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Book reviews for "Stroud,_Carsten" sorted by average review score:

The Blue Wall
Published in Mass Market Paperback by Bantam Books (1984)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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excellent look at life as a police officer in canada
Stroud got it exactly right. A realistic look at life as a police officer in a country as diverse as Canada. From the drug squad in Vancouver to policing the native reserves of Northern Ontario. Stroud tells it like it is not like Hollywood would have you believe it. I read this book in high school 14 years ago. It made me want to be a cop a decision I've never regretted. Read this book!!

Black Water Transit
Published in Audio Cassette by Brilliance Audio (07 August, 2001)
Authors: Carsten Stroud and Bruce Reizen
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Stylish, Gritty
I loved Stroud's book and thought Black Water Transit was one of the most original plots that I have read in a long time. Jack Vermilion, the main character is successful businessman and the owner of Black Water Systems a shipping company. He enjoys the sucesses of his life except for his dissapointing son, Danny, a thief and drug addict. In federal prison, Danny calls and begs for help. In an effort to help his son, Jack turns informant on a client, Earl Pike, who wants to ship some guns to Mexico. When feds move in to yank the shipment, several agents are killed and of course Jack is blamed and not Pike. Pike, a former army colonel and sniper feels he has been betrayed by Jack and starts his own personal vendetta. The edgy writing of the story gives it the added substance that some writers lack. The characters were razor-sharp and very believable. This is the type of book that you won't want to put down until you are finished. Although, I initially had some problems with going back and forth in the chapters with the different story lines and characters, in the long run it was one hell of a read!...

What a thriller!
Black Water Transit by Carsten Stroud is a taut, nail biting thriller that I could not put down! (Yes, I know that it's cliche, but in this case it's true!)

I do not normally read crime fiction, and only chose this book when I ran out of other reading material... I did not realize what I was getting into! Stroud is very witty and has a narrative style unlike I've ever read. He writes in such a way that you understand exactly what words sound like coming from the characters' mouths, and he captures the essence of internal thought and turmoil like they were your own thoughts.

The action of this book is very fast-paced, and he endears you to the characters very quickly. The plot is sinuous and keeps you guessing until the very end. This book has everything from romance to the Mob, from bad-guys who turn good to good-guys who turn bad, and revenge coming out the wazoo (technical term)! I recommend this book to anyone!!

Just wonderful!
I don't know how I missed Stroud's first two books, but I couldn't be happier that I did find Black Water Transit. Stroud is an enormously gifted writer, with exceptional plotting skills, a fine gift for characterization, and a Damon Runyonesque sense of humor. It takes a lot to make me laugh, but some of the observations (placed in darker moments, which makes them all the more laudable) had me merrily, appreciatively chortling away. Nothing in this book is predictable; none of the characters are cliched, but are original and entirely memorable. There's not a wasted word; there's no unnecessary padding. The narrative takes off in high gear and never lets up for a moment. This is a book not to be missed! I'm now off to order Close Pursuit and Sniper's Moon.
Most highly recommended.

Published in Paperback by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap) (1993)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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Strong characters
I've reviewed Carsten Stroud in the past. I've always stressed his atmosphere and characters. In my opinion he excells in his books at being able to take you into the story and make you genuinely care for his chatracters. the same is true of Lizardskin, but here his dialouge is also very finely done. Yes the conclusion is a little weak but it's such a pleasure getting there that I will readily forgive Mr. Stroud and his Robin Cook ending. Actually I found myself enjoying the story so much that I really wasn't in all that much of a rush to see it end. I have read this novel several times over the years and every time I enjoy it immensely. Read this novel if you enjoy storytelling at its finest.

Just terrific!
This was Stroud's first novel, after two works of non-fiction. And unlike most journalists who have great difficulty making the transition from fact-based writing to fiction, Stroud has no problem at all. This is an outstanding book: characters so real you can practically touch them, humor so outrageous that sections provoke out-loud laughter, a complex completely viable plot-line, and sections of writing lyrically simple and beautifully constructed. Stroud is one wonderful writer.

