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Collateral Damage by @FrederickBrooke – review & a recipe

Welcome to Novel Publicity’s Blog Tour for Collateral Damage by Frederick Lee Brooke. This is the third Annie Ogden story and although it is a stand-alone I have read them all. Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy and now this one.


Collateral Damage by @FrederickBrooke – review & a recipeCollateral Damage
by Frederick Lee Brooke
Pages: 336
on June 18, 2013
Amazon • • Goodreads •

A love story.

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore?

A murder.

The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual.

An obsession.

Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.


This is a really hard review to write because I fell in love with Annie in book two. Book one was frustrating and yet I loved her there too. Max Vinyl is not a mystery, Zombie Candy is and this book was even more of a challenge mystery wise. I guessed who about 40%, but I was so not sure til about 85% and until the last-minute I was not positive. 

There were some fun times within.  It was an adventure. It did give me moments of excitement and some smiles but I had more hard and frustrating times than I did good ones. I liked the different chapters from her point of view and switching to her fiance’s point of view even though it really did not make sense with the way this book was being constructed, at least not for me. But I know a lot of folks liked it.

Annie – As readers we know she has PTSD. The author has made that clear and although untreated (at least this is not shared with us as the readers) she is now in a healthy relationship with Salvatore. At least I thought so at the end of Zombie Candy. Annie has been dealing with it since she and her sister were attacked as children. Plus add in her time in the army as a recovering vet, where she lived before moving in with Salvatore… and yep.. PTSD! So I expected specific reactions from her.

I have read all three of these books and the stories get more solid each time. However Annie’s reactions based on the fact she has PTSD bothers me and always has, despite how much I like her character. We left her squared away in Zombie Candy, so I thought and I really expected her to grow not become more wishy-washy but less in this third installment. Zombie Candy, the characters and their responses are a heck of a lot more solid and believable than this one or the first. I don’t buy Annie’s actions after being attacked in the park. How can she be so detached from reality, acting like nothing has really happened… at least not really.. it is confusing to me, her reactions and her lack of reactions. She does not even call the cops, it makes no sense. 

Michael – Annie’s ex-boyfriend, Michael is not stable and anyone, especially Annie, can see this or at least should.  I have PTSD and this book triggered the hell out of me. Mostly because part of my PTSD is related to a stalker. Maybe you won’t catch this, but you would catch the inconsistencies. She knows Michael attacked her and yet she let him take her in a car to Florida? I don’t care how much love there is or was.. or ummm.. But after hiding in her sisters closet all night? She just says he is a joker? Her sister doesn’t even call the cops. Again it just was not believable.

Salvatore – I liked him in book two. I am sorry but after this book, I do not like him at all.  I did not buy his reactions and frankly I hope Annie and him do not work out. Sad huh? But he seems just as unhealthy at times for her as the other men!

Todd – I think the person whose actions I bought most of the time, even if all of them did not add up in the end, as portrayed throughout the book was Todd, the soon to be ex brother-in-law. He was a putz but I bought it, and I believed them.

The cops behavior at the party when they discover a dead body. Their lack of doing anything about the crimes which happen in the community were beyond just because they were being over worked. The cop Salvatore has contact with is awesome though. I am hoping he is added to the gathering group of support staff for this series. Maybe this is a tiny problem but by this part of the book I had already been having serious issues because of all the triggers to the kidnapping (yes that is what it is whether Annie realizes it or not), to the attack, to the stalking… it went to far and I just couldn’t completely buy it.

Annie has already been established as getting her shit together in the previous books, as I have mentioned.. Even in Doing Max Vinyl she is more together! Plus she doesn’t even contact anyone about her decision to lawyer Michael up; not Salvatore or her sister, no one.  Just throws down $10K to the lawyer. this is not how someone who is so detached and messed up as Fred has written her to be acts. They can try to be independent but in the end they need affirmation for actions like this. Spontaneous yes, to a fault and falling in the danger zone but these were a bit much And the Sink holes? Yes there are a lot in Florida, but by this time it was getting over the top. Especially since … woot,!! Miracle cure they can serve at the charity event after being drugged and left for dead at the bottom of one the day before… airlifted, broken arm, dehydrated… The timing should perhaps have been drawn out another two days and I would have bought it… but the event needed to be used to unveil the overall scheme. 

