Dead Man's Bridge (Jake Cantrell Mystery #1)
Disgraced former army officer Jake Cantrell and his pal, Bug, a wolf-dog he saved while in Afghanistan and the only friend he has left, try to put their bitter pasts behind them as Jake finds employment at the bottom rung of the campus security ladder of a small upstate New York college. But things only turn for the worse when the college’s richest and most powerful alumnus is found hanging from a campus footbridge on the eve of homecoming weekend.Jake is convinced the man was murdered, but with no honor to his name, no one agrees―at least not until a second body is found hanging from the same bridge. Unable to push aside his military training, Jake and Bug finds themselves working to bring justice to the small college town. But as a vicious hurricane sweeps up the Eastern seaboard and the college’s homecoming weekend rapidly unfolds, the clock is ticking and it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again.From award-winning author Robert Mrazek, comes Dead Man’s Bridge, the first in a new heart-pounding mystery series sure to keep readers hooked until the very last page.

Dead Man's Bridge (Jake Cantrell Mystery #1) Details

TitleDead Man's Bridge (Jake Cantrell Mystery #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 8th, 2017
PublisherCrooked Lane Books
ISBN-139781683312697
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Adult Fiction, Suspense

Dead Man's Bridge (Jake Cantrell Mystery #1) Review

  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    If there's a dog as a “character” in a mystery, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to read it. In this case, the dog is Bug, an 18 year old wolf dog rescued in Afghanistan by Jake Cantrell. Jake has since been dishonorably discharged and is back in the States working as a security guard for his alma mater. Jake has a problem with alcohol, using it to escape the guilt he feels. It's not believable that despite being what appears to be an alcoholic, he's able to go cold turkey without any re If there's a dog as a “character” in a mystery, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to read it. In this case, the dog is Bug, an 18 year old wolf dog rescued in Afghanistan by Jake Cantrell. Jake has since been dishonorably discharged and is back in the States working as a security guard for his alma mater. Jake has a problem with alcohol, using it to escape the guilt he feels. It's not believable that despite being what appears to be an alcoholic, he's able to go cold turkey without any repercussions. Bug doesn't figure into the book as much as I would have hoped. This is a fast paced, straightforward mystery. I can't say that the ending is at all believable but it was a fun read. This is supposedly the start of a series and I would read the next book. My thanks to netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy of this book.
    more
  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Jake Cantrell was wrongly court-martialed from the army. His only companion is a wolf-dog named Bug that he found in Afghanistan. But now Bug is eighteen and suffering from cancer. Jake is working as a security guard at the upper New York college where he graduated and was a football star. His roommate Jordan Langford is now the college president. Jake is drinking too much and just sort of drifting. He is constantly at odds with the spit and polish Captain of Security.The story begins with Jake Jake Cantrell was wrongly court-martialed from the army. His only companion is a wolf-dog named Bug that he found in Afghanistan. But now Bug is eighteen and suffering from cancer. Jake is working as a security guard at the upper New York college where he graduated and was a football star. His roommate Jordan Langford is now the college president. Jake is drinking too much and just sort of drifting. He is constantly at odds with the spit and polish Captain of Security.The story begins with Jake being called out to a suspicious death. An alumnus is found hanging from a walking bridge over a gorge separating the college buildings from a residential area. Jake suspects murder but the Captain and the local police are quick to write it off as a suicide. Jake learns that the man was a very successful alumnus who had just gifted the college with $50 million when he is called in to talk to his friend Jordan. Jordan has another problem: he is being blackmailed for $5 million. He either pays up or his sexual peculiarities will be exposed which will ruin his reputation. Jake agrees to investigate. He believes that the two things, the blackmail and the murder, are connected. He has about 24 hours to investigate which would be too short a time even without the fact that a hurricane is causing havoc with the weather too.When the first murder victim's best friend is also found hanging on the same bridge, the tension escalates. And when the third best friend goes missing from his hospital room, the tension escalates further. Jake's investigations lead him to blackmailers, shady investigators, even shadier lawyers and a revenge plot. This was a fast paced thriller with an engaging main character. I look forward to more mysteries starring Jake Cantrell.
    more
  • Sean Peters
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers and the author for an ARC copy for an honest review.Disgraced former army officer Jake Cantrell and his pal, Bug, a wolf-dog he saved while in Afghanistan and the only friend he has left, try to put their bitter pasts behind them as Jake finds employment at the bottom rung of the campus security ladder of a small upstate New York college. But things only turn for the worse when the college’s richest and most powerful alumnus is found hanging from a campus Thank you to Net Galley, the publishers and the author for an ARC copy for an honest review.Disgraced former army officer Jake Cantrell and his pal, Bug, a wolf-dog he saved while in Afghanistan and the only friend he has left, try to put their bitter pasts behind them as Jake finds employment at the bottom rung of the campus security ladder of a small upstate New York college. But things only turn for the worse when the college’s richest and most powerful alumnus is found hanging from a campus footbridge on the eve of homecoming weekend.Jake is convinced the man was murdered, but with no honour to his name, no one agrees―at least not until a second body is found hanging from the same bridge. Unable to push aside his military training, Jake and Bug finds themselves working to bring justice to the small college town. But as a vicious hurricane sweeps up the Eastern seaboard and the college’s homecoming weekend rapidly unfolds, the clock is ticking and it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again.My thoughts on the book my first read by this author.Some good points, some not so good points but overall a reasonable thriller.I am not keen on the "always" mentioned drinking problem.An okay book, with an interesting story, easy to follow, not too many twists.Not sure if I liked the main character or not, bit rough around the edges, not too believable.The author uses his imagination with his main character a little too much, seems to survive everything.But I still enjoyed the book and read through very quickly.A three star book for me.
    more
  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"3.5 starsI requested this book because of its hero, Jake Cantrell, a former Army officer suffering from sense of guilt and PTSD, who owns a frail and very ill old dog, Bug. My interest in the thriller was subsidiary. First off, I liked the author’s detached tone writing his hero, creating a certain contained intensity. In the initial scene the reader is shown, in this dispassionate tone, the opposite of detachement, the touching kind "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"3.5 starsI requested this book because of its hero, Jake Cantrell, a former Army officer suffering from sense of guilt and PTSD, who owns a frail and very ill old dog, Bug. My interest in the thriller was subsidiary. First off, I liked the author’s detached tone writing his hero, creating a certain contained intensity. In the initial scene the reader is shown, in this dispassionate tone, the opposite of detachement, the touching kindness of a man plagued by nightmares and guilt taking care of his cancerous dog. Behind Jake Cantrell’s apparent aloofness there’s a world of unsaid compassion and caring; when the author describes Jake preparing meals for his sick dog and the animal frail condition we’re being shown the hero’s kindness (and, in a way, his solitude too). I also liked how the author wrote the secondary characters, giving them depth too.While I loved the hero, I missed a romantic plot (there’re some hints) and seeing how the hero would be as a lover, because he was a fascinating man with all that low-profile and self-deprecating attitude. And when other characters were speaking about him he became even more appealing (the fabulous football player, the intimidating man with a “strong aura”); even his detractors contribute to make him more attractive. So, I hope we’ll have that dimension in future stories.I'm grateful to the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for providing a free copy.
    more
  • Thomas Bruso
    January 1, 1970
    Robert J. Mrazek’s first in a new mystery series, “Dead Man’s Bridge,” sets up a captivating narrative.Former army officer Jake Cantrell, now a campus security officer, is phoned in the middle of the night about an emergency near the footbridge at St. Andrews College. The body of a man is hanging from the railing above the cascading chasm.Upon his first impression, Officer Cantrell suspects suicide. Later, when the college’s richest, most powerful alumnus is found hanging at the same footbridge Robert J. Mrazek’s first in a new mystery series, “Dead Man’s Bridge,” sets up a captivating narrative.Former army officer Jake Cantrell, now a campus security officer, is phoned in the middle of the night about an emergency near the footbridge at St. Andrews College. The body of a man is hanging from the railing above the cascading chasm.Upon his first impression, Officer Cantrell suspects suicide. Later, when the college’s richest, most powerful alumnus is found hanging at the same footbridge during homecoming weekend, the investigation takes a precarious turn.A killer is on the loose, targeting members of St. Andrews College. But why? What is the significance?During his inquiries, Cantrell intimidates the victim’s family, asking questions when he shouldn’t and stepping over boundaries. Lieutenant Ritterspaugh suspends Cantrell during the investigation for obstructing protocol.When a fierce hurricane blows into town, fallen trees and electrical telephone poles block roadways and destroy evidence, obliterating everything in sight and impeding the investigation.All of the characters are fleshed out and interesting. The fast-pace plot will surely attract readers and keep them engrossed until the final pages. Highly recommended for mystery fans.
    more
  • Susan Krich
    January 1, 1970
    This is a Goodreads book.This is the first in a series of books featuring Jake Cantrell. There is plenty of action, maybe more than 1 mystery and a surprise ending. I liked the interaction between Jake and Bug.I just wish mystery or crime writers did not find it necessary to in a sense glorify alcoholism e.g. saying it was needed to make the hero think.I look forward to the next in the series.
    more
  • Didi
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsRobert J. Mrazek is a new author to me and Dead Man's Bridge is a debut novel to a new cozy mysteries series. So I was quite excited at the chance of reading it. the book proves to be an compelling introduction to Mrazek's writing; it was hilarious, thought provoking, yet touching. The story was told in first person from Jake Cantrell's POV. A former college football star and Army Ranger who took the fall for mission going awry, he now worked as campus police officer at his former campu 3.5 starsRobert J. Mrazek is a new author to me and Dead Man's Bridge is a debut novel to a new cozy mysteries series. So I was quite excited at the chance of reading it. the book proves to be an compelling introduction to Mrazek's writing; it was hilarious, thought provoking, yet touching. The story was told in first person from Jake Cantrell's POV. A former college football star and Army Ranger who took the fall for mission going awry, he now worked as campus police officer at his former campus. To say he's a man down on his luck was an understatement. The love of his live had deserted him to marry his best friend, his dog was on borrowed time with his doggy life, he didn't like his job, his superior and the local sheriff disliked him; he basically lived on alcohol to numb his feelings. But everything turned into disorder when the campus president being blackmailed and body counts start to rise on the campus homecoming weekend. As the start to "Jake Cantrell's Mystery", this book gave a glimpse of Jake's background and the man's character. I liked his insouciant personality and loyalty to those he considers friends. The stance and expression he employed often had me hovering between mirth and exasperation. Mrazek truly gave life to his book with this character.As for the mystery-solving, it's as good as can be expected from one with less than ideal authority and resources. While I wasn't too happy with the conclusion, it wasn't too out of left field either. Perhaps, considering the ending, some of this case's going to find a way to the next book. At least, if nothing else, I hope it cured Jake of his long infatuation. On another note, I didn't totally buy the superior's sudden change of heart other than it being convenient for Jake's benefit. That saying, overall I'm quite chuffed and entertained with Dead Man's Bridge and look forward to more of Jake Cantrell's adventures. Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of Glen Erik Hamilton's Van Shaw mysteries may want to pick up Robert J. Mrazek's Dead Man's Bridge. The protagonist is an Army veteran, courtmartialed after his tour in Afghanistan. But, Jake Cantrell is in the tradition of Robert B. Parker's tough, ex-veterans with a heart of gold. And, the book is a fast-paced, riveting story.After his court martial, Jake returns to upstate New York where he went to college. He brings with him Bug, half-wolf, half-dog, a female he's still tending to afte Fans of Glen Erik Hamilton's Van Shaw mysteries may want to pick up Robert J. Mrazek's Dead Man's Bridge. The protagonist is an Army veteran, courtmartialed after his tour in Afghanistan. But, Jake Cantrell is in the tradition of Robert B. Parker's tough, ex-veterans with a heart of gold. And, the book is a fast-paced, riveting story.After his court martial, Jake returns to upstate New York where he went to college. He brings with him Bug, half-wolf, half-dog, a female he's still tending to after bringing her home. The only job he can get, thanks to a friend, is working campus security at St. Andrews College. His boss hates him; he drinks too much, and spends too much time at a local bar. But, even in his state, he knows the man found hanging from a footbridge on the campus did not kill himself. However, it's alumni weekend, and everyone else, from his boss to the local sheriff wants to call it suicide. When Jake tells the man's widow that he was murdered, he's suspended.A suspension gives Jake time to look into a case of blackmail, but his suspension doesn't last long. When the dead man's best friend is found hanging from the same bridge, security needs his knowledge and skills. Teaming up with a local reporter, Jake realizes the story of the murders may link to the past. Now, Jake Cantrell has to deal with a killer, a blackmailer, and handle both cases with a Sunday deadline. But, the hurricane bearing down on the campus doesn't care about deadlines.Jake Cantrell is a flawed hero, but, as said before, a man with a heart of gold. This riveting story kicks off a new series. Fast-paced, exciting, and with a terrific hero. What more do you want?
    more
  • BookPolar
    January 1, 1970
    The story follows ex army Jake as he starts working as campus security. When someone is found hanged on campus know one believes Jake and his suspicions that this was murder. Faced with a race against time Jake struggles to solve the mystery before it’s too late.I loved the fact that this book didn’t involve a email main character who was overcoming her past or a down and our cop in a struggling marriage. It was a brilliant refreshing change from a lot of thrillers out at the moment.This was a f The story follows ex army Jake as he starts working as campus security. When someone is found hanged on campus know one believes Jake and his suspicions that this was murder. Faced with a race against time Jake struggles to solve the mystery before it’s too late.I loved the fact that this book didn’t involve a email main character who was overcoming her past or a down and our cop in a struggling marriage. It was a brilliant refreshing change from a lot of thrillers out at the moment.This was a fast paces plot with a great developing story, not your usual ‘whodunit’, it involved twists and turns, multiple murder and high stakes blackmail. Even better this is the first in a new series, and I love discovering a new series at the beginning.I liked Jake and how rough around the edges he was, I mean there is nothing more attractive than an alcoholic, severely troubles ex army guy, am I right?Although at times he was a tad indestructible and unbelievable at times, I’m definitely interested in seeing where JAke goes in the series.And the highlight he has an aging dog as his best friend. I am there for that!! Dog companionship couldn’t be more up my street.
    more
  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    Juggling dynamite in lieu of firecrackers. Dumped by his wife for his friend while he was deployed, now working security courtesy of same friend, drummed out of the army for political expediency, unable/unwilling to play the game with employers, pretty much living on alcohol and paying for chemo for his best buddy/dog, Jake is a mess. Although he is looked down on and ridiculed by his chief of security as well as the local sheriff, he is the only one to get it right when the first body turns up. Juggling dynamite in lieu of firecrackers. Dumped by his wife for his friend while he was deployed, now working security courtesy of same friend, drummed out of the army for political expediency, unable/unwilling to play the game with employers, pretty much living on alcohol and paying for chemo for his best buddy/dog, Jake is a mess. Although he is looked down on and ridiculed by his chief of security as well as the local sheriff, he is the only one to get it right when the first body turns up. From then on he is hip deep in blackmail, murder, and attempts on his own life. A very active and well plotted tale complete with characters so realistic I'm sure that I worked alongside some of them. Red herrings and plot twists abound to make this a really compelling read.After receiving a print copy from the publisher courtesy of a Goodreads Giveaway that I entered, I picked up an audio done by Blackstone Audio. Christopher Lane gave a fine audio interpretation!
    more
  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.In Dead Man's Bridge by Robert J. Mrazek, disgraced Army  veteran and St. Andrews College campus security officer Jake Cantrell is certain the hanging death of college alum Dennis Wheatley is murder but his boss Captain Janet Morgo declares it a suicide.Jake left the Army under a cloud due a mission gone horribly wrong and he still shoulders a great deal of guilt for the loss of several men under his command. Virtually unemployable in the aftermath, his longtime friend and college pres 4.5 stars.In Dead Man's Bridge by Robert J. Mrazek, disgraced Army  veteran and St. Andrews College campus security officer Jake Cantrell is certain the hanging death of college alum Dennis Wheatley is murder but his boss Captain Janet Morgo declares it a suicide.Jake left the Army under a cloud due a mission gone horribly wrong and he still shoulders a great deal of guilt for the loss of several men under his command. Virtually unemployable in the aftermath, his longtime friend and college president Jordan Langford secures a position for Cantrell as campus security officer. Captain Morgo might not have a choice in hiring Jake, but this does not mean she likes him nor does she trust his judgment. Jake immediately clashes with Morgo over their differing viewpoints on the death but when Dennis's wife demands Cantrell be put in charge of the investigation, Janet has no choice but to acquiesce to the request. With another victim and a hurricane induced storm bearing down on the college, Jake is soon in a race against time to catch the killer before it is too late.Despite his somewhat checkered past, Jake is  an immensely appealing protagonist who is incredibly compassionate and caring. His tenderness when caring for his ailing dog, Bug, shows the type of man he is as does his loyalty to his longtime friend Jordan.  Despite their somewhat complicated past, Jake does not hesitate to agree to look into a very delicate situation that jeopardizes Jordan's career at the college.  In addition to looking into Jordan's problem, Jake is also willing to risk both his job and his life in order to uncover the truth about Wheatley's untimely death.Robert J. Mrazek's Jake Cantrell Mystery series is off to a very strong beginning with Dead Man's Bridge. Jake is an intrepid sleuth who is willing to buck authority when necessary but it is his endearing loyalty that will win readers' hearts. The mystery surrounding Dennis Wheatley's death is quite intriguing as is the story arc dealing with Jordan's embarrassing predicament. The novel comes to an action-paced and adrenaline laced conclusion that completely wraps up the various storylines. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this exciting first installment in what promises to be an outstanding mystery series.
