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Murder Key

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DEATH LURKS ON AN ISLAND BASKING IN THE GENTLE SUNSHINE OF A FLORIDA AUTUMN When a stranger tries to kill Matt Royal in one of his favorite watering holes on his Florida island paradise, his attention focuses on more than the sun, fishing and beer. Matt doesn't know why anyone would want to kill him, and the only way to stay alive is to find out who and why. Matt and his budd DEATH LURKS ON AN ISLAND BASKING IN THE GENTLE SUNSHINE OF A FLORIDA AUTUMN When a stranger tries to kill Matt Royal in one of his favorite watering holes on his Florida island paradise, his attention focuses on more than the sun, fishing and beer. Matt doesn't know why anyone would want to kill him, and the only way to stay alive is to find out who and why. Matt and his buddies Logan Hamilton and jock Algren begin an odyssey that takes them from the island beaches to Mexico and back to the mines, labor camps and farms of the interior of Florida, a place tourists never see. They find themselves ensnared in a tangle of ilegal immigrants and imported drugs, while death stalks from every point on the compass. As Matt tries to stay alive, his love affair with a beautiful lawyer is falling apart, an he doesn't know how to fix it. The timing is bad. Sombody's trying to kill him and his lover is dumping him. The mystery flows and tingles in the beautiful Florida autumn, the ugliness of the phosphate mines and migrant camps juxtaposed against the pristine beaches and extravagant lifestyles of the island Matt calls home.


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DEATH LURKS ON AN ISLAND BASKING IN THE GENTLE SUNSHINE OF A FLORIDA AUTUMN When a stranger tries to kill Matt Royal in one of his favorite watering holes on his Florida island paradise, his attention focuses on more than the sun, fishing and beer. Matt doesn't know why anyone would want to kill him, and the only way to stay alive is to find out who and why. Matt and his budd DEATH LURKS ON AN ISLAND BASKING IN THE GENTLE SUNSHINE OF A FLORIDA AUTUMN When a stranger tries to kill Matt Royal in one of his favorite watering holes on his Florida island paradise, his attention focuses on more than the sun, fishing and beer. Matt doesn't know why anyone would want to kill him, and the only way to stay alive is to find out who and why. Matt and his buddies Logan Hamilton and jock Algren begin an odyssey that takes them from the island beaches to Mexico and back to the mines, labor camps and farms of the interior of Florida, a place tourists never see. They find themselves ensnared in a tangle of ilegal immigrants and imported drugs, while death stalks from every point on the compass. As Matt tries to stay alive, his love affair with a beautiful lawyer is falling apart, an he doesn't know how to fix it. The timing is bad. Sombody's trying to kill him and his lover is dumping him. The mystery flows and tingles in the beautiful Florida autumn, the ugliness of the phosphate mines and migrant camps juxtaposed against the pristine beaches and extravagant lifestyles of the island Matt calls home.

30 review for Murder Key

  1. 5 out of 5

    IslandRiverScribe

    There is so much going on in this 2nd entry in Griffin’s Matt Royal series that I hardly know where to start. Now that doesn’t mean that the book has an overabundance of characters or that it has a morass of seemingly unrelated scenes. It means that Griffin wove his various plot threads together so tightly, even the love interest, that it was a challenge to determine if any of the secondary characters qualified as good guys. From the first novel we know that our main character, Matt Royal, is a f There is so much going on in this 2nd entry in Griffin’s Matt Royal series that I hardly know where to start. Now that doesn’t mean that the book has an overabundance of characters or that it has a morass of seemingly unrelated scenes. It means that Griffin wove his various plot threads together so tightly, even the love interest, that it was a challenge to determine if any of the secondary characters qualified as good guys. From the first novel we know that our main character, Matt Royal, is a flawed but decent, protagonist. And based on the first novel, we can also place Logan Hamilton, Matt’s good friend, and Bill Lester, the town’s police chief, into the good-guy column. In this second entry, we are introduced to Jock Algren, a government agent who has been one of Royal’s best friends since middle school. We’re never told exactly which alphabet agency he works for but, with his weapons skills, it is definitely not the IRS. So we get to put him in the good-guy column also. But after that, it is anybody’s guess who is clean and who is dirty – federal agent, police deputy, corporate worker or the person on the next bar stool. And that is the foundation of the major plot thread – someone wants Matt Royal dead. And nobody can figure out why, let alone who, is ordering the hit. All we, and Matt Royal, know is that the attempts to kill him begin the day he discovers, during his morning run, two illegals dead on the beach and a third legal immigrant critically wounded. Frankly, I lost count of how many times the bad guys tried to kill Matt Royal in this book. But Matt is not exactly defenseless. He was a Special Forces officer in the last years of the Vietnam War and had killed and survived being attacked on multiple occasions then. But it has been years since that innate need of kill-or-be-killed has been required of him. Out of necessity, those killing skills return and, with them, a boatload of emotional and psychological detritus. But it is primarily Jock, his agency contacts and his agency skills that keep Matt alive as they burrow further and further into a multi-national criminal conspiracy. Griffin crafts Jock’s responses both physically and emotionally realistic, making detritus for him, too. However, it is these repeated attempts to kill Royal that caused me to downgrade my rating on the book. It is only coincidence that Jock has come to Florida from Texas and is sitting next to Matt when the first attack comes. The author acknowledges that coincidence and continues with the story. But the sheer volume of assassination attempts made me begin to wonder just how long Royal was going to survive without the author resorting to a deus ex machina situation. And, before the story was over, not just one but two, such devices came into play. First, the bad guys, who have consistently used only boats and vans for two-thirds of the book, suddenly decide to drop a trussed up Royal, Logan and Jock at sea from a helicopter. That didn’t work, of course, not when Logan just so happens to be a retired chopper pilot. That one is borderline plausible. But the second one, where the condo super just happens to turn the key in Royal’s door lock at the exact moment a bad guy has a gun pointed at Matt’s chest just pushed my already frayed suspension of disbelief right over the edge. The author redeems himself in the end, however. The final conflict is well played and well written, logical and realistic, no coincidences and no suspension of disbelief needed. And speaking of the end – a caveat here – as you read, don’t skim or skip over the sections that detail Royal’s visceral responses to the physical charms of several of the female characters. If you do, you will miss the import of the novel’s last sentence.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peg

