Reviews for The Pits

Reviews for You Can Run

by Susan Pilski, Book Reviewer - October 18, 2015


"I had the privilege of reading this novel as a beta reader for Greg Smith, in exchange for my honest review.

HOLD ON FOLKS!!!   YOU CAN RUN is not your average crime thriller. Full of crime, absolutely! A thrilling ride, most definitely! But Greg Smith takes it up a couple of notches, pulls you, the reader, into a dangerous, action-packed FBI operation. You enter the world of 2 U.S. Marines who offer their services to bring down a diabolical kingpin. 

I highly recommend, with 5+ stars, YOU CAN RUN to anyone who's ready for a wild rush!"

by Linda Strong, Book Reviewer - June 28, 2016


I could hardly put this one down! Excellent! I especially loved the helicopter crew's names.

Captain Kramer and his 4-footed body guard, Corporal Shadow are back with a vengeance. The two Marines are once again working with the FBI, which is no hardship for Kramer. Since his last bout with the FBI, he’s in a relationship with the beautiful FBI Agent Ashley.

This time they are looking for a human trafficking group. Several young girls have been taken ..from their bedrooms at night, from a bus stop in broad daylight. They are taken away in a green van that seems to disappear after each snatch and grab. Meanwhile, the two leaders of the group who was responsible for dog-fighting and drug dealing escaped during the last roundup. They seem to be back in business and this time Kramer and Ashley swear to take them down.

Both these cases seem to converge, leading to lots of explosive, compelling action with thrills and chills.

I thought the first book was excellent ,,, this one is even better. I would like to mention how much I enjoy the author’s humor. It sort of snuck up and slapped me in the face. 

On a very daring helicopter ride, the reader is introduced to the crew. They play a small part .. but a very important part. Chief Pilot Captain ROBERT GODDARD. Co-Pilot LEE CHILD. Crew Chief Sgt SHARON BOLTON. CPL JIMMY (JAMES) PATTERSON, the Marine manning the machine gun.

A solid 5 Stars from me. I am really looking forward the third book in this series. Many, many thanks to the author who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Reviews for Lex Talionis

by Bella's Kindle Reviews - January 13, 2018 


An absolutely brilliant action/thriller. The characters are so well written, by the end I felt as though I knew them all. I love the diversity of the characters too; this is a celebration of good vs. evil at its finest. A very strong plot and fast paced action kept me up most of the night so I could read right to the end. Am reading everything else by this author as quickly as possible!

by C.M. Truxler, Book Reviewer - December 3, 2013

The Pits by Greg Smith is definitely an Action/Crime Fiction crossover novel. Starting in the midst of governmental-sanctioned war and moving through the war on crime, it can be nothing but such a knockout combination. Even though Smith deals with seriously horrific happenings, he has found a good balance. Scenery that could turn the stomachs of most, is treated with tact and heart-felt respect, but still manages to get the message across to readers. I have to say that for me, as an animal lover and rights activist, it is an added bonus that the author is donating a large percentage of proceeds from the sales to aid the battle against dog fighting. If the book were horrid, this might sooth my aching mind a bit, but luckily, the novel is a wonderful accomplishment.

The main characters, Captain Kramer and Corporal Shadow are a great match. The connection between these two is clearly strong and dominates the tale by lending a feeling of complete integrity to the piece. Readers will find that events and periods are painted vividly and succinctly. Like a well-oiled machine, Smith’s work trudges on through the worst of times, yet maintains the best of attitudes. As I said, Smith paints clear and precise images of events and times, but not individuals. In many tales, allowing the landscape to overshadow the characters would leave the storyline lacking connectivity and the personal imagery would be sorely missed. However, Smith’s work is not ‘most stories’. The fact that individuals are not completely in focus adds more focus to the story and its events. Again, the author has managed the balancing act with nary a word out of place.

The plot is well thought out and transitions smoothly from each locale and happening. The violence of war and blood-sport are difficult for some readers, myself included, to get past, but this story is worth it and the scenes are treated with care and precision. Some coarse and vulgar language is included in the book, but only when fitting the tale’s direction. Well written, The Pits places its focus where needed the most- on the story.

by WILDsound Writing Festival - Critique Committee - July 14, 2014


THE PITS begins in Afghanistan where the scene is expertly set by the author. It is clear that the author has researched Marine life and the reader feels immediately at home in the world he has created. The heat, the dust, the constant danger are all excellently wrought and by the time the street battle commences in which Kramer and Shadow are both injured, the reader is well invested in both characters and rooting for their safety. This sets up the rest of the novel perfectly. A strong story with an intriguing premise, there is plenty here to keep a reader gripped throughout. Overall, there is much to be admired in this novel. The plot is well thought-out and intricately woven. The characters are strong and relatable – I particularly liked the character of Kramer’s mother. The author did a great job of bringing her to life. In fact, the chapter where Kramer visits his mother and father on the farm feature some of the best writing in the book and some great dialogue. Dialogue is a particular talent of this author’s, with interactions being natural and snappy throughout.

by Veritas Vincit, Book Reviewer - July 31, 2014

I've read my fair share of crime novels, military histories, and dramatic literature in general, and I have largely moved away from those genres in exchange for more fictional fare. However, once in a while, I dip my toes back into more realistic novels, and The Pits was my latest choice. Right off the bat, I would have to give it HIGH praise, as it masterfully combined powerful storytelling, great plot development, action-packed chapters, intense dialogue, dramatic and suspenseful moments, and the love between a man and his dog, all without ever being cheesy or contrived. Certain sections of this novel are truly raw, brutal depictions of battle and dogfights occasionally crop up, which were intense to read, but they instantly created a stronger emotional connection to the characters. It's strange to refer to an animal as a key character, but Shadow is written as though he's human, and the relationship between Shadow and Kramer is just like a "buddy cop" adventure, except one of the partners doesn't speak. The dark moments throughout the book were coupled by terse, choppy writing at times to create the sense of danger and tension, a tool often used in crime stories, but effectively and subtly used here as well. I think Smith has a lot of potential, and a whole lot more to give than a single novel. Although the ending certainly wasn't definitive, I wouldn't be surprised if more books were on the way. He has the mind to create great stories and a talent for choosing the right words to tell them.

by Linda Strong, Book Reviewer - June 28, 2016


This is a bit of departure from my preferred reading genre. This was also a new author to me. When I read the first few pages, I thought to myself, this is a ‘guy’ book. WRONG! What I got was a marvelous story that at times brought me to tears. 

Captain Kramer is a career lifer Marine. OORAH! Corporal Shadow is his Anatolian Shepherd dog … just a puppy when he found him during a tour in Afghanistan. Because dog-fighting was so prevalent in that country Kramer takes the pup with him. Kramer and Shadow develop a bond that will never be easily broken.

While home on extended leave, Kramer runs into a small group of college students who have invested their time and energy into stopping the atrocities of dog-fighting. Little do they know that these ‘events’ are being staged by a nationally known crime drug lord.

When they get the FBI involved, Kramer finds himself going undercover.

This is an extremely well written book. While I was rooting for Kramer at every step, it was Shadow who stole the show. Kramer was developed slowly, giving the reader a glimpse of him as a youngster and his best friend, Rusty. Unfortunately, Rusty died and it took Kramer many years to accept that death until he found Shadow. He still feels a little guilt replacing Rusty.

Warning: The dog-fighting scenes are so realistic … my emotions were all over the place. The author does a great job in creating a balance of a most barbaric practice.

I absolutely could not put this one down. I eagerly look forward to reading the sequel. 


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