Loose Lips


Fiction - Urban
373 Pages
Reviewed on 07/31/2020
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Mack Guinness was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a Saints fan (Who Dat?) and Army Veteran. He is still a soldier at heart but he is no longer armed with a gun. Today his pen is his pistol. He writes fiction because it gives him the opportunity to entertain, educate and elevate readers level of awareness. Mack loves to write stories that transport readers to the festive and sometimes dangerous streets of his hometown. He overcame the pitfalls of poverty, prison and homelessness to pursue his dream of writing. His first short story titled M.O.B. was published in Smooth Magazine. He is currently an essential worker at the VA Hospital. He is proud to do his part to help veterans and fight the spread of COVID-19. He writes every chance he gets. LOOSE LIPS is his debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is a gripping suspense thriller set in New Orleans. The main character, Cleveland Jones, isn't a cop anymore, but a veteran who minds his own business running a homeless shelter. His life takes a dangerous turn when he is suspected of killing the two sons of a friend, Margaret, and she wants him to find the real killer, as she feels she won't get justice from the police. As one victim leads to another, Jones (also known as Mr. J) realizes he is on the trail of a vicious killer, but he has to clear his name. What follows is a taut murder mystery that will satisfy the biggest crime drama fan.

Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is immediately engrossing, pulling you into the dark side of New Orleans with a few characters you never want to meet in person, but know they're there, lurking in the shadows; and a few characters you wish were around all the time. Guinness is a pro at writing lean and tight, with palpable descriptions and well-paced action. I liked several things about this crime novel. The unique setting and characters, especially Jones and his buddy Chill. Jones is realistic and likable. I liked that it's an everyday guy hunting for the killer, not an active detective. I liked the logical flow of the story. While reading, you feel that the author knows what he's doing, and really enjoys the genre. He builds his world with ease, energy, and grit, making you rush through pages to find out what happens next. He grounds the story in a lot of relevant details about New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, prison life, running a shelter, etc., without slowing the story. Guinness's style takes you back to hardboiled crime dramas of earlier days, where anything goes, and no punches are pulled. Fans of James Patterson's Alex Cross novels and Tarantino's Pulp Fiction should pick up Loose Lips by Mack Guinness.

K.C. Finn

Loose Lips is a work of fiction in the gritty urban fiction, interpersonal drama, and crime sub-genres, and was penned by author Mack Guinness. Written for an adult readership, the work does contain the use of explicit language, some scenes of a sexual nature, and some graphic violence. Set in the darkest corners of New Orleans, the casual attitude to daily murders irks protagonist Cleveland Jones. So when ‘Mr. J’ is asked to investigate the deaths of two young brothers, this veteran takes to the streets with a fellow ex-army buddy in search of the grim truth. As the killer’s death toll rises and with enemies from all over on his back, it’s a desperate race and a dangerous game that Mr. J has to survive.

Fans of gritty, urban crime drama will absolutely fall for the work of author Mack Guinness, who brings a slick, macabre, and earthy feel to this dangerous murder mystery story. Chill and Mr. J are excellent central protagonists for the genre, with a powerful set of skills that make them capable heroes, but also imperfections that keep the killer one step ahead and keep the plot rolling. The graphic content of the work is suitable to its tone and realistic feel, hammering home some of the more distressing moments and ramping up the action as the plot races to a very surprising but satisfying conclusion. Overall, I would definitely recommend Loose Lips for fans of urban crime drama that is well penned, well-plotted, and highly atmospheric.

Foluso Falaye

Two brothers are murdered on the same day with the same message left at the crime scenes: "Loose lips sink ships." Killings associated with the drug business are nothing new in New Orleans, but Margaret (the victim's mother) decides to get justice for her two sons by seeking Cleveland Jones's (Mr. J) help. Mr. J, who directs the homeless shelter that Margaret works at, is an army veteran and a former detective. With the help of his friend from the army, Mr. J proceeds to find the killer while dealing with nosy cops, grudge-holding criminals, and the risk of losing his homeless shelter due to financial problems. Mack Guinness tells it like it is and spares no details in Loose Lips, where snitches get stitches or worse: death.

Loose Lips is what you call a soulful book. Intertwined in the investigative narrative is a rich depiction of the African-American culture through music, carnival and funeral celebrations, food, mannerisms, and more. And when it comes to the detective storyline, it doesn't get better than this. Mack Guinness is quite skilled in capturing the attention and emotions of readers in a natural way. The characters are real and depicted with imperfections and desires that made me really connect with them. Potential readers should beware of drugs, homosexuality, rape, and gambling. Fans of suspense, prison narratives, and crime books would love Loose Lips. It's the type of book that makes you want to check out the other books by this author.

Rabia Tanveer

Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is a murder mystery where the protagonist Mr. J has to find out who killed two young boys. Murder is usual in New Orleans, so when two young brothers turn up dead, no one thinks much about it. However, their mother is not satisfied with the police work. So, she asks Mr. J to look into the murders and find out what happened. An Army veteran, Jones aka Mr. J knows where to look and soon he finds himself embroiled in the mystery. The deeper he looks the more disturbing things he starts to uncover. Before he knows it, the murders are pinned on him and he has to think fast, or else he will be jailed for crimes he did not commit. The odds are stacked high against him and more people are being murdered. All Mr. J needs is a break and he will crack this case. But will he ever get the chance?

Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is off the charts good. Mr. J is such a cool protagonist. His background, his method of work, and the way he interacts with Chill all help make him into a well-rounded character. He is not perfect and he has his flaws, but that just makes him a great character. The pace is fast, but not too much so that the reader feels rushed. The addition of two prefaces sets the right tone for the story and prepares readers for the roller coaster ride waiting for them in the story. The chase is fun, the race against time gives an adrenaline rush while the mystery is enough to keep readers glued to the book. The tension runs high from the very beginning and the author does not let the reader down at all. This story is packed full of action; an entertaining mystery that readers will love to uncover.

Gobi Jane

Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is an interesting novel for fans of crime and sleuthing. In a city riddled with crime, every murder is counted as an addition to the “normal.” Two brothers are murdered on a Super Bowl Sunday, and the murder arrests the attention and interest of army veteran Cleveland Jones. He is the director of the homeless shelter and he can’t deny the request made by the mother of the boys to look into the murder. He enlists the help of his army friend, Chill Will, but the investigation leaves them with little to go on. Cops are pinning the murders on him while the drug lords want him dead. The killer seems to outsmart them and while they have no clues to go on, time is fast running out. There is only one clue to follow with murders piling up; the calling card that reads: “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Can Jones find the killer in time to clear his name and do justice to the brothers?

Loose Lips by Mack Guinness is a well-written crime novel for readers who enjoy crime fiction filled with suspense and memorable characters. Someone is murdering people in a town and leaving behind a strange message and an army veteran is faced with a complicated case to solve. The setting is a town where murders are frequent and where drugs litter the streets. The time factor is an important element in the plot and the author uses it very well. The protagonist, the man who is out to catch a murderer, is being framed by the police. The only way to prove his innocence is to capture the killer. The prose is excellent and the plot is packed with surprises and twists. Loose Lips is a well-written crime story; it is sizzling with action and with characters that readers want to follow.

Trinette Cambrice

Truly enjoyed this masterpiece. An awesome read well written.

Shareef Singleton

Awesome!