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Back on Murder: A Roland March Mystery, Book 1 | [J. Mark Bertrand]

Back on Murder: A Roland March Mystery, Book 1

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 chance 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 chance 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.

©2012 J. Mark Bertrand (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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3.7 (192 )
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3.8 (164 )
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Story
3.8 (164 )
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  •  
    Thomas Allen 01-25-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great murder mystery, but why all the preaching?"
    Any additional comments?

    This central murder mystery of this book is unexpectedly complex. We follow the plot down one logic path, just to have one or two suddenly spring up. But it all connects well, making sense in the overall story. I did feel the resolution was kind of rushed, because,all of a sudden, the murder is resolved. Then the author launches into lessons about how to be a good christian like suppressing ambition, turning away from revenge, forgiving the worst violations against you, and going to church to get over life's worst tragedies. The main character even kicks out a very personable and helpful liberally minded guy from the rental apartment they own in favor of a christian couple and all is portrayed as being better that way.

    Bottom line: I REALLY enjoyed the murder mystery. But after being preached to so heavily at the close of the story, I wanted to throw my iPad across the shop I was working in.

    By the way, the narration is typical Mel Foster. I like his reading style. So I enjoyed that aspect.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peggy dill 01-12-15
    peggy dill 01-12-15
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    "Very good"

    This story had more twist & turns than a mountain road. My husband and i listened while traveling. Would highly recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields 09-10-13 Member Since 2014

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wrong narrator for the book"

    I liked the book. I am not normally a fan of Christian Fiction (I almost never read it). But several of my friends have recommended this to me and it has gotten good reviews. And I picked up the kindle version for free and used promotional credit for the audiobook. So I didn't have anything to lose.

    The narrator was wrong. His accents were stereotypical and schlocky and overall detracted from the book. The book needed a darker narrator. Someone with more age and gravel in his voice. James Marsters (of Dresden Files book) would have been fine.

    The narration wasn't horrible, I listened to most of the book. But I finished up the book on kindle and think that reading the book is a better choice.

    The second book in the series is available on Audible, but I will read instead of listen to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zulu 10-28-13
    Zulu 10-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Whodunit"

    Would have rated it 3.8 if I could. Would have given it a four but I wasn't that drawn to the main character.

    One reviewer said this was a Christian book. I just thought it was part of the plot. Roland March is considered on his way out. He's been loaned out to other departments from being a murder detective. He sort of is bounced around between being a murder detective and working with the missing person's division. First he's on the team to investigate a murder at a drug house. Then he's switched to investigating the disappearance of the teenage daughter of an evangelist. He thinks the two are connected and sets about to prove it.

    There were a lot of plot twists and turns and the Christian part wasn't overwhelming. It was more just part of the story. The characters were well developed and the story interesting.

    There were complaints about the narrator but I didn't think he was that bad. His voice was easy to listen to.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 05-07-15
    karen 05-07-15
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    "Not for me... BORING..."

    Or maybe the fault was mine, but for whatever reason, I just couldn't get into this thing. My mind kept drifting away -- there were parts that caught my attention, I'd listen. But then it would veer off into .... .... ... I don't know what. It would lose me again. The book just drifted.

    Time after time I backtracked, listened again, but I just couldn't get hooked on the story or the characters. I just now finished it -- have no real idea what it was about, even.

    At one point, I was listening, the phone rang, I guess I forgot to turn the iPod off, so when I got back to the book it was still playing. This time? I didn't even backtrack -- I didn't have a clue what was going on anyway, what difference did it make?

    I guess I'll steer clear of this author. (I don't know how to rate the narrator when I didn't like the book, but it doesn't seem fair to ding the narrator when it was the book itself that was the problem. Anyway, no problems with the narrator.. it was the book kept putting me to sleep...)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo 03-20-13
    Jo 03-20-13

    using a Kindle Fire HD 7

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    "Excellent book........horrible narration"

    I've read this book, and it is awesome! Imagine my surprise to find the recorded book to be one of the worst books I have ever listened to. There is no emotion, the narrator is speed reading in a monotone, and fails to even acknowledge punctuation. Even as a "free" read, this isn't worth keeping it's that bad. Opinions vary of course....so your mileage might vary.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 03-03-15
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 03-03-15 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strangely Clever"

    Mark Bertrand teases. He reveals Roland March slowly, using foreshadowing much like a potter might use his fingers. For a time I thought I'd missed an earlier book in this series since the plot seemed to feed upon facts not in evidence. And yet, much like a morning mist dissolves, things clarified and somewhere deep inside I muttered, "Of course".

    "Back On Murder's" worth the time and I'll buy more of Roland March's adventures. Look forward to them. Oh, Mel Foster's OK, but he faced a particular challenge with the book.

    There are too many characters with useful speaking parts in this story. I wish Bertrand had cut away at the supporting ensemble. Unlike a print version, it's hard to go back and recall who each character might be, hence the reader/actor has to create a uniquely differentiated ensemble. Foster does it OK, but perhaps it's not his fault that I can't say, "He done it reeeeely good." Y'know?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady S. United States 02-10-15
    Lady S. United States 02-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Narrator disaster"

    The book started out well but quickly lost me with the "big reveal" as to why the main character was the way he was. It might have helped if the narrator offered a bit more inflection in his voice. Since that never happened I quickly lost interest, however, it did provide white noise while I was in the dental chair for a bridge prep.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori United States 12-26-12
    Lori United States 12-26-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Feels like a Dragnet movie"

    Overall the book was pretty good. It was writen in first person and the narration made me feel like I was listening to Dragnet with Joe Friday. The author did an excellent job with character development. I'm looking forward to reading book 2 in the series.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cy 09-01-15
    cy 09-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Modern day Columbo"
    What made the experience of listening to Back on Murder the most enjoyable?

    No profanity, at least from what I remember. I did zone out a couple of times, but it mostly kept my attention. I really liked this novel and would highly recommend it.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not quite the edge, but engaging. The who-dun-it was a total surprise and how it got there.


    Which character – as performed by Mel Foster – was your favorite?

    The protagonist.


    Any additional comments?

    I think in our society today, we have become so calloused towards violence, profanity, nudity, perversion and gore in that, it's become our norm. If a book or movie does not contain one or more of these, they are considered boring. I applaud writers who are able to produce a great work that is able to gain and keep the attention of its reader/viewer without subjecting them to the above issues. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with subjecting an audience to a dose of spiritual feeding. If we objectively look at the results of the absence of spiritual food, we'd have to admit to the ever-growing grim results. If you don't want to hear of anything with spiritual subject matter, there's plenty of dark writers and material out there to last a few lifetimes. Let's support the art of writing. Thank you J. Mark Bertrand. Keep up the good work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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