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Made Safe

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"Francis Sparks' MADE SAFE is a gripping, fast-paced and hard hitting thriller. Sparks' depiction of the gritty underbelly of the heartland will grab you by the throat and not let go. Hold on tight for a wild ride." Heather Gudenkauf ~ NYT bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

For Private Investigator, Moses Winter, the job just got more complicated. His adultery case
Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Pandamoon Publishing
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Private detective Moses Winter is working on what looks to be a straightforward case but he’s getting more than he bargained for. He’s been hired by a woman, Sharon, who wants to know if her husband, Fred, is having an affair. They end up at a cabin where the irrefutable proof is splayed right in front of them. But things take a violent turn as Fred ends up in hospital and Moses in jail. As it turns out Fred’s mistress is related to the local DCI Rakic, the situation becomes a bit murky. But the ...more
Michael McLellan
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Admittedly, I don’t read a lot of detective novels these days. I sort of burned myself out on them back in the nineties, and find myself seldom getting around to reading them when someone recommends one to me.
I’m glad I took the time to read Made Safe.
Familiar, but not crammed with predictable turns and worn-out tropes, Francis Sparks debut is a crisp page-turner that had this reader interested from chapter one.
The well-drawn protagonist, Moses Winter is an imperfect person and an imperfect de
T.R. Horne
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sparks gives readers a glimpse into the underworld of human trafficking in his novel, Made Safe. We follow a cast of characters that are flawed and courageous as they fight to first understand what crime is being committed, then stop the heinous act from happening. All the while, the larger implications of such a scandal does not escape the reader. Human trafficking is happening everywhere, even in Des Moines, Iowa. We start the story with Moses Winter, a private investigator, helping to catch a ...more
Karen Cole
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy books that have a strong sense of setting and Made Safe certainly does that. Previously only really known to me as the childhood home of Bill Bryson, Des Moines is brought chillingly (literally so, the snow and ice of the Iowan winter certainly play their part here) to life. It's not just the location that provides the shivers here though, Private Investigator, Moses Winter and DCI Raif Rakić find themselves working together on a case that uncovers a truly odious criminal ring. A ...more
Dennis Green
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The streets of Des Moines are just as mean as Spenser's Boston in this impressive debut.

In the first casebook of private detective Moses Winter, Francis Sparks exposes the underbelly of immigrant culture in a gripping, noir novel.

Made Safe, while listed on the cover as the first adventure of Des Moines-based detective Winter, is just as much the story of Raif Rakíc, the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) investigator who crosses paths with Winter, as the two strike up an uneasy alliance.

Cathy Ryan
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Private Investigator Moses Winter was hired by Sharon Dunsmore to find out if her husband was having an affair, he got way more than he bargained for. What had seemed like a straightforward infidelity case turns into something much darker when Sharon and Moses confront Fred Dunsmore and his girlfriend, Šejla, a Bosnian refugee. Sharon has a gun, which happened to belong to Moses, Šejla has a knife and Fred ends up in hospital fighting for his life, while Moses winds up in jail. When Fred go ...more
Susan Hampson
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-reads
Well this is a novel that impresses. I like nothing better than skimming what a book is about just to make sure that it is my kind of read and then when I actually start reading I am going in quite blind. All I know is that at the time something grabbed me about it. I am so glad that I followed my instincts because this novel is thoroughly entertaining from the first page to last.
Take one Private Investigator, Moses Winter, well I am already smiling because what a bloke he is. I loved his commi
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
A chilling read – literally as the book is set in the depths of an Iowan Winter. This really added to the atmosphere of the book including at one point the body of a young girl frozen to the street. I was glad to be reading it tucked up under a blanket at home!

Moses Winter is the private investigator that gets drawn into the criminal underworld of Des Moines and deeper into a situation that is out of his league. I liked Moses as a character; his determination to get to the bottom of what seemed
D.J. Adamson
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Flawed investigator Moses Winter takes on the criminal underground of Des Moines, Iowa. Yes, even in the Midwest, crime rears its ugly head. Sparks gives the reader a protagonist not yet jaded, willing to courageously take crime on.
This noir thriller by Francis Sparks won’t be the last in the hands of those readers who want credible characters and a story that runs through the novel like a roller-coaster of dips, turns, and welcomed surprises. -Review can be found at Le Coeur de l'Artiste http:/
Brian Cohn
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Filled with mystery and intrigue in the middle of Iowa, Made Safe is a thrilling ride. When PI Moses Winter took on the typical "man cheating on wife" case, he didn't expect anything too complicated. But when the case goes south, he's drawn into the seedy underbelly of Des Moines, Iowa. As he gets drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery, he finds himself left with no choice but to help those who are unable to help themselves. A mystery filled with twists and turns, Made Safe is sure to please a ...more
Sarah Stephens
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Made Safe is a must read for thriller lovers. PI Moses Winter finds himself investigating a series of crimes colder than the Iowa winter shrouding his every move in ice and snow. He finds himself an unexpected partner in DCI Rakić, and together the two of them proceed to crack open a case bigger than either imagined. Throttling forward with a killer plot, well-drawn and intriguing characters, and a sense of place that immerses you in the Moses' world, you won't be able to put it down.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
First, I have to admit that I live in the Des Moines, IA area where this story takes place, so it was really fun visualizing where all the action was taking place. But beyond that, it was a good story.

