Amazon #23 and Goodreads #15 — Five Stars from Bruce Perrin (4-stars on Goodreads) — Feb. 11, 2019
A Familiar Crime-Thriller Plot Implemented with Some Gruesome Action February 11, 2019 Righteous Assassin features a dinosaur of a police detective (Detective Mike Stoneman) who has seen it all. He’s partnered with a young, ambitious rookie. Over the course of the story, he develops a romantic interest in an intelligent, attractive woman. And of course, he has a brilliant, psychotic, serial killer to chase. Sound familiar? If you’re a reader of crime thrillers, these threads should be. And so, the question becomes, how effectively are they implemented by the specifics of this book? For the most part, I’m happy to say, quite well with one ‘it depends’ on the list. That last factor is the author’s use of violence to provide much of the tension. You only need look at the first three sentences of the book’s synopsis to know that rather bizarre deaths play an important role in the story. The descriptions of those assassinations are often explicit, which may make the violence over-the-top for some readers. Be forewarned.
There are many factors, however, where I don’t need to equivocate. The writing is excellent, with a good mix of believable dialog and descriptive storytelling. The main characters – Stoneman, Detective Jason Dickson (the partner), and Dr. Michelle McNeill (the love interest and Medical Examiner) – are well developed, although the times Dr. McNeill ‘giggled’ seemed a bit out of place. The pacing was excellent. As the killer planned his murders for the last Saturday of the month, there was always a countdown to make the detectives sweat and to keep our stomachs in a knot. And there was even some humor that I enjoyed, such as Dickson trying to help Stoneman with his budding relationship with McNeill. But other quips, particularly some of the stationhouse humor, seemed a bit juvenile and crass.
Of the factors that could have used attention, a lack of realism in police procedure would be the top of my list. For example, knowing the killer had planned three escape routes from one assassination site, the four detectives and two building security officers covered exactly one entrance … and then, let the door slam. Of course, the killer escaped. Or in another place, the detectives knew the killer had been in the Army and they had a sample of his blood and yet, they never checked the military’s DNA database. Many of the leads they pursued, on the other hand, seemed destined to failure from the start – like tracing a name that was surely an alias. And finally, some of their breakthroughs seemed a bit too convenient, the connection to the Plagues of Egypt being an example. Even so, these limitations didn’t outweigh a very dynamic, gut-wrenching story.
Overall, Righteous Assassin is a somewhat prototypical, crime thriller that sets itself apart with excellent writing, good character development, edge-of-your-seat pacing, and significant, sometimes explicit violence. With greater attention to police procedure, its appeal could have been increased even further.
Amazon #22 and Goodreads #14 — Four-stars from The Cat’s Mother (Feb 1, 2019)
The Cats Mother rated it 4-Stars (really liked it) Shelves: arc-or-netgalley, crime-or-mystery, read-in-2019 I received a free copy of this very enjoyable police thriller from the author after he posted on the Crime Fiction Addicts Facebook page that he was looking for reviewers. It appears to be the start of a new police series, set in New York.
Mike Stoneman is a senior detective with the NYPD, somewhat old-fashioned in his approach and proud of his reputation as a hard-a**. His new partner, Jason Dickson, suspects that a series of bizarre murders, with no apparent links, but all occurring on the last Saturday of the month, are the work of a serial killer. Stoneman is initially sceptical, but when they discover that each death relates to the ten biblical plagues, and is posting reports on his project as the Angel of Death online, the team, assisted by an FBI profiler, must work together to track the murderer as his kills become ever more gruesome.
This was a well written police procedural, the author is a lawyer who obviously has extensive knowledge of the system. I liked the gradually evolving relationship between Mike and Jason: their initial antagonism, based on the junior detective’s irritation at always being disrespected and called kid or rookie, and the senior’s resentment that his colleague appears to have been promoted because of affirmative action rather than merit, gives way to better understanding and warmth. Mike’s bumbling romance with the sexy medical examiner was also quite sweet. We got a lot of insight into the killer’s mind through his blog, as he justifies his actions by only killing scumbags – and many of the police secretly, or even openly, agree with him.
