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Black Oil, Red Blood

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The thing about cancer is it's hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose-but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive. Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to The thing about cancer is it's hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose-but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive. Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to the bass-ackwards town of Kettle, Texas (human population: 4,000; gun population: 34,356). Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex employs half of Kettle's population, and there's no question the judge in the town's got oil stains on his hands. It's no wonder she's been on a losing streak lately. She suspects she's been litigating on an uneven playing field, but when her star expert witness turns up dead less than 48 hours before a make-or break hearing, she knows. What she doesn't know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret-one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiance and a tantalizing new flame along the way.


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The thing about cancer is it's hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose-but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive. Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to The thing about cancer is it's hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose-but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive. Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to the bass-ackwards town of Kettle, Texas (human population: 4,000; gun population: 34,356). Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex employs half of Kettle's population, and there's no question the judge in the town's got oil stains on his hands. It's no wonder she's been on a losing streak lately. She suspects she's been litigating on an uneven playing field, but when her star expert witness turns up dead less than 48 hours before a make-or break hearing, she knows. What she doesn't know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret-one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiance and a tantalizing new flame along the way.

30 review for Black Oil, Red Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Chloe Taylor is a small-town lawyer who is in the middle of a lawsuit with Big Oil. When her expert witness turns up dead a day before the trial, Chloe begins to realize there may be more to the case than she originally thought. Enlisting the help of detective Nash and her paralegal, Miles, to help her with the case, Chloe quickly realizes that is in over her head. The first thing that drew me into this book right away was the author's writing style. It is neat and clean, and the story flows smo Chloe Taylor is a small-town lawyer who is in the middle of a lawsuit with Big Oil. When her expert witness turns up dead a day before the trial, Chloe begins to realize there may be more to the case than she originally thought. Enlisting the help of detective Nash and her paralegal, Miles, to help her with the case, Chloe quickly realizes that is in over her head. The first thing that drew me into this book right away was the author's writing style. It is neat and clean, and the story flows smoothly. The second thing that drew me in was the characters. I loved Chloe's sarcastically funny personality, which made it really fun to be in her head. I also enjoyed Nash (the strong and silent type, *swoon*) and Chloe's reactions to him and Miles…Oh, how I love Miles! Though this book was about a serious topic, the author did such a great job at making it fun to read. There was, of course, a lot of legal information in the story, but the author did an excellent job of making it understandable to the average person. I also liked that we got some inside information on the case in the form of other key player's points of view once in a while. It made the plot that much more interesting. This book was an edge-of-your-seat type of read, and it had everything you could want from a great mystery/thriller, including greed, corruption, murder, conspiracy, coverups, and of course the sexy good-guy detective and a heroine who fights for justice, all sprinkled with wit and humor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    I'm sorry to say that I struggled to get through this book. I'm going to give it two stars for "it was okay" because really that's what I'd have to say about it. It was okay. The characters were overwhelmingly cardboard (with the exception of Nash, who actually seemed to have some complexity) and the plot was so-so. I feel like the story was an excuse for the author to lecture me about Big Oil. Characters randomly broke out into long-winded speeches and rattled off statistics as if they were read I'm sorry to say that I struggled to get through this book. I'm going to give it two stars for "it was okay" because really that's what I'd have to say about it. It was okay. The characters were overwhelmingly cardboard (with the exception of Nash, who actually seemed to have some complexity) and the plot was so-so. I feel like the story was an excuse for the author to lecture me about Big Oil. Characters randomly broke out into long-winded speeches and rattled off statistics as if they were reading it right off of wikipedia. The dialogue throughout these long stretches of texture-less expository chunks was brittle and constructed at best. The action scenes were pretty okay, until the point that they inevitably reached a level of absurdity even I was taken out of the book. I'm all for camp, really, but if the main character noticed Nash's "chiseled torso" one more time at the very wrong time I was going to flip my desk. That, and the results of said action scenes were unsatisfactory. Chloe spent too much time being tossed from one action wave to the next without discovering any information on her own. She might as well not have been the main character of this book. At any rate, there were several redeeming qualities that kept me going throughout. Miles, Chloe's gay paralegal, was entertaining comedic relief (even though the obviousness of his role in the story did irritate me by the time I hit the half-way point.) And normally I don't like the use of pets in books but I found myself oddly pleased by Lucy's simple pleasure in car rides and usefulness as a midnight look-out. My roommate read this book at the same time I did, and she found much more enjoyment in it than I did. However, she didn't read the whole book, just popped in and out and read over my shoulder for the scenes that made me laugh. I'm not sure what that says for the book beyond saying it has potential that wasn't properly exploited. Then again, maybe this isn't my kind of story? Unsure. I'll go compare notes with other readers and see if I'm just the odd-man out on this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo

    2.5 Stars I received a free copy of this book from the author to write an honest review. Who said that the Wild West is dead? In the small Texas town of Kettle, Big Oil rules the town with an iron fist. PetroPlex is the town’s main employer and has several prominent city officials and judges in its pockets as Chloe Taylor quickly learns. Her expert witness is found murdered the day before he is to testify in the wrongful death suit she is seeking damages for her widowed client. The judge relucta 2.5 Stars I received a free copy of this book from the author to write an honest review. Who said that the Wild West is dead? In the small Texas town of Kettle, Big Oil rules the town with an iron fist. PetroPlex is the town’s main employer and has several prominent city officials and judges in its pockets as Chloe Taylor quickly learns. Her expert witness is found murdered the day before he is to testify in the wrongful death suit she is seeking damages for her widowed client. The judge reluctantly agrees to a short continuance after seeing some unflattering pictures that her paralegal dug up. Now, with a week before the next hearing, Taylor must find a new expert witness and go through the 40 boxes of findings that the good doctor had in his possession when he died. Only one problem with that; his house is a crime scene. And the new detective in town does everything by the book. Chloe already knows she is litigating on an uneven playing field: all of her cases have been dismissed or have gone against her. The poor girl lives on Ramen noodles. Her client disappears after a suspicious fire. She feels watched. She is close to unraveling PetroPlex and the little town members of the weekly poker game decide. What she doesn’t know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret—one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiancé and a tantalizing new flame along the way. Although Diane Castle has written one of the best hooks I’ve ever read, I learned way too much about Big Oil and cancer. Taylor spews facts throughout the novel like an encyclopedia. I got it; the author hates Big Oil. For me, that preachiness made Chloe Taylor a caricature of tort lawyers rather than a three dimensional character. I began to dislike her. The action scenes were over the top but were believable in the story. But as another reviewer pointed out, ” The action scenes were okay, until the point that they inevitably reached a level of absurdity even I was taken out of the book. I'm all for camp, really, but if the main character noticed Nash's "chiseled torso" one more time at the very wrong time I was going to flip my desk. That and the results of said action scenes were unsatisfactory. Chloe spent too much time being tossed from one action wave to the next without discovering any information on her own. She might as well not have been the main character of this book.”Miles, the gay paralegal, was great and really provided comic relief throughout the story. And, what woman wouldn’t like Detective Nash? If you are looking for a good, fast read for summer, Diane Castle has provided one. Be prepared to suspend disbelief. Be prepared to get lectured on Big Bad Oil. Castle never offers any viable solutions to Big Oil. I agree the oil industry needs to clean up their act, Energy has to become less harmful to humans and to the environment, but the green technologies are decades away from being widely used. My problems with the story resulted in taking a half star from a book I did like.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer

    I could not ask for a more effective reader’s hook than the Prologue of “Black Oil, Red Blood.” No possible way a reader could turn away from this novel after reading just the first few sentences-but even better, the entire Prologue rocks with excitement, danger, and potential fatality, with character, revelation, superb plot and setting. Amazingly, this is Author Castle’s debut novel! It’s almost too much to expect to find great writing, enjoyable characters (some of which inspired me to laugh I could not ask for a more effective reader’s hook than the Prologue of “Black Oil, Red Blood.” No possible way a reader could turn away from this novel after reading just the first few sentences-but even better, the entire Prologue rocks with excitement, danger, and potential fatality, with character, revelation, superb plot and setting. Amazingly, this is Author Castle’s debut novel! It’s almost too much to expect to find great writing, enjoyable characters (some of which inspired me to laugh out loud despite the serious circumstances), plotting whose torque is tightened till it almost squeaks (that means darn good plotting and layers upon layers of concealed secrets), a setting that is drawn with such attention to detail yet with subtle brushstrokes it makes this reviewer want to shout “Hallelujah!” What all this comes down to is: do NOT miss this novel, Gentle Readers! I don’t care what your position is on Big Oil, the economy, natural resources, or litigation-you simply must read this book. Attorney Chloe Taylor hoes a hard row in the petroleum backwater of Kettle, Texas, a tiny town where Big Oil is King-and Queen-and Emperor. Kettle is a community where the most a person can look forward to is finding out which type of cancer will be one’s demise, because if you work at PetroPlex, which fully half the town does, you’re going to come down with some kind of terminal health crisis. Chloe’s game is to win damages on wrongful death settlements, but she’s playing David to an enormous Goliath-and PetroPlex doesn’t want to pay out, and especially not to air its secrets. If Chloe isn’t extremely careful-well, the next wrongful death just might be her own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Diane Castle's novel could rival the likes of Dan Brown and Tess Gerritsen! The novel in short - Chloe is a tort lawyer who had a messy split from her two-timing fiancé and decided to move to the small town of Kettle. She becomes employed in a small solicitors office who deal mostly with personal injury cases resulting from the local oil factory taking short-cuts when it comes to the health and safety of their personal. The day before one of her trials is due to be heard, her expert witness is br Diane Castle's novel could rival the likes of Dan Brown and Tess Gerritsen! The novel in short - Chloe is a tort lawyer who had a messy split from her two-timing fiancé and decided to move to the small town of Kettle. She becomes employed in a small solicitors office who deal mostly with personal injury cases resulting from the local oil factory taking short-cuts when it comes to the health and safety of their personal. The day before one of her trials is due to be heard, her expert witness is brutally murdered and she has to find a way to get more time so that she can prepare another witness in a bid to win her case. While she is trying to get her evidence back from the house of the dead expert witness she meets Nash, a straight-laced detective who soon becomes involved in a plot to help Chloe not only try to win her case but uncover the corruption and deceit that fills Kettle and ultimately save their lives. I was instantly drawn into this novel with the aid of the prologue. The prologue was full of a suspense that made me need to finish the book because I HAD to know what happened. It also made me wonder throughout the novel who it was who would be holding Chloe at gunpoint - the ex-fiance, or the gorgeous police detective - although I didn't want it to be Nash. It kept me guessing because there are so many double-crossers in this novel that you never knew who was likely to be really working for the petro-plex cover-up. The novel is fast paced without feeling rushed and I found that I simply couldn't put it down. I look forward to reading more of Castle's work in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Hicks

