From school bullies to the crime-ridden streets of his hometown of Los Angeles, Jeremy Riker has always felt the need to do something about the injustice surrounding him. Just as he sets out on his journey as an urban warrior, he unknowingly gives rise to an obsessive adversary, who ends up becoming one of the most notorious serial killers the city has ever known. Dubbed by the news media as The Spyderco Killer, the methodical psychopath roots himself deep into Riker's life for the long haul, until his own madness propels everything into an intense climax.
Rico Lamoureux considers himself a dramatist. He believes too much emphasis is put on genre nowadays, and not enough on actual story. From Historical Fiction to Contemporary Romance. From shocking Horror to edge-of-your-page Thrillers. A great story transcends genre, with dramatic elements being the utmost of importance.
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Roll the mental camera, sit back and enjoy a brief tale of intrigue and mystery. As the main character, Jeremy Riker fights the injustices in the world around him, he becomes the focus of a mysterious psychopath as the media gives this dark and twisted killer his place in public infamy. Unable to become a police officer, Jeremy becomes a P.I. with an eye to solving the unsolvable crimes and discovers his connection to the deadly serial killer. Now he must stop this madman before the death count rises as he works against time to discover the who and why of these brutal acts.
Riker’s Calling by Rico Lamoureux is gritty, raw and is filled with drama and suspense. After a lightening quick opening and some heavy action, we learn more about what makes Riker tick through flashbacks. With few missteps, this author pulls in his readers and gives them a crime thriller with truly human characters. A few more pages would have fleshed out this tale and given it more meat to sink our teeth into, although, for a quick read when the reader wants some down and dirty grit, this makes for some good reading!
I received an ARC edition from Rico Lamoureux in exchange for my honest review.
This novella could be an episode of any crime TV show. It packs a punch and features a psychopath. From a puzzling question of who? to a twisty showdown.
Meet Jeremy Riker- bullied in school by one of the security staff, Riker decides that getting involved in the police force is something he should do to protect the other vulnerable people. An unfortunate event, however, sees the police force dream of Riker’s being flushed down the toilet as he’s no longer physically ‘fit enough’ as per the police force requirement.
Riker does, with the help of a mentor he met in police force, start his own P.I. agency and together they solve the unsolved.
It’s not that easy though… that’s not all… Riker discovers that the Spiderco Killer is intentionally targeting people who are one way or another connected to Riker and the murders are quite calculated and gross. There are a few scenes there that are just plain horrible… especially if you have a vivid imagination…
I did have a major question about the psychopath… I seemed to have missed the point as to how how Jaime (Riker’s ‘niece’… again, can’t give too many away here) figured out that the psycho was the man they were after? Without knowing the Killer’s face how did they really crack the ‘case’? Maybe what was missing was the insight into how Riker was trying to solve the case… what kind of clues did he get, if any? What research did he do, if any? The sleepless nights he spent.. the loss of a woman he thought he was going to have a future with… it’s all ‘avoided’… but, it is a novella, so some things shouldn’t get attention, you’ll get plenty of action instead.
So, without giving any further details away to leave plenty of surprises for potential readers, I would just like to say that it’s a decent read. The connections of characters and events are well thought out.
I received a review copy from Rico directly- thanks! – and while there were some typos in the story, I am certain that these will be rectified when the book is launched for sale.
Overall, however, a satisfying and quick read bound to keep you entertained.
My Rating: 3 stars- I liked it. I liked how the story panned across decades and how it didn’t feel entirely watered down due to years and year being, say, cut out of the story. There’s always method to the madness
I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this novella is! Despite its short length, there is gripping tension throughout and good character progression for the main two protagonists. I liked the contrasts between the locales in which scenes take place - the gentle harbour, pristine hospital, seedy city streets - and Lamoureux has paced his story perfectly so there is never a dull moment, but I didn't feel the narrative was overly rushed either. A smattering of typos do detract slightly from the atmosphere and there are several shockingly violent moments - this isn't a book for anyone with a knife phobia! The epilogue takes us into the beginning of a sequel, however Riker's Calling stands as a full story in its own right and has a satisfying conclusion. I very much enjoyed reading this novella.
