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Rob Riley

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Detective Rob Riley, Milwaukee Police Department (ret.) “lives with his wife, Mary Lynne, in southeastern Wisconsin. He spent thirty-two years as a Milwaukee police officer: Seven years doing undercover narcotics investigations and twenty-two years as a major crimes detective. Writing and reading have been lifelong passions, he began by writing short stories more than thirty years ago. Of course, police work provided both the insight and inspiration for his PI mystery novel, Portrait Of Murder. Two additional novels that feature his main character, Private Investigator Jack Blanchard, have been completed.”  Bob Riley is the author of Portrait of Murder.

James Sadler, Pacific Book Review, said of Portrait of a Murder, “A smart, sharp, solid read for anyone who enjoys good storytelling. It didn't take long for this book to get its hooks in me, and once it did, it was hard to put down. So hard that I blazed through the final 100 pages late one night... I was just that drawn into it. Besides, I also wanted to see if I had figured it all out. I hadn't, but that's a credit to Riley's plotting and writing. With his first novel, Rob Riley shows a polish and style that most other first time authors should envy. He's got an easy going, but engaging, style of writing. The kind that makes you feel like you're sitting across from a friend in a restaurant and they're telling you about a wild adventure they just had.

At the center of the story is private detective Jack Blanchard. Riley really brings Blanchard to life... not because he's some hard boiled PI duking it out with the bad guys and rushing from one gunfight to the next, but because Blanchard goes about his business as real PIs do. In fact, Riley gives his readers a realistic glimpse at a "portrait" of a PI's work. A lot of the work PIs do is mundane and boring. Rarely are they lucky enough to actually find themselves in the middle of a true murder mystery. Throughout the book, Riley paints a picture of the life of a private investigator, and this just makes Blanchard seem all the more real.

Luckily, this isn't a story of the usual dull work PI's do. When Blanchard is called by L.C. Veasley to find L.C.'s missing crack head sister, Roniece, the only reason he takes the case because L.C. is a close friend, maybe his only one. He reluctantly agrees and soon finds himself interviewing a convict known as "Four Dead" for information on Roniece's whereabouts.

Four dead proves to be a challenge to talk to since he's a schizophrenic who seems to wander all over the map with his answers to questions. But Blanchard manages to piece enough clues together to track down Roniece and reunite her with L.C. Blanchard figures that's the end of it, except it isn't. Soon, Roniece has disappeared again and it may have something to do with the murder of a prominent City Hall figure; a murder for which the mayor is the prime suspect.

Soon Blanchard finds himself not only on the trail of Roniece again, but trying to connect the pieces of how she may be tied to the City Hall murder, as well as a two year old unsolved murder. And things only get more complicated as another murder takes place, one that hits really close to Blanchard. Can Blanchard put all the pieces together--including Four Dead's claim that a ninja (!) was involved in the killings- and catch the murderer, assuming he can figure out who the murderer actually is? It all comes together in a tense, and satisfying, conclusion.

This is a smooth and polished read. You'll probably figure out some, but not all, of the answers to the mysteries piling up here. And you'll also probably find yourself refusing to put the book down, because you've just got to know how all the pieces fall into place.”

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