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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Exiled to the city's tough North Side, disgraced St. Louis Police Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel wants nothing more than to return to the headquarters hierarchy. To get his wish, all he has to do is track down the missing husband of the mayor's press secretary. Instead he unearths a morass of corruption, educational malpractice, and greed that threatens to consign thousands of a ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published October 27th 2014 by Blank Slate Press
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am so impressed! I just finished reading Rick Skiwiot’s Fail last night. Now I want to read all the rest of his books. This book came out at the right time. You cannot help but to think of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. It has Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel assigned to a missing person case but the real story turns out to be much more.

Because of a past disgrace, Gabriel is sent to the North Side of St. Louis, Missouri. This is crime noir at its best. Gabriel is street smart, used to the b
Peter Green
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Taut urban mystery redeems a desperate St. Louis

Society is staring failure in the face these days, with St. Louis front and center. The fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown by a white Ferguson policeman and its aftermath have focused worldwide attention on what went wrong. Thoughtful St. Louis author Rick Skwiot seems to have anticipated this moment in his prescient mystery novel, Fail, released by St. Louis publisher Blank Slate Press today (October 27, 2014).

Carlo Gabriel, a half-Mexican-,
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Fail” is an A+ in my grade book. This is a smart, compelling mystery featuring a cop walking the edge after a little mess up. Assigned to a sensitive missing-persons case by the mayor, an ex-cop who has a little history with him, Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel finds the missing man has discovered a level of corruption that’s best left alone if he knows what’s good for everyone.

Set in St. Louis, Missouri, “Fail” buzzes with hints of real-life news headlines and dares to confront issues of racism and f
Kelly Daniels
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fail is an excellent, fast-paced noir, set in seedy St. Louis. One the surface, it's a fun read, a page-turning whodunnit stocked with the kinds of quirky characters you expect from this genre. Dig deeper, though, and you'll find a scathing criticism of the U.S. education system, indeed the root of much of our societal problems. Read it for the entertainment and come away smarter. A pretty good deal, I'd say.
Terry Mulligan
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
FAIL, Rick Skwiot’s timely new mystery has all the elements of a story that’s been plucked from headline news: crumbling urban neighborhood, corrupt public officials, economic inequality, greed, violence, failing schools.

The action begins with Carlo Gabriel, a hip, African-American Mexican-American St. Louis police detective -- with a secret of his own -- who is trying to find Jonathan Stone, a missing English professor who teaches at a local university. The people Carlo interviews and expects
Victor Gentile
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rick Skwiot in his new book, “Fail” published by Blank Slate Press introduces us to St. Louis Police Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel.

From the back cover: When everyone is on the take, everyone fails.

Exiled to the city’s tough North Side, disgraced St. Louis Police Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel wants nothing more than to return to the headquarters hierarchy. To get his wish, all he has to do is track down the missing husband of the mayor’s press secretary. Instead he unearths a morass of corruption, educatio
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fail is the first book by this author that I’ve read and now I’m a fan of Rick Skwiot. The book is packed with action, twists, and unusual characters that you wouldn’t think would mesh, but Skwiot makes it work and makes it interesting.

I loved reading about the locations around the Mississippi River and the seedier side of the area. The characters were interesting and the story will keep you turning the pages, eager to find out how the story ends.

The story had a message that no matter how bad th
Jayne Navarre
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Educators, People who like intelligent mysteries, Literary folks, People from St. Louis
Shelves: mystery
This book more than entertains. It's a page-turner that makes you think, a lot.

All great mysteries—at least the kind I love to read—are character driven. Skwiot does not disappoint. “Half-rican” St. Louis Police Department Lieutenant Carlo Gabriel—Mexican mother and African-American father—is an unusual man of street-earned smarts, attitude and strength, yet educated and deliciously refined.

A key plot element, the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white cop, seems to have anticipated the rec
Rick Boettger
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The real crime is our public education system, and Skwiot negotiates its dark sides while writing a compelling murder mystery. Engaging and original characters, and one of the most keep-you-guessing endings I've ever read in the genre.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Fast paced, on the edge of your seat. All the corruption you need but a thrill you might not want. Fail will take you on a ride and turns you won't see coming. Who is who, and who is wanted, get your copy and find out!
Lyn Fuchs
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pedophilia, public education, and other crimes - while Saint Louis police, Ferguson residents, and media hacks were more interested in promoting their agendas than getting at the truth, author Rick Skwiot was polishing a crime novel that accurately portrays the harsh realities of governmental and educational corruption in Saint Louis slums. I just finished my review copy of Fail. This is the thinking man's Grisham, which is to say: it's the book John Grisham would write if he were more intereste ...more
Ben Sharpton
Skwiot weaves a fascinating tale of suspense and intrigue like an experienced tour guide, intricately describing locales and local mores, explaining perspectives and then plugging in plenty of tension to keep us turning pages.

FAIL reads like a classic detective novel (confession: I don’t read this genre very often, but from what I have read it seems to fit well). A down-and-out police lieutenant seeking to redeem himself from past mistakes, meets a beautiful dame (sorry, debutant) who hires him
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good read! Really held my interest without being over the top. Goes to show that graft is everywhere. I feel sorry for the innocent youth who get exploited and screwed over again and again. Hopefully there are more honest and moral people in the world who stand up to this kind of issue instead of just ignoring it.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book! The mystery was good, it touched on current topics (especially for STL) and the author utilized the city settings very well (accurate and interesting). I can't stop recommending it!
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Rick Skwiot's new urban mystery, "Fail," is being released by Blank Slate Books in fall 2014. Skwiot is the author of three previous novels--the Hemingway First Novel Award winner "Death in Mexico," the Willa Cather Fiction Prize finalist "Sleeping With Panocha Villa," and "Key West Story"--and two memoirs: the critically acclaimed childhood memoir "Christmas at Long Lake," and "San Miguel de Alle ...more
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