Anything for You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Police officer Valerie Hart knows how to track a killer. It’s in her blood. So when San Francisco prosecutor Adam Grant is murdered in his own home, and his wife is badly injured as well, Valerie is on the case. The initial investigation turns up the DNA of a recently paroled ex-con throughout the house, but he has disappeared, so Valerie has to keep digging. 

As Adam’s wife and teenaged daughter (thankfully not at home that night) try to recover from their trauma and grief, Valerie quietly puts together a string of clues that lead to a gorgeous blonde known only as Sofia. Her frustration at hitting brick walls throughout the case is magnified by the frustration she is feeling at home. She and her husband are trying to have a baby, and so far, they have not been successful.

But Valerie has secrets. She has a past with the victim, Adam Grant. She has chemistry with the brother of the missing ex-con murder suspect. And she’s not at all certain she has what it takes to be a mother. But as the killer remains elusive, it’s clear that Valerie is not the only one with secrets. 

Anything for You, the third in Saul Black’s Valerie Hart series, is a dark and troubling story of women coming to peace with their past and finding a way to move forward into a new future. This is not a lightweight cozy that you can set aside casually (not that there’s anything wrong with that—I love those too). But this book gets its hooks into you and refuses to let up. 

There are some dark stories in this novel. It looks at some of the worst places in humans without flinching. But there is also honesty, truth, and grace in unexpected places. If you like a police procedural with a dark side, then Saul Black is your man. If you’re craving a story that shows off a smart woman kicking up dirt and taking names, then Valerie Hart may be your new heroine. 

I really loved Anything for You. It wasn’t an easy book to read, but it was well worth it. I recommend this one for a cold winter afternoon, while you’re deep under a warm blanket with something tasty to drink nearby. 

Galleys for Anything for You were provided by St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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I just couldn't get into this book. The sex scenes were a bit over the top and felt borderline cheesy erotica. I just found the story didn't flow very well and the characters were bland.
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Homicide detective Valerie Hart gets the call to a home invasion murder. San Francisco prosecutor Adam Grant and his wife Rachel are found stabbed in their bedroom, victims of a brutal attack. Adam is dead, Rachel barely survives.
Valerie recognizes Adam from a drunken encounter she once had with him. She thinks of excusing herself from the case, but decides it shouldn't be a factor and goes forward with the investigation.
Because he was a prosecutor, there are many with reasons to see him dead, but as the clues lead to an enigmatic blonde, the path to find answers will follow a long and convoluted road. 
This dark police procedural thriller is filled with triggers. After the first chapter, I almost put it down in disgust. But I decided to keep going and I'm so glad I did. Yes, there is graphic sex, violence and entirely too much use of the *c* word, but this was impossible to put down once I got into the story. Shocking, fascinating, moody and warped. Full of suspense. The writing is brilliant.
Great stand alone, but I'm absolutely going back to read the first two books in the series. 
This one is not for everyone, but if you like a twisted thriller and aren't easily offended, read it!
Thank you to St. Martin's Publishing Group for the e-ARC via NetGalley.
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First I would like to thank #NetGalley and #StMartinsPress for the arc of this book

I did not like it at all. It had potential but the language was way to much. I’ve read books that have vulgar language and violence in it but this was just to much. It was like a sex book instead of a mystery/thriller. I just didn’t like anything about it after the first few chapters.

I’m very sorry but this is a 1 star and I do not recommend it.
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I don't really have much of a review. I didn't like this book at all. It wasn't the style book that I like to read, it was just not tasteful. 
I didn't like the crude, offensive stuff, it just felt nasty to me.. 

thank you netgalley for a free copy of this book, for  my honest review.
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Anything For You started out very well and was exciting, but unfortunately at some point I just got lost in this book.

The characters were well done and I enjoyed the detectives and the job the did. I think this would be great for people who enjoy mysteries and police procedurals.

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC at my request. All thoughts are my own.
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"The reasons, the motives, the hows and whys -- they were all drawn from the same small human pool: greed; anger; envy; lust; vengeance. Every murder sprang from ordinary sources."

