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This is Life (A Jack Palms Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Seth Harwood
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jack Palms is more interested in tuning up his vintage Mustang than starring in action films these days. Along with his failed marriage and plenty of bad habits, Jack abandoned his acting career three years ago and life’s just the way Jack wants it: boring.

But picking up where Jack Wakes Up left off, Jack now finds himself in the middle of a whodunit in the seedy red-light district of San Francisco’s North Beach. Young girls, shipped as merchandise from Balkan countries and sold to city heavyweights, are turning up dead and no one knows why. And closer to home, a crooked cop steps out of Jack’s past and into his backyard, taking potshots from the bushes at midnight. Sergeant Mills Hopkins, SFPD, thinks someone big is responsible for the bodies and the bullet holes. And if Jack is going to find out who’s pulling the triggers, he’ll have to forget about the quiet life and act more like an action hero.

Product Description

About the Author

Seth Harwood, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, was born in Boston and has lived in Cambridge, New York, St. Louis, and Iowa City. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he teaches writing at Stanford and CCSF. Author of three previous works of fiction, Seth has also written for publication in the Cambridge Chronicle & TAB, contributed to the Open Culture blog, and written for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he regularly reviews crime fiction. Marilyn Stasio, reviewing Seth’s debut, Jack Wakes Up, for The New York Times, praised its “vitality and a spirit of rebellion.” George Pelecanos, author and contributor to HBO’s The Wire, named Seth’s second novel, Young Junius, one of the best books of 2010. When he’s not writing or teaching, Seth swims, boxes, and occasionally haunts the basketball courts of San Francisco

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 849 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611097878
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (19 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0091TMARC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,306 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the Unforgiving and the Unsettling 9 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This follows on from Jack Wakes Up, featuring Jack Palms star of an action blockbuster Shake Em Down, which no one he meets lets him forget. His acting career very much on hold Jack is drawn once again into the role of private investigator. In this instance a complex case of police corruption, the murder of one office and the deaths of girls trapped in the sex-trade.
This is no light-hearted caper of an actor trying to live down or up to his screen image; the reader is drawn into a Noir world of betrayal, violently abrupt ends unsettling visions of desperately vulnerable victims of the sex-trade and as hardened and cynical law enforcement officers as you are ever likely to meet, along with the modern archetype villains who by convention are required to be Eastern Europeans.
Written in the present tense third person narrative in the short sentence, paragraph and chapter style it conveys an urgent edgy pace which suits this brutal and unsettling tale.
I can't say I enjoyed the book, I personally found some of the imagery disquieting, but having said that I believe this is what the author was intending to convey and he does this most effectively, so good luck to him!
If you like you detective tales filled with dark and hard, gritty action upon the means streets of the classic American style then I would reckon you'd like this book and maybe want to back track to the previous novel to pick up on some of the nuances. If you have read the first one (which I haven't) I am taking a mighty guess in thinking you may wish to add this to your collection.
Very good offering of its style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
that this night wasn't turning into a cherry-busting party for him: his first kill and his first time shooting real rounds from an automatic weapon"

Jack Palms, an actor that is known from a Bruce Willis style action flick where he played police sergeant Mike Haggerty, is involved in his second dangerous case and once again he must work with a contact from the police and an old former NFL star acquaintance. Things, however, are spinning completely out of control when it turns out that there are several different players working against them - from the Russian mafia to the San Francisco police department.

I guess if you take this as a light entertainment thriller chase (not unlike a Bruce Willis movie), the book is ok as it's well paced and easy to read. However, if the concept of an actor, who starred as a police man in one blockbuster movie, can go in and take over an investigation and that the police and FBI would be willing to let him loose like that annoys you, I'd say stay clear and read something else. There are also a fair bit of gratuitous violence in most of the middle part of the book which I found annoying - especially since it wasn't very innovative - he basically seemed to butt a lot of noses.

I finished it, but will not be reading other instalments in this series. Oh, and this is the second book in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh voice in crime 7 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My first exposure to Seth Harwood was with his latest novel "In Broad Daylight", which was a cracking slice of FBI procedural set in bizarrely long summer days of Alaska. "This Is Life" is actually a sequel to an earlier novel, "Jack Wakes Up", and while quite different in tone to "In Broad Daylight" is still an excellent, fast-paced crime novel. Harwood's style is brisk, his characters engaging, and the plot has just the right number of twists and turns to keep any crime reader happy. I hope the chronicles of Jack Palms keep on coming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, dark, adult crime 28 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Not for the faint hearted, this book follows a has-been actor as he unfolds and investigates killings of young women in and around the city. They are all linked, and soon the culprits are after the main stars of the book......

It's grim, dark and seedy, with graphic scenes and some notorious "hard man" characterisations. It's not full of cliches and normal crime 101's, so credit to the author must be given for this.

I enjoyed the plot - some twists are there, and the reader is left guessing. It does get a bit movie-star far fetched at times, with some odd physical discrepancies that leave you a bit confused / unconvinced. One moment the star is doubled over in pain from a single punch, the next moment he can take a barrage of assault. I guess it keeps the plot going.

All in all I did enjoy this book, and look forward to the next installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is Lively 16 Mar. 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Actor Jack Palms had a hit movie, then he hit the bottle, hit the clubs, hit the drugs and hit rock bottom. On his way back up he finds himself as a sort of private investigator (I'm sure more of the justification for this strange state of affairs is covered in the previous book) looking into corruption that goes into the highest reaches of San Francisco's public servants.

Having set up the premise, author Seth Harwood treats us to car chases, gun battles, fights, friendship, betrayal and murder - all written in the present tense - which, at first, made the novel difficult for me to get into. I'm glad I persevered as 'This is Life' is an enjoyable, pacey, if pretty unbelievable, action thriller, though I'm unsure whether I'd go out of my way to read future instalments.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 1 month ago by James Livingston
4.0 out of 5 stars a goog book to take on holiday
A typical american book about crime and the police, well written and exciting. It also makes you pleased that you live in the UK
Published 14 months ago by julie carney
4.0 out of 5 stars value
keeps you interested.the story is easy to pick up after lay down,no need to go back several pages.thank you good
Published 14 months ago by william b annable
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Follows on from where we left off with Jack Wakes Up. I found this a truly enjoyable read, well written with plenty edge of the seat stuff. Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. M. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
He's back - yes Jack Palms, your favourite hero is back with a new story 'This is Life.' Couldn't wait to read this one and I wasn't disappointed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amanda Parry Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I hadn't read the first book Jack Wakes Up by Seth Harwood, but it didn't matter. Great character Jack Palms and those Czech's, crazy! I couldn't put it down. Give it a go!
Published 14 months ago by Moz
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
THIS IS LIFE marks the second coming of my favorite new pulp fiction hero, Jack Palms. In this tale, he's back in San Francisco, rousting up trouble with a whole new band of... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kazz Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Top Draw Novel from Seth Harwood
I've been a fan of Seth Harwoods work since he started podcasting his first novel "Jack Wakes Up". This is the followup to that book and is a great read. Read more
Published 14 months ago by patoban
4.0 out of 5 stars A good fast paced private eye thriller
This Is Life is an action packed private eye thriller happening on the streets of San Francisco, part of the Jack Palms series. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mike
3.0 out of 5 stars No fabulous, but good enough.
For a Kindle read, it's adequate material for one of those lazy afternoons in a comfortable place. An undemanding, but pedestrian read.
Published 17 months ago by B. Cooper
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