Day: January 4, 2015

Review of ‘Porter’s Fortune’

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Samuel Dean Porter Jr., who at the age of 18 shortened his name to Sam Dean, is a man with silk sensibilities who was born into a flannel family. In order to be true to his high standards, he had to distance himself from his family, which included an abusive father, a distant mother, and a younger brother, George, who he alternated between taking care of and being intensely jealous of.

When George, who prefers being called simply ‘Porter’, is hired by famous ‘scream’ actress Desirae Strand to work in a new TV series being filmed by wannabe TV producer Buck Phelim, sibling rivalry becomes deadly. Porter, who moves to the west coast from their home in Buffalo and is on the verge of becoming famous, threatens Sam’s cozy life as a top chef and noted interior designer on the east coast, driving him to the limits because of his fear that Porter might divulge a secret that he’s gone to great lengths to keep hidden.

Porter’s Fortune by Wyborn Senna is a chilling look at the darkness of sibling rivalry and abuse that is impossible to put down once you start reading. Senna takes the reader on a tour of the tortured minds of people who most of the time seem to be out of their minds. I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my review, and once I finished it, I found myself wanting to read more by this author – a master at keeping the reader on the edge of the seat wondering what will happen next.

If I could, I’d give it six stars, but I’ll have to be satisfied with just five.

Review of ‘Stiff Arm Steal’

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BJ Baker is a retired pro football player who has become wealthy and influential in Palm Beach, Florida. So, when someone steals his Heisman Trophy, he uses his pull to get the PBPD and the county sheriff’s department to investigate. For good measure, he hires former pro athlete turned PI Miami Jones and his friends to help get his trophy back. Jones teams up with sheriff’s deputy Danielle Castle in what both view as a waste of resources that could be better used helping people in real need, until more Heisman’s start getting snatched. The more they dig into the incidents the more confusing and potentially dangerous it becomes.

I received a free review copy of A.J. Stewart’s Stiff Arm Steal, another in his Miami Jones mystery series. Stewart, who writes in a style reminiscent of Elmore Leonard – who also set  his stories in Florida – does a masterful job of leading readers down many false trails before zigging back and zeroing in on the real culprit. At the risk of spoiling the story, the thief turns out to be the last person you’d expect it to be. Gritty, and often humorous dialogue will make you laugh at the same time that the absolutely dead-on descriptions of people, places and events will make you cry.

Stewart’s stories are quick reads – as any good mystery should be in my opinion – that always leave you wanting more. A good way to entice you to read the next in the series. I await it anxiously. Four stars for Stiff Arm Steal.