    Didn't Really Enjoy I thought the first Matt Royal book was okay but this I didn't care for. I'm not interested in Mexico, drug smuggling or especially human trafficking. The thing that surprised me was that other than Sheriff Bill Lester and Logan Hamilton and a little of Anne none of the characters from the first book were in it. He had a weekly routine of places he ate and bars he went to on different nights and seemed to be best friends with the owners and regulars. A few months later he has Didn't Really Enjoy I thought the first Matt Royal book was okay but this I didn't care for. I'm not interested in Mexico, drug smuggling or especially human trafficking. The thing that surprised me was that other than Sheriff Bill Lester and Logan Hamilton and a little of Anne none of the characters from the first book were in it. He had a weekly routine of places he ate and bars he went to on different nights and seemed to be best friends with the owners and regulars. A few months later he has entirely different bars and a new set of friends. He didn't go to listen to Pearl play the piano anymore. He went somewhere else to listen to Debbie. That doesn't make sense. The next book sounds like it would have a much better story but I'm not paying $9.99 for a Matt Royal book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura Poppenwimer

    This is a fun book to read, the plot develops at a fast pace and hard to put down. I have read several of this series, but out of order and now going back to fill in the ones I missed. Each book stands on it's own with enough explanation of prior events to keep you from wondering what you missed. It is interested to read the earlier one while the character of Matt Royal is still in the development state. I can see how the character grows with each new installment. This is a fun book to read, the plot develops at a fast pace and hard to put down. I have read several of this series, but out of order and now going back to fill in the ones I missed. Each book stands on it's own with enough explanation of prior events to keep you from wondering what you missed. It is interested to read the earlier one while the character of Matt Royal is still in the development state. I can see how the character grows with each new installment.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fred Forbes

    Actually a 3.5. Grade up for strong sense of place, most of which takes place within 10 miles of my home so fun tromping around familiar territory of the Bradenton-Sarasota area. Bit of a downgrade for the extreme multitude of characters and coincidental plot twists. Still, this is the second of the Matt Royal series and I have 2 more on the shelf that I am looking forward to.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thomas R.

    This is the 2and series of the Matt Royal series and it was excellent. The storyline was well written and kept me guessing the whole time. The details about small town life and law enforcement was excellent and well written . I am hooked and about to read the next book about Matt Royal series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Timothy A. Riley

    Easy read and entertaining. I like the area of The Gulf where the story occurred. It was an easy read and entertaining. Not as good as Doc Ford or Travis McGhee but I will probably read another.

  7. 4 out of 5

    B B 3682

    H.T. writes very great stories, I enjoy his writing , this one kept me waiting and what a surprise ending. I highly recommend you read this one and as I enjoy his writing I will definitely read all he writes. Thanks for the pleasure of reading your books Mr. Griffin.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Barker Ulmer

    I love this series

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Woods

    Page Turned Deluxe My second Matt Royal book. Hard to put down once you get started... Very likely I will read the whole series..

