5.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE READ, January 7, 2011 By Laurie - This book is definitely an intense read. The beginning is nail biting. I lost a night's sleep while reading it. Linda, the main character, really hooked me. On the exterior, she's very brash and confident, tough enough to hold criminals accountable despite professional and personal danger. Inside, she's very vulnerable as she tries to find a way to cope with a traumatic incident from her past (I won't spoil it for you). It's the relationships that really add depth to this book. Linda's relationship with Bill sucked me into this book - and will keep me reading into the next one. I don't know where they'll go, but I want to follow them on the ride. Surprisingly, the antagonist's relationship with his girlfriend was equally compelling, though for different reasons. I kept waiting for him to turn on his girlfriend rather like seeing a friend buy a lion for a house pet. I couldn't put the book down as I neared the end. I was truly worried for Linda's safety. When I finished, I had to take a couple of deep breaths because my heart was beating very fast. I'm going to recommend this book to my friends and I recommend it to you.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, December 30, 2010 By Jay - Just finished reading Caused & Effect by Bernie Bourdeau. What fun ride. The book grips you from page one and doesn't let go. I loved the lead character, Trooper Linda Baldwin--smart and bold. She reminded me of the protagonist in the Steig Larsen trilogy. I very much enjoyed the wonderful details about the NYS capital district and the plot was interesting and compelling. In addition the ending is exciting and complex and it is great to see the gwoth of the protanonist as she comes to realize that life is filled with geys instead of blacks and white. Can't wait for the sequel.
3.0 out of 5 stars With Too Many Causes--This Promising Debut Doesn't Feel Truly Effective Until Its Second Half, December 28, 2010 By K. Harris "Film aficionado" (Albuquerque, NM) - (TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME) In Bernie Bourdeau's flawed, but fascinating, debut "Caused & Effect"--several things are apparent. Bourdeau clearly has an enthusiasm for the mystery/thriller genre, he's got lots of stories he wants to tell, and he's introduced an intriguing leading lady that (with time) could develop into a very rich and rewarding protagonist. Falling into a bit of a trap, however, "Caused & Effect" is a little overeager in its plotting. So much is going on--so many disparate crime threads run through the novel--that it becomes increasingly hard to muster up much concern for the central mystery. But when the novel shifts concentration onto a principle theme near its second half, it becomes a much more focused and entertaining read. So don't give up on Bourdeau or Trooper Linda Baldwin because they might have some surprises in store! Linda Baldwin is the centerpiece of "Caused & Effect," and while her introduction is a bit over-the-top, she certainly turns into the novel's greatest asset. Haunted by past trauma, Baldwin is particularly sensitive to cases centering around sexual violence. On a routine call, she witnesses a rape in progress. But as the alleged culprit is the son of an influential town leader, she is asked to back down. Intrepid Linda, however, doesn't see this as a possible option and pursues those involved with a dogged determination that leads her to unexpected connections. With ties to another investigation on insurance fraud she is actively working, there appears to be much more to the story than initially seemed apparent. And adding in a Russian hit man doesn't help matters either. Baldwin gets in WAAAY over her head before she even has a chance to understand what's going on! I think that Baldwin has the potential to be a great recurring character--which is good as Bourdeau is working on a sequel also featuring her. And despite my misgivings about "Caused & Effect," I would follow her pursuits into another story. But, again, the key is focus. As the novel stripped away all the extraneous plot threads and put Linda in harm's way, the book really got so much better! While the first half is chaotic, the second half is really quite convincing. Part of Linda's pathology in dealing with her past demons is serving up her own brand of vigilante justice to potential pedophiles--and she actively pursues them. But take the first 20 pages of "Caused & Effect," however. Linda deals with one deviant, then while walking along the street is almost picked up by another one, then witnesses the rape. That's a lot of sexual violence in a couple of minutes--and perhaps I'm naive, but I'd like to think that anytime you stake out the entrance of a school doesn't mean you'll automatically discover a predator laying in wait. And in the early pages, every male character practically assaults Linda with their eyes--it's very overdone. But once you get past these things, there is much to recommend "Caused & Effect." It's a bit over-stuffed. With multiple pedophiles, multiple rape, insurance scams, a sport's betting scandal, a series of murders, the Russian mob, bad cops, corrupt officials, and a serial rapist (not relating to anything in the plot, just for fun!)--I've crossed this region of New York off my vacation schedule! As the novel becomes more tightly knit, however, there is a payoff and I genuinely enjoyed the ending of "Caused & Effect." Give it a try and stick with it! KGHarris, 12/10.
