Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Smudge of Gray” as Want to Read:
A Smudge of Gray
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Smudge of Gray

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  512 ratings  ·  94 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Smudge of Gray, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Smudge of Gray

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  512 ratings  ·  94 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Smudge of Gray
Forty-three year-old businessman Trevor Malloy is an independent contractor. Hes CEO of his consulting firm and travels frequently, but he treasures his family and they are the apple of his eye.

Detective Brian Boise is under tremendous stress at work and rarely spends time with his family. A new homicide case is handed to him soon after he tells his wife and son that they should take a family vacation. They dont end up taking that well needed break and the outcome of the homicide investigation
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
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 hellthats exactly what it was. Moronic.

Since then I have learned a new lesson. Authors, publishers, agentsetc.
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. 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
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?
Roger DeBlanck
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Jonathan Sturaks 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 Elliss American Psycho merged with the psyche of Tyler Durden in Palahniuks 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 Sturaks storytelling will play out. The influence of these writers and their works are evident in Sturaks novel, and ...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
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
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. Dont get me wrong, the story is very decent for a thriller but it isnt 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 remarks ...more
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 its 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 Ive read for a long time. The story begins with a charming man flirting with a woman, then
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
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 ...more
Tony Parsons
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Trevor Malloy (43, Malloy Consulting Service; president, Harvard, MBA) persuaded April to take the same commuter train.
His family is: Kevin Malloy (9, twin son/brother), & Katie Malloy (9, twin daughter/sister), & Laura Malloy (36, wife/mother).
News flash: guess who was on TV?
Happy Birthday to youDetective Brian Boise.
Anne Marie Boise (39, wife) called him at work & told him about Jonathan Boise (9, son).
Trevor next contract is for April Benko. 12 8th St. # 4C.

Would Detective
Jennifer Greider
Not what is expected

This was a very interesting read right from the beginning. I don't feel like it any point the book lost you. The ending was definitely something I did not see coming and I really enjoyed the plot twist
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
Denise Closser
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was a fast read, not what you would of thought.
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
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 fathers 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
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 ...more
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
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
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.
The word "smirked" is repeatedly used when "smiled" or grinned" would have been much more accurate (smirk implies disdain.)
Characters (sometimes even objects) "slinked"
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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 Brians 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 night
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ridiculously Magnificent 1 1 Oct 02, 2015 04:35AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Amid the Shadows
  • Taboo (CSI Reilly Steel, #1)
  • Torn (CSI Reilly Steel, #2)
  • Special Circumstances (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #1)
  • James 516: A London Carter Novel (London Carter Mystery Series)
  • Kill Them Quickly (Jay Sullivan Thrillers #2)
  • Wicked Brew (Wicked Witches of the Midwest Shorts, #2)
  • Life's a Witch (Wicked Witches of the Midwest #7)
  • Careful What You Witch For (Wicked Witches of the Midwest Shorts, #1)
  • The Girl in Cabin 13 (Emma Griffin FBI Mystery, #1)
  • Something to Witch About (Wicked Witches of the Midwest, #5)
  • Witch Me Luck (Wicked Witches of the Midwest, #6)
  • Witching on a Star (Wicked Witches of the Midwest, #4)
  • Confessions of a Bookseller
  • The Tiger Temple (Hiram Kane Adventure #1)
  • Coffee, Tea or Me
  • Sun Storm (Rebecka Martinsson, #1)
  • The Lost Series: Books 1-3: The Lost Series Box Set
See similar books…
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 ...more

Related Articles

  Kellye Garrett's first novel, Hollywood Homicide, was released in August 2017 and won the Agatha, Anthony, Lefty, and Independent Publisher...
44 likes · 13 comments