This crime thriller defied my usual expectations in both good and bad ways. At the half-way point, I actually wasn't sure I'd finish it. I was put off by the personality of SFPD Homicide Detective Valerie Hart -- she takes "messed up" to a whole new level. The way she thinks, talks and acts is so deliberately crass and it's true that she's the picture of a narcissist. On the other hand, I finally came to believe that it's all just one huge defense mechanism. And, she's afraid. But, enough about her innermost thoughts and angst, because it so happens that she's a pretty darn good cop. She's got good instincts, works hard, and doesn't stop until she figures it all out.

The plot -- a former star prosecutor, Adam Grant, in the San Francisco DA's office who had subsequently gone into private practice -- is discovered dead in his bedroom alongside his wife who has been stabbed, is barely breathing, but still alive. An intruder was spotted by an insomniac neighbor next door and forensics finds plenty of physical evidence allowing the police to identify the killer. A manhunt for the suspect goes nowhere -- the ex con, Dwight Jenner, has done a runner. Nor can the beautiful, blonde woman seen with Jenner, known as Sophia, be located. Although the police effort is intense and detailed, that is really not the main story. Grant's wife, Rachel, eventually recovers from her injuries well enough to go home to be with her teenaged daughter, Elspeth, who fortunately was sleeping over at a friend's house the night of the intrusion and murder. Valerie Hart follows the clues but she has no way of knowing where this complicated case is going to lead. NO SPOILERS.

I'm sorry to hear that some don't finish this book because the last third of it really made up for the earlier slog as the author dangles out bits and pieces of this and that, all the while luring the reader in for the climax. Do I like or understand Valerie Hart any more at the end? Not really, she's way too cynical and crude, too self-absorbed, too focused on wrecking her life -- but she gets the job done. I haven't read the first two books in the series, but I find myself curious as to what the next installment might offer and I'm hoping for some sort of redemption and, dare I say, some good decisions? So she could be a little content maybe? I really enjoyed the writing style, well, when I wasn't offended by the constant sexual references and again, Valerie seems to act more like an alpha male than a woman. Anyway, upshot -- I did end up liking this and how it ended. "The truth was the law didn't work. It was nothing more than the best failure civilization had on offer." 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-book ARC to read and review. I'd left it languishing on the TBR but was reminded of it when I saw it sponsored in a Facebook post. I'm glad I made time to read it. 

This is Glen Duncan writing as Saul Black. Triggers abound but to list them might give things away.
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Valerie is a detective in the San Francisco Police Department in the new thriller, Anything for You. She and her partner are investigating an attempted robbery when a call comes in from the house next door. A robber has broken into the house and stabbed the husband and wife leaving the husband dead.

The victim is a former Assistant District Attorney, Adam Grant, who once had a tryst with Valerie that was stopped only by his love for his wife. Despite this conflict of interest, Valerie continues to investigate his death. The police quickly find a suspect named Dwight who apparently forgot to wear gloves during the home invasion. Dwight had just been released from San Quentin after serving six years due to his conviction by Adam. However, Dwight has not been seen since the night of the crime. As the search for Dwight continues, Valerie continues to investigate the victim. In the meantime, a femme fatale serial killer is first seducing and then killing her victims.

