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The Purple Heart Detective Agency by Rock…

The Purple Heart Detective Agency

by Rock Neelly

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2818389,858 (3.57)2



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Purple Heart Detective Agency is not my usual choice for a mystery. Ex-GIs dealing with fitting back into society is a far different storyline than what I normally read. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised at hiow the characters and the story drew me in. Throw in a twist at the end, and you have a great read.

Come meet Clayton, Roddy and the rest of the gang. They have a great story to share with you.

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review. ( )
  TeriA-M | Jul 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At the start of reading this book, its premise of a struggling P.I. and Iraq War veteran/amputee being hired by beautiful woman for his next case, made me think that Cormoran Strike of "The Cuckoo's Calling" had a secret double living in Northern California. Alas, he doesn't, but I found this P.I. appealing just the same. Clayton Grace "Gracer" and fellow solider (and double amputee) Rodney "Roddy" O'Malley are true brothers in all ways that matter. Roddy teaches Gracer what it means to "have someone's back" while in Iraq, and Clay pays it back by providing a reason for Roddy not to "eat" his gun when back in the states.

This story is alternately told from first-person and third-person perspectives, mostly in the present day, but includes well-placed vignettes of how these two veterans became life-long friends during their military deployment. Included in its plot are many "issues of today." Phantom Limb Pain, self-medicating, mafia-owned casinos, illegal drug sale and usage, mental health issues, Alzheimer's, medical testing of animals, bisexuality, "good" bad guys and "bad" good guys...

I found this book to be a satisfying read, and looked forward to reading it every night while on my treadmill. Halfway into the story, I found out the author is also from the Cincinnati, Ohio area and recently recommended to the award-winning Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County library to add this book to its vast collection. PLEASE read this story; you won't regret the choice. Meanwhile, I am hopeful the author will endeavor to publish another Grace/O'Malley story.
( )
  Conkie | Aug 14, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Chapter 1 of "The Purple Heart Detective Agency" opens with many of the trademarks of a classic Dashiell Hammett whodunit ... it's a sun-drenched day on the streets of L.A. and hard-boiled detective Clayton Grace is sitting across the desk from a beautiful dame who is offering him what appears to be a simple and straightforward 'missing person' case.

Fans of detective fiction will know, of course, that there's bound to be much more to the case ... you know there will be a colorful and entertaining array of supporting characters popping-up in the chapters that follow ... and there will be speculation that the dame may be offering Grace more than a retainer at some point.

It isn't long, though, before author Rock Neelly begins following his own path, and taking us along for a journey that will have more than its share of surprising twists and unexpected turns. In fact, he first sets foot on that path BEFORE the start of Chapter 1 ... whatever else you may skip in your reading, do NOT pass over the prologue.

It will go a long way to understanding Grace and his partner, Roddy O'Mallery. A pair of Iraq War veterans, wounded in body and spirit, they have lost so much in the course of their service ... but they have also gained much of what they will need to see an increasingly-complex, increasingly-dangerous case to the end

I say 'complex' ... perhaps 'bizarre' might be more appropriate at times. More than once, I was reminded of the fiction of Arturo Pérez-Reverte as our protagonists must deal with the something that may be more than charade or showmanship, but may actually be supernatural.

If I have a complaint, it may be that there is too much of a good thing ... to many plot lines, too many characters, too many back stories and flashbacks to the war, too much time taken to get to the story's conclusion.

My recommendation? Read every page, start to finish ... go ahead and speculate about what awaits you down that path, before you arrive at the denouement ... and enjoy the journey whether you're right or wrong about the final destination.


NOTE: I received a copy of this work through LibraryThing in exchange for a review. ( )
  JeffMcDonald | Jun 6, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this as a free book. It sounded like something I would like. It has veterans and detectives, so what's not to like. For some reason I just couldn't get into the story. But give it a try, you might like it. ( )
  djchase | May 5, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Just finished reading Purple Heart Detectve Agency by Rock Neelly, an Early Reviewer Book from Librarything. I enjoyed reading this novel as I'm sure most will, however, this just isn't my cup of tea. I found it very hard to get into with so much of the going back and forth in time. I don't recap these books when reviewing because the Author can do that much better than I can. I prefer other and surprising. I think men would enjoy this book more than a lot of women. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review this book. ( )
  Aileen3403 | Apr 19, 2015 |
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“What do wounded warriors do when they return from war missing a leg or two? These tough guys start The Purple Heart Detective Agency. Using battle-tested skills, laughing all the way, when others have turned their backs, these sleuths solve mysteries. Rock Neelly’s novel is easy to pick-up, hard to put down.”
- Robert Beattie, author of Nightmare in Wichita: Hunt for the BTK Strangler

“Rock Neelly hands the reader well-defined, believable characters, caught up in a deft blend of old-school detective noir and modern technology.” 
- Brian Dobbins, author of The Witch’s Cartel and Corryville

The sudden disappearance of a magician isn’t usually cause for alarm, but it’s a different story when the disappearance isn’t part of the act.

Clay and Roddy are two war veterans – both amputees - trying to rebuild their shattered lives through their struggling Purple Heart Detective Agency. Then the beautiful Angela Thayer enters the picture, asking for their help in finding her missing friend and employer, Trevor Baker – stage name, Merlyn the Magician. The high profile case promises to jumpstart their careers…until the search leads to betrayal, intrigue and mind control. And then the murders begin...

A hard-boiled detective story of murder and mayhem, a war story of pathos and survival, an action story of intrigue and violence, a love story of abandon and betrayal, a stick in the eye of the entertainment industry, wry social commentary on how America treats its veterans of war, but mostly a rousing tale of brotherhood in war and beyond. 

And of course, a foul-mouthed monkey named Jerry.
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