WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

Excerpts from Reviews

Cold Case Closure

McCollum’s Run

Of Doggerel and the Dean

Illicit Cargo

 

Cold Case Closure

Cold Case Closure

A crime drama follows a retired cop’s frustrated search for justice. Grant Frazier was a veteran detective working for the Los Angeles Police Department before he was recruited to join the Governor’s Commission on Unsolved Cases, also known as the California Cold Case Taskforce. While stopping in a bar for a beer on the way to his forest cabin, he spots Stanley Krakow, someone he’d investigated for serial rape and murder but was never able to get convicted. Frazier knows in his bones that Stanley is guilty, and he confronts him outside the bar, sparking a physical struggle that leaves Krakow dead. Frazier flees the scene, horrified and satisfied by his grim vigilantism. Months later, despondent over the loss of his wife to cancer, Frazier retires, and his son-in- law, also a detective, joins the CCCT and inherits Frazier’s case files. While Mike scrutinizes the files for the possibility of new leads—Frazier always maintained that the key to solving a cold case was buried within those files somewhere—Frazier pursues his own style of retribution, tracking down the murderers the system couldn’t catch. In time, however, Mike finally realizes that the cold-case suspects keep dying, and they’re all linked by Frazier’s long-standing interest in them, setting up the possibility of a final confrontation. O’Donnell (The Wrathful Vintage: A Phil and Paula Oxnard Mystery, 2011, etc.) and debut author Gaylor masterfully catalog the details of the cases, presenting each clue with scrupulous rigor. The prose is lean and powerfully detached at times, like a journalistic chronicle of true crime. Also, the authors deftly show the exasperating distance that often exists between the reasonable certainty that a suspect is guilty and the evidentiary demands of due process. A thrilling novel, intelligently crafted.

--Kirkus Reviews

Cold Case Closure (A Police Procedural Novel) by Patrick Ian O'Donnell and Charles O. Gaylor is a murder mystery novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of mature young adults and adults who enjoy vigilante style justice stories. Detective Sergeant Grant Frazier spent his career pursuing justice within the law, but watching as criminals failed to be brought to justice, even when the police knew that they were guilty, due to the justice system being unsure of the chances of a conviction. When Grant becomes a former detective instead of an active detective, he sets out to right the wrongs that the justice system was either unable or unwilling to do. Will Grant’s actions serve to save the lives of potential innocent victims or will he become that which he hunts? Cold Case Closure (A Police Procedural Novel) by Patrick Ian O'Donnell and Charles O. Gaylor has an interesting cover that combined elements of nature and investigation into one intriguing cover image. I have to say that this book reminded me of a combination of Batman and Dredd with how Detective Sergeant Grant Frazier is a sort of vigilante who only goes after criminals that have committed capital crimes and escaped punishment, even though the police had evidence of their guilt. I enjoyed the way the book began with Grant’s first act of justice being committed when he was drunk, as it allowed me to understand how he developed into the person he became later in the book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I liked how it avoided all of the normal murder mystery clichés and was, instead, a unique and enjoyable novel.

--Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

 

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McCollum's Run

McCollum’s Run

Patrick O’Donnell’s McCollum’s Run takes place at a mountain resort in the Sierras, and it serves as a wonderful background to a captivating mystery. The background knowledge of the area as well as knowledge of lodging and hospitality gives the book a feeling of reality that will draw the reader in and keep the plot moving at a quick pace. Mr. O’Donnell manages to make the reader feel right at home among the staff at Pole Pine lodge. This well written novel leads off at a fast pace and keeps flowing throughout the story. Great secondary characters, as well as main characters, give the book a superb cast in which to hide the perpetrator. A complete surprise on who commits the crimes gives this novel a plot and climax to make every reader stop and reflect on their own feelings and actions in the circumstances. I would recommend this story to any mystery reader

--Angie Dobson, All About Murder

If Nick and Nora Charles are sipping martinis on a cloud in Mystery Heaven and worried that no couple has appeared to succeed them, they need not look beyond Patrick O’Donnell’s MCCOLLUM”S RUN. The acerbic, witty retired pair, Phil and Pula Oxnard, fit the bill nicely…. The characters are superbly done, the standout being Whitey, but the others are almost as vivid – the bartender Cal; the drunken Pam, the Euberfeminist Brenda, the shady opportunists, Bob Drell and John Fortright, and other assorted spear carriers. The plot moves along at a brisk pace—few words wasted and just the right number of red herrings. A second reading makes one realize how well the clues to the murder r were planted, but never so obvious as ti give away the identity until the very end.

--Mary Elizabeth Devine, reviewingtheevidence.com

 

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Of Doggerel and the Dean

Of Doggerel and the Dean

O’Donnell serves up an intelligent, well-written dose of murder on campus, complete with plenty of suspects, red herrings and twists. Of Doggerel and the Dean is the third in his Phil and Paula Oxnard mystery series, but rest assured—the book stands completely on it’s own.

By nature, mysteries should keep the reader anxiously turning pages and O’Donnell accomplishes this with his writing style: excellent scene setting, short chapters, believable dialogue, and a blessed absence of any unrelated, boring narrative. When asked how to write a good mystery, Elmore Leonard once quipped, “Leave out the boring parts.” Well, O’Donnell has certainly left them out. Toss in an interesting cast of suspects and characters as well as an unexpected ending and you have Of Doggerel and the Dean—a fine mystery.

--Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews

 

This is the third book in a series featuring the Oxnards, and O’Donnell has obviously spent time studying the plot recipes of British-style tea-cozies. In the Oxnards, he has created a likeable and dryly witty couple who is charmingly comfortable with each other. This is the sort of mellow detective yarn that appeals to readers who prefer the violence to take place offstage and delight when a Miss Marple-style sleuth identifies the villain in a library full of assembled suspects. Slow, steady rhythm and polite demeanor feeds this charming mystery.

--Kirkus Reviews

 

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Illicit Cargo

Illicit Cargo

 

Detective Sergeant W.S. 'Shake' Jonson had no objection to hand-holding; it was part of the job." What is Shake's job? What kind of Detective Sergeant? I wanted to find out.

Shake, a nickname, is one complex anti-authority character. He and the other characters and settings are well conceived and written. I found the character of Shake to be a complex and believable. His upbringing making him a confirmed bachelor; and he was happy to be one. A cop with a degree in philosophy is not the norm. I found the plot and the action to be engaging and fun to read. Will Shake change because of Carole?

Mr. O'Donnell has a varied background as a teacher, university administrator, resort operator, and even worked for a registered investment advisory firm. With his wife Lorraine, he resides in Escondido, California.

Mr. O'Donnell has woven a tale of intrigue and corruption in both business and the police department in this work of fiction. I found this story to be engaging and fun to read. Mr. O'Donnell weaves the tentacles of greed, corruption, politics and crime that will keep the reader reading on to find out what happens next. If you love a
good mystery, this one is for you. I highly recommend this book.

--Allbooks Review by Bob Medak

 

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