Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fatal Laws - Book Reviews

The third book in the Laws series--Fatal Laws--is coming June 1, 2007! In this long awaited follow-up to Night Laws and Shadow Laws, Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry meets his toughest opponent yet--Jack Degan. And his most insatiable woman yet--Tianca Holland.

Fatal Laws.
ISBN 9780976924364
Jim Michael Hansen.
Dark Sky Publishing, Inc.
402 pages
Trade Paperback
June 1, 2007

Back Cover Copy. When several women are found buried in shallow graves near one another, each murdered in a brutally different way, Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry finds himself pulled into the edgy world of Tianca Holland--a woman involved enough to be a prime suspect, vulnerable enough to be the next victim, and beautiful enough to be more than just a distraction.


"Bryson Coventry is a cop who is slightly irreverent and pushes the button. Investigating a murder, he meets Tianca Holland, a beautiful bi-sexual ex lover of the victim. Tianca comes on string to Bryson, answering the door in just a flimsy silk shirt. She comes on to Bryson who is having difficulty not having sex with her. Across town, newly sworn in attorney, Haley is getting ready for her new job. When she arrives, she seeks out Renee Rand, who had been her mentor when she had clerked for the law firm years earlier. But Renee wasn’t seated at her desk, a young Asian lady was. And that’s where she learned that her mentor and had been missing now about five months.

Christina now sits at Renee’s desk.

Jack Degan began scouting his next prey, Mia, a tattoo artist in Pueblo .
Haley’s new law firm consists of approximately 123 attorneys and at least one other city. Austin Gray is the big man, the senior partner and to Haley’s surprise, he invites her to lunch. She asks him about Renee, but he tells her it is the hands of the police. This just isn’t good enough for Haley and she proceeds to investigate on her own.

In the meantime, another body is found, close to the first body. This gets Haley thinking about body dumps, so she goes to the site, in a rain storm, to discover indeed a third body. Well, not exactly a body, but the head of her mentor and friend Renee. Haley makes an anonymous phone call to the police.

In the meantime, Degan gets in a bar fight with a biker, falls in love with a hooker and captures his prey, Mia. Degan is taking orders from someone, who tells him who to take and then to clean up the mess.

FATAL LAWS is a book with multiple main characters whose lives intersect in deceit, sexual manipulations, and murder. Why was Renee murdered? Who murdered Renee? Who murdered the others? Who is the “Big Boss”? You’ll have to read FATAL LAWS for the answers, but what I will tell you is that, FATAL LAWS is a fast, easy read through maze of characters that connect in odd and interesting ways. At first, I thought there might be too many main characters, but no, not at all. Jim Michael Hansen, has written in a way that it is clear which character is working, what is going on and how it all fits with the rest of the package. Very well done. Very enjoyable. It is a graphic thriller and not a cozy. I read it in one sitting, enjoying it immensely; however, I was a tad bit disappointed in the ending. Just my preference. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.5." --Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D. for Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine (Nov. 07 edition)

"Denver homicide detective Bryson Covenry senses something different about his curent case involving the murders of four young women. Part of the difference is that one of the suspects, a mysterious woman named Tianca, is getting under Coventry's skin in the most inappropriate of ways. Another difference is the mixed message being sent by the victims. Are they victims of a serial killer, as it first appears, but if so, why were they all killed in different ways. Baffled, Covenry and steadfast colleague Shalifa Netherwood grind their way through the evidence. Meanwhile, a young law associate who had once worked with one of the victims inadvertently involves herself with the investigation, possibly to her own peril. At times, Hansen ladles on the sex and violence with a bit of heavy hand, but he builds suspense effectively, and his hero is both likable and multidimensional. A too-little-known hard-boiled series that deserves attention."

"Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry is knee-deep in corpses. When he finds four brutally murdered women’s bodies buried near each other in shallow graves, he begins his search for the diabolic murderer or murderers. Each victim has been killed in a different way. One had her eyes gouged out while another was decapitated. Victim three died by multiple stabbings, the fourth by suffocation.

Tianca Holland is bisexual and the main suspect in the murder of Angela Pfeifer, her ex- lover, whose body was one of those found by the railroad spur. Tianca also becomes the main squeeze in Bryson’s life, defying all police regulations. Bryson is irresistibly drawn to this sexy and edgy woman.

Hayley Wilde is a young attorney who once clerked for and is now employed by Hart, Sanders & Day, LLC. The only one who took an interest in her when she clerked there last summer was female attorney, Renee Rand. Hayley hopes to return some kindness to Renee when she joins the same firm.

