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Before the Clock Strikes

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A sleepy neighborhood is torn apart by a shocking and brutal late night drive-by shooting. An innocent teenage sleepover takes a tragic turn as a young girl is killed while she lay sleeping on a friend’s sofa. Philadelphia Detective Kyle Simmons races against the clock to quickly find the proof to nail the killer before neighborhood racial tensions boil over and a simple A sleepy neighborhood is torn apart by a shocking and brutal late night drive-by shooting. An innocent teenage sleepover takes a tragic turn as a young girl is killed while she lay sleeping on a friend’s sofa. Philadelphia Detective Kyle Simmons races against the clock to quickly find the proof to nail the killer before neighborhood racial tensions boil over and a simple murder case turns into a violent turf war. *** This is a 35K length novella. It precedes "The Countdown". ***


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A sleepy neighborhood is torn apart by a shocking and brutal late night drive-by shooting. An innocent teenage sleepover takes a tragic turn as a young girl is killed while she lay sleeping on a friend’s sofa. Philadelphia Detective Kyle Simmons races against the clock to quickly find the proof to nail the killer before neighborhood racial tensions boil over and a simple A sleepy neighborhood is torn apart by a shocking and brutal late night drive-by shooting. An innocent teenage sleepover takes a tragic turn as a young girl is killed while she lay sleeping on a friend’s sofa. Philadelphia Detective Kyle Simmons races against the clock to quickly find the proof to nail the killer before neighborhood racial tensions boil over and a simple murder case turns into a violent turf war. *** This is a 35K length novella. It precedes "The Countdown". ***

30 review for Before the Clock Strikes

  1. 4 out of 5

    William Bitner Jr.

    Before the Clock Strikes (A Kyle Simmons Thriller, Book 1) By E.G. Michaels Genre - Detective/Crime/Mystery/Novella Pages - 128 Publication Date - E.G. Michaels Books (September 22, 2014) Format - Kindle Stars - 🌟🌟🌟🌟 “Before the Clock Strikes (A Kyle Simmons Thriller, Book 1)” by E.G. Michaels is the first book of a 6 book series. I was hesitant at first to begin this read as I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a series this size. I was glad however when at the end of this book there was closure. I thi Before the Clock Strikes (A Kyle Simmons Thriller, Book 1) By E.G. Michaels Genre - Detective/Crime/Mystery/Novella Pages - 128 Publication Date - E.G. Michaels Books (September 22, 2014) Format - Kindle Stars - 🌟🌟🌟🌟 “Before the Clock Strikes (A Kyle Simmons Thriller, Book 1)” by E.G. Michaels is the first book of a 6 book series. I was hesitant at first to begin this read as I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a series this size. I was glad however when at the end of this book there was closure. I think, and I’m only speculating from reading a short blurb from the next book that this is not a continuing story type series, but it is a series that deals with the same main character and location. It’s more like a new day and a new case for Detective Simmons type series. So I think this is really a standalone novella. It was a quick, fast paced read. Relevant and well written suspense/thriller. I don’t think however that it is gritty enough to considered “pulp fiction”. It was a good read and I can see myself moving on to the next book sometime in the near future. As a debut it was well worth the read. E.G. Michaels is the author of numerous crime novels and resides in the community he writes about, which I think gives the story some authenticity. From the back cover: Two Random Murders, Somehow Connected... An innocent teenage sleepover turns tragic as a hail of bullets rip through a sleepy neighborhood. Philadelphia Homicide Detective Kyle Simmons is assigned one task: Catch the killer before someone else decides to take matters into their own hands. He's barely begun to investigate when another body is found with nothing but Simmons' business card on it. This evidence is crystal clear: Simmons' contact was the victim of a cold and calculated hit . As Simmons starts to work both cases, a disturbing thought keeps popping up in his head: What if the two cases are somehow connected? In a matter of hours, Simmons finds himself in a desperate race to solve both murders before the carnage continues.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Huxtable

    Interesting Well written and interesting but not a story that kept me pulled in the entire way. Parts felt forced and unrealistic. But as I usually say, my opinion, don't let me turn you off reading it Interesting Well written and interesting but not a story that kept me pulled in the entire way. Parts felt forced and unrealistic. But as I usually say, my opinion, don't let me turn you off reading it

  3. 4 out of 5

    Will Decker

    Although the plot had potential, there were so many errors in it from scene jumping, trying to keep the cardboard characters separate, to typos and such. Somewhere I read that it was supposed to be a police procedural thriller. If this is the way police proceed, then it's no wonder this country is in the mess that it's in. Through the first three quarters of the book the chief is all over the grunge detective's ass, and then after his inept and impatient character gets the chief's niece shot, th Although the plot had potential, there were so many errors in it from scene jumping, trying to keep the cardboard characters separate, to typos and such. Somewhere I read that it was supposed to be a police procedural thriller. If this is the way police proceed, then it's no wonder this country is in the mess that it's in. Through the first three quarters of the book the chief is all over the grunge detective's ass, and then after his inept and impatient character gets the chief's niece shot, the chief disappears from the story? Internal Affairs begins an investigation and the grunge detective tells them to back off, he has a killer to catch, so they do? Right. Author has potential, but needs to do a lot more research on his subject matter and then either go back to grammar school or hire an editor. I'm being generous with 3 stars. My 2 cents worth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Quillracer

    About par for the course for a police procedural first book with all the usual elements of the genre in place. At a little over 100 pages, the story is fast moving, the writing taut. Michaels elevates his primary characters enough that they aren’t clones of every other police procedural character out there. I did, however, have a problem keeping several of the detectives straight. Michaels dropped the ball a touch in the last chapter, as if he wanted to show readers what a sensitive, caring, dedi About par for the course for a police procedural first book with all the usual elements of the genre in place. At a little over 100 pages, the story is fast moving, the writing taut. Michaels elevates his primary characters enough that they aren’t clones of every other police procedural character out there. I did, however, have a problem keeping several of the detectives straight. Michaels dropped the ball a touch in the last chapter, as if he wanted to show readers what a sensitive, caring, dedicated cop Kyle Simmons was but couldn’t quite pull it off without sounding a touch maudlin. Still, I’d like to read more in this series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    This was well written and fast moving. A Philadelphia Detective, the lone wolf type, is assigned the murder of a teen age girl who is an in the house victim of a drive by. He is made to work with various partners and is known in the neighborhood as a Super Cop to learn who the antagonists are and to arrest them. He also never loses sight of the fact that he is working for the victim, rather a nice change of pace. It is the perfect solution for an evening's reading. Thanks to Net Galley for an ARC This was well written and fast moving. A Philadelphia Detective, the lone wolf type, is assigned the murder of a teen age girl who is an in the house victim of a drive by. He is made to work with various partners and is known in the neighborhood as a Super Cop to learn who the antagonists are and to arrest them. He also never loses sight of the fact that he is working for the victim, rather a nice change of pace. It is the perfect solution for an evening's reading. Thanks to Net Galley for an ARC for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    James Hatz

    My recommendation would be to pass on this book. There is just so much I disliked about this book - from the main character who acts more like a rookie cop with brain damage - to the authors uneven use of characters names this book just isn't something I enjoyed reading. I only give it two stars instead of one because the author at least kept the book short and I believe it was free. So in this case I got exactly what I paid for.. not much of a thrill. My recommendation would be to pass on this book. There is just so much I disliked about this book - from the main character who acts more like a rookie cop with brain damage - to the authors uneven use of characters names this book just isn't something I enjoyed reading. I only give it two stars instead of one because the author at least kept the book short and I believe it was free. So in this case I got exactly what I paid for.. not much of a thrill.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine R. Horton

    Meh. Not riveting. I downloaded three books in this series, sure hope they are progressively better. For those who care about such, there's a fair amount of profanity but no real sex to deal with. It's an ok police procedural, but the characters are two dimensional and I really didn't care what happened to any of them. The only memorable tidbit was a description of the lead character's favorite lounge pants with "Santa hat wearing dogs all over them". Meh. Not riveting. I downloaded three books in this series, sure hope they are progressively better. For those who care about such, there's a fair amount of profanity but no real sex to deal with. It's an ok police procedural, but the characters are two dimensional and I really didn't care what happened to any of them. The only memorable tidbit was a description of the lead character's favorite lounge pants with "Santa hat wearing dogs all over them".

