Jelly Bryce

The Man In The Mirror

Fiction - Historical - Personage
333 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2016
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Author Biography

A second-generation police officer, Mike Conti retired as a lieutenant from the Massachusetts State Police after more than twenty-four years of service.

The President and founder of Saber Group, Inc., a private training and consulting company, he also serves as Rangemaster and Physical Education Firearms Instructor for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

Jelly Bryce — The Man In The Mirror is the final installment in Mike Conti’s Jelly Bryce trilogy and, if you have read the first two, missing out on this one would be like reading a murder mystery and not bothering to read the final chapter to find out whodunit. For the uninitiated, Jelly Bryce was a legendary lawman who carved out a career, firstly in the Oklahoma City Police Department then with the FBI. His ability as a quick draw shooter, as well as his impressive investigative skills, made him one of the most memorable law enforcers of his era. But even legends have a private life and Jelly’s was just as fascinating as his day job. He was closely acquainted with his FBI boss, J. Edgar Hoover, not a person easy to get close to. This helped to provide him with incredible insight into the innermost workings of American society at every level; it would be surprising if much of what he gleaned were not taken with him to the grave. Jelly served his country throughout the most interesting periods of the twentieth century: The Great Depression, World War II, the Soviet threat, the rise of Communism, the McCarthy era and the creation of the CIA. Jelly Bryce — The Man In The Mirror, like the earlier novels in the trilogy, reads like a biography although it is really historical fiction.

Mike Conti, a former lawman himself, has undertaken research of mammoth proportions to write this trilogy, and at times it reads like a history lesson. This latest in the series contains strands of factual material seamlessly woven into the fabric of the fictional tale to produce a life tapestry that is both fascinating and entertaining. At times I thought there was a little too much of Jelly’s personal life which made the story drag somewhat, but that said, it does enable the reader to understand just what made the man tick. Jelly wasn’t just a sharp shooter; he was a complex, multi-layered character, possessing an almost superhuman ability with a gun, but having inner conflicts that would occasionally float to the surface. This book, like the earlier ones in the series, is exceptionally well written, hard to put down, and, as a bonus you’ll come away with an in-depth knowledge of the life and times of one of the most famous U.S. lawmen of the 20th century.

Gisela Dixon

Jelly Bryce: The Man in the Mirror (Jelly Bryce Trilogy Book 3) by Mike Conti is the third and last book in the biographical series on the life of Jelly Bryce — the man often known as the “perfect shot.” Jelly Bryce is someone that is still well known in the circles in which he moved. Not only was he an excellent shot, but even more importantly, he is known to have worked in the service of his country all his life to maintain law and order. This last and final book in the series chronicles his later years in life around World War II through his death in the 1970s. During this time, Jelly Bryce continued his work for this government in spite of some personal setbacks. In this book, we get a fascinating glimpse into the often dangerous life of this man, along with an understanding of his personal life and what made him who he was.

Jelly Bryce: The Man in the Mirror is an excellent biographical novel and although it would probably be even more interesting to read all three books in sequence, I found that even just reading this third book was immensely enjoyable. I didn’t know much about Jelly Bryce before this, but after reading his fascinating story, I am intrigued enough to go back and read the other two books as well. His near-perfect pistol shots and marksmanship are well known, but his career in the FBI and the secret assignments he worked on were new to me. The writing is so engaging that I almost found myself a part of that era and that action and way of life. Truly an enjoyable read that I would highly recommend.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Jelly has seen it all and done it all, but for a man who’s outlived many of his friends and even some of his enemies, what’s left in life? The story Jelly has to tell, and the stories that he’s lived, are more amazing than even he can believe sometimes. A life of adventure and intrigue is one that he thought would give him everything he’s been looking for, but reliving the moments gives him a new perspective he never realized. The mayhem and the work, all that work, may never have been so important after all for Jelly Bryce: The Man in the Mirror.

Jelly Bryce is the type of person that many of us find ourselves to be; obsessed with work and tuning out the other things in life until it seems too late to do anything about it. This book is all about adventure and intrigue and secret missions, but it’s also about a man who is simply trying to do the right thing in a world where that’s not always easy. The Code of the Samurai is not easy to follow after all, and even an unofficial Samurai knows that. In this book you’re going to get to know Jelly and you’re going to be absorbed in his story. It’s something that you’d never be able to believe, but will want to. I’ll be looking for the first two books in this trilogy to find out more. You don’t have to read them in order to understand the story, but you’ll definitely want to with Jelly Bryce: The Man in the Mirror by Mike Conti.