AMAZON reviews of "HIDE&SEEK," a Jack Crocker/Jimmy McGuire mystery:
--This is one of those "I must finish it tonight" books. This thriller, with its twists and turns, kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. Having been married to two Vietnam vets (not at the same time) who self-medicated PTSD with alcohol helped to suck me in. The relationship of the protagonists kept me turning pages to see what came next. (MJ, Oregon)
--Bring a lunch when you sit down to read Ralph Langer's new novel, "Hide&Seek." You won't want to put this story down until all the moving parts have stopped--or at least escaped the threat and the trauma. This tale focuses on Jack Crocker, a vet whose PTSD has brought him to his knees, and his nephew, Jimmy McGuire, who also knows the effects of war. These are compelling characters from the get-go. When they start a detective agency in Dallas and actually get some clients, they already have you hooked.
Langer weaves tension, suspense, anguish and ingenuity through these pages with a surprising constant: wit. Even in the poignant scenes and the cliff-hanging, Jack Crocker sees the situation through a vivid and clever lens. The plot and the characters carry you page after page; the humor makes you glad you're taking the ride.
Langer's profound first novel, "Personal Verdict," was an equally good read, and its central quandary stays lodged in a reader's mind. "Hide&Seek" is about hate and heroism, redemption and love. It's the characters this time who will take up residence in your head. (Joann Byrd, Seattle, WA.)
I received this book as a gift, and put off reading it until I had finished some other books. Once I started "Hide&Seek," I was hooked. The dialogue is smart and funny and the characters are well drawn-I found myself caring for them far more than in many other mysteries I've read recently.
It's good to know this is only the first in what promises to be an interesting and entertaining series. Go Jack! Go Jimmy! Go Ralph! (Kate, Livingston, MT.)
AMAZON reviews of "PERSONAL VERDICT," a Civil Rights era novel.
--It is most rewarding to come across a book that is not only engrossing to read, but also carries such a deep emotional charge....At first I thought it was going to be a boy-meets-girl sort of novel: the furthest from that! The story draws you in, and I could not put it down.
To me, the mark of a great book is how much you become a part of the drama. Having grown up in the civil rights era, this book has left an indelible impression of the moral and ethical dilemmas of those times. Highly recommended. (Deborah Erdman, Livingston, MT)
This book asks all the right questions as the characters pull readers into the dark corners of 1960s racial strife. Strong characterization. Silky smooth writing. A powerful novel that could be written only by someone who stood in the fray and asked Why?(Carol McClain Craver (Dallas, Tx)
One of the best books I have read this year. Personal Verdict is a compelling story set in the early 1960s. For those that remember and those that don't will see an insight of what life was like living with racism. 'This is a well-written book and leaves you wanting more. The charcters are real and you can relate to them in their fight for civil rights. (Marsha L. Thomas Rockwall, Tx.)
(Kirkus review of "Personal Verdict" is available at KirkusReviews.com)