When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: When the Serpent Bites

Author: Nesly Clerge

Publisher: Nesly Clerge

Publish Date: October 30, 2015

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: The Starks Trilogy #1

My Rating: 4/5

When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge


Frederick Starks has it all—a gorgeous wife who was his high school sweetheart, three beautiful children, a mansion and cars others envy, millions in the bank, respected in his community, admired by his employees, loved and respected by loyal friends. He revels in the hard-earned power and control he’s acquired. As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold,” which Starks discovers when gut-wrenching betrayal by his wife sends him over the edge and into a maximum security prison. There, Starks is a new “fish,” stripped of nearly everything he’s always relied on. In that place, where inmates and guards have their own rules and codes of conduct, Starks is forced to face the darker side of life, and his own darker side, especially when the betrayals, both inside and outside the prison, don’t stop. He must choose which path to follow when the line between right and wrong becomes blurred: one that leads to getting out of the physical and emotional hellhole he finds himself in or one that keeps him alive.

When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge


Frederick Starks and his wife are separated, but he’s never forgiven her, or the man she had an affair. Starks confronts the man, and things get out of control. So out of control, Starks is arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to a maximum security prison. Starks is used to being the one who holds the power, but in prison, he faces a much darker side of life.

When the Serpent Bites is the first book in The Starks Trilogy by Nesly Clerge. This story ends in a way that made me want to read the next book.

The writing was great. A very engaging story of a privileged man ending up in a maximum security prison. The first part of the novel covers the trial and the second part is about prison life. Both were interesting. I liked that the trial part was included, but it wasn’t the focus of the story. The focus is always Starks, and the decisions he has made in the past and how he reacts to his current situation. He likes to have a plan and have everything in order, and his life is turned upside down in a moment of violence. During his time in prison, he reflects upon his past, while still trying to maintain control.

Starks is not a likable man. He is an entitled, controlling misogynist. I kept waiting for him to gain some redeeming qualities, but he never did. My main complaint about Starks is that he never takes responsibility for his actions. It’s always someone else’s fault. However, I wanted to like Starks. I plan on reading the next book to see if I’m all wrong about him.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Books in The Starks Trilogy:

  1. When the Serpent Bites
  2. When the Dragon Roars
  3. When the Phoenix Rises

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