~Free E-pub ⚔ The Definitive Albert J. Sterne ♿ PDF or E-pub free

~Free E-pub ♻ The Definitive Albert J. Sterne ♬ This Edition Of The Novel Incorporates The Stories First Published Separately In The Ebook Albert J Sterne Future Bright, Past ImperfectAlbert Sterne, Forensics Expert With The FBI, Is So Obnoxious On The Surface That No One Bothers Digging Deeper When He S Sent To Colorado To Investigate What Turns Out To Be The Work Of A Serial Killer He Encounters Special Agent Fletcher Ash And They End Up Reluctantly Joining Forces To Unravel The Case It S Only A Matter Of Duty, Though It Can T Be , Because Albert Doesn T Do Friendship And He Certainly Doesn T Do Love What a masterpiece An excellent story Epic And incredibly long But incredibly and deeply enjoyable.This book took me ages to read but it was worth it I read the paperback version and it is somewhat heavy because it combines two books the Definitive Albert and Future Bright, Past Imperfect.Despite the heaviness of the paperback I was not deterred and I was determined to enjoy my reading experience So I lugged this book all over London, up and down on my journeys to work because I simply couldn t put it down and I don t really know how to do it justice in a review.I read it in the bath, red it in bed, took it to Southwark Cathedral, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero, work, the coffee place down the road, University College Hospital, and the tube I have had this book as my constant companion over the last month I took this book everywhere And the characters travelled with me and it was an excellent journey The story has a Silence of the Lambs feel to it with a serial killer who commits his crimes over a number of years, and the FBI detective Fletcher Ash and the forensics expert Albert Sterne who eventually track him down That is exciting enough but there is to this story.Albert is a highly talented forensics expert but he is terse, unfriendly, rude and most people in Bureau keep well away from him He has no friends and he quite likes it that way Ash on the other hand is someone who desires love and actively seeks friendship from men and women He is talented, able to see and discern things that most people miss and he is able to see things about Albert that most people miss.Not only do these two men manage over the years to track down the ruthless serial killer, they also find the most unlikely love in an unlikely relationship with each other.The best thing about the story was that the crime was not easily solved The reader gets to know who the murderer is and enters into his history and psychotic personality This is a bit nerve wracking because the reader is then present when some of the murders are happening and they are brutal The reader gets to experience the long dogged investigation which takes place over a number of years as the relationship between Albert and Ash has its ups and downs.Then at the end the reader gets to experience the confrontation and psychological battles between the two men and the murderer as they confront him and do their best to bring him to justice, struggling to find the evidence they need and battling with their own justice system.This book is truly excellent and worthy of much than a measly five stars It has found a place on my list of exquisite reads for 2014 That is my creme de la creme list and any book on that list is a book that has touched me deeply and delighted me These are the books that I will remember for years after reading them and this story is definitely one of them.Julie Bozza is an excellent author, so unique with her own innovative way of telling stories I find this refreshing and will read anything and everything she writes. This book is about charm.The use of it The abuse of it The lack of it The strength of it.Albert Sterne is not a charming man.He is impatient, abrupt, arrogant, irascible, the list goes on.Fletcher Ash, the only person who has managed to penetrate his defensive field, possesses charm in abundance He gets on with everyone His work mates His superiors He likes people.On the surface, you d assume that being charming is a good thing, yet one of the hardest hitting sections of the book involves a scene where Fletcher comes to realize that he s been charmed by someone else That charm can be used as a weapon.The villain also charms his victims into a false sense of security before striking like a snake.It is this shared ability to charm that allows Fletcher to gain an insight into the murderer s psyche.It is this recognition of the danger of charm that makes Ash seek out a man who doesn t use charm Inside Fletcher is this fear that he, too, could unleash his natural charm in unethical or criminal ways, and he needs Albert as a counterbalance and foil for this tendency.There are four linchpins in every murder mystery Whodunit What was their motive How did they do it And will they get away with it The same questions could be addressed to the book itself.The first Easy Julie Bozza spent the majority of her life in Australia but has now returned to England, the land of her birth Is this relevant Yes, in that I gather from other reviews that she has some of her facts wrong regarding American FBI procedures If she has, those errors didn t bother me, as my awareness of them is based on what I ve gleaned from TV Can we be sure that what we