- Warning - the descriptions in this review, while whitewashed, may be offensive by themselves... Jeremy Riker's a veteran at being down but not out. After a tragic stray bullet prevents him from becoming a policeman, his police friends assist him in rebuilding his life in a vain attempt to make it back into the running to join the force. In a depression, he goes to the train station, considering ending it all, when he notices a woman weeping, sitting on a bench. He goes up to console her, but notices she's zip-tied to the bench. And things don't slow down from that moment on.
This novella had me on the edge of my seat from the start to the finish. This has some adult content and graphic descriptions of violence, as it's about a serial killer. It's not YA fiction, and I wouldn't hand it to a teen to read. It's a dark read but does end on a better note.
Content: Violence: R - The serial killer in this novella gets to leave a trail of bodies, all killed in a similar way, leaving a 'signature', of sorts. Their murders are described fairly graphically. In several instances the victims are left to rot before being discovered, according to plan.
Language: R - There's a liberal dose of profanity in this book, with F-bombs dropped throughout.
Adult Content: R - One of the female victims is forced to disrobe before being murdered. Multiple of the victims are left naked. There is some discussion of conquests and illegitimate children, one night stands, and clubbing. One character is a stripper. One person is getting an obscene tattoo. There is a bust of a sex trafficking ring, and a brief description of how they trapped the girls into it. A girl is freed from a dungeon where she was imprisoned for years because of that ring.
Christian content: None.
Final analysis: Oh, this one was dark. A gripping, edge of your seat suspense crime thriller. The action kept me going but the content was disturbing. This was not for the kiddies. The book was well-written as crime thrillers go, though there were some minor editing issues and serial killers are not my cup of tea. The content was enough to make me want to pass on this one, but the action and suspense was enough to keep me going. Four Stars. *I received an electronic copy for an honest review
When an author submits a review request for a novella/short novel, I find myself crying a little inside. Don't get me wrong, I've read some that have been absolutely amazing, but for the most part I've found that, in order to keep it short and sweet, the content tends to be lacking...making it really hard to become submerged in the plot. There's nothing worse than finishing a book and feeling like something was missing....like it could have/should have been so much more!
Let me begin this review by saying that Riker's Calling did not once feel like a typical novella. In fact, it exceeded my expectations in ways that I didn't think possible. The plot's twists and turns made it truly impossible to put down. It had me guessing what was going to happen next, and then left me speechless. The characters were perfect, the story line was phenomenal, the content amount was dead on, and the way it was able to make me forget I was reading a novella was absolutely refreshing.
I try not to be too bossy when writing my reviews, but I can't help it today. Read this book....seriously, read it. You won't regret picking it up, and I'm confident that once you've finished it you will be anxious to get your hands on the next installment, The Ghostwriter.
You can find this review (along with many more) here, on the CommonBookSense blog!
I was fortunate enough to receive a ARC of Riker's Calling in exchange for an honest review. This is the third story I've read from this author, and am very impressed with his ability to go from one genre to another, with his talent as a storyteller never faltering as he does so.
I was immediately drawn into Riker's world, and never wanted to leave. The character had a tragic beginning but fought through it to become the man he seems destined to become. His 'heart', Jamie, is a joy to read, and his adversary, a psychopath that is both brilliant and mad, is definitely sick and engaging at the same time.
I loved every aspect of this book, including the insightful look at both tattoos and today's news industry. Mr. Lamoureux's a master storyteller, and I'm looking so forward to continuing my summer reading with his different works. I just found out about The Ghostwriter, so that's definitely next!
Note: I received a free copy of Riker's Calling from its author in exchange for an honest – overdue – review.
Riker's Calling by Rico Lamoureux is fast-paced thrilling crime-mystery novella with a mastermind of a villain. Brilliantly wicked!