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    "Ding dong - a very competent thriller" I thoroughly enjoyed this ripping yarn. Fast paced action, crackling dialogue and its pages packed with tension. Early on there were a few sloppy typos which made me wonder, but from then on it was uphill all the way. Yes, Kyle Simmons and his future stories are in safe hands with E.G.Michaels. "Ding dong - a very competent thriller" I thoroughly enjoyed this ripping yarn. Fast paced action, crackling dialogue and its pages packed with tension. Early on there were a few sloppy typos which made me wonder, but from then on it was uphill all the way. Yes, Kyle Simmons and his future stories are in safe hands with E.G.Michaels.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    We knew the culprits too soon. The author tried too hard to use terminology that really doesn't sound like the characters would use...does anyone really picture young, urban African American kids calling guns "heaters"? We knew the culprits too soon. The author tried too hard to use terminology that really doesn't sound like the characters would use...does anyone really picture young, urban African American kids calling guns "heaters"?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ruthann Kyle

    The Clock Strikes the story ended before I thought it would. I thought that shadow would claim that he didn't kill Brianna. I thought Bobby Allen was the one who did the drive by. The Clock Strikes the story ended before I thought it would. I thought that shadow would claim that he didn't kill Brianna. I thought Bobby Allen was the one who did the drive by.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Garza

    Very good detective story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stan

    Decent 1st book for a series. Enjoy it and will probably read more. Recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jan Mcclung-short

    This is a great short story....just really got into it when it ended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Char

    short good read Really enjoyed the book. The story was interesting and the characters were easy to follow. I'm looking forward to the next book. short good read Really enjoyed the book. The story was interesting and the characters were easy to follow. I'm looking forward to the next book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Silver Screen Videos

    About halfway through his detective novella, Before the Clock Strikes, author E.G. Michaels apparently remembers every cop TV show cliche he's ever seen his entire life and feels he has to include them in the story before it ends. As a result, what had been a decent procedural story goes off the rails a time or two and becomes unintentionally funny in spots. The hero of Before the Clock Strikes is Detective Kyle Simmons, a Philadelphia police detective whose personal life is a mess but who is a w About halfway through his detective novella, Before the Clock Strikes, author E.G. Michaels apparently remembers every cop TV show cliche he's ever seen his entire life and feels he has to include them in the story before it ends. As a result, what had been a decent procedural story goes off the rails a time or two and becomes unintentionally funny in spots. The hero of Before the Clock Strikes is Detective Kyle Simmons, a Philadelphia police detective whose personal life is a mess but who is a whiz, albeit an unconventionally hardnosed one, on the job. He gets called in on a drive-by shooting of a teenaged girl, killed in the living room of a friend during a sleepover. Figuring out whodunit isn’t all that difficult here; a witness saw the shooter’s car drive away, and a prime suspect quickly emerges, a local gang banger who had gotten in a bad argument with one of the house’s other residents. But figuring out who the killer might be and getting the proof are two different things. As a police procedural in the vein of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct stories, Before the Clock Strikes is decent, although the action eventually becomes highly implausible, with two major shootouts and a hostage standoff occurring along the way. In addition, Michaels weaves in a second case as well, that of one of Simmons’ former informants who also gets gunned down. Michaels keeps moving his point of view around in the book, shifting from Simmons to a couple of the bad guys, and, needless to say, in a 120-page book that busy, the actual police work gives way to some lucky coincidences of the same sort that allow TV cops to solve cases in 60 minutes every week. But as long as Michaels concentrates on his story (including a lot of rather colorful and R-rated street talk dialogue), the story is fairly entertaining. But then the author loses focus. In fact, it’s fairly easy to pinpoint where the story turns, about 40% into the book when Simmons’ partner, the type of easy-going sidekick that’s a mainstay of this sort of fiction, gets called away because his mother-in-law died. That gives Simmons an opportunity to crack a couple of poor taste jokes while his partner bizarrely nods along as if it’s a minor inconvenience. It also allows the author to saddle him with another dreaded TV cop staple, the book-smart, street-ignorant rookie, in this case his captain’s very attractive niece. It’s amazing she is able to fit into the police car with all the stereotyped clichés she’s carrying around. From this point on, the story founders a good bit, so much so that a third act plot twist doesn’t register (and doesn’t make sense based on what the characters did earlier in the story). Before the Clock Strikes is Michaels’ first book in a series featuring Kyle Simmons. I haven’t read any of the others, which appear to be longer, so I’m willing to cut the author a bit of slack here (especially since he offers the book for free). He’s got a decent eye for plotting and street dialogue, and his stories will probably play better at a longer length. The extreme overreliance on cliché, coincidence, and over-the-top set pieces is annoying, making the book somewhat silly on occasion. Still, fans of the genre should find this a quick evening’s free read that will pass the time. There’s definitely room for improvement for Michaels as a writer and the development of his characters, but the clock hasn’t quite struck yet for Before the Clock Strikes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori Minasyan