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Benham

    Great read Great read recommended would Read other of his books. Please take time to read this one. Good one. Good one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Russ Leavitt

    Well written. Great ending.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Overall a good read, but bogged down in places.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debbi

    I didn't like this as much as the first in the series. It didn't have Matt as a lawyer this time and I really missed that. It just got bogged down. I didn't like this as much as the first in the series. It didn't have Matt as a lawyer this time and I really missed that. It just got bogged down.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carol Giannasi

    Great I have read the whole series ad waiting for more.if you like the keys you will enjoy the whole series

  15. 5 out of 5

    Reveiws by Henry

    Enjoyable, hard to put down, and an all around high recommendation from me. Try H. Terrell Griffin out, you may find him very refreshing!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    Funny or ironic quips to lighten the reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sherron

    Fast paced, good drama, great characters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Almira

    WOW! What a great read by a great author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marla

    This was my first H. Terrell Griffin book and I was blown away.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suspense Magazine

    Take a few good friends, a beautiful woman, illegal drugs, a dirty politician, a helicopter, several murders and horrible visions from the Vietnam War and you have just another day in the life of lawyer turned beach bum, Matt Royal. The second in his Royal series, Griffin takes us on yet another fantastic ride. With every moment you’re left on the edge of your seat wondering what’s around the bend. Who can he trust? Who’s on the take? Who is trying to kill Matt Royal? That’s the sixty-four thousa Take a few good friends, a beautiful woman, illegal drugs, a dirty politician, a helicopter, several murders and horrible visions from the Vietnam War and you have just another day in the life of lawyer turned beach bum, Matt Royal. The second in his Royal series, Griffin takes us on yet another fantastic ride. With every moment you’re left on the edge of your seat wondering what’s around the bend. Who can he trust? Who’s on the take? Who is trying to kill Matt Royal? That’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question. Some of the answers will astound you; I know they shocked me. The humor within these pages is done as only Griffin can. However, it’s the grit and harshness of Royal’s life that makes my breath catch. One of the “bad guys”, Diaz—who isn’t exactly in a primo situation—got in Jock’s face and taunted him…not a smart idea. “You will pay for this, gringo,” he muttered, spitting blood and saliva on the floor. “I will kill you the next time I see you. I will piss on your grave.” Jock raised the pistol and shot Diaz through his left eye. “Good God almighty, Jock!” I shouted. “What the hell did you do?” “Anybody stupid enough to threaten me while he’s tied to a chair and I’ve got a gun is too stupid to breathe our air.” Needless to say it goes on and I loved every single word! Griffin’s writing is as such that you can picture everything, you feel every emotion and you can even smell the death. What sets Griffin apart from others who write what he does is his ability to make me feel what Matt feels. Reading his books has made me a better writer. As a woman trying to write a male character, insight like Griffin gives the reader helps in very profound ways. Being able to get lost in a great story is the cherry on top of the best sundae ever! Thank you Mr. Griffin; I’m off to read “Blood Island”. I can’t wait. www.suspensemagazine.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chaplain Stanley Chapin

