by Nancy Stancill
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Pub Date 05 May 2016 | Archive Date 18 Jul 2016
When a female body is found floating in the Houston Ship Channel, Annie Price, an investigative journalist for a struggling Houston newspaper, is propelled into a dangerous web of intrigue. She must solve a complex mystery that includes a corrupt strip club empire, a ruthless human trafficking scheme, and deadly competition between two separatist groups seeking to impose their twisted visions on the Lone Star State. As two murders hit close to home, Annie and a fellow reporter risk death to expose the hidden secrets of a Texas ranch.
“Sex traffickers and guns-for-hire meet in a nefarious plot to see Texas secede and America shaken to its core. Witty, gritty and filled with brilliantly realized characters, this book is a pure delight for lovers of suspense as the ever-dogged Annie Price risks life and limb to uncover the truth.” - Tony D’Souza, author of Mule
"Winning Texas is a moody thriller, an ode to people with outsized dreams and the ones they prey on; to those who populate the city by day, and those who rule the night. In the wake of L.A.-noir and Florida glare, Nancy Stancill gives us Bayou City grime. In her pages, Houston seduces and leaves us breathless, begging for more." - Stefan Kiesbye, author of The Staked Plains
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 17 members
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is captivating, dark and gritty. Even though this is book two In the series, you could read it as a stand- alone, and still very much enjoy it. Annie Price normally an Editor at the Houston Times and is filling in for one of her investigative reporters Travis Dunbar, when she goes out to the docks to investigate a woman who has drowned. Nothing looks suspicious with the drowning except the woman looks to be of Eastern European origins. Meanwhile Nate another reporter is investigating Kyle Krause the strip club king, and of course Kyle and his girlfriend Julianna aren’t too thrilled to have a reporter sniffing around. Instead of having his contacts get the more expensive girls from Russia to strip in his clubs, Kyle agree to allow Zogu to bring in 10 Albanian women. Unfortunately, only 9 make if off the ship, with the one drowning. However, on arrival Julianna isn’t impressed with all the women and only thinks a few are up to standard for their clubs, and the rest can go out to the ranch for her other business. No one really knows what goes on at the ranch, and with the security measures in place it doesn’t look like anyone is going to get the chance. Kyle is backing the German Texas Group who are pushing to make parts of Texas into a purely German area. While another group the Secessionist’s want Texas to be independent from the USA. I really enjoyed the way the Author has tied in all the characters to the main story. Also how much time and background was spent on each character, so that we really get to know each one. This really did make this story a pleasure to read.
An entertaining murder mystery set in Houston. In the cut throat world of declining newspaper sales, Annie Price is an investigative editor, with a skeletal team and an ever shrinking budget. A dead body turns up floating in the Houston Ship Canal. With drink problems, relationship nightmares and the death of a reporter, Annie investigates. Encountering a dodgy strip club chain, human trafficking, Texan separatist groups, it is a difficult trail. I confess to finding much of the writing laboured, although I did like some of the characters, and how the book echoes real life happenings in Texas. Thanks to Black Rose Writing for an ARC via netgalley.
This was a good read. Good character development, Heroine was strong, relationship challenged but nice sense of humor. Ancillary characters were interesting and got an insight in to the media. Will read this author again.
First I want to say thank you to Black Rose Writing for sending me the EPub format of the book! I had the PDF from Netgalley and they are the worst to read on Kobo. I was so very thankful :)
A brief summary about the book:
Annie is a reporter for the Times newspaper (which is a dying source in Houston). Throughout the book they discover someone has been smuggling immigrant women into Texas to work as strip club dancers. Annie and her colleagues work together to find out who and what is going on.
Each chapter touches on the different characters who play into the story, good and bad guys. I enjoyed that aspect, but there were some chapters where I got lost on who I was reading about and what made them important.
I would have liked to read more about Betsy Marr, the under-age runaway strip dancer. she was intriguing, maybe because her story was so dramatic.
There were many plot twists, and just as many surprising events. Not all the characters were 'perfect and pretty', all of them had distinctive qualities.
