Reviews

The Red Road to Hades
Read it like a real bookworm! It’s so amazing!
ByAnkita on June 15, 2016
Format: Paperback
5 stars

Love is the most beautiful and complex emotion in the whole world. Some say that trust is the backbone of love. However, how much trust is too much? Is there a scale against which one can measure the required dose of this drug? If not, then how do we know that the love that blinds our vision and senses would make us stronger or rip us apart? The Red Road to Hades by Charles W. Massie closely reflects the words of Joan Crawford,
“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”

In the words of the author,”This is a true story. I know it’s true because I lived it; correction, am still living it,” and it’s a shame that an innocent person is suffering due to the inefficiency of a system while the evil breathes free.

A retired and lonely New Yorker, Mark Cassie, sets up his profile on an online dating website. He wishes to move out of New York and settle somewhere a little quieter. His profile receives several messages, but only one lady’s response captures his attention. The thing that stands out in her profile is her being a redhead. Mark has a thing for redheads. Recently divorced, Roxanne lives in Kentucky. They begin interacting frequently, and, soon, she invites Mark to visit her in Kentucky. Their Chemistry seems too strong to ignore; therefore, Mark decides to meet and see where the relationship goes. As soon as they meet, they find themselves mesmerized with each other. This temporary visit turns into a permanent one, and Mark moves in with Roxanne. Their relationship seems perfect, except for Roxanne’s sudden mood swings. She blames her frequent temperamental fits to the pills that she has been taking to deal with menopause. However, some of her stories don’t add up, and Mark worries that she might be a pathological liar. He decides to leave her, but destiny has other plans for him and he ends up behind bars on the charges of domestic violence and drug trafficking. He does not know that this phase of his life would seem to go on forever.

The tempting world of online dating promises miracles in the love department but offers no guarantee in this area. Still, we find ourselves jumping up and down at the prospect of embracing a relationship. The loneliness plays a major role into getting us super enthusiastic about it. By narrating a true story, the author narrows down the errors in our ways. Mark pays no heed to the warning of his friend while creating his online profile, and pays the price. However, he does not blame online dating for the problems. Instead, he points out at every point in his narration, how he ignored the most obvious signs. Love does this to people, and the devil knows it. Evil is all around us, waiting to find its next prey. All we can do is to keep our eyes, ears, and head in working condition. By writing this book, the author has done a commendable job to warn its readers about what could happen. The beginning phase of love is all about hugs, kisses and more, but what lies ahead could be an incomprehensible darkness ready to bury its claws into one’s flesh.

A look at the blurb of the book may make a reader anticipate a book full of pain and tears; however, the narration of the author is entwined with varied emotions. When an innocent person is convicted, they are expected to crash and become hopeless. This is what I anticipated happening to Mark. Nevertheless, no misery could snatch Mark’s incredible sense of humor. He cried tears of frustration and despair but never let his wit abandon him. An unjust system tried to break him into pieces, but he held his head high against all the circumstances. “The protectors of the law” ganged up against him, but he did not let them destroy his determination to find justice.

The writing of the author is quite powerful. I found myself crying when Mark cried and laughing when he joked. His frustration made me want to punch a few grinning faces, and his helplessness teared me up. Throughout the read, I prayed to the almighty to end his sufferings and prevail the justice.In the heart of my hearts, I wished to see him out of the prison. As a reader, I know a book is marvelous if I am reciprocating the feelings of its characters. As a reviewer, I could not wait to write down my thoughts about this book. (I skipped dinner to write, and that’s saying something.)

I applaud the author for sharing this true story in an engaging writing style. I wish that justice would finally prevail and “Mark’s” sufferings would end. I can’t help but be mesmerized by his amazing sense of humor, even at the darkest of times.

I would recommend this book to the readers who like reading about real life stories involving the law. There are many takeaways in the book, like learning about your legal rights, investigating your love-interest thoroughly, and continue fighting for the truth.

