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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Noah's Rainy Day

Noah’s Rainy Day: A Liv Bergen Mystery (Crime Drama)
By Sandra Brannan
Green Leaf Book Press
ISBN #978-1626340176
386 Pages Price $14.95
Rating 5-Stars

“A Liv Bergen Adventure”

The five-year old son of a multimillionaire is kidnapped from the Denver International Airport, and the FBI and Denver’s chief of police are on the case. The father had contacted the FBI Director forcing him to put Liv Bergen in charge of the investigation, as he had once dated Liv’s sister. However, the Director assigns the job to Agent Streeter, but with Liv on the detail. While the investigators set up a command post at DIA, the kidnapper is actually living next door to Liv’s sister. Noah, Liv’s nephew sees the missing child but has trouble bringing it to anyone's attention because of cerebral palsy. The kidnapper, thinking Noah may reveal everything, kidnaps him also.

As a Liv Bergen adventure, it is tops, and I loved it. However it isn’t truly a mystery. The readers know who the kidnapper is from the start. Plus, the police procedural is a travesty. I have several problems with it: there is too much repeating of information, which is unnecessary for the reader. Please don’t pound the stuff in our head over and over, once or twice should be enough. The FBI and police officials need to know real interrogation and questioning technics. They reminded me of 1930s rubber hose cops. Nothing was done right. And did the chief of police really call out the National Guard? Really? And the chief of police would never bully the manager of the DIA. His lawyers would have walked all over him, the mayor, and police commissioner. The chief would have been placed on administrative leave for his actions. Where did these law enforcement people get their training? Gee …

The fact that so far all four novels have directly or indirectly involved Liv’s family or associates was okay when she was an independent investigator, but becomes a bit tried and tired now. She is a full-fledged FBI agent and I hope she will branch out into investigations outside her family and immediate friends. And I don’t think some millionaire could tell the Director of the FBI whom to assign on a case, especially a green agent as head investigator. There is too much delay before they start checking registered sex offenders and pedophiles. Instead they spend all their time at the airport going through massive tons of trash. They waited 24 hours before even considering registered sex offenders! The FBI has a large network of investigators across the country, but everyone has to be brought to the Denver airport from California and New York, causing even more delay? Sandra Brannan is a better plotter than this, and I was disappointed in some aspects of the story. And for crying out loud, have Liv pick one of the men as her boyfriend, this is sounding like a Soap Opera instead of a mystery.

The plot was okay, but the police procedural could have been done better. Because it is fiction, I will accept that everything turns out hunky-dory, and everyone lives happily ever after, but in real life that’s not how things end. Sandra Brannan is a better plotter than this. Still, for those fans of Liv Bergen and the author, if the reader will overlook the flaws, I think they will find an enjoyable read in “Noah’s Rainy Day”. For me it was another great Liv Bergen adventure, despite the problems, and highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

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