Hayley soon discovers that Renee no longer works for the firm: she went missing in April – five months ago. The firm hired private investigators when the police couldn’t find any solid leads, but the P.I.s came up empty-handed, too. Hayley can’t stop puzzling over Renee’s disappearance and begins her own investigation but is warned off by senior partner Jacqueline Moore, who claims it could bring negative attention to the firm. There appears to be more than meets the eye when Moore is around. Eventually there is some head-butting between Hayley and Moore, resulting in Hayley telling Moore where to put the job. Austin Gray, another senior partner in the firm, coaxes Hayley back to work.

Jack Degan is a murderer for hire. His boss, Swofford doesn’t seem to have a problem finding “customers” who want someone else done away with. Strangely, Degan commits the murders almost without feeling, yet he becomes emotionally involved with a whore, Gretchen. Gretchen knows nothing of his real vocation.

Fatal Laws follows Night Laws and Shadow Laws, all authored by the cunning Jim Hansen. Each novel is able to stand alone as a Bryson Coventry thriller, although collecting them all is ideal for thrill-seekers. Fast paced with an ever-building hunger-to-know, Fatal Laws is sure to satisfy. The surprise ending is an added bonus to this well-written and stimulating read." Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Brenda A. Snodgrass, 2007

"Hansen continues to write the best mystery thrillers. You’ll be glad
to know Bryson Coventry is at it again, only this time he has two
bodies to contend with. *** As usual, Coventry becomes involved with one of the suspects, Tianca. One of the victims happens to be a close friend of Haley Wilde, a lawyer with the ink still wet on her diploma but she’s determined to find the killer. The solution is totally unexpected and that’s just what you get when you read one of Hansen’s books."

Andra Tracy
Out Word Bound Books
Indianapolis, IN

"Homicide detective Bryson Coventry has four seemingly related murders to investigate. The bodies were all found together near a railroad spur, each killed in a different way. The first death implicates Tianca Holland, but the others absolve her of the crimes. Bryson has only a few clues, some coming from the vandalized apartment of Haley Wilde, a new attorney at the firm where one of the women worked.

Haley Wilde has pursued her own investigation of Renee Rand’s disappearance, despite official discouragement from her firm. She discovers Renee’s body by the railroad, and still pursues the clues she find to track Renee’s killer. Meanwhile Tianca is trying to lure Bryson into her bed, but he resists, if just barely. Another man keeps burning the highway between Denver and Pueblo, setting up snatches of women. What’s going on?

FATAL LAWS is Jim Michael Hansen’s third thriller featuring Bryson Coventry, and it’s another electric novel. Hansen may remind readers of John Grisham with his crisp plots, sharp dialogue and keen characterizations. The action never lags, and once you start the book, it’s hard to put down. Two more books are planned for the series, so Hansen is a talent to look for." Jean Hanke, Reader to Reader Reviews

"Fatal Laws is the third thriller in Law series.

Hansen is an author with a publishing dream. He is determined to write thrillers without the 'necessary' help from agents or New York publishers. Hansen is showing the publishing world that with a sizzling book and a good marketing plan, viable titles can be written and sold--and a fan following can be achieved.

When a body is found in a shallow grave, Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry, 'catches' the case. During the initial investigation, Coventry finds another body buried not far from the first. A new attorney, Haley Wilde, is quietly investigating the disappearance of a friend. On a hunch, she visits the burial scene of Coventry's case where two more bodies are unearthed.

One of the women who died is linked to the wealthy and beautiful Tianca Holland, who becomes a suspect. Coventry is more than a little attracted to Tianca and as usual, he becomes caught up in her life.

Coventry is a womanizer, but you love him anyway as his heart is always with the victims--and solving the crime is foremost in his mind.

The body count is rising and Coventry and his partner Shalifa Netherwood's investigation of the murders intersect with attorney Wilde's. The race is on to find the brutal killer and prevent more deaths. No one is really who you think they are--and the appetites and secrets of some of Denver's most visible citizens are more than dangerous--especially when they are aided by people without any moral compass.

Hansen has become one of my favorite thriller authors. His writing is crisp and clean and his plots are scintillating. After reading a Law series novel, I find myself checking the doors and windows to make sure they're locked, and I am always on the lookout for a maniacal killer who might be stalking me.

Hansen leaves us with a big question in this novel, and I'm hoping for the answer in an upcoming book. If not, it will be a big disappointment. I can't wait for the next Law book.

Armchair Interviews says: If you want your thrillers to be exciting, entertaining and gritty, the Law series is what the doctor ordered." --Andrea Sisco, Armchair Interviews

"FATAL LAWS is the third book in the Bryson Coventry franchise. In each successive outing Hansen has place Coventry in more demanding situations, both professional and personal. How Coventry deals with the blurring of the lines and his strong moral sense of right and wrong are the hallmarks of this excellent series.

