Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Murder at Tophouse by Clair M. Poulson

Murder at Tophouse, by Clair M. Poulson
2015, 272p, Clean Mystery/Suspense
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Officer Mike Denton can't shake the feeling that something isn't right. Since the shooting that nearly killed him, Mike has attempted to piece his life back together. Just when he thought things were starting to look up, false allegations leveled by his partner, Cal Granberg, have led to his suspension, and Mike begins to suspect that Cal may have played a role in the deadly attack. He has only one clue: a conversation he was never meant to hear involving guns in New Zealand.

Suspicious that he may have stumbled on an illegal gun trafficking plot, Mike sees his suspension as an opportunity to conduct an independent investigation into the shady actions of his ex-partner. He prepares for a month-long vacation to New Zealand to find the proof that would clear his good name but what he couldn't prepare for his lovely young New Zealander Skylie Yates, a woman with her own troubles. A dangerous enemy believes that Skylie is the key to finding a hidden fortune. The problem: Skylie claims to know nothing about the money. Now, Mike must set aside his own quest for evidence in order to discover who's behind the threats to the woman he's coming to care for. But when his two investigations collide and Skylie's life hangs in the balance, Mike finds himself in a race against time to unearth a corruption far deeper than he could have imagined . . .

Mike Denton is a police officer who has a run of bad luck at the beginning. When he recovers, he gets suspended and decides to set out on his own to get answers to what happened to him. All clues lead to New Zealand so he travels there and quickly meets Skylie Yates who is headed home to New Zealand. Skylie is in a dangerous situation and Mike decides to help her but it doesn't take long before he realizes that his troubles might be linked to hers. 

There are lots of characters and situations introduced throughout the book and I enjoyed seeing how they all came together at the end. Mike and Skylie are thrown into danger together right from the beginning so we don't get to see a normal relationship progress between them. They are always looking over their shoulders for several people who are constantly after them. I didn't feel too connected to them as a couple but I understood their attachment to each other.

I have read quite a few of Clair Poulson's books and enjoyed them all but it's been a while so I was excited to read his new release! There are multiple reasons I enjoy his books: the main characters don't get off easy and deal with some tough situations, they are suspenseful and clean and I know I will be satisfied at the end. This one didn't disappoint in those areas. The reason I didn't give it five stars is because I felt like it was heavy on the theories behind what was happening and, while interesting, it slowed the story down at times. There's also one character who seemed like a danger to them the entire time and then all of a sudden, he was fine and it just seemed a little abrupt to me. Also, the wrap up happened so fast and I wanted a little more at the very end. 

There's still a lot to like about this book and if you're a fan, you won't want to miss this one. The last part of the book, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! I'm looking forward to reading more of his books in the future!

About the Author:
Clair M. Poulson retired after twenty years in law enforcement. During his career he served in the U.S. Military Police Corps, the Utah Highway Patrol, and the Duchesne County Sheriff's Department, where he was first a deputy and the the county sheriff. He currently serves as a justice court judge for Duchesne County, a position he has held for nineteen years. His nearly forty-year career working in the criminal justice system has provided a wealth of material from which he draws in writing his books. Clair has served on numerous boards and committees over the years. Among them are the Utah Judicial Council, and FBI advisory board, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, the Utah Justice Court Board of Directors, and the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Other interests include activity in the LDS Church, assisting his oldest son in operating their grocery store, ranching with his oldest son and other family members, and raising registered Missouri Fox Trotter horses. Clair and his wife, Ruth, live in Duchesne and are the parents of five married children. They have twenty-two grandchildren.
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