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Final Price (A Paul Chang Mystery Book 1)

Final Price (A Paul Chang Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

J. Gregory Smith
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Wilmington, Delaware is one of those cities that feels more like a small town. Neighbors know one another, and businesses cater to the needs of the citizenry. But what happens when the local car salesman suffers one lost sale too many, when one more customer decides to buy from the competition because the price is too high, interest rates aren't friendly, or that shade of blue just won't work? In J. Gregory Smith's electrifying thriller, Final Price, Shamus Ryan's frustration works like a thorn under his skin until psychotic urges take over and he commits murder—serial murders, in fact—his victims chosen from prospective clients who dared to walk away. With Smith's chilling scenes of massacre, readers are pulled into the vortex of a warped mind, one man justifying heinous acts, and two detectives running a race against time, trying to solve seemingly random killings. Paul Chang, a Chinese-American homicide detective, is struggling to understand why these murders are taking place. Assisted by his neurotic partner, Nelson Rogers, Chang goes after the killer with logic, tenacity, and no small measure of fear.

Written from the perspectives of Detective Chang and Shamus Ryan, readers quickly find themselves seeing the world in unique—and often disturbing—ways they never expected. With dark humor and gritty suspense, Smith has crafted a refreshing and surprising thriller.

About the Author

J. Gregory Smith was born and raised in Washington, DC. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College, and his Masters in Business Administration from the College of William & Mary. A public relations professional in DC, Smith continued his work after moving to Delaware. He now writes full-time.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 350 KB
  • Print Length: 295 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935597183
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (2 Nov 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JTHMQ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,794 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author


Prior to writing fiction full time, Greg Smith worked in public relations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. He has an MBA from the College of William & Mary and a BA in English from Skidmore College.

His first novel, Final Price, was a Quarterfinalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. First released as a self-published work, the book was signed to publisher AmazonEncore, and after a fresh edit and cover was released in November 2010.

Final Price also won First Place in the Delaware Press Association's 2010 Communication Contest (Fiction Category.)

He also had a short story, Street Smarts, published in Stories From the Ink Slingers (Gryphonwood Press, 2007) nominated by the publisher for a Washington Science Fiction Association's Small Press Award.

He lives in Wilmington , Delaware with his wife and son.

How I got the Idea for Final Price:

Although I'd like to say I took a position in new car sales to research an upcoming writing project, the truth is it was a result of PR industry layoffs.

I'd always enjoyed cars and have no trouble generating enthusiasm for the products, but it turns out I prefer discussing or driving them more than buying or selling them.

In fairness to my employer, they treated me well and I still am friendly with my old boss. Customers were, well, customers. Generations of adversarial business practice can make for some aggravating (and sometimes funny) interactions.

Twelve hour shifts on snowy winter days left plenty of time to contemplate the plot for Final Price. What if, instead of sharing war stories in the break room, a salesman completely flipped out? What if he tracked down the most infuriating customers?

Shamus Ryan was born.

I don't sell cars anymore, but when I'm buying I try to be nice to the salesman.

Just in case.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snappy and Intriguing Thriller 26 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As part of Amazon's Encore series, this is a self-published book that Amazon have picked up to `mainstream' publish, with shows the days of dodgy, sub-standard vanity publishing are long gone, because this is a very well written and packaged book indeed.

Final Price is not a whodunnit, it's a `how will they catch him' tale and a good one at that. Shamus works for a Honda car sales showroom in Delaware and finally has had enough of the awkward customers who take him for a ride, beating him down on a deal, getting close to buying then suddenly going off to buy from elsewhere- usually the nearest rival- who undercuts by a handful of dollars. So he decides to get his own back and teach them a lesson....violently. In steps Chang, a Chinese man mountain detective and his sidekick Nelson, an autistic crime analyst, and the chase begins.

Organised into fifty-odd short sharp chapters, this rattles on at a fair pace and is a good, snappy read. Okay so it's formula writing, but so what. Sometimes you want to pick up a book and know exactly what you're going to get and enjoy it just for that alone, like wearing a favourite old coat. By introducing intriguing, awkward characters into his book J. Gregory Smith has successfully added extra dimensions to the formula and it works a treat. It's also entertaining to get the perpetrators view of things first hand, even slightly sympathising with him at some points, and to see also he is not the cold, perfect, well organised serial killer we like to imagine such criminals to be, but a rather more bumbling, opportunist and actually human loser that makes him uncomfortably at times, more than a little understandable.