    I didn't love this book nor did I totally dislike it. This isn't what I would call a real legal thriller. It had some legal stuff in it and a bit of a thrill, but I found the story to be choppy. The best way for me to describe it is think of several dynamics happening all at the same time, but none of it seems to fit well together. There was so much going on and yet, what was going on didn't seem to flow right. I like that there was a little comedy to the story and the writing wasn't bad, I just I didn't love this book nor did I totally dislike it. This isn't what I would call a real legal thriller. It had some legal stuff in it and a bit of a thrill, but I found the story to be choppy. The best way for me to describe it is think of several dynamics happening all at the same time, but none of it seems to fit well together. There was so much going on and yet, what was going on didn't seem to flow right. I like that there was a little comedy to the story and the writing wasn't bad, I just didn't care much for the storyline. Chloe, the main character, talked entirely too much and it tickled me when some of the characters even said the same thing. She was the reason the trouble she and her friends found themselves in, due to her mouth. She went on and on about oil business which was too much legal description and I found my mind wandering on that dialogue. But the story never really went back to the legal side of things. I thought there were going to be some courtroom action, but there was none. Once you get past the legal part, the rest was the thrill that left a lot to be desired to me. Perhaps if Diane really took the time to develop the plot better, this would have been a five star read, but it wasn't bad, just not what I was looking for in a legal thriller.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emmie Cooper

    This book has it all, murder, mystery, greed, suspense and a of course romance. Ms. Diane Castle’s well paced plot and engaging characters make this an entertaining novel based on legal corruption in the oil industry. I’m not a fan of legal thrillers but Diane Castle was able to hook me with her fantastic dialogue. The story is based in small town Kettle, Texas, where a big oil corporation reigns and a witty attorney Chloe Taylor fights against this giant in winning cases on wrongful death settl This book has it all, murder, mystery, greed, suspense and a of course romance. Ms. Diane Castle’s well paced plot and engaging characters make this an entertaining novel based on legal corruption in the oil industry. I’m not a fan of legal thrillers but Diane Castle was able to hook me with her fantastic dialogue. The story is based in small town Kettle, Texas, where a big oil corporation reigns and a witty attorney Chloe Taylor fights against this giant in winning cases on wrongful death settlements. The book moves quickly and the suspense it’s addictive. Great novel!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deb Novack

    I know if I had a wrongful death suit against "Big Oil" that virtually owns the city and politicians in my town, I would want Chloe Taylor as my lawyer. She doesn't always play fair or with in the law but neither do the oil companies. This story is an honest look into greed, mystery and murder,but does have some romance. This is about what everyone knows "Big Oil" is doing to this country and its residents. Diane Castle has written a wonderfully honest book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hock Tjoa

    For all those who love John Grisham type thrillers, here's one with a hot red-haired attorney working on an oil pollution case which turns out to be much more. She is also running away from a womanizing ex-fiance and head-long into the arms of a too-good-to-be-true hunk of a cop. The plot is convoluted, the action is almost non-stop, and there is a satisfyingly happy ending. What more could any one ask for?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tulay

    Great book. Learned somethings, lots of true statistics and facts in this book. Author Diane Castle being who she is wrote excellent story. Oil and natural gas companies are only worry about their profits and who should they elect. Clean air or water are never their concern. As long as lobbyists and money this will never change. There is some light, funny dialogue and clever dog named Lucy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carole Douglas

    This eco-thriller has an important message. Murder, mystery, corporate greed and a paper chase turned killing field. This book has it all to please legal thriller and mystery fans. The writing snaps, the action crackles and the climax goes pop!

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Null

    What a great roller coaster ride. Not only entertaining, but also very informative

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Fundin

    "If your expert witness dies of a heart attack while surfing in Aruba, that's life. If he's murdered the day before he's set to testify at a hearing that can make or break a case, that's friggin' suspicious." Chloe Taylor is a hard-hitting lawyer that battles Big Oil, claiming damages for wrongful death. As she begins her fight against PetroPlex, Schaeffer, her expert witness is murdered just days before he is due to testify. Chloe knows she doesn't stand a chance if she doesn't get a continuance "If your expert witness dies of a heart attack while surfing in Aruba, that's life. If he's murdered the day before he's set to testify at a hearing that can make or break a case, that's friggin' suspicious." Chloe Taylor is a hard-hitting lawyer that battles Big Oil, claiming damages for wrongful death. As she begins her fight against PetroPlex, Schaeffer, her expert witness is murdered just days before he is due to testify. Chloe knows she doesn't stand a chance if she doesn't get a continuance to give her time to find a new expert witness. She also knows Judge Delmont will back PetroPlex, so she uses blackmail to get him to agree to the continuance. Schaeffer's papers hold the key to winning the case, but are part of a crime scene and she is unable to gain access to them. When she takes matters into her own hands, Detective Jensen Nash is there to stop her. Judge Hooper rules she can have the papers and the Mayor gives her permission to take them to her home. Nash isn't about to let her go through them without him. Petroplex executives know something will have to be done to stop her. With Nash getting involved, the same would apply to him. As Petroplex and the corrupt officials running the town of Keller, Texas, come after them, it's obvious they will have to save themselves and expose the corruption. "Was there corruption everywhere, I wondered? Was there no place left in America where decent, hard-working men and women could get ahead?" What do you think? Does Big Oil create and manipulate private, unregulated energy markets? Are they too big to fail and too big to control? Did they elect Bush? Did he go to war for them? Do they control our economy and government policy? Do they use fear manipulation to distract the public to the real threat? Is there a global plot to manipulate the energy market and artificially drive up gas prices? What if an oil company orchestrated a refinery outage or an explosion to drive up prices? Why doesn't Big Oil build new refineries instead of building on to old ones? Is it going on right now, today? Awesome book! Five stars are not enough. I live in Florida, so thanks for helping the Gulf Coast. I thought the book hit the nail on the head. I agree that it is up to us, the average citizen, to demand that government go back to working for us instead of being bought and paid for by Big Oil and other lobbyists. The book was very well written. I think it pretty much covered the oil industry and why they do what they do. It made me angry and afraid for the characters, hoping they would find a way to survive and take down all the corrupt executives and officials. Black Oil, Red BloodDiane Castle

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hazel *Craves the Angst Reviews*

    Black Oil, Red Blood written by Diane Castle is a mystery-suspense with a bit of romance. I read this as part of a R2R with Basically Books!. A special thank you to the mods as well as the author for allowing me to participate. Short Synopsis: Chloe Taylor has left a successful law firm and her smooth talking, rich lawyer, cheating ex-fiancé in the big city, and moved to the small town of Kettle, TX to practice law against Big Oil industry's PetroPlex, who is suspected of cutting corners and p Black Oil, Red Blood written by Diane Castle is a mystery-suspense with a bit of romance. I read this as part of a R2R with Basically Books!. A special thank you to the mods as well as the author for allowing me to participate. Short Synopsis: Chloe Taylor has left a successful law firm and her smooth talking, rich lawyer, cheating ex-fiancé in the big city, and moved to the small town of Kettle, TX to practice law against Big Oil industry's PetroPlex, who is suspected of cutting corners and putting their workers in danger, specifically her client, Gracie's husband who has passed away from cancer. After her key witness turns up dead, Chloe is spun into a world of deceit, secrets, payoffs and murder. She has to find the answers and a new key witness before her career ends. Teaming up with her paralegal, Miles and the hottest detective in town, Nash, she and her cute little doggie, Lucy, set out to find the answers before the answers get her and the rest of them killed. Review: This was a well done story. It was fast paced, thrilling, and there were many funny parts in this book (Mile's haaaaaaaiiiiirrrrr!). The message of the story was one we should all pay attention to. I was educated in the ways of the Big Oil industry and I will never look at the topic of clean air the same way again! This novel was a light-hearted read written in such a ways as to be educational while also being serious yet comical. I really enjoyed it. I loved all the characters. Chloe was a terrific heroin. Although I thought she was a bit scatter-brained to be a hot shot lawyer, her personality was endearing and fun, her morals non-corrupt and her take no prisoners attitude, refreshing! I loved her paralegal, Miles. His interaction with Chloe left me laughing and broke the tension of what was happening throughout the book. Nash was hot and I loved his tough exterior with a kind heart. And then there's Lucy! I fell in love with that little dog! She was awesome! Wish List: Though I really loved the message of this story and the story was well done, there were a few areas of the story that left me scratching my head. Things that just seemed to "happen" to conveniently and way to easily that were obvious plot bunnies to carry the story forward. I also thought the romance between Nash and Chloe could have been more intense and slower paced. They both had interesting pasts that would have allowed more of a push-pull to turn their romance into something remarkable but it fell a little short for me. I was left wanting. All in all, I really liked this story because is had a good message that we should all take interest in.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Denise DeSio

