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Readers' Comments for Rage Against the Dying

In February 2013, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Suspense/Thriller Contests won copies of RAGE AGAINST THE DYINGBecky Masterson's debut novel. It’s about Brigid Quinn, who retired early from the FBI, and wants nothing more than a quiet life with her new husband and their dogs in Tucson, Arizona. However, when Floyd Lynch confesses to the worst of her unsolved crimes and the new FBI agent on the case thinks the confession is fake, Brigid is pulled back into the world she thought she left behind. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this heart-pounding thriller --- and make sure to watch out for SPOILERS!

Valerie L.
When starting to read RAGE AGAINST THE DYING, it quickly became apparent that I was going to be awake for quite a while that night caught up in the story. The book started out by giving the reader chills with its descriptions. I enjoyed that the main character, Brigid, was middle aged, 59 --- reassuring readers that this age can still be a character that is interesting in a book. I can say she was realistic despite some of the different choices she made that aren't of the usual choices in life. I loved her toughness, but didn't like her secrets. Also, I liked that Brigid had a soft side, displayed with her caring about former FBI intern Jessica. Details were, as I said, chilling. All in all, I liked the book and would read more by Masterman in the future.

Susan J.
If you enjoy reading suspense/thrillers then RAGE AGAINST THE DYING by Becky Masterman is a very good read. It's nice to read a book with a 59-year-old retired female FBI agent who's married to an ex-priest. This book is a real page-turner and keeps you wondering what’s next. People of all ages who like thrillers will enjoy this book. I give this book four out of five stars.
I just finished reading RAGE AGAINST THE DYING and it was very good. I felt as though it constantly kept me on my toes. The main character, Brigid, was a tough lady. I was shocked at the events that happened in the book. I was also surprised at who the killer was. I look forward to more books from Becky Masterman.

Brigid Quinn is a scary woman and she knows it. She’s an ex-federal agent who lived for her job. She knows the horrors that people have committed, and also knows that to move among those who aren’t monsters requires a chameleon skin. RAGE AGAINST THE DYING serves up a fast-paced crime story along with a full portrait of a woman who has been so badly damaged that she is repulsed by her own thoughts.

There were elements to this story that were original and thought-provoking and there were elements to this story that were tried-and-true and allowed the reader to settle in for what I knew would be one of the best thrillers I had read in a while. I loved getting the back-story fed to me as it was needed; this allowed the tension to build. I found the idea of the predators meeting in chat rooms and joining forces new and very scary, but also too believable for this naïve world.

When I closed the book and thought back to my favorite parts, one stands out: It is when Carlo takes Brigid/Daphne for the ride and is downright pissed that she thought he was "some kind of pansy-assed cleric with Communion wine where his spinal fluid should be." What a man! What a relationship to fight for and what a relationship to build on as an author and a reader. I look forward to more. This is definitely an author I will look forward to more titles from.

I really enjoyed RAGE AGAINST THE DYING. I was immediately at ease with the voice of Brigid Quinn. I kept wondering why, but then realized that the voice reminded me of Kinsey Millhone [from the Sue Grafton mystery series]. It was also nice to have a woman of a certain age as the main character, and one that was still feisty and in good physical shape. I'm surprised, though, that she could have a seemingly normal life considering all the lies she's told. I would like to hear more from the author and even Brigid herself.

Carol C.
This was a very enjoyable mystery. To give you an idea how much I liked it, I got back up out of bed last night and went in the living room to finish it --- at two o’clock in the morning! This was a GREAT thriller. I love mysteries and read a lot of them. Becky Masterman's writing is right up there with Coben, Connelly, etc. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and suspense books. It had a fascinating main character that was unusual from most protagonists. There were lots of twists and turns --- which I, along with any other mystery reader, LOVE! I'm definitely telling my friends about this one!!

I could not put this book down. Had to find out how clever Masterman's writing really is. She is very good at weaving characters and maintaining suspense. I really enjoyed RAGE AGAINST THE DYING and would strongly recommend it. A five-star book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a wonderful story with a middle-aged, strong female character that has a lot of depth. I also think that readers of Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series might enjoy this book.

The book is about Brigid Quinn, an ex-FBI agent whose emotional baggage has impacted the way she lives her life. While she is happy in her marriage, poor experiences in the past have kept her from telling her husband the truth about her past as an FBI agent. Of course, the past comes back to haunt her when one of her old cases becomes active again and the agent in charge contacts Brigid for help.

