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Joe Café

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
The murder at Joe Café is an abomination. It stops the entire universe. For Michael, it tarnishes everything, including his badge. For Chet and his hostage, it is the beginning of a chase that will lead them through dingy motels and the darkest corridors of their minds. Dogan just wants Sara back. Jimmy the Cat wants to make up for all the time he has wasted. Frankie wants ...more
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 121 pages
Published May 4th 2011 by Lockjaw Publishing (first published 2011)
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David Antrobus
Oct 15, 2011 David Antrobus rated it it was amazing
Love this book, and will review it more completely soon. It has a surprisingly emotional kick considering the detachment of its noir/crime facade. Its depths are deceptive, like the river one of the main characters fishes.
Riley Keith
Jul 09, 2012 Riley Keith rated it it was amazing
Joe Cafe is one of those rare books that takes you on a trip without you realising it until you finish, set it down, and take a deep breath. JD Mader is one of those rare writers whose talent comes from showing you the ugly side of people. The side that no one wants to see, that's glossed over, that's pushed to the side or under the carpet because it's too ugly to think about. No one is ever *that* bad.
His characters are so achingly real, so believable, it's as if he plucked them out of re
KD Rush
Jan 25, 2012 KD Rush rated it it was amazing
Title: Joe Cafe
Author: JD Mader
Publisher: Lockjaw Publishing
Format: Kindle Edition
Interest: Crime/Thriller
Rating 0-100: 97 (5 Stars)

The murder at Joe Café is an abomination. It stops the entire universe. For Michael, it tarnishes everything, including his badge. For Chet and his hostage, it is the beginning of a chase that will lead them through dingy motels and the darkest corridors of their minds. Dogan just wants Sara back. Jimmy the Cat wants to make up for all the time he has wasted. Franki
Richard Godwin
Oct 07, 2011 Richard Godwin rated it it was amazing
Joe Café centres on the kidnapping of lap dancer Sara by psychotic killer Chet Mooney. While her boyfriend and the police look for them, the novel hones in on the private hell the dancer is going through at the hands of a man who is intent on purging his hatred on her.

The narrative voice is strong from the outset:

‘Joe Café opened in 1969 with no fanfare. It was a small-fronted diner. The kind of place that looks old for no discernible reason, dirty though it is impeccably clean.’

Stylistically th
Yvonne Hertzberger
Jul 08, 2012 Yvonne Hertzberger rated it it was amazing
Let me say, up front, that I do not, as a rule, read dark books. My genre is Fantasy. But I have read posts by JD Mader, read reviews of this book, and heard from others about how good it is. So, with some curiosity and a little trepidation, I opened Joe Café and began to read.

It IS dark. The story begins with a senseless quadruple murder. It progresses into the aftermath for the murderer, the town, the town’s detective and others touched by the crime in some way. Mader examines one aspect of s
Nicole Storey
Aug 17, 2012 Nicole Storey rated it really liked it
I was thinking about this book after I finished it last night. Have you ever noticed that when a murder occurs, we only think about the victim's family and close friends and what they might be going through? What about the policemen working the case? What about the one who committed the crime? We never hear about their perspectives.

In Joe Cafe, Mader gives us a glimpse into how one crime - four people killed - can cause a ripple effect and touch the lives of many people. It causes one man to los
Jul 09, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing
Joe Cafe surprised me on so many levels, in a good way.

JD Mader is a master of delving into the minds of his characters, each one unique and full of inner torment. The characterization takes the forefront in Joe Cafe, though the common story between the characters will pull you along this twisted journey, making it hard to put down. What appears to be a typical crime drama or mystery in the first chapters quickly turns into something much more.

Following these characters as they are thrust into
Jan 07, 2012 Ritesh rated it it was amazing
Posted here:

Joe Café is a psychological drama involving four very different, yet equally disturbed characters. The main character is Chet who had a sordid past and entered the army to get away from it. This turned him into a killing machine. Something snapped in him, because of which he seems to now enjoy the mayhem. Sara, who is a dancer at a strip club, has an equally sorry past. Having the perfect life with loving parents, it all goes south when tragedy strike
R.G. Phelps
Dec 16, 2015 R.G. Phelps rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
First I would like to start my review by commenting of some of the previous reviews -

One reviewer said, "Wonderfully drawn characters and a beautiful story" - NOT!
The author did give you a complete picture of each of the characters but "wonderfully drawn" would not be the terms I would use to explain them. Nothing about the description of Chet the Psycho is "wonderfully drawn". Sara and Dogan have found each other in the most unimaginable places for a love story, but not "wonderfully drawn" - th
Brenda Perlin
Jan 27, 2014 Brenda Perlin rated it it was amazing
This dark gripping story grabs your attention and in seconds you are pulled into the dark suspenseful mystery that is Joe Café. Terrifying doesn't properly describe it. Everything feels real which had my emotions scattered all over the place. It's a clever plot that gave me goosebumps because the storyline was so incredibly believable. The writing is clear and crisp. Not over or under dramatic. Great story telling with a well developed plot and characters that have a realness to them. There are ...more
Tim Jackson
Jun 13, 2012 Tim Jackson rated it really liked it
Strippers, a psycho killer and true love - how could anyone not like this one?