    In the six months that I’ve been promoting my novel, Rose's Will, I've cyber-met tons of authors with the same objective. Most of them write in genres I will never read, and unlike my friend Karen, who will give anything in print the benefit of the doubt (see her review of Drink Me, Daddy), I will do no such thing. Occasionally, however, I might check out a paragraph or two in the spirit of trying to support my struggling comrades. I was feeling particularly magnanimous when I opted to read the In the six months that I’ve been promoting my novel, Rose's Will, I've cyber-met tons of authors with the same objective. Most of them write in genres I will never read, and unlike my friend Karen, who will give anything in print the benefit of the doubt (see her review of Drink Me, Daddy), I will do no such thing. Occasionally, however, I might check out a paragraph or two in the spirit of trying to support my struggling comrades. I was feeling particularly magnanimous when I opted to read the first few lines of a legal thriller called Black Oil, Red Blood. By 4 a.m. I was still reading. Diane Castle's book is an exciting excursion into the world of Big Oil and the small people who line their pockets with pay dirt to protect the industry's ever increasing profits. If that sounds dry to you, think again. Castle peppers her novel with sparkling wit, sharp knowledge of the legal system, and what seems like tons of research about Big Oil. Then she wraps it all up in a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" type escapade led by gutsy female attorney Chloe Taylor, who has fled the big city to recover from a relationship with a fidelity-challenged ex-fiancee Her entourage consists of a wildly handsome detective (widowed, of course), a stereotypically gay paralegal whose product-saturated hair is a fire hazard, (Oh come on, lighten up and get a sense of humor), and her little dog Lucy. Together they plan to take on Big Oil and prove that they knowingly engage in practices that harm the public. I don't know how much of the content is fiction and how much is based on real findings about the oil industry but even if only half the stuff is true, if you have a tendency toward paranoia, you might want to skip this book, because it is scary! When all is said and done, though, it was Castle's flair for unbelievably believable dialogue that kept my eyes pasted to the page with Gorilla Glue. Way to go Diane Castle!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Black Oil, Red Oil is an Erin Brockovich style thriller following lawyer Chloe Talyor as she fights to prove that the local oil refinery gave her client���s husband cancer. As she struggles with her complicated personal life, her case starts to fall apart when her expert witness is killed days before the trial. With the big oil company and several in their pay trying to stop her, will she manage to get justice for her client? If you like a story with a message then this one is for you. The author Black Oil, Red Oil is an Erin Brockovich style thriller following lawyer Chloe Talyor as she fights to prove that the local oil refinery gave her client���s husband cancer. As she struggles with her complicated personal life, her case starts to fall apart when her expert witness is killed days before the trial. With the big oil company and several in their pay trying to stop her, will she manage to get justice for her client? If you like a story with a message then this one is for you. The author obviously doesn't like the petrochemical industry and the reader is well aware of this by the end of the book as the characters occasionally become puppets spouting anti-big oil rhetoric. There is nothing wrong with the argument, I just question how overt it was in this novel, and it does detract from the story. The story itself is pretty much run of the mill for an action-thriller. There���s a conspiracy, there���s danger, there���s explosions. You are kept guessing over exactly who is in on the conspiracy and who isn't. I was enjoying the story up until the events near the end of the book, which were rushed and simply unbelievable. For me the characters were a little 2D and stereotypical. Miles, Chloe���s paralegal, comes across almost as a caricature of a gay man, though he does provide a lot of humour in the novel. Nash, the detective, is your all American man, who Chloe falls for. Chloe herself comes across like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde; there is actually a scene talking about clothes and shoes! So, the good ��� it���s fast, it���s fun and there���s enough suspense to keep you reading. The bad ��� 2D characters, run-of-the-mill story and a strong political message. Overall if you are looking for a serious thriller then this is not for you; if you want a light summer read with a bit of action then give it a go. Black Oil, Red Blood is available from Amazon UK for ��3.35 and from Amazon US for $5.10.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynxie

    Black Oil, Red Blood was a thoroughly engrossing read from start to finish! I highly recommend it! It was quite a bit different from the latest reads I have been devouring, but it was a welcome change. A solid crime/legal thriller with rather complex and emotional characters, that make you fall in love with them (especially Nash - Ohh wow! *wipes brow and sighs*). Black Oil, Red Blood delved quite thoroughly into Big Oil and the petroleum world with all its complexity. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I u Black Oil, Red Blood was a thoroughly engrossing read from start to finish! I highly recommend it! It was quite a bit different from the latest reads I have been devouring, but it was a welcome change. A solid crime/legal thriller with rather complex and emotional characters, that make you fall in love with them (especially Nash - Ohh wow! *wipes brow and sighs*). Black Oil, Red Blood delved quite thoroughly into Big Oil and the petroleum world with all its complexity. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I understand much of that legalese that often pops up in crime/legal stories, but I grasped all the concepts that were woven so intricately into this story. Brilliant work by Diane Castle! I loved Lucy (the tenacious little dog who loved Chloe - our female lead character), the use of Lucy in certain parts of the story was ingenious and made me smile. Similarly I also really enjoyed Miles' character. What woman doesn't need a gay male friend? Thanks for the thoroughly enjoyable, nail-biting-until-the-last-second, smirk-worthy, read that encompassed some of the most current world energy themes. A couple of things I noticed: remove add 30% - 'Didn't every girl? Maybe we didn't all expect or even want happily everyever afters but secretly...' 58% - 'Dick backed away. "I'd love to," he said, "but my case load is about to get really busy,' 60% - 'The house was still surrounded with crime scene tape. Schaeffer Is this supposed to be Nash? tried the doorknob.' NOTE: I receieved a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    Chloe Taylor was a successful lawyer. Until she found out that her fiancé (also very rich and successful lawyer) was cheating on her. So she left. She moved to a small town named Kettle, Texas. Now, she still wears her expensive clothes, but in a lack of money, she eats Ramen every day. The life in Kettle is not ordinary after all. Big Oil Industry giant PetroPlex is the mayor company in town. Almost entire population works there. Many of the people that work in the oil company are getting sick. Chloe Taylor was a successful lawyer. Until she found out that her fiancé (also very rich and successful lawyer) was cheating on her. So she left. She moved to a small town named Kettle, Texas. Now, she still wears her expensive clothes, but in a lack of money, she eats Ramen every day. The life in Kettle is not ordinary after all. Big Oil Industry giant PetroPlex is the mayor company in town. Almost entire population works there. Many of the people that work in the oil company are getting sick. Cancer is on the top of the illnesses. Chloe tries to prove that the cancer here is not accident or bad luck. It is caused by the pollution. The pollution that no one wants to admit. The problems start when Chloe’s expert witness dies in suspicious circumstances. His files are missing, and no one from the attorneys doesn’t want to help her. The only person who wants justice is the local sheriff, but he doesn’t trust her. And the oil company hires her ex-fiancé for the case. What can be worse? I couldn’t put my kindle down until I finished this book. Very serious subject was chosen for the plot. Cancer and the pollution are part of our modern-day life. Factories employ people, but also many of them do not care about the environment. On one side they help people, on the other side they hurt people. There were many turnovers in the story, politics, murders, corruption. The characters were very well plotted. I loved the character of Chloe. She loves justice, she cares about people. There were also some very funny moments, but I won’t reveal more. If you love action, mystery, and political thrillers, and a little bit humor in it, than this is a story just for you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    This was a really good plot, but the writing telling itself could possibly use a little work. I always feel bad about pointing this out because it seems like if I'm critical of someone else's writing style then I should be above reproach myself, so I want to be very clear in saying that this is probably about the same level that I write on as far as style, and Castle is ahead of me in plot development for sure. That said, I liked the book but it wasn't great. She is a good writer and someone that This was a really good plot, but the writing telling itself could possibly use a little work. I always feel bad about pointing this out because it seems like if I'm critical of someone else's writing style then I should be above reproach myself, so I want to be very clear in saying that this is probably about the same level that I write on as far as style, and Castle is ahead of me in plot development for sure. That said, I liked the book but it wasn't great. She is a good writer and someone that could be great, but not a Stephen King at this time. (Now if she reads that, I hope she doesn't get discouraged because I'd like to read more from her in the future.) I read it fairly quickly but it was an easy read. I found myself more interested in learning about Big Oil than what the characters were going to do next. That was probably somewhat the intention of the author, since if you were an advocate of more drilling and less regulations for corporations then you probably wouldn't like this book. The ending seemed a little rushed. I don't know if she was losing interest or if there was someone pushing her to finish it up, but I think it could have been better had it been about fifty pages longer a book and taken more time to work through a lot of the details at the end. The message is pretty clear to me though, at least the political one and I find it hard to understand how people can be presented with facts like this and not really care about the energy situation in the world. I am required by the terms of the Giveaway to disclose in any review that I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Kellenberger

    A snappy little title that was free from Amazon, Black Oil Red Blood is an entertaining read about a small Texas town whose residents live in the shadow of PetroPlex, a giant oil company that has been deliberately flouting safety rules and putting their employees and the citizens of Kettle at risk for years. Enter Chloe Taylor, an up and coming hotshot lawyer who is determined to bring PetroPlex down. Unfortunately, a few things stand in her way, such as the murder of her expert witness, her wid A snappy little title that was free from Amazon, Black Oil Red Blood is an entertaining read about a small Texas town whose residents live in the shadow of PetroPlex, a giant oil company that has been deliberately flouting safety rules and putting their employees and the citizens of Kettle at risk for years. Enter Chloe Taylor, an up and coming hotshot lawyer who is determined to bring PetroPlex down. Unfortunately, a few things stand in her way, such as the murder of her expert witness, her widowed client runs off, and all the law enforcement in town are crooked beyond belief, with the exception of one Detective Nash, who seems determine to thwart her efforts to do right. Chloe has one week to find a new expert witness and sort through 40 boxes of files, which, unfortunately, are part of a crime scene. She tries to sweet talk the new detective in town, but he won't have any of it. She ends up breaking in to the crime scene to get the information she needs for her trial, but of course, she gets caught. As Chloe and the good detective get dragged further and further into this mess, they discover that PetroPlex is harboring a terrible secret that could result in world chaos and destruction on a global scale. Chloe and Detective Nash, along with her trusty paralegal Myles and her dog Lucy, embark on a race to save their lives. Black Oil, Red Blood is a great summer read with lots of action and romance!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Grissett

    Great thriller This is a great thriller by Diane Castle. It begins with Chloe Taylor who is defending her client who lost her husband from cancer. The oil company, Petro Plex, does not offer protective wear for their employees, and they know the substance causes cancer. Chloe is going to court the following day with her key witness, however, he ends up murdered before he can take the stand. Chloe works with Miles who is a great partner. Her boss is Dick, who we consider a jerk, however you may th Great thriller This is a great thriller by Diane Castle. It begins with Chloe Taylor who is defending her client who lost her husband from cancer. The oil company, Petro Plex, does not offer protective wear for their employees, and they know the substance causes cancer. Chloe is going to court the following day with her key witness, however, he ends up murdered before he can take the stand. Chloe works with Miles who is a great partner. Her boss is Dick, who we consider a jerk, however you may think a little differently at the end of the book. Then we have Nash, the Detective who was going to arrest Chloe at the beginning for breaking and entering and then ended up working together once Nash was informed on what Petro Plex was doing. We discover there was a computer genius who used to work for Petro Plex that has information that could harm or destroy the company. His name is Cameron and he appears to be laid back, you will like all the people in the book including Chloe's dog, Lucy, except you may not care for the higher-ups who are making all the money and are all crooks as well as Chloe's ex-boyfriend They will do anything to protect themselves as well as the company. I loved it when they discussed the BP oil spill since that was close to home for me and the damage caused and how the government tries to cover things up. This is a great action packed, thriller.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Micki Street

    Chloe Taylor, a city lawyer from Dallas, gave up a life of luxury when she broke off her engagement to a rich Dallas trial attorney who was incapable of honesty or fidelity and decided to move on. She landed up in the small town of Kettle with a population of 4,000 seemingly run by the largest oil refinery in Texas, PetroPlex – a company notorious for flouting safety violations. With few job options on the market, she accepted a position with the small town Law firm and finds herself soon embroi Chloe Taylor, a city lawyer from Dallas, gave up a life of luxury when she broke off her engagement to a rich Dallas trial attorney who was incapable of honesty or fidelity and decided to move on. She landed up in the small town of Kettle with a population of 4,000 seemingly run by the largest oil refinery in Texas, PetroPlex – a company notorious for flouting safety violations. With few job options on the market, she accepted a position with the small town Law firm and finds herself soon embroiled in a lawsuit to big to handle. When her expert witness is murdered the night before the trial she has to beg the slime ball judge to give her time to find another witness. It’s obvious he is in the pocket of the oil giants and the only way she can get him to agree, is pull an ace from her sleeve! Now with the help of Miles, her paralegal and detective Nash, who had her heart racing at times, she has to dig deeper than expected prove her case. I enjoyed the main characters in this book, although there were many minor characters to keep up with – I can imagine Angelina Jolie playing the part of Chloe if this was a movie. Miles reminded me of a melodramatic ‘queen’ as he was drawn further into Chloe’s audacious plans with the help of Nash, the drop dead gorgeous detective. The story flowed well with adrenaline moments, splattered with wit and dry humour.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christine Keleny

    Black Oil, Red Blood- Diane Castle’s new murder mystery thriller - is a fun romp with a serious side. The author, you find at the end, is a lawyer who assists plaintiffs with wrongful death and personal injury cases against Big Oil giants such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips, as is the main character in the story - Chloe Talyor, so at least part of what Chloe says about Big Oil must hint of some truth, even though the author’s disclaimer says no. I wonder. It makes for a goo Black Oil, Red Blood- Diane Castle’s new murder mystery thriller - is a fun romp with a serious side. The author, you find at the end, is a lawyer who assists plaintiffs with wrongful death and personal injury cases against Big Oil giants such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips, as is the main character in the story - Chloe Talyor, so at least part of what Chloe says about Big Oil must hint of some truth, even though the author’s disclaimer says no. I wonder. It makes for a good story nonetheless. The story takes place in a small town somewhere in Texas, a small town that seems only to be there because of the large oil refinery that most of the towns folk work at. Chloe is representing a woman whose husband worked at this refinery and died of cancer. But Chloe gets a little too close to what is going on at the refinery and what is going on in town, and she is in danger. Luckily, there is a handsome knight in shining armor in the form of a police detective that is new to town, and he gets pulled into the whole mess. You can somewhat guess that the girl ends up getting the guy in the end, but the stuff in between takes you places you really didn’t expect. It’s a fun read that is perfect for your summer reading list.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matt Kelland

    An entertaining thriller. Other reviewers have complained that it's too "preachy" and too full of details about the oil industry. I disagree. If anything, it could have used more of that. I like a book that's not afraid to carry a message, and which uses fiction to educate people. Others complained it was just a load of action sequences - again, I liked this. It was fast, easy, reading. What really surprised me was that the (pseudonymous) author is a lawyer specializing in this very area. As I wa An entertaining thriller. Other reviewers have complained that it's too "preachy" and too full of details about the oil industry. I disagree. If anything, it could have used more of that. I like a book that's not afraid to carry a message, and which uses fiction to educate people. Others complained it was just a load of action sequences - again, I liked this. It was fast, easy, reading. What really surprised me was that the (pseudonymous) author is a lawyer specializing in this very area. As I was reading, I kept wondering how much she knew about the legal system, as this part of the book came across as quite sketchy. I think I'd have enjoyed it more if it had been more like John Grisham or Michael Crichton - packed with intricate legal details and scientific background. That would have given it the extra authenticity it really needs. As it stands, though, it's a good, but not outstanding story about big business corruption.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Wilson