Anything for You has some very crude sex scenes, sexual language, and self-loathing about sex. There is also child sexual abuse. Even though the main characters are women, the book reads like those old Mike Hammer books where the only useful part of a woman is located in her crotch. I really didn’t enjoy it and had to force myself to read the whole thing. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this book. 1 star.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Anything for You is book three of the Valerie Hart detective series. I had previously read book #1 The Killing Lessons which I thought was very good.  It has been so long since I read book 1 that I actually didn't remember any details about it other than the detective Valerie Hart's name so even though this is a series it is perfectly fine to read alone.  I enjoy a good murder mystery but not necessarily one so full of graphic violence and sex - not to mention there was a lot of crude and crass language.  I found this book a lot harder to get invested in than i did The Killing Lessons.
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Anything for You was one of the harder books I’ve reviewed to get into, hence my delay in writing a review. Yet I’m glad I stuck with it to find how the twisty tale came to a conclusion. Being one who likes to read series books in order, having not read the earlier Valerie Hart books was a disadvantage. As for character qualities, I really didn’t like Valerie as a detective or a woman. While she seems to be a good detective, her methods and her personality just didn’t set with me and was written too much from a man’s point of view. I’ve read many novels by male authors and never did I feel it was a ‘man’s’ story. Valerie seems to be more interested in her sex life while she is really hiding from looking to her future with her ex-husband and the scary consideration of having children. The tale is interesting and told from the point of view of two women, the detective and an individual in the sex trade. The conclusion is interesting but I believe the book will be a 5 star for some and a 3 star for others. For me, it’s a 3 star.
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Anything for You is a well-written police procedural (at least the part that I read). It’s a gritty, sometimes gruesome novel – particularly because there are chapters from the killer’s point of view. Valerie, a police detective, is working through some personal issues; it’s clear she’s doing better than previously but still struggling. At times Valerie is an extremely unlikable character. She’s unkind and fast to jump to conclusions and stereotypes; the fact she rarely voices these opinions does not make them better or easier to read. Valerie and other characters also frequently use the c word, which I hate. 

I ultimately did not finish this novel. The last straw for me was when Valerie showed a nude photograph of a woman she’s looking for to a man she was interested in sexually. She doesn’t need to do this – not only are there other photos available where the woman is fully clothed, even if Valerie had to use this photo she could have cropped it to show only the face. Valerie has access to this picture solely because she’s a cop – it’s inappropriate and abusive to use that access in this way. Are there some cops that do this in real life? Probably. Do I want to see this behavior in a main character I’m supposed to care about/commiserate with/route for? Nope. 

Anything for You is the only novel I’ve read in this series and I had no trouble jumping in here, though it is clear that there are significant character arcs that have matured through the series. 

Content Warnings:   sexual assault; physical/verbal abuse; misogynistic language   

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. The opinions in this review are honest and my own. #AnythingForYou #mystery #policeprocedural
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If I had given a review after only reading the first half of the book, I would have given it an unenthusiastic 2 or 3 stars at best.  I haven't read the first two books in the series (didn't realize it was a series until reading this one) and   reading the first half of this book was slow and uneventful.  The character of Valerie is not very likeable, and the mystery didn't seem very compelling.

Ahh - but then we moved into the second half of the book and everything changed.  Valerie was still pretty unlikeable, but the story turned anything but boring.  The author did a good job of laying out the clues so the reader could come to the same conclusions Valerie did.

It turned out to be an entertaining read.
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Unfortunately, I DNF'd this one after 14 chapters. I really wanted to get into this book because the blurb sounded so interesting, but a combination of the writing and the characters just left me uninterested. The language and writing in this story was very vulgar, and I just felt that it didn't really add any value and was only used for shock factor. I'm not opposed to vulgar language or graphic images, in fact I love intense horrors and thrillers, but only when it serves a purpose/adds to the story. Maybe one day I will give this one another go, but I just couldn't continue with it right now.
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The summer heat seems to have brought out the criminals in one quiet neighborhood. In the dead of night a watchful, insomniac neighbor locks eyes with an intruder he believes is targeting his house. After calling the police to report the crime he learns that he may have narrowly avoided losing his life. Next door did not see the intruder coming.

Adam Grant, a well-known San Francisco prosecutor has been found dead in his master bedroom. His wife is beside him, clinging to her life with enough strength to call the police. When homicide detective Valerie Hart arrives at the scene she instantly considers removing herself from the case. She knows Adam Grant on a much more personal level than she would like to admit. As a prosecutor, Adam is an easy target for ex-cons, so it’s not surprising when all forensic evidence points to a man that Adam put behind bars many years ago. Valerie struggles with this being the easy answer as the pieces don’t quite make this puzzle whole. Is there more to this murder than vengeance from an enemy?

