Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dark Ice by Dave Stanton Review, Excerpt, Interview

Dark Ice

by Dave Stanton

on Tour September 2015



Two murdered girls, and no motive…

While skiing deep in Lake Tahoe’s backcountry, Private Eye Dan Reno finds the first naked body, buried under fresh snow. Reno’s contacted by the grieving father, who wants to know who murdered his daughter, and why? And how could the body end up in such a remote, mountainous location? The questions become murkier when a second body is found. Is there a serial killer stalking promiscuous young women in South Lake Tahoe? Or are the murders linked to a different criminal agenda?
Searching for answers, Reno is accosted by a gang of racist bikers with a score to settle. He also must deal with his pal, Cody Gibbons, who the police consider a suspect. The clues lead to the owner of a strip club and a womanizing police captain, but is either the killer?
The bikers up the ante, but are unaware that Cody Gibbons has Reno’s back at any cost. Meanwhile, the police won’t tolerate Reno’s continued involvement in the case. But Reno knows he’s getting close. And the most critical clue comes from the last person he’d suspect…

Book Details:

Genre: Crime, Murder Mystery, PI
Published by: LaSalle Davis Books
Publication Date: April 11, 2015
Number of Pages: 304
Series: Dan Reno Novel #4
ISBN: 098960313X (13: 978-0989603133)
Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The cornice stretched three feet over the sheer face below. There was about fifteen feet of vertical drop before the snow covered slope angled out at forty-five degrees. I inched my skis farther forward, the tips hanging over the void. I was wrong—it was more like twenty feet of mandatory air. And that was the shallowest entry the ledge offered.

Author Bio:

authorDave Stanton is the author of five novels in the Dan Reno private eye series. They do not have to be read chronologically to be enjoyed, but for those who want to know, the order is: Stateline, Dying for the Highlife, Speed Metal Blues, Dark Ice, & Hard Prejudice. Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960, Dave Stanton moved to Northern California in 1961. He received a BA in journalism from San Jose State University in 1983. Over the years, he worked as a bartender, newspaper advertising salesman, furniture mover, debt collector, and technology salesman. He has two children, Austin and Haley, and lives with his wife, Heidi, in San Jose, California. Stanton's five novels all feature private investigator Dan Reno and his ex-cop buddy, Cody Gibbons.


1.    When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Oh, probably when I was twelve years old. At that age I was reading everything I could get my hands on.
2.    How long does it take you to write a book? I can write a decent first draft in about a year. I try to aim for 85,000 words, which is a standard length novel.
3.    What is your work schedule like when you're writing? Since I work full time at a fairly demanding job, my writing time is Saturday and Sunday mornings. I can write 1500 words per weekend. If I didn’t work at a regular job, I could probably write a full length novel in six months. 3500 words per week is not much if you can devote five mornings each week.
4.    What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I always start a writing session by trying to fix or improve the passages I’ve written most recently. I keep hoping this process will result in a perfectly edited manuscript. It never works that way.
5.    How do books get published? My books are self-published, and I rely entirely on Amazon. I had two agents previous to self-publishing, but neither sold my novels to a traditional publishing house, despite their heartfelt efforts.
6.    Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? I travel and study people. I watch their mannerisms and movements. I go to small towns, and into dive bars. I especially pay attention to people I dislike, because I’m always looking for a slant on villains. I recently reconnected with an old friend who became a rabid survivalist; he believes the U.S. economy will collapse and anarchy will reign. He went off the grid and invested his life savings in gold and semiautomatic weapons. I plan on visiting him soon.   
7.    When did you write your first book and how old were you? I wrote my first novel when I was 40. It was 100,000 words and I wrote it in 90 days. I thought it was brilliant, but it was complete crap, of course.
8.    What do you like to do when you're not writing? I play the drums every morning; it helps me wake up. I prefer progressive rock because it’s challenging to play and I can keep learning new things. I snow ski as much as I can, but the drought in California has made the last 4 years tough. I exercise every day, and never have a drink until the day’s work is done.
9.    What does your family think of your writing? They have varying opinions. If they don’t like something about my books, they’ll say so. They don’t provide me a false sense of accomplishment.
10.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? That once I start a novel, I never get writer’s block.
11.  How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I’ve written five. As for my favorite, that’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. There are different things about each book I like.
12.  Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? First, read books on fiction-writing technique, assuming you write fiction. I’ve read many, and they all helped. Also, read great authors, especially those who write in your genre. Imagine them hovering over your shoulder as you write. Write what you want to write, not what you think will sell. If you enjoy what you write about, your personal style and voice will be evident. A writer’s voice is his most important asset.
13.  Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I get quite a bit of feedback from readers, and it’s all over the map. Some readers point out little mistakes, which I always appreciate. Other times, readers say very complimentary things and tell me to please hurry to write another novel, which of course I enjoy hearing.
Other readers say they don’t tolerate profanity, which my novels contain. My favorite reader review was from a woman who said, “I don’t need to hear the f-word anymore. I’m 94 years old and have already heard it plenty in my life.”
14.  Do you like to create books for adults? Yes, my books are targeted at an adult market. I’m not inclined to write books for children.
15.  What do you think makes a good story? Driven characters with conflicting motivations. Unique and despicable villains. Entertaining dialogue. Well done action scenes.
16.  As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I realized I wanted two things at an early age. First, to make enough money to not be constantly worried about financial issues, and second, to realize my full potential in whatever I did, be it writing, skiing, playing the drums, or whatever else I do in my life. I think the saddest thing in life in unrealized potential. I think many people suffer from this, but they probably don’t care.
17.  What would you like my readers to know? Novels are like music in a way. If you play Led Zeppelin for someone who loves classical music, they’re probably going to think Zeppelin is an assault on the ears. Likewise, go to a Metallica fan and try introducing them to the music my teenage daughter listens to. They’ll tell you it sucks every time.

The five Dan Reno novels available today are hard-boiled detective fiction. Readers who enjoy James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, Robert Crais, James Crumley, and others like them will likely enjoy my books.   

Catch Up:
author's website author's twitter

My Review:
A naked body is found by Private Eye Dan Reno while he is in Lake Tahoe skiing. The father of the victim asks Reno why this happened. Before anyone can even start to try to figure out what happened another naked body turns up. Is there a pattern? Is someone just going after women? Reno is trying to solve the crime but, there are people all around trying to make him stop, even the good guys. Maybe he will get answers in the place he most unlikely place. Will he be able to solve the crime before the killer finds him? I give this book a  4/5. I was given this book for a  review and these are all my opinions.

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