There were no great twists or surprises in the plot, which followed a fairly standard serial killer arc, but there was plenty of tension as the hunt for the perpetrator escalates. The recurrent references to menstruation, due to the cyclical pattern of the murders, as an insight into juvenile police humour, were rather crass and unnecessary, but the author seems to realise this eventually himself when the hero declines to use it out of respect for his female colleague – this should have happened a lot earlier.
Overall I would recommend this to fans of the Harry Bosch series, and will be looking forward to the next instalment. There is a short story at the end which serves as a nice introduction to Stoneman’s personality, and reinforces that the good cop is not squeaky clean, which makes him far more interesting in my opinion. My thanks to Kevin Chapman for the opportunity to review his book. (less)
January 23, 2019
The original reviews post was getting too long, so I’m starting to post new reviews as individual posts. Here’s #19 on amazon, posted January 22, 2019 from Carol K, a 5-star review titled “Excellent Thriller!”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.. In fact, I read it all the way through at first sitting, even though that kept me up way too late It is a real page-turner. The characters are thoroughly believable, and the plot takes the reader along on all its twists and turns. What I particularly appreciate as a native Manhattanite is that the author gets all the New York details exactly right, not only geographically (although that is certainly a big plus), but also the energy and pace and feel of the city.
I highly recommend Righteous Assassins. In fact, I have sent it as a gift to friends who are thriller aficionados because I know they will enjoy it.
January 11, 2019
For those who entered the Amazon giveaway contest and did not win a copy of my new crime thriller, Righteous Assassin, I have good news. I have a few pre-paid Kindle download codes left over from the giveaway, and you can have one. Just send me a message via the “contact” page on this web … MoreKindle Edition Giveaway! Leave a commentKindle Edition Giveaway!Edit
January 6, 2019
As we roll into 2019 (hopefully the publication year for Mike Stoneman #2), I’m reflecting back on a pretty wonderful 2018. My youngest son, Ross, graduated from Columbia College and was accepted into Boston University School of Law, where he will be starting next September after taking a gap year. My wonderful wife and I … MoreHappy New Year! Leave a commentHappy New Year!Edit
December 17, 2018
We had a terrific and successful book launch party and book signing at Foley’s Sports Pub in NYC! Thanks to everyone who came and helped us have such a great time! Leave a commentBook Signing @ Foley’sEdit
November 11, 2018
November 10, 2018. As of today, local book lovers in Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania can find copies of Righteous Assassin for sale at the Doylestown (PA) Bookshop, the Lahaska Bookshop (at Peddler’s village in New Hope, PA), and at the Cloak and Dagger bookshop in Princeton, NJ. Of course, you can still order … MoreRighteous Assassin now available in three local bookstores. Leave a commentRighteous Assassin now available in three local bookstores.Edit
October 18, 2018
October 18, 2018
As an independently published author, one of the hardest lessons is that you need help. My first instinct is to do everything myself, but I’m not an expert in book cover design, and as much as I think I’m a good editor, editing your own work is impossible (something about having a fool for a … MoreKudos to designer and editor Leave a commentKudos to designer and editorEdit
Reviews for Righteous Assassin
I’m very happy that the early reviews for Righteous Assassin are now posted on Amazon.com and on Goodreads.com (not the same ones, in some cases). I also have reviews from some my early readers that they can’t post on Amazon. So, I will post all reviews here for website visitors to see! You could be next — just post your review on Goodreads.com or amazon.com and I’ll re-post it here.
Most Recent Reviews:
Nancy Lee — January 16, 2019 — 5-stars — Once again, Kevin Chapman has written a thriller to grab your attention from the first page to the last. A great read!e
Rosemary — 5.0 out of 5 stars — Good suspense — January 15, 2019 – Verified Purchase – Good book, with a good premise- Religious zealot as serial killer with an oddly appealing boost of vigilante justice thrown in. Will look for more from this author.