Having said that J. Gregory Smith doesn't let too much cod psychology, navel gazing or literary pretension get in the way of his driving narrative, and he never loses sight of the fact he has a tale to tell...and a very well told, if slightly predictable one, it is too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thet deserved it 6 Oct 2011
By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Shamus a high flying car salesman knows all the tricks , but some customers are so unreasonable that they need special treatment . This is not a "who dunnit". We know that from the outset. More a "can they catch him". The well crafted descriptions of Shamus's negotiations with the most outrageous time wasters led me to believe , I regret to say , that they deserved a good killing and indeed that is what they got.
Paul Chang aided by his sidekick Nelson is put in charge of the case . They have "baggage" from their past and have been sideways promoted to the sticks. They also have their own problems which the author enlarges on nicely without detracting from the pace of the chase.
Lots of suspense, lots of action and a fair amount of humour. This is a good , lighthearted murder thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Price 28 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Paul Chang is a Chinese American homicide detective, who has left New York to live in Wilmington, Delaware, for reasons which unfold during the novel. Nelson Rogers is Changs old partner, who also relocated to Delaware, and is bored in a new office role. The two reunite to chase a serial killer who is murdering his annoying customers. In a way, this novel reminded me of another book I enjoyed recently, which also had a similar plot: The Craigslist Murders (Melville International Crime). Like that novel, in this story the murderer is not a secret to us, and we see the story from his viewpoint as well as from Chang's.

I thought this was a very well written debut, with Chang and Rogers a likeable pair, who I hope reunite in future novels. I thought the scenes in which the murderer chose his next victims were especially well done and, as the violence escalated, the story became a race against time - with Chang battling not only the murderer, but his superiors. Enjoyed this very much and will certainly look out for more from J. Gregory Smith.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certainly Original 7 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Final Price is published under the Amazon Encore programme, the stated aim of which is to identify books which may have been self published or published by a small publisher, but which are worthy of a much wider audience. This was originally self published and it is easy to see why it qualified for this programme. Police investigatory mysteries have been done to death from every angle so that it is difficult for anyone to come up with something different, but this one certainly is different.

The plot concerns the frustrations of a car salesman, and the author must understand this well as apparently he had to deal with some very difficult customers in a former life. However, whereas most people would stew in silence about the totally unreasonable behavior of some of their time wasting customers, Seamus Ryan takes affirmative action and goes after the worst of them. The story is told from the point of view of Paul Chang, a Chinese American detective who is assisted by his odd associate, Nelson, and also from the point of view of the serial killer.

It is hard to take this book totally seriously as the main characters range from eccentric to totally bizarre. Seamus is clearly psychotic and appears to be driven by communing with his dead grandmother's ashes which he keeps in the freezer. Chang who, at 6 foot 4 is huge by Chinese standards, has to keep 'the dragon' under control and in its cage - in this case the dragon is a metaphor for his temper rather than being used in a drug related sense and Nelson is, well, just very odd.

There is no mystery as to the identity of the killer as this is revealed almost from the word go so the story is really about how Chang investigates the crimes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Karolin
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
Worthwhile holiday reading
Published 5 months ago by grogger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Read in wrong order, but no matter still captivated me from start to finish, love main characters....there interaction and humor warms you to them. Read more
Published 6 months ago by janet anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Price [A Paul Chang Mystery]
This eBook [Kindle] is a fast-moving thriller digested in 'bite-sized chunks'. The action is probably necessary for the progress of the story, although it is a little too graphic... Read more
Published 8 months ago by stephen Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars OK
I think I enjoyed it. I might not truly know until I have read another of the series in the near future.
Published 11 months ago by Barbara Round
3.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome Chang Mystery
Bit too gruesome, but typical Chang Mystery! Ending pretty obvious and bit samey, just got more unlikely as story went on.
Published 12 months ago by Bells
5.0 out of 5 stars Chinese detective novel supreme
I liked all the characters and enjoy a great detective novel especially if its set in a country I would like to know more about
Published 12 months ago by mary t wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars final price
lt was the first time i've read this auther and i cant wait to read the next.i love the paul chang and his partner keep them coming.
Published 12 months ago by p. dowdall
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed but difficult to understand at times
It was enjoyable but difficult to understand , I think maybe there was something I was missing, will read again at a later date and maybe it will fall into place
Published 13 months ago by P Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read enjoyed this book and will buy some more
A good read enjoyed this book and will buy some more. I am warming to the characters, they are interesting .and quirky.
Published 13 months ago by Book Worm
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