The story opens with Private Investigator, Moses Winter, working for a woman whose husband, Fred, is having an affair. Sharon wants to confront her husband and his mistress and talks Winter into going to a cabin where the couple is staying. Soon a fight breaks out, Fred gets stabbed, and all four
Matt Coleman
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I certainly hope this book makes Francis Sparks one of the faces of neo-noir, Moses Winter deserves a seat at that table. For anyone, such as myself, who has an undying love for the shadowy world of Hammett and Chandler and Mosley, this book will hit you like a warm trench coat in the middle of a snow storm. I feel like writers should seek to write a book that only they can write. I think Sparks has done exactly that. The Des Moines setting becomes every bit as real as Chandler's or Mosley's L.A ...more
Penni Jones
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Made Safe is a fast-paced gritty mystery with twists I never saw coming. Can't wait to read the next book in this series!
Kris Verdeck
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading mostly historical fiction and non-fiction over the past year, it was great to change it up and read in the crime/thriller/mystery genre. Francis Sparks debut is a fast-paced, page-turner of a crime novel and a bonus that it took place in Des Moines, Iowa as I could picture the locations described. Knowing that the crime involved in this novel is an issue hitting all across the nation, I finished the book wondering if there was some truth in the story. I'm looking forward to the rel ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, it starts out relatively sedate, almost predictable, isn't predictable at all anymore! Fast paced, lots of action, totally unpredictable and entering nail-biting territory relatively quickly. Looking for more in this series!
Amy Shannon
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Be prepared to get lost!

This book is very gritty and intense. I love a good thriller and this is one of the good ones. Add in an intriguing PI, Moses Winter, and you've got yourself a hit. I really liked this story, and it was a very raw and amazing journey of solving the case. I love the complications and the connections between the characters. Sparks writes a good story and I was finally able to put it down when the story concluded.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Moses Winter is a Private Investigator that gets a lot more than he bargained for when he takes on what should be a straightforward adultery case, when the cheater in question, Fred Dunsmore, ends up in the hospital with a stab wound, while the wife and girlfriend battle it out between them. But when Fred goes missing, Moses will find himself in much murkier waters than he thought possible. Joining forces with DCI Raif Rakic, who has a personal interest in the case as Mr. Dunsmore girlfriend is ...more
Andreia Nuno
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I want to thank the author Francis Sparks for reaching out and allowing me to review his book.​

One word for this novel: Intense! I absolutely love the type of story where the main character gets involved with something, falling into it blindly. It just adds spice to the story!

A novel starts out with private investigator Moses Winter is working on a cheating-husband case. Things start to get complicated when the cheated wife discovers that her husband has been with a Bosnian immigrant. When a fig
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Murder comes to Des Moines in Francis Sparks’ Made Safe. And things are just getting warmed up at that point in this wintry Midwestern neo-noir debut.

Made Safe by Francis SparksMade Safe starts with the familiar elements of crime. Moses Winter, a middle-aged, down-on-his-luck private detective gets in over his head while investigating a cheating husband.

He forges an unlikely, and sometimes too trusting, partnership with Raif Rakić, a Bosnian immigrant who’s earned his way to detective on the cit
Kara Lauren
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought I knew what Made Safe was going to be about, and then it did a total 180 on me (in a good way!). This was one of the few thrillers I have read that kept one step ahead of me the entire time I read it. As soon as I thought I knew what was going to happen, it took a surprise turn. I never thought of Iowa as a place of crime.

I have never read about Bosnians before but Raif Rakić was one of my favorite characters that I have read. Raif was an alpha male but didn't have the snarky attitude
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sparks expertly weaves noir crime fiction with a modern sensitivity that breaths fresh air into the genre. One foremost deviation and appeal is that our protagonist is not yet hardboiled by a career of cynicism, which makes for a fascinating narrative as the reader often has the same first-time experience as does our leading man. In this way, Sparks writes an instantly relatable and even sympathetically familiar character, making this feel like the long-awaited prequel to an established saga you ...more
Lori Hunt
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ever wonder what happens behind the huge oak door of the elegant house on the swanky street? Francis Sparks gives us a peek- and you won’t look at that house the same way again. In this tale of Heartland Noir, he takes us behind the façade of a Midwest town to shine a light on what happens in the shadows. While the rest of us are getting ready to celebrate Christmas, there are those who are just struggling to stay alive.

I did get an ARC of this to read. Even better, we were in the same writing
Dana Faletti
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read crime thrillers, but I received an ARC copy of Made Safe from the publisher and couldn't put this book down. MC Moses Winter - probably my favorite MC name in a book - is your typical hard-nosed PI at first. He throws himself into his case with full force, and as the case becomes increasingly tricky, Moses' tough layers peel away to reveal a flawed yet caring man with a complicated history, He becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of one man's disappearance and ends up b ...more
Cheri Champagne
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Made Safe is a thrilling read that kept me on my seat and eagerly turning the pages for more. I would happily pick it up and read it again!
Ashley Albers
rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2018
Laura Ellen
rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2017
Jeff Messick
This book started off at an extreme pace, and never really let up, until the end. Well written mystery with a twist you'll tell yourself you saw coming a mile away, and you'd be lying to yourself. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.
Curtis Sorensen
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2017
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