Bullied in his teens, 21-year-old Jeremy Riker looks to become a police officer to do some good and stop bullies. But an injury renders him slightly deformed and obliterates his dreams of joining law enforcement. Despite extensive training, he is denied the opportunity to join law enforcement several times. So he becomes a kind of vigilante and considers opening his own private investigations (P.I.) firm with his friend and mentor Max.
Highly trained in martial arts, spotting bad guys, and a host of other skills, Riker is seen as the perfect person for law enforcement despite his injury.
"I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the past several hours had been anything but random. Someone out there knew my history."
Unknown to Riker, a killer, named The Spyderco Killer because of the Spyderco (a kind of knife) he leaves in his victims' backs, has set his eyes on him but continuously eludes him, until he – the killer – decides to go on a killing spree, hitting close to home for Riker.
Although the novella is called Riker's Calling, there are only two instances where the narration is from Riker's perspective. We get the killer's views, movement, and action, but in the third person.
One of the things I liked about Riker's Calling is Lamoureux's way of giving the reader information through a variety of sources such as a news anchor, tweets, and people talking about events. We even get bits of Riker's history from the killer's perspective.
I thought the novel was a bit gritty at times, especially since the killer slashed his victims' throats but there was a little more than just throat slashing.
"Fifteen cigars – nine with red bands, to represent the past nine years of silence and therefore the nine victims to come, and six with yellow bands, for any collateral damage that might occur."
The novel spans almost two decades but starts in the present time with bits of flashbacks and Riker and the killer playing cat and mouse.
I liked Riker's narration, especially how relatable he was, using examples from crime series like Law & Order, and mentioning notes on crimes and criminals. The irony in the novella was mind-blowing at times!
Overall, Riker's Calling is meticulously connected; it's brilliant! Lamoureux is lauded for his twists and for creating a genius killer. It is definitely a five-star action-packed must-read.
"Truth is rarely blossoming with flowers. More often than not it's cold, it's hard, and if you're not in alignment with it, it'll smash you to pieces."
This story line involves a psychopathic serial killer, and I particularly like a book whereby the Author very cleverly leads the reader to see into the serial killers mind so that we can kind of understand where his thought process is going with regards his victims, his reasons and his methods. Of course, we never empathise with serial killers, but if an Author can show his thought process, then it makes me think that the Author is very talented. These are my thoughts about Rico Lamoureux.
The structure of the book seems to change slightly just over half way through, once I got used to it it made much more sense, especially as I reached the climatic end. Thinking back over the book I can understand why the Author chose to write it this way, as the clues are in the reading.
Although I enjoy shorter read novellas as you get a quicker beginning, middle and end, I feel that this could have been padded out with a bit more detail because it is a story which spans over years. However, because its a novella the pages are very action packed and fast paced, so I got an exciting read which meant I needed to focus, while leaving me with no predictions as to what was going to happen, and that is always a good thing!
Rico has written quite a lot of books, and Riker’s Calling ends with an Epilogue that lets the reader prepare for another of his books. However, I was pleased that the book did not leave this story as a cliff hanger, as I would have been disappointed with this. The story ends with twists and an exciting end, which left me satisfied and ready to read the next Rico Lamoureux book.
I liked the cover before I read the book, but I always enjoy a book where after you’ve finished the book, you can look back at the cover and see a little bit more about why the Author chose that particular cover. That is way I felt about Riker’s Calling. I would be very interested to hear other readers thoughts on this, whether it be this book or another?
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The first thing I would like to emphasize on is that this is a novella. A short read, packed with a fast paced plot, action and murder! Lots and lots of killings.... yes! you guessed right, we have a serial killer on the loose. Dubbed by the media as the "Spyderco killer", he haunts our protagonist, Jeremy Riker. This about sums up the two main character's in the plot.
The story starts off with an action packed scene, thus introducing our hero in a rather interesting manner. This is then followed by some of his history, an explanation as to how he got into his current situation. The author then introduces our serial killer, but keeps his identity hidden even from the readers. Until this point the story remains consistent. We meet many interesting characters who support Riker and the plot twists are intriguing in places.