The Red Road to Hades
Great and educating read
By jenniferon May 17, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
5 stars

A thrilling tale of intrigue and suspense story based on a true-life event.The story takes you into the life of man Mark the main character who suffers a domestic violence abuse in a relationship with a woman he met online. It’s a story which grabs you from the first chapter and keeps you hooked until the very last page, there were moments where I thought Mark would lose, where things got so bad, and you couldn’t see a way for him to get out, and then you’d be surprised, out of nowhere, at how he manages to survive. Great reading and very informative.

The Red Road to Hades
reviewed by Jessica Garcia
Goodreads.com
5 stars

The book “The Red Road to Hades: a true crime” by Charles W Massie was a very long but also very interesting story. After meeting a woman on Craigslist and hitting it off, Charles decides to move to a different state to be with her. Everything smells like roses until Charles starts to realize that the woman he fell in love over the internet with may not be as perfect as she seems. This story is the ultimate Craigslist nightmare come true.

I wanted to read “The Red Road to Hades” because true crime happens to be one of my top favorite genres. Massie’s story is long but it is worth reading. I liked how many details Massie put in this story. The timeline of events was very clear. Although at times his many sexcapade stories with Roxie seemed too graphic and almost took away from the actual story. In the beginning I felt that both Roxie and Charles had the need to be in control all the time. Reading on I saw that Roxie clearly had more issues than being a control freak. I admit that I did want to reach in the book and slap Charles all the times when he would not leave Roxie after one of her episodes. At the end Charles gained my respect for trying to be a friend even after being betrayed by one.

Anyone who is thinking about putting a personal ad on a social media website NEEDS to read this story first. It is an eye-opener of what could happen to you. This is the type of story that Lifetime movies are made of. This is a must read for true crime lovers.

The Boy in The Bin

By Amazon Customer on November 29, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Once again Mr. Massie “Chaz” you nailed it. This book was fantastic. It was easy to follow and very interesting. I love reading your books, fiction and nonfiction.

The Boy in The Bin
Another keeper from Mr. Massie
By Pat Ianuzzi on January 24, 2016
Format: Paperback

I wasn’t sure if I would like a young adult novel. I am familiar with Mr. Massies ‘true crime’ books and decided to give it a try. I was nicely surprised. This is the story of a young boy’s coming of age. His parents are jerks and both have different ideas on how he should be raised.

The central character, (Raphael) ends up hanging around a gang of punks getting involved in all kinds of bad things like shoplifting, graffiti and arson. He has been caught twice and both times sentenced to reform school.
He learns nothing and his life continues to spiral out of control. When his house catches on fire, he is forced to live in a storage bin. He encounters many strange things and through the experience, comes to a spiritual awakening. He has a new attitude and ends up saving the life of the President, who has come to town.

I found this book to be very well written and easy to understand. Mr. Massie has crafted a story that merges the real world with a mystical world, without the reader realizing it. I would recommend this book for young adult and adult alike and give it 5 stars. This would make an excellent ‘after school’ movie.

The Boy in The Bin
good reading for all
By donna bernardus on January 29, 2016
Format: Paperback

Mr. Massie is at it again threading a coming of age doctrine with real life adventure as in his previous books. The book addresses common social problems of developing youths:mortally, spiritually and emotionally.

Raphael is a teenager dealing with a malfunctioning family and basically is a turn key child. Being deformed has caused conflict with his pier group, they ostracized and reject him because of his cleft pallet. Rafael kinds kindship with a cast out group of arsonists, thrives and sexual deviants. The rejects of society.

Through many adventures he finds his way back to society and forms new values by being totally deserted by mankind.

A good book for all to read as it validates human responses to social pressures. Then supports the values of hard work and self retrospective. Great for those formative teen year’s people to read or would be good to use as a read for high school ethics and morals based coarse study.
The book is well thought out and includes answered that most readers with raise. Would be a good mini series for after school hours TV or a movie. There is a lot of issues for parents to gleen information helpful for them to raise their children.
Another good book by Mr. Massie. I am hoping for another soon. Thank you


The Boy in the Bin

It is a novel and is much better written that the first two
By eva breedlove on January 18, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition

This is the third book I have read by Charles Massie. The first two were true-crime. The Boy in the Bin is a novel and is much better written that the first two. It could be read by an adolescent as well as an adult. There are a few graphic scenes but older adolescence would benefit by reading the book.