Joe Café is JD Mader's lightning-paced psychological thriller that grabs and refuses to let go.

The story's success rests with Mader's characters, each as sharply defined as the crack of a 9mm. There's lots of action. There are plenty of plot twists. But Mader keeps his focus tight on the inner workings of the characters themselves, letting the action and plot spring directly from their fears, their dreams, their most s
Carol Wyer
Jun 05, 2012 Carol Wyer rated it really liked it
Joe Café by J.D. Mader
Joe Café is the establishment where an unspeakable horror occurs one day when four innocents are brutally and inexplicably murdered by Chet Mooney, a complex and intriguing 'bad guy'. The local cop, Michael Butler, is soon out of his depth and it isn't long before the perpetrator continues his vendetta mission, kidnapping a stripper who he intends to injure cruelly before murdering her. Sarah is no ordinary stripper though and soon the underworld is sending out its best man
Stephanie Judice
Jul 23, 2011 Stephanie Judice rated it really liked it
JOE CAFE hooks you from the start. A compelling story with twisted characters, leading you on a journey you may or may not want to take (though can hardly resist) into their seedy underworld. With an unlikely hero in the end, we are left with a sense of justice after all and a spark of hope for the survivors.

Mader has a way of capturing a character's true psyche through inner monologue and an introspective look into haunting memories. You may not always want to know these secrets, but you'll fin
Jul 23, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
This book captured my attention from the first paragraph. In its first few pages, I was reminded of Richard Russo's writing - nuanced descriptions of people and places, and I loved it. It's rare that one reads a debut novel, and decides very early on that the author is promising enough to desire a second book from him. That's how I felt when I read Joe Cafe. Before the first chapter was over, I wanted to hear more from Mader. He already has a strong literary voice, and I love that in a new autho ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Patrick rated it it was amazing
JD Mader spins a dark, introspective crime thriller about the nature of evil. Both introspective and suspenseful, this short novel takes the reader into a sordid world of strip clubs, cheap hotels, and mafia hitmen. Gruesome scenes contrast with the beauty of fishing on a tranquil lake. Deep psychological character development stands next to sudden flashes of action. The characters are developed with care--even the mobsters seem like flesh and blood (as opposed to cardboard cutouts). With a few ...more
Lae Monier
Jul 05, 2012 Lae Monier rated it really liked it
The story is very simple. Sara, a stripper, is kidnapped and her boyfriend gets someone to look for her.

The first few chapters are great. I love the writing, bare and simple (my favorite), and the story is gripping. A bit in the story I find passages of the dialogue a bit forced, but I keep on reading and the ending makes it all worth it.

An interesting tale with some interesting writing.

Sep 15, 2011 Jan rated it it was amazing
If your a fan of the tv show The Soprano's you will like this book with its gritty tale of a massacre in a small town that involves a Viet Nam vet who's crazy and having flashbacks and a last minute kidnapping that involves the mob in trying to find him. The author lets you see the inside of a lot of people in the book which lets you see why they reacted the way they did even if was a bit crazy!
Jun 04, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
This is a difficult review to write as anything I type doesn't seem to do this story justice ...
More of a fictional crime story than a mystery , Mader's Joe Cafe is hard to put down . The story is somewhat dark , yet really pulls you in . The characters are so life-like . Fast paced , but deep . Amazing how ugly events can impact everyone differently !
Annie Falconer-Gronow
Jul 11, 2012 Annie Falconer-Gronow rated it really liked it

I would like to give this 5 stars as it is a good read. Sadly there was too many simple spelling & grammatical mistakes & I felt it ended too abruptly. Worth reading.
A.C. Flory
Sep 14, 2012 A.C. Flory rated it it was amazing
Some time ago I wrote a rather light-hearted piece about villains and what made them sexy however being sexy is not the only thing at which villains can excel. They can make us fearful. They can fill us with loathing. And sometimes, sometimes they can make us care.