Aside from all the above assets, the author's feel for place is so powerful that Montana comes alive in its vistas, its climate and its denizens. There's also a lot of native American history, integral to the plot, that isn't sentimentalized but made to come alive--via hero Beau McAllister's sensibilities.

A good author always, always leaves the reader wanting more. Lizardskin is a signal accomplishment in that it practically begs for a sequel. Stroud has gone on to write other, equally fine books, resisting the temptation to overwork a winning hand. Smart fellow, first-class writer.
My highest recommendation.

Very Well Written Thriller on Culture Clash and Revenge
Carsten Stroud's Lizardskin is one of the best books I have ever read. If you had the chance for revenge--would you take it? It's your choice. You decide. In an instant. That is partly what this book is all about. Set in the area of Montana and the Little Big Horn, this book opens with an incident at a gas station. There is a shootout between the owners and someone shooting at him with bows and arrows. Carsten Stroud's character is called in to investigate. He does not like what he finds

Cuba Strait
Published in Audio Cassette by Simon & Schuster (2003)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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A page turner yes...but
Cuba Strait begins with a lot of promise but fizzles out. It seems to me that a great deal of effort was taken to set the scene but once the novel's characters are established they are almost on remote control. The action seems pre-determined the characters always making the right decision never finding any dead ends.

I found myself wondering many times how a certain character knew what had happened to another character when he/she wasn't present. One is left to assume that at some point character A briefs character B. Another disturbing thing is that none of the characters ever need sleep.

One really annoying thing about this book that is set in and around the waters of Cuba is that the Spanish dialogue (which the author uses often) is grammatically incorrect, misspellings, etc. Sometimes he writes words that are supposed to be in Spanish but look like French (an "L" apostrophe which is not used in Spanish.) He uses the word "ocha" instead of "ocho" referring to the number 8. etc.

The book got my attention early but then left me unsatisfied.I just felt like there was no climax. The resolution is 9 pages (out of 418) in which two government agents reveal everything the main character didn't know which is substantial (including a discrediting of one the important premises upon which much of the action is contingent). I wanted to like this book more but it needed a good editor and a re-write of the ending.

International intrigue!
A young, New York State patrolman (retired early from a gunshot wound) is appreciating a slower pace of life fishing off the Florida Keys, when a tropical storm blackens the sky. He is unaware of the danger he's about to reel in from the turbulent seas.

The character, Rick Broca, is lured into a deadly scheme that reaches international proportions - all from risking his life to save another man whose identity is shrouded in complexities and unknowns. Broca becomes entwined in a net of unsavory intrigue with no apparent escape.

Stroud has an uncanny ability as a storyteller to combine personalities and action into a blend that keeps you turning the pages, wondering what will happen next. "Cuba Strait" is a complex story, which comes together in a convincing way that perfectly fits the age of mass terror.

This is the first novel I have read by Stroud, and it definitely will not be the last. If you enjoy action, adventure, and intense stories, Stroud is a writer worth remembering!

A frequent guest on television's hit series "Law and Order," voice performer Armand Schultz is in constant demand. Well he should be listeners will agree upon hearing his reading of the thriller "Cuba Strait."

Carsten Stroud's sixth novel, grabs readers from the opening lines with the appearance of Charles Green, an American pilot with a "loaded Glock strapped to his thigh and the fifty rounds of nine mill tucked in the breast pocket of his brown-leather bomber jacket." A former Navy man who was sent to Hawaii in 1969, he's now about to take off on a dangerous and mysterious flight. His plane, a Kodiak, is flawless; the weather is not. The cargo is unknown to him, as is the lone passenger who keeps an assault rifle pointed at Green's kidney.