As I was preparing to pick this book up the first thing I noticed was a mixture of divisive reviews on Goodreads. This is one of those books where people either loved the story or hated everything about it. The majority of the negative comments stemmed from the language and graphic nature of the first few chapters. I get it. That can be jarring for a lot of readers or not their cup of tea. Personally, I’m not bothered by that in books if I think it is going to lead somewhere or have some level of value at the end of the day, which is exactly what I found with this story.

I was a bit worried walking into a series at book three that I would feel lost, however, Saul Black provides just enough background details on our main character, Valerie Hart, that I didn’t feel any confusion. I actually ended up feeling quite intrigued about Valerie and her interesting past that I would like to head back and pick up the first book. Valerie is one of those characters that has a sketchy past, almost to the level of a stereotypical jaded detective persona. What makes her shine is her genuine honesty. She knows she has messed up in the past and she wants to change. Just like all of us, Valerie is unsure of her decisions and is worried about if she’s a good person.

The traits found within the character of Valerie Hart are also present in other characters in this book. Black chooses to give the reader alternating narratives that are not only from different characters, but also a differing timeline. You meet a woman named Sophia who absolutely captivates the reader with her backstory, which much like Valerie, is one of redemption. These alternating storylines also help to move the plot forward, while not only engaging the reader to commit to learning more about the investigation and Sophia, but also to learn the hows and whys that connect these two.

I greatly enjoyed the methodically plotted story of revenge and redemption that shines through in the pages of ANYTHING FOR HER. This is a great read for fans of police procedurals and darker crime fiction stories.

Disclosure: A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a free copy of this book!
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Anything for You is book three of the Valerie Hart detective series. I had not read the preceding two novels, but the author does such a nice job of weaving character history and backstory into the text that I didn’t in any way feel like I was missing out on necessary information.

The narrative begins with a couple driving to a romantic rendezvous in the country. It is clear from the beginning that the actual encounter will wind up being something quite different – and indeed it is, with the ending involving not sex but murder.

We then shift to an entirely different scene. An elderly male insomniac, up late reading, finds himself facing an intruder through a window. The excellent alarm system in his son’s upscale home goes off, turning on the exterior lights and chasing the trespasser away but the police are still called. As the cops do a routine inspection of the now quiet scene, they receive a second call sending them to the house next door. What they find there is the opposite of the peaceful setting they just left.

In this elegant home, in the tastefully decorated master bedroom, a man has been brutally murdered. Lying just a few feet away, desperately clinging to her phone and her life, lies his wife. The investigators quickly establish that this is the abode of Adam Grant, a well-known San Francisco prosecutor and his wife Rachel. Their daughter Elspeth is missing.

Homicide detective Valerie Hart almost had a one night stand with the deceased several years earlier. Their drunken kisses and sloppy groping never actually led to sex since the married Adam had a last minute attack of conscience and called a halt to the proceedings. Valerie knows that she should remove herself from the case due to her personal connection to the victim, but she has a storied sexual history, along with something of a (past) promiscuous reputation  and doesn’t want to air this bit of dirty laundry for the amusement of her colleagues. She determines to move forward and work the case, confident she won’t encounter a conflict of interest.

She does quickly encounter Elspeth, who had been staying overnight at a friend’s house, and then meets Adam’s wife Rachel at the hospital. She’s impressed with both of them, beautiful ladies who handle this horrific change to their lives with dignified sorrow and grace. And she’s embarrassed at having to comb through their home and their pasts, looking for clues as to who did this and why. Adam’s job seems to be the likeliest motive for the crime and indeed initial forensic evidence points to Dwight Jenner, an ex-con Adam helped to convict earlier in his career. Valerie is nothing if not thorough however, and her perseverance and curiosity pay off. Hidden in a cabinet in Adam’s basement darkroom within a stack of plain manilla envelopes are nude photographs taken in the kitchen and bedrooms of the Grant house featuring a sexy blonde with her face obscured. A woman who just happens to match the description of Jenner’s latest lady love. But why would pictures of her be in the Grant house? Discovering the answer to that question leads Valerie down a dark and dangerous path through prostitution, child sexual abuse, and vengeance.