The character is very likeable and is easy to relate to on a personal level, if not on a professional level. She is human. She has a past. She makes mistakes --- in this book she makes a very bad choice that impacts her and her relationships throughout the story. She is a hero of sorts both in her past life and eventually in this story as well. She is strong --- when everything is going wrong around her, she keeps going.   

The author does a good job keeping the story moving. It does not contain too much blood and gore and is not too over the top. It is a good mystery --- at least I could not figure out who the killer was until the end. Although, once the killer is revealed you can clearly see the little clues Masterman gave along the way. I found myself picking up the book to continue reading the story whenever I had a free minute because I wanted to find out what happened next. It was a good read.

As an avid mystery reader, I was excited to have an opportunity to try out a new author. The story line focuses on an ex FBI agent who gets pulled back into one of her old cases as more victims of a serial killer are found --- a case the agent spent years trying to solve. The story has good character development and is suspenseful, but not too intense. What I found I most liked was the author's ability to show the vulnerable side of the main character --- how years of working with murder victims and trying to catch the bad guy affected the agent's life, her relationships, her peace of mind. Brigid was flawed in a real way --- not just a book character way (which is a trap I feel some authors fall into when they quickly churn out book after book).

Another aspect I thought the author accurately wove into the story line was Brigid's insecurity about being her true self --- afraid her current husband wouldn't accept her, and comparing herself to the first wife who, real or not, Brigid thought was perfect in ways she was not. 

I can see many of my fellow mystery friends enjoying this read and will recommend they add it to the long list of "to be read" books.

Once I started reading I could not stop. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but after that I could not put it down. I always love a good suspense novel, and this was no exception. I was eager to find out who the serial killer actually was. At the same time, I was just as eager to find out what would happen to Brigid's personal life. Would she be able to reveal her true self to her husband and be able to remain in a relationship? The ending was very satisfying and felt realistic at the same time.

I would recommend this story to anyone who likes a good suspense novel. Brigid is a retired FBI agent, who has not really been able to let go of her last case. She now has the chance to redeem herself, and catch the serial killer who had been eluding her. It is a fast-paced novel with twists and turns and a satisfying ending.

Although it is unusual that the main character in a detective/suspense novel is an older woman, I think this point is emphasized too much. To me it does not really matter what her age is. Her emotions and relationships are easy to relate to no matter what your and her age is.

Karen C.
Becky Masterson is a new author for me and I truly enjoyed reading this thriller. The story twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the very end. Her character was amazing and I liked that she was older and experienced and persevered until the end to solve such a complicated case. A great read and I give it five stars.

This is Becky Masterman's first novel and I will be watching for another one. It's nice to read about a strong (mature) woman for a change who can really take care of herself. I don't want to give away anything about this book. You have to read it! A friend of mine likes mysteries a lot so I am going to recommend this one to her. Plus, I think my husband will like this one, too. It's a good thriller and that's what he likes to read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this new author. I'd recommend RAGE AGAINST THE DYING to any of my friends who enjoy thrillers. Masterman reminds me a bit of Iris Johannsen --- a bit complex to follow if you’re reading yourself to sleep (not recommended for this somewhat gory tale!), but a thoroughly entertaining read for daytime hours! It was difficult to theorize who the killer was with so many red herrings thrown in, so that made it an enjoyable story all the way through to the mostly-happy ending.

RAGE AGAINST THE DYING builds up excitement in the prologue, and then settles in to tell the story that led up to the prologue. You know right from the beginning that the tale is eventually going to lead back to the anticipation the author created in the first few pages.

This is Becky Masterman’s first novel, but she has a writing style that makes it easy for you to use your imagination and form pictures in your mind --- “The house came with a set of Pugs, which are sort of a cross between Peter Lorre and a bratwurst.” How great is that?

There was so much about this book that I enjoyed. I love whodunits that keep me guessing who did the dirty deed, and RAGE AGAINST THE DYING fits the bill. Hints that I was sure were clues as to the serial killer’s identity turned out not to be, and details that seemed insignificant turned out to be important clues. I especially was pleased that the lead character, a retired FBI agent specializing in serial predators and murderers, is not only a woman, but, by hero standards, is an “old” woman at the ripe age of 59, close to my own. I enjoyed the love story sub-plot, but also appreciated that it definitely took a secondary role to the excitement of the chase for the murderer. And I welcomed the fact that Masterman, with a background in medical textbooks for forensic examiners and law enforcement, wrote about things she knows. Her expertise gives credibility to the plotline. There’s a big debate currently among bestselling authors as to whether you should write about what you know or what you want to know. I much prefer authors who know what they’re writing about, and that includes Masterman.