Protagonist Rick Broca is a former New York State Police officer who quit the force after a glitch in the chain of command stopped him from saving lives during a school massacre. He is tending to his employer's boat, cruising off the Florida Keys before returning to his new job as a Hollywood technical consultant. When Rick sees the small Kodiak go down, he's all action.

There is a chilling underwater rescue attempt interrupted by an enormous female tiger shark dubbed Maybelline by Floridians. She is 500 pounds of "gouges and badly healed wound" with "an ugly puckered furrow carved into her snout." Maybelline has the unknown passenger for a starter, and wants Green who is trapped in the cockpit for her main course. However, Rick manages to save the pilot who claims to be a navy flier.

Rick's move to return the pilot to Miami is thwarted by a raging fire fight with another vessel - some no-holds-barred Cubans want Green and the cargo back, and they want both now. Obviously, Rick is on to the fact that Green is more than an ordinary charter pilot but no information is forthcoming.

The author's penchant for dark humor comes to the fore when Rick forgets that he has left the half-eaten remains of Green's passenger in the refrigerator of his employer's boat. So, when the boss goes out on a fishing expedition he is taken prisoner in Cuban territorial waters and charged with murder.

Aware that his error may well cost his boss his life Rick finds himself in the middle of a complex miasma of international intrigue. Rick doesn't know who to trust nor do listeners as suspense escalates to a startling finale.

- Gail Cooke

Sniper's Moon
Published in Paperback by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap) (1992)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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Excellent Fictional Debut
Sniper's Moon is Mr. Stroud's fictional debut and he dosen't disappoint. Mr. Stroud has always excelled at writing books heavy with atmosphere and he does a beautiful job here as well. At forst the reader is following what seems to be two different story lines but both are very well done and one never becomes bored with either one. Eventually they come together in a way I found to be very satisfying. This is a book about honor, faithfulness, blood ties, and redemption. It's also a very intruiging mystery which keep one guessing almost to the end. The police procedure is believable and the action sequences are beautiful. Mr. Stroud also excells at giving the reader detailed descriptions on even the most minor characters so the reader feels like he has known them for years. Unlike so many of the police procedure thrillers this one takes a slighty different trail and does a great job. Read it. I really think you won't be disapointed.

When I find an author whose work I really like, I tend to buy all their books and then space them out, to read over a period of time--prolonging the pleasure. In the case of Carsten Stroud, having started with his most recent book, Black Water Transit, I chased down all his previous books and am taking my time reading them.

Sniper's Moon, Stroud's first novel, is like a fireworks display. It starts off with a bang, then dazzles one with bursts of patterns against a night sky. This look at the inside/outside life of an NYPD sniper, a second generation cop, is a stunning piece of work--insightful, compelling and melancholy.

Managing with great skill to weave together simultaneous plot lines, the narrative takes off in high gear and doesn't let up for a moment. All the characters are fully three-dimensional, even the most minor, and while there is a great deal of violence it doesn't get in the way of the story. And when, roughly at the midpoint of this book, the hero Frank Keogh is accused of killing two fellow cops and takes off to try to unravel things from a distance, there ensues what is one of the best hide-and-pursuit segments I've read in a long time.

While I guessed who was the villain of the piece early on, the author manages to pull off a nice surprise ending that is unexpected.

Some of the writing is beautifully lyrical; the insights into the minds of the men and women involved is refreshingly honest. This is a terrific book.
Very highly recommended.

Deadly Force: In the Streets With the U.S. Marshals
Published in Paperback by Bantam Books (1997)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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Stroud still has it.
Carsten Stroud has never been a historian or a documentarian, but he admits this. His objective is to capture the sights and sounds of an area, event, profession. His writing style is very dramatic but readable. There is nothing melodramatic or corny about his works. Somehow he always manages to hit the nail on the head. The reader is left thinking, "Yeah, that's right. That's what it's like." or, "Damm that's the truth. That's why I'm a cop or a soldier". So to use the overworked phrase - Stroud's books are very truthful. Deadly Force takes you into not only the world of the Marshals, but the world of the fugitive. And the end result is that you're glad those fellas are out there doing the job. I recommend all of Stroud's books. Deadly Force isn't his best work, but it's still right up there.He lacks Clancey's verbosity which I find to be a relief. It keeps your attention and it has some very suspenseful moments. Some nice attention to details as well, though there are some technical errors I found them to be forgiveable. Good book. Give it a chance.

