In The Rules Ava Rome is a protection specialist. She keeps her clients alive while doing whatever is necessary to stop the threat. To protect her clients she has to know everything about them up front. The fact that she knows her latest client, “Paul” is lying about his name and possibly other things is not a good sign. The issue with the name could be for good reason. According to the father, a wealthy and powerful businessman most likely from somewhere in South America, the threat against his son is very real and he is willing to pay top dollar for someone of Ava’s skills.


All Ava Rome has to do is attend classes and other functions with Paul while he works on his master’s degree in renewable natural resources. Paul only needs one semester in Hawaii and then he goes back home. Ava will be paid very well for the job with half now and half at the end of the semester if Paul is still alive. All she has to do is keep him alive and not break any of her rules.


Much easier said than done.


Readers familiar with the work of Texas author Mark Troy and specifically the excellent Pilikia Is My Business and other books will recognize Ava Rome as very similar to Private Investigator Val Lyon. Both women are very good at their jobs while dealing with the occasional personal temptation as well as men who don’t take them seriously. While the former can generate internal conflict, the answer to the latter is often a simple hands on demonstration of reality. Ava Rome is not about to forget her gun in the cookie jar at 3 AM and she certainly isn’t about to trust everything she is told.


Featuring plenty of action, interesting characters, and a heroine readers will love, The Rules is a powerful mystery packed into a short story. It also gives readers a glimpse of Ava Rome who will be back next summer in the mystery novel The Splintered Paddle from Five Star Publishing.


The Rules

Mark Troy
Ilium Books

September 2013

ISBN# 978-0-98480813-7


50 Pages (estimated)




Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review. Tomorrow, here on the blog, you will have the opportunity to read an excerpt from The Rules as part of the Sunday Sample series.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2013

Be Sociable, Share!