Bonne Femme Reviews
Rating 4.72 Stars
Clare H reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
Keeps you on your toes! April 2, 2014
Richard Carter is an ex-marine who has taken up a new life in a town called Cartier. He decides to enrol in college and get back into a relatively normal civilian life. During his first day he meets a fellow ex-marine Mic who fought alongside him in the war. The pair form a turbulent relationship that results in Richard becoming suspicious.

I don’t really read novels of this nature (suspense and mystery) so I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting. However, Bonne Femme is absolutely amazing and words cannot express how much I loved it. I know that sounds incredibly cliched, but it’s true. Not once did I know what was going to happen and for that I am grateful, as you all know I hate predictable story lines. I was surprised with events that took place and even went ‘oh my, I didn’t know that was happening’ on several occasions.

Mic turns out to be a man you don’t want to mess with and he even scared me! He’s a clever man and uses his intellect to make people like him, but he is incredibly dangerous. He wants to control women and tries in any which way to do that, even a little torture.

I’m always fascinated with criminology and how the criminal mind works and AR Simmons has done well to keep you captivated and intrigued with the subject. It’s amazing how things happen just because of a persons actions.

One thing I did find was that I was a little nervous when reading in the night time because my mind was running away with itself and thinking ‘oh, are your doors locked?’; I do sometimes scare myself when I probably shouldn’t. Don’t take this as a negative, it just shows you how well it was written. You fell into the story and the nature of the situations.

I clearly won’t tell you the ending because I’d be a bad person, but I will say that I actually spilt my tea in shock because I generally didn’t think it would end how it did, you’ll definitely be surprised!

Bonne Femme is the first in the Richard Carter Series and no doubt I’ll be reading the second novel Cold Tears.
Unsettling in a Good Way April 21, 2014
Overall: This book was unsettling, which is good considering it's a thriller. It was extremely captivating as well, and I found myself looking up and realizing it had been hours since I last checked the time. I love the changing of perspectives between Richard and Mic. It showed you how thoroughly thought out Mic's actions were as well as Richard's intentions. Especially on the island, I found myself start to question weather Richard was really doing the right thing, but he meant well. Jill was such a strong character, and I love strong female roles. In this type of book, the common female typically relies on a male to save her, but I felt Jill could have handled herself well. I found the dialogue a bit choppy, which may or may not have been the intention since English is not Jill's primary language. The only thing that bothered me a little is how untouchable Mic was. He committed countless murders and didn't leave a single clue, footprint, fingerprint, anything at all, EVER, to indicate that it was him. Even when he first started in high school. It was flabbergasting. Other than that, I found the plot action packed and quick, never a dull moment. The setting was well described. Jill and Richard's relationship was so adorable, even when it wasn't supposed to be. Their chemistry and interactions, while at first awkward, slowly became more relaxed and comfortable. The author did a fantastic job with this. overall, loved most of this book, it only minor issues for me.

Characters: Again, Jill was strong and amazing. Richard was so sweet and protective of Jill, I loved it. Mic was so creepy and smart. That sounds weird, but to be able to pull that off he had to be amazingly intelligent. Marta was hilarious and independent like her friend Jill. As far as character building, I would have liked a little more background/interaction between Jill and Marta vs. Jill and Mic/Richard, however every other major relationship was well described.

Quotes: Since I read this on my Kindle, I have to type the quotes out.

"'There is no such thing. When you take it into your own hands, it stops being the law'".

"'There'ss never be justice in this world, Dave. But there is mercy, I suppose'".

Recommend?: Yes. I give it 4/5 stars. If you want to have a little trouble sleeping at night, this is the book for you!
Huge thanks to the author for sending me a copy to read and review!

Lived One Thousand Lives
Tee Jay reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
AR Simmons tells a great, scary story February 3, 2015
I have to agree with another reviewer. Mic scared the crap out of me too and I’m a grown and capable man. Mic is one character who I would never want to meet. At least not without a really big weapon.

“Bonne Femme” is a solid mystery/thriller novel that delivered the suspense and shivers I enjoy when reading a good book. The author’s writing is fluid and vivid with great details provided for the major characters. A good story can be enjoyed by both men and women. But I have noticed some female mystery writers leave me at a loss while trying to understand the actions or thoughts of certain characters. "Bonne Femme" was much more male-reader friendly than many others or perhaps it was just good storytelling from the author. Either way, I enjoyed it immensely.