The work is set in present day Brooklyn. Raphael is born into an affluent but dysfunctional family. During his early years he must deal with a cleft palate which makes him the subject of teasing by his peers. During his formative years he quickly falls into the wrong crowd causing him
to to continually be in trouble at school.

During Raphael’s teen years he must face the loss of his parents..He is forced to sleep in a storage bin. Mr. Massie writes an exciting tale of how Raphael copes with the life he is dealt and eventually gets his life on the right track. As an educator I recommend this novel for parents and young adults.

Pinned!
Trapped by a Human Black Widow!
By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICEon May 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition

I was lucky to receive an advance copy of this book with a nice little note from the author. I only say that because otherwise I might have missed out on this powerful and impelling story that took over my life for several days! Based on the part of the title True Crime in Kentucky and the afterword by Mr. Massie as well as his own biographical information, I am assuming that Mr. Massey is telling his own story. However, the main character’s name is Mark. Mark narrates the tale in first person beginning with his arrest at his girlfriends house and then backing up and telling the tale how he first met her on the Internet through the aftermath of his arrest.

Mr. Massie has such a way of spinning it with so much detail that I actually felt that everything was happening to me. He seems to have met his ultimate soulmate (Roxie) through Craigslist. The two exchange emails at first and seem to have everything in comman. That elevates to phone calls that get expensive for Mark (he keeps talking about using up his minutes and he prefers talking at night where the calling is unlimited). Mark lives in Syracuse, NY and Roxie is in Burkesville, Kentucky. After about a month of constant conversation, Mark decides to meet his “dream” woman in person and makes arrangements to take a 19 hour bus trip to meet her.

Mark is not very well off financially and he lives with an obnoxious roomate, Les who gets arrested for DUI just before Mark’s trip. When Mark gets to Kentucky all he can see is a beautiful goddess in Roxie who gives him amazing sex right away. He seems to be blind to signs that she is probably bad news (kind of like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry is dating a woman that everyone sees as a loser except Jerry).

Roxie is subject to mood swings and seems to leak hints to Mark when she gets drunk that she may have done some really bad things or was involved in some things that had some really bad outcomes. Mark seems to keep saying he will file these tidbits in his mind for later investigation. Then Roxie does some obvious things like forcing Mark to take a daily dose of foul tasting “vitamins” for which she will not reveal the ingredients.

No matter what Roxie does Mark thinks with his libido and keeps getting suckered in more by Roxie until she has her claws deeply in him. Again the author does such a good job that the reader feels like they are the ones being victimized by Roxie and being pulled into a position of no escape.

I really liked this book and the only complaint I have is that I think that the author should tone down some of the gratuitous sex scenes that are presented in excessive detail. Other than that I still give this book a full five stars.

Pinned!
An Interesting Read
By Literary Litter on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I actually picked up this book after reading its sequel Stains on the Gavel. Stains tells the story of Mark, who has been wrongfully incarcerated. Pinned is the back story. It’s the story of how Mark fell in love with a woman, Roxie, over the internet, moved to Kentucky, and became ‘pinned’. Keep in mind that this is all based on a true story. It’s one man’s fight against a woman who ‘done him wrong’ and the ‘good ole boys’ in the Kentucky judicial system.

For me, I was fascinated with the second book, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. It wasn’t a bad book, but I’ve read better. Something about it just kept me hooked, addicted. I was interested in finding out Mark’s back story and how he ended up in his situation in Stained, but I also was hoping for further insight on exactly what it was that made Stained so fascinating to me. I found it!

