New Release: 3.5 and 3 stars for Trainwreck (Trainwreck #1) by Michele Micheal Rakes (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #Bisexual #BDSM #Mystery @MicheleRakes

TrainwreckCoverFinalSmall

Title: Trainwreck (Trainwreck #1)
Author Name: Michele Micheal Rakes
Publication Date & Length: January 25, 2016 – 374 pgs

Synopsis

Detective Sergeant Vincent Sweetwater hates dead bodies. That’s why he’s an undercover narc and not a homicide dick. So why is he standing on a sandy beach in California staring at a lifeless body—oh yeah, the suicide attempt. Lieutenant Hanson is making a statement. Something about life worth living. Shows what he knows.

As Vince examines the tortured body, he feels an empathy and déjà vu for the victim, her wounds are similar to scars he has only a vague memory receiving. An intense desire to find her killer fills his queasy belly as a dark game of cat and mouse begins.

The young woman’s death forces Vince back into a secret life dominated by sex, perversion, and sadomasochism. Estranged from his wife he still loves and longing for the man who possessed him once, Vince buries his torment deep inside meaningless sex.

*Warning: This book contains adult content and situations. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This was a difficult story for me.  I found myself having to go back and try to find pieces of the story that I had seemingly missed, but never was quite able to put together.  There are several moving parts in this story and they don’t always talk with each other.
You have Vince who is struggling to come back to a life after the loss of his child and his emotional loss of his wife.  Despite his life as an undercover, he’s been thrust in to the spot light and realizes that his life in undercover is over.  With a murder case plopped in to his lap, it brings back flashes of a past life – a life that he has tried and failed to forget.  Hints of past tortures, glimpses of a life that once was out of his control – whereas the chaos that has become his life is all his own doing.
I had a difficult time with, what I think was supposed to be his conscience speaking with him – or him own inner monologue – it was strange and you never really get a good grasp on whether or not he takes his own advice.
Then you have his wife, who despite being in a marriage with someone who hates her, keeps on trucking.  Not really sure why she does, other than out of obligation from their shared past.  I don’t really get a good idea of her motivations in this story – it seems that she loves Vince, but she also loves Nick – both seem brotherly.  When Vince and Mica come together, it’s hateful and spiteful – I didn’t really feel that they had much chemistry in the story at all.
Nick is both his brother and his cop partner.  He is trying to help Vince figure out his life and solve this murder.  I enjoyed his character and how he was able to help smooth ruffled feathers throughout the story.
Then you have the mystery killer – someone from the past who is toying with Vince in a way that keeps Vince off balance and struggling.  Rakes did a good job at keeping the reader on their toes when it came to the killer, but I wish that more had been revealed in terms of the who, because you’re just left with this image of a deranged man who is charismatic enough to control the women in his life, but who is secretly, potentially gay and hates himself for it.
While this is a very incomplete story, I did like that I was unable to guess what would happen next.  However, I am unsure if that was because of the lack of cohesion throughout or because Rakes has written a story that will eventually come together in the next books.
~AvidReader
ThreeStarThis is a dark, complicated police procedural.  While the story is set in sunny California, Vincent Sweetwater is more damaged than even the darkest Scandi Noir characters.  His story is far from heroic.  He’s an awful husband and a self-destructive addict.  So I’m not entirely sure why I fell hard for the man.
It took me a long while to get into the story.  At first, the plot seemed to jump erratically and I struggled to  work out timelines and relationships.  Vince also talks to himself incessantly through the book and I found the conversations he has with himself distracting.  And once I’d finally untangled Vince’s narrative, the writer started to switch between Vince’s perspective and the perspective of the murderer he was hunting.  Since some characters overlapped between the two narratives, I had to work hard to keep everything straight.
I’m reviewing this for Inked Rainbow which is a little puzzling because there isn’t much of any LGBTQI content in this first story.  Vince’s relationship is with his wife, his former foster sister.  Mica’s character isn’t fully developed here.  We see her as a successful LAPD lieutenant who exists in a miserable marriage where she is subjected to regular abuse.  I really struggled to warm to her.  VInce’s only other relationship is with his former foster brother, now his married, heterosexual partner.  I can only assume that these relationships develop over the course of the series.
This is not a romance.  Vince and Mica’s relationship is hellish.  Vince’s hook-ups are brutal.   This is a cat and mouse detective story where VInce tries to reign in his self-destruction for long enough to catch the killer before the killer catches him.
Once the chase starts properly, I enjoyed the story more.  At the start, Vince is a grieving addict full of self-pity.  While he doesn’t really resolve any of his problems, he becomes more functional and more interesting when he starts properly working as a detective.
So – try to imagine the darker, uglier side of Harry Hole or Wallander’s existence because even the Scandinavians haven’t crafted an anti-hero this dark.  This is a long book and just as I was starting to get into it, it ended on a cliff-hanger, leaving me waiting rather impatiently for book 2.~Sarah

Excerpt

Vincent Sweetwater twisted the Harley’s throttle. The power in the motor thrummed between his legs. The bike seemed heavy, angry; like she wanted to fall flat on her face. Like she yearned to drag him across the gritty asphalt. Vince needed to feel the pavement shred his clothing and bite into his skin. Punishment for being a man who thrived on suffering.

