Book Review

A View to Die For by Richard Houston

view to die forAbout the Book

The story is not your typical murder mystery. The sleuth is not a detective, private eye, or lawyer. He’s an ordinary guy with an extraordinary dog.

Jacob Martin is trying to make the best of a divorce and mid-life crisis when he gets a call at two o’clock Sunday morning from his mother. His sister has been arrested for the murder of her fourth husband, and his father is near death. Thus begins an adventure that takes Jake and his golden retriever from their Colorado retreat to a backwater town in the Missouri Ozarks where they search for cold-blooded killers, a cache of gold coins buried by Jesse James, and the love of a beautiful nurse.

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My Thoughts

I wasn’t sure how I would like this book because I have never been into murder mysteries before, however, this book might have changed my opinion! I LOVED this book. I knew all the towns mentioned in this book. However, Truman, Missouri is not where they said it was. It is actually more north, nowhere near Osage Missouri or Lake of the Ozarks.

The unlikely hero, with a canine sidekick and a sister who is a murder suspect and some extreme loyalty, this book is definitely a good read. Jake Martin is from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains around Denver Colorado and travels I70 East to get to Missouri. I love how Jake talks to Fred, his loyal Golden Retriever, like he is a human and understands Jake. I mean, I do the same with my dogs too!

I do think that Jake and Fred need better diets than McDoubles, Fries and Cokes from McDonalds. Yeah, I know they’re cheap, but instead of going there and spending $5 per trip, you could easily get enough groceries to last a week at a grocery store for cheaper than you could get 3 meals at McDonalds a day for a week. And all the beer drinking… If you’re broke, you’re not going to want to spend money on a 6 pack every day. There were times in the book where he drank more than 6 beers a day.

Also, the way Jakes nephew talked to him, I wanted to smack the shit out of him. He showed so much disrespect towards the adults in the book. And Jakes mother….She could have shown Jake with a little more respect as well. I’m just glad that Jake showed her more respect than he showed her. I enjoyed the close relationship between Jake and his sister as well.

I wanted to know what happened next with this book. It held my attention, however there were some typos and other mistakes that the publisher should have caught. Not a whole lot, but enough. I try to catch stuff like that when reading.

Will I read book 2, A Book to Die For? Yeah, I probably will. While I wouldn’t give this book 5 stars, I will give it 4 because as I said, it did hold my attention, and I wanted to know who did the murders!

About the Author

Richard Houston worked as a carpenter for 20 years while taking college classes whenever he could. After earning a bachelor’s degree in math he spent the next 25 years as a successful software engineer. Although he found success in those professions, he always dreamed of writing a novel. He honed that craft by taking every creative writing class he could. Somehow his poems and short stories usually had a dog as a major character. One in particular, Begging Not for Love, was published by the Mendocino Review.

Richard now lives and writes at his lake home in Missouri where he and his wife are raising their granddaughter, two dachshunds, and a rescue dog that is mostly Golden Retreiver.

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