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Publisher's Summary

A woman dies in his arms...a drug dealer offers him $10,000...a gunman is determined to kill him. And then everything went to hell.

Shelby Alexander is an aging ex-boxer and retired fixer whose activities often flirted with the wrong side of the law. Looking for a little peace and a slower pace of life, he moved to Serenity, the small Michigan town where he grew up. But trouble follows men like Shelby, and he finds himself embroiled in an underworld of drugs and violence that may prove to be his undoing.

It seemed so simple: 10 grand to ask a few questions. He should have known money complicates everything, especially when the infamous Ellis family is involved, and when a small army of downstate dealers and a shadowy gunman all turn their sights on him, Shelby decides things have gone far enough. And he won't let the law stand in his way.

The first book in the new Shelby Alexander Thriller series, Serenity is an action-packed audiobook with a lovingly rendered cast, witty dialogue, and a main character who doesn't know when to quit.

©2016 Craig A. Hart (P)2016 Craig A. Hart

What listeners say about Serenity

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not very serene in Serenity...

When the intellectually challenged sister of the local meth dealer dies in Shelby Alexander's arms after freezing almost to death in his yard her brother shows up at his door. Seems the brother wants Alexander to investigate why she was there. She was working for him as a drug courier and wasn't supposed to be any where near Alexander's home. Next thing you know the brother is murdered as well.
This story takes some very strange turns and when the mastermind behind these two and more deaths is revealed it is a bit of a surprise.
The setting is a small town in Michigan but some of the scenes seem right out of the novel Deliverance.
I would definitely recommend getting this book for the discounted kindle unlimited price, but because of the short length I don't think it would be worth a credit.
Theo Holland does a good job narrating.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

14 people found this helpful

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

Excellent suspense novella!

Shelby Alexander is a 60 year old divorced ex-boxer who recently moved back to his hometown of Serenity in northern Michigan hoping for a peaceful and slower life. He strikes up a sexual relationship with a bar tender half his age. Serenity is now controlled by a murderous family that is selling illegal drugs. He finds a local woman near death with a head wound and nearly frozen in the outdoors. Despite his efforts she dies. The woman has severe autism and is a member of the underworld family. Alexander is offered $10k to find the killer. Lots of violence and death follow.

Serenity is an excellent suspense mystery which is also well narrated. My issue with the Shelby Alexander Thriller series is that all of the books are 4 hour novellas which are over priced as full novels. The books are priced at more than I pay for a credit using my Audible Platinum Annual Plan. They cost less using Kindle Unlimited but are still over priced.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice surprise

Any additional comments?

A good little mystery, action-packed and with enough surprises to keep me on edge.
The main character, Shelby Alexander, is suitably flawed and no longer entirely young but is an interesting guy who is likable and by no means a superman who handles everything perfectly. He is divorced with a 30-year old daughter who he was estranged from as a result from of a somewhat messy divorce from her mother. The relationship with the daughter is still not perfect, but it is getting better. He has a girlfriend who is 30 years his junior, that too causes complications. Not easy for a 60-year old former boxer with arthritis and other issues.
But all in all, it made for a good story and I'm fairly certain I will be picking up the next volume in this series.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great!

Any additional comments?

Serenity is my kind of book: short, brisk, and just a flat-out enjoyable read. Shelby Alexander is an ex-cop (amongst other things) who has retired to the small town of Serenity, Michigan. It doesn’t take long for trouble to rear its ugly head, and Shelby finds himself knee-deep in criminals, corrupt lawman, and murder. The story moves at a quick pace and doesn’t bog itself down in unnecessary detail or backstory. If I have one small criticism, it’s that Shelby’s girlfriend didn’t seem to add anything to the story, but there’s a good chance she’ll have a larger role in the books to come. A solid 4 stars!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mystery

This is a mystery series. A woman dies on his land .And someone pays him 10,000 dollars to find some answers. There is twist and turns. It holds your attention. And funny at times. I like how his daughter is concerned. And not very happy about Shelby's young girlfriend. Theo Holland did an excellent job narraiting this book. If my review was any help will you please click the helpful link. Thank you

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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page Turner

the action was continously moving and the different voices made it enjoyable to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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

Who Said Upper Michigan was Peaceful?

