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Publisher's Summary

When worlds collide, few are spared the collateral damage least of all crime reporter Jack McMorrow, who has learned the hard way that trouble often blooms in the cracks of human relationships. 

In this, the latest installment of the popular Jack McMorrow mystery series, veteran author Gerry Boyle takes his readers into territory all-too-familiar from the daily headlines: illegal gun sales, culture clashes between old and new, cyberbullying, and the random acts of violence that pose a real threat to even the closest of communities. Prosperity, Maine is no longer the refuge from the real world that it once was, and Jack, and his wife, Roxanne, will be forced to face their most destructive enemies yet each other.

©2016 Gerry Boyle (P)2017 Anaba Publishing

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good murder mystery!

Jack McMorrow is the sarcastic hero we all want to be, the narrator is great!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

More Than a Plot-Driven Novel!

What did you like best about this story?

For those unfamiliar with Gerry Boyle’s mystery series, Jack McMorrow is a free lance writer/journalist. In Straw Man he is investigating gun sales in Maine and their use to both prevent and cause violence. The gripping, twisted plot exemplifies the complications of this issue. Bullets fly at intended targets yet Boyle manages to communicate the tenuous balance between the necessity and the gravity of deadly force for keeping the peace.

The characters in Straw Man seem to step off the back roads of rural Maine—I know as I live in Waldo County—the setting of the latest McMorrow thriller. There are bad guys and good guys, but Boyle blurs the lines, demonstrating that his characters have the capacity for both.

What about Michael A. Smith’s performance did you like?

The characters in Straw Man seem to step off the back roads of rural Maine—I know as I live in Waldo County—the setting of the latest McMorrow thriller. There are bad guys and good guys, but Boyle blurs the lines, demonstrating that his characters have the capacity for both. Engaging and entertaining!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is not just a plot-driven novel. If you are struggling with the issue of gun control, you are not alone. Those in favor of open, responsible gun ownership are sickened by the senseless killings and the misuse of an object that they see as a tool for sport and protection. While those who advocate for gun control are alarmed by the instability and our inability to prevent those objects—guns—from getting into the hands of killers. Don’t expect to finish the novel with a sense that Boyle has provided the answer to this tragic dilemma. Instead he acknowledges all of the stakeholders and portrays the tangled human need for revenge and desire for peace.

Any additional comments?

I found myself anxious to get in my car in order to continue listening to Straw Man by Gerry Boyle, but for me, a great book resonates long after the end. Author John Green claims that “Great books help you understand, and they help you to feel understood.” That’s what Gerry Boyle accomplishes with Straw Man. I will definitely make room in my reading list for more of his Jack McMorrow mystery series, I urge all listeners and readers who are looking for novels that stimulate our need to solve problems and engage our intellect to do the same.

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Solid crime mystery that keeps your attention!

Straw Man is book 11 in the Jack McMorrow series. Jack is basically an investigative reporter for the Times. Though trying to live peacefully with his wife Roxanne and daughter in Maine, trouble somehow finds him. Starting off with a crew of idiot thieves cutting down trees illegally in the woods, the story quickly evolves to include Mennonites, a connection to illegal gun smuggling, a wanna be rapper, someone moving in on Jack's wife, Roxanne, and more. There's a lot of little sub-plots in the beginning that Gerry Boyle interweaves together nicely into a good, solid crime/detective style listen.

I didn't like Jack's wife Roxanne at all. Not that that detail is either here nor there. I just wanted to shake her for her naivety with regards to that idiot Welt throughout the book. Aside from that, Michael Smith did a great job with the narration. His voice held emotion and accents when called for and his regular Jack talking voice was perfect. I didn't like Jack's daughters' voice, but I can only imagine that a man trying to voice a 6-year old little girl would be difficult for most! Don't let that keep you from listening though. I'd be more than happy to listen to another one of Jack McMorrow's adventures!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 12-31-17

This took me awhile to get into

Perhaps because this is book 11 in a series, but it took me awhile to get into it. The beginning chapters pre-supposes knowledge of the main characters so I got lost from time to time. Once I caught on though, this book became a rich good-versus-evil read with no clear distinction between who's good and who's bad.

I loved Jack! He's part Clint Eastwood, part John Wayne, part Billy Jack. I did not like Jack's wife. She spent most of the book on some goody two shoes pedestal and making Jack question his actions. Pfffft.

The intermix of the Mennonite community with the real world crimes of guns and gang violence was well-written and made for the biggest head-scratcher of a whodunnit. Love that!

The narrator was well-suited to the material. There was a strength to Jack with a bit of a flexible moral compass and that came across in the performance.

I'm not sure if I will go back and listen to the earlier books but I will look forward to any in the future.

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Loved it!

I've been a fan of the Jack McMorrow books for years. I'm glad they're finally coming to audio! Story is a page-turner (ha ha), and the narration is spot-on. Don't miss this great series!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful