Tag Archives: Robert Lane

Book Review: Naked We Came – Compelling Mystery

Naked We Came

By Robert Lane

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the publisher.

Jake Travis is a haunted man. When he was seven years old his sister was abducted while on a family vacation. This life changing event was compounded by the reality that her body was never found and the person that committed this heinous act has never been brought to justice. It is no surprise that this shaped him into the man he is today. He only allows people to see what he wants them to, never getting close enough to find the truth of the guilt he has harbored since he was a child.

When the man Jake suspects of her death washes up close to his dock, Jake is immediately under suspicion for the death. Jake realizes that person who was trying to frame him for this murder must be involved in the death of his sister. Jake will stop at nothing to get the answers he has waited twenty years to hear, but he must do so as he is wanted for questioning by the authorities. His decision puts friends old and new in jeopardy. But Jake is relentlessly pursuing the truth of what happened and will not stop at any cost.

Lane is a masterful writer. He paints descriptions pulling the reader into the scenes with his characters. Bits of literary beauty are tucked in this gritty mystery. Much like Dean Koontz, Lane adds quotes such as one from Picasso and words that enhance the reader’s experience and enjoyment. For instance, “gibbous moon” had me clicking the dictionary feature on my Kindle.

This is the fourth Jake Travis novel I have read. I love Lane’s style of writing as well as the depth and growth of his characters. The plot-line of Naked We Came explains so much of how Jake reacts in the previous novels when confronting criminals. He is relentless – undoubtedly he sees his sister’s abductor in them. Like the previous novels in this series, Naked We Came is a fast-paced, complexly interesting mystery. I highly recommend this series.

Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Cooler Than Blood – Hot New Novel by Robert Lane


Cooler Than Blood

By Robert Lane

316 pages

Ex-military Jake Travis uses his covert op training to help people who need the services of a PI. One who doesn’t think twice about crossing the line – but only when necessary. His humor is as sharp as the knife he conceals, and he isn’t afraid to use either of them. When Susan Blake calls him, he ignores her at first. Not wanting to create any waves with his girlfriend Kathleen, he feels the less contact he has with a woman he felt attracted to, but successfully avoided intimacy with, the better off he will be. Until he finds out Susan’s teenage niece is missing.

Jenny Spencer, a recent high school graduate left Ohio without telling her mother and step-father.  She moved in with her Aunt Susan in Florida. Leaving home before a bad situation got worse; Jenny felt safe with her choice. Unfortunately a violent encounter with a man on a deserted beach quickly turned her world upside down again. Then she mysteriously disappeared.

The police are not concerned. She “ran away” once, so why worry about her now? That is Jake’s first response also. Until he finds out she left her cell phone behind. No teen would leave his or her phone for a few hours, much less run away without it.

Reluctantly Jake agrees to look for Jenny. He calls his partner, Garrett Demarcus to help with the case as well as a few of his other friends/partners that he worked with in the past.

Jenny’s trail isn’t easy to follow. It seems as though she is one step ahead of them. The question is; who actually has her? It could be a crazy drug selling family from Ohio. It could also be mobsters with ties to Chicago. It could be someone from her past or maybe she just ran away like the indifferent detective on the case believes. Jake needs to find her before she outlives her usefulness.

In a strange turn of events, Jake finds out a dangerous person in Kathleen’s past may be connected to this case. He has to figure out how to find the teen without dragging his personal life into the case. Balance is difficult for most people, but Jake’s failure to keep work and home life separate could prove deadly.

Lane’s work is beautifully literary, with a healthy side dish of noir. The blending of two seemingly unrelated styles is perfectly crafted to create a work of art you will savor to the last page. His characters have relatable flaws and quirks both good and bad, masterfully breathing life into them. Lane’s descriptions and dialog pull the reader into Jake’s world and don’t let go until Jenny is found.

The second book in Robert Lane’s Jake Travis works well as a stand-alone novel, but you may want to read the first in the series, The Second Letter before Cooler Than Blood. I read it last year and couldn’t wait to hear more from Lane (read my review here: https://lauramhartman.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/book-review-the-second-letter-by-robert-lane/). There are a few references to his first book, but I don’t feel it would be confusing if you have not read it.

Read them both – you are going to love this author’s work.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.


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