4.0 out of 5 stars Caused and Effect - very entertaining debut novel, December 28, 2010 By Emma (United Kingdom) This debut novel is very entertaining. The protagonist, Linda, is strong, believable - and a bit 'in your face' at times! But there's a reason for her hard attitude and the reader grows to like her and wants her to succeed. There are lots of dips and dives and quite an array of characters to keep you turning the pages. The many plots and sub plots could have caused confusion but they are well managed and keep you focused. The first chapters give background and are slower to get into but stick with it and you will really enjoy! The main plot is robust and credible, the conclusion well written. A good first effort.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, December 21, 2010
This review is from: Caused & Effect (Paperback)
You may be tempted to put the book down in the first few chapters but stick with it and you won't be disappointed. This book keeps you in suspense and will hold your interest until the very end. A very good read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Linda Baldwin - debut novel, December 21, 2010
This review is from: Caused & Effect (Paperback)
This was a book I couldn't put down.
From the outset the action starts and never relents until the author draws everything together at the end.
Linda Baldwin is quite a gal.
Born into money; a rape victim as a teen and again as an adult; troubled with anger issues; a crusading vigilante; karate practitioner; state trooper; lover; wine aficionado and replete with vulnerabilities.
She is a complex protagonist put together in a complete and credible story.
I enjoyed the setting in upstate NY; the story being peppered with familiar names.
The Russian mob's involvement and Insurance fraud were well developed and became all too real.
It is well written novel and a real page turner.
I congratulate the author on a terrific book and look forward to Linda's next case.
5.0 out of 5 stars AliceK, December 20, 2010
This review is from: Caused & Effect (Paperback)
This is not the type of book I normally read, but once I began reading I was hooked and spent every free moment reading until I finished the story.
This is one of those books where the plot moves along at a quick pace, but the author has also developed his characters so that they are complex and interesting. He puts you inside their heads so you understand why they act as they do in given situations, rather that character be Trooper Linda Baldwin or Enrique Martinez, the hit man.
There are lots of questions brought up and answered as Linda solves her Insurance Fraud case, but there is another unsolved case that raises a question for both Linda and the reader that keeps floating to the surface throughout the book. Early in the story Linda answers a disturbing the peace call and breaks up a teenage party where she witnesses a rape - or is it a rape? On the surface it would seem so, but there is more going on. These teens are hiding something and are afraid to talk. What could be worse than a rape? The victim won't press charges. Later when Linda sees someone roughing up the teen rapist, she intervenes, but the kid won't identify his attacker. She figures it is retribution from the girl's father, but finds out that isn't the case. Why was the boy being roughed up? Why won't he talk to her? And the burning question for me throughout the book - What are the kids trying to hide? What went on at that party?
The answer to that question puts Linda in the path of a killer, which becomes her turning point. When I read the scene where Linda faces her own rage, I actually said, "damn", out loud. It was brilliant writing. Won't elaborate as it would be a spoiler.
I can't wait to read the sequel to Caused and Effect to see what's next for Trooper Linda Baldwin.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't read Caused and Effect yet I strongly suggest you do!, December 14, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed Caused and Effect.
Sometimes when I have chosen a new writer I've been disappointed by some aspect but this novel more than fulfils my hopes and expectations. The fact that it is a debut novel is impressive.
It is well paced, well plotted, has excellent characters and plenty of tension. The writer creates particularly vivid images of the perpetrators of insurance fraud and the rather murky world in which they work. His protagonist, Police Officer, Linda Baldwin, has a lot of history, a mind-full of vengeance and a mission against sex predators that leads her down routes that threaten to finish her career. She is complex, feisty, and at times really frustrating, but you really care what happens to her.
This writer has definitely got a place as one of my favourites. Can't wait to read his next book.
If you haven't read Caused and Effect yet I strongly suggest you do!
OTHER REVIEWS and COMMENTS
December 22, 2010
I JUST FINISHED READING BERNIE BOURDEAU’S new novel “Caused & Effect.” I am pleased to say it was an extraordinary first effort!
A lot of twists and turns in the multiple plots will keep you guessing right up to the conclusion. To the male reader, you might be tempted to put the book down early on, because the protagonist comes across as a man-hating feminazi sexist. Read on though, and later in the book you’ll find out why she has that attitude. Accept the first chapters as background stuff, then sit back and enjoy a thoroughly readable book. An excellent debut novel, I look forward to the next one.
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