see on TV is correct, anyway Do they follow the same procedures in all cases And what happens if you have people whose nature ensures they do things their way, not necessarily the correct way I gather from correspondence that she researched it as much as she could not just TV , finding in the process that even Silence of the Lambs got some facts wrong.In the end, the procedural aspects didn t bother me because I was too wrapped up in solving the mystery of the people themselves to be bothered about these sorts of things.The plot itself revolves around one man s obsession in tracking down a serial killer Given the title, you d think that man was Albert Sterne, but it s his friend, Fletcher Ash who takes centre stage for most of the book.For a large section, Albert isn t even physically present, however, the nature of his personality and their relationship still impinge on Ash s actions As his frustration grows because of his inability to solve the crime and prevent murders, Albert is the one constant he can depend on It is Albert who gets him back on track when he goes off the rails He is the one definite thing in Fletcher s life The constant.Albert s irascible nature actually becomes a relief because it is honest It is who Albert is He hasn t charmed anyone Not even Fletcher If anything, he has held Fletcher at arm s length Struggling against allowing anyone into his life.Ash could distract him at the most inopportune moments A complete waste of energy But he realized there was no way to undo the damage He could only hope to minimize its effects, give it the necessary time to wear off.What a gorgeous way to say he s in love without saying the l word.I enjoy books where you have to decipher the shows or the clues, for yourself Books that are a mystery on another layer We re not told how much Albert loves Ash We are told that on one level, he doesn t want to be But deep down, it s another matter If you examine the text, paying attention as you read, all sorts of clues crop up to what is really driving him For example, Albert s obsession with the color blue The analogy of the weeds that infiltrate his garden The ones he grudgingly accepts because of their blue flowers that remind him of Fletcher s eyes The way he cooks and prepares a haven for Fletcher even while verbally warning him away The descriptions we get Ash s face brightened again, then slowly began to outshine the spring sun.How can a man who thinks like that be described as cold and unfeeling Why is he like that might be a better question.Fletcher has to resort to this type of detection to determine how Albert feels about him This inability of Albert s to share his feelings and his passion openly frustrate Ash Hence his need to seek out what he thinks at first is a honest relationship only to have his eyes opened to some unpleasant truths.One of the benefits of eReaders is the ability to annotate as I go I mark paragraphs that strike me as worth remembering, or quoting By the time I finished reading, I had a stack.Woven into the text were some thought provoking comments on society and people in general At one point, Fletcher has a conversation about minorities with Xavier, a black gay politician A minority people wants to maintain solidarity, to create a home or an identity without internal divisions, so that it can face the rest of the world They want to present a positive image So dissidents, like gays within that minority are silenced twice over because they re disruptive and they re seen as a negative You find that with blacks, with Jews, with Chinese Americans, whatever And then he goes on to say later We need to mingle to successfully co habit this small world of ours, but mingle without imposing templates on everyone We need to appreciate the individual, celebrate differences rather than persecute them..a minority within a minority, like gay black men, needs to first find pride and dignity in its own identity, on its own terms.A small group needs to develop authentic self determination and then they can choose to become part of mainstream society a part of the wonderful diverse whole that deserves and demands as much respect as any other part.Wonderful words, and yet Fletcher was later to question this man s morals.This concept of good co existing with evil or at least cold hearted pragmatism lies at the heart of each of the four cornerstones of this story Garrett, Xavier, Albert and Ash It is the struggle to balance these that I found really fascinating.Does the end justify the means How do you determine where that boundary lies How did Fletcher One telling phrase was But if I wouldn t approve of your means and tactics in the hands of a right wing reactionary, then I can t in all conscience approve of you From a traditional story telling structure, this whole section in the centre of the book, where Albert Sterne is absent breaks all the rules Yet even though he is not present, what happens here, the need for Fletcher to seek a different type of relationship and what he learns from it are all totally necessary.Without it, the guilt, the change in direction, the recognition of what was lacking would not have resonated so soundly.What other structural points make this book stand head and shoulders above the rest Incorporation of dreams into text We are slipped into them seamlessly No italics to jerk us awake We are