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Serenity

The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Theo Holland
Length: 4 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $21.69

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Publisher's Summary

A woman dies in his arms...a drug dealer offers him $10,000...a gunman is determined to kill him. And then everything went to hell.

Shelby Alexander is an aging ex-boxer and retired fixer whose activities often flirted with the wrong side of the law. Looking for a little peace and a slower pace of life, he moved to Serenity, the small Michigan town where he grew up. But trouble follows men like Shelby, and he finds himself embroiled in an underworld of drugs and violence that may prove to be his undoing.

It seemed so simple: 10 grand to ask a few questions. He should have known money complicates everything, especially when the infamous Ellis family is involved, and when a small army of downstate dealers and a shadowy gunman all turn their sights on him, Shelby decides things have gone far enough. And he won't let the law stand in his way.

The first book in the new Shelby Alexander Thriller series, Serenity is an action-packed audiobook with a lovingly rendered cast, witty dialogue, and a main character who doesn't know when to quit.

©2016 Craig A. Hart (P)2016 Craig A. Hart

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for shelley
  • shelley
  • 09-10-2017

Not very serene in Serenity...

When the intellectually challenged sister of the local meth dealer dies in Shelby Alexander's arms after freezing almost to death in his yard her brother shows up at his door. Seems the brother wants Alexander to investigate why she was there. She was working for him as a drug courier and wasn't supposed to be any where near Alexander's home. Next thing you know the brother is murdered as well.
This story takes some very strange turns and when the mastermind behind these two and more deaths is revealed it is a bit of a surprise.
The setting is a small town in Michigan but some of the scenes seem right out of the novel Deliverance.
I would definitely recommend getting this book for the discounted kindle unlimited price, but because of the short length I don't think it would be worth a credit.
Theo Holland does a good job narrating.
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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wayne
  • Wayne
  • 14-10-2017

Excellent suspense novella!

Shelby Alexander is a 60 year old divorced ex-boxer who recently moved back to his hometown of Serenity in northern Michigan hoping for a peaceful and slower life. He strikes up a sexual relationship with a bar tender half his age. Serenity is now controlled by a murderous family that is selling illegal drugs. He finds a local woman near death with a head wound and nearly frozen in the outdoors. Despite his efforts she dies. The woman has severe autism and is a member of the underworld family. Alexander is offered $10k to find the killer. Lots of violence and death follow.

Serenity is an excellent suspense mystery which is also well narrated. My issue with the Shelby Alexander Thriller series is that all of the books are 4 hour novellas which are over priced as full novels. The books are priced at more than I pay for a credit using my Audible Platinum Annual Plan. They cost less using Kindle Unlimited but are still over priced.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Caz64
  • 22-02-2017

Nice surprise

Any additional comments?

A good little mystery, action-packed and with enough surprises to keep me on edge.
The main character, Shelby Alexander, is suitably flawed and no longer entirely young but is an interesting guy who is likable and by no means a superman who handles everything perfectly. He is divorced with a 30-year old daughter who he was estranged from as a result from of a somewhat messy divorce from her mother. The relationship with the daughter is still not perfect, but it is getting better. He has a girlfriend who is 30 years his junior, that too causes complications. Not easy for a 60-year old former boxer with arthritis and other issues.
But all in all, it made for a good story and I'm fairly certain I will be picking up the next volume in this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Erik Therme
  • Erik Therme
  • 01-09-2017

Great!

Any additional comments?

Serenity is my kind of book: short, brisk, and just a flat-out enjoyable read. Shelby Alexander is an ex-cop (amongst other things) who has retired to the small town of Serenity, Michigan. It doesn’t take long for trouble to rear its ugly head, and Shelby finds himself knee-deep in criminals, corrupt lawman, and murder. The story moves at a quick pace and doesn’t bog itself down in unnecessary detail or backstory. If I have one small criticism, it’s that Shelby’s girlfriend didn’t seem to add anything to the story, but there’s a good chance she’ll have a larger role in the books to come. A solid 4 stars!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Peterack
  • Peterack
  • 09-01-2019

An Okay Novel Saved by Excellent Narration

Serenity by Craig A. Hart is an enjoyable enough read. Unofficial private eye looking into the murder of a woman with Down's Syndrome. Her body was located on his property and he gets tangled with the local drug trafficking gangs as he looks to solve the mystery.

As mentioned the book was okay. It is a short enough read that I did not spend too much time with it, but as always Theo Holland's narration adds positivity to the experience. Theo is a wonderful, easy to listen to narrator, and he is one who does good distinct character voices without going over the top. Additionally, a challenge for other male narrators, Mr. Holland is able to do women in a way that does not distract the listener; some narrators make female characters sound like cartoons.

Finally, and something that would not be otherwise noticed is Theo Holland's ability to keep the tone of the story where the author intended. In a scene where there is some immediate danger the protagonists begin "checking out" a woman who pulls up near by and gets out of her vehicle. I do not believe it was written to be funny, and instead is otherwise ridiculous that a long conversation about this woman would be taking place amid the danger that they, and she are in. Theo's narration keeps the tension of the scene that was intended by the author, but not sustained by the author's own pacing.

All in all, if you are looking for an enjoyable short escape into a thriller novel, Serenity does provide that escape. My advice is to choose the audio version for a better experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 29-10-2018

excellent listen

excellent story, narration was good. would recommend. just enough twists to keep you guessing. enjoyed the ending

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Loriann Freeman
  • 10-10-2018

Suspense in Serenity

Shelby Alexander is a very cool character. He is an older man, weathered from his past yet still in decent shape, rough around the edges, and yet has this charm and sarcastic humor that had me laughing on several occasions. His 30 year old girlfriend matched his personality well and I enjoyed the relationship they had. She was a good match for him. When his friend Mac entered the picture it got even better cause the banter and relationship between the men was enjoyable. Shelby moved to Serenity for some quiet and what he found was just the opposite. Finding himself in a tangled web of deceit, betrayal, drugs, and murder. I found it well written and the turns of events did give a bit of a surprise. I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next book. If you are looking for murder and gory details look elsewhere......if you are looking for a bit of detective suspense then this book is definitely for you. It was very entertaining. The narrator, Theo Holland, also brought the back woods characters to life. Shelby and Mac had that worn, tough feel to their voices which fit the character descriptions perfectly. The Ellis clan and other characters had that Beverly Hillbillies feel to their voices which fit the description of the type people they were. A job well done in my book!! I definitely will be listening to book 2 next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-2017

Enjoyable, looking forward to the next installment

I Loved the Midwest setting and the determined mindset of the characters. The narrator's voice matched the personality of the protagonist which brings the character to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kari Anne
  • 03-09-2017

Great old school mystery novel

Old school mystery novel featuring a retired boxer. I like the hard-boiled, noir aspects, mixed with it being set in a rural setting, which brings a different twist.

Good character development, which draws you into the story.

Theo Holland does a very good job of bringing the story to life. His voice fits the main character perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ciayrra p 💎
  • 04-08-2017

Action-packed thriller

The narrator brings the story to life. Serenity is a top notch book that won't leave you disappointed! I recommend this book to anyone Who is looking for a unique thriller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful