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The Survivors Club
 
 

The Survivors Club [Kindle Edition]

J. Carson Black
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"An utterly engrossing thriller. The Survivors Club grips us from the very start and simply doesn't let go. The novel seamlessly achieves that rarity in crime fiction: making our palms sweat while bringing the characters and their stories straight into our hearts. Bravo!" —Jeffery Deaver, New York Times Bestselling author of The Kill Room

"Welcome to The Survivors Club—where cheating death just once may not be enough. J. Carson Black's latest thriller takes you into a whirlpool of conspiracy, blackmail, and betrayal, where no one can be sure who is the hunter and who is the prey—a game of blood whose outcome may leave no survivors.” —Michael Prescott, author of Cold Around the Heart

“J. Carson Black's The Survivors Club is a twisted, diabolical cat and mouse game that will keep you riveted.” —CJ Lyons, New York Times bestselling author of Hollow Bones

“Black serves up a breezy thriller with a killer premise: What if people who cheated death once weren’t so lucky the second time around? By the time the plot snakes through twist after twist, you’ll be asking yourself…do you feel lucky?” —Brian Freeman, Bestselling Author of Spilled Blood

"J. Carson Black delivers desert heat with her latest cool thriller, The Survivors Club. Detective Tess McCrae shows us again why she's the southwest's top cop." —Alan Jacobson, National Bestselling Author of No Way Out

Product Description

Detective Tess McCrae investigates a grisly crime scene in the ghost town of Credo, Arizona. To an ordinary investigator, the evidence suggests a cartel drug hit. But Tess, with a nearly faultless photographic memory, is far from ordinary, and she sees what others might miss: this is no drug killing. Someone went to gruesome lengths to cover up this crime.

The killer’s trail leads Tess from Tucson to California; from anti-government squatters in the Arizona mountains to the heights of wealthy society, including the rich and powerful DeKoven family, who've dominated Arizona commerce and politics since the 1800s. But as Tess follows the trail of gore and betrayal, perfect and indelible in her memory, she uncovers far more than one man’s murder, and solves much more than one isolated crime.

The Survivors Club is a serpentine, stay-up-all-night thriller from New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller J. Carson Black.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2518 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (15 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CD8AFP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,352 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

As witness to the ongoing changes in publishing, J. Carson Black knew she had to raise her game. She'd always read and studied the best authors in her genre, but to survive, Black knew she must grow. And so she determined to expand beyond her comfort zone and write a big thriller.

A political junkie, J. Carson Black loved the cable TV news circus--the media's mad scramble to find sensational stories. So when a suspected child-killer's plane landed with all the pomp and circumstance of the space shuttle in Boulder, Colorado, Black took note. As it turned out, John Mark Karr did not kill JonBenet Ramsey; he'd merely played the media and fed their insatiable 24/7 appetite. This was the New American Way: celebrity for its own sake.

That seed grew into into J. Carson Black's thriller THE SHOP.

Using social media, Black has made friends who share her passions and interests. Some of these friends are experts in their fields: homicide detectives, retired military, military analysts, a computer forensic expert, and even a Navy SEAL. Over time, these friends grew to trust Black and gave her entree into their world, and THE SHOP is the better for it.

A Tucson, Arizona native, J. Carson Black has also written ICON, a thriller set in the New West.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Tess is investigating the death of a man found in a deserted town in the desert which is now a tourist attraction. This death may be connected to others - but how ? and why ? and who is killing the killers ?

The investigation element of this book is very strong. The police officers uncover what is going on piece by piece and there is proper evidence/clues to every step. No maverick officers here with everything done with appropriate back-up. I enjoyed following the uncovering of the crime and the gathering of facts with Tess and her partner. I liked the way that everything linked together and the occasional chapters written from the point of view of both killers and victims added to the story. Tess' private life was also interesting and realistic. I was surprised by her final choice of lover but it all made sense.

This would have been a solid four star novel had it not been for the whole survivors club premise (which surely should be Survivors' Club in the title - there is a need for an apostrophe here). It was clever but I never really understood why it was the motive for the killers. It seemed far too convoluted to be realistic. The author didn't make me understand why people would target murders in this way.

In the end, this book wasn't quite good enough to distinguish itself from the many, many others in this genre. The motivations of the killers is what let it down for me and there was nothing outstanding about the rest of the novel to raise it above my disbelief. I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good detective mystery 12 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was the first time I had tried this author, and I was really impressed. The descriptions of the area so good you could picture it vividly, and there was some strong characterisation in it. I'll definitely read more by this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read with deep dark scenarious 3 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
excellent read with deep dark scenarious, this book takes you through the minds of sadists and clearly works through to completion,
Thank You
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 25 Oct 2013
By Debbi H
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't read a lot of crime fiction, but was drawn to this because of where it is set. The book held me from the start, with believable characters and a good storyline. Would recommend to anyone wanting a first taste of crime fiction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  127 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome, Unusual Murders, Intricate Plot--You Won't Want to Put It Down! 7 Nov 2013
By Lynne E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
J. Carson Black's spare prose--along with the exciting, innovative, and intricate plot--makes THE SURVIVOR'S CLUB a fast, entertaining read. This is at least the second novel featuring Sheriff's Detective Tess McCrae (for the previous one, see Icon); in this one, Tess is adjusting to her new job in Santa Cruz, and seriously missing her actor Max Conroy, who is working on location in California.