as unaware of them as Fletcher is but soon learn to recognize the sign See them change to reflect the action leading up to it and the inner turmoil that they are reflecting These aren t the typical m m romance s clich d dreams of sex, these are psychologist s bread and butter Yearnings for connection, fear of failure.When awake, Fletcher is acutely aware of the problems with their relationship And so is Albert who recognizes that heexpected too much, as well, and neither could meet the other s needs.But they keep trying They don t have hissy fits They may not lay all the cards on the table when they communicate, but that reflects their own natures and backgrounds.I have yet to read the follow up story to this, which I gather is a prequel of sorts I gather it explores their pasts to show how they became the men they are in this book and what motivates them to act the way they do.Profiling is an important part of whodunits Building a picture of the perpetrator from the crimes they commit Trying to gain an understanding about who they are and why they did what they did In some ways, I ve done that with the characters already It will be interesting to see how accurately I interpreted the clues in this book.Did the story work Did Julie get away with doing something different Even though it s long, I loved the book and devoured it almost non stop For once, the head hopping didn t bother me, because it was necessary The sections inside the killer s mind are gruesome, but I felt they were needed to heighten the sense that it was important that Fletcher solve the crimes before he struck again It s not pretty being inside the mind of an evil man, but this is a rare case in a whodunit where I think it is necessary Not for the graphic details but to see the extreme version where charm is harmful.It s not an easy read If you want a light hearted book about two special agents catching a serial killer with lots of graphic sex, read the Cut and Run series.In some ways, the relationship between the two men reminded me of Dan and Vadim in Special Forces But whereas that, too, was a story about a man with irresistible charm and another dour and introspective, Albert is not Vadim He s aware of and sympathetic to the fact that Ash has changed over time.And even in Fletcher had been there, the fire of him all but irresistible, Albert would still have been wholly unsure how to respond All he could do was watch that relentless happy optimism of Fletcher s die All Albert could do was hope this wasn t revenge, This isn t a romance, but it is a love story Not romantic love but deeper, meaningful love One of the reasons I love you, he finally said slowly, is that you always insist on me doing my best We both know how often I fall short of the mark but on the important things, you insist and I try Trust and respect mean than the three easy words In this case, two simple words broke through the barriers he d erected It s necessary.I m so glad others who have read this story liked it and appreciated it. I have so many thoughts regarding this book, but I m not sure I want to bore everyone to death with them So I ll try to be short and to the point.First, the book is amazing The plot, the storytelling, and the characters are each a study in itself Julie Bozza is a wonderful writer Her style is classy and sophisticated She keeps her readers on their toes A few words about the characters Albert The loner An intelligent perfectionist, no nonsense man with the healthy dose of pride and vanity, who s been suppressing his feelings for so long, he considers himself being incapable of such human emotions Had he lived a few centuries ago, I could have easily pictured him sitting in a richly decorated study in a gothic castle situated miles away from any civilisation I think it would have suited him best But despite his impenetrable walls and outer indifference, there s a vulnerable side to Albert, when it comes to Special Agent Fletcher Ash.Now AshI could express my disapproval of his actions and frivolous behaviour, but I won t If there s something I ll take from this book is that there s no black and white in life Everything could be explained, looked at from both sides and even understood and hopefully forgiven Doesn t mean it didn t hurt like hell, butHe had never expected to feel temptation He wondered if Miles or Rebecca ever had AlbertSo Albert understood, too.Temptation is an intense and usually unexpected impulse But any human being, single or not, is privy to it The difference is in wether one is willing to act on it, and, by crossing that line, sacrificing something precious on the way, making decision to satisfy one fleeting impulse, and by doing so hurt a person you care about immensely But there might be reasons for it, explanations What does one do when something s missing in a relationship How to move on after some major mistakes, betrayal Is it possible to save such relationship and reach a compromise without losing one s identity and too much pride Without losing hope, and friendship, and love Not to allow bitterness and regrets make your life miserable The agony I ve gone through reading this book was worth finding those answers At least, for Albert and Ash They are so different, yet each of them compliments the other perfectly They have something really special together And I m sad to let them go.The only thing I ve missed here is some glorious make up sex I was running on the painful memory of the X intruder and everything they have done for so long All I wanted was just little something to erase the nasty images from my mind It would also have been nice to see Albert acknowledge the missing part of their intimate relationship and try to change his ways or at least indulge Ash on occasion As it was, it did feel a little dry, as some other readers had pointed out already But I have a suspicion that it was just the author s intention The mystery suspense was perfect, in my opinion Being in the serial killer s head felt as disturbing as watching a horror movie It certainly will make me extra weary of any charming, friendly and good looking men from now on Lesson learned All in all, highly recommend, with the word of advice to consider it of a psychological thriller and be patient with the character building for the first half of the book It will all be worth it in the end 4.5 stars P.S Looks like I haven t managed to be short, after all Sorry Wow, that was excellent A psychological crime thriller tightly knit into an unconventional love story where the words this is necessary become wildly romantic. I m going to be one of the few who didn t like this book, mainly stemming from how this did not encompass the qualities of how I like my romance Now I know not every book has to have hearts and flowers or epic love, and I know that not every book has to be erotic or titillating but I honestly could not quite wrap my head around, nor fully understand, the grand love depicted here, for it left me feeling mostly frustrated and sad.This is mainly a murder mystery where two G men, Special Agent Fletcher Ash and forensic pathologist Albert Sterne, try to catch an elusive serial killer over the course of several years While they work together, their relationship evolves and grows and complex As a warning, there was nothing overt when it came to these two Rather, it focused on the immense genius of Albert and the dogged determination of Fletcher, as they work case after case of various murdered victims Fletcher is the only one who sees beyond the hard mask Albert presents to the world It goes from admiration of Albert s skills, to a confounding friendship that slowly evolves into a codependent relationship a relationship that Albert refuses to acknowledge He doesn t need emotions, melodrama, or intimacy he doesn t want it, nor does he think he deserves it, and damn Fletcher for putting him in such a position In turn, this was understandably aggravating, as Fletcher tries to get Albert to concede and , and Fletcher must grapple with how much he ll compromise to be happy and to keep Albert in his life Equal weight was put on the sadistic serial killer, and it became a procedural in and amongst the convoluted dance between these two men Maybe it s that very dance that many readers loved and appreciated However, I often wanted to throttle Albert for his resistance in letting his barriers down, and I scratched my head at Fletcher s subjecting himself to such torture Albert s need and want was not lacking, but the need for control often won out I get the conundrum of why someone is just it for the other sometimes it s just unexplainable Alas, I didn t quite understand the push pull of these two, and despite the rare, sweet gesture, I couldn t really rejoice in Albert and Fletcher s win If you want realism for I know every relationship is far from perfect , then this is probably right up your alley For me, I read to escape, and this left me with too little, too late, regarding their supposed HEA. Crime stories are not for me, yet this is so perfect that it doesn t matter that it s a crime story, it still gets 5 stars EVERYTHING about this book is perfect, and reading it made me really, really happy Now let s see how many times I can use the word perfect in the review.The thing about murders and all that is that it may be OK as a movie or a tv series or something, 1 2 hours of grim entertainment But spending days reading about it I just don t find the idea very appealing I d rather read about actual murders in that case With Bozza, however, the crime story in itself doesn t matter There s nothing spectacular about it, classic serial killer theme It s the characters and how they relate to the story that is interesting No, not interesting fascinating NOTHING about the entire story rubbed me the wrong way No detail anywhere had me sighing in exasperation, wishing the author just hadn t gone there, and I m the kind of reader I would hate to bits if I were an author myself Following the murderer, seeing his perspective Brilliantly done I enjoyed reading about him, he s actually credible and not just a one dimensional monster The change of perspective between Sterne, Ash and Garreth Perfect I could identify with all three of them The amount of grisly details Perfect You understand the terror, anxiety and pleasure on behalf of victim murderer respectively, you get to experience Ash s reluctance with understanding, and Sterne s utter indifference Some poorly executed books go too far, like Cut Run, with childish killers that are supposed to shock with their oh so clever modus operandi Some well written books can go too far and beyond and it works, like Waiting in the throes, where you need all the horror to