First of all, this is an intriguing story. If you read one of the books, you simply have to pick up the other and read either the back story or the continuation. It really is an interesting saga. You’ll find yourself flipping page after page to find out what happens next, even though it really isn’t an edge of your seat kind of thrill.

So, here’s the fascination. I’ve never read a character like Mark before. The entire story is told from Mark’s point of view. The thing is, that we really get to see Mark’s perception of himself, which is unusual to this degree. For example, Mark and Roxie will be having an argument. Mark will say or do something that will make me cringe. Usually, it’s something that I would never put up with. Then Roxie would retaliate and say something hateful or go off pouting. Sounds like a normal argument, right? The interesting thing is that Mark then can’t figure out why Roxie is so upset and begins to think she’s 8 crayons short of a box. As readers, we get to see Mark from our point of view, but also from his point of view, which can be two drastically different things.

Also, once I picked up Pinned and read it, it changed how I felt about the second book. In the second one, I felt a modicum of sympathy for Mark and just couldn’t comprehend how people like Roxie get away with it, or live with themselves. After reading the first book and finding out how everything really went down, I actually felt a little sorry for Roxie. I’m not saying she’s in the right, or the wrong, just that I didn’t see her as the cold and calculating woman that I found in the second book.

Read it for yourself and judge! Who’s at fault here? Is Roxie a psychotic people user or did Mark really do the things he’s accused of? Though this book was originally written to warn people of what can happen, if you look at it from a fictional perspective, it turns into a fascinating ‘well, who’s the bad guy?’ sort of book

Stains on The Gavel

Amazon
4 out of 5 stars
JUSTICE OR CORRUPTION
By gayle pace on December 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
REVIEW

July 2009, the nightmare for Mark Casey began. He had committed no crime and yet here he was, arrested. The battle is on between Mark and the Kentucky good ‘ol boys.

The story began in the author’s book PINNED – A Kentucky True Crime, Book One of the Blue Grass Series. PINNED sets the background for STAINS ON THE GAVEL.

We are now continuing in Book Two of the Blue Grass Series.

The year being 2013. Mark’s lawyer believes he is innocent. Mark’s defense attorney believes he is innocent and he has a reputation for winning big high profile law suits. Everyone , his friends, family and the people of Burksville, Kentucky believe this may have been a setup. This is a big deal since nothing ever happens in the little town. Could this be Kentucky Injustice? Mark’s case is built solely on speculation by the Prosecution. There was no evidence found. This case is definitely an acquittal. The problem being money talks and rules can be made up on the spur of the moment. Mark finds out that justice doesn’t always prevail in southern Kentucky.The author puts a lot of description and details into the characters. A lot of detail went into the ‘under the table’ deals. Corruption reigns amid the public officials. Greed drives them, no matter what. Will Mark be acquitted? Will justice prevail? Will the corrupt be taken to task? I believe the author set up a good Kentucky mystery and added the corruption and gain that only money will buy. If you like mysteries with corruption mixed in, then I would suggest you grab a copy of STAINS ON THE GAVE by Charles W. Massie and follow Mark’s attorney to gain justice. One thing I would suggest is read Book One of the Blue Grass series first. PINNED has the background for STAINS ON THE GAVEL. (I think a little splash of blood on the cover would have been a nice touch)

I would give this book 4 GAVELS.

I received a complimentary copy of STAINS ON THE GAVEL from the author, Charles W. Massie/Outskirts Press for my opinion of the book. I received no other compensation.

Stains on the Gavel

Amazon
By Maria on January 9, 2015
*Please not that this is the second book of a series. I did not read the first book. However, I think someone would be fine jumping right into this one. There is a summary at the beginning of what happened in the prior book, plus flashbacks within the book.

– For people who like crime/based on true story genres
– This book follows the trial and jail time (mostly jail time) for Mark Casey
– You will never look the same way at orange Kool-Aid or Kentucky again
– Because of multiple transfers, the book contains some repetition
– Although giving a personal experience in the jail, some of Mark Casey’s stories could have been left out without taking away from the overall book