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  • The Pine Barrens Stratagem

  • From the Case Files of Steve Rockfish
  • By: Ken Harris
  • Narrated by: James R. Cheatham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Private Investigator Steve Rockfish needs cash, like yesterday. The bad news is that yesterday, a global pandemic raged, and Maryland was headed toward a lockdown that would ultimately lead to cheating spouses no longer “working late”, and hence a lack of new clients.

Rockfish's luck changes when a Hollywood producer reaches out, but the job is two states away and involves digging up information on a child-trafficking ring from the 1940s. What he uncovers will be used to support the launch of a true-crime docuseries. He grabs a mask and hand sanitizer and heads for South Jersey.

Onsite, Rockfish meets Jawnie McGee, the great granddaughter of a local policeman gone missing while investigating the original crimes. As the duo uncovers more clues, they learn the same criminal alliance has reformed to use the pandemic as a conduit to defraud the federal government of that sweet, sweet stimulus money.

It's not long before the investigation turns up some key intel on a myriad of illicit activity over the last 80 years and Rockfish rockets toward a showdown with the mafia, local archdiocese, and dirty cops. COVID-19 isn't the only threat to his health.

©2021 Black Rose Writing (P)2021 Black Rose Writing

What listeners say about The Pine Barrens Stratagem

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Great start to the series

Had a great time with this book. Funny, likable characters and a fast paced, punchy story that never got dull. Can't wait for the next book to carry on following these characters.

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Absorbing 2020 caper

Former FBI man Ken Harris brings us a private-eye adventure that succeeds in being both nostalgic fun and bang up to date. Rockfish, a boozy Rockford-styled throwback with a heart of gold, negotiates his way through 2020 lockdowns, social distancing and Covid-denying Trumpers. On the way he teams up with a tech-savvy vegan female sidekick to unearth a plot involving historical murders, corrupt local police, the mob and the Catholic Church. Harris’s writing is fast-paced and the characters well-rounded, with plenty of winks to his audience and sympathies on full display. You won’t get bored and it will leave you wanting more Rockfish.

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  • M.P.Funk
  • 15-08-22

Hooked me from the start

I enjoyed them nostalgic feel of this PI novel. I enjoyed the twists and turns and the relationships that grew through the novel. May have been too soon for me with all the reminders of annoying Covid protocols. But, that didn’t take away from the engaging story line. Book was engaging and I finished it very quickly.

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  • Natalie L.
  • 14-03-22

70s Detective Story Written for the Modern World

This is the first book I’ve read that has not only made me laugh out loud, but also write about what the world has faced in the last few years.

If you like your characters sarcastic, witty, and dare I say, human, this story is perfect for you. The MC isn’t the only with the “good lines” and each character has such a distinct voice (written and audio). The personalities are relatable and almost mimic the people you see in day to day life.

Luckily although this book is set during a politically charged climate, you never once can tell what the author’s political preferences are. He stays true to his characters and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-11-21

Catchy old-time sleuth

Ken Harris has created a private investigator who is plain likable. Steve Rockfish isn't Columbo or Rockford, but I found him realistic enough to root for his victories and wince with his pains. The story weaves in all the threads of a long-forgotten cold case and today's COVID epidemic looming in the background. I enjoyed listening to the narration, though I also loved the book first - so the audio didn't sound like I'd expected Steve to sound. Still a great performance by Cheatham.

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  • aford09
  • 07-11-21

Don’t Miss This Debut

Steve Rockfish is a self-deprecating, down-on-his-luck, private dick, trying to keep his beloved Lana from the repo man in the midst of a global pandemic. That’s when he gets a call from a Hollywood producer doing a documentary on a forty-year-old child trafficking ring that will eventually land Rockfish in deep with the mob, the catholic church, and a corrupt police force all hellbent on keeping its secrets hidden. With the tone and wit of a classic detective drama, Ken Harris has woven an intricate mystery that spans decades. The Pine Barren Stratagem is a propulsive debut novel that will not disappoint.

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  • Susan Niner
  • 17-10-21

You will not want to stop listening!

It’s been a while since I have listened to a book I enjoyed so much I didn’t want to pause. Enjoyed the connection to the old tv show the Rockford files as well as modern day connections.

High marks to the author and narrator. A winning combination.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-10-21

awesome!

loved it alot, will be looking for a sequel, recommended highly, author is great enjoy

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  • Rochelle Somers
  • 13-10-21

Fantastic Journey

Absolutely loved the authors take on current events and his ability to blend them into his story line. My first Ken Harris listen, but for sure not my last.

you know you've got audible credits saved up. Let a little go and enjoy this story. you won't regret it.

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  • See jay
  • 12-10-21

Get This.


P.I. Steve Rockfish is the mayonnaise and Jawnie McGee is the mustard in this delicious Bologna and Cheese sandwich of a story. The pickle? Covid, the Church, the Mob, and Bad Cops. Get it!

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  • christina
  • 11-10-21

REALLY good!

This isnt even my usual genre of books, but I loved it! Good characters, plot, and progression. There are some nice easter eggs in the book that made me chuckle- call me a geek, I love stuff like that.