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A Smudge of Gray: A Novel

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3.31  ·  Rating details ·  445 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Detective Brian Boise is about to embark on the biggest case of his career. After being thrust into law enforcement on the footsteps of his father, Detective Boise finds himself on the trail of a murder suspect he could never have imagined, the mysterious businessman, Trevor Malloy. Trevor is an irresistible hitman with everything going for him, while Detective Boise is a ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Pendan Publishing
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(showing 1-30)
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Misty Baker
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
When I started KO a few years ago I knew no one in the book industry. Authors, publisher and agents were in an entirely different stratosphere than myself. They lived in solitary confinement in areas of the world I was not privy to. They held secret meetings and plotted characters demises behind closed doors.

I would like to chalk this up to being naive and not just plain moronic, but hell…that’s exactly what it was. Moronic.

Since then I have learned a new lesson. Authors, publishers, agents…etc.
...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

For those who don't know, whenever I finish reading a book I plan on reviewing, I actually wait two or three weeks before writing that review, because hindsight and contemplation almost always tends to bring out nuances in my write-up that wouldn't have otherwise existed; but every so often I'll sit down
...more
Jonathan Sturak
Feb 07, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
My new psychological thriller for 2012! Detective Brian Boise versus the mysterious hitman Trevor Malloy. Who will win?
Martyn Halm
I'm conflicted about writing a negative review of this book. I stopped reading, which is usually a 1-star (I didn't like it) review, but the merits of this book still pushed me towards a 2-star rating (It was OK).

The reason for my conflict is that I dislike the style of Sturak's writing, but I acknowledge that he has a way with words and that there are almost no mistakes in his prose.

Let me first state what I liked about the book:
The cover is brilliant, I think. Ominous and eye-popping despite t
...more
Roger DeBlanck
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Jonathan Sturak’s novel A Smudge of Gray does more than deliver page-turning suspense and a stunning revelation in its final pages. Imagine traits of Patrick Bateman in Ellis’s American Psycho merged with the psyche of Tyler Durden in Palahniuk’s Fight Club and then combine them with plot twists reminiscent in the better screenplays by M. Night Shyamalan, and you have an idea of how Sturak’s storytelling will play out. The influence of these writers and their works are evident in Sturak’s novel, ...more
Renny
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book as the title and the short synopsis of the book (you can see it on Amazon) were intriguing and promised good read. Unfortunately my enthusiasm for the book started to crumble not long after I started reading the book. Don’t get me wrong, the story is very decent for a thriller but it isn’t one of those that will catch your imagination and keep you glued to the book throughout the night. And by saying that, I think I have exhausted all the remotely positive remar ...more
Sarah
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, kbr
Shades of Gray follows a hitman who, on the surface appears as the perfect family man and the Detective, desperate to catch the hitman, so much so that it’s affecting his home and family life. Two contrasting characters described in exquisite detail with an intriguing connection.

This book starts brilliantly, and had me hooked by the end of chapter one – it is probably one of the best starts to a book I’ve read for a long time. The story begins with a charming man flirting with a woman, then boar
...more
Shay Williams
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, thriller


Before I put my name in the hat for this book, I did read a few reviews to see if this was a book that I could do justice too. And most readers gave it high marks. I am only sorry that I don't agree fully with them.

This book is all about connections. The connections between the police detective and the killer and where the lives of their family intersect. I found this part of the story to very interesting. The strange ways that lives interweave even without our knowledge.

There were a few things
...more
Diane
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
I received this book as a free copy in exchange for a review. The book is short-ish so was a quick read. The story was fast paced and the main characters were well drawn out. There's a twist that I didn't see coming but looking back, there are clues to it. I never seem to catch on!

The story is about a police detective tracking a serial killer/hit man who gets his targets via a phone call. Both men are married and have families. The police detective's family is suffering because he spends so muc
...more
Liane Manso
May 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately that feeling only lasted two pages. I tried on several occasions to get into this story but could not get past the overly exaggerated descriptions. There was an extreme amount of run-on sentences. And Sturak made the common mistake of telling instead of showing. Page after page of telling me what I should think, feel or get from a scene makes me feel as if the author believes I am too stupid to figure something o ...more
Benjamin
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Brian Boise and Trevor Malloy are both family men. Both have lives that revolve around their wives and children. Their sons even play together on the same basketball team. But these men are very different as one is an assassin and the other is a detective. And of course the case of Trevor's murders falls on the desk of Brian to solve.

