About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nothing Short of Dying by Erik Storey

Nothing Short of Dying by Erik Storey – Colorado born Clyde Barr returns home after 16 years in hot and troubled lands. He has spent those years not exactly a mercenary, not quite a freedom fighter, certainly not a soldier. He is a violent idealist willing to fight for those who have been victimized by the cruel and greedy. During those long years he has been involved in more than his share of killing. Most recently he spent a few years in a Mexican prison where his sense of honour almost got him killed.

Back in Colorado he is enjoying some time alone in the mountains and contemplating heading to the Yukon. Barr is not much interested in spending time with people.

His plans change when he gets a cryptic phone call from his sister, Jen. She is in trouble and needs him. They have a special relationship forged in the horrors of growing up with a drug addicted mother who brings home a string of vicious boyfriends. While he ran away after high school she stayed in Colorado often using drugs as her personal escape. Barr owes her and will help her.

A few phone calls and it is clear she is with a major drug dealer and in real danger. Barr sets off on a quest to rescue Jen.

Unlike many current action heroes he is not so stubborn as to act on his own. He seeks out a professional gun man for support and gains an unlikely ally in Allie, a lovely bartender from a dive he stopped at to ask a few questions.

His investigative skills are almost exclusively violent. I thought of Joe Pike from the mysteries of Robert Crais. Barr is a touch less taciturn than Pike but certainly his equal in body counts.

Nothing Short of Dying is easy reading. Storey keeps the narrative rolling yet it is hard to turn a major meth making villain into an interesting character. As with most current thrillers the evil one is pure evil.

Nothing Short of Dying is a thriller where it is best not to weigh the reading down with thinking. Let the action flow.

There is a potentially interesting character in Barr were more time spent on developing him and less on action sequences. He occasionally reflects on where he has been and where he might go with his life.

I think Storey has the ability to write thrillers. It would be great if he could ease away from the customary high body counts.

If you are looking for a fast paced thriller with black and white characters you will enjoy Nothing Short of Dying. Lee Child, William Kent Kruger, C.J. Box, Nelson DeMille, Lori Armstrong, Craig Johnson and Jeffery Deaver all provided glowing blurbs.


  1. It certainly does sound like a fast-paced thriller, Bill. And I do see potential in Barr's character. I also like the idea of exploring the relationship between adult siblings. That, in itself, can be interesting. Glad you thought this one worth the reading.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. There were several parts of story that I wish had received greater emphasis.

  2. Is this his first book? It sounds interesting: sometimes that kind of book is just what we need...

  3. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I believe it is the first. I would be interested if you read the books. Clothes are not emphasized.