Why can’t I control myself, damn it?

-You’re supposed to be one of the good guys.

Fuck off.

-Stop drinking, Sweetwater.

Vince envisioned choking the life out of his conscience. The damn thing made it difficult to be an asshole, yet somehow he didn’t let it stop him. Nothing stopped him from being a dick to his wife. Vince squeezed the throttle. The speed would numb his mind.

The machine growled beneath him, giving her two fucking cents, and he ignored the wanton slut. Vince was too malicious to give her what she craved. If he did, there would be no turning back.

Still, the iron bitch demanded more power. Urged by a quiet whisper from somewhere in the darkness of his mind, Vince let off the throttle long enough to grasp the clutch and toe it into sixth.

 

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AuthorInterview

1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I write wherever I can. There isn’t a place my laptop doesn’t go with me, or a pen and notebook. I write in restaurants, bars, the living room, the bedroom, and yes, the bathroom.

2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

Vincent Sweetwater is based on myself, he’s the main character in Trainwreck. Mica is based on my wife, Mary. Greg is based on my husband, Scott. Vince and I are a lot alike. We’re like a whirlwind of emotional destruction unless we are anchored by our lovers. We both are viciously loyal to our partners. Once I latch onto something, I won’t let go, sort of like Vince.

3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

Well, I’m a trained scrub, which means I set up all the instruments for the operating room and assist the surgeons with the procedure. If I could do anything? I’d be an archaeologist/Egyptologist. Perhaps a curator at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. I also have a love for paleontology. Robert T. Bakker is my dinosaur hero. I’d summer in Scotland in a highland croft. I think I’d want to be Indiana Jones.

4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

To have the confidence and know how to publish Trainwreck back when I first wrote it…to have started publishing sooner. My Loose Id editor, Heather Bosch taught me so much…I’d wish I’d met her sooner.

5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

I wish I could’ve published it as one novel, the way I’d written it, but no one wants to read a thousand plus page novel unless you’re an established author. I think I’ve made the right choice to introduce readers to Vince and his wild ride a little at a time. At least, I hope I did. Hehehe.

6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

I don’t know. They just come to me. My work is character driven. Once I get a nugget in my head, and develop the lead characters, they push to have the story written. Trainwreck went the way it did because of Vince and how he kept pushing for me to tell the whole story. Same with all my other characters.

7) What’s next for you as a writer?

I have several stories on the back burner, but there’s one that is a science fiction story. Those characters are being insistent, but they have to wait until I’m done with publishing Trainwreck and wrapping up the follow ups to Saving Kane and Fourth and Long. After Party is eighty percent done. The last book in that series will be Maddox and Frank, which is plotted out down to the last scene.

8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live in the Pacific Northwest and have travelled up and down the west coast, so most of my stories are set on this side of the country. I do have a short story, Ephemeral Darkness that’s set in Scotland and Saving Kane was set in New York. I like to have my characters living close to me. We have a great mountain view.

9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

I like reading spy novels. Micah Dalton is the shit. Love him. The Echelon Vendetta is a great spy novel. Micah Dalton is a CIA cleaner. Some great dialogue and lines in that book. Hehehe. I guess the why is because I’d love to be Micah Dalton…or covert operative. I also like to read history books, non-fiction stuff about the beginnings of our societies and the people who developed our world.

10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

I drink coffee every morning, but I don’t think it’s a vice. Just a keureg Dark Magic. Jagerbombs and football.Yeah, I guess football is an obsession of mine. Go Hawks!

AuthorBio

Michele Micheal Rakes lives in a small town in the shadow of a big mountain and works as a surgical technologist assisting in the removal of tonsils and testicles. Three grown children, a one year old granddaughter named Thrasher, two psychotic Egyptian Mau’s, a husband with hair down to his knees, an Amazon for a wife, two Harley’s, and a ferret named Teeny Tiny Ferret Feet (husband insists her name Little Feet, we all know he’s wrong) life is gets pretty wild.

Note: Wife recently passed away from cancer and this book is dedicated in loving memory of Mary Louise Castleman. Love you babe!

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1 Comment

Filed under 3 Star, 3.5 Stars, Author Interview, AvidReader, Bisexual, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah

One Response to New Release: 3.5 and 3 stars for Trainwreck (Trainwreck #1) by Michele Micheal Rakes (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #Bisexual #BDSM #Mystery @MicheleRakes

  1. Thanks for having me! Also, Book Two is now out and available here:

    http://amzn.to/21B8avN

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