“Writing Crime Fiction” + Review of Broken Allegiance (Tom Kagan #1) by Mark Young
Welcome to the Mother/Gamer/Writer Indie Spotlight, a creative way for self-published and small press published authors to shine on the blog. To learn more about the Indie Spotlight, please feel free to view interviews and articles from Past Featured Authors, and if you are an author yourself and you are interested in being featured, please Fill Out This Form.
Please welcome today’s Featured Author Mark Young to The Indie Spotlight with an excellent guest post on “Writing Crime Fiction: Fighting Hollywood’s Version of A Cop’s Life “. Plus check out Ariel’s 4 Controller Review of his novel, Broken Allegiance, the story of Tom Kagan, a man who must face his past and work with some unlikely allies to thwart a killer .
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Broken Allegiance by Mark Young
Series: Tom Kagan #1
Published by: Self Published on 10/23/2013
Genres: Crime Fiction, Mystery
Source: Author Submitted
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
Before Travis Mays, before Gerrit O’Rourke—there was Tom Kagan.
Police gang detective Tom Kagan has been seeking justice for more than ten years, leaving him a broken man. His only reason for living—the woman he loves and the badge he swore to uphold. When a man is brutally killed in a vineyard on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, California, it sparks a series of events that test what’s left of Kagan’s resolve to protect and serve.
Secrets from the past thwart Kagan’s efforts to unravel a series of killings sanctioned from within the walls of California’s highest security prison. From the lush vineyards of Sonoma County to the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe, the detective must outsmart a killer who is moving in for one epic killing spree.
Leaders of the notorious Nuestra Family prison gang are fighting for power, a struggle that spills out onto the streets of California. Kagan joins forces with Special Agent Hector Garcia, a feisty supervisor of the Special Services Unit for the California Department of Corrections; Diane Phillips, a beautiful and hard-charging prosecutor; and Mikio Sanchez, a former gang member marked for death. Through the eyes of cops and gangsters, readers are able to glimpse the seldom seen workings of the gangster underworld.
Lb>Broken Allegiance is about treacherous lies, broken promises, and shattered lives—about life, death and a man’s honor.
Broken Allegiance is the first in a new series from Mark Young. The protagonist takes the form of Tom Kagan, a cop in Santa Rosa, CA who works for the Organized Crime and Intelligence Section. Tom is determined to take down a gangster setting up hits on his fellow gang members. But will Tom’s dark past be a hindrance as he goes after the gang leader? Or will it give him the motivation he needs to succeed?
I really enjoyed having Tom as a protagonist. He’s damn good at his job, and he is determined to put an end to gang violence in Santa Rosa, an admirable goal if a little large. The death of his son is something that haunts Tom, and something that he needs to work through as the novel goes on. It also takes a toll on his relationship with his wife Sara, who I also really liked.
There were so many side characters that I loved! Bill Stevenson being the first and foremost. He’s such a good partner for Tom. He’s still determined to catch gang members, but he also understands that you need to have some downtime from your job or you’re going to go crazy. He’s a good father to his little boy, and a good husband to his wife.
Broken Allegiance has a really entertaining plot. It centers around gang violence so there is constantly something going on, whether people are being killed or people are planning hits on other people, there’s never a dull moment in the story. Each chapter also focuses on different characters, so you could get a chapter focusing on Tom and his effort to capture the man behind all of these murders, or you could have a chapter focusing on one of the gangsters already in jail, setting up hits for people on the outside.
This being a novel about gang violence, there are quite a few characters to keep track of. Maybe not Game of Thrones status, but still a lot to keep track of. It especially gets confusing when the gang members are referred to both by their street names and their birth names interchangeably. It’s not necessarily a downside, it’s just something that keeps your brain working throughout the whole thing.
The writing style is very blunt and straightforward, which makes sense for being a crime novel, but something about it didn’t wow me. This isn’t to say I wasn’t entertained by the book, because I loved the book, the writing style just didn’t grab me. It wasn’t bad, just not really my thing.
Probably my favorite thing about this novel, and probably why the book is so amazing, is it’s based on the author’s own experiences. Young used to work for the Santa Rosa police department, and while I’m sure that a lot of what goes on has been exaggerated, or changed to be more entertaining in the novel format, I really find myself admiring the fact that the author probably went through cases that weren’t too terribly different from what goes on in Broken Allegiance.
Overall, I’m giving Broken Allegiance 4 out of 5 controllers. Really entertaining story, I love myself a good crime story, but there are a lot of people to keep track of, and the writing style wasn’t really my thing. I would definitely recommend it for fans of the crime genre.