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Publisher's Summary

Reality and illusion blur for an ex-Navy SEAL investigating a deadly case of stalking in this addictive thriller that Michael Connelly calls “a hundred percent adrenaline rush disguised as a detective novel.”

Nicki Pearl is the perfect daughter - every parent’s dream. And that of strangers, too. Wherever she goes, she’s being watched. Each stalker is different from the last, except for one thing - their alarming obsession with Nicki.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Nicki’s father is turning to someone who can protect her: retired private detective and ex-Navy SEAL Jon Lancaster. Teaming up with FBI agent and former abduction victim Beth Daniels, Lancaster can help - his way. He’s spent most of his career dispatching creeps who get off on terrorizing the vulnerable. Unlicensed, and unrestricted, he plays dirty.... But this case is unusual. Why so many men? Why this one girl? Does Nicki have something to hide? Or do her parents?

Trawling the darkest depths of southern Florida, Lancaster faces a growing tide of secrets and deception. And the deeper he digs, the more he realizes that finding the truth won’t be easy. Because there’s more to this case than meets the eye.

©2018 James Swain (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    72
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    50
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    8

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    57
  • 4 Stars
    35
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    24
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    9

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    60
  • 4 Stars
    41
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    20
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 08-14-18

Another excellent series from James Swain!

THE KING TIDES, set in Ft. Lauderdale, is the first novel in the new Lancaster and Daniels detective series by James Swain. Jon Lancaster is an ex Navy SEAL and cop who does not look the part and is now a private investigator. Beth Daniels is an FBI agent who was on her way to being a physician until she was the victim of a kidnapping crime while in college; her kidnappers are now serial killers. Daniels takes very unusual and unlikely steps to catch her kidnappers and in doing exposes her 15 year old niece to many stalkers who are perverts.

James Swain novels tend to be offbeat. His earlier private investigator novels include his Tony Valentine series and his Jack Carpenter series. My personal favorite is Swain's about con man Billy Cunningham; the series is light and fun, and at times silly.

I like Swain's novels so much that I may tend to overrate them. He is a very clever author who is a expert at making the unlikely seem credible. I really enjoyed THE KING TIDES! Patrick Lawlor narration is excellent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not fantastic

The plot is a little far fetched. Writing is not outstanding. Not crazy about the narrator. His style is choppy and amateurish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Could turn into a very good series...

I really like the author James Swain and I absolutely love his Billy Cunningham series. If you have never read/listened to anything by this author I would like to suggest starting with that series first.
I think is a very good plot driven book. That being of an ex navy seal turned unlicensed PI and an FBI agent teaming up together to catch pedophiles and serial killers. The FBI agent is also a former victim who got away. I found this book (unlike his others) to be little bit predictable. It had some nice twists and a few red herrings to keep it interesting.
If this were Swains first work I probably would have given it a five star review. However, based on the complexity of his previous books (especially SUPER CON) I am giving this a four star review. I think the protagonists in this book have tons of potential and I look forward to the next in the series being released in August 2019.
If you have kindle unlimited this book is only $1.99 to purchase.
Patrick Lawler does an excellent job narrating.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

If you can get past the narration....

The narration is horrible -jerky, doesn’t flow like real conversation, sounds like someone just learning to read and call words with no foresight as to how to inflect voice or show expression at appropriate points. Ugh!! If you can get past that, which I forced myself to do, then the story is just okay, not good. I liked the main character and see potential for him with a different story line , but I was uncomfortable with the dark context of abuse of children. My fault for not reading reviews before listening. Overall, the only way I would ever listen to another story by this author is with another narrator and by checking reviews more thoroughly first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Novice Writing - Odd Voice Narration

Struggled to get through this book. A lot of, "He said. She said" writing and narration. story line was ridiculously drawn out and failed miserably at keeping the story relatable. The unnecessary chapters within this book substantiates that the writer must have had a book/story length clause in their contract. Just odd and poor quality all around.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The main character is completely unlikable, story

Like others have said, narration is awful. I could get past this but the story is just as bad. The main character is so unbelievable and just comes across as a character made for chubby, know-it-all men to identify with. Really, your belly is all muscle? mmmmmkay.

While the main character is so brilliant and amazing at everything the rest of the characters in the book are complete idiots and the main character is always surprised when they portray the tiniest bit of common sense. A 15 year old girl's dialogue reads like a 10 year old's. An FBI agent is hot headed, stupid, and somehow misses the most obvious clues in a case she's been working for 5+ years when somehow the main character catches them after looking over the details for a couple hours. k.

