Tag Archives: Reviews

Another 4 Star Review on Amazon

4 star reviewJames Ewing, author of the soon to be published crime comedy novel FRESH SQUEEZED, just posted a four star review of Painted Black on Amazon.  I love what he has to say, especially the part about the Kafkaesque villain and “a good story with a wicked twist.”

If you’ve read Painted Black, I encourage you to go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads and leave a review.  I’d love to hear everyone’s feedback, both good and bad.  That’s how authors make the next book even better.

Painted Black is the fast-paced story of the nearly invisible people living on the street, and the people who prey on them. Set in Chicago, Painted Black gives a gritty look at the hidden reality of homelessness, and the lengths these pariahs are forced to go to, just to survive. The story follows street-beat reporter Jo Sullivan in her obsessive search for a missing teenage girl. As she uncovers clues to the girl’s whereabouts, Jo comes face-to-face with gutter-level hardcores, social working soft-hearts, and a truly Kafkaesque villain. A good story with a wicked twist, Painted Black is definitely one to read.

via Amazon.com: James W Ewing’s review of Painted Black.


Jenn’s Review Blog: Painted Black

4 star reviewWhen I emailed an epub version of Painted Black to Jenn’s Review Blog on May 8, I did so hoping she’d be able to get to it by the end of June. Reviewers are swamped these days with review requests and Jenn had only been able to tell me she would get to it as soon as she could.

So I was very surprised to get her email May 31 saying she was already done and had posted the review on her blog.  According to her email:  “Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down! Review is posted on my blog and I am posting to Amazon, B&N and Goodreads also 🙂 I hope you will consider asking me to review your next book, I loved the character of Jo Sullivan! Thanks again for the opportunity.”

Click the link below to read her full review.

Dark, gritty and suspenseful this is a seat of your pants ride that you won’t soon forget.

via Jenn’s Review Blog: Painted Black.


Review by “Seattle Wrote” Website

4 star reviewNorelle Done posted her recent review of Painted Black at her Seattle Wrote blog site.  She gave the book four out of five stars, which is a win by anyone’s calculations.  Here’s how she tallied up the score.

Amidst frozen corpses, a funeral home scandal, and each character dealing with their own ghosts and closet skeletons, this novel comes down to a key point – the people that live on the streets are mostly forgotten when they disappear.

  • Plot: Painted Black is easy to follow, interesting, and gets you hooked – I was drawn into Lexie’s plight and found Jo’s investigation easy to keep up with. The story flowed well and fit together like a puzzle, and it didn’t feel too coincidental either. Star Awarded.
  • Characters: I felt like Deb went 75 percent of the way with the characters. There was back story, but it wasn’t resolved or fully explained, such as what really happened with Jo’s dad, or Chris’ family, or more into why Jack is involved with the homeless. Maybe there will be more in future Jo Sullivan books, but I was slightly left hanging with this one. Half-Star Awarded.
  • Setting: The setting for Painted Black is supposed to be Chicago, but I found myself feeling like it was Seattle more than once. Granted, I have never been to Chicago, and all of the Seattle-based books I read probably tainted things a little bit, but I feel like more could have been done to make it feel like Chicago. However, the book did have the trait of feeling like it could be any city, and with the focus on the homeless, it could help the reader to adopt the story for their own city. Half-Star Awarded.
  • Originality: It’s definitely a unique story. From the characters to Deb’s intimate understanding of what the homeless face, Painted Black is a one-of-a-kind story. Star Awarded.
  • Style: I noticed one or two errors, but none were glaring or distracting. Star Awarded.

That’s a total of Four Stars. Borys depicts the street life and struggles in an engaging, interesting way that draws you in and helps give a little perspective into the lives of the homeless. Maybe the next time you see someone huddled in a door frame or sleeping on a park bench, they won’t be quite so invisible.

via Seattle Wrote: Painted Black Review


Cities of the Mind Review

This review slipped by my notice until yesterday.  Connor Rickett tells his views about the good, the bad and the–well, there isn’t really anything ugly in his review, so I’m counting it as a big win.  See what you think–click through to read the whole review.

Debra R. Borys is a good writer, and Painted Black keeps the pace up throughout. The characters come across as real, and the at times disturbing reality of the way she portrays the lives of the homeless lend the entire book a visceral feel. She clearly mines her own experiences working with the homeless community to bring the streets to life. The gritty realism that surrounds the protagonists gives them a flavor, and Borys does not seem to feel burdened to tie up every loose end and personal issue in a nice little happy bow. That simple accession to reality is one a lot of writers refuse to make, invested as we are in our characters.

Another item particularly well done was the dialog. Borys must have an ear for it, because it flows naturally, and mimicking the slang of the inner city is something very good writers often mess up painfully.

The villains are certainly intimidating, and, however twisted, far from incompetent most the time. There is nothing that drives a story forward quite like villains suffering from competence and a tendency towards intelligent action. There are some elements that are almost creepy, and some elements that are incredibly successfully creepy. A good villain can make a book, and though I wish they had been given more page time, these guys did their job: They made you think the protagonists were in real danger.

via » Review of Debra R. Borys’ “Painted Black” » Cities of the Mind.


Norelle Done’s Review

Norelle Done from Seattle Wrote posted her 4 star review review on Amazon and Goodreads today.  The review will also be posted on her website.  Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say.

Thanks, Norelle!  I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Painted Black is easy to follow, interesting, and gets you hooked. . . Borys depicts the street life and struggles in an engaging, interesting way that draws you in and helps give a little perspective into the lives of the homeless. Maybe the next time you see someone huddled in a door frame or sleeping on a park bench, they won’t be quite so invisible.

via Amazon.com: Norelle Done’s review of Painted Black.