18 October 2016

Review #537: Dead is Dead (Jack Bertolino #3) by John Lansing

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

----Anaïs Nin

John Lansing, an American author, pens a gripping and page turning thriller, Dead is Dead which is the third book in the series, Jack Bertolino that is centered around a retired cop and his new job to protect a popular rising star from her cyber stalker, but things get bit out of hand when a little child is left murdered few blocks away from the studio where the actress is shooting for her film.


From the "pulse pounding" (Kirkus Reviews) writer of TV hit Walker, Texas Ranger comes a riveting Hollywood thriller that will keep you captivated until the shocking conclusion.Retired Inspector Jack Bertolino gets his first taste of the erratic nature of Hollywood when A-list producer, George Litton, options one of Jack's recent cases for a film. Jack is engaged as the film's technical advisor, which stars It Girl Susan Blake. But more importantly, he's on hand to keep a protective eye on Susan, who's being harassed by a disturbing cyber-stalker. But that's not all that starts to turn Jack's world upside-down. When a five-year-old girl is shot dead in her family's living room, just blocks from where the movie is being filmed, Jack realizes there are threads connecting the movie, the murder, a brutal gang of brothers, and a terrifying body count. Will Jack be able to find justice for the young girl and keep Susan safe? Or will this be his last and fatal trip to Hollywood?

The retired cop and the private investigator Jack Bertolino, who has been hired by an A-list director to be an adviser in the film that is inspired from one of Jack's recent cases and also to be a bodyguard for the popular newbie starlet actress who apparently is being stalked by a dangerous. And things get risky as a little girl is left with a bullet in her brain while playing inside her own house, and it makes Jack wonder whether the movie plays any part in the killing of this little child. Moreover, it also makes Jack suspect on whether the actress, Susan is lying about the identity of the stalker. Jack must join the clues together before another innocent victim is claimed on the glamorous yet dark dingy streets of LA.

Well this is the first time that I read anything by the author, John Lansing, and after reading this book, I'm digging badly to read the author's previous books which I bet are equally arresting. What can I say about this fast paced action thriller that gripped my mind right at the very first page and all through its course, I could feel that adrenaline rush inside me to get to the climax of the story line, which is not only unforeseeable but also quite interesting. The story is bound to push its reader to their edges thereby keeping them glued till the turn of the very last page.

There are double mystery which runs parallely with one another, but never once dominating over the another, so the readers can feel that balance between the two mysteries, where one is the revolved around the little girl's killer, that the readers are aware about the killer's identity but not Jack, and the other where neither Jack nor the readers are aware or have any clue about the stalker's identity, so both the mysteries will keep the readers anticipating till the very end. And not to mention there are tons of intense and juicy drama surrounding Jack, his new sexual partner, Susan and his ex-wife, Jeannie, that spice up this already intensified crime thriller.

The author's writing style is robust and articulate that will help the readers to comprehend not only with the story line, but also with the attached emotions in each and every scene. The narrative is highly intriguing that will keep the readers guessing until the next twist comes and hits them right on their face. The pacing is really fast, as one layer after another keeps unraveling midst of so many unpredictable twists and turns, so there's not a moment to take a breath for the readers as the author keeps building this puzzle with his smart imaginative skills.

The characters are extremely well developed and are dynamic with enough realism in their demeanor to make them look believable in the eyes of the readers. The main character, Jack, is a brave and sharp detective with an ability to crack up a sarcastic remark about his single life will make the readers fall for him. The one thing that took me by surprise is that this character has no gray shades to this character to challenge the readers with his attitude. Whereas there are some supporting characters which are depicted with lots of flaws and shades that make them look interesting in the eyes of the readers.

In a nutshell, this is a captivating and completely heart throbbing tale with lots of actions, drama, scandals and murder that is perfect for the fans of crime thrillers, and not to mention, there's enough Hollywood drama to turn this thriller into something spicy.

Verdict: Take a wild ride to the tinsel town where murder and stalking play a central role in this compelling and edgy thriller.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, John Lansing, for giving me the opportunity to read and review his book.

Author Info:
John Lansing, started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of "Grease," before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
John closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas' "More American Graffiti," and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced "Walker Texas Ranger," co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series "Scoundrels."
John's first book was "Good Cop Bad Money," a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
"The Devil's Necktie," his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a best seller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre.
Lansing’s newest release is the short story, “The Test,” a coming of age tale set on Long Island in 1963 that deals with race, violence, social politics, and young love.
Jack Bertolino returns in John's latest novel, "Dead Is Dead," the third book in his detective series.
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.
Visit him here

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