It’s early September and Coventry is called to investigate the death of Angela Pfeifer. He meets the beautiful Trianca Holland – a woman who may be involved to be the prime suspect or the next victim. Coventry is spellbound by her beauty and finds it difficult to keep his professional distance, especially knowing that her background is on the edges of normal society. Freshly minted lawyer Haley Wesson is secretly looking into the disappearance of Renee Rand, a lawyer in the firm that she clerked for over the summer before being hired on in the fall. When Coventry’s case intersects with Wesson’s clandestine investigation, Denver may have a new serial killer on the loose. A series of shallow graves containing women murdered in various brutal ways confirms the suspicions and sets the course for this thirteen day thriller.

Hansen is a master of drawing you into the story early and making you care about his players. At times you may find yourself shuddering as the events play out on the page. Hansen’s characters, the tightly plotted story line, the concise timeline, place the reader in the heart of the action. All of this makes FATAL LAWS a must read. One word of advice, read this book with the lights on."
--Aldo Calcagno, Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

"Expect the unexpected. That is the best advice I can give before sending you to a bookstore to purchase Jim Hansen's superb suspense novels. FATAL LAWS is the third novel in the author's Bryson Coventry series; perhaps it is the best of the bunch so far and that's not an easy feat to manage. It is not unusual for an author to reach a "sophomore slump" after one or two stunning novels, Jim Michael Hansen proves that he is in a whole other class! FATAL LAWS is amazing!

Denver Homicide Detective Bryson Coventry must inform Tianca Holland that her lover, Angela Pfeifer, is dead. In reality, Bryson knows that Tianca is his prime suspect. However, Tianca's forthright cooperation throws him off guard. Anyone so willing to hand over anything that could be considered evidence is either extremely innocent or desperate to throw detectives off the course. It is not long, however, that additional bodies surface and Tianca is cleared. Now Bryson is back to square one hunting for an illusive serial killer, but he also finds himself in a burgeoning relationship with the bi-sexual Tianca. Bryson struggles to keep his mind on business while the body count rises.

Meanwhile, Haley Wesson, a new attorney with Hart, Sanders & Day, discovers that the lawyer who befriended her during her summer internship has been missing for five months. Haley truly respected Renee Rand and sets off to investigate the disappearance. When Renee's body is discovered, Haley meets with Bryson and offers to help him in any way possible. When Haley's apartment is ransacked, Bryson realizes that Haley could become the killer's next victim if a break in the case does not arise quickly.

Jim Hansen incorporates three viewpoints into his latest novel. Some authors attempt this method and fail, the opposite occurs in FATAL LAWS. The changes are so seamless and fluid that the story becomes more absorbing. Trust me, while you think you may solve the case early, you are probably not even close. The plot spirals towards a stunning conclusion. By the final word, you will be craving more!" Tracy Farnsworth, Roundtable Reviews,

"I wondered with great anticipation what I would find between the covers of Jim Hansen's new work, "Fatal Law." I have come to love detective Bryson Coventry, a Denver homicide detective who is one of the main players in each of our author's great works. Detective Coventry is soon faced with bodies turning up in shallow graves each killed in a different manner. Coventry, certainly faced with a dilemma, must find out if there is more than one killer running around or did just one killer like to change his murderous ways with each new victim. The hunt is on.

It also seems our detective has become quite involved with a very wealthy, beautiful, mysterious lady who herself ,to his dismay, is under suspicion. You can't help but wonder if our detective is falling under her spell and just how good a thing that maybe! Could this woman be our detective's downfall? We'll have to wait and see on that one. The investigation proceeds and we meet a man, Degan, whose soul is black, whose conscience is empty and whose lust is for money. His part in the many murders is only that ,a part, as he gathers up humans as one would pick dust off the floor. Once chosen by him their life is over and one is left to wonder who is behind this sinister work and why?

It is very difficult to tell you the story of this book without revealing the plot so I will go no further in my story summary other than to tell you it is a murderous mystery of the deadliest kind. True to form, our author has once again penned a mystery that will keep your heart racing and your mind struggling to figure out the evil behind the hideous deaths. As usual, and what I have come to expect from his work, he has paid careful consideration insuring every element that makes up a mystery of depth is covered, played upon, exciting your senses and making you hunger for more.

One thing I must mention, this work is somewhat graphic sexually and there maybe those who would be uncomfortable with some of the detailed sexual activity and some of the words used. However, I do believe Mr. Hansen has written this as so to show the mindset of the characters in this work, and believe me these characters are anything but honorable and pure.The description of each character is defined, their physical form noted, their mental attitude given, bringing them vividely to life in your mind's eye.

Ending this review I'd like to say that this is a top-notch mystery read, but more than that, it is a story of a hideous crime that I believe may actually take place in our society and lie hidden under the protection of evil. A page turner, shivering read that will chill you to the bone and one you will silently pray is indeed fiction. --Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review,

"Attention thriller fans. A tale with lots of suspense. Chills will creep up and down your spine as you read. A cleverly plotted tale that will keep you guessing and looking over your shoulder. With many subplots skillfully woven and kept moving forward until they merge, author Jim Michael Hansen will keep you glued to the pages. A very well-told tale that is guaranteed to satisfy any thriller or suspense fan. You'll be looking for his other books, Night Laws and Shadow Laws. Beware strangers offering you money, don't accept rides or drinks from them and enjoy the story. I sure did."
--Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader Magazine,

"Mr. Hansen’s mysteries keep improving with each book he writes. I have found his plots and action to be edgy and twisted. This third novel is no different. Chief of Homicide, Bryson Coventry of the Denver Police Department, becomes involved in a serial killer who is seriously into snuff films. He also becomes emotionally entangled with a gorgeous wealthy lady who happens to be a suspect in a string of murders where women are buried in shallow graves in one location. Bryson, known for his two-color eyes and his unorthodox approach to police work, works alongside his black, female partner (who has her hands full keeping him out of official trouble) and a young lady lawyer who’s too curious for her own good. The author brings his career as a trial lawyer into play to lend high credibility to the details of the legal profession and the police and forensics work. His stories are rich with plausible actions and motives, which he hides well to the very end. This particular novel’s ending will slap you upside your head with a two by four, it’s so unusual. We rated it a solid five hearts."
--Bob Speer, Heartland Reviews.

"The story slowly begins to unwind on day one-September 5, Monday morning. Bryson Coventry rings the bell of the home that belongs to Tianca Holland. There is something she notices about Coventry that anyone sees as soon as they look at him. He has one green and one blue eye. He begins to question her about a body that was uncovered in a shallow grave. What had led him to her? Could she be involved in some way? As you are led to each clue, along with Bryson Coventry, the mystery begins to untangle as to who did what in the story; suddenly the plot develops into a knot. As they tighten, who is after whom? And for what purpose? Slowly and in a nail-biting manner, each day winds down, heightening the suspense to an all-time altitude. Each murder deepens the uncertainty as Fatal Laws gets the adrenaline pumping faster through the system. You, along with Coventry, try to unravel the crime of the century; as one by one, the graves yield the bodies of the murdered victims. Coventry, in his investigation, finds out how each victim died. Some, while still alive, suffered in a grotesque manner before leaving this realm. Find out who else falls prey in this nerve-chilling shocker. Very realistic! Jim Michael Hansen has come up with yet another heart-pounding thriller loaded with murder and mayhem. His unique style of writing keeps the reader captivatingly interested. All the while, each chapter is like a roller coaster ride, that takes you higher and higher for the thrill. Just as suddenly, you come back down with great speed, and swallow your heart back. Then, as each character takes you deeper into the suspenseful thriller, your heart winds up back in your throat again. Great job Mr. Hansen!"
--Wanda Maynard, Simegen Reviews,

"Bryson Conventry is a gritty, good-looking homicide detective in Denver. Suddenly he has found himself in what appears to be a search for a serial killer. The bodies of four women have been found – all in the same place. Each has been killed a bit differently, but they all seemed to have disappeared at the same time of year. One of Coventry’s suspects is the intoxicatingly beautiful Trianca Holland. She is a woman who likes to live on the edge, without any boundaries. Now Coventry is in her sights and she wants to do more than just answer his questions. Haley Wesson is a fresh out of college law student who is now working at one of Denver’s most prestigious firms. She finds out that one of the top lawyers she previously interned with at the firm is one of Conventry’s victims. Feeling that the lawyer’s murder was more than a coincidence, Haley goes on a fishing expedition that could end up making her another victim. This is the third book in the “Laws” series surrounding the cases of Bryson Coventry. While at times a “series” of anything – whether a movie or book – can sometimes get stale as it continues from one segment to the next, this is definitely NOT the case with this trio of books! Jim Michael Hansen has amazingly kept each book fresh and invigorating. Like the other two, I was taken on a roller coaster ride to solve Coventry’s case, but this one grabbed me faster than the other two did. The familiar characters that I was re-introduced too, were just as intriguing, funny and smart as they were the first time I met them. his book gets the reader to run from page to page the way the detective runs from clue to clue. But be prepared…the last twist at the end even had me shaking my head!"
--Kathy Martin, In the Library Review,

"FATAL LAWS by Jim Hansen: Third in the Laws series (NIGHT LAWS and SHADOW LAWS) and hopefully there will be a lot more to come. Beautiful women surround Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry. Unfortunately, some of them are dead. Why are women disappearing and where are they between the time they disappear and when their bodies are found? Since one of the victims is an attorney, lawyers are involved as well. Another well-written combination police procedural and attorney book that keeps ratcheting up the ante. Definitely recommended."
--Jack Quick, Book Bitch Book Review,