Length: 208 pgs / N/A mins audio

Overall: 🐢🐢🐢


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Writing Style:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Character Growth:

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This was a perfect example of the now-frequent problem at the swimming hole… Locals usually try to work things out, while hard-partying tourists tend to do their own thing without much concern for anyone not in their group.”

Liquid Shades of Blue by James Polkinghorn

The Story:

When hungover ex-lawyer and Key West bar owner Jack Girard groggily wakes up one morning, he’s greeted by a beautiful woman lying next to him and a shrill, ringing telephone. Seeing the call is from his father, Claude “The Duke” Girard, Jack answers. Within seconds, he learns that his mother is dead in an apparent suicide, and Jack hits the road, heading back to his childhood home in Miami to face his tyrannical father.

The death of his mother brings up haunting memories from Jack’s past—memories of his brother Bobby’s suicide when they were in college together. Being back in Miami only continues to dredge up his family traumas, but things grow more complicated when The Duke suggests that his estranged wife’s alleged suicide may have been a murder.

As Jack begins to uncover the truth about his mother’s death, including the secret she had revealed to only two people—the same secret Bobby had taken with him to his grave—he finds himself in imminent danger. Can Jack reveal the true story before it’s too late? He has to act quickly, or he fears he may be the victim of the next Girard family tragedy.

Key Elements:

Thriller, Family, Florida, Murder, Victim, Legal Thriller, Death, Suicide, Lawyer, Drinking

Why This Rating?

I was given the opportunity to read this as an ARC in exchange for a voluntary honest review.

I really liked how this story started with the glimpse into the mystery happening in action and the dropping you into Jack waking up to a hangover, no memories of evening before, and with someone in bed with him. Talk about a strong kick off for the readers! You are kept in a fast pace feel as Jack is swept along the memories and emotions that his late-mother’s suicide is stirring up. Not to mention he is having to come face to face with his father, The Duke, after years of little to no communication with the man. And can we just take a moment to acknowledge that Jack address his father as The Duke?!? If that doesn’t speak for the level of power this man gives off and the total “don’t F with me” vibes, I don’t know what does. I guess it does help that he is a lawyer known to play in the court room like a shark.

All of this lead to a very interesting plot to follow along with in the book. The mystery kept you on your toes for sure! Loved the way Jack’s Eureka moment hit him at the end. He was such a down to earth kind of character. Even though a ton of shit has happened to him, he is just trying to carve a little bit of the space for himself and what makes him happy. But I felt like the writing was a little rough around the edges.

There are a lot of moments throughout the story where the author is giving us a ton of background information. Whether it be character development scenes or times to give the reader a little bit of an insight, you are definitely not missing out on any information. And when usually that is a fantastic thing, there is a thing of a little too much. It is a little more engaging for a reader to interrupt or provide a few details themselves. While reading, I felt a bit like I was being lead around into these different scenes and given everything very quickly and very little left for my own imagination to engage in it.

Also, we are given all of these info dumps as thoughts or stray flashbacks. If a few more of these were twisted into conversations or brought to mind by something engaging Jack, I think there would have been more useful story movements. Instead, we get a few long car rides with Jack reminiscing on the past. This isn’t me saying that it is bad writing! I thought the story was written quite well. But some different style choices on presenting background growth and allowing the reader to create a little something in the story would have brought me even farther into this gorgeous world.

I think you guys are going to enjoy this story if you give it a try! It was a perfect goldilocks story for me. A few parts that were a little hot and cold on the Nailed It scale and a lot of it I quite enjoyed reading. You get to take a trip down to Florida and dive through Jack’s life and relationships as he works through the recent death of his mother. With this being a thriller with questions of “Who Dunnit” popping up all over the place, I’ve got one question for you: Can you figure it out before the final pages revel the truth?

Time to get lost in the next story!

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