Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Angel Lost by F.M. Meredith

The Rocky Bluff P.D. is back with the latest book in this mystery/crime series, Angel Lost, by F.M. Meredith.

Vice Officer Stacey Wilbur is having trouble keeping the thoughts of her upcoming wedding at bay while at work. Between her job and all the wedding plans, she hasn't had much time to spend with her fiancé, Detective Doug Milligan. Then comes a new case, a flasher showing himself off to women jogging along the beach. Stacey decides to set herself up as bait, and Doug is less than happy about it.

Vaughn Aragon has recently transferred to the Rocky Bluff P.D. from L.A. He says he is looking for a slower lifestyle, but his strange behavior makes some of his fellow officers suspicious.

Abel Navarro has trouble concentrating on his work when his mother begins to show signs of Alzheimer's. One forgotten memo could put an officer's life on the line.

When a mysterious angel appears in the window of a local furniture store, not everyone is sure what to make of it. Is it real? Is it a hoax? One thing's for sure, it means members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. will be working crowd control until the excitement dies down.

The lives of the Rocky Bluff P.D. are never boring.

I began reading the Rocky Bluff P.D. series when Smell of Death came out. That was prior to my working with Marilyn Meredith (also writing under the name F.M. Meredith), to promote her Deputy Tempe Crabtree and Rocky Bluff P.D. books. What I picked up right away on with this series, is that Meredith focused on showing how the personal lives of the members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. are impacted by their jobs. From divorces, to deaths, to marriages, and everything in between, a career in law enforcement means you don't leave your job at the door when you come home.

With Angel Lost, it appears the author decided to concentrate more on the personal lives of her characters than their jobs. Not that there isn't a lot going on at the Rocky Bluff P.D.--there is--it's just that we have Stacey and Doug's upcoming wedding, Gordon Butler (my favorite) planning to move out of Doug's house so that Stacey and her son Davey can move in after the wedding, and Abel's mother developing signs of Alzheimer's. The appearance of the angel in the furniture store window is also something I consider more personal, as Barbara and Ryan Strickland are a bit divided over if it's real or not.

After I read Smell of Death in 2008, I purchased and read all the previous books in the series:

Final Respects
Bad Tidings
Fringe Benefits

I believe the first book I represented through Pump Up Up Book was No Sanctuary, followed by An Axe to Grind. The series has changed publishers since the beginning, so some books are only available through the author's website.

Upon considering Angel Lost against the previous books in the series, I felt it wasn't as edgy as the others. The crimes, though many, didn't hold as much of an element of danger as I have come to expect from the Rocky Bluff P.D. books. While I still enjoyed watching the further development of characters I've grown to love, I kind of was hoping for a major gruesome murder. Does that make me a sick individual?

I was glad to see the addition of Vaughn Aragon to the force. He quickly became a favorite. I hope we see more of him in future books. I'm also hoping my other favorite, Gordon, gets a book that focuses mostly on him. A lot of what he gets into brings comic relief, but you have to like a guy who attracts nothing but bad luck and odd cases.

With Angel Lost, Meredith continues to do what she does best:  provide an entertaining story that draws you in and takes hold of you until the very last word. In addition, all these books, while part of a series, are excellent stand-alone novels. This book, like the others, left me eager for more of the members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. It's a good thing I know 2012 will bring the next book. I'm not sure I could wait patiently otherwise.

Title:  Angel Lost
Author:  F.M. Meredith
Publisher:  Dark Oak Mysteries
ISBN-10: 1610090055
ISBN-13: 978-1610090056

SRP:  $12.95

The author paid a fee to promote her book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book! This fee did not include a favorable review. I received no monetary compensation for this review, which contains my honest opinions of the book. An e-Copy of the book was provided free of charge by the author.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Sorry there's no big murder in this one--yep, there were plenty but all off scene and before the book began. I had a great time writing this book despite no blood and gore.

You'll be happy to know the next one in the series, 2012, focuses on Gordon Butler.

