Third Blow

A Novel of Suspense

Fiction - Suspense
325 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Third Blow is a work of fiction in the crime, suspense, and mystery sub-genres, and was penned by author J. T. Bishop. Fans of the Detectives Daniels and Remalla series will enjoy this new mystery, which is a standalone but still follows the timeline from First Cut and Second Slice. In this installment of the suspenseful series, we meet Jace Marlon when his best friend is killed. As the detectives are called in to help find the killer and unpick the mysterious motive, Jace is forced to face demons from his past and dig up dirt he would rather had stayed buried. What follows is a psychological and emotive mystery drama with plenty of thrills.

Author J. T. Bishop has never failed to deliver with Detectives Daniels and Remalla, and once again has crafted a suspenseful story that brings us close to the action and delivers high-risk action situations. Jace was a fascinating central character to bring in for this tale of secrets, revenge, and mysticism, making it more difficult to see the clean-cut lines of who to trust and where the storyline itself is headed. I was impressed with the different emotional and psychological layers which mix into the genres, delivering romantic moments, criminal wisdom, deep discoveries of identity, and poignant moments of family love. When this is portrayed with Bishop’s attention to descriptive detail, snappy exposition dialogue, and crafty plot-making, you have a perfect mystery on your hands. I would, therefore, recommend Third Blow to fans of the existing series as well as new readers looking for high-quality suspense fiction.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Third Blow by Judy Bishop is a novel of suspense. Jace Marlon has lost his best friend, murdered by a mysterious man. He has no choice to put his trust in Detective Remalla and Detective Daniels. The hunt for the killer forces Jace to face his past and he finds himself needing to ask for help. A tarot reader steps up to help, her readings giving Jace the links he needs to unearth long-buried secrets. But she’s putting her own life on the line to help him and Jace is heading into murky waters. He needs to decide – does he want answers or revenge? He must work out who he can trust and to believe in something he never had any real experience of, the one thing he’s never had – family. Will Jace succeed in finding his best friend’s killer? And what damage will be done along the way?

Third Blow by Judy Bishop is a stunning novel. I haven’t read the first two in the series and, although this could be read on its own, it should probably be read with the others. The story draws you right in from the first page and you soon find yourself wrapped up in a deep, twisty plot. There is plenty of action and the characters are real and likable. Although this is the third in the Daniels and Remalla series, there is enough development and some back story to help you get to grips with who they are. This is one story you won't want to put down, a story that will transport you to a different world. Ms. Bishop’s writing is descriptive enough to make you feel you are in the story. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to lose themselves in a stunning, suspenseful book.

Deborah Lloyd

Jace Marlon, the owner of Brando’s bar, had a recurring, terrifying nightmare, with a threatening man and two women who he could not see. Every time, the mysterious man said, “I did it for you.” When Jace’s best friend was murdered, and his girlfriend seriously injured, the same message appeared. Jace’s bartender, Danni, was also a tarot card reader, and she too became involved in the frightening scheme. The messages of the tarot cards add an exciting element to the complex plot. Detectives Daniels and Remalla, who made connections to previous murders, try to catch the devious killer this time. In the thrilling mystery, Third Blow: A Novel of Suspense, written by J. T. Bishop, the intriguing plot is full of dangerous moments and unforeseen events.

This book is written in a fast-paced manner, and it is a true page-turner. Be warned – once started, it is hard to put down. The character development of Jace and Danni is another interesting aspect to this plot. Both have strong personalities, having lived through difficult childhoods and family situations. Daniels and Remalla are strongly committed to solving the mystery. The addition of humorous bantering makes the reader laugh out loud, and it adds balance to chilling situations. This is the third book in the detective series, and there are a number of references to earlier crimes. While it can stand alone, reading the previous books first is recommended. Author J. T Bishop has skillfully crafted a compelling mystery in Third Blow. Fortunately, the fourth book in this series is on its way!

Gobi Jane

Third Blow: A Novel of Suspense by Judy Bishop is the third book in a series, but it reads so well as a standalone novel. It follows Jace Marlon whose best friend has just been murdered. A man with a troubled youth, Jace sets out to uncover the truth about the murderer. But can anyone identify the MO? Can he trust detectives Daniels and Remalla or the tarot reader, a woman who begins to have a connection to him that is stronger than mere friendship? An eccentric woman with a lot of jewelry might be the key to uncovering the truth about the murder.

Judy Bishop is a great writer and she knows how to get readers captivated by her characters. This is a character-driven story that follows Jace as he evolves through an investigation, a journey that compels him to face the bitter truth about his past, embrace new friendships, and discover the new meaning of family. The story begins with a very strong premise, and I just loved it. An early morning call that wakes Jace up, the voice of his friend pleading and saying “sorry,” then the muffled noise, and the voice on the phone, the voice that is more guttural, whispering “I did it for you.” The reader is gripped and wants to find out what happens next and the face behind the guttural voice. The prose is beautiful and the pacing fast. Third Blow: A Novel of Suspense is a well-plotted story featuring quirky and believable characters. It is engaging and entertaining.

Susan Sewell

A murderer is on the loose, claiming that his actions are to the benefit of others, and the police believe that he is a serial killer in the thriller Third Blow by J. T. Bishop. It is three-thirty in the morning when Jace wakes up from another one of his recurring nightmares. They have been plaguing him for five months. This time the disturbing presence in his dreams speaks to him and says, "I did it for you." Before he can clear his mind, Jace receives a call from his best friend, Justin, and witnesses his murder over the phone. However, before the call is cut off, the killer repeats the chilling words that Jace had just heard in his dream. Not only was Justin killed, but Jace's girlfriend was also found stabbed at the murder scene, and Jace is standing over her. After he is cleared as a suspect, Jace's employee, Danni, has become part of the investigation. Her Tarot cards and online reading business are being used by the killer to taunt Jace and the police. When it is evident that Danni could be in danger, she and Jace go into hiding. However, the murderer seems to accomplish feats that defy logic. Is anywhere safe from him? What does he want with Jace?

Elegantly written, Third Blow by J. T. Bishop will have you sitting on the edge of your seat until the final page. With the delightful addition of psionics and other paranormal elements, I was immediately entranced with the story, the characters, and the plot. All of the characters are outstandingly developed, and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Danny's tarot readings. Even though this is not the first book in the series, you will have no trouble keeping up with the characters and past stories. I've fallen hopelessly in love with this series! I anxiously anticipate the following books and now must read the previous books in the series. Fans of the Dark Angel television series will love this novel.