Archives

View Entire Archive  List by Year

Here and Gone

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Here and Gone

Mysterious Book Report No. 303

by John Dwaine McKenna

Recently, there’s been a growing movement in the publishing world, attempting to increase readership and sell more books by encouraging some A-list male crime fiction writers to produce new novels using androgynous-sounding names.  The reasoning behind this is that unisex pen names will attract more female readers, since they tend to avoid the tougher, more hard-boiled stuff they associate with men.  Since women make up eighty percent of the readers in the world today, they’re going to be catered to.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this, but here’s the first nom-de-plume MBR.  It’s written by Stuart Neville, one of my favorite Irish crime writers, under the name Haylen Beck.

Here and Gone, (Crown Publishing Group/Penguin Random House, $26.00, 287 pages, ISBN 978-0-451-49957-8) by Haylen Beck is a tense, propulsive thriller that will put the reader on the edge of her seat in the first few chapters and never let up until the conclusion, because it taps straight into the human heart by addressing one of our most basic animal emotions: protecting our babies.

A woman named Audra Kinney is in an old station wagon with Sean and Louise, her two young kids.  She’s fleeing an abusive husband and his domineering mother back in New York; trying to get to California.  Keeping to the back roads, taking her time and avoiding attention, she’s made it to the outback of Arizona and the dying town of Silver Water.  There, she’s pulled over by the local sheriff, who searches her car.  He pulls a bag of marijuana from her trunk that she’s never seen before.  In a full-blown panic, she’s put in handcuffs and stuffed in the back of a police car in what appears to be a living nightmare.   But the nightmare  will be worse than she could ever have imagined . . . and it’s just beginning in this novel of epic suspense and dynamic, totally surprising and unexpected twists that’ll have you wanting a shower by the time you’ve read the last page!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, you saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

 

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

Dark River Rising

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Dark River Rising

Mysterious Book Report No. 302

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Mysterious Book Report is always on the lookout for promising debut authors with unique protagonists and interesting points of view, that are set in unusual places which are all wrapped up in an original and compelling plot.  This is such a one, an outstanding new murder mystery that takes place down south, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dark River Rising, (Minotaur Books/St. Martins Publishing Group, $26.99, 293 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-11009-1) by Roger Johns features Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman.  As the novel begins, she’s on scene at a deserted warehouse, where a local druglord  was found tortured and murdered . . . with a live snake sewn into his belly.  Shortly thereafter, a Federal Agent named Mason Cunningham shows up, and, rather than  commandeering the case, becomes Wallace’s ally in solving the complex crime that gets more intriguing by the page, as each new development is revealed.  Mason turns out to be a numbers cruncher, and an analyst rather than a field agent.  He’s come to Baton Rouge because of some anomalies in the data he’s been studying, information he believes indicate a holocaust is brewing in southern Louisiana.  As Wallace and Mason search for answers, a world-class scientist with ties to the murder victim disappears from a high-security government laboratory . . . along with a truckload of sensitive chemistry equipment.  As the baffling case gets more complicated and dangerous, the pair of law officers form an uneasy partnership that uses Wallace’s insights and local contacts combined with Mason’s ability to access  federal resources.  What they don’t realize however, is that their lives are in increasing jeopardy as the killer stalks them with an agenda that no one can imagine in this thrilling, well-constructed and thoughtful murder mystery.  Wallace Hartman is a tough, fearless and smart character with a boatload of personal appeal.  We’re looking forward to more of her adventures as soon as Mr. John’s can produce them.

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

 

 

The Force

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

The Force

Mysterious Book Report No. 301

by John Dwaine McKenna

According to Dwight, one of my retired cop buddies, only a few crime fiction writers Really get it, when writing about the demands, the stresses and the effect—on marriages, children and personal lives—of being a police officer in America today.  It’s a career that is rewarding, exciting, sometimes monotonous, and always dangerous enough to take your breath away.  Not many outsiders can even begin to understand what it’s like to bear the weight of a badge and a gun, much less write about it.  But, lucky for us, there are a few who do.

The Force, (Wm Morrow/Harper Collins, $27.99, 479 pages. ISBN 978-0-06-266441-9) by Don Winslow has been drawing rave reviews from all who’ve read it, including the Mysterious Book Report.  If ever a novel was destined to become the defining work of its genre and a never-to-be-forgotten classic, this is it.

All Denny Malone ever wanted to be was a good cop.  He’s an NYPD Detective Sergeant, a highly respected, brave and decorated cop who works a drug, gang and murder infested part of the city as the leader of Da Force, an elite unit with unrestricted authority to go after the gang-bangers, drug slingers and gun-runners in Manhattan North, also know as Harlem.  They’re handpicked, the best of the best, resourceful, bright, tough and the princes of Manhattan North.  They’ve made more busts, received more citations for valor and been in more gunfights than any other unit in the 26,000 officer New York City Police Department.  Denny Malone and all the members of Da Force are respected and feared, from One Police Plaza at the south end of Manhattan Island, all the way up to the border of the Bronx in the north.  Denny Malone’s been on the job for eighteen years and he’s seen it all . . . the violence, the deaths, the victims, the perpetrators of endless savagery, and the deep-rooted corruption that fuels the city.  But the truth is, Denny Malone is dirty.  They all are.  Money and drugs are missing from the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history, and Malone’s been caught . . . nailed by the Feds. who’re pressing him to confess, turn rat and give up his fellow officers . . . all while still trying to do his job, be a father to his two kids, who live with his estranged wife, and carry on a loving relationship with his heroin-addicted black girlfriend.

Like all of Winslow’s novels,  The Force features compelling, electrifying and captivating characters and a dynamic, action-driven plot.  It is, as one A-list author wrote: Probably the best cop novel ever written.  Read it and see for yourself.  Personally, I couldn’t put it down because—as my old friend Dwight said, “He just gets it.”

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, you saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

 

American Static

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

American Static

Mysterious Book Report No. 300

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Mysterious Book Report has reached another milestone with this, our 300th review.  It’s taken a little more than six years and a couple of hundred thousand words to get to this point, so we wanted to mark the occasion with something special . . . something out of the ordinary . . . something so memorable that every reader will recall the plot whenever they look at the cover.  We found just what we were looking for in a novel one reviewer referred to as A hot dose of pure adrenaline that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.  It is beyond a doubt one of the finest noir yarns we’ve read in years . . .

American Static, (Down & Out Books, PB $17.95, 307 pages, ISBN 978-1-943402-84-7) by Tom Pitts opens at warp speed and never slows down.  It begins in a small northern California town where a young man named Steven is attacked, beaten senseless, robbed of his backpack which contains everything he owns or holds dear—including a brick of high-grade marijuana he obtained on credit and planned on selling when he got to San Francisco.  He regains consciousness in a dazed state, barely able to keep it together once he realizes he has no money, no cell phone and most importantly, no ID.  It was all in his backpack.  Groggy and trying to refocus, Steven is befriended by a man named Quinn, who offers the young man a cigarette, some life advice . . . and a ride to San Francisco.  What Steven doesn’t realize however, is that once he gets into the car his life will be changed forever, because his apparent savior is really a devil in disguise.  Quinn, just released from prison, is on a homicidal rampage and a personal mission of retribution, revenge and payback.  It’s a dead-end journey that will take a naive young man on an electrifying journey through the steamy underbelly of one of the world’s greatest cities.  The cast of characters includes cutthroat gangsters, corrupt cops, criminal politicians and death-peddling drug lords, all of whom are trying to find and kidnap a young woman named Teresa, who somