Cover Image: The Scorned

The Scorned

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Member Reviews

Bruno is on the run from the law in the United States. He is hiding out in Costa Rica. His wife is pregnant and he is in charge of 10 kids he rescued from several terrible homes in Los Angeles. So, he is a pretty stand up guy. And when he becomes indebted to Dr. Vargas in Costa Rica for delivering his son, he does just what that doctor asks. He escorts Dr. Vargas’ daughter to Los Angeles.

This is part of a series. It is not necessary that you read the other books in this series to enjoy this one. But, I probably would have liked this book better if I knew more. I would have felt more of a connection to Bruno and his life situation.

I did love the chase though and the humor spread throughout this book! Pretty snarky in places. And the ending!!

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Ex-cop, ex-con Bruno Johnson stumbles into a criminal organization that exploits women and children—he must fight his way out and home Bruno Johnson is hiding out from the U.S. law in Costa Rica with his pregnant wife, Marie, and the ten kids they rescued from toxic homes in South Central Los Angeles. When Marie encounters a difficult labor and delivery, their good friend Dr. Vargas rescues both her and Bruno’s infant son. So Bruno feels indebted when asked to escort his daughter Layla, a college student in Los Angeles, back home to Costa Rica. When Bruno arrives in Los Angeles, he finds the problem with Layla is complicated and dire. Layla has fallen in with Johnny, the leader of a vast and notorious criminal empire that exploits women and children. She says she’s had his child and that he has taken the baby. Bruno enlists the help of his old friend Karl Drago—and his dog, Waldo—to aid in his search for Layla’s baby—a baby her parents disavow. Bruno soon discovers things aren’t as they appear, but he will stop at nothing to save the innocent baby and return to his family and newborn son in Costa Rica—providing he can evade capture while on U.S. soil.

This is a wonderful addition to this thrilling series!
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building that adds so much to the story.
Such a thrilling read that I couldn't put it down.
Can't wait to read more of these.
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

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This is the 10th book in David Putnam's Bruno Johnson series. I
On the eve of Maria's unexpected and complicated birth, he is given two requests that he feels compelled to fulfil. His best friends, Dr Vargas and his wife, Alisa, were visiting when Maria plunged into severe labor. Under stressful and dramatic circumstances, Dr. Vargas saved Maria and the boy's life. They reluctantly ask Bruno to find and save their only child, Layla. She is a student at USC in Los Angeles and is terrified of a threatening stalker.

Knowing Bruno's background, they believed he was the best person to save and return home safely with their daughter. How can he refuse a trip that lasts 12 or even 24 hours? Earlier in the day, Bruno's father begged him to "forgive his mother" and drove her back to Los Angeles. He gave her one hundred thousand dollars (“his savings”) and wanted to get her to a safe rental car dealership. The details and necessity of this requirement are obscured by ambiguity. (Details will be revealed indirectly in an astonishing sequence of events.) With his many influential connections, Dr. Vargas bought Bruno a passport and private investigator license. multiply under a different name. Everything fell apart when Bruno arrived in Los Angeles with "his mother" and Alisa by his side. To be honest, he finds himself in an impossible situation with a baby in danger, but when it becomes clear, the three women involved in If This Last Mission lie and behave horribly. terrible, he will have every right to turn around and go. home with her own child. He called on Draco to commit atrocities he was no longer sure he could commit, and he did too much on that front. Karl is a vandal, but I find his disdain for collateral damage terrifying in someone who is supposed to be one of the good guys, like bombing the bad guy's mansion without caring who might get hurt. A series of unlikely events and inconsistent character decisions culminate in a risky setting that is resolved a little too easily and then it's all over. I don't like these books, the previous ones are more interesting, like horror movies, but I'm rounding from 3.5 because I appreciate what the author is trying to do.

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Action packed and explosive right from the start. A good installment to an ever evolving series. Will be looking for more.

Thank you NetGalley for this arc

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Lisa from Swell Media sent me a Net Galley link to this book, which I appreciated receiving. I had not previously encountered Bruno Johnson and his adventures as an officer in the Southern California/Los Angeles area, though it apparently got him into some trouble in a previous book. David Putnam does a nice job providing significant relevant back story elements for his characters so readers can drop into his series at any point and not be completely lost.

This time, Bruno goes back to Los Angeles to help rescue the daughter of a friend in Costa Rica, where Bruno, his wife and extended family are now living. In the process, Bruno stumbles onto a baby-napping baby/selling scam led by one of the key bad players in town. He and his colleague throw a significant monkey wrench into the business dealings of the bad guy and rescue several babies, two of which end up coming home with him to join the son who was just being born as this story began. Filled with hilarious episodes and harrowing scenes, the story keeps the reader intrigued until the satisfying conclusion is reached at the end.

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A twist and turn at every corner the characters become more involved in the story as it progresses. I loved that this is part of a series because now I can get the other books.

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This was the 10th book in the Bruno Johnson series by David Putnam. I hadn't known about this series, but I felt enough background was mentioned to make this work as a standalone adventure/crime story. I was interested in knowing more about his previous cases and experience and immediately purchased the first three books in this series. This story is implausible but told with wit and dark humour.

I had read two of the author's new series, 'The Fearsome Moonlight Black' and 'A Lonesome Blood Red Sun' featuring Dave Beckett, bone detective. The books were very different in tone from 'The Scorned.' I thought them much more realistic and serious police procedurals.

Bruno is an ex-policeman and also a convicted felon. He lives in Costa Rica with his wife and ten abused children he rescued from the USA. He is wanted as a felon in America and must avoid arrest each time he returns. The rescued children are now content and want to be adopted into Bruno's family. His wife has just undergone a difficult birth, and they have a new baby son. His friend, the doctor, asks him to perform a favour. Bruno's gratitude makes the doctor's request difficult to turn down. The doctor and wife request he go to Los Angeles to escort their daughter, Layla, back to Costa Rica. She has been attending college in LA and told her parents she is worried about a stalker. At the same time, Bruno's father asks him to bring his wife and Bruno's mother to LA. Bruno only recently met his mother, who has a shady past. He learns his mother is carrying most of his father's life savings with her.

When he arrives in LA, he learns that everyone is lying. He discovers that Layla is missing and kidnapped, and her mother is bringing a large sum of money for her ransom. At this point, Bruno should return quickly to his wife and new baby boy. It gets more complicated as Layla was never kidnapped but took the ransom for herself. She had a baby with an evil, brutal criminal gang leader that exploits and traffics women and children. This man has stolen her child. Bruno's estranged mother is now intent on gambling with his father's savings.

We are given some information about Bruno's recent change from a tough guy to someone avoiding violence. Bruno promises Layla he will find and rescue her child. He meets with a large, frightening man from his past who is anxious to help. Karl Drago does not oppose over-the-top violence without remorse or worry about consequences. Much action and brutality ensue. Drago's large, fierce, intimidating dog adds to the humour. The dog accompanies them in the search for the criminal father of Layla's child and their attempt to learn where he has hidden her infant boy. After much mayhem and action, are they successful in their mission? Will Bruno return safely to his family in Costa Rico and avoid further requests to return to the United States? ,

Bruno is a kindly man with a mission to rescue children from toxic situations. He cannot avoid requests to return to America, where he may be arrested. These are fast-moving, brutal and exciting stories, but hard to believe. I enjoyed this book and hope to read others in the series. 3.5 Stars.

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When I accepted a copy I didn't realize it was like the TENTH one! So I was behind a bit, It was fun and action packed and usually everything I love in a book but I was put off that I felt I was dropped in the middle being so late in the series. The Author can spin a tale and writes fantastic though.

The fact that it was so far in the series did not impact my rating because that was my fault should have looked!

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It took me a while to get into this novel. It is down the line in a long series and there is much from the previous books that is important at the beginning of this one. Bruno is a rescuer and this plot deals with some serious issues such as human trafficking. Bruno is a flawed hero, having murdered before. He is not a gentle man when it comes to rescue. He and his sidekick inflict some serious damage when necessary. This novel is not for cozy mystery readers.

