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Payback: A Detective Dex Stafford Mystery Book 1

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A forest fire burning in the mountains surrounding a remote California village interrupts the Oktoberfest celebration, followed by the discovery of the mayor who has been beheaded. Sheriff's Detective Dex Stafford concludes everybody hated the mayor for different and very good reasons, but nobody will talk. His nerves fraying, Stafford finds himself involved with his partn ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published February 27th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  23 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Diana Hockley
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anything written by Mar Preston is good value and Payback is no exception! Holly Seabright, ex-cop now security officer and animal rescuer in a small town high in the mountains, is drawn into a nasty murder investigation when the hands and feet of the victim are found by one of the town children. Shortly after, an even more gruesome discovery is made on the seat of a golf cart.

The town is filled with revellers attending the Oktoberfest, so there are plenty of people available to "mud
...more
Josh & Bethany
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Very good book! Definitely different from other mysteries I've read. Just felt fresher and more complex, but it was still easy to follow. The why was very surprising and I couldn't wait to find that part out. Would love to read more mysteries featuring Holly and/or Dex!
Beverly McClure
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mix a spoonful of suspense and a cup of mystery with a dish of murder and a bowlful of dismembered body parts, sprinkle in a touch of romance and you have a story that will keep you guessing who done it, to whom, and why?

In Author Mar Preston’s new novel, PAYBACK, Security Patrol Officer Holly Seabright usually answers calls about snakes, fistfights, barking dogs and checking on old people to make sure they’re all right. The weekend of the festival in Sierra Mountain Village, Califor
...more
Marti
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Murder in the mountains. A small, fairly remote mountain town in California, a place where you would think the biggest crime wave would be a couple of breakins at summer cottages, is the scene for this really nifty mystery.

Ok, so let's see. We've got the Security Patrol for the village, we've got a bunch of villagers, We've got a body. Well, parts of a body. We've got the hands and feet. And the head. What more do you want? Don't be so picky. You can't have everything.

So,
...more
Alan Kline
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am a tad confused on this book. After reading the reviews for it I could not wait to read it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the entire story. After a man in the mountain village is found dismembered, the local police, security patrol, and out of town detectives come together to solve the grisly murder.
After forcing myself to finish the story I was at first hesitant to write a review but after thinking about it I figure it is owed to the author. In my opinion the story was all over th
...more
Timya
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sierra Mountain Village (SMV) seems like the perfect small town. Quaint, peaceful, caring. Looks can be deceiving. The discovery of the town's mayor's body....well, most of it...leads to an uncovering of well-kept secrets and petty jealousies that seem to simmer in all small towns. Payback is a great mystery. I believe it is considered a police procedural but the setting (Sierra Mountain Village) and cast of characters felt a bit more like a cozy or a classic British village mystery. Nothing par ...more
Dawnelle Davis
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Payback in a new series written by Mar Preston who has three previous
mystery suspense novels set in the Santa Monica Police Department.
Payback is set in a fictional town called Sierra Mountain Village,
Preston says, somewhat like the place where she lives in California. In Payback the village residents relish the excitement of the grisly murder of a local politician, which provides endless speculation and gossip until the thrill becomes fear and dread of what is going to happen next.
...more
Ryan
Jul 29, 2015 added it
ex-cop and security patrol officer Holly Seabright spends most of her days on call, dealing with snakes, barking dogs, and the occasional fistfight to break up. Not much happens in the sleepy little town of Sierra Mountain Village. until one day a local kid spots body parts in the pond at the golf course and everything changes in a heart beat. the alert of a murder brings into the sleepy little town County Sheriff Homicide Detective Dex Stafford into Holly town and her investigation. which is no ...more
Cathy Geha
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
In a small mountain village in California dismembered body parts are found during Oktoberfest. The local security patrol calls in homicide detectives and the search for a murderer begins. This story is a police procedural with a dash of romance. The murderer is not exposed in the beginning leaving the reader to wait quite awhile as the story unfolds. This book includes a desire for love, finding of love, forest fires, an abused animal saved, good hearted and not so good hearted people and an ult ...more
Mary Brown
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Payback by Mar Preston was a very good mystery. There was suspense, mystery, twists and turns on every other page. The mystery and suspense was carried out throughout the whole book. I never did figure out who the murderers were, I found out when it was revealed at the end of the book. The characters were well developed and realistic, having the ups and downs we all have in life. The writing style flowed easily and was an easy read. I would recommend this book to any one who likes a well written ...more
Brandt
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This author knows how to set up a plot. And her characters have great dimension to them so that I feel like I wandered into town as a small-time newspaper reporter and started meeting these people. In Payback (Sierra Mountain Village series) by Mar Preston we are treated to a real mystery after a grizzly murder and all the complications the author can dream up. Yet somehow she pulls it all together to make this an intense but readable book. Recommended 5-stars.
Mahree Moyle
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was entertained and enjoyed the book very much. The narrative was funny and amusing. I enjoyed each character, as distinctive as they were, and what they had going on throughout the story. I often rate a book by my willingness to pick it up at night before I go to sleep. And, that I did, usually reading later than I had planned. So, I would say a good read for anyone.
Susan
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's an Oktoberfest celebration in Sierra Mountain Village, California, where a murder investigation starts when the hands and feet of the victim are found by one of the town children. Then more is found on the seat of a golf cart.
Liked the characters and storyline
Nicola Atkinson
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy for an honest review from Mar. I really enjoyed reading this book. Great characters and storyline. I can add Mar Preston to my favourite authors along with James Patterson and Lee Child. Great Book can't wait to read the next chapter in Dex Stafford's story!
Forest Writer
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, murder
I loved this book! A very well written story and a page turner for sure. I read it in two sittings, I didn't want to put it down, though. I highly recommend this book. It's a great read for everyone and I will definitely read other stories by this author. Well done!
Dan Steed
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great story. Well written with believable human characters. Preston has delivered. Again.
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Mar Preston
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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I came to writing fiction late in life and am surprised to find myself the author of six semi hard-boiled police procedurals featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department, No Dice, Rip-Off, On Behalf of the Family, and A Very Private High School. The Most Dangerous of Species is the latest. came out in 2017.

I write a second series set in a tranquil California mountain villa
...more