The storyline has been outlined by others so I will stress the “thrill” aspect. This is not a gruesome or gory book but it is one that will make your spine tingle. You will be spooked, but that is the point and “Bonne Femme” delivers.
Military and Veterans' Review Blog reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
 A dark, nutty adventure May 10, 2014
"Bonne Femme" While this story is much longer than it needs to be, the author makes up for that with some of the craziest, yet realistic characters I’ve read in a while. The reader isn’t led to feel a particular way about anyone, just given a wealth of detail (maybe too much) and left to form their own conclusions. You really get wrapped up in their plotting and borderline insanity. Exotic locales, strong females, not-so-evil villains and irrational heroes; a lot of fun to read.
 Kammy reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
Worthwhile Thriller February 2, 2015
I wasn't sure what to expect from this series but "Bonne Femme" hooked me. I would have enjoyed the story regardless of Mic & Richard's military service but I come from a family of Marines so that layered on an added level of interest and enjoyment. I have known soldiers who have been to Somalia, served in wars and "conflicts" and returned home with heavy emotional baggage. Richard's character is amazing in many ways and though he is a tortured soul he has a genuinely good heart. Although I am no Mic fan, he made the perfect villain with his conniving abilities and deadly charm. Jill is the woman these two men and terror will surround. The author did a great job at conveying the character's thoughts and feelings while gradually building the suspense. I held my breath with all hopes pinned on Richard through several terrifying scenes. I won't give away the ending but it was beyond satisfying. "Bonne Femme" is a lengthy, scary and worthwhile thriller!
Tracey Lampley Mystery Lady Blog reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
A Very Good Read April 23, 2014
Bonne Femme by A.R. Simmons was a very good read. The plot was terrific. The characters were defining. Overall I rate this book a four-star read.
J Simmons reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
AR Simmons the next John Grisham or Dean Koontz!!! October 20, 2013
This book is awesome,it draws u n so u can't stop reading!! The story n the characters r so realistic u feel like u r part of story! Love the whole Richard Carter series n can't wait 2 c what happens next!!!
Perfect Balance of Smart and Scary February 2, 2015
"Bonne Femme" is a substantial and worthwhile read for mystery and thrill lovers. Richard and Mic are former Marines who have both served in Somalia. Their lives become intertwined with Jill's when they meet at college. Both men are deeply troubled but Mic's character is, by far, one of the creepiest, nastiest and downright scary-smartest I have come across in a long time. Jill finds herself in a relationship triangle of terror and AR Simmons does an amazing job of bringing the reader directly into the the complex and frightening plot. I appreciated the extensive view the author gave into the minds and hearts of his characters. As the danger and thrills increase the author gives nothing away and keeps the reader in the moment, making it impossible to predict the storyline or even the next page. The author has clearly used his experience in the military and extensively researched the psychological effects of PTSD as exemplified in his characterization of Richard. I chose to keep my nightlight on after finishing the final page. Loved the surprise ending!
Carol Lewis (C.S. Lewis) reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
Afantastic thriller! February 15, 2014
From the beginning, AR Simmons grabs the reader and pulls her or him along for a surprising and somewhat unusual read. Every page holds another breathtaking event. Though the book might have ended with a bit more information, you will not be disappointed!
Philip Newey reviewed Bonne Femme (The Richard Carter Novels Book 1)
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A notch above the conventional November 14, 2013
Bonne Femme, is a thriller, featuring the character Richard Carter. It is the first in a series of novels, but is a self-contained story. We are introduced to Richard, who is an ex-marine. Richard becomes strongly attracted to Jill Belbenoit, a French student studying at the college in which he is enrolled to study criminology. To his surprise a former colleague from the marines, William McCulloch Boyd (Mic), who served with him in Somalia, also turns up in town. Richard does not particularly like this man, and suspects him of having done some fairly questionable things while in Somalia. Nevertheless, he spends time with him. Although Mic clearly has a nasty side, he is also able to turn on the charm when he desires, and he and Jill become involved for a time. When Jill wishes to break it off with Mic, she approaches Richard for some help, and the drama unfolds from there.

There are some very good things about this book. The characters are complex and ambiguous. Richard, in particular, is not your typical `hero' type. He is deeply troubled by his own past, seems to have no clear purpose in life, and his behaviour borders on the obsessive and irrational at times. Jill is slightly less well rounded, perhaps evidence that the author is more at home in a male rather than a female mind. The point of view adopted is third person intimate, but swaps between the three main characters, Jill, Richard and Mic, sometimes very quickly. The author takes us inside the mind of each of these characters, and, occasionally, one of the minor characters. I sometimes felt uncomfortable with the thoughts that the author put in Jill's mind. At other times I found her quite believable. Perhaps the thing I found least plausible was Jill's apparent status as a virgin. Nor did I understand why this was necessary for the plot. Mic is presented as a fairly typical, grandiose psychopath, with a charming exterior covering dark deeds and thoughts.