When I read J.D. Mader's novel 'Joe Cafe' I did not know what to expect, of the story or the characters within it. I knew that Mader wrote well from reading his posts on Indies Unlimited however there is an almighty chasm between a sho
Jun 07, 2012 Betty rated it it was amazing

This is one book that's so thrilling you won't be able to put it down...even after reading it, the characters leave indelible marks on your minds. Author J.D. Mader does such a superb job probing the psychiatric depths of his characters' minds, you end up liking them all on one level or another; even the murderer has his good points. Unbelievable!

The story begins on a quiet night at Joe Café in the small town of Millersville when in off the street walks ev
Ed Drury
May 20, 2012 Ed Drury rated it it was amazing
What happens when Hoboken is connected with Mayberry RFD by a senseless violent act? JD Mader connects the dots between a homicidal psychopath, a stripper and Andy Griffith in a tale that has all charm of Sinatra being backed up by Chet Atkins singing your favorite Burl Ives songs. You know the songs Burl used to sing about the nature of good and evil? Well, me either. Joe Cafe doesn't answer the question of why it's not Joe's Cafe. Avoids the issue entirely. But it does paint an accurate pictur ...more
S.A. Molteni
Jan 29, 2014 S.A. Molteni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J.D. Mader's "Joe Cafe" is a crime thriller about a psychotic murderer/kidnapper, a small town cop, a strip club owner, a kidnapped stripper/waitress and a host of mafia references that tie it all together.

The story begins with a gruesome murder of four people at Joe Cafe - the Chinese husband and wife owners of the cafe, their most frequent patron and a very unlucky coed. All are needlessly slaughtered by a mentally unstable military veteran out to get the attention of the local police chief.

Edward Lorn
Apr 17, 2012 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it
I went into this book expecting something different than what I received. I believed I was beginning a crime/thriller/suspense novel. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized this book wasn’t about the plot. It was about the characters.

The location the book is titled after, “Joe Cafe”, is soon forgotten and left on the wayside. J.D. Mader delves into the recesses of his character’s psyches and rarely resurfaces. You have brief glimpses of action, but the main focal point seems to be the dichot
Cathy Speight
Apr 15, 2012 Cathy Speight rated it really liked it
Hearty. Full-bodied. Sincere. Fiery. Powerful.

No, I’m not talking about an expensive, delicious vintage wine. These are just the attributes that popped into my head when I was reading this novella.

I’ll be honest, a couple of pages in, with already a senseless murder of four people (that’s not a spoiler – it’s in the book’s hook), a hint of doubt fluttered across my mind. However, I needn’t have worried. Not one little bit.

The shocking murder of four innocent people in a much loved café causes a
Jacqueline Hopkins
Mar 15, 2012 Jacqueline Hopkins rated it really liked it
This is a great first book by an indie author about people who are thrust into a very bad situation and how they handle it and themselves. I liked the story line, it flowed smoothly and moved forward at a nice pace. It definitely made me wonder what I would do in that kind of situation; I'd probably do the same thing.
I feel this book could have been a bit longer, the characters fleshed out a bit more. I wasn't sure who the main characters were out of -- Michael, Chet, Sara, Dogan, Jimmy and Fran
Apr 19, 2012 Colin rated it really liked it
Just brilliant.

Joe Cafe is not a mystery at all, and not precisely a thriller. It could be called a crime story, but I'm going to say it's a consequence story. Mader follows a murderer and several people who are impacted by the crime. The story is sparse on dialogue, but the narrative is stunning, with a poet's attention to language, a symphony of themes, and a gift for depicting troubled minds that echoes either a background in abnormal psychology, or a very interesting childhood.

There are some
Mark Morris
Jul 15, 2014 Mark Morris rated it it was amazing
This is a six-handed tale set in a hard-boiled fictional contemporary world. The characters are gritty, real and well drawn, the author finding humanity enough in each of them that you could imagine any of them being the lead character. Mader keeps the reader guessing, writing each of the six primary characters so well that you’re spoilt for choice when deciding who to root for. There’s crime and punishment, brutality and honour and a surprise ending that will reward the reader who tries to seco ...more
Nancy Parish
Sep 15, 2011 Nancy Parish rated it it was amazing
This book really pulls the reader into it. The characters are very "multidimensional", something I find very appealing. Even the more gritty characters are more than just gritty. I found myself caring about these people.

It is an intense story about intense people, but we see their fears, their inner "scared child", if you will. There is also the flip side - the not so intense people with inner strength.

It is a very well written book that is intriguing, and combines a gritty harshness with a surp
Jun 21, 2015 akpowergirl rated it it was ok
Two stars

I gave this book two stars because I was completely turned off by the foul talk. I felt that the police character was a waste of text. He played no active role in the investigation of the highlighted crime. The characterization of the bad guy was boring. I only liked the kidnapping character.
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