Cheryl said...

That's okay Marilyn, we can't have too many people dying in one community. You might have to move Stacey and Doug to a new location. LOL!

I was hoping Gordon was coming up soon. Doing my happy dance.

Holli said...

I am one of those who loves gory crimes, the more the merrier, but I thought this book was perfect without them. The danger and suspense elements were even more heightened to me, especially with the last kidnapping, which I won't say anything else about to avoid spoilers. I liked the slight supernatural edge in this book as well, particularly that whether you think it WAS supernatural or not is subject to your own interpretation. (BTW, I believed it was supernatural).

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I know that I have fans who don't really like too much blood and gore--but I had no intention of soft-pedaling, that's just the way the book went.

Through the years, I think I might have mellowed some though I still love reading about gory crimes.

And Holli, you got it, the angel came for a reason.


Cheryl said...

I hope I didn't give you the impression that I didn't like it, because I did. It's just different from the other books in that respect. Put it up against the crimes in Smell of Death or An Axe to Grind, and it's got a different feel to it; though all the important elements are still there.

Holli, I think it's interesting that you found the suspense more heightened in this book. Every day readers prove how subjective reading is.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments and what a difference in readers. I don't read slash and rip books, don't read books with gory murders, serial killers, child molesters, rapists and other sickos. One of the reasons I like Marilyn's books is that she tells a good story without all that gore. I enjoy the Rocky Bluff series but my favorite is still the Tempe Crabtree series because of the local Indian angle. I lived about 60 miles from Marilyn for many years so the location of those books really rings a bell with me.

Pat Browning

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

No, i know you liked it Cheryl and I know it's different. When you're writing a series, you want to do something different in each one.

Pat, the earlier books in the series are a lot edgier--I think because I was much younger when I actually wrote those. The peril of losing publishers in between books making a lot of time lapse.


Michelle V said...

I confess, I also love a great messy crime scene! LOL! I still am hoping to get a chance to read this series. I haven't had a chance to read any of them yet, but I'm hoping to.

Michelle V

Ellen said...

Wow this sounds like a great series. I need to check it out. Thanks!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Ellen and Michelle I hope you do try the Rocky Bluff P.D. series one of these days, that would be great.


April said...

I so love this series and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this latest one! Marilyn is such an awesome and gifted writer!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, April, I've had so much fun reading everyone's comments about the book and the review.

Cheryl, I bet you never thought you'd create such a stir.


WS Gager said...

As an author, some times you have to go with where the writing takes you. Marilyn is a master at changing things up but keeping the characters true. A writer thinks she is doing the story but a lot of times the characters are the ones that take over and demand to be heard. In Angel Lost it sounds like Stacey had a lot to get off her chest and I for one can't wait to start reading.

W.S. Gager

Rebecca Camarena said...

Great book, Marilyn. I will catch you later at my blogs during your tour. Cheryl, I love your latest background.

Cindy Sample said...

Meredith, interesting review and wonderful comments. I too prefer my dead bodies far far off screen. I really enjoy mysteries where the characters are well fleshed out and I can become enmeshed in their personal stories. I'm going to have to track down the early books in this series.

Cheryl said...

So glad you all stopped by. Great comments from everyone.

No, Marilyn, I didn't think I would start off the tour with a bit of controversy. I like that you're not afraid to try new things. I can't wait to read more about Gordon in the next book.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

First off, Cheryl, I think this has been fun, nothing like a lively discussion.

Hi Wendy, thanks for stopping by and jumping in on this.

Cindy, sometimes the dead boy is right in the first scene as in an Axe to Grind. I just write what I think should be in the book.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and adding your two cents. And Cheryl, I loved the review and thanks for hosting me.

Tribute Books Mama said...

must read this series, thanks for sharing this.

jennymilch said...

Again, what a beautiful cover, Marilyn, and wow--what a beautiful blog The Book Connection is!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks to all of you who commented. I really enjoyed this.