Readers who follow Jeffrey Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series or Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series will enjoy this book especially, but so will anyone who is into thrillers and crime mysteries. I would emphasize that this is Masterman’s first novel. While she’s not as polished as Deaver or Cornwell, she’s likely to become so if she keeps writing as well as she wrote RAGE AGAINST THE DYING.

This book was the definition of a page-turner --- twists, turns, whodunit and an unlikely heroine. It was wonderful to not have the blond, beautiful, tall, 20-year-old be the main character. Brigid was a flawed, tough and real character. I would share the book with all of my family and friends who are fans of thrillers and suspense. 

The first thing that stood out from this gripping tale was that it grabbed me right from the beginning. I fell right into the book and the action didn't stop --- I didn't want to put it down. Rarely do I read a thriller that has me wondering until the end who did it. So kudos to the author for her clever writing! It was awesome to read a thriller with a strong female character; Brigid Quinn is one tough cookie!! I am looking forward to reading more about her! Can't wait for the next book!!

I really got drawn into the characters and the action of the situation. Not only was the mystery compelling, but I genuinely liked the characters. The heroine was believable, and I could see myself making the same decision she made in similar circumstances. The book contained believable action. I found it to be fast-paced, and things flowed well. The hunt for the killer was well delivered and kept me turning pages well after I should have gone to sleep. If you like mysteries, you will enjoy RAGE AGAINST THE DYING immensely.

I enjoyed RAGE AGAINST THE DYING very much, and will pass it around among my friends. I am hoping to get it on the list for our monthly book club. We select a different genre every month so everyone gets her favorite type of book represented. I am more or less in charge of thrillers, and that is how I would describe this book.

I truly loved Brigid Quinn and felt I could identify with her, despite the fact that I was never an FBI agent! She seems like a real woman about my age, with a history I can understand. I hope this is the beginning of a series with this protagonist. I look forward to learning more about Brigid and her previous career, as well as her current status. Not to mention her husband and her co-workers. They were all very interesting characters worthy of in-depth development over a series.

I enjoyed the writing and the pace. Things kept moving right along and I didn’t feel like there was a lot of extraneous material --- just enough background to flesh out the characters. The plot was interesting without being overly complicated. My only criticism is that there weren’t any/enough clues to figure out who the villain was as I read along. I felt completely blindsided by who it was. Generally, I like the “aha” feeling when the bad guys are revealed, and you just knew it all along. This may be me, though, rather than the writing. I do A LOT of reading, and I watch a number of TV shows and movies in this genre, and sometimes miss clues in my effort to solve the mysteries. Perhaps a more careful reading on my part would have helped. I just careened on through it, enjoying every minute, so I absolutely am not complaining.

Julie B.
I haven't been able to put RAGE AGAINST THE DYING down since it arrived. It really sucks you into the main character’s world. This book envelopes you into the story line and you feel like a firsthand bystander watching all the action unfold --- I love it!

I had mixed feelings about this book. Part of me enjoyed it, but part of me found some things lacking. I would have liked the characters to be a little more rounded out, and I felt that it was too easily wrapped up and just a bit predictable. That being said, I DO feel that Becky Masterman has talent and I am looking forward to seeing how she progresses and reading her next effort.

I would give this book three stars out of five.

From the beginning, former FBI agent Brigid Quinn stretches the bounds of credibility, and I just hoped that the story would be worth the reading. It was…but just about!

There wasn't too much subtlety in the telling of the story. The story of the Route 66 killer is very intense, but the secondary story running throughout the novel is distracting. It was like reading two different stories at the same time and losing track of both.

The author went for special effects which might have worked in a film version. Apart from Coleman, the characters were not terribly well written.

There is a lot of personal information included and some is very helpful, but some of it is just fluff. I also would have left out Jane’s ghost. It made no sense in the story.

I would say that the author has a flair for fiction crime writing. She needs to give a little bit more reality to her scenes. Yes, I read it and finished it, but instead of my usual one or two week book it took me a month to finish.

Carol G.
This was one of those books that I both didn't care much for, but liked in some places.  Most of that is because I do not personally have a lot of empathy/patience/whatever you want to call it with those who are haunted by their backgrounds, or spend their lives 'seeking themselves' and a very large part of this involved that type of introspection by the protagonist. I do realize that there are those who are dealing with that, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy reading about it. The basic mystery of the story was well done, and that is the part I enjoyed.