Book Review: Third Time, Not a Charm by H. Berkeley Rourke

Third Time, Not a Charm (Josie DuPuy Book 1)Third Time, Not a Charm by H. Berkeley Rourke
‘Third Time, Not a Charm’ is the second book I’ve read by H. Berkeley Rourke. It is the first mystery in the ‘Josie DuPuy’ series and was published in 2012. Since I try to always read books in order (when part of a series), I went back a few years to catch up on this one. Let’s dive into the review.

In Arizona, a group of cops from different precincts have banded together to rid the area of drug pushers and other nasty criminals. This vigilante group, while containing an understandable motive, have taken it to the umpteenth degree by not only killing people but torturing them before death. It gives new meaning to the phrase… ‘if you do the crime, you do the time’ … except what happens when those responsible for capturing the criminals are the secret criminals?

Jaime, Jim, and Josie are stuck in that position. Jaime and Jim are the bosses. Josie respects them, but she’s probably the strongest of them all — both mentally and physically. In quite a number of scenes, the super cop tosses her colleagues to the floor so quickly, it ain’t even funny! I do love a strong female lead, and while she shares the spotlight in this book, it’s clear that she’ll be the main one we want to follow. Kudos to Rourke for developing a solid protagonist with great appeal and lots of potential.

I haven’t read a ton of police procedural novels, but this definitely seems to hit the mark in that regard. The author clearly knows a tremendous amount about criminal law and police processes, which easily lends an authority and intrigue to the story and its web of subplots. At times, I found myself lock step in line with the detectives, thinking and reacting like them. At others, I would never have thought about those consequences – nice job! While I wouldn’t quite thrust this in the thriller category, although it arguably could be there, it has tons of suspense and mystery that draw readers in. The crimes are viscerally described. The relationships are complex. And the fallout is tremendous.

When cops are sitting around idly, discussing who to kill next, and then turn on one another… it’s a great story that makes you want to keep turning the pages. Rourke creates fantastic characters and gives them a meaty tale to attack. I enjoyed it a lot and plan to read more in the series later this year.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


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