Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Police Procedural Review: Mick Charger: Murder by Cop by J. Atencio

Mick Charger - Murder by Cop
by J. Atencio 

Mick Charger, former Navy SEAL and homicide inspector had it all until a crushing back injury ended his career with the S.F.P.D.. Mick felt like "half a man" until he was offered and accepted a semi-retirement position as Sheriff of Alpine Ridge, a bucolic community on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Life was returning to normal for Mick until he learned he was working for the mob.

The head boss thought Mick would be easy to corrupt because he was disabled. They wanted a "dirty cop". When Mick refused the gangster's offer, they kidnapped his family.

Now it's a life or death race for Mick to rescue his family and shut down the mob before the mob shuts him down... permanently. They wanted a dirty cop. Mick is about to show them how dirty he can be. Mick Charger has declared war on the mob and South Lake Tahoe is Ground Zero...

My Review:
Mick Charger-Murder by Cop is a combination of police procedural, mystery/thriller, and even paranormal near the end. Mick’s a guy going through major changes after a bust goes wrong. Add in troubles with women, a new employer with a secret agenda, and a new department in need of some shaping up and he’s got his work cut out for him.

I thought the scenes with the bad guys were the best in the book. The meeting between Mick’s friend and the informant. The courier’s downfall. Both were really well done. I think if anything, these show the promise in this author’s writing. I also enjoyed the insight into police work and Mick’s no nonsense approach to shaping up his new sheriff’s office. Another thing I liked, despite it being a huge tangent off the main story, was the black widow mystery.

On the other hand, there were some significant issues with the book. First among these were the inconsistencies. Mick’s wife’s name changes back and forth for no reason. I could see it if Mick called her Laynie in dialog but the narration and other folks kept to Elaine, but it swaps constantly. There were also some minor hiccups, as with the badge being sent to Mick, then him not having a badge, then him going shopping with his wife to pick out a badge, which happens to be described exactly like the badge he was sent.

I thought the dialog was alright, but the punctuation around it and the tendency to announce the speaker’s conclusion right before they state it aloud to the other characters pulled it down. On a similar note, I noticed several places where something happens, then rewind, it happens again. The story is good, the characters interesting, but this book really needs a solid edit, and a lot of tightening of the plot.

So, overall, I’d say this is an ok read. I liked it, but I’d have trouble recommending it outright until it’s tightened up. That being said, if you don’t care whether a book’s rough, and you like police stories, you might like it.

I purchased this book while it was on a free promotion.

Books by this Author: