Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body


Fiction - Mystery - General
310 Pages
Reviewed on 08/26/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grace Masso for Readers' Favorite

Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body: A Novel by Barry R. Ziman is an engaging story with interesting and well-developed characters. Ryan McNeil works in Albany for Assemblyman Somatos, a powerful politician. He has plans of getting married to the love of his life, but Ryan unwittingly witnesses the abduction of a legislative intern while flirting. Everything about his life unravels in a way he never could have imagined, with Caroline Tierney leaving him so suddenly that he does not even have the time to process what is happening, and his dreams of a political career are dashed against the rocks. After seven years, Ryan, now married to Annie, finds himself in an act of infidelity and witnesses another kidnapping of a woman in Virginia, and this time, he is a prime suspect. Follow him as he deals with a pathologically lying wife with whom he does not feel any emotional connection, and fights to prove his innocence while figuring out where Caroline, the love of his life, fits into the picture.

Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body is an engaging story that follows characters readers will stick with from beginning to end, especially the protagonist, Ryan McNeil as his life is overturned again and again due to his sexual infidelities. He just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or does he? This novel is an emotional ride with a strong appeal to fans of thrillers, and it explores themes of power and the connection it has to sexual desires, infidelity, and marriage. It is revelatory of the base natures of humans, especially those of the ruling class, and it shows readers how power can be used to manipulate others. Barry R. Ziman has an extraordinarily brilliant talent when it comes to weaving complex plot points and characters that readers can easily identify with.

Jose Cornelio

Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body: A Novel by Barry R. Ziman follows Ryan McNeil, a man with wonderful ambitions of getting married and developing a career in politics, but a character with a tragic flaw that seems to stalk him in dangerous ways — infidelity. At an unfortunate moment when he is unfaithful to the love of his life, Caroline Tierney, Ryan becomes a witness to an abduction and when he reports the incident to the police, it leads eventually to Caroline walking out of his life. After seven years, he has a successful career with his former boss, now a Congressman. He is married to Annie, even if not fulfilled in the marriage. Again, while committing an act of infidelity, Ryan witnesses another kidnapping. This time it is in Virginia, and he becomes the prime suspect. Caroline resurfaces in his life, but can he prove his innocence, reclaim his life, and reconnect with the love of his life?

This is a novel with an explosive ending that will surprise readers. Ryan is a protagonist — some will call a tragic hero — that will leave readers asking if he really deserved it. It is a story of love, corruption, and manipulation, and readers will adore the way the author shows how people in power can use money and sex to manipulate and subjugate others. Characters like Somatos and Annie are not what they seem to be, and the twists in the story will surprise any reader. Barry R. Ziman plots intelligently and writes characters that are fully developed and realistic. I found it hard not to feel some sympathy for Ryan, a man who seemed to have been punished in a proportion that far outweighed his crimes. Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body: A Novel has good pacing, a huge dose of drama, and manifold surprises to keep the pages turning.

Rabia Tanveer

Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body by Barry R. Ziman is a political mystery/thriller that follows the trials and tribulations of Ryan McNeil. An aspiring politician working under Assemblyman Somatos, Ryan had idyllic views of life, love, and politics. He thought he would stay with his sweet Caroline forever, but that changed when he cheated on her. Ryan became a witness to the kidnapping of young Kathy, who was later found dead. He goes to the police with his testimony, which was the beginning of a terrible future Ryan never foresaw. Years later, now married to someone else, Ryan was on an all-time professional high and but at his lowest in his personal life. However, it was witnessing another young woman being abducted that did it for him. Going to the police with his testimony only brought suspicion on him, and before he knew it, Ryan was a prime suspect in the case. Now it was up to Ryan to prove his innocence, or else he could lose his political future.

Perhaps one of the most unique political/mystery novels, this exceptional story had me hooked from the first chapter. Barry R. Ziman opened the story with a literal bang and kept the momentum going from there. The pace never slowed down, the action was an integral part of the story, and the narrative set the right tone for the plot. However, this novel was more than just a murder mystery and a political thriller. The themes of family, infidelity, and searching for the truth played a vital role in moving the story forward. Ryan was a typical politician, someone who had big ideas and even bigger ideals, but he gave in to his vices. However, that does not mean he was a bad person. The author shared his growth at a pace that suited his character and didn’t rush anything. I was surprised that I could not guess the ending. It surprised me. Girls, Crimes & the Ruling Body was pure entertainment.