"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 has taken a violent turn landing the subject of his investigation, Fred Dunsmore, in the hospital and Moses in jail. Moses is held for questioning along with his erratic client, Sharon Dunsmore, and Fred’s mistress, a Bosnian refugee who just happens to be related to the DCI agent investigating the case, Raif Rakić.
After Rakić secures their release, Fred goes missing, and Moses Winter finds himself compelled to find him. With the assistance of Rakic, Moses unravels Fred's ties to Des Moines's underworld and is forced to confront the most heinous crimes of his career.
Matt Coleman on Amazon wrote:
"MADE SAFE by Francis Sparks is an original, riveting, deftly written, and impressively crafted novel depicting the gritty underbelly of the American heartland. Clearly, as a novelist, Sparks is a master of the crime thriller genre."
Clint Travis (Reviewer)
Sue Hampson on Books From Dusk Till dawn wrote:
A New Star of Noir
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. There is this defining of place based on a refocusing through a dark eye which makes noir ... noir. I loved every page.
Ellen on Bibliophile Book Club wrote:
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 commitment not only to his client, where he would take a fall for if necessary, but also to the beyond the call of duty just because it is the right thing to do, the people he is dealing with matter it is not just a job to him. Unfortunately, Moses is a very trusting bloke, which seems to leave him in some pretty dire situations. You can see them coming and Francis Sparks can certainly create the atmosphere to go with it, which makes for quite compelling reading. So things go drastically wrong, from a bad decision by Moses to let a client come along to witness her two timing husband in the act. It then leads to being part of the most horrendous criminal acts being committed that he could possibly imagine. One thing is for sure though Moses Winter is in it for the duration.
As Moses moves from being involved in a simple marital problem case to much worse the police also play a large part in this story. Raif Rakic is Bosnian and in charge of this case. He has moved to the USA for a better life, with quite a proportion of his family, including his cousin Sejla, The third party in the love triangle of Moses' case before it went belly up. Rakic is very much a man that will bend the law to protect his family and this case is no different. Rakic and Moses make to formidable team. Rakic may be prone to bending the law but he still wants to get the bad guys.
Frances Sparks novel has a little bit of everything. I do like a criminal novel to have some humour in it and this book provided that for me along with a cracking story line that just kept expanding. A long with the good guys there has to be the crooks too and well they certainly know how to dish out the violence. I got the feeling that some of these characters really did enjoy their work! It always amazes me to what depths people will go to for money and how life has little meaning. Francis Sparks captures this perfectly in his novel. It has been a pleasure to read this book, thanks to the author. I have chosen to review this book.
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 like a straight forward adultery case gone wrong was laudable.
DCI Rakic is the agent in charge of the case that evolves from Moses’ adultery case taking a violent turn. This ends up being the tip of the iceberg and he helps Moses unravel the tangled web of deceit which results in them stumbling upon the most heinous crimes of their careers. Rakic has family ties to the case and his dedication to trying to keep them safe whilst bringing others to justice was admirable.
A hard hitting thriller with intriguing characters, a must read for fans of this genre. Four stars from me!