Det. Roland March is a homicide cop on his way out. But when he's the only one at a crime scene to find evidence of a missing female victim, he's given one last chance to prove himself. Before he can crack the case, he's transferred to a new one that has grabbed the spotlight--the disappearance of a famous Houston evangelist's teen daughter. With the help of a youth pastor with a guilty conscience who navigates the world of church and faith, March is determined to find the missing girls while proving he's still one of Houston's best detectives.
Average Customer Rating:
(30 Reviews) 30
Rating Snapshot(30 reviews)
14 out of 1593%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
In this book, Detective Roland March returns to active cases in homicide, and begins to move past the traumatic event that distracted him from being a good cop and turned him away from God. As March tells his story, he weaves in details from his past as it relates to his current investigations. The book was so good, I had trouble putting it down when I had to go back to work after my lunch break. If you love crime dramas on TV, you will love this book!
Roland March just wants to be back on murder, away from these ridiculous special assignments that his superiors are giving him left and right. Well, they call them special assignments, he calls it farming him out. They don't want him around any more and he can feel it. He knows he isn't doing the top notch homicide work he used to, and the reputation he had earned and then lost is haunting him. He wishes he had never agreed to let his biggest case become the subject of a true crime novel, a novel about him at his best, and now everyone is seeing Roland March at his worst. He used to be the top homicide detective on Houston PD, now he is the "suicide cop" and works the hated "cars for criminals" detail. And it is September. Roland has not had a good September for seven years. Not since the tragedy happened. This September is worse than ever. His wife Charlotte is distant and dealing with the past by putting herself in a near coma with her sleeping pills, and Roland doesn't know how to help her. To add insult to injury, he has a weird tenant named Tommy living in his garage apartment. Tommy, who throws parties at all hours and leaves beer bottles around the back yard, making Charlotte miserable. But hey, Tommy's dad pays the rent every month!
When Roland responds to a house of dead bodies, he finds the up and coming HPD stars like Lorenz want to take the lead in the case. However, Neither Lorenz or any of the others notice a key piece of evidence. Roland does. This evidence is shouting that there was another body in the room, and the shooters took the body with them. Roland March will be allowed Back On Murder, as long as he lets Lorenz lead. Roland sets out to find the body and the shooters, uncover the motive and solve this strange case. Lorenz does not believe those are leads worth pursuing. That isn't going to stop Roland. Before Roland can do some of his outside the lines detective work, he has to finish up one last "cars for criminals" detail. When Roland corners two men in the hallway as they try to sneak out (apparently realizing that they aren't here to win a hybrid car) one of them turns himself in as a police informant. He has no outstanding warrants, and so Roland lets him go.
Now, back to murder, he thinks. But not quite. It turns out that Roland has a lot more "special assignments" to complete for this case to be solved.
As in every good mystery, it is an unlikely group who becomes the heroes and the people you suspect are not the suspects.
Prepare to grow attached to the characters as you storm apartment buildings with them, and dive for cover and return fire when the shooting starts. Be ready to cheer when unexpected people do heroic things, and to be left shocked and saddened by the way the case ends.
I downloaded this book free from Christianbook.com free ebooks page. There are two sequels, Pattern of Wounds and Nothing to Hide.
I don't normally read much by men authors, but this book was loaned to me to read. Even though it is written in the first person, it was written very well that way. The story drew me right in and didn't let go. I finished it in a weekend. I found a new author and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
This is a wonderful book. The author has created a realistic view of the police, politics and the cost of doing the "right" thing. You will enjoy it, I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. to finish it. A keeper.
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Review 6 for Back on Murder - eBook
Could hardly put it down.
Date:August 4, 2011
It was really strong not to give up when you believe something no matter the odds or opinions against you. Really terrific story line.
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Review 7 for Back on Murder - eBook
Date:August 2, 2011
I found this book to be very slow. I got this one free. Glad I did.
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Review 8 for Back on Murder - eBook
Great read on a dark, stormy night!
Date:July 26, 2011
I like my murders dark and vivid. Well written with twists not anticipated. Wonderful to read a police story without the ugly language.
When I first started this book I honestly wasn't sure I would like it because it is written in first person. From my previous experience with first person, most of the time it is annoying and difficult to read. However, I picked this book up because it was written by a former Houstonian and included such events as Hurricane Katrina. Local fiction stories always interest me.
"Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details...until an unexpected break gives March one last change to save his career. And his humanity. All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life." (back cover of book)
Though I wasn't sure of the first person read when I first picked up the book, the story line quickly drew me in and made it worth the read. Because I live a few hours from Houston and frequently visit the city, I was able to picture several locations very easily. The story went along at a pretty quick pace which kept me interested. I like how the author, J. Mark Bertrand, dealt out small background details here and there until toward the end of the book where the full picture is revealed. This helps keep a reader intrigued about the main characters.
This book was also extremely realistic in my opinion. It is something that could, and does, happen every single day. I found myself identifying with several different characters as I imagined what they were going through as they searched for this missing girl.
So what's the verdict you ask? Well, it's a MUST READ of course!
I am almost finished with this one and so far it is intriguing and has kept my interest. I needed some books to keep me busy while my daughter goes to Tae Kwon Do lessons. I love criminal mysteries. I'm glad I picked this one.
My husband and I have enjoyed reading Christian mystery novels for years (started with Peretti, read all of Ted Dekker's work and now Erin Healey, too). We read them aloud together. We were going on a trip recently and needed a good read. My husband picked up "Back on Murder" and we loved it. Bertrand has a wonderful writing style which really held our interest. His writing demonstrates advanced knowledge of the criminal investigation field, making the story quite believable. The protagonist is a likeable character who demonstrates intelligence, wit and self awareness. We also appreciated that while there are Christian characters and values included in the story, it is done subtly and the reader is not "hit over the head" with it, so it does not come across as stilted or preachy. We would highly recommend this book to anyone, and have already pre-ordered Bertrand's next novel!