    A nice light read It is not going to keep you up with the suspense, but it will, stimulate and provide a few easy chuckles.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    4 STARS Murder Key is the first book I have read using Amazon Prime program. At 11:30 pm I was around 65% through when the book quit on me. After I tried reloading it I chated with Amazon customer service and got it figured out. Had to restart my kindle. It was not at a place that I wanted to stop reading. Murder Key is full of action and drama. Loyal friends and bad cops. Also plenty of good cops. Matt has no idea why someone wants him dead. The only way he will be safe is to find out why. Logan 4 STARS Murder Key is the first book I have read using Amazon Prime program. At 11:30 pm I was around 65% through when the book quit on me. After I tried reloading it I chated with Amazon customer service and got it figured out. Had to restart my kindle. It was not at a place that I wanted to stop reading. Murder Key is full of action and drama. Loyal friends and bad cops. Also plenty of good cops. Matt has no idea why someone wants him dead. The only way he will be safe is to find out why. Logan and Jock take off work to help protect Matt and figure out whats going on. Matt gets his first taste of what Jock has had to face in working for the secret goverment agency. I have liked all seven of Matt Royal Mysteries that I have read this week and sad now that I have read them. If you like action,detective,spy stories you will like Matt and his friends. I would like to live in florida for the winters too.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I enjoyed this book. It's a departure from the books I usually read, but it was a pleasant one. There is more overt violence than I'm used to in books I read, but it wasn't off-putting. Matt Royal, a "retired" lawyer, lives on Longboat Key in Florida. He has a variety of friends, some former military buddies, some fellow refugees from society now living on the Key, with whom he solves a variety of crimes. He is an interesting enough character, as are his cronies, that I found myself wanting to r I enjoyed this book. It's a departure from the books I usually read, but it was a pleasant one. There is more overt violence than I'm used to in books I read, but it wasn't off-putting. Matt Royal, a "retired" lawyer, lives on Longboat Key in Florida. He has a variety of friends, some former military buddies, some fellow refugees from society now living on the Key, with whom he solves a variety of crimes. He is an interesting enough character, as are his cronies, that I found myself wanting to read more books in the series to keep up with what was going on in their lives. I have read four of the books, and will likely read more. They aren't as formulaic as some other series out there, which is refreshing. I can only take so much of this type of story before I need to go read something a little more lighthearted or literary. After a few books from another genre, I eventually find my way back to another Matt Royal story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    Pretty good read I reserve 5 star ratings for the absolute best of the best. If they'd allow it, I might give this 4 1/2 stars. The plot is well-developed and moves nicely. It's well-written. There are no big themes, no great ethical or personal conflicts to resolve, no great truths our insights. It's a pulpy crime novel. There are believability issues--civilians being an integral part of DEA and FBI ops, being given government weapons, killing people and getting pats on the back from the Feds. L Pretty good read I reserve 5 star ratings for the absolute best of the best. If they'd allow it, I might give this 4 1/2 stars. The plot is well-developed and moves nicely. It's well-written. There are no big themes, no great ethical or personal conflicts to resolve, no great truths our insights. It's a pulpy crime novel. There are believability issues--civilians being an integral part of DEA and FBI ops, being given government weapons, killing people and getting pats on the back from the Feds. Look, it's no more unbelievable than most modern action movies, so if you don't mind a bit of a tall tale, it's a very well written tall tale and a really enjoyable read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    this was one of the best of the series. mat found a boat with 2 dead mexicans, and one dieing. he called it in. this led to someone trying to kill him and he didnt know why. his usual friends got involved. this one had a different girlfriend. seems they all have a different girlfriend. this one broke up with him, got a new boyfriend, then got back with him at the end he had to kill someone when he was captured in the mexican slave camp, they got away in a helicopter. i enjoyed this one a lot!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Love reading book 2 of the Matt Royal adventures in Florida. Great characters and suspense. Book 2 has Matt and his friends travelling throughout Florida and Mexico to find out who is behind a drug & immigrant smuggling ring and who is trying to kill him. Griffin has such an expressive way of writing he brings his characters to life and makes the reader feel they are actually there, seeing the scenery, knowing what the characters are wearing, feeling the Florida temperatures.....Book 2 definitel Love reading book 2 of the Matt Royal adventures in Florida. Great characters and suspense. Book 2 has Matt and his friends travelling throughout Florida and Mexico to find out who is behind a drug & immigrant smuggling ring and who is trying to kill him. Griffin has such an expressive way of writing he brings his characters to life and makes the reader feel they are actually there, seeing the scenery, knowing what the characters are wearing, feeling the Florida temperatures.....Book 2 definitely doesn't disappoint.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Charles Robinson

    OK, You got me again!!!!!!!! Once again the author did not disappoint. Once again the author out smarted me. Once again I came to the wrong conclusion. Just like the first book in this series I thought I had everything figured out by time i reached half of the book. WRONG! Good writing, great action and a very good story. A few typos here and there but it never took away from the story. What a well put together follow up to this series, which sometimes doesn't happens with some series. Great job. OK, You got me again!!!!!!!! Once again the author did not disappoint. Once again the author out smarted me. Once again I came to the wrong conclusion. Just like the first book in this series I thought I had everything figured out by time i reached half of the book. WRONG! Good writing, great action and a very good story. A few typos here and there but it never took away from the story. What a well put together follow up to this series, which sometimes doesn't happens with some series. Great job.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Henry Lawrence

    Very good! Matt is the target of shooters and he tries to find out who and why. In the process, he uncovers plots for illegal immigration and drug smuggling. There are a number of crises along the way that he narrowly escapes. With his buddy, Jock, he chases the clues to Mexico and the interior of Florida. Of course, there are several good-looking women to entice Matt. The ultimate villain is unexpected which makes for great reading. One of the best books in this one of miy favorite series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Walt Mccluskey

    Murder Key well written as have been the other Griffin books I've read. The changes in direction of the story line are reasonable for a thriller book. The hero is more believable than most and was not doing a lot of things that were difficult to believe. The end was a neat twist and well wrapped up. Easy to recommend. Murder Key well written as have been the other Griffin books I've read. The changes in direction of the story line are reasonable for a thriller book. The hero is more believable than most and was not doing a lot of things that were difficult to believe. The end was a neat twist and well wrapped up. Easy to recommend.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I thoroughly enjoyed Longboat Blues and rushed to start this one when I was done. I was a bit disappointed at first: the beginning was slow taking off and really didn't flow as well as Longboat. But it reached a point where the protagonist tells a story about his time in Vietnam and it all starts to come together. The story flows better, the mystery builds well, until the surprising conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed Longboat Blues and rushed to start this one when I was done. I was a bit disappointed at first: the beginning was slow taking off and really didn't flow as well as Longboat. But it reached a point where the protagonist tells a story about his time in Vietnam and it all starts to come together. The story flows better, the mystery builds well, until the surprising conclusion.

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