After a murdered partner, a cheating wife and a lost job in Houston, Nick Sibelius sets up a private investigation business in a small Texas town hoping to find some peace and maybe, himself. 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; 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 save him or kill him -- whichever comes first.
“Tight suspense with wonderful laugh out loud moments. Richard Hacker is a master storyteller."
Pam Binder, Pacific Northwest Writers Association President and author of the NY Times Best Selling anthology, A Season in the Highlands
"Many times I found myself getting strange looks because I was laughing out loud...Highly entertaining and sure to be enjoyed by fans of mysteries with humor. I highly recommend it and hope that there will be more stories to follow."
Paige Lovitt for Reader Views
Junior looked back at Ayisha.
“He’s not my kid you know. My brother, my dear brother Caleb killed himself. The boy’s mother,” he pointed to Carl, “she ran off with some rodeo cowboy. Caleb tried to dull his pain with a load of beer and a bunch of whiskey he found on sale down at the Quik Pick liquor store. Caleb got drunk, then killed himself by rolling his truck, which of course led to me suddenly having his son Carl in my business. You got kids?”
Ayisha shook her head “no.”
“Figures. You FBI types probably don’t have time for family. Well let me tell you what. It ain’t all it’s cranked up to be. I mean, look at this situation. I’ve got you people,” he waved his gun across at Delton, “probably federal agents, snooping around my property and where’s Carl? Face down in the dirt. I tell you, the boy makes a cedar post seem really smart.
My Review :It took me fifty pages to become invested in this story....I think it was the first laugh out loud moment that hooked me and I ended up loving what I initially thought I wouldn't care for. The first pages were building the story pages and were indeed necessary. It was there we first met Carl, (a rather dim witted,farm boy, headed for his hiding spot) that he finds occupied by young black lovers. When it becomes obvious that someone is watching the young lovers, the male takes off after the pervert. The girl is screaming, her young marine in pursuit, he trips and knocks himself out and Carl runs smack into a tree, knocking himself out as well! There is a lot of action during this read, but the absolute best parts were hearing the inner thoughts of two backwoods farmers, Carl and his uncle, Junior who are rednecks and without a lot of education. Junior who wanted to be somebody and wanted to walk the easy road to success, is obviously thrust into mayhem as his own paranoia and bad luck made him somebody who attracted trouble. These two characters made the book for me! The main Character was Nick Sebelious, a burnt out cop turned private investigator, who had been hired by Aiyisha's dad to find his daughter and bring her back. Yes, she was the girl with her marine lover that Carl stumbled across in the beginning. She and Delton's story was terrifying to say the least.
The characters in this story are awesome. The story is steady, we meet a man changing into a woman, the doofusses, a love story gone wrong, a psychopath dentist with higher aspirations than sense, and a killer who was scarier than zombies. I think for a mystery, adventure and laugh out loud funny read, you wouldn't go wrong with Toxic Relationship. Rather a fast read too!
Richard Hacker/Author Bio:
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.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*