In this book, Tess and new-father-to-be partner Danny catch a ghost town murder which has been made to look like a Mexican cartel's revenge assassination. Tess soon learns that the victim--who is literally riddled with gunshot wounds--was a former detective who nearly died years earlier from multiple gunshot wounds suffered in a gun battle with a street gang. Then Tess's investigation turns up several more bizarre cases involving suspicious deaths of "survivors" who had nearly died before under circumstances eerily similar to the actual circumstances of their deaths. Was it mere coincidence that a hiker killed by a mountain lion had previously survived an attack by a gang of dogs? Or had the hiker been murdered? And if he was murdered, was his murder somehow connected to the ghost town murder? Were the other oddball deaths also connected?

Like the detective in the TV series "Unforgettable", Tess is blessed--or cursed--with superautobiographical memory. Unlike the other detective, she solves her cases the old-fashioned way, by following solid police procedures, rather than by relying on her talent (except for noting details like license plate numbers). I liked Tess a lot, and am rooting for her to solve the logistics of her long-range romance with Max.

THE SURVIVOR'S CLUB is a mystery/thriller that you won't want to put down. The bloody murder scenes are imaginative but skillfully handled. The plot twists and turns are unpredictable but believable, and all the loose ends are wrapped up at the end the way they ought to be. Unquestionably, author Black is a highly talented mystery/thriller writer.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quality "Who Done It?" 2 Nov 2013
By Travis Starnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As mysteries go this one is solid. It has pretty much everything you could ask for from a “who done it” and avoids a lot of the pit falls I have seen in other mysteries lately. The mystery itself is very well conceived. There is just enough information to keep you guessing but a tough enough puzzle that you don’t figure it out till the very end. I particularly liked how the various murders were all connected together and I doubled back on my guess several times as parts of the story were revealed.

J. Carsen Black is not an author I was familiar with prior to reading this book, but she certainly has a deft hand at story telling. Her writing flows naturally and the story progresses at a fairly even pace, at least until the very end. She also managed to avoid the pitfall of trying too hard to keep the villains in shadow. While you go about half the book before the culprits start getting unveiled, that first half doesn’t feel convoluted. I have seen other mysteries where the author twists the story in knots to tell what is going on without revealing who the bad guy is. Thankful when the story goes far enough to require the villains to step up Black allows them to act in the clear rather than artificially keep their identities secret. My one complaint about how this story is written is the end of the climax and the denuma. The story was so well paced until the end that when it came time to wrap everything up it felt incredibly rushed. The ended felt pretty unsatisfactory and left me wanting more, but in a bad way. Not wanting “another book” more but rather “where are the last 15 pages” more.

The characters are decently interesting and well-conceived. I was impressed that while Black gave the lead the standard “amazing ability”, she then didn’t keep hitting that over and over again. Her gifts felt more like texture rather than a contrived story device that predictably plays out in act three. I was happy to see that level of restraint in an author. The villains are appropriately evil, although perhaps a little to evil, and the rest of the cast were fairly two dimensional. That isn’t really a knock against Black however. This is not a terribly long book and there wasn’t enough room to both flesh out the full cast and tell a compelling story. If this ever becomes part of a Tess McCrae series then I would hope to see her friends and colleagues get more attention.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating mystery thriller! 27 Nov 2013
By M. Wanchoo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Survivors Club was the first novel that I read by J.C. Black, the protagonist of the story is Detective Tess McCrae, who was introduced in a previous book of hers titled “Icon”. The hook about the story and protagonist is that she has an eidetic memory which makes her an absolute asset in her line of work. This element sounds a lot similar to the TV show that has been mentioned in almost all the reviews of this book. What also separates the book from the TV show is the main character just doesn't rely on it entirely. The plot has her working the mystery using solid police work and her mental acumen as well.

She is currently investigating a Cartel murder which soon turns out to be not the case. This book is a police procedural and Tess has to focus on solving the mystery of all the deaths that seem to be staged and also focus on her relationship with the actor Max who was the focus of the book “Icon”. I liked how the author juxtaposed the protagonist’s personal and professional lives and made them both relevant. The pace and plot twists are reasonably mixed within and it makes for a fascinating read overall.

The Survivor’s Club is a very good introduction to Tess McCrae as a character and J. Carson Black as an author. This book essentially reads as the first book of the series and can be enjoyed even without reading Icon. Though once you have read an enjoyed it, like me, you’ll want to read Icon as well. I very much enjoyed this story and would heartily recommend it to mystery/thriller fans especially those who enjoy the works of Michael Connelly, Mark Billingham & Phillip Margolin.
27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing 2 Nov 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What the book need is a good copy editor. Better still, a continuity supervisor like movie makers use to ensure that the story hangs together.

For example, we learn that one of the victims is 68 years old. A few pages later his daughter is described as being in her mid-fifties.

"If the jump master hadn't been able to pull the ripcord on Alex's reserve canopy at the last possible moment ...". Where the heck did this jump master come from? We don't find out until half the book later.

Then there is a lot of clumsy sentence construction, such as: "Irene once was the secretary for a construction company for over twenty years, but times were tough and she'd lost her job"

The whole book is insipid and is not a good read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT! 5 Nov 2013
By Never Smile at Strangers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent mystery, believable characters who are enjoyable to read, great plotting and pacing . . . I could go on and on! It's been a while since I've read a book so quickly. This was my first J. Carson Black book, but it won't be my last. Highly recommend!
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