I need to say more about Richard's character. I found myself a little unsure about how the author wanted the reader to see him. I have said that he is not a typical `hero'. Some of his behaviour appears to me to be irrational, obsessive and unjustifiable. I also found his attitude towards the women in the story more than a little creepy. At the very least his attitude is paternalistic and controlling, seeing himself as their protector and defender. Witness these thoughts: `Despite what she said, Richard knew that failure to respond to the provocations would weaken her faith in his ability to protect her. It also ate at his self-esteem. A man had to fight when his woman was threatened.' By and large, he is not particularly good at protecting them. I was not sure how the author viewed him. Were we, as the readers, expected by the end of the novel to see the events on the island--the `Bonne Femme' of the title; I won't give the plot away--as necessary if unconventional? Were we (and Jill) expected to dismiss them as a minor `mistake'? I suppose I am disappointed that the author lost sight of the potential for making Richard a potentially much darker and more ambiguous character. By the end of the story he has become much more the conventional (if flawed) hero.

If I have quibbles with the plot, this is probably because the novel is simply too long. I think the pace and quality of the novel would have been greatly improved if some of the fat had been trimmed. The earlier scenes on the island go on for far too long, and become somewhat repetitive. When that episode is finally brought to an end, it is not clear to me why this happened at that particular time. What makes this the `right' time? And what, in the end, is achieved by this episode? It dominates the novel for several chapters; then this major event is permitted to simply fade into the background as other events overtake the protagonists. From about two-thirds of the way through, I felt that the story became much less interesting as a psychological drama and began to morph into a much more traditional thriller/detective story. Some of the investigative scenes were probably superfluous. There were also a few minor details of the plot that could have been better handled. One in particular stands out. At one point in the story, Jill and her friend Marta make a trip to Europe. As far as I can recall there was no prior discussion of this. It comes out of the blue. Furthermore, Jill is away from only the 10 September to 13 September, which is hardly enough time for such a trip.

Having made these observations, some of the individual scenes, particularly those involving Mic the psychopath, are very well-written, with a high degree of suspense, tension and real and potential violence. The final scenes between Mic and Richard are very good indeed.

I suppose my biggest disappointment with the novel is with the central character. Had this not been the first of a series (hence we know that Richard lives and goes on to tackle other `cases') the author would have given himself much more room to play. Richard could have been killed; or he could have turned out to be almost as deeply disturbed as Mic. These were at least possibilities with which the author could have toyed. There was the potential to bring the reader to the edge of his or her seat, to introduce surprising and terrifying twists and turns to the plot. Because the reader `knows' that Richard will make it through, these opportunities were lost.

As always, I find the scoring process difficult. There is much in this book that lifts it above average. But there are also serious flaws. Oh for half stars! I want to give it 3.5 stars; the question is, do I round it up to 4 or down to 3? On balance, I think it falls slightly on the plus side. Four stars.
Stacie Theis (Beachbound Books) Reviewed Bonne Femme (Richard Carter #1)
Bonne Femme May 22, 2015 Bonne Femme is a chilling thriller about a young woman who is catapulted into a violent nightmare that goes from bad to worse in the blink of an eye.

Jill Belbenoit is a college student from France. She's intelligent and focused, until that fateful day when a lack of judgement leaves her fighting for her life. Richard Carter and Mic Boyd were in the same Marine Squadron and experienced the unthinkable in Mogadishu. Richard doesn't consider Mic much of a friend, but when Richard sees that Jill is drawn to Mic he decides to tag along. Richard has had a crush on Jill since the first moment he laid eyes on her, but of course she falls for Mic. However, when things with Mic go south Jill seeks Richard's help in getting Mic to leave her alone. Richard soon learns a sickening truth about Mic and must make a rash decision that will leave Jill wondering who her real enemy is.

Bonne Femme is a frightening tale filled with horrifying crimes with danger lurking at every turn. The characters are complex and the plot disturbing, yet powerfully consuming. The author is a skilled storyteller and easily draws a reader in and keeps them on edge until the very end. Just when I thought a killer would be caught, the author would add a twist more shocking than the last. I felt the story was well organized and never short on action. I am looking forward to reading other books in this series.

I would recommend picking up a copy. .





Enter supporting content here