Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling mystery, well written and very entertaining
You can tell from the naming of his main characters - Dakota Stevens and Svetlana Krüsh - that author Chris Orcutt has a sense of humour, and this is apparent throughout his writing. This book is no comedy - far from it - but Orcutt displays a lightness of touch in dealing with his characters that makes it a joy to read.

The story focuses around Dakota -...
Published on 10 Feb. 2012 by The Kindle Book Review

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
A fairly standard "PI (exFBI) plus beautiful and clever assistant solve a mystery", laced with bodies, shootings and chases. Fast paced, chapters like film scenes, lots of "suddenly he was free" situations. Interesting use of Nazi art theft to provide the plot.
As first book in a series, it did lack introduction. Just why does a defected Russian beauty who speaks...
Published 19 months ago by Stan


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling mystery, well written and very entertaining, 10 Feb. 2012
This review is from: A Real Piece of Work (The Dakota Stevens Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
You can tell from the naming of his main characters - Dakota Stevens and Svetlana Krüsh - that author Chris Orcutt has a sense of humour, and this is apparent throughout his writing. This book is no comedy - far from it - but Orcutt displays a lightness of touch in dealing with his characters that makes it a joy to read.

The story focuses around Dakota - ex FBI agent now turned PI - and his `beautiful assistant' chess world champion Svetlana. They are offered a job to find a missing painting - and paid a substantial amount in advance. When their client goes missing, they have the option of taking the money and doing nothing. But that is not Dakota's style - and as he begins to investigate what seems like a simple art theft, the plot genuinely does thicken. Dakota and Svetlana piece by piece uncover a much greater crime dating back to decades earlier.

This is an extremely well written novel. It has all the elements you would want to find in a book of this genre: plenty of fast action, beautiful women, secret wealth and bravery beyond measure. But add in a couple of extra ingredients and you have a real winner. The extra ingredients? The quality of the writing. The book moves at a pace, and it's a consistent pace. It never flags. But the ingredient that makes this a winner for me is definitely Orcutt's wit. He paints the Dakota Stevens character so well that you cannot fail to like him.

Like another reviewer, I would love to understand his relationship with Svetlana. As a man who seems to jump on every available woman at every opportunity, it remains a mystery why the gorgeous Svetlana seems to be excluded from his attentions (although he makes several comments that would suggest there is no lack of interest on his part). And I did find it slightly difficult to keep up to speed with all of the characters - particularly early on in the book. But I have concluded that this is a failing on my part. Possibly reading this book into the early hours of the morning didn't help my memory!

Some reviewers have commented that this book would make an excellent film. I disagree. I think it has TV series written all over it. An excellent novel that is well worth reading. I'm seriously looking forward to the next in this series.

Rachel Abbott for the Kindle Book Review
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Dakota Stevens, please!, 16 Dec. 2011
This review is from: A Real Piece of Work (The Dakota Stevens Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
I first found out about Chris Orcutt on Twitter through his funny and touching @MiradoWarrior feed, so I was stoked to learn that he has a full-length novel available. "A Real Piece of Work" is a proper, old-school P.I. novel. It's fast-paced and exciting, with snappy dialogue, likeable characters, and a thrilling plot that kept me guessing right to the end.

Chris says that the next Dakota Stevens novel will be made available once "A Real Piece of Work" gets 1000 downloads - so what are you waiting for, people? Give Dakota a try today - you won't regret it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gimme more Dakota!, 3 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Real Piece of Work (The Dakota Stevens Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
A very well written book, suspenseful to the very end. Twisty and turny and a thoroughly good read.
Well worth the small price I paid for the kindle version.
Top job, let's have the next book please!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars ok, 23 Aug. 2013
By 
Stan (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Real Piece of Work (The Dakota Stevens Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
A fairly standard "PI (exFBI) plus beautiful and clever assistant solve a mystery", laced with bodies, shootings and chases. Fast paced, chapters like film scenes, lots of "suddenly he was free" situations. Interesting use of Nazi art theft to provide the plot.
As first book in a series, it did lack introduction. Just why does a defected Russian beauty who speaks many languages, plays chess at master level, has a powerful father who provides protection etc etc become assistant to this PI? When reading I assumed there had been a previous book and the author had just assumed you'd have read it for the background, but then found this was the first.
Afraid the characters didn't grab me. The women are so perfect, the villains cardboard, the hero ok but stereotyped.
So faint praise, though fine for light reading on holiday.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sharp new private eye to look out for, 18 Dec. 2011
This review is from: A Real Piece of Work (The Dakota Stevens Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
Former FBI agent Dakota Stevens and his partner Svetlana Krüsh (great names) are called in to investigate a stolen painting. When they discover that their client is lying to them about the painting's authenticity, and his reasons for wanting it back, they find themselves drawn into a world of deception, murder, and art theft stretching back to World War II.

I'm a big fan of private eye stories, and finding a new detective I like is always a great thrill. So for me, the big question is: do I like Dakota Stevens? Does the book show me enough of him to answer that question, and hint at enough to make me want to read more?

He is tough and determined to get at the truth. He doesn't rush headlong into fights, but he doesn't flinch from throwing a punch when necessary. There's a tense scene about half-way through the book where the description of his physical response to the threat of imminent violence rings very true. He is a capable fighter, but not invulnerable, and he knows it.

Dakota's moral compass allows him to break the law when it suits him, but within limits. A little breaking and entering here, a little tampering with evidence there -- that's fine. But even holed up and under fire, he prefers to stop short of killing men who would surely not return the favour. Killing a person is something he will do only do in the direst of circumstances.

Gorgeous women are a staple of private eye fiction, and I don't mind this trope in the least. Dakota has a weakness for redheads that is fun to read, and Shay Connolly is a classic volatile bombshell. But how a (male) detective deals with women is important to me. There is a line between being protective and patronising, and between rogueish wit and casual objectification, and Dakota too often dances on the wrong side of these lines for my taste. Even though he defers to Svetlana as his intellectual superior, he seems to spend more time dwelling on her beauty than on her mind. I don't know yet whether this is a character flaw that will lead to interesting story lines, or if it's a characteristic that will just lead to dislike.

The relationship between Dakota and Svetlana is interesting, and I would like to have seen more of it. Given how forward he is with the other beautiful women in the book, the way he treats Svetlana more like a sister than a potential lover is a BIG RED FLAG, yet the book only contains tiny hints about their past: Svetlanas's cousin Anya asking when he is going to marry her, and Svetlana herself referencing the time they met three years ago. The fact that her father Oleksander is a bigwig in the Ukranian mafia, and that Dakota knows this and is willing to ask him for help, means that there is a fascinating history between them. I hope that it is explored in future books.

Chris Orcutt's writing style is light and airy. His action scenes move quickly, his dialogue is snappy, and he is generous with sharp and witty one-liners. The plot is satisfyingly tangled, the supporting cast is varied and well-drawn, and the story is paced to keep you reading "just one more" chapter before putting it down.

So, yes: I like Dakota Stevens enough to want to read more about him -- and especially about what on earth he and Svetlana are doing together. Seeing as Chris has the next book in the series ready to go as soon as sales of this one hit 1000, I hope I won't have too long to wait.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews