Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vivian Zabel's Midnight Hours – A can't put down crime story

While struggling to recover from a debilitating gunshot wound, homicide lieutenant Martin Rogers discovers an online "interest" may be a serial killer, responsible for the death of several disabled men. Martin's interest changes from that of a man for a woman to the interest of a homicide detective for a suspect when Midnight attaches a photo of herself to an email - identical to that of one folded in the pocket of a dead paraplegic. Confusion reigns when an Assistant District Attorney is discovered to be the unknowing model for the face in the photo. Lt. Rogers and friends set up a sting to capture Midnight, but she disappears like wisps of fog. Every lead results in dead ends and more confusion. Midnight brings death on the internet. Preying on helpless men, she offers love but gives them a grave, but who and what is Midnight? Martin must find this killer before she can add him to her list of victims.

Hey, look who showed up -- Midnight herself!

Message from Midnight:

I might be willing to visit with you, but I don't usually have much to do with women. Now if you were a man ...

I don't know what all the hype is over some boy or prairie dog. Huh, not interesting at all. Me, on the other hand, I'm interesting. Oh, the stories I could tell --

As far as making some crippled detective a hero ... the idea makes me fume. I had him twisted around my finger. Odd, I still don't know what turned him away from me. I never thought he was smart enough to catch on. Him suddenly getting bright enough to know I was after him, and not romantically, didn't change my plans, just caused me to move his time for death from later to sooner.

You seem intelligent, though, wanting to meet and visit with me. After all, without me, there wouldn't have been a book. Hey, look at the title -- Midnight Hours, not Martin Hours or something like that.

Sure Hope she likes my review -- or I'm in big trouble!


While recovering from an accident that confined him to a wheel chair, Police detective Martin Rogers finds an interest in life through an Internet connection with a lovely woman. Or is she what she seems? She has given Martin a reason for living, but when she sends a picture of herself that is a duplicate of one found in the pocket of a dead paraplegic, Martin and his police buddies wonder if she's given him a reason for dying.

The author makes you believe in the reality of her characters. Details of the investigation are true to life. The Oklahoma countryside is beautifully described and gives the novel a strong sense of place. The plot is filled with surprising, but thoroughly believable twists that keep the reader guessing up to and beyond the last page.

Zabel has created a fast moving plot with characters you come to care about, a satisfying romance, and suspense that keeps you reading. Readers of crime fiction will appreciate Zabel's latest novel and will be hoping for more. I love a good murder mystery. I recommend this one highly for readers who are looking for interesting and believable characters, a tension filled plot, and a realistic setting.


  1. Great interview--I can vouch for its accuracy. Midnight, you need to drop the attitude--wrapped around your finger indeed! (hmph!)

  2. Don't you just love those fiesty characters?

    Vivian, you sure are one heckuva writer, no, daring writing to come up with a most memorable character as Midnight.

  3. Thanks for joining us. So far I'm safe. Midnight must have liked the review!

    Great story, Vivian

  4. Ooooh, very mysterious! Nancy's great pitch/blurb got me here. Not that I wouldn't have come anyway because I love Viv's work, but the Midnight Pitch did it. (-:

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick,

  5. I can't even post a message without using her account. On other blogs I could without waiting until she was busy elsewhere so I could take over the computer and post using her "identity."

    Makes me want to cuss. Also makes me very upset with you, Nancy whatever your name is.

    And, oh yes, Joyce Anthony ... you might want to be careful on dark nights. I have you on my list.

    I made Midnight Hours what it is.

  6. Nancy, I'm so sorry. I had to run an errand. I should know not to when Midnight is on the prowl.

    Joyce, I don't know what to say. Midnight is a bit, well, she's plain evil.

  7. Now you've got me scared, Vivian!! I'd better watch my email!

  8. Midnight's quite full of herself, isn't she? Strong, deceptive, and sexy-just the kind of character that I like to read about!

    Great job, Nancy!

  9. When I first started out writing I heard veterans say, characters do have a way of jumping off the page and taking over your thoughts and writing. Vivian you do it so well!

    Best wishes,
    Donna McDine