    Super I enjoyed the fast passed thriller with "not your ordinary" detective leading me on a case. The simple shooting at the beginning wove into an intricate mess similar to the classic "Two Strangers on a Train". This was a complex trip that felt easy and made you want to continue to see what the detective would do next. Great prose with a new twist on an old story, will read more of this series. Super I enjoyed the fast passed thriller with "not your ordinary" detective leading me on a case. The simple shooting at the beginning wove into an intricate mess similar to the classic "Two Strangers on a Train". This was a complex trip that felt easy and made you want to continue to see what the detective would do next. Great prose with a new twist on an old story, will read more of this series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I like the main character and it was well written, but not unique and too short to allow any character development. I would read another in this series, hoping for a little more since this story (too short to really call it a book) showed a lot of potential. Being from the Philadelphia area, I would like to see more of the setting worked into the story as well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James f. white, jr.

    It you enjoy reading great police procedurals then you will wa, to read this book‘cause it is awesome I thoroughly enjoyed reading Before the Clock Strikes and highly recommend it to anyone who loves reading great police procedurals. It’s chock full of edge of your seat action with great characters. It’s definitely one of the best action thrillers I’ve read in a long time

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Mary Curd

    Jumped about rather, very simplistic, no intrigue

  20. 5 out of 5

    Reba

    Good pace and characters A really good book. This is my first by this author, and I look forward to reading more of his work. I liked the characters and the pace of this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Singletary

    10/2020/405 1st Kindle Read I thought this was a very good short story. I really enjoyed it and will read the rest in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pat Guzowski

    Lack of proofreading drove me crazy! First book I’ve read by this author and won’t be reading another. It was very predictable. Actually, kind of a waste of time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    T.A. Sullivan

    If it weren’t for the unnecessary, and poorly done, prologue, I would give this book five stars. However, the prologue detracts from the excellently written and plotted story. To me, it feels as if the prologue were thrown together in an effort to start the story with a bang (pun intended), but nearly caused me to abandon the book before giving it a chance. In the prologue we are introduced to a poorly developed character, Brianna. This is supposed to be a 13-year old girl, but comes across as a If it weren’t for the unnecessary, and poorly done, prologue, I would give this book five stars. However, the prologue detracts from the excellently written and plotted story. To me, it feels as if the prologue were thrown together in an effort to start the story with a bang (pun intended), but nearly caused me to abandon the book before giving it a chance. In the prologue we are introduced to a poorly developed character, Brianna. This is supposed to be a 13-year old girl, but comes across as a 20-something young man. We are also introduced to the killer, but, again, I find this unnecessary. The sympathy the author attempts to illicit by introducing us to, and then showing us her murder, doesn’t come across. I feel more sympathy and sorrow for the victim when I view the scene through Detective Simmons’ eyes. Once the story moved to Detective Simmons, it took off. In fact, I think Detective Simmons could soon give Sara Paretsky’s character, VI Warshawski, a run for her money. Detective Kyle Simmons was well-developed all the way from his non-conformist attitude to his ability to see beyond the obvious. The story was good, if a bit sanitized (I expected a bit more grit considering it dealt with city gangs), but overall the pacing and writing were very good…good enough, that I would consider purchasing the second book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pop

