Coastal Empire

Robert Mercer Mysteries

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
367 Pages
Reviewed on 06/04/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Rocky Leonard is the pen name used by John L. Leonard for his fiction work, chosen in honor of his father. In real life, Rocky Leonard was one of the most colorful characters you could ever want to meet. John credits his dad for the sarcastic wit and cynicism of the Robert Mercer character.

The author routinely writes articles for a number of online publications and was interviewed on the Dennis Miller radio show. Coastal Empire is his first novel. He has also written short stories for an anthology about animals and is editing his second detective novel, Secondhand Sight.

John holds a BBA from the University of Georgia and worked as a computer programmer for more than twenty years before becoming a writer. His writing has also been influenced by shorter stints working as a bartender, real estate investor and landlord.

He has been married to wife Lisa for twenty-two years. John is the proud father of two and grandfather of three, as well as pack leader for several wonderful dogs and one crazy cat.

Born in Savannah, John has spent most of his adult life in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. The local color in his writing is equally authentic whether the setting is a Georgia beach, downtown Atlanta, or the Appalachian foothills in north Georgia.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

"Coastal Empire", written by John “Rocky” Leonard, has its setting in the beautiful Savannah, Georgia. Our story begins with a murder and a big bang. When Sarah Reid walked into private investigator Robert Mercer office, he admired her beauty. She hired him to investigate her husband, Barry, a real estate tycoon, suspecting him of cheating on her. Mercer thought “her husband must be an idiot.” Could Barry be an adulterous husband or was it a case of identity theft? The investigation turned dangerous as the murder victims began to build up. Mercer, his faithful German shepherd Ox and his friend, a former Marine, go head to head with a dangerous network of scammers. They are involved in real estate scams and jewelry larceny in this exciting gumshoe mystery.

Fans of mystery will be thrilled with John Leonard’s debut novel, "Coastal Empire". His characters are well done especially the lead, Robert Mercer. Mercer has more than a bit of attitude; he is acerbic and a skeptic which makes him perfect for this new series. "Coastal Empire" is a solid detective novel reminding me of a more current Marlowe mystery. This tale has several threads that Leonard successfully weaves together in a most unlikely manner. Like most mystery fans I tried to outguess the author but I found it impossible to figure out the ending on this one. I found it heartwarming that Leonard modeled Robert Mercer upon his father. This is the first book in the 'Robert Mercer series'. In my opinion this series will be well received. "Coastal Empire" has a lot going for it: great characterization, an exciting plot and fine language. Watch for the name John “Rocky” Leonard.