    Fantastic Book! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Chloe reminded me very much of a slightly more feminine version of Kinsey Millhone from the Sue Grafton 'alphabet' mystery series. The action was almost non stop from start to finish. I also really like the fact that I learned a bit about big oil while reading. The other characters in the story from Miles, the flaming-gay paralegal to Lucy, the fiercelessly loyal mutt, added some really entertaining dynamics and personality. The romance between Chloe and lo Fantastic Book! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Chloe reminded me very much of a slightly more feminine version of Kinsey Millhone from the Sue Grafton 'alphabet' mystery series. The action was almost non stop from start to finish. I also really like the fact that I learned a bit about big oil while reading. The other characters in the story from Miles, the flaming-gay paralegal to Lucy, the fiercelessly loyal mutt, added some really entertaining dynamics and personality. The romance between Chloe and local police detective Nash was believable and fun. I find that in a lot of romance, the men come across as overly confident and arrogant. Nash came across as a loyal, intelligent, decent (and obviously well chiseled :P) guy. I read when I want to escape the business of ordinary life and be taken on a little adventure. 'Black Oil, Red Blood' took me there.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rayrumtum

    The author tried to do for big oil what Upton Sinclair did for meatpacking and the railroads. The story was an engaging story--but very predictable. I was hoping for a legal thriller but instead it was the standard chase story and perilous escapes. My main grievance with the story is that the characters were all so stereotypical and cardboard. The male lead was the silent but strong type. The gay character only cared about his hair and clothing. What was worst was the author was a woman, but the m The author tried to do for big oil what Upton Sinclair did for meatpacking and the railroads. The story was an engaging story--but very predictable. I was hoping for a legal thriller but instead it was the standard chase story and perilous escapes. My main grievance with the story is that the characters were all so stereotypical and cardboard. The male lead was the silent but strong type. The gay character only cared about his hair and clothing. What was worst was the author was a woman, but the main character was a female but she was portrayed as rather stupid and obstinate. A male writer who penned that would be tagged as a male chauvinist, but I don't know what the author was doing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joan K.

    I like it when a book is entertaining and informative. I would have to assume that a lot of the facts and figures that are in the book about the impact big oil manufacturing, disposal, etc. can have on a person's health have to be realistic. So in enjoying the action and romance of the book, I also learned something new. I also felt the character development of the book was excellent as I could truly envision what these people looked like. Some of the scenes were definite Hollywood action and adv I like it when a book is entertaining and informative. I would have to assume that a lot of the facts and figures that are in the book about the impact big oil manufacturing, disposal, etc. can have on a person's health have to be realistic. So in enjoying the action and romance of the book, I also learned something new. I also felt the character development of the book was excellent as I could truly envision what these people looked like. Some of the scenes were definite Hollywood action and adventure scenarios with just-in-the-nick-of-time rescues but that didn't take away from the enjoyment at all. I recommend!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jack ALBERT

    If you're interested in a fast-paced original story revolving around the shady machinations of Big Oil, I recommend this book to your attention. It is peopled with interesting characters and incidents that will keep your attention up till the dramatic end. This thriller is very well paced and written with passion and care by someone who obviously knows her way around a courthouse. Having received a copy of this book as part of a GR giveaway, I am truly grateful to be given the chance to discover If you're interested in a fast-paced original story revolving around the shady machinations of Big Oil, I recommend this book to your attention. It is peopled with interesting characters and incidents that will keep your attention up till the dramatic end. This thriller is very well paced and written with passion and care by someone who obviously knows her way around a courthouse. Having received a copy of this book as part of a GR giveaway, I am truly grateful to be given the chance to discover an author I was not familiar with. I am looking forward to read Diane Castle's next offering. Jack ALBERT Goodreads author

  29. 4 out of 5

    R.M. Gilmore

    Very interesting! Fast paced, fact-filled, and edge of your seat action. Only downside, DO NOT attempt reading before bed, or while not fully awake. This bad boy needs your full attention. Love the redheaded spitfire, Chloe. Her adorable hetero(or not so hetero)-life mate, Miles. And the chivalrous, Detective Nash. The combination of interesting characters, legal-eagle plot line, and downright out of nowhere twists, kept me enthralled. Took a few chapters to get me hooked, but once I was in I co Very interesting! Fast paced, fact-filled, and edge of your seat action. Only downside, DO NOT attempt reading before bed, or while not fully awake. This bad boy needs your full attention. Love the redheaded spitfire, Chloe. Her adorable hetero(or not so hetero)-life mate, Miles. And the chivalrous, Detective Nash. The combination of interesting characters, legal-eagle plot line, and downright out of nowhere twists, kept me enthralled. Took a few chapters to get me hooked, but once I was in I couldn't put it down. A razor sharp, eye-opening read from Diane Castle. Kudos!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Kind of a romantic/action book, taking on 'Big Oil' giants....certainly a worthy cause! It's a work of fiction (obviously!), but takes on a very real issue. I probably would've given 2 stars, just because it was probably too much romance for me, but I appreciate the author's efforts against the 'Big Oil' giants, thus the 3rd star! In all honesty, I received a copy of this book some time ago as a part of a Goodreads Giveaway program in return for this fair & honest review. Kind of a romantic/action book, taking on 'Big Oil' giants....certainly a worthy cause! It's a work of fiction (obviously!), but takes on a very real issue. I probably would've given 2 stars, just because it was probably too much romance for me, but I appreciate the author's efforts against the 'Big Oil' giants, thus the 3rd star! In all honesty, I received a copy of this book some time ago as a part of a Goodreads Giveaway program in return for this fair & honest review.

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