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Writing Reviews

Down to the Needle (a thriller)

When writing reviews, it’s wise to read professional reviews to learn format and key points to pick up in a story.

In mystery writing, and when writing thrillers or any genre, or when writing book reviews, it’s wise to be aware of stereotypes in characters. Story lines are all-important; a great review happens when a story sets itself apart from others in the genre. However, when writing reviews, those are not the only story points to watch for.

Below is the latest review of my thriller, Down to the Needle. The review was completed by Lisa Haselton at Allbooks Review.

My full interview with Allbooks Review has also been published on their site: Allbooks Articles and Interviews.

In writing reviews, notice the professional format in the example below. This was forwarded to me as a document on “online stationary” with the Allbooks Review logo at the top. When reviewing books, you might consider preparing your page with your logo and other identifying information. You can do this whether or not you have a website or blog.
Genre: Fiction/Thriller

Title: Down to the Needle

AUTHOR: Mary Deal

It has been twenty-three years since five-year-old Becky was kidnapped. Abigail “Abi” Fisher is just as diligent today as she was on the first day in trying to find and reunite with her daughter. Abi looks at every young woman who crosses her path and wonders, “Is that Becky?”

Abi’s heart continues to celebrate, yet also break, as every missing child and every homeless young woman is identified or found, and is not her daughter. Five years ago, Abi met Joe. The two clicked almost instantly and they keep each other balanced through the emotional roller coaster that each deals with in life. Just as Abi’s interest piques with a woman on death row, Joe becomes distracted with someone from his past. Abi struggles with pursuing her newest lead that may bring her to her long-lost daughter while supporting Joe in his need for discovery, too.

The author has created a protagonist that any parent, or anyone who cares about children, can identify with. The need to protect a child is overwhelming, and the character of Abigail has lived with the guilt of not being able to do that for the past two decades. Readers will quickly empathize with Abi’s wholehearted desire to find a positive resolution – a reunion with her daughter – especially as the time for the quest seems to have a deadline. The tightly woven plot lines combine with the fast-moving action to keep the reader on the edge of her seat.

Mary Deal is retired and living in Hawaii. She spends a most of her time writing, but ventures out to the beach every now and then. Along with her passion for writing, she enjoys oil painting and photography. She has four published suspense/thriller novels and is working on more. Her third novel, River Bones, won the Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition. She has also published short stories and poetry in various magazines and anthologies.

I find the title appealing since the pacing and tension has the reader hoping for answers along with the protagonist right down to the needle. Will there be a positive resolution before lethal injection is administered? Make sure you have time to read, because once you start, it’s hard to stop. Down to the Needle is a great read. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews.

Available at:, Barnes & Noble online, other online bookstores, and iUniverse.
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 978-1-4401-9820-5
Pages: 326
Price: $19.95 Jan 2010
Though I favor a scant few reviewing companies, I love Allbooks Reviews because they have so many additional opportunities for book promotion and publicity.

Writers of books in any genre should peruse this site for services offered.

Book reviewers seeking to learn a more professional format for writing reviews should read the ones found on the Allbooks Review Showcase.

Writing reviews is simple, but perfecting them to really do justice to the writer and the story is best accomplished by a professional review format.

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