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on 21 May 2011
Anthony Carrick is a retired police detective, whose career didn't exactly end with fanfare and commendations, presumably due to a persistent difficulty in following the rules. He's a bit rough, real sarcastic, with a gruff charm. He comes by his attitude through his beat-you-up kind of life experience, and wears his rumples well. He nows works the odd private investigation gig to make ends meet, while he lives a bachelor's life with his one-eyed alley-cat, Pirate. He's intimately familiar with the seedy side of life, and thus sees most things with a jaded eye. In his world, endings are rarely happy, and nice, neat bows don't exist.

In First Feature, a movie producer gets killed with his own Oscar - what a great premise for a story, total Hollywood! There's an eclectic cast of characters in this whodunnit and the reader is treated to many difference slices of life on both sides of the Hollywood dream. Anthony gets caught up in the dark side of Hollywood - the consequences of excess, of losing one's morality, of betrayal and chasing the illusion. Fame, fortune, life, death. A day in the life of La-La land. Hollywood's golden glow is tarnished, leaving a trail of broken dreams in its wake. The story teems with grittiness, authenticity, and rich, colorful detail as Anthony digs deep to catch a murderer. Par for the course for a world based on false fronts, half-truths, and obsessive self-involvement and motivation, he needs to work hard to uncover what's really going on. Many of the players have their own secrets to protect, and he needs to figure out which ones point to murder.

Though Anthony Carrick rubs most people in the story the wrong way, he rubs the reader the right way - he's a believable, down on his luck soul, trying to make something out of the shambles of his life. He wants redemption, maybe even forgiveness for a lot of things in his life. He's still got his smarts, a knack for seeing beneath the surface, and his instincts are as sharp as ever. He navigates life with his own patchwork morality and is armed with a wry sense of humor. He's exactly who you'd want on your side, should you ever be so unfortunate as to need his services.

First Feature is a lively tale, that will keep you turning pages so fast, you'll want to read it in one sitting. Anthony Carrick is the next star of completely addictive detective stories. You'll love this guy, in no time at all he will charm you, and like me, you'll look very forward to spending many more hours with him and solving murder mysteries. Total fun. Pure entertainment. Very well-written. Prepare to be hooked!

Happy reading!

-Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands
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on 19 October 2012
I found the story drawn out and uninspiring and really struggled to finish it. Most of all I found the main character to be irritating, self important with a childish sense of humour (phonecall pranks are only funny if you have a mental age of five and they're certainly not clever or witty) and sexual innuendos running constantly through his mind and into the plot (does every female character need to have her cleavage assessed in detail?). I would not recommend it.
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