What do you do with a trouble-maker who also happens to be a cop? J. Mark Bertrand explores the question in his new release, Back on Murder.
Homicide detective Roland March used to be the go-to guy when you wanted results, but a personal tragedy colors everything else in his life now, causing him to fall from grace with his superiors and fellow officers. Passed from one superior to another in a real-life game of “hot potato”, March finally lands one more chance to catch a killer. Success means entry back into the ranks as a contributing detective and the security of a future. Failure will undoubtedly cost him his career, his sanity, and perhaps his life.
The twists and turns of this mystery will keep you turning pages wondering what’s to become f March, his marriage, his investigation, and his safety.
Bertrand allows the reader a glimpse into the politics and personalities of big-city crime fighting. When the detective feels a personal connection to a case or when a case sticks in his gut, the opportunity for failure is a non-option. When lives are involved, police work isn’t just a job. An engaging read that will keep you guessing until the end, pulling for March to succeed in his professional and personal lives. A new series sure to delight readers of crime novels and mysteries alike.
My brother-in-law who was in law inforcement for over twenty-five years read, Back on Murder, and loved it. He said the man who wrote the book had to of either been in law inforcement, or either knew someone who was, or he really did his homework. I totally agree. Back on Murder, was so well executed and so interesting I had a hard time putting it down. If you like crime scene novels, you'll love this one.
I almost passed up this book because my July was crowded already and J. Mark Bertrand is a fairly new writer, but I really liked the book that he and Deeanne Gist wrote together so I thought, I'll give it a go... I'm so glad I did! He has created an amazing character in Roland March, a homicide detective who's lucky streak has ended and he is basically out on his ear, and built up a cast of characters around him that really accentuate his strengths and weaknesses well. The story is engaging and weaves mystery, murder and relationships all into one book. I was very impressed as I followed the story and found myself reluctant to see it all end. Looking forward to seeing Roland March become a regular.
If you like solving mysteries and pride yourself in your ability to answer it early in the book, this book is for you. Mark Bertrand weaves the clues and hints in and out with such skill that you will find it quite the challenge to solve the mystery. It even appears like there is more than one mystery to solve. The character of Roland March is a gloriously flawed policeman down on his luck. This case is his last chance. It will either redeem him or undo him, his marriage, his entire life. And the readers will root for him from the start but are never sure if he is going to make it. Read the book to find out, you will be glad you did.
Back on Murder (Roland March Mysteries) was one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time, and that includes both Christian and non-Christian fiction. I believe I read it in the span of 24 hours? It's gritty. It's raw. And the story and it's characters come across as totally real. Houston homicide detective Roland March is great at what he does. He may have fallen from glory, but he still knows how to get in there and doggedly track down the answers - following every loose trail and analyzing the flaws and motives of every person he comes into contact with, including some intriguing Christian characters.Additionally, Roland March himself is very flawed. Due to the story being written in first person point of view we are blatantly aware of his mental anxieties, his marital problems, his struggles with grief, with work-place politics and his fear that his intuition about this case could be all wrong ... and then he'll feel like he's sinking even deeper into the mud that seems lately to be filling his life.I just can't say enough good things about this book. Some heavy topics are tackled in a very realistic way, but without at all coming across as preachy or providing 'pat' answers. In fact, I get the impression that Roland hasn't decided at all that he wants to model himself after the Christians he has come into contact with during this case ... but you do get the feeling that they have already started making an impression on the way he thinks about them, and about life in general. The ball is rolling, and I can't wait to see where it tumbles next! J. Mark Bertrand has definitely earned a spot on my favorite mystery writer's list! *This book was provided to me by the author for review, but I was under no obligation to post a glowing review. (It's just that good!)
This is follow-up to my initial review when I had read part of the book.I still like some of the word pictures and I still dislike where the word-order in a sentence is confusing. Had to reread to see which of two persons was being referred to.It took effort to get into the story and effort to read through, without skipping back and forth. Some of the book is way too gory and violent, or rather too explicit in the description. I believe the author could have used toned-down-implied-kind of telling? That's just my opinion. The jury is still out on whether I want to keep this book or not. Thus four stars is the best I can do.
Roland March is a Houston homicide detective who seems to be headed out of the force. Hes lost the respect of his fellow officers and doesnt seem to care. But then hes given one last opportunity to prove himself when an evangelists daughter goes missing. His gut tells him her disappearance is tied to recent multiple murders at a drug house, but the facts dont point in that direction. The case becomes personal to him, and he wont back down until he uncovers the truth, regardless of what it costs ... Review ... I love a good crime novel. Michael Connellys Harry Bosch stories are among my favorites. But, in the world of Christian fiction, finding novels that even shadow Connellys quality are rare. J. Mark Bertrand, in his first solo effort (He penned Bequiled with Deeanne Gist), has proven himself more than capable. Hes written an intriguing mystery, one that keeps the reader guessing to the end. He layers it with details that show he understands not only police procedure, but how it affects their thought process and their home life.I look forward to reading more from J. Mark Bertrand and his character, Roland March.
If you like mysteries with multiple homicides, drug dealing, and dirty cops, youll enjoy this book. Its full of twists, turns, dead ends, misplaced suspicions, and hate/love connections between the reader and some of the characters. An upbeat police procedural for the Christian market.