Deadly Desire


Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
310 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Deadly Desire: The Raff Rafferty Mysteries, Book One is a police procedural mystery written by Robert Joseph. Homicide Detective Raff Rafferty and his partner, Hank Tafoya, are investigating the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of the reclusive and wealthy Willard Weems, who lived alone on his estate overlooking the Pacific in Big Sur, except for his mentor and live-in guru, Devachen Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist. Weems' battered body was found by his estate manager, Nigel Taylor, when he arrived for work the following morning. The victim was stabbed dozens of times with a dagger that left a triangular wound, but such a weapon had not been found on the premises. To make matters even stranger, the long black hairs found at the scene of the crime yielded no traces of DNA.

Robert Joseph's supernatural mystery novel, Deadly Desire: The Raff Rafferty Mysteries, Book One, is a well-written and compelling thriller set in Monterey and Big Sur, California. Rafferty is a flawed character who is haunted by a tragic event that cost him his family and may end up costing him his sanity as well. Deadly Desire touches on the stresses and strains that impact policemen and women and their families as Raff struggles to maintain his relationship with his daughter, Fati, fend off the bitter and hostile snipes of his ex-wife, Cindy, and find a brutal killer who seems to have vanished into thin air. Joseph's plot is intense and fast-paced, and his characters are well-developed and authentic. I'm looking forward to reading further cases involving this complex and very human homicide detective. Deadly Desire: The Raff Rafferty Mysteries, Book One is highly recommended.

Melinda Hills

Gabe ‘Raff’ Rafferty, a Monterey County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, is called out to a crime scene at a beautiful estate in Big Sur in Deadly Desire by Robert Joseph. A wealthy older man, Willard Weems, who had turned to Buddhist practices to find peace in his spiritual life, has been brutally murdered. Faced with a number of suspects but no concrete evidence, Raff and his partner Hank start with the people who had the most to gain from the sudden death. This leads to tremendous frustration as more murders occur and the inconclusive evidence is all the same. Struggling with alcohol and pill addictions and the guilt resulting from the accidental death of his young son, Raff becomes frayed as the questions pile up but the answers remain elusive. Developing an interest in the number one suspect, the Rinpoche, Weems’ beautiful young spiritual advisor, makes the case more difficult and strains Raff’s relationship with his 15-year-old daughter. Emotions rise, tension mounts, and problems grow to the point that Raff is caught in a whirlwind of half-truths and suppositions while his nightmares haunt him even more desperately. Will the key to the case be found before Raff self-destructs or loses even more?

Intense emotion and hidden supernatural powers drive the exciting action in Deadly Desire by Robert Joseph. Raff is not the typical hero as his own issues come dangerously close to ruining not only his career but also his life. With the same feeling you get when riding a roller coaster, reading Deadly Desire takes you through ups and downs as well as hairpin turns as the case becomes more and more complicated and emotions run deeper and stronger. The characters set each other off well with their differences and similarities, and the underlying message strikes a resonant chord – be careful what you wish for. An excellent story, Deadly Desire is well worth reading.

Tracy A. Fischer

Deadly Desire, a new novel by Robert Joseph, is a wild romp through mysticism and murder, mystery and mayhem. This exciting read finds homicide detective Raff Rafferty assigned to investigate the murder of cement baron Willard Weems. Millionaire cement baron, that is. Weems, a reclusive and mysterious figure, had become, in the time before his unfortunate demise, a disciple of the gorgeous Cassie Calvet. Calvet, who claims to channel, or even to become, the Tibetan lama Rinpoche, was also named as Weems’ sole heir. Clearly a motive for murder. As Rafferty finds himself being charmed by the beautiful blonde guru, he also has to navigate his relationships with his daughter Fatima, and ex-wife Cindi, solve Weems’ murder, and oh, yes, keep himself from being killed as well. No small task.

Deadly Desire was a page-turner from the start. I truly enjoyed every word.
I picked this up on a Saturday afternoon when the rest of my family was away from the house, and I’m so glad I did. It was worthy of several hours of my undivided attention, and if I had been interrupted, I would have been incredibly annoyed. Robert Joseph’s new book would appeal to any lover of mystery, any lover of fiction in fact, but especially those intrigued by the added element of mysticism that this book offers. I understand that Mr. Joseph’s work is the first he has tackled after taking a bit of a break from writing. Let’s hope he doesn’t take a break again. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next Raff Rafferty adventure, and I will eagerly await the next book in the series.