Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do As I Say or else..

Knowing too much can often ruin a story. A plot might hinge on one little detail that in your heart you know isn't right, that it can't happen this way, that the science is wrong, or that something else doesn't fit.  We all know about continuity errors and how they can, if they are large enough, jar you out of the story and niggle you for the rest of the book or movie. I'm speaking more about pre-knowledge.  For instance, say the plot hinges on someone driving from Omaha to Denver at top speed.  The author has a car going 145 mph all the way in a car that has a top speed on 120 and our driver arrives in 3 hours. Oops! If you know the road or the car, it is jarring. If it is important that the driver, say beats an airplane due to arrive in less than 3 hours, the whole thing is spoiled - you know too much. Our book choice today had me in fear of this same type of error. In fact, I kept thinking, "Don't let it be that. Don't let it be only that!" I wasted a lot of time since David A. Sterling pulled through with flying colors. He covered all his bases in "Do as I Say", a stunning mystery.  Next time I know to trust him.

Do as I Say
By David A. Sterling
Publisher BookBaby
 Length 274

From Amazon:
    Agent Bennett Mills is a member of a special security detail charged with the protection of a prominent Arizona senator…until the senator is assassinated.  With the suspected assassin having taken his own life it appears to be an open and shut case, but something doesn’t sit well with Agent Mills.  While waiting for reassignment, he takes some vacation time making a less than enthusiastic trip home to Arizona to see his family.  A chance meeting leads Mills on the trail of a madman that is often fraught with more questions than answers.  Who can be trusted? Every step forward leads to another dead end.

About the Book:
     Agent Bennett Mills goes out with 'the boys', to celebrate the re-elction of the senator and their job security for the next four years.  The next morning, though, Mills is too sick to attend to his duties and calls in sick. Unfortunately the senator is assassinated and Mills is filled with guilt. This situation is complicated by the fact that Mills once dated the senator's daughter, Hope.
     Reeling from shock and guilt, Mills takes some vacation time to see his family in Arizona. On the plane he meets Ed Lynch, a detective with the Phoenix police department.  During the flight, Lynch fills Mills in on a case that's way too similar to the assassination to be ignored. In both cases a veteran, with seemingly no motive, murders someone and then kills himself at the scene. By the time the plane lands in Phoenix, the men realize they have an investigation on their hands, having found several cases with the same details.
      Mills becomes enamored April Lynch, Ed's daughter as she helps with the investigation but, April's life appears to be in danger, and the romance gets squeezed out (some) by the attempts on April's life. Why is the mob trying to kill April and what do they have to do with the veterans who are murdering people? As soon as the team thinks they have it figured out, something blocks their path or proves them wrong.

My Take
   This is one of those books you just keeping reading until you fall asleep or you have to go to work.  The writing is easy, clear, and tight.  Almost all the details provided add to the story, though there may be a few details added to throw a good mystery buff off the scent for a while. The plot is quite good and the twist -yes, there is a twist of sorts - is one most of us will never see coming.  I suggest you don't even try, It is that well done.
    The romance is also a nice addition to the story and never overpowers the actual plot of the tale. Given the circumstances, it comes off as completely believable. The secondary romance in the book also has a sweet, it could easily happen feel to it. This is exactly how sex and romance should be done in a book that is not a "Romance" novel.
   There is enough action in the book to keep action readers happy and in fact the first few days of the investigation feels like two weeks because so much happens in such a short time. 
    I found all the characters in the book likable, even the mob to some extent, and I did get a vested interest in what  happens to all of them early in the story, even the head of the mob. That is not to say, he didn't deserve exactly what he got - I simply liked him because I could understand him. Sterling does an excellent job of balancing details involving his main characters with those involving his minor characters so they are fleshed out enough to feel real without the minor characters overpowering the book.  This is something new writers often fail to do.

   I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good police mystery. The writing is very good and the plot excellent. 


  1. “It was Awesome!” I received my book and read it in one setting it was so good. I can’t usually sit and read a book in one setting but this one kept me very interested and I couldn’t wait to see what was next. It was filled with twist and turns and I just couldn’t put it down at a chapter, I usually can figure out the ending in the beginning of the book or who done it, not in this book. I loved all the characters and the plot, the twist and turns and the ending, it was SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD. Beside the quality of the content of the book, the pages were nice they were thicker than most paperbacks and easy to turn and didn’t get stuck together on each page turn. The type print was great as well, easier for me to read. I just finished a series of books and the pages were so thin they kept sticking together very frustrating. I can’t wait for the next book to become available or this book to be made into a movie, it would certainly keep you on the edge of your seat. CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Sterling on his fine work!!!

  2. I was more surprised at the why than the who, but also the who when it came to the senator. My copy of the book was in e-book form and was quite clean, especially since, on the Kindle, the book has to conform to whatever type set you chose. It was a very easy read for me.

  3. I could not put this book down! Mr.Sterling did a fabulous job!! This book kept me guessing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

  4. BRAVO, Mr. Sterling! An excellent read that keeps the reader highly engaged throughout the book. I admired the integrity of the main character, his tenacity, and the way he interacted with the other characters. The story's details, with it's twists and turns, were linked nicely together which made it an enticing and well planned plot.
    Can't wait for more exciting adventures of Bennett Mills.
    Highly recommended!!


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