I love Fred and I like Annie, but I just wanted to scream … I kind of felt like I was on some kind of roller coaster of emotions. This is something that could have taken place (based on her emotions) before Zombie Candy. If you have PTSD, have had a stalker etc I would use caution. I am not saying you will have the same reactions but it was frustrating because the reactions did not seem right. It could just be me!

If you are not as picky about believability and don’t know much about how PTSD works you probably really enjoy the book. Brooke’s is a solid writer, there are no editing mistakes, etc. It is fun and definitely a ride. Plus now I want to make tons of lovely glutton-free baked goods!

Overall 6.5 out of 10 – Mystery wise 8 out of 10



About Frederick Lee Brooke

Collateral Damage by @FrederickBrooke - review & a recipe

Frederick Lee Brooke launched the Annie Ogden Mystery Series in 2011 with Doing Max Vinyl and following with Zombie Candy in 2012, a book that is neither about zombies nor sweets. The third mystery in the series, Collateral Damage, appeared in 2013. The first book in Fred's entirely new series is due in November 2013.

A resident of Switzerland for the last 20 years, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer.

When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.


Hangover Cure


I made this last summer and have since made it tons. I love using a grill even if it is -30F out! Even if I do not grill them, I roasting them or throwing them in the skillet with the bacon grease. The great thing is, this is perfect and goes with the story. It was originally called the Airplane Crash Sandwich. For today I am dubbing this the cure for a hangover, and with the partying going down in this book and the way it made me feel with all the triggers, despite them being a bit over the top, I needed comfort food. Annie obviously needs comfort food.

Also hangovers. Here is why a bit of charring is good, charcoal for the alcohol poisoning, bread to help sop it up, the veggies have vitamins. You can also throw on a straight egg, but avoid the cheese. Use glutton free bread to make it even less harsh on your system.

The tomatoes melted perfectly, the scent in the air divine even the mosquitoes left me alone. I added a gorgeous dollop of the minced garlic you get in a jar at the deli to the onions. Grilled them flipping flat in the pan. I took the tomato slices, which I sliced thick on top of the onions so they would not break down. Before throwing all on the grill I took my homemade mayo and blended in some California style garlic powder and yellow curry and blended it to a perfect pizzazz of a sandwich and a party in my mouth.



  1. Don’t know if that giveaway is international or not but I’m entering anyway. Very nicely written honest review.

  2. You’ve actually made me curious to read Collateral Damage because I too have read Max Vinyl and Zombie Candy. Thanks for such an honest review

  3. This book is just fantastic, I enjoyed every page, a real who done it.
    Loved it.

  4. I’m big into mysteries right now, thank you for the honest review. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  5. I don’t suffer from PTSD, but I didn’t have so much trouble believing… People do stupid stuff for dumb reasons. I also haven’t read any other Annie Ogden mysteries, but I felt this was a good book for the most part (see my blog for my review, if you’re interested: Though I disagree with some of your review (maybe because I’m a little ignorant here), I also knew who done it early on. It’s still a great read, in my opinion. 🙂 Happy reading!

  6. great review! i couldn’t have said it better myself… really……i couldn’t.

  7. sounds fantastic! Thanks for the awesome review 🙂

  8. I have not read the first two books. I loved this book. I could not leave it for long. I finished it in one day.

  9. Ive been seeing the build up for months for this book. I just started reading the first 1.

  10. Great, insightful review, Kriss. I kind of enjoy watching you react hardcore to books–is that bad? I still remember your review of Forgive Me, Alex. I haven’t been triggered by many books (just Marley and Me and A Prayer for Owen Meany), but commercials, they make me cry all the time. Blah.

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