Fans of mystery novels will recognize Valerie’s hard-boiled detective persona. She’s the type of cop who eats and sleeps the job, whose put-upon spouse has to deal with her moody, broody compulsiveness regarding her cases, and whose proverbial soft interior is buried beneath layers of cynicism and sarcastic wit. The author also does little to paint nuance onto her character or indeed onto any of the characters we are introduced to, except the villain. They all have secrets, some of them fairly large, but they are all pretty straightforward in spite of them and the only twists and turns here occur in the plot.

Even that isn’t very curvy. This is a methodical, detailed police procedural where solid investigating and following hunches lead to a stunning but well set up ending. The dénouement did surprise me, but I could look back and see how the trail inevitably led to this conclusion. I love when the author can make the resolution a revelation but also show you how the clues were pointing in that direction all along and that definitely happened here. I always find that kind of closure deeply satisfying.

In fact, for fans of detective fiction Anything for You is satisfying overall. While the story doesn’t transcend genre or push this category of fiction to new limits, it does a decent job of meeting its standards.
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I read The Killing Lessons several years ago, when it first came out. I enjoyed it, but had no idea it was a series and this was Book 3. Oops!  Gonna have to go back and read Book 2. Honestly, this one was difficult to stay with and get into and I probably would not have finished it if I hadn't been given an ARC. That would have been a huge mistake! Nicely done twist about halfway or so and very suspenseful. I like Valerie, as she is far from perfect. This book deals with a lot of dark subject matter and is not for the faint of heart, though.
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Although crude in parts, this was still an enjoyable police procedural.  It was an insanely twisty thriller. 
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Valerie Hart is a homicide detective with a checkered past and a questionable future. Rachel Grant is found near her dead husband Adam bleeding out after getting stabbed during a home invasion. This is the set up for this, the third book in the Valerie Hart series (actually, I didn't know it was a series until after I had finished which tells me it does fine as a stand alone). The writing is just okay, a bit wordy at times, and the characters are well developed but my problem is I just didn't like any of them. A situation Valerie finds herself in, by her own choosing, I found unbelievable and left me shaking my head. I can't really say much without spoilers so I guess I'll have to leave it at that. It wasn't particularly fast paced and barely held my attention at times. It does have an aha moment but then fell flat afterwards. Unfortunately, after reading this I'm not compelled to read the previous installments in this series and therefore can't recommend it.
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This one was okay, but the writing sort of made it difficult to finish. The series is pretty decent, but this wasn't my favorite one.
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I read the first book in this series, The Killing Lessons back in 2015 and really loved it - I wish I had written actual reviews then so I could remember exactly WHY but I do remember thinking Black was an author to watch.  I somehow missed out on book 2 of this series but here I am with book 3 - Anything For You.  It took a while but as I continued reading, I started remembering Valerie and why I loved her so much in book one.

To be honest, I almost DNF'd this one around the 37% mark... but I'm so glad that I didn't.  I have a feeling a lot of readers are going to take issue with this book - it's graphic, sexual and a bit much at times.  Personally, it didn't bother me in the slightest but I'm my own special breed of person.  I could've done without the repetitive reminder that OMG, Valerie ALMOST slept with the victim.  I get it - I don't need this repeated over and over again. Nor do I think readers need to see that Valerie is always thinking about sex.  HOWEVER, this is just who she is.  A human person, a cop who has been through the gauntlet herself, became a sex addict, still found love and is now dealing with yet another change in her life.  As a matter of fact, all the women in this book have issues and it gets a bit insane.

Once we get into the background of the Grants, the book starts to soar.  I was captivated and disturbed and very curious about how it would all play out.  Especially as Valerie, while an excellent detective, follows the beat of her own drum most of the time. 

While I had some small issues with the book overall, I really enjoyed the grittiness and visceral journey Black took us on.  This is going to be a love/hate type of read - for those who actually finish it.  I can see the comments now.  For me, give me more Saul Black.
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