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Friends on Both Sides of the Law

Charlene Johnson

Charlene Johnson Author Interview

Blown Away follows a homicide detective tasked with solving a murder at his friends hotel when things quickly go awry. What were some sources that influenced this thrilling crime story?

Blown Away is part of a multi-author book series. The series was to take place in Las Vegas and the theme was to include casinos and/or crime/organized crime and four male friends. Each book was to focus on one friend and incorporate one or more of the other friends from the series.

Zack is a compelling character that I enjoyed watching develop as the novel progressed. What were some themes that were important to capture in his character?

One of the character suggestions for the series was someone in law enforcement. I chose a police detective with some personal baggage, a strong sense of justice and friends on both sides of the law.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

The action scenes were a challenge. I wanted it to be fast-paced and for the action to flow effectively. I had to do research on weapons and security systems to ensure those scenes were realistic.

This is book two in The Crimes of Passion Series. What can readers expect in book three?

True Lies, Book 3 by Stephanie Nicole has been released.

I plan on writing another book in the series in 2021. The main character will be Sasha Petrov. Even before finishing Blown Away, I knew I wanted to write Sasha’s story.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookFacebook GroupFacebook PageInstagramWebsite | Sterling Woods Series

Zack Daniels grew up in a rundown apartment complex off the Las Vegas Strip. At an early age, he learned to protect and support his mother and sister with determination and grit. After his sister is raped by the son of a local Russian mobster and commits suicide, he joins the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police to seek justice for her and to protect the public.

When a high-profile executive is murdered in his best friend’s hotel, Zack is assigned to track down the killer. The sole witness to the murder is a beautiful high-priced escort. He must let go of his vendetta against his sister’s rapist to work the case.

Sonnet Banks goes to the wrong hotel room and witnesses a murder. She is stunned. She knows the killer. He’s someone from her past. Someone she hoped to never see again.

During her police interview, Sonnet tells Zack she doesn’t recognize the killer, but Zack is convinced she’s lying. Zack needs the lovely, evasive woman to tell him what she knows and is willing to use seduction to get it. Yet, was it still seduction when all he could do was think about her?

Zack Daniels is so hot he makes Sonnet’s knees weak. He checks every box for her. Every box. But even if he wasn’t her protector, she can’t risk getting close to him or anyone. And she can’t tell him the truth.

After a bold attempt on Sonnet’s life, Zack enlists the help of two close friends and someone completely unexpected to protect her. The countdown to an all-out war looms before them. Would they all survive? Time was running out.

Blown Away

Blown Away (The Crimes of Passion Series Book 2) by [Charlene Johnson]

Blown Away (The Crimes of Passion Series Book 2) by Charlene Johnson is a romantic suspense thriller about Zackary Daniels, a homicide detective in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police who also works as a security consultant at a hotel owned by his friend, where his past suddenly collides with his present. When a murder occurs at the Majestic Peacock Hotel and Casino, Zack must set aside his personal search for revenge in order to focus on his current case–discovering the identity of the killer and protecting the beautiful witness, Sonnet Banks. But Sonnet is not what she appears, and she’s not ready to reveal the secrets from her past. Can Zack gain her trust and stop the hit-man before he kills again?

I enjoyed thoroughly reading this book, but I had trouble getting into the story at the beginning. I felt that there were too many characters introduced in the first few pages (almost a dozen names were mentioned), and I struggled to keep them all straight. There were times when I had to go back and check who someone was when they were mentioned again because I couldn’t remember the details of that particular character. Part of the issue might have been that there was a lot of backstory explained all at once. I appreciated the detailed narrative of past events as it created an intricate and well throughout world, but it slowed the pace of the story prior to Sonnet witnessing the murder.

After this point the story accelerates with a consistently fast pace, engaging characters, and a gripping plot. I liked the surprises that were revealed about Sonnet’s character, which weren’t what I had been expecting and added much welcomed dimension to an already stand out character. There were several other unexpected twists in the story which kept things interesting and far from being your standard crime thriller. Charlene Johnson was able to make me care about Sasha Petrov, who seemed completely beyond redemption when we’re first introduced to him at the beginning of the story. But by the end of the book, when the truth about what really happened to Zack’s sister had finally been revealed, I wanted to read more about Sasha, and I was even hoping that there will be another story with him as the hero.

With well defined characters thrown into the middle of a perilous situation things naturally take off and go in unexpected directions. Anyone who enjoys a good crime thriller will find plenty to like.

Pages: 224 | ASIN: B087NSZJRG

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