Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Justin Gates Chronicles Gets Good Reviews

Read any good books lately?  Well, if you are looking for the next great novel, some people highly recommend my new book, The Justin Gates Chronicles - California Nightmare.  I introduced it a couple of months ago right here in the blog and since then several of you have purchased either the paperback or Kindle versions and have provided feedback in the form of reviews

Below is a summary of some of the reviews which I am proud to share, including those left on Amazon.com and some excerpts from an independent editorial analysis provided by Kirkus Indie Reviews, a respected professional reviewing organization serving the publishing and film industries.

"An entertaining, rough-and-tumble whodunit with a mix of smiles and grimaces. This novel is raunchy and hilarious but also full of pathos – a complex romp through the lives of a handful of suspects…a substantial view into the horrific.  The dialogue is eminently believable...piercingly accurate and often laugh-out-loud funny."
                                                                            Kirkus Indie Review
From Amazon.com reviews posted by readers:
“This book offers up the best 'coming of age' story I have experienced since "The Body" by Steven King. The author truly immerses his readers in the insecurities, the experiments, the competition and the hilarious situations that come with puberty and growing up. I laughed out loud at some of the situations. Justin Gates drew me in. I wanted, at times, for the outcome of some of his experiences to end differently but was eventually so satisfied at the end. I became invested in these characters. At the same time, the author draws a vivid picture of the antithesis of freedom, the horror that lurks in the dark recesses of the mind of a serial killer. At times, this novel is raw and exposes the worst of all mankind. The mystery unfolds through genius characters. I am amazed that this novel is based on true events. It kept me reading through the night. Then I read it again.
“Jud Smith is a great storyteller. Sometimes I laughed out loud. Sometimes I nodded in pleasant nostalgia as old memories of hot rod cars, pretty girls, and small towns came floating back. This is a genuinely entertaining story that left me smiling with satisfaction at a tale well told.
“This book will keep you guessing till the end! The main character is funny, and will keep you engaged throughout the book. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot, and hopefully you will too!
“California Nightmare twists and turns between two main plot lines that eventually meet at the end of the novel. This interplay results in an effective telling of the tale that keeps the reader turning page after page. The voice of the protagonist, Justin Gates, is decidedly honest to his adolescent sensibilities. Whether it be his friend's adventures with white athletic socks or his own wandering desires, Justin doesn't hold back his aspirations and the reader is subsequently brought into his world.
Those sensibilities - and the vivid scenes of serial murder - are not for everyone. The treatment of the antagonist's plight, however, gives a sense of explanation to the violence perpetrated and it forces the reader to consider answers to the question of why humans commit atrocities and treat one another with brutality.
California Nightmare is well written and easy to read. I say "well done" by first-time author Jud Smith; I look forward to other tales forthcoming from Justin Gates.
I hope all my followers will pick up a copy, available both in paperback and digital formats for your Kindle or other tablet device.  You can find it at:
And, if you like it, please leave a review and recommend it to a friend.  Enjoy.
Jud Smith



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