Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri-Review & Giveaway: PUYB Tour

Ava “Spike” Harrison might be a beautiful, classically schooled woman, but the single, 38 year old construction business owner is also plenty ballsy. Her late father taught her long ago how to handle the rough boys in an industry that’s almost entirely filled with hard-boiled men on the make. But now, with “the business dad built” from the ground up failing due to an unusual series of job-site injuries and just plain bad luck, Spike has no choice but to take on one last project she believes can pull the fledgling commercial firm from the depths of almost certain bankruptcy and family shame: The Renovation of Albany PS 20.

Problem is, Spike had no choice but to take the job on the cheap or, what’s known in the industry as, “at cost.” To make matters worse, she’s not only hired an asbestos removal contractor who, unbeknownst to her, low-balled his price, but she’s advanced him $10Gs from her own dwindling cash account as a “good faith” incentive to beat the project deadline.

Now, when that same asbestos contractor goes missing and it’s discovered by OSHA officials that he’s cheated on the project exposing more than 300 students to deadly asbestos fibers for months, the ever responsible Spike takes matters into her own callused hands and goes in search of him. What she discovers along the way however, is a path paved with deception, greed, murder, and eventually, her own ultimate demise.

Enter and comment to win a digital copy of Concrete Pearl.  This giveaway ends Oct. 8th 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be randomly selected using


5 Stars

A thoroughly captivating thriller mystery, I was grabbed at the prologue and remained mesmerized by the unfolding story all the way to the harrowing climax.  Ava Harrison, already operating her inherited, sinking construction company on a shoestring, steps into a nightmare scenario when she arrives at her single construction site, on an otherwise rather normal Monday morning. Ava, also known as Spike in the industry and to her friends, quickly finds herself fighting an uphill battle for her beleaguered company and her rapidly disintegrating reputation – then things just keep on spiraling down the drain from there.  As ever, obstinate, Spike has no choice but to track down her missing sub-contractor by hook or crook, fair or foul.  She has been set-up to take the fall, unfortunately for her unknown opposition; Spike steadfastly refuses to go down without a fight.

Told in a straight-forward, shoot from the hip, no-nonsense, style from Spike’s point of view, the events in the story will likely strike a chord with most any reader. Safety concerns regarding asbestos and the serious health issues that can arise from improper removal techniques are frightening. This novel delves deeply into many of the associated issues surrounding the topic.  It uses that as the jumping off point for a suspense thriller that is set firmly in a competitive industry where cutting-corners and bribery can garner immense profit for an unscrupulous individual.  In short, this story kept me engrossed, wondering how Spike could ever extricate herself from the deep morass of trouble raining down upon her.  At the end, I hated that the story was over – the journey was just amazing, and the resolution so, so satisfying. This is definitely an author from whom I want to read more.

Reviewed by Laurie-J      


Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling author of the thrillers THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE REMAINS and CONCRETE PEARL. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, he has was a Stringer for The Albany Times Union Newspaper, and a contributor to New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine, and more. His short fiction has appeared in many of the leading journals and magazines, Orange County Magazine, Buffalo Spree, Negative Capability, The Maryland Review, Rosebud, The Best of Rosebud, Lost Creek Letters among them. His novels, stories, and journalism have been translated into many foreign languages including the Dutch, Japanese, French, Russian and Turkish. A freelance photo-journalist, foreign correspondent, and Blogger for RT, Globalspec and International Business Times, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.
For more on the author, go to


Thursday, September 29

Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 


melora said...

The story sounds very interesting. As in real life, its pretty rare to come across a female character who works in construction, much less owns her own business.

Karen C said...

Concrete Pearl sounds like it has lots to keep our interest; nice review.

Amanda W. said...

this sounds like a very enjoyable book! A woman doing something difficult in what is thought of as a man's business is always a good read!

Laurie said...

The winner of the giveaeay is Melora Brock. Congrats, Melora!

melora said...

Thank you! I look forward to reading it!