Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"nothing to hide" by j. mark bertrand

About the book (from the back cover): A grisly homicide. An international threat. The stakes have never been higher for Detective Roland March.

The victim's head is missing, but what intrigues Detective Roland March is the hand. The pointing finger must be a clue—but to what? According to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he discovers the Feds are lying. And they're not the only ones.

In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose—and nothing to hide.

My take: Nothing to Hide is an enjoyable, intriguing detective novel. It's the third in Bertrand's Roland March Mystery series, though it functions as a stand alone novel, as well.

Bertrand's descriptions caused the novel to come to life, and I caught myself groaning and wincing as I read about the gruesome dead body that kicked off the novel's action. (This reminded me of the TV series Bones—it was as though Bertrand was describing one of the bodies whose discovery always begins an episode.) I'm not incredibly imaginative, so I love it when authors are able to put a picture in my mind!

The mystery goes through multiple twists and turns, and, like March, I was never sure whom he should trust. Eventually I began to put together the pieces of the puzzle—especially how the flashbacks interspersed throughout the novel fit in—but the end, though fitting, was not one I'd have predicted.

Though Nothing to Hide is published by Bethany House and some characters are believers, it is not an overtly "Christian" novel. It felt like a mainstream detective novel minus the language and sex with biblical truth (though subtle) thrown in. For me, that was not a problem, but those expecting a more traditional Christian novel may be let down. Overall a very enjoyable read! 4 stars.

Read an excerpt below: 
Nothing To Hide

About the author: J. Mark Bertrand has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, he left Houston and relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota. For more information, visit

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through their book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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