To a certain extent, I did enjoy this novel. However I did have to keep telling myself, "It's okay if there are inconsistencies in the story, it's a work of fiction
...more
Michelle
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good book

You people should just read this book yourselves and write your own review on this novel yourself and I really enjoyed reading this book very much so. Shelley MA
Mirrani
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Smudge of Gray was as it sounds, a blending of two colors to make one whole... though I don't mean this in the typical way one would expect. I found my emotions toward the book blended from confusion over some of the character or plot points to absolute rapture with some of the descriptions.

The words flow easily in most areas, in some instances there are paragraphs of absolute beauty, where the flow and construction of each sentence really helps you to visualize what is happening and feel the
...more
Julie
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*3.5 Stars*

A Smudge of Gray is a quick, interesting thriller. The story is told through third person perspective allowing the reader to see the plot unfold while flashing between two characters, Brian Boise and Trevor Malloy. Brian Boise is a man who decided to follow in his father’s footsteps ten years ago and is now a Detective. But being a detective has taken a toll on his personal life as he hardly sees his family anymore. After connecting a few murder victims he is investigating, the trail
...more
Carol
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Smudge of Gray follows 2 similar yet very different men. Trevor Malloy is a fastidious dresser, great husband and father, excellent provider, but travels quite a bit so isn't home as much as he would like. Did I mention that he kills people? He does have a tastefully decorated office with a secretary to keep up appearances. Detective Brian Boise, up for a promotion to Lt, works day and night and wants to be a better husband and father but never seems to find the time. Brian is determined to fi ...more
TJ
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
"A Smudge of Gray" is a solid psychological thriller from Jonathan Sturak that features crisp writing and well-developed characters. Sturak creates a plot that spotlights two vastly different family men; one, a severely-stressed detective who feels he's losing touch with his family because of his commitment to his job, and the other, a charming, nattily-dressed businessman with a perfect wife and kids - who just happens to be a contract killer.

Sturak does a wonderful job changing perspective fro
...more
Joan
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This author has the strangest writing style I've read in a very long time. He writes in structurally-correct form but with very odd word choices. I wondered if English were the author's second or third language - many word choices were just not those that would be made by a person comfortable with the English language.
Examples:
The word "smirked" is repeatedly used when "smiled" or grinned" would have been much more accurate (smirk implies disdain.)
Characters (sometimes even objects) "slinked"
...more
Grady
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan Sturak Can Spin A Web

Having had the privilege of reading CLOUDED RAINBOW, the first book by Jonathan Sturak and sensing the powerful promise in his writing, reading this immaculately conceived and executed thriller came with a sense of reassurance that promises made in early works DO often result in progressive success. Sturak has a knack for painting characters so clearly, with such attention to detail, that while on first reading the reader may wonder why he is dissecting these charac
...more
Lauren Vogt
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent writing. Page Turner. Twist ending somewhat implausible.

Decent almost poetic writing. Page Turner which kept my attention almost throughout. Twist ending somewhat implausible. May read author again.
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book from librarything in exchange for an honest review.

This book stars two main characters, Trevor Malloy and Brian Boise, that we see in opposing chapters. Trevor Malloy is the more fascinating of the two-- here we get a picture of the ideal husband and father, who also is a cold-blooded killer. Brian, on the other hand, is an overworked policeman, who is endlessly nagged by his wife that he doesn't spend enough time with her and their son. The book chronicles both of their lives,
...more
Kristina
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and while not oligated to comment, I did feel compelled to opine about this book. I apologize in advance for any typos or mis-spellings


While I do enjoy a good crime story, this was just a bit of a twist that I am not sure I was comfortable with. I found that while the premise was good, the book was, for lack of a better description, verbose and a bit convoluted like a jigsaw puzzle missing a couple of pieces, not enough to make the picture uniden
...more
Quentin Stewart
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A police detective is handed a case that very little evidence is available for finding a suspect. The reader follows the suspect and how he carries out the murders without leaving a trace of himself behind and the detective who becomes obsessed with tracking down this killer. Both are family men with the suspect's family being a happier unit even though he is away a lot while the detective's family life appears to be rocky because of the hours he spends trying to track down the killer.