understand the complete and utter breaking of a person Here You don t need that much, and that s the point it s perfectly portioned out It s just right Lagom.I thought I would love Sterne about this book, and that would be that Obviously, he s my dream come true I ve got the exact same awesome skills as he when it comes to comforting people in distress , but having finished the book, I realize that I love everything about it just as much as I love Sterne This isn t a cute and sweet MM romance There isn t even a lot of sex, lots of it is fade to black and what scenes there are aren t that explicit, yet it s perfect No melodrama, because Albert efficiently nips that crap in the bud every single time I want him in all books to just shut whiney characters up before they ruin book after book after book I m utterly impressed by Bozza I previously read her The Apothecary s Garden, and that one just got 3 stars from me But this I can t even tell it s written by the same author, and now I m thrilled about seeing what else she has produced I could go on, but at the same time I m at a loss for words and I can t really explain how awesome this book is I m sad it s over So, time for some funny quotes I m not sure they count as spoiler ish, but still Because yeah, the book is funny as hell as well view spoiler The shrubs Albert had planted around the three boundaries and the decades old trees provided some privacy and a far attractive appearance than the alternative of ugly, minimally attired humanity Don t give me dialogue from your soft porn romance novels For lovers, we sure as hell bicker a lot But I can live with it What a pity, Albert commented.Being undressed by Albert was like having a personal valet I know I shouldn t be emotional But at least I try to keep such ridiculous reactions between you and me I m glad, Albert said very flatly. hide spoiler Albert is the most off putting person in the history of love stories Fletch is a stupid liberal who means well and has his foot in his mouth They work for the FBI, post Hoover J Edgar looms over the action in his absence like the ghost of Julius Caesar in the play of that name The third major point of view is a serial killer.It is about evil, petty and grand Fletch thinks he has an insight into the serial killer and can intuit his moves and motives so he fears the evil within.It is expansive, a full portrait of three people from childhood to present Detail is not spared.You can tell when a book reached a critical mass of significance for an author when they plumb themselves to fetch it up As the author s sister, I have lived with Albert since his first edition a decade ago but even if I knew neither, I would see it was one of those books, and they get five stars. One of those books that left me incoherent and it took me a couple of days to digest and write some things down I say some because lots of thoughts, feelings remain floating hazily in my mind.Bozza s writing has the chameleon like quality of adapting to story, circumstance and character Yes, as so many have said before me, this book is dry but then, Albert is dry, no effusions or emotions from him, not even an extra word if not absolutely necessary.Both Garrett and Albert have been dealt a bad hand, dealing with it, has its effect on them and on others Whilst Albert has ideals and lives strictly by them, Garrett rebels and creates havoc Enter Ash, an uncompromising idealist with his love for one and his revulsion for the other but with empathy for both The darkness of Garrett in contrast with the honesty and charm of Fletcher tempered by the pragmatic Albert.In the midst of the hunt for the serial killer, Bozza touches difficult themes like do compromising our ideals take away the value of the ideal If a partner does not fulfil our needs, what are our options whether we lose in conforming whatever we gain in solidarity.My first love in this story is Albert A man who has rooted out all but the basic wants from himself Because to expect, to want, to need is to make yourself vulnerable, open to pain So, tight and controlled with others but even so with himself, as if, allowing some expression of feeling, would result in some great pain, as if he could not even allow himself to dream of love, let alone be loved I wanted so much to reach in and help him out The slow unfold of Albert is a masterpiece But mostly there was need, an age old need, that few would fail to recognise. No instant cure here, and that is truly magical, the magic of living with hurt and slowly bit by bit making it through I left Albert still unfolding and happy that this was so The last scene is so simple, but brilliant.Loved it, love Albert most of all, love Ash as well view spoiler even though I wanted to kill him hide spoiler I love this book, I love the characters, main and secondary I love dialogues and good bickering between the heroes and in this book, Albert and Ash are dialogues athletes I m in love with the book I rushed to buy the second book in the series as soon as I finished this one and I m going to read it SLOWLY to make the pleasure last Warning view spoiler There is cheating in the book, and the sex between the hero who cheats and the other guy is NOT fade to black, it s totally the opposite But if you can stomach John Garret, the serial killer, you may be able to stomach the infidelity hide spoiler