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A Killing Frost PB Paperback – Sep 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410401316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410401311
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 327 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,148,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Police officer and short story writer Michael A. Black likewise brings authenticity to A Killing Frost: A Ron Shade Novel. A search for a missing fiance, who turns up floating dead in a canal, leads Chicago PI Ron Shade into far more trouble than he bargained for in this assured debut in the classic hard-boiled tradition, which boasts blurbs from Sara Paretsky and Andrew Vachss.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This intriguing first mystery by a police officer features Ron Shade, a Chicago-area tough-guy P.I. and martial arts aficionado. Looking for Carlos, an illegal immigrant gone missing, Ron hears conflicting stories from his shifty-eyed bosses and the other illegal immigrants with whom Carlos toils at dangerous tasks. The scene predictably shifts to murder, complicating Ron's employment, training for a kick-boxing match, and romantic agendas. Black's steadily engaging narrative and frequent action make this essential for fans of hard-boiled detective fiction.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By "tsm224" on Jan. 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
Black is a confident writer with a take charge attitude. He doesn't waste too many pages setting up his characters, explaining their relationships to each other or any subtle clues on when or where the mystery will occur. Instead he gives us a character who is original yet funny but has had his share of bad luck. Ron grew up in Chicago and had a rough childhood. An older cop took him under his wing and convinced to serve in the army. Upon his return he joined the men in blue in protecting the rough streets of Chicago while on duty one day something goes wrong and he is no longer a cop. The author hasn't fully told this story but his friends are sympathetic to him as he begins a career as a private detective. While all this is going on, he is also working out for a fight in the ring where boxing and kick boxing is combined into an event. His current case is for an old friend who is trying to locate a missing fiancee. As Ron works the case, he learns that Carlos uncovered a dirty secret for the company he was employed. Black uses an old plot of a company doing deceitful things and hiding under dummy corporation to fly under the radar of the government. The originality comes from the way Black uses action to propel the plot to the end. I figured
out early on what the secret was but by that time I wanted to see how Ron would figure it all out. And Ron works hard to apprehend the persons in the company he rubs the investigator on the case the wrong way and ends up solving the case his way. If you like Myron ( Harlan Coben ) or Elvis ( Robert Crais) or even Patrick ( Dennis Lehane) give this new author a chance. He will be a master storyteller like Connelly soon.
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By Michael Major on Nov. 20 2002
Format: Hardcover
You know how it goes: most times when a friend or relative or coworker raves about a new book (or movie or TV show), it doesn't add up to the expectations built up around all the hype. But sometimes it is as good as you've heard, and it's those special times that keep you going back for more, searching the new talent pool that will amaze and delight you. A KILLING FROST by Michael A. Black is one of those even rarer treats, a book that's even BETTER than you've heard.
Simply put: I couldn't put the book down. Will Private Eye Ron Shade discover what happened to Carlos? Will the relationship with Maria blossom into something more? Will Shade regain his kickboxing title? And will Shade survive the breathtaking climax to reveal the murderous political corruption underlying everything about Space Oddities? The plots and subplots are woven so seamlessly and intricately that it simply isn't possible to set the book aside without wondering what will happen next. And so you find yourself saying, "Oh, I'll just read one more chapter," until you suddenly realize you've read the whole thing. It's that good.
One of my favorite things about the novel is Shade's relationship with Maria. I can't tell you how tired I am of reading PI novels where the "dolls" exist only to gush "My hero" or the sexy dame turns out to be the true murderer. Black sweeps all that silliness aside by showing Maria as a complex woman with her own identity and life. Their relationship is wonderfully romantic while still being true to each of their own issues and concerns of real life.
Best of all, Black reminds us that a car is just a car and a kickboxing title is just a title, but making the best of what you have and being true to yourself and your ideals in the search for truth and justice is what truly makes a man. And when all is said and done, the only question remaining at the end of the novel is: "When's the next one coming out?!"
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Format: Hardcover
I so wanted to like this book. It is the fulfillment of author Black's long-time dream of being published. However, while the writing is good, the first third of the book is the strongest part. The gears (like the hero's borrowed "beater" car) start grinding in the second third, and the final segment just peters out--despite a big-bang climactic warehouse scene.
One of the major problems I had was with hero Shade's romantic interest, Maria. She comes across as so stereotyped, so unbelievable, so lacking in any real depth that she's simply not viable as an adult female. As well, Shade's interaction with her and the descriptions of their exchanges (of one sort or another) are positively sophomoric and read more like a teenage boy's diary than a believable relationship.
Most of the males in the book sound alike; they speak the same ungrammatical lingo. There's more material on kickboxing than the narrative can handle, and the truth behind the death of illegal alien Carlos is so obvious that there are absolutely no surprises. Shade comes across as a bit dense and far younger than his supposed age of thirty.
On the plus side, there's some nice material about Shade's feelings for stray animals, and a number of scenes have great tension. Unfortunately, there's just not enough meat here to make for a satisfying meal.
The author is worth watching in the hope that the next book (assuming this to be the start of a series) will put some of his long-term police experience and understanding to good use in a more deeply felt, less mechanical effort that features grown-up people dealing in a more realistic fashion with issues more compelling than kickboxing championships and the loss of an uninsured set of upscale wheels.
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