Book Review: Marsh Island

November is halfway over, and Thanksgiving is next week. Black Friday is next, which officially kicks off the holiday shopping season. Are you ready? If between the festivities, and the shopping, you begin aching for a moment of peace, please check out this week’s selection. I’ll be reviewing Marsh Island by Oliver F. Chase. You can find him on Twitter.

51XFSc1hJzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Phoenix Private Investigator, Phil Pfeifer, a retired Army Ranger, made a career of exposing cheating husbands for spurned wives. It wasn’t especially lucrative, but it paid the bills, and the danger was nothing out of the ordinary, that is until Bernice Trimble came into his life.

Mrs. Trimble, first hired the P.I. to investigate the disappearance of her husband in Mexico, and if he could, to expedite an official death certificate to collect on a million dollar life insurance. Once done, he thought no more about her and the ugly episode south of the border, that is until she found him again 18 months later.

What follows is a series of false leads, intrigues, and mysteries that put Pfeifer’s life on the line. With the dying Trimble sure that her husband is alive, this begins the most treacherous case to date. At risk is his career, his life, and at one point even his sanity. For what? To chase the ghost of a man he believes to be dead?

Even after many warnings from his friends and who he believes to be men with mob ties, he continues relentlessly, unsure himself why he refuses to quit. The job puts him in the crossfires, and the biggest mystery is why. Why should his attempt to find a dead man for a grieving wife jeopardize his life? More importantly to him, who is behind the threat?

Marsh Island is a thriller to its core. It’s twists and turns kept me reading, searching for answers. The storyline kept me turning to the next page, only to become more determined to find the answer. Page after page, Mr. Oliver had my heart racing, and my adrenaline coursing though my body, watching and waiting to see what came next.

And I’m still waiting…

This book is the first of the Hirebomber Series, and is bookended by our antagonists, but the book proper is solely the realm of our private eye. We follow him as he fights to find the answers, struggles to survive, and witnesses death.

I found the book as a whole to be well-written, but felt that the prologue seemed a bit unwieldy, only paying off late in the book. It served its purpose to give back story, but I think it could have been better served incorporated into the story. As is, it postpones the beginning of Pfeifer’s narrative, and almost caused me to put down the book.

But after reading the book from cover to cover, I’m glad I persevered. I became engaged with the main character. I felt his frustration at some of the characters who stood in his way, and became enraged by the obvious corruption of many. His was a simple life, only complicated by the desire of a dying woman, and which might end in his ruin.

In spite of its shortcomings, this is a very good book. If you are a fan of exciting thrillers, ones that get your heart pumping, books that are impossible to put down, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. You won’t be sorry.

Marsh Island goes on sale this Friday, November 22, 2013.

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