair trimmer that doesn’t work. (EWW!) Seriously, these guys know how to write a book that will keep dad turning the pages and thanking you for the great gift you gave him this year. Not convinced, then head over to The Broke And The Bookish for other bloggers’ recommendations based on dads.

 

 

Top Authors For Dad!

 

J. Mark Bertrand

J. Mark Bertrand is the author of the crime novels Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide, featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. The Weekly Standard dubbed him “a major crime-fiction talent.” He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lives with his wife Laurie in South Dakota.

Find out more online at http://www.jmarkbertrand.com.

 

 

Mark Mynheir

Mark Mynheir is a former Marine who’s worked in law enforcement over twenty-eight-years. In his career, Mark has served as a patrol officer, an undercover narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. Team member, and a homicide detective.

Mark has parlayed his police experiences into a successful speaking and writing career. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, Lookout magazine, and Christian Fictiononline and is also the author of five novels: Rolling Thunder, From the Belly of the Dragon, The Void, The Corruptible, and the Christy nominated The Night Watchman. Mark has also co-written two books with Max Lucado — Pocket Prayers for Dads and Pocket Prayers for Military Life.

He and his family currently live in central Florida. You can visit Mark’s website at http://www.copwriter.com or on his Facebook page.

 

Randy Singer

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel Directed Verdict. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his “Jekyll and Hyde thing — part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.

You can find Robert Whitlow at his website, robertwhitlow.com.

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Book Review: Nothing to Hide

13 Dec

206399_w185The body was an undercover agent working to bring down Mexican drug cartels. The feds want the case closed rather than risk exposing other agents in the field, but March can’t abide letting a murder go unsolved. And he doesn’t have to dig long to figure out something isn’t right. Someone is covering something up, and it seems that everyone has something to hide. Maybe even March, as the case soon intersects, unexpectedly, with the murder that led him to become a homicide cop, all those years ago.

 

 

j-mark-bertrandJ. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

You can read my interview with Mark HERE.

 

My Impressions:

Nothing to Hide is book 3 in the Roland March series. Both my husband and I feel that it is the best one yet. Homicide Detective Roland March is first introduced in Back on Murder. His story continued in Pattern of Wounds. March lives in a world that is very much black and white, right and wrong. And while his rules are easy to follow, the gray areas others establish lead March to step across the lines. In this latest book, March is investigating the murder of a John Doe that the FBI says only exists in their deep cover operation. Limited by politics and FBI secrecy, March pursues the case after the death of his partner and his administrative leave. The case takes on personal significance when it seems to tie into the spooks he encountered during his years in the Army. March is very much on his own, a place he once found comfortable, but is beginning to question.

Bertrand has developed Roland March quite a bit from the first book. Roland is a loner who has trouble with true intimacy with others, even sometimes his wife. But his continued relationships with people with sincere faith have caused him to question his own independence and doubts. His character has seen some very real yet subtle shifts towards God. And although the end of the book finds him without an acceptance of God, there is definitely an acceptance of the idea of God.

Nothing to Hide is first and foremost a gritty, suspense-filled mystery. It will appeal to those who love police procedurals. It will also appeal to those who love a conspiracy. This one will have you thinking about the shadowy life of undercover operations both here and abroad. I liked it and am glad there seems to be at least one more Roland March book in the works.

Recommended.

(I received Nothing to Hide from Bethany in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Pattern of Wounds

30 Oct

For Detective Roland March, his latest case has become personal. March doesn’t know the young female who was stabbed to death, but he thinks he recognizes the crime scene. Nearly ten years ago, March gained national fame as the subject of a true-crime book. But now this crime scene bears eerie similarities to that one. And whispers begin to emerge that March may have put the wrong man behind bars.

Worse, Houston may now have a serial killer on the loose. As more cases emerge that seem connected, and threats against March and those closest to him build, he must solve the case–rescuing not only the city but his own reputation as a homicide cop.

Excerpt

J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

My Impressions:

I read Mark Bertrand’s first novel, Back on Murder, last year. I also had the opportunity to interview Mark about that book (see interview HERE). I really liked his main character, Roland March, a homicide detective in Houston. March is a man haunted by the past, not quite able to get past his losses. In Pattern of Wounds, March is back still deviled by the ghosts of his past. This time, March investigates a case that is staged to look like the murder that made his career some 10 years before. And because of the similarities, the present becomes inescapably linked to what happened before — 10 and 40 years before.

Pattern of Wounds is first a gritty, complex, dark and suspense-filled novel. This is not your grandmother’s Christian fiction. The crimes are gruesome and the characters’ responses range from flawed to downright evil. But, this is a story of real life  — real life emotions, real life despair, and a bit of real life hope, although in small doses. March is not a Christian and not interested. But he has Christians in his life who continue to love him. Generally well-written, Pattern of Wounds was a bit slow at times. I wanted to hurry the action along. But Bertrand is writing about real life here — never as neat and tidy as novels are wont to show.

I recommend Pattern of Wounds to anyone wanting an intelligent suspense novel with characters that defy stereotypes. The next book in the Roland March Mystery series is Nothing to Hide, and it is near the top of my TBR pile. Look for that review before the end of the year.

Recommended.

(I bought Pattern of Wounds as a Christmas present for my husband.)