Thursday, October 11, 2012

Toxic Relationship Book Tour: Review & Excerpt

Title: Toxic Relationship
Author:  Richard Hacker
ISBN: 9781927454404
Buy Now: Amazon - Kobo - Champagne Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

Nick Sibelius moved to the small Texas town of Pflugerville, turned Austin suburb, to set up a private investigation business, find some peace and maybe, himself, after a murdered partner, a cheating wife and a lost job in Houston. When a couple disappears and a bass fisherman turns up dead, he finds himself drawn into a web of toxic relationships: MaryLou, a beautiful woman with a mysterious past, Junior, a failed farmer whose best intentions seem to always result in a dead body, and Barry, a sociopathic dentist turned illegal toxic waste entrepreneur with visions of grandeur. 

When the felon who killed his partner in Houston joins forces with Barry, Nick must not only stop the toxic waste dumping while finding his client’s missing daughter, but keep from being killed in the process. In the end, MaryLou’s dark secret will either help him or kill him—whichever comes first.


I think what sold this book for me was the cover. I hadn't even read the synopsis and just signed up for the tour. I love books with cowboys and so I liked this and was eager to read it. After that I obviously had to know what the book was about and it didn't sound half bad. Not to mention the title sounded really mysterious.

Nick, a private investigator whose divorce had made his life hard, was asked to investigate a missing case, the Reverand's daughter. As he takes the job, he finds it leads him into a web of mysteries he hadn't anticipated and expected where things are a little hard to trust and believe.

It's been a seriously long while since I read a great crime novel. I think it was sometime last year? Or maybe before that? I am honestly not sure, but this book totally makes up with it. I haven't read many crime stories that weren't written by female authors for some reason, so I didn't know what to expect in this case, but it turned out so brilliant and I absolutely loved this book.

I enjoyed the creativity of having each chapter be a heading instead of just 'chapter one, chapter two...' etc. I also liked how the point of view changed depending on the prominent character in each scenario. I'd expected it to be confusing, but for some reason it wasn't. There was a variety of characters, and each had a specific touch to them that made them stand out in one way or another. Even the bad guys, and no one was completely good. The writing was absolutely great, flowing and easy to get along with.

The book actually turned out to be completely different than I'd expected it to be, which I loved since I love being surprised by books, especially with crime and mystery in the mix.

Rating: 4/5


Nick’s pulse quickened at the distinctive two part sound of a 12 gauge shell being chambered.  He threw his car in reverse, the big V-8 roaring, tires eating into the dirt track, a cloud of dust enveloping him, as he put the truck between himself and the shotgun. A blast, shattering the passenger side glass, sprayed across his seat, but Nick had already opened his door, rolling out onto the ground. He made his way to the back tire, listening for Junior Pendleton’s position. Junior made it easy. 

“Get the hell off my property, goddammit. You got no right to be here.” 

Crouching, Nick used the rear of his truck for cover. Junior had walked up to Nick’s pick up,  sticking his head through the shot out window. Nick rushed him from behind, slamming him hard into the truck, the shotgun firing into the ground by Junior’s feet. 

Junior screamed, “Sonofabitch. My damn foot. Son-of-a-bitch.”  

Nick kept Junior jammed into the window, ripping the gun away from the farmer’s hand. As Junior continued to struggle, cursing, Nick noticed several pellet holes clearly visible in the man’s worn cowboy boots. 

“I don’t think that’s how you want to start this conversation, Junior.

Author Bio:

Richard Hacker
Richard Hacker’s novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category.  He is a member of both the Writers’ League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. 

After living many years in Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle.  While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown pretty fond of the Pacific Northwest.  Along with his wife, Sidney, they hike, kayak and have adventures on his Vespa scooter.  His writing partner is a springer spaniel named Jazz, who helps with proofreading and ball fetching.

DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, will be released June, 2013.  He is currently working on the third book in the series, as well as a young adult fantasy entitled INKER WARS: THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN.

Contact Information
Twitter: @Richard_Hacker

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