Review: “Nothing to Hide” by J. Mark Bertrand (A Bethany House Tour)

A Grisly Homicide.  An International Threat.  The Stakes Have Never Been Higher.

A Roland March Mystery

In Nothing to Hide, a grisly homicide uncovers an international threat. On the streets of Houston, the discovery of a headless corpse launches a new case for Detective Roland March. The stakes have never been higher for Detective Roland March. The victim’s head is missing, but what intrigues March is his hand. The pointing finger must be a clue — but to what? According to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he discovers the Feds are lying. And they’re not the only ones.

In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose — and nothing to hide.


J. Mark Bertrand is the author of the crime novels BACK ON MURDER (2010), PATTERN OF WOUNDS (2011) and NOTHING TO HIDE (2012), featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston.J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota where he lives with his wife Laurie in South Dakota.  Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. 

My Review:

This book is not for the faint of heart!  It’s gruesome and torturous in places.  But within the world Roland Mark finds himself in, these horrors become the norm to the men and women who work to get drugs and illegal arms to the cartels when they want them.

Bertrand’s characters are well-developed, but there are definitely some you would not want to get involved with.  The camaraderie between Lorenz and Roland as partners is genuine as police officers.  The interactions between the police department, the FBI, and the CIA are true to form–no one wants to give up information that might hinder any of their activities that are ongoing.  It’s a book of secrets, manipulations, and betrayal all within the confines of the main characters dealing with the murder and the cartels.  The multiple twists and turns that take place seem monumental at times.  There’s confusion as to who is on whose side.

If you are the thriller type reader, you will find that Bertrand’s book delivers and then some!  The gruesomeness of the headless victim portends to what is to transpire as the book progresses.   Though it’s grueling and gruesome, the author overrides some of the horror and hardships of the job by depicting Roland’s loving marriage relationship.  And you’ll need it for a respite!

This story will make you wonder if you really want to contend with a job in the police department, CIA or FBI.  Are you the gritty type to find the truth regardless of the consequences or one to let some of the evidence slide by as requested by your chief in charge?  These are the people who put their lives on the line to keep our lives safer.

Though I did find some references to faith, it’s was not as well-defined in the context I’m used to. It is tested to the max in the heat of the action, however, but in a wondering way of what’s ‘out there.’

Because this book was inspired by a true life story, it made the book even that much more interesting to me, as I enjoy working through the criminal mind. But do be prepared for the gruesomeness of the story.  It’s unfortunately real life for some people. I found that the innocent ones who are trying to do their job are the ones that my heart goes out to. 

This book was provided by Noelle Buss of Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged. 


4 thoughts on “Review: “Nothing to Hide” by J. Mark Bertrand (A Bethany House Tour)

    • It is a very interesting book. As long as you are aware of the gruesomeness, it keeps you entranced with the read. Enjoy!

  1. Thanks, Desert Rose, for another good review. Although the story sounds well written, I think I would be turned off by the gruesome parts. I rather spend my time reading something that has more faith portrayed, too. Even so, I am still glad to know of this author and will be interested to see what he writes in the future.

    • For some, this is too gruesome. I’m a real forensics type person, and almost got into criminal law, so it was interesting. I can block out the bad stuff most of the time. Mark is a very good writer. I thank you for your compliment on my review.

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