I really enjoyed this novel and would pick up a second.
A great read with a strong heroine in the lead character of Annie. An exciting plot and well written. I would read another book by this author. Thank you Net Galley for my copy. I reviewed on Goodreads.
Winning Texas is a book full of plot twist, mystery, deception and murder. You start this book with a body floating in the Houston Ship Channel. From there the story begins to only get more intense. Just when you think you might have it figured out there is a twist thrown in. Annie Price is a reporter trying to find out what happened to the young women found floating in the ship channel. Things unravel from there.
I had a hard time getting into this book when I started it. Granted the murder at the beginning was quite intriguing. I really enjoyed the fact the author put in little things like the restaurant Ninfia's. I haven't heard of that place in so very long. The plot twists we very well written and kept me on my toes. I was not able to guess who murdered who. People who you thought you knew in this book are not what they seem by the end. I love that in a story. All in all it was a good read.
Great story. Scary how easily this could happen in Texas.
Wow, what a surprising book! I have not read anything by this author and apparently this is the 2nd book in a series (the first being Saving Texas). I have this thing about reading a series in order but this book was well written and only a few references to things in the past that I am assuming are in the first book, but nothing that made me feel like I was missing out.
The book is set in Houston and while I am only slightly familiar with locations and such, I felt like I was there with the various descriptions and location mentions (including a reference to a restaurant called Ninfa's that I remember eating at in the DFW area back in the 90's and sadly is now closed)
Annie is an editor that is pulled back into reporting when a body is found in a Houston waterway and her main reporter that covers this beat is out of town. I don't think she is expecting the tale that unfolds, I know I wasn't! And if you want a sneak peek into the gentleman's club scene, this book gives you a glimpse. It can be good and it can be bad, all depends on the owners and managers. There is also a glimpse into human trafficking, but not where women are kidnapped, but are brought into the US illegally to perform at strip clubs and do other things but are basically held hostage until they repay the cost to bring them here.
I found one of the underlying stories about groups wanting Texas to secede fascinating. Sure it has always been a joke here, but let's face it, there would be so many things that would have to change that it may not be for the best (currency, trade, etc). But don't let some of the characters in this book convince you otherwise.
There is a vast array of characters and just when you think that you like a character or two, they turn on you and they are not quite so likeable. I was very surprised at the changes in a few of the characters, did not expect the change in attitude/beliefs.
I was definitely surprised at how some events turned out including the big secret about "the ranch". I was wondering if we would find out what was up with that location and what julianna was doing there, and you do find out but just FYI it isn't until the end. Keeps the mystery going.
I also liked how the author addressed the newspaper industry and that printed papers are becoming a dying industry and that all of our news is gathered from online sources. It is the fate of the world due to advances in technology. Why wait on day old news when you can have the latest, most update news 24/7? Of course you hear all the bad news 24/7 and it can be a downer.
Overall, enjoyed the book and will be on the lookout for upcoming books from this author.
A cracking read overall with good characters and a plausible plot plus it's doesn't take itself too seriously and is funny in parts amongst all the murkiness of the tale being spun a very satisfying read all told I really enjoyed it
an ok read not good but not bad would try more by this author a good beach read
I liked Winning Texas so much that I immediately set out to find the first book in this series, Saving Texas. I enjoyed Winning Texas even without knowing the pretext of the female protagonist, Annie. It was a fast-paced story of a journalist who ends up putting herself in more danger than she should for her story. Murder, lying, mayhem and greed consume the subjects she and her colleagues end up connecting with. Mrs. Stancill has written a great followup to what I am sure will be a great read for me now.
Solid writing, interesting peek into the newspaper world, great characters, and a super twist at the end! Definitely worth your time.
Set in Houston, Annie Price an investigative editor is called to find out the facts of a body found in the Houston Ship Canal
This murder mystery is a fabulous read, There is a lot of drama and oh so many twists.
Price is a brilliant character and I loved getting to know her and her'secrets'
I hope there will be another such as this, I was gripped with the plot and it was definitely the book for me
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