    more
  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Believe it or not, this is a buddy story as much as it is a well written mystery. Jake and Bug are quite a pair and for those of us who are suckers for dogs, he's a gem. Jake's determination to figure out what actually happened at St Andrew's College leads him to open a Pandora's box of secrets, lies, and yuck. It's well written and while a bit twisty, not implausible or overly complex - in fact, it's realistic and believable. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. Try this one for a quick, satisfyin Believe it or not, this is a buddy story as much as it is a well written mystery. Jake and Bug are quite a pair and for those of us who are suckers for dogs, he's a gem. Jake's determination to figure out what actually happened at St Andrew's College leads him to open a Pandora's box of secrets, lies, and yuck. It's well written and while a bit twisty, not implausible or overly complex - in fact, it's realistic and believable. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. Try this one for a quick, satisfying read. I'm curious where Mrazek will take this next.
    more
  • Marisa Young
    January 1, 1970
    Set in a small college town in upstate New York, a former army officer is now working campus security - the only job he could get. He investigates when an alumnus is found hanging from a foot bridge. Classified as a suicide, he thinks it was murder unlike his boss or the local police. He is also trying to find out who is blackmailing the college president - the one person who would give him a job.Interesting characters. Descriptions of the first body may turn some people off - don't let it. Good Set in a small college town in upstate New York, a former army officer is now working campus security - the only job he could get. He investigates when an alumnus is found hanging from a foot bridge. Classified as a suicide, he thinks it was murder unlike his boss or the local police. He is also trying to find out who is blackmailing the college president - the one person who would give him a job.Interesting characters. Descriptions of the first body may turn some people off - don't let it. Good mystery. I want to read more by this author.
    more
  • fabby
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I was done, I went looking for the second book..as it turns out is a new release and now the insufferable wait for the second book begins...great book the story is easy to follow and it doesn't contain just fluff ..will look into more books by this author
    more
  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    Campus mysteries in upstate New YorkJake Cantrell's circumstances aren't the best. He's a campus security policeman at St. Andrews College in upstate New York. It's his old alma mater where he was a well-known football hero. He lives alone except for his 18 year old big white dog named Bug, who has cancer, who he rescued while in Afghanistan.But after injuring his knee, playing football was out of the question and he became an officer in the Army. Later court martialed, he was given the campus p Campus mysteries in upstate New YorkJake Cantrell's circumstances aren't the best. He's a campus security policeman at St. Andrews College in upstate New York. It's his old alma mater where he was a well-known football hero. He lives alone except for his 18 year old big white dog named Bug, who has cancer, who he rescued while in Afghanistan.But after injuring his knee, playing football was out of the question and he became an officer in the Army. Later court martialed, he was given the campus police job by an old friend and he's been drowning his woes with alcohol ever since. Well, now he has to perk up because it's alumni weekend and it seems that old vendettas are being played out.There was a lot going on in this book - murder, blackmail, a hurricane - and I enjoyed the storyline very much.Jake is a wounded character - both literally and figuratively speaking. He has a soft heart he shows to his dog and to friends but he's also tough. I'd like to read more stories about him.I received this book from Crooked Lane Books through Net Galley in exchange for my unbiased review.
    more
Write a review