This book slaps the cuffs on you!
Carsten Stroud grabs you quickly and doesn't let go. This book will take you on a NON-fiction rollercoaster of manhunts, office politics and personal struggle. This book offers insight into the federal law enforcement world that is hard to find, including the battles between agencies. It will show you what it is to be a U.S. Deputy Marshal, and why they are such a proud and strong agency. The action in this book will keep you turning the pages late into the night. This book does however require a strong reader as it can be a little difficult to follow, and also some of the slang terms can be confusing to people not familiar with the world of law enforcement.

A book for specific interests
Deadly Force caters to readers with an interest in the Law Enforcement world. It gets a little complicated, so read away from distractions.Definately for those with a high reading level, 13 and up. I enjoyed Stroud's work and I intend to purchase the book soon.

Iron Bravo: Hearts, Minds, and Sergeants in the U.S. Army
Published in Paperback by Bantam Books (1996)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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So many technical errors that it should be labled as a fairy tale. Cannot be believe it was printed! I paid a dime for the book at a yard sale and feel ripped off!

It's On The Money
I have to disagree with the previous review. This book does capture the essence of what soldiering is all about. Yes there are several technical errors, but I did not find them to detract from the power of the story. This book reveals the love/hate relationship that so many have with the Army, any Army I dare say. Having departed the institution only a few months ago I feel confident in saying this. There is so much to hate about the profession of arms, but there are those few rare moments - sometimes they occurred years ago - that you still treasure.Somehow those moments can keep one going when everything is at it's worse. That is what Carsten Stroud does in Iron Bravo. The book has wonderful atmosphere - one of Stoud's strengths as a writer - and presents the mind of the professional soldier beautifully. This book dosen't place the soldier on a platform, it merely shows them warts and all. And in my opinion the soldier comes out shining.

The face of battle as seen by the NCO
In a modern high-tech army, where officers move from one comand to another as they move up the ranks, it is the NCOs who have become the repositories of the history and tradition of the military. Iron Bravo is a semi-fictional account of the history of the US infantry as seen and understod by one NCO- a lifer named Crane- through his knowledge of unit history, his memories of Vietnam and his experience in returning to war in the Gulf. Stroud spent a year with the 1st, and this book is a compilation of the experiences of various soldiers, retold as the story of Sgt. Crane.

There have been a great many books written about the experience of the infantryman through history, many of them excellent; what Carsten Stroud brings is a perspective over time. He's a combat veteran of Vietnam and a student of history, and he understands what it is that is common to the experience of the foot soldier throughout history. He takes pains to show how it it is that experiences of individual infantrymen through history constitute an unbroken thread across nations and through time. Stroud's description of the advance of the US 1st Armored Division through Iraq and his parallels to the WWII battle of the Kasserine Pass is particularly illustrative.

While not a scholarly history, neither is this the typical I-was-there story. It's a unique way of telling the infantryman's story, and as such, of interest to readers of both combat stories and military history.

Close Pursuit
Published in Paperback by Bantam Books (1988)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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Early effort
A talented author takes a look at a homicide detective. Interesting but lacks real movement. The author improves greatly in later efforts.

Close Pursuit: A Week in the Life of an Nypd Homicide Cop
Published in Hardcover by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd) (1987)
Author: Carsten Stroud
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Contempt of Court Betrayal of Justice In
Published in Paperback by Penguin Putnam~trade ()
Author: Carsten Stroud
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