By Rachel Giles — January 15, 2019 5-stars. “Could not put it down.” The dialogue and character building in this book is pure magic. The unsettling mood from the very beginning is nail biting with a uniquely satisfying payoff. Definitely one of my new favorite authors.
January 5, 2019 — HSF posts a 5-star review on amazon: Well Written Thriller Righteous Assassin: A Mike Stoneman Thriller- Kevin Chapman’s latest book was an enjoyable read. While I was worried that the plot might be too dark as Detective Stoneman and Detective Dickson attempt to catch a serial killer who uses biblical plagues as inspiration to kill his victims, the protagonists, Stoneman, Dickson, Agent Manning, and Medical Examiner McNeill are likeable characters and their relationships keeps the book zipping along. While the format looks different in the paperback as it is Kindle publishing compared to a major publisher (who seem to tend to use smaller pages in size), the content of this book is indistinguishable from any bestseller you could pick up at any Hudson bookstore at an airport to grab on your next flight. My only minor criticism is that I might have done the very last chapter- the epilogue type chapter differently- but I don’t want to give anything away. Regardless great job by Mr. Chapman.
Dierdre on Goodreads — Dec. 19, 2018 —
I am very pleased that I won this book and have discovered a new author whose future novels I can look forward to. The NYPD, an FBI profiler, and a serial killer with a fanatical compulsion. All are believable and likable….well, except for that last one. That is, he’s believable but not at all likable. In fact, you would think the author has had quite a bit of experience in the police department and is drawing from personal history. Because of that, I became thoroughly engrossed in the investigation and with the personalities involved. Not something I can say happens very often, or with this kind of depth. So, I say, bring on more Mike Stoneman, Kevin G. Chapman!
Christy Massey — Dec. 15, 2018 – Man, I LOVED this book! What a crazy ride. Great characters, awesome plot. GREAT read!!
Amy Knarr – Dec. 18, 2918 — I’ve read most if not all of Kevin Chapman’s work and he just keeps getting better! Righteous Assassin is the story of a serial killer. I myself am a big fan of murder mysteries, and I am a religious person, so this book was right up my alley. Here is a killer that truly thinks outside the box. The murderer draws his/her (no hints!) ideas from the Bible. I found myself excited for the next murder just to find out the next interpretation. There is a lot of imagination in this novel, but nothing that stretches belief. Add a good imagination to a whack job murderer and anything goes. Scarily. Lots of “police office” banter, research, a little light romance, and Biblical reference make this a very enjoyable read, for those who enjoy murderous fiction.
June Lorraine Roberts — Murderincommon.com — December 15, 2018. Righteous Assassin is a good read. I particularly liked the characters, their relationships and progress through the book.
Saul Warshaw — October 26, 2018 — In Righteous Assassin, a bible quoting, computer-savvy serialkiller goes up against Mike Stoneman, an old fashioned New York Police Department homicide detective, who doesn’t have a facebook account, isn’t on Twitter, and doesn’t even have his own emailaddress. Seems like an unfair battle between the two, as the serial killer murders his victims in such diverse sites as the tigers’ cage at the Bronx Zoo, an a-rated restaurant, and a healthclub, to name a few. Whom he kills, and when and where he does so, is based on the killer’s twisted morality code. A code that makes his victims ripe for death because of their personal conduct. Stoneman and his young partner, Detective Jason Dickson, use old fashioned “gum shoe” police work to figure out why this killer kills, what his murder pattern is, an when and where he will next strike. RIGHTEOUS ASSASSIN is a fast-moving, yet rigorously detailed tale that whips the reader around New York City, as Mike and Jason, with timely technological help from the FBI, figure this one out. — Saul Warshaw, author of “Loose Ends/Mind Tricks” and “Instinct for Survival.”
Heidi Hottinger — October 29, 2018 — November 11, 2018 -[FIVE STARS]I loved this book!!!! The genre of detective-murder mystery is not so easy to write engagingly, though the premise one might think is simple enough. Chapman goes beyond ‘finding the perpetrator’ to developing the Assassin in a way that slowly builds our horror, not only at the murders he commits but with the direction he is taking— I will NOT do a spoiler but there’s something waiting for you in the second half, and I wonder at what point various readers might find it! The growing realization of the potential bad news ahead turns this into a true page- turner for me. I’ll be eager to read his next book and hope the wait isn’t too long!
Jeff Hyson – [FIVE STARS] — 5.0 out of 5 starsLet’s Go Mike Stoneman! November 9, 2018 — There’s a killer on the loose in New York City, Detective Mike Stoneman is in pursuit, and author Kevin G. Chapman is telling us the exciting case in rich detail. The storytelling is so realistic that I wondered if the author was chronicling a true story. Heart-stopping action told in vivid fashion makes “Righteous Assassin” a must read.Sharon (Goodreads — 377 reviews) — rated it 4-stars — really liked it! —Righteousness Assassin is not your run-of-the mill serial killer thriller. It’s Author engages the reader in an involving story that is well written and provides for a page turning experience that does not disappoint. 4 star recommended read. My thanks to goodreads and the book’s giveaway sponsors for the opportunity to obtain a copy of this book.
Donna Roth (Goodreads) — November 13 [4 stars] — A series of strange murders is plaguing New York City and hard-nosed New York City Detective Mike Stoneman is hot on the case. Will he unravel the mysterious connection between these bizarre murders before the killer strikes again? Author Kevin G. Chapman has created an entertaining tale that will keep you engaged until the very last page. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Heather M [4.0 out of 5 stars] Good mystery November 16, 2018. A little slow in spots, but a good, consistent mystery. Will they get to the killer before he strikes again? Always the question at the forefront of the story line. I like that there were few tangents and the writer kept things moving along with great pacing.
Connie Chapman rated it it was amazing · Great read!! I can’t wait for the next one in the series!!
Charlotte Brackett rated it 4-Stars on Goodreads. This book piqued my interest from the moment I read the jacket, and it did not disappoint. I applaud Chapman for coming up with such creative, rather heinous murders and for being able to keep the story both going and exciting for the entirety of the book. The author put enough detail into all of the main characters that I felt like I really got to know them all, both individually and as a team. I came to know these people. And like and dislike them. I also liked that catching the murderer wasn’t the only point of the book. It just wasn’t mentioned on the jacket. Nice little subplot. Pretty great book, I’d say. Thanks to the author and to Goodreads for the free kindle copy in exchange for a review.
Donna Mae Smith-Arorash. I am really enjoying the book “Righteous Assassin”. Kevin G. Chapman, you are quite the author. Very interesting. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Henry Fry – Bravo! Righteous Assassin is a very good read. So much detail and fabric made it very enjoyable. the plot and was ingenious and scary.
Tad Richards — October 25, 2018: Kevin Chapman has some ingenious murders, and some very believable relationships, particularly between a very relationship-shy Middle Ages cop and a woman of a certain age whose appeal leaps off the page. And he has a narrative device that I’ve never seen before. He alternates chapters between the cops trying to figure out what the killer is up to, and the killer, via a blog, telling you what he’s up to. And it works.
Anna Willit — October 15, 2018 — I truly enjoyed Righteous Assassin, it put me in mind of Michael Connelly’s work. A taut thriller that moves with lightning speed. Chapman delivers a well-crafted thriller with meticulous attention to detail and a cast of fascinating characters. New York Detective Mike Stoneman and his partner Jason Dickson are on the trail of an ingenious killer with a terrifying modus operandi. A killer who’s always one step ahead and believes himself to be an avenging angel, a crusader for the Lord. If you enjoyed “Seven,” you’re in for a treat. — Anna Willett, author of “Small Town Nightmare”
Roy Stull on amazon.com rated Righteous Assassin 4-stars: “Page Turner.
Kevin, I really enjoyed your book! I’ll be waiting for the next Mike Stoneman thriller.