Wednesday, 1 August 2012

One Major Mistake by Starr Gardinier Reina- Review and Excerpt

Title: One Major Mistake
Author: Starr Gardinier Reina
Date Published: 7/10/12

Despite having brought down two major crime families, Pavel’s life is still filled with problems. The two bright things in his world: Teresa Mancini, his fiancĂ©e, who, on a good day, has the ability to bring him to his knees and his daughter Rita Grace, a result of a whirlwind affair before he fell in love with Teresa.

Once again, murder is the prime evil propelling Pavel into his latest case. After the murder of his partner and friend Nick Haxton’s ex-wife Brenda, Pavel leads a team to dethrone Guillermo Diaz, the leader of a drug gang believed to be responsible for Brenda’s death. Detective Danni Stone joins the local agency. Stone knows Diaz on the most intimate of levels, and wants to be present at his demise.

During the investigations, not only does the team grieve with Nick over Brenda’s death, they also deal with the loss of their long-time Assistant Director in Charge Steven Lazlo, who was gunned down in their own backyard. Pavel has a particularly hard time dealing with Lazlo’s death and is determined to hold everyone involved responsible.

As if Pavel can take anymore, Teresa receives a substantially large check from an anonymous benefactor, and insists that Pavel deal with it while she decides how to spend it. But not before she uses her iron-willed determination to find out who the benefactor is even if it means breaking into her attorney’s office looking for answers. Being thrown in jail would stop any ordinary woman, but apparently not Teresa.

Join Pavel as he wades through harrowing situations, suspects aplenty and suspense in this third thrilling installment of the Ivanovich Series.

My Thoughts

The story starts with a dead woman found on the railway tracks. I was immediately drawn into the story. The dead woman is the ex-wife of FBI agent Nick Haxton, Pavel Ivanovich's partner. The woman was shot dead but the injection indicates that she may have overdosed and it looks like a case of drug deal gone bad. Or is it?

Pavel though interested doesn't officially investigate the case. He is investigating the case of Drug lord, Guillermo Diaz . Stone, who has followed him, swears revenge. But does she?

Pavel has lots of problems to deal with along with these cases. Nick is running his own investigation into his ex-wife's death without official sanction. Pavel's new boss is turning into a pain. There seems to be a mole in the department who is giving information to the drug lord. Who is the mole? As if all this is not enough, Teresa is conducting investigation into her new found wealth and constantly asking Pavel to share information on his investigations.

I read it one evening. It is a quick read with lots and lots of dialogue. Teresa is funny, crazy and irritating. I like the way she tries to get her way with Pavel. She thinks she can have her way with everybody. Can she? I like Teresa's idea of trying to be a Private Investigator. Now that this is the final instalment of the Ivanovich series, I wonder if there would be a new Teresa, PI series. I wouldn't say I was surprised at the two big surprises, I kind of knew 'who'. But I didn't expect the final surprise and sudden ending.

Author Bio

A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story "Cut", Reina has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich Series. The first is “In the Name of Revenge”, the second, “Deadly Decisions” and the third, "One Major Mistake" is to be released July 10, 2012. Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works' distinctive voice, making every character stand out.

Reina is the artistic creator of the Ivanovich series featuring Pavel Ivanovich. Flanking Ivanovich's side in "Deadly Decisions" is Teresa Mancini, who vies with Ivanovich for readers' attention. According to J.M. LeDuc, who was "raised in an Italian family", Teresa "is all your characters". Reina is also the author of young adult novella "Cruel Whispers" and its sequel novel "Cruel Past".

Reina is an executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.

She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. Reina is a member of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged the weekend-long event to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Reina has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.

Suspense Magazine

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Shouting in the outer room cut him off. Pavel flung the door open and saw agents ducking beneath their desks, guns drawn. Everyone was yelling.
“Put your weapon down!”
“Let him go!”
It was total pandemonium.
“Shit,” Pavel said quietly. “Guys,” he nodded toward the outer room. “This doesn’t look good.”
Pavel immediately grabbed his weapon, squatted down and slowly made his way into the room toward the nearest desk. He peered over it and saw Lazlo standing in the middle of the room, a man with his arm around his throat, gun aimed at his head. The man was yelling for everyone to throw their weapons down.
“I’ll kill him!”
The man backed toward the door, dragging Lazlo with him. Forensco dashed toward the main room and ducked down behind his desk. The man began shooting wildly. Bullets whistled over the desk in the back where Pavel was crouching.
“Put the weapon down and let’s discuss this,” Pavel yelled to the man.
“Throw your guns down or he dies!”
“I won’t let them hurt you,” Lazlo tried to reassure the man.
“Shut up!” he smacked Lazlo on the side of the head with the butt of the gun.
Pavel noticed that Nick made his way to the edge of the room and the rest of the team dispersed themselves within the room, taking cover behind file cabinets, counters and desks. Pavel looked at Nick and moved his head in the direction of where the man was holding Lazlo. Nick understood his meaning.
“Okay,” Pavel yelled, his heart thundering in his chest. “Everyone do as he says. Slide your weapons to the center of the room.”
He could hear metal clanging against the floor. He glided his gun across the floor with the others and stood up, hands raised, knowing that if it came to that, he still had his backup strapped to his ankle. Sweating now, he stood there hoping the gunman didn’t start shooting at him. He wouldn’t have time to get to his piece. He tried to talk the man down.
“Okay, we’re all unarmed. Let him go,” Pavel told him.
He made eye contact with Lazlo and tried to mentally tell him he would be fine.
Suddenly Agent Forensco stood up in front of Pavel and aimed at the man.
“Let him go!” Forensco yelled.
“Forensco, put it down,” Pavel ordered.
The man appeared startled and nervous. He began waving his gun at Forensco then at Pavel and back at Lazlo. It seemed to Pavel that the gunman was as out of control as the situation was. Forensco ignored Pavel and shot toward the man, barely missing Lazlo. Pavel figured the man reacted out of fear when he shot back at Forensco. He missed. Pavel ducked down, but kept his eyes trained on what was unfolding in front of him. The gunman aimed back at Lazlo’s head and pulled the trigger. Pavel saw his boss crumple to the floor.
“No,” Pavel screamed as an initial reaction.
Almost instantaneously, Nick came around the corner and fired a clean shot to the head of the unknown man, who fell next to Lazlo.
Pavel ran toward Lazlo, yelling for someone to call nine-one-one. Even in his despair, in the back of his mind, he knew it was too late, but he tried all the medical techniques he knew in order to save Lazlo. Nothing worked. A few attempted to pull him away from Lazlo, but Pavel didn’t see who they were. All he could see was that both Lazlo and the crazed man were dead.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review.

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