When Shelby finds a local mentally handicapped woman passed out in the cold out by his barn, he has no idea the tangled web he's about to fall into in this murder mystery/drug running mystery.
I fell in love With Shelby's self-depreciating frankness and refusal to take crap from anybody about five minutes into the book and, although it is violent and nasty, I loved Serenity in spite of the irony of the name of that little Northern Michigan town.
Looking forward to the rest of the series.

1 person found this helpful

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

Narration elevates this decent intro to a series

Update: For whatever reason it took me a bit to click with the writing or story – but I kept going and definitely enjoyed the next two books. The rest are still on my crazy long TBL.

This is my first experience with author Craig Hart & narrator Theo Holland. This is a really short book. If it’s not novella-length, it’s definitely just over the word count. That’s OK, I just think the length may have impacted feeling like the story was a little rushed and could be developed better. It wasn’t awful, I just wasn’t “wowed” by it.

Shelby Alexander is a divorcee, retired boxer, and … well, I don’t quite know. He doesn’t really have any background in the story to support it, but he gets “hired” by the local meth dealer to investigate who murdered his sister. He becomes embroiled in a turf war between drug manufacturers, puts up with local and biased law enforcement, tolerates his whiny daughter, and has frequent sex with his much younger girlfriend. Once I got past the “why this guy?”, I pretty much enjoyed it. Though, I think the story was significantly elevated by the narration.

I’m definitely invested in the world that Hart has built and am ready for Serenity Stalked.

Theo Holland was an excellent choice for this book. He sounds like how I imagine a 50+ former bad boy but trying to just get some peace and quiet man should sound. He gave all the characters unique voices and his accents were nice without being comical. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from him.

I received a free copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Solving crime series

I enjoyed this story. It is a short crime story with an older leading character and plenty of side characters all sticking their noses where they don’t belong. A great start to a series and I would definitely listen to more. I liked the narration as well. I would recommend this story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent start to a new series!

I loved this listen!!!

Shelby Alexander is an ex-boxer with issues. He has issues with his ex-wife. He has issues with his daughter. He has issues with the police. He has issues with the drug dealers down the street. A dead body found on his property just gave him more issues.

As the first book in a series, this book knocked it out of the park!!

The narrator was something special as well. This is my first Holland book and he is a bonafide narrator. Shelby had some quirk and the situations were oft intense. Holland performed them excellently.

1 person found this helpful

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  • col2910
  • 09-22-20

Great series opener

Another day, another Audible book and another one I enjoyed from another new-to-me author.

High art? High brow literature? No, but a story which entertained and provided a few thrills and had me interested in reading more this author.

Our main man, Shelby is a fixer and is hired to dig into the death of a woman who just happens to be the sister of a local king-pin drug dealer. The local law aren't interested. Our drug dealer soon winds up dead himself and Shelby is somehow getting targeted himself by an unknown assailant. His enquiries continue.

Hard to put the finger exactly on what I liked about this one, but I'll have a go.

Likable main character, interesting family dynamic, he's a divorcee with a grown up daughter who wants him to reconcile with her mum, only he has a girlfriend his daughter's age. There's criminality and drug dealing and bad eggs aplenty and semi-indifference from the law. There's action, violence, danger, death, dastardly doings and a decent enough outcome. There's plenty of humour and wit present and a nice flow to things as the author gets us to the finish line in a reasonable but not breakneck pace.

If Dickens and Austen and Eliot and Hemingway = gourmet dining. I'm probably more a fast food merchant myself. Craig Hart's work probably won't be to everyone's taste, but he puts a lot of ticks in the boxes for me.

4 from 5

Serenity is the first in a six or seven book series. I'll be looking forward to devouring more of them in the future.

Read - (listened to) August, 2020


Published - 2016

Page count - 194 (4 hrs 9 mins)

Source - Audible purchase

Format - Audible