I'll be skipping the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 09-14-18

Well Crafted & Extremely Memorable

4.44 out of 5 stars

Yes, I just went there. 4.44 out of 5. I did this because without some of the issues I’ll call out this should have been a 5, but they were bothersome enough that I can’t rate it a 4.5 (which I would round up to a 5). Warning: the issues I call out wouldn’t bother everyone but seemed to bug me.

I can’t really describe the premise of the book better than what is already done, so I’ll just post it here: Nicki Pearl is the perfect daughter – every parent’s dream. And that of strangers, too. Wherever she goes, she’s being watched. Each stalker is different from the last, except for one thing – their alarming obsession with Nicki.

So, there are all these men and they are seemingly obsessed with Nicki – a 15-year-old girl. A private investigator is called and we are introduced to Jon Lancaster. A pot-bellied (medical condition) unassuming former cop who is now a private investigator. Did I mention that he’s also an ex-Navy SEAL? Yeah, he’s that too.

The King Tides is a book that I won’t soon forget. Excellent character development and a story that will definitely stick in your mind. It was an intense ride from beginning to end. Lancaster is a likable good guy who always seems to find the right thing to do or say. He’s able to save the day even when you don’t have much hope. We’re even given a “mini” case to start The King Tides off so that we can really get to know him.

Much later in the book, we are introduced to an FBI agent with a vendetta she needs help completing. I would talk much more about her and how she was introduced – but it will pretty much ruin a big turning point in King Tides.

Now, on to some of the stuff that I was bothered by. I think Swain wrote this book for the airport Thriller readers. Those are the 40-60ish-year-old men and women who read Thrillers while on trips. I say this because he explained things that I did not feel like needed to be explained. For example, there was a scene where he needs to get a replacement phone (skipping some major spoilers here). Swain basically explained the entire process from walking into Verizon, talking to the clerk, buying the new phone, having her transfer data over, etc. It just felt… bloated and unnecessary. But, it got worse once he got home and was looking at the phone. He started going through the apps and literally explaining what they all did – all the way down to the calculator app. Yes, he explained what the calculator app did. Here is how the scene went down (slight paraphrase to not spoil anything):

Then came an app called Calculator, which performed simple mathematical equations. Next up was an app called Calendar that contained… important dates and appointments…

Unfortunately, a lot of the book was little scenes like this where he would over-explain things that I think are either common knowledge or at the very least easily Google-able. It made the book feel a bit choppy for me. Every time the action would pick up or a major scene would happy – I’d get an extra explanation I didn’t need.

Another qualm that I had with it was that some of the things just seemed too simplified. There were numerous scenes where Lancaster would say things like “As a private investigator he doesn’t have to abide by the same rules of law enforcement officers” and he seems to use this to the nth degree. There were parts of King Tides that I thought… yeah that couldn’t happen. Or, yeah, the cops would definitely be called. I’m pretty good at suspending my disbelief but I had a hard time with some of the off-the-wall stunts that Lancaster pulled.

Now, with all of that said – I enjoyed the heck out of The King Tides. It was a blast of a book that I won’t soon forget. A premise that isn’t usually touched upon. Killers that stand out. And a duo that is completely unexpected.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

It wasn't an instant connection. Give it a few chapters to get into story then the narrator goes on you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mm
  • Eugene OR
  • 09-01-18

Wasn't sure I liked the narrator at first...

His voice soundec like a tough guy,
but after a short while it was clear the voice suited the character perfectly. It didn't take long for me to wish this ex Seal, people savvy hero was a friend of mine.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Always Interesting Jim Swain

I rarely listen to detective fiction but Jim Swain just writes mind numbing easy to listen to stories in fun locations.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • RDC
  • 08-23-18

Good story concept

I liked the story but the characters are quite poorly written so hopefully they will develop in the next book.

The book is strangely written. The dialogue between characters is completely stilted and weird, nothing flowing or natural to the extent I wondered if I would be able to finish it. The author mansplains a lot! He mansplains very basic things as if he were talking to either a toddler or an elderly person who is unfamiliar with modern life. He writes like an elderly person who is disconnected from young people and children today. He writes women like someone who has never known one.

The narrator didn’t help. He makes women sound dim and speak like Marge Simpson. He isn’t a fluent reader.
I think the book would be better to read rather than listen to if you ignore the painful dialogue and mansplaining.