Putnam's writing style reveals his experience in law enforcement. The novel is full of action yet shows the human side of Bruno and his concern for people. He is not my kind of hero, however. This is a novel for readers who are not put off by violence.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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(3.5 stars) The Bruno Johnson series by David Putnam has everything a thriller-lover could want: non-stop action, emotional family scenes, a main character who will do what he has to do to right a wrong, and a dog who could be considered a major character himself.

Bruno Johnson keeps getting sucked back into returning to the United States (Los Angeles, specifically), to help people who are in a tight spot of some sort. This isn’t good, as he is a wanted man in the US. He and his wife Marie are currently living peacefully in Costa Rica, along with quite a few children they had rescued from horrible situations - which is partly why he’s wanted in the US. Marie is just about to give birth to their child, as The Scorned opens.

Bruno tells the stories himself, so you get inside his head. His love for his wife Marie and the children they take care of shines through everything. The author has a law enforcement background and you can definitely tell. He also is very familiar with the “mean streets” of Los Angeles, which come to life in his stories.

In this book, Bruno reluctantly returns to the US to escort his mother (his very much estranged mother) back to the US and to bring back a young woman from LA to Costa Rica, the daughter of the doctor who will deliver Marie and Bruno’s child.

Once the story gets going, the action never lets up. Bruno meets up with his old friend Karl Drago, who, like Bruno, seems to have two sides: both violent and soft. He also has a dog, Waldo, who is sometimes comic relief. As often happens with Bruno, Murphy’s Law applies: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Bruno and Karl deal with these “events” on the fly.

You could read this as a standalone because Putnam does an excellent job of filling in what you need to know, but you may be a tad confused regarding Bruno’s backstory. But if you just go with the flow, this story can stand on its own.

Warnings: Violence, kidnapping, child/minor abuse, among others

Thank you to Oceanview Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book, although I’m a bit late to it. All opinions are my own.

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The Scorned is a thrilling fast paced detective novel where the good guys are tough and mean and the bad guys are horrible. Bruno has a heart of gold and will go out of his way to right wrongs even if he is wanted back home and may have to use his fists once in a while. Loved the female characters and you can’t help but root for Bruno even if his methods of bringing justice to the victims are questionable.

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I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I enjoyed The Scorned. It had plenty of action and many plot twists. Bruno Johnson is a former policeman hiding out in Costa Rica with ten kids he rescued from different circumstances. His wife is pregnant and has a difficult delivery that a doctor helps them. Dr. Vargas is looking for someone to take his daughter to the states. In repayment, Bruno volunteers. What develops is a story full of action and adventure.

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Bruno is an interesting character - touch and resilient, but also soft hearted and tender. There are lots of twists and turns which kept me trying to figure out what might happen next. This is my first Bruno book. At times I felt like I was missing important details, but The Scorned held its own as a stand alone read. I plan to go back and read the series from the beginning!

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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Bruno is excited about being a father. When a doctor asks for his help in bringing his daughter hone, he thinks it will be very simple. When he finds out who his daughters boyfriend is, he knows the situation is not good. I liked the different characters in this book.

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Bruno Johnson, once a Los Angeles cop, wanted for murder (but for a good cause) is expecting a first child with his wife, Maria in Costa Rica.

Not the best time for his family, and family doctor, to be insisting on sending him on errands back in his home town. One, to escort his estranged and despised mother to gambling dens. Another, to mind his doctor's daughter, who says she is being stalked.

What could possibly go wrong? After his wife is delivered a son after a difficult birth, he is at least free......

Soon, Bruno, or rather his alias, is in the thick of things as his mother disappears, and doctor's daughter ends up being kidnapped with a substantial random. But Bruno has friends, one an ex biker turned like Bruno vigilante, another a cop who is still on his side. Then, there are still his parents.....

Together, they work to vanquish the girl's kidnapper, who is an extortionist of vulnerable young women and children. A true bad guy.....

There is an element of the heroic caped crusader about Bruno and his sidekick, Drago, this is very much a tale of good versus evil To be fair though, one or two of the characters in this rich and varied yarn proves to be much less evil than originally suspected. Los Angeles is painted less as being Gotham City as Sodom however, with many wrongdoers seem as being beyond redemption. Murder for a good cause, then - or at least, the mother of all beatings for the gangsters' perverted customers. Then again, the sanctity of Family seems to be an important theme here, as Bruno's protective paternal instincts come to the gore, not just for his son, but for the adopted children he has rescued. No wonder the hunt to eliminate the bad guys ends up becoming a family effort too!

The plot and pacing are as engaging as can be hoped for in a thriller such as this - it's a highly satisfying and enjoyable read.

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When I started The Scorned, I felt the pace was fast: lots of details and drama. Once I understood the characters involved in the book, I was able to enjoy my reading experience. Main character, Bruno was wanted in most states for crimes. He has accepted a mission to deliver his ‘mom’ to The states, she also a wanted individual. He never truly had a relationship with mom because she was not around. On this trip, that he is doing for hisdad - he also will be helping the doctor delivering his new baby. The daughter of said doctor needs to be brought home. Layla claims she is being followed and needs help. Story deepens with more danger and bad guys, making for a great adventure.

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Another gripping and well plotted thriller in this series: gripping, fast paced and twisty.
Kept me on the edge and guessing.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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Bruno Johnson, a former cop who is wanted in the US, has made a life for himself in Costa Rica. His wife Maria is due to have their son at any moment and they have taken in a number of children that they support with the help of their neighbors. As a child his own mother spent time in prison and then abandoned him and his father. Now she is back. His father wants Bruno to forgive her and escort her back to the US, but Bruno is not comfortable going back. When Maria goes into labor it is a difficult birth. Dr. Vargas, who sees her through the delivery, has a request of his own. He asks Bruno to escort his wife to bring his daughter Layla home from Los Angeles. Feeling obligated to the doctor and his father, Bruno relents. It is only twelve hours round trip. He will be back before Maria even realizes he is gone. Arriving at the L.A. airport, both Bruno’s mother and Dr. Vargas’ wife disappear.

Bruno is in for a number of surprises. His mother has his father’s life savings and has run off to a card club to gamble. She uses a wheelchair to gain sympathy, but she can sprint like a pro when she needs to. Dr. Vargas’ wife is actually there to pay a ransom for her daughter. Layla springs her own surprise when she refuses to leave without her baby, a child that she had with the gangster who controlled her. Bruno needs help. He calls on Drago, a large man who settles problems with a lead pipe. Drago is accompanied by Waldo, a dog that is as dangerous as his owner. Bruno’s twelve hours are extended to days as he tries to control his mother, search for Layla’s baby and confront the gangs that are involved.

Bruno survived with street smarts and once built a reputation to be feared. Now he has a wife that he loves and respects and a new child of his own. He has now become more cautious and unsure of his actions. Drago defers to his judgement but is ready to wreak havoc whenever he can. Together with Waldo they make a formidable team. This is the tenth book in David Putnam’s series. I had not read the previous books, but he nicely sets the stage for new readers. His characters are powerful and his twists will leave you stunned. I would like to thank NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for providing this book or my review.

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Bruno is an ex LAPD cop who now lives in Costa Rica with his wife and a brood of children they rescued from abusive homes in LA. Bruno's wife is pregnant and has a difficult labour and delivery. Their doctor asks them to accompany his daughter back to LA - risky because Bruno is wanted by the police there. The daughter has a baby who has been kidnapped and is taking back the cash to ransom him. they make the drop but no baby is forthcoming. Soon Bruno realises it is all much more complicated and one of LA's worst gangsters is involved. He is going to need the help of his ultra violent friend Franco and there will be serious conflict.
If you like your airport fiction fast, action-packed and soaked in blood, this one is for you.

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I enjoyed this mystery, it was well plotted, a bit humorous at the right places, Characters were a bit larger than real life, but it worked to make a good crime mystery. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I will be reading more from this author. I enjoyed the humor!

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