Smashed (Las Vegas Mystery) Paperback – 6 May 2014
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About the Author
Rex Kusler was born in Missouri and raised in a small Iowa town. After calling Silicon Valley home for thirty years, Kusler relocated to Las Vegas to indulge his love of the desert and his fascination with gambling and probability. A mechanical designer by profession, Kusler began his writing career in the early 1980s, selling short stories to regional magazines before trying his hand at novels. He is the author of Angela, Family, and the Las Vegas Mystery series.
Top Customer Reviews
I liked the two detectives, they had a good rapport with one another. The ending was week and just petered out; I would have liked a better twist than the one offered.
Worth a read though.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It was in this book that I was able to put my finger on why I love Mr Kusler's writing so much... I always love the characters and their interactions with each other, the wise-ass-ness of Jim Snow, the logic of Alice James, the crazy people who swirl in and out of the story. But this story... I felt the mechanics of it, and it was so satisfying! Side story: I took golf lessons one summer from Fred Urzetta. Every lesson he would squint at me really hard with his hands on his hips and say something like "relax those hands!" "you're overthinking it!" "turn off that brain!!!" "what are you an engineer??!!!" So the reason I mention my struggle with golf is that I can see the mechanics where I don't always expect, and can really appreciate the details of someone's work. I marveled at what goes into these stories. Sure it's a mystery/who-dunnit kinda story, and really, you could just enjoy it for a nice beach read that way. But the details... the looks, the banter, the posture, the internal struggles, the movements, the food (kosher hot dogs at Beaver's Oasis!), the houses, the clothes, the furniture, the kicking off of comforters, the same damn chair at the side of Alice's desk... it's so precise, and particular, and perfect. So many pieces to keep track of, so many details to get right, and then have to put it all back together to where it's not predictable, except Jim going to his chair, and then it's funny. But can anyone else appreciate this level of detail besides me? I sure hope so!
So I'm going off on a tangent here but the bottom line is this: Another great read for me! Great when you want a good story to breeze through, and equally great when you just want to soak it all in and get boggled by the mechanics of how a story comes together. Good stuff!!
The complicated case kept Alice and Jim busy as they struggled to understand multiple personality disorder as they were also working to get their client off the hook for manslaughter.
Smashed, by Rex Kusler, addresses a disorder that most people don't understand. The author uses his writing skills and research ability to bring an interesting story to readers. Despite the amount of detail, the story never lags. Readers who are fans of this series should enjoy the latest update in Alice and Jim's busy life as well as enjoy an intriguing who-dun-it that brings numerous surprises to the very end.
This is the <s>fourth</s> fifth book in the Las Vegas Mysteries series, starring Jim Snow and his current partner both domestic and professional, Alice James. It took me a while to catch the meaning of the name of their company, James & James Investigations (or close).
Successful gambler Barry is gunned down in his own driveway. Everybody who heard anything all agree there were two gunshots and the squeal of tires. But nobody saw anything. Cassie Lane, who recently stopped dating Barry, hires Jim and Alice to investigate, sure that the murderer is Barry's wife, Gina, to whom he returned after dumping Cassie. And what about the poor pregnant teen run down with Barry's missing car around the same time? Soap opera engaged.
This is an interesting mystery, and I'm still not sure justice was served in the end. Without really giving anything away, the killer seems to get off light, all things considered. And there was a great deal of damage done along the way besides the murder of Barry.
I got the feeling this book was more about action and exploring a particular idea than about character. Not that there was no character development, but nothing in particular stood out. If anything, I dislike the character of Alice in this book. Jim, never one to be described glowingly, doesn't come across particularly positive in this one.
If this were the first book I had read in the series, I would not be inclined to read another. But the story saved it overall. Don't let this be your introduction to Jim Snow. Any of the first three books in the series would be a better introduction. Book four was a prequel (hence my thinking this was book four, not considering the actual book four as book four), and I think it should be read after the first three. Just my suggestion.
His car had hit and killed a sixteen year old girl a few minutes later, then was abandoned.
The cops thought it a carjacking gone bad. The girl friend thought it the wife and/or her two brothers.
Plenty of suspects. The wife and brothers. The dead teenager had been pregnant. Even their client who kept getting weirder and weirder.
The day after she'd hired them, she was rude, obnoxious, and had fired them. Two hours later she called and acted like they were still employed.
The two detectives go through their paces until they figured the case out.
Good fast read I finished in a day.