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Hardscape [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Justin Scott


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Taschenbuch, 1. Januar 1994 --  

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I had a gut feeling that Alex Rose had not really driven his Mercedes all the way from New York to buy a weekend home in Newbury. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen  8 Rezensionen
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Hidden Gem, Intelligently Written 29. Juli 2003
Von P. Kingsriter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ben Abbott is a fiesty, resourceful, (innocent) ex-con realtor who is a great observer of people and a real sucker for the ladies. Financial and emotional needs land him inadvertantly in the middle of a murder mystery in a (usually) quiet get-away town north of NYC. Ben is personally vested in one of the victims (his cousin), and would like to be with one of the suspects (a lovely, lonely woman).
Justin Scott's writing was truly refreshing, like the New England autumn in which his wonderfully woven story takes place. His characters' dialogue is sharp and character-consistent enough that the reader doesn't need constant reminding who is speaking (unlike so many modern mystery writers whose characters are completely flat). Scott's discriptions of action and settings blend seamlessly into the story, and often are contributing factors. He addresses all sorts of folks, from NYC big-time business brokers to backwoods bumpkins, and he writes them all very well.
This is not a book to be "skimmed" -- if you do, you'll miss a number of Justin Scott's wonderful little additions. Scott has such superbly gentle command of his storytelling in HARDSCAPE that there is a great deal of depth to his characters that can be read between the lines. For instance, the hero, Ben Abbott, has many great traits, but his internal dialogue is also humorously honest about his flaws. Being a single man who loves female companionship, what Ben notices and thus describes about other characters he encounters is different: he talks about the men according to their physical size and strength (just what an ex-con would notice and evaluate - can I take him?), and he takes note of other characteristics of the fairer sex - their clothes, hair, smiles, etc... It's a really brilliantly executed character development device. Scott paints such a pretty picture of the New England countryside that one can almost smell the sweet smoke of the wood-burning stoves.
While the plot is not extraordinary and the conclusion a little too Matlock-neat to fit the rest of the lush tale, everything else IS extraordinary. HARDSCAPE is the most smartly written, engrossing, and enjoyable fiction I've read in the past year. I'm looking forward a great deal to Scott's second entry into the Ben Abbott series, STONEDUST. I highly recommend HARDSCAPE for those seeking a clever, fun mystery to get wrapped up in.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I'm not much of a mystery fan but.. 5. Januar 2009
Von Michael T Kennedy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I've enjoyed Justin Scott's sailing novels (and in fact, I think I've written two reviews years apart when I forgot that I had already done a review) and I am not a big fan of mysteries. That said, I decided to read this one to see how it went. His tone is a bit like Nelson DeMille's with a wise guy protagonist telling the story in the first person. Ben Abbott is a bit more humbled by misfortune (taking the rap in an insider trading scheme) and has done prison time. He is now back living in his childhood home with family (both reputable and not) nearby. His real estate business is slow and he listens to a PI who wants him to video a wife cheating on her rich husband. The plot gets a bit intricate at times but Scott does a good job tying all the threads together. I liked this novel and think I will buy the next one. If you like Nelson DeMille's books, you will like this one. I don't have a wide experience with mystery writers and can't get into most of them but this one held my attention until I finished it.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen poison pen should be commended 28. Oktober 2003
Von J. Jordan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Bringing back this series was a great idea. Poison Pen has put out a wonderful looking version of this great book.
Ben Abbot is a character not to be missed. This is written with a deft style and sense of plotting that draws the reader right into the book. Scott is a must read for mystery lovers
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Connecticut Yankee solves crime 12. März 2012
Von Darrell Delamaide - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
A small-town real estate agent might not be the obvious choice of hero for a mystery thriller, but Justin Scott makes it work. He endows Ben Abbott with a backstory as a financial wheeler-dealer who runs afoul of securities laws and spends prison time as a convicted felon. Then he returns home to northwest Connecticut to make a new life taking over his father's real estate business.

Abbott's past complicates his life. He feels like a liability to his sometime girlfriend, the politically ambitious "first selectman" of the fictional Newbury. He is looked upon with disdain by law enforcement officials, private detectives and eventually social connections. So the idyll of living in an inherited house on Main Street, running an inherited business in a town surrounded by friends and family is hardly perfect. Scott further complicates Abbott's story by making his mother come from the wrong side of the tacks, giving Abbott a whole raft of scurrilous cousins.

All this comes into play when Abbott is solicited to play private detective and videotape (the book first appeared in 1993, so there are videotapes, carphones, and junk bonds galore) a rich weekender's unfaithful wife. Abbott of course falls for the wife, destroys the tape and rushes to her aid when she is accused of murdering her lover. It is patently obvious who the murderer is, though Scott belabors the point in an entertaining fashion for another couple hundred pages. A subplot involving some of Abbott's disreputable cousins intersects at some points with the murder plot.

The strength of the book is the sympathetic hero and the Connecticut setting. Small-town New England life, with its cookouts, its simmering feuds, its stratified society, its quaint buildings and customs is all yours for a while. Abbott knows his flaws, but has inherited a "claptrap Puritan" nature that gives him some gritty integrity. He manages to string along three women -- that selectman, the adulteress, and even the female state trooper investigating the murder -- so we are to assume that our first-person protagonist has a magnetic charm.

This is another Poisoned Pen book, so a pattern is emerging. Competent prose with strong sense of place, quirky characters and plot, and an overall package hovering around four stars. Nothing startlingly original, but reliable.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Suspense and humor 2. März 2014
Von Plant Nut - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
The author proves to have a sense of humor while keeping us in suspense. A good book, a quick read. Enjoyable.
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