    This was one of those free Kindle books want to be author's pass out with the hope you will buy their future books. I wasn't impressed and won't waste my time with following this author. It was short, a little over 100 pages, that's the best I can say for the book. The biggest flaw I want to point out about the story is the author's choice of weapons for his two criminals, namely a .44 Automag. The .44 Automag was designed in 1969-1971 by the Auto Mag Corporation. It enjoyed limited success. The This was one of those free Kindle books want to be author's pass out with the hope you will buy their future books. I wasn't impressed and won't waste my time with following this author. It was short, a little over 100 pages, that's the best I can say for the book. The biggest flaw I want to point out about the story is the author's choice of weapons for his two criminals, namely a .44 Automag. The .44 Automag was designed in 1969-1971 by the Auto Mag Corporation. It enjoyed limited success. There were only about 9,000 of these pistols manufactured. If you could find one today it would cost upwards from $3,500. Ammo would be another problem, it just isn't something you could find at your local Wal-Mart and if you could find it it would be very expensive. Last ammo I saw for the 44 Automag was upwards from $200 for a box of 50, and that wasn't recently. I seriously doubt a teenage gang banger had this pistol. I have the same doubt about a fully automatic 9mm Uzi. Maybe a Smith & Wesson 44 revolver and a 22LR Uzi clone. But I even doubt that. I don't like to rate any book below 3* but this was just awful. The author needs to go back to work, do some research before he puts the pen to the paper. Michael Conley or Robert Crais he's not. Free is free but not always good!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Dickenson

    A great read for those that loves mysteries with twists and turns that keep you guessing. Kyle Simmons is a detective who hunts down leads, rushes pass the paperwork, and seems to always be on the run after suspects. I found this book fun because it was a well written story with just enough detail and background to make me feel I could visualize the scenes and the action as well as the characters. It didn't bog you down with descriptions and waiting for more action to start. By the way you will f A great read for those that loves mysteries with twists and turns that keep you guessing. Kyle Simmons is a detective who hunts down leads, rushes pass the paperwork, and seems to always be on the run after suspects. I found this book fun because it was a well written story with just enough detail and background to make me feel I could visualize the scenes and the action as well as the characters. It didn't bog you down with descriptions and waiting for more action to start. By the way you will find the end very truthful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    While this novel/mystery read very quickly, I did have a problem with it. Quite often the transition from a character in one location to a character in another location simply did not exist. In a sentence the detectives would be having a conversation in the police station, and in the next sentence a gang member in a different location would be talking. This might be great for a screen play, but confusing for a novel. Story line was good. Just needed a lot better editing. i won't be reading any m While this novel/mystery read very quickly, I did have a problem with it. Quite often the transition from a character in one location to a character in another location simply did not exist. In a sentence the detectives would be having a conversation in the police station, and in the next sentence a gang member in a different location would be talking. This might be great for a screen play, but confusing for a novel. Story line was good. Just needed a lot better editing. i won't be reading any more books in the series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Before The Clock Strikes (Kyle Simmons Thriller, #1) E.G Michaels A fast paced murder/mystery with likable characters. Although this is a novella a lot happens in this story. I recommend Before The Clock Strikes to those who like murder/mystery. I look forward to more from E.G. Michaels. Before The Clock Strikes (Kyle Simmons Thriller, #1) E.G Michaels A fast paced murder/mystery with likable characters. Although this is a novella a lot happens in this story. I recommend Before The Clock Strikes to those who like murder/mystery. I look forward to more from E.G. Michaels.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    An intriguing tale where dedicated policemen and detectives seek out the persons responsible for two murders. They find that there are some clues that indicate that these murders are not entirely separate. The coldblooded murderers are still on the loose and it looked like they were planning even more bloodshed. With insight and determination Kyle and his partner Russo, work together to root them out. A quick reading story that police story lovers well enjoy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Jared

    Rogue cop still gets the job done. While this was a good whodunit it was a little predictable. I enjoyed that Russo leaves to be supportive of his wife and is replaced by a woman detective. That's where things got predictable. We all knew the newbie would bite it in the first shootout Simmons got into and sure enough, she did. But the bad guys get theirs in the end and we're left hanging on the newbie. Rogue cop still gets the job done. While this was a good whodunit it was a little predictable. I enjoyed that Russo leaves to be supportive of his wife and is replaced by a woman detective. That's where things got predictable. We all knew the newbie would bite it in the first shootout Simmons got into and sure enough, she did. But the bad guys get theirs in the end and we're left hanging on the newbie.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Thrillv/Philly I love reading books about places I know. Philadelphia is one such place. Street names conjure up visions and add to the reality of the narrative. The plot was logical...no fake twists and turns. If I had one wish, it would have been that the book had been a bit less bloody and a bit more psychological, and perhaps that the cast of characters had included at least one young Black teen among the good guys.

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