By the second half, we see more deaths happen, people close to Riker are killed and it becomes clear that this is personal. However, the author doesn't develop much of the investigation Riker conducts nor are we given any insight into his feelings or thoughts about what is happening. Riker seems to be dealing with everything rather differently, and for a PI, he is busy with other cases. Even though the second half seems a little bit of a let down, the story comes to a clear conclusion with the ending leading to a follow-up novella.
A little into the story, we are also introduced to Jamie, Riker's "niece", and we watch her as she grows from a little girl interested in her grandfather's tattoo business to a young tattoo artist herself. She is also integral to the story, but doesn't seem to contribute much. Here I think the author could have developed a little more of her role in the story.
Overall, in spite of some of the few hiccups, the story is a good read and can be read rather quickly. It is well written and the style of writing contributes well to the pace of the story. I would recommend this book to those who love a fast paced action thriller with some mystery thrown in.
I am reading a crime thriller after a long time. I loved Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed thrillers from that time, but crime and violence don't interest me much.
This is the story of Jeremy Riker who wanted to join the police force but, ends up starting a private detective agency with his guide Max. Due to some reasons, he becomes an enemy to a serial killer and thus loses the lives of a lot of his close friends and supporters. He is stuck in a dangerous situation where he doesn't know the next target of his opponent. The serial killer is clever and takes every step with caution without leaving any clue. The Spyderko killer is in no hurry to kill and takes his own time enjoying the thrill of revenge. Can Riker catch the killer? What is the reason behind these horrendous murders? This forms the remaining story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced novel. It's a page turner divided into parts connecting the dots slowly and cleverly without revealing the reason behind the murders till the last part. The title is apt though I didn't like the cover much. It's just around 75 pages.
A short and quick read Suspense element till the end fast paced Characterization is good
The narration can be better Too much violence
My Rating: 4/5 PS: I have received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review and this is my unbiased opinion on the book.
I thought this was a very interesting book with some great scenes. Since I am a fan of kick ass action scenes with maybe some mild violence thrown in there this called out to me. Seeing as this book is so short I'll keep my review short as well.
The pace of this was pretty fast and moved right along but there were a few scenes that bogged me down some. It was easy enough for me to jump right back into it but it did lose my interest at times. The character's backgrounds were easy enough to understand but I don't think there was really any character development. I'm guessing that's because the book is so short. That being said I still liked both Riker and the villain. The other characters were too minor to name.
I do love a good mystery/thriller! Riker's Calling is a very fast paced, action packed, enjoyable book. There were a few times when it lost me a bit, but for the most part I found it to be a pretty good read. I do think that the reason I found a few things lacking in the book is that it was indeed a pretty short book. There didn't seem to be quite enough character development for my liking but that is generally what you get with books this length.
If you are in the mood for a mystery/crime thriller type of book but you're short on time, this would probably be a great book for you!
*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This novella was fast paced, with high action and was a hell of a ride.
Jeremy Riker, the main character, is a tough private investigator and a brilliant martial artist. His world is blown apart, when a serial killer latches on to him; taking delight in causing Riker emotional pain.
Rico Lamoureux, the author writes a disconcerting, rapid, murder mystery with excellent narrative. I believe that this novella would be the first in a great TV series.
You never really get to know Riker properly but you are always on his side, hoping for the best. I would be interested in reading the next book in the series.
This book is extremely intense, and Lamoureux definitely writes this story well. Edge of your seat, quick to turn the pages, but taking the breath to read and envelope the entire story on each page. Read this story, word for word, and embark on the journey that is Riker. Jeremy Riker, a man bent on righting the injustices of crimes, and who crosses the Spyderco Killer. It's the life of the modern day warrior, and how he can enter the sights of a psychopath, with threats of breaking his own mind.
A fast action packed novella which I've read in about 50 minutes. Riker is a likeable character whom you can't but feel for, having been bullied all his life and seeing his future crushed by this or that. And when the psychopath targets him and his family and friends, all the best are really off.