A little s
...more
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Trevor Malloy is a family and business man who is not what he appears to be. Trevor is a hitman and he's very good at his job. Detective Brian Boise is a homicide cop wanting to be home with his family. His wife Anne Marie is disappointed in him but can't admit it to him. A new case has Brian working more hours than ever before. Three lawyers have been murdered with seemingly no connection to one another. Detective Boise is up for a promotion if he makes good effort on this case. He wants to be ...more
Rhonda
Jun 13, 2012 rated it liked it
A Smudge of Gray by Jonathan Sturak review
3 STARS i am so tired of foul language. I remember the saying that swearwords show a lack of creative words or something like that. So thats why I only give 3 stars. Sorry the more books I read with so much strong language the more intollerance I have. Detective Brian Boise is handed a new case of a serial killer. Brian is up for a promotion. Brian family is getting tired of his always at work and never takes the time off. He promises to go to his sons
...more
Patricia  Scholes
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Detective Brian Boise is very good at his job. He has an astounding eye for detail, such as the smudge of gray found at the crime scene. At the next one he also found the same smudge of gray. And he knew they had a serial killer.

But Brian’s wife is not as impressed with his accomplishments as his department. He spends long hours on his job, rarely coming home, missing out on the family he loves and supports with his job. But there seems to be no cure for it. He comes home late, after a long nigh
...more
Shell
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
It starts with the cover of the book. I couldn't stop touching it. It was soft and smooth and almost supple. I realized soon after I began reading that I was feeling Trevor's leather shoes. At least, I like to think so.
I was offered this book as a free copy from the author himself. I had read his previous work, Clouded Rainbow, and found myself almost mesmerized by the world he brought to life. A Smudge of Gray didn't disappoint.
He writes in such a way that inanimate objects, like buildings and
...more
Tami
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 1/03/12
Received yesterday 1/5/12 love that it came so fast. I hope to start soon, but I do have 6 more plus my current read in line in front of it.
Started this last night. 1/29/12
Finished last night, 1/31/12

Office Boise is trying to get promoted. He is a detective that works all hours of the day and though he loves his wife and son, he seems to always put the job first. Trevor Malloy is a hit man masquerading as a consultant. He al
...more
Christine
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd have given this 3 stars but the extreme twist at the end brought the whole book to life for me! I was not pleased with the writing itself, seemed as though it was missing something. I'm not a Literary expert, just your average reader that enjoys a good story, so I couldn't tell you what was missing. I thought the story was developing nicely but I found my self thinking this is just your very typical serial murder/detective novel. There was nothing special about it until the end, when it all ...more
Ryan
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. This book was really incredible, I loved the mystery and secretive nature of the writing, as well as the myriad of literary elements which I felt enhanced the story. The book draws you in as you read it, and causes you to want to explore the mystery revealed throughout the novel. I'd assume for most of the cleverer readers that the gist of the mystery could be solved about midway through the book, though it does not diminish the revelation that the b ...more
Susan Ashcraft
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Trevor Malloy is a hardworking consultant in the city. He and his lovely wife Laura and their 9 year old twins Katie and Kevin, live in a beautiful house with a large backyard. Even though Trevor often has to travel because of his work, he is a very hands on father and husband.

Detective Brian Boise is an overworked , underpaid policeman whose marriage to Anne Marie is slowly unraveling. He wants to be a good father to his son Jonathan but work always seems to interfere.

Detective Brian Boise and
...more
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Jonathan Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is a Penn State University graduate and holds degrees in Computer Science and Film. He currently lives in Las Vegas where he uses the energy of the city to craft stories about life and the human condition. "The Place Called Home," Sturak's essay about Eastern European heritage in Northeast Pennsylvania, was featured on Glass Cases ...more
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