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Nine-Tenths of the Law

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A doomed killer’s cryptic warning, an ancient Japanese book on the occult, a family of Italian witches, a mannequin that can’t be destroyed, the murderous spirit of a dead child…

Detective Ben Ricci is not a believer. Everything must have a logical explanation, including the brutal murder of Fabrizio Lecanto. All he needs is a broken alibi or compelling motive. Instead he has unreliable testimonies, all telling the same dubious ghost story.

It’s bad timing for Ricci. He’s under investigation, struggling to save his marriage and shamefully obsessed with a key witness. To find the killer, he’ll need to control his many compulsions. Unfortunately self-control has never been Ben’s strong suit.

As the killer’s evil intent becomes clear, one cop’s stubborn cynicism will challenge the demented zeal of believers, shedding unwanted light on a society’s darkest secrets.

Glenn H. Mitchell turns to crime, creating a wickedly twisted mystery that will haunt readers long after the final page.

360 pages, Paperback

First published July 26, 2015

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About the author

Glenn H. Mitchell

2 books9 followers
Glenn H. Mitchell studied journalism and video production before a career in television, producing and writing programs for the ABC, Foxtel and SBS including co-writing the first series of popular Australian comedy, Pizza.

In addition to his novels, 'Nowhere' and 'Nine-Tenths of the Law', Mitchell's short stories have been published in The J.J. Outré Review, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, and Midnight Echo. He was a winner of the 2016 Australian Horror Writers Association Flash & Short Fiction Competition, and on the competition's judging panel in 2017.

He is currently based in Phnom Penh where he writes novels, short stories and works as a freelance scriptwriter.

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for C.J. Anaya.
Author 25 books510 followers
October 26, 2015
Wow. This book was simply amazing. It's been a long time since I've read an actual murder mystery that remains true to the genre, and takes the reader deep into the investigative process with those awesome twists, turns and red herrings. Too many writers miss the mark and focus solely on personal relationships, allowing that to take over the entire plot, while this author took those conflicts in the main character's personal life and used it to add flawless tension to the entire narrative, sprinkling in the personal aspects and issues each character had, while weaving a gripping tale that hinted at the supernatural until the very end.

I thought the paranormal aspect of this story was handled with such amazing finesse. It read like something absolutely factual, rather than making me feel as if I was reading some overdone attempt at a horror story, though there was plenty about the situation you could label as horrifying. It was just very grounded. During the entire read I was jumping between the idea that we were dealing with a murderous spirit bent on possessing whatever it could to achieve what it wanted, and then wondering if these little bread crumbs were simply being used to distract from the identity of the real murderer and the circumstances that led to the violence.

There were some wonderfully creepy moments with each new revelation adding that extra layer of suspense and tension. So good. So, so good. The MC isn't necessarily someone you could consider a good guy, but the development of his character makes it difficult to do anything but like him even though he is so screwed up. His wife is a hag, by the way. I thought I'd just throw my opinion in on that wench. I think the other thing that made reading this story so effortless was the author's unique writing style. He manages to take everyday situations, whether comfortable, awkward or routine, and describe them in a way that I've never considered before which adds to the atmosphere and paints a very sharp picture of the people, activities, and mood of each scene. Here's one example of that:

"I was guessing my arrival was welcome, assuming they'd been sitting in silence, competing with each other to see whose cutlery could make the least noise."

Just little gems like that, zeroing in on a scene's mood and cuing the reader in on how to feel and what to expect without telling them to do so. I think the author's style and voice is compelling, and the characters he created were all real, easy to relate to, and hard to let go of. That ending though. Seriously! So good, but I'm wondering if this is going to be a series or if that's the end of the story. If it is the end then I find it a bit poetic, all things considered, but I hope it isn't. I hope there's more in the future.

There was lots of profanity, which I'm not a fan of, but that is a personal preference. Just a little heads up for those sensitive to it.

I highly recommend this to all paranormal mystery fans and anyone in need of a suspenseful read. You won't be disappointed with this author's ability to weave an intricate and engrossing mystery.
Profile Image for Jamie Kline.
190 reviews4 followers
July 6, 2016
It's been a while since I've read a good crime or mystery novel, so I was excited to get the chance to read Nine-Tenths of the Law. Of course I'm a paranormal fan as well, so the fact that it had a bit of both worlds definitely caught my interest.

The protagonist, Ben Ricci, definitely had some issues. He had a history of drug abuse that had almost cost him his job in the past and a wife who made being in his own house uncomfortable. He surrounded himself with people who still did drugs (his best friend and his wife). He found himself lusting after a woman involved in the murder investigation he was working. I liked Ben; he seemed like a good man and a smart detective, but it was difficult to see him making such obviously terrible choices.

Another thing, or person I guess, Ben had working against him was the man who investigated him in a previous shooting incident: Stevie Sala. He was a typical hotshot jerk, delighting in Ben's misfortune and looking for another reason to nail him to the wall. He made an appearance at the beginning of the book, but then he all but disappeared. I loved to hate him, so I was hoping he would make more of an appearance throughout to throw wrenches in the murder investigation. He wasn't as much an antagonist as Ben's wife was; she was just the worst. She knew he still had feelings for her, and she used it against him to make him feel worthless. I know they both had their flaws, and in a way I guess she felt just as trapped in the marriage as he did; it was just infuriating to see how she treated him.

The writing was excellent; author Glenn H. Mitchell brought this murder mystery to life and the dialogue was so natural. The story definitely kept me guessing. I wasn't sure if the paranormal aspect was real, that an angry spirit was really responsible for the brutal murder, or if a more mundane explanation would unfold. I enjoyed trying to figure it out before I reached the end.

Speaking of the ending, I didn't expect that at all. Those people that like their stories wrapped up neatly with a little bow, no loose ends in sight, will be a little upset. I actually prefer open endings because a lot of times that means that a sequel will pop up in the future. Not always, but we can hope.

If you're in the mood for mystery, murder, and a pinch of the paranormal, then you will definitely enjoy Nine-Tenths of the Law.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

If you would like to read more of my reviews, please visit my book review blog, Lucky Devil Reviews
Profile Image for Nick Rossi.
166 reviews4 followers
December 14, 2015
Aren't all the best plot twists a result of bad timing? They sure are for Ben Ricci in Nine-Tenths of the Law ((Nine Lives Series Book 1). In his novel, author Glenn Mitchell creates a lead character that is damaged, sordid, and just a tad bit unlucky. But you know what? Ben's totally likable, for what that's worth.

Glenn Mitchell's prosaic style is atmospheric and melodic in nature. He presents a dark, menacing but redemptive world that is literally pulsating with its own maniacal heartbeat. Ben Ricci, the aforementioned lead character, is a very logical person. Everything has a purpose and an explanation, which is why his head is spun when he is thrust into a world where alibis, motives, and testimonies are as untrustworthy as his previous beliefs.

The novel moves along at an exciting pace without too much focus paid on unimportant necessary characters or loose ended plot points. Instead, most of the attention is paid on the dynamic character of Ben and his emancipation from all that he's ever known. Mitchell has lofty ambitions in his writing, and luckily for the reader, they are realized in this book.

Like this review? Read more like it at www.readingotherpeople.com
Profile Image for Charles Murphy.
Author 20 books4 followers
October 8, 2015
(Free copy given for honest review)

Grimy, morally grey crime story runs smack into a horror and spends most of it trying desperately to pretend this has a logical explanation - how much you'll like the book depends on how much you'll like our narrator refusing to acknowledge he's wandered into a ghost story. Personally, I liked that quite a lot; there's extra tension in knowing what's going on before Ben does, when we know how much danger he's unwittingly in. Ben himself lurches from good guy to destructive arsehole while still managing to be engaging, while other characters are always one step away from turning out to be different to how they wanted you to think they were.

(And then there's the opening scene, which has some absolutely terrifying implications that Ben never picks up or thinks about again, but YOU will...)
Profile Image for Cathy.
195 reviews2 followers
November 23, 2015
I received this book from Goodreads.

I enjoyed this murder mystery/horror story. I am pleased that all was eventually made clear and the police's quandary as to what to do with the case added to the mystery to the very end. I was a bit shocked with the ending and am not sure I am pleased with how the book ended. Since this is supposed to be the first book in a series I will have to wait for the next one to see if things get better or if there is an entirely new case to solve.

The author's writing style keeps you interested and curious as to what happens next. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys unusual murder mysteries.
Profile Image for Heather.
130 reviews5 followers
March 25, 2016
I received a free copy of this book through Goodread's Giveaways.

I had a hard time really getting into the story. The premise was interesting enough but the actual story just didn't pull through for me.

I felt the main character was trying to be the "jaded" cop but just came across, to me, as more whiny and self-serving. I also found the story slightly confusing. I had a hard time keeping some of the characters straight and the ending confused me thoroughly. I had a hard time following how we got to the ending that we did.

Although, like I said the story idea was interesting one, the actual content of the book just didn't pull through for me.
Profile Image for latybug.
157 reviews
August 7, 2015
I received a free download of this book from Story Cartel, thank you!
This was an entertaining read. I was interested to see how all the different characters dealt with Alice.
I didn't like the way it ended, but overall I enjoyed the book.
I would recommend it to others and I would read more by this author.
Profile Image for John.
384 reviews10 followers
March 30, 2016
To describe this story in any way would be an injustice and give something away. This is one you just have to pick up and give a read. There's a bit of everything here, but at it's core it's about a killer. I found it difficult to put down, and relished the next twist!
Profile Image for Kristine.
123 reviews2 followers
October 30, 2015
Very odd yet catching premise! Ending left me turning the page saying "wait! What?! That's it!?"
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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