Nov 17, 2008

Scattered Leaves by Richard Roach

Richard Roach's Scattered Leaves follows the quest of Ben McCord, an oilman, to find the man who killed his young wife. McCord is a man on a mission, and his negative view of the world permeates the novel. The one light in his life, his wife June, is gone.

Like many of the James Patterson crime fiction novels I've read in the past, there is a vast conspiracy behind the death of McCord's wife. However, some of the police procedure and gun purchasing details were unrealistic and could distract seasoned mystery readers.

On the other hand, the fast-paced plot will carry the reader quickly through the twists and turns. In some cases the reader may wonder how McCord ends up where he does, which is expected given that the novel is told from McCord's point of view. Some of these plot twists seem outlandish and not well constructed, and the logic McCord uses to deduce his next course of action is shaky at best. However, McCord's shaky logic is one of his character flaws, and it is this flaw that unwittingly propels him into unlikely situations and that fuels the fire propelling him to find his wife's killer. The novel takes the reader on a journey from the Oklahoma oil fields to Texas and through Kansas, Colorado, and near the Mexican border.

One of my favorite characters in the novel is an older, hired assassin who gets the drop on McCord as he makes his way home, shooting into his moving car from the woods. This assassin is brash and had me giggling during the exchange he had with McCord in the woods after the attack. Richard Roach has a way with dry humor, which is used to ease the tension in some cases.

According to Richard Roach, "Knock 'em down and drag 'em out is more McCord's style. But, he's honest, forthright, and oh so tender with the ladies." Reading this book, you can tell that McCord is rough around the edges, but he's looking to keep his tender side on the surface more often. About midway through the novel, the action gets more intense and Dr. Pettijohn is thrust into the action in a harsh way and plays an integral role in its ultimate resolution. At times this novel seemed to tell McCord's emotions rather than show them, and some of the plot points were not necessary to propel the action, both of which could distract readers. However, in spite of these problems with narration and plot, Richard Roach's first novel is fast-paced and has an imaginative style that will keep you reading.

About the Author:

Born in Galveston, Texas, Richard Roach served four years in USAF as drill sergeant. He attended the University of Texas. Short stories have been published in Man’s Story 2, Happy 2007 volume 20, page 58, Iconoclast 2006 volume 91, page 73, and Bibliophilos 2006 volume 42, page 54. His first novel, Scattered Leaves, hit the book stores n September 2008. His second novel, Scattered Money, will be published by Multi-Media in 2009.

I want to thank Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for sending along Scattered Leaves by Richard Roach.

If you're interested in Scattered Leaves, feel free to leave a comment. will help me choose a winner.

You have until November 21 to enter.

Stop Back tomorrow for my Q&A with Richard Roach!

Also Reviewed By:
Peeking Between the Pages


Anonymous said...

By looking at the cover, I could have never guessed it's a crime novel. Please enter me...

Theresa N. said...

I'd enjoy reading a mystery. Thanks:)
Theresa N

Marie Cloutier said...

sounds like a fun read. i always have fun with fast pacing and a good plot :-)

Anonymous said...

Simply love the cover. Reason enough to enter it!



Anonymous said...

It sounds interesting. I'd love to be entered.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Whoa! You compared this to a James Patterson novel!

No need to enter me, darling. I'm just dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted over at Win a Book for ya.

Anonymous said...

Fast paced good plot with plenty of twists, even illogical ones - definitely sounds like an interesting read.

Sheri S. said...

Sounds like an interesting read - I'd love to get into a good mystery! Please enter me.


darbyscloset said...

I love patterson's books!! Please pick me..oops I mean enter me! ;-*
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

windycindy said...

Thanks for the chance to win this great sounding crime mystery book!
Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi

windycindy said...

An interesting man/author! He sounds like a wonderful author. Please add my name to your book drawing. I enjoy reading crime books. Thanks, Cindi

avalonne83 said...

Sounds really an interesting book.
Please enter me in the contest. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an interesting crime fiction novel. I find that many mysteries are a bit outside of reality, but if the author is able to convince me, at least for the span of the book that it's possible, the book and I get along just fine. :-)

Please enter me.
literaryfeline AT gmail DOT com

Amber said...

Thank you for the giveaway and please enter me.


Toni said...

I liked the ease of the author's speech in the interview. Very nice interview. I would like to read more from him.
tonigomez (at) surewest (dot) net

Anonymous said...

Enter me in this contest, please. Good interview; book sounds really good.

Dayna said...

Similar to James Patterson? Count me in!

Anna said...

Thanks for the honest review. No need to enter me, though. It feels like I've already read it, with all the talking we've done about it.

Diary of an Eccentric

caseykelp said...

oooh you have got me hooked..especially with comparing it to patterson. awesome.
Thank you for the giveaway.


Sara said...

Sounds like a good one. Please enter me. Thanks! Sararush at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

Sounds like a great book. Not at all what I would expect just looking at the cover. I am always looking for something new to read. Please enter me.