Book Review of Cicero’s Dead by Darcia Helle

Cicero Lamont dealt drugs in massive quantities making huge profits and lots of enemies until one night he was introduced to the steel bumper in a hit-and-run and now he’s dead. His daughter, Jade, has also just learned that her mom has committed suicide and now her brother, Richie, is missing. She hires Nick Crane to find him and to track down whoever murdered their father, but as the old saying goes, ‘be careful what you wish for’ because 300 million dollars cuts an awful lot of family ties.

Published: November 2014

Amazon / Amazon UK

My Review:

cicero3Sometimes an author will come out of nowhere with a debut novel that blows me away. Patrick Moore with his novel Cicero’s Dead is one such instance.

What struck me first was the realism, both with the dialogue and the characters’ interactions. Moore perfectly captures all the nuances. The characters are each unique and well developed, with all the little quirks that make them feel human. The dialogue is perfection. Nothing feels stilted or forced. The flow is natural, always fitting well with the speaker.

He nodded. “It looked like it hurt, but he didn’t move. It was scary, dude. Then Arnold locks eyes with me and says, ‘As you can see, I like handsome young men with sensitive features,’ and squeezes the last remaining drops of blood out of Richard’s mouth, and still he doesn’t pull away, even though his eyes were watering. I knew I was way out of my depth. I got mad. The son of a bitch had no right to hurt him like that, but at the same time, I felt this peculiar terror. You ever felt that, anger and terror, all rolled into one?”

pete4“All the time. Not a good feeling.” To my surprise I realized I was sweating even though the night was breezy and mild. My tape recorder was whirring away in my pocket and I wondered what Brad would think when I played it back to him.

The plot is intricate without being overly complicated. While this is largely a crime story, we’re also given little twists to build suspense.

Brad asked, “What if Jade turns out to be the bad guy?”

“We’re all bad guys. It’s only a question of degree.”

I was hooked from start to finish, and I’m hoping Moore has plans for a second Nick Crane novel.


Please click to below to view Darcia’s Helle’s many excellent posts:

Edward Elmore Rode the Legal Railroad to 30 Years on Death Row: His Crime? Simple! He Was Black and Poor

 “The Wrong Carlos”: Non-Violent Manchild Executed for Murder He Did Not Commit

The Electric Chair Nightmare: An Infamous and Agonizing History

Autopsies: Truth, Fiction and Maura Isles and Her 5-Inch-Heels

Don’t Crucify Me, Dude! Just Shoot Me Instead! Spartacus and Death by Crucifixion

To Burn or Not to Burn? Auto-Da-Fé Is Not Good for Women or Children!

The Disgraceful Entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass: Keep the Narcs Out of Our Schools

Why Should I Believe You? The History of the Polygraph

“Don’t Behead Me, Dude!”: The Story of Beheading and the Invention of the Guillotine

Aileen Wuornos, America’s First High-Profile Female Serial Killer, Never Had a Chance

The Terror of ISO: A Descent into Madness

Al Capone Could Not Bribe the Rock: Alcatraz, Fortress of Doom

Cyberspace, Darknet, Murder-for-Hire and the Invisible Black Machine

darcDarcia Helle lives in a fictional world with a husband who is sometimes real. Their house is ruled by spoiled dogs and cats and the occasional dust bunny.

Suspense, random blood splatter and mismatched socks consume Darcia’s days. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else’s mind.

Join Darcia in her fictional world:

The characters await you.




12 Responses to “Cicero’s Dead” by Patrick H. Moore Is a Debut Crime Novel That “Blows Me Away”: Book Review by Darcia Helle

  1. Max Myers says:

    Great review, Darcia and yes, although I’m obviously biased about Patrick’s novel, your points are well made. :)

  2. Darcia Helle says:

    I obviously loved this book! I’m always hesitant to read/review a book by someone I know. I’ve been in uncomfortable positions when I find I like the person but not the book. No such problem with Patrick. This is one I highly recommend to all readers!

  3. Mark Saha says:

    Thank you Darcia Helle, for the heads up on Patrick’s new book. I am an admirer of his work and will definitely look into it.

  4. Rick says:

    Thanks for the review, Darcia. I’ve got to free up some time to read Patrick’s debut novel.

  5. liselasalle says:

    I don’t usually look at reviews before I read a book, but I already started it so it does not count.

    I was looking forward to Cicero’s Dead publishing and not disappointed so far. I will read the rest in one shot this weekend.

    Now we know what Nick Crane looks like

  6. liselasalle says:

    I couldn’t help doing the same thing Darcia. May you be forever Mr. Crane.

  7. liselasalle says:

    Actually, I wanted to write May you be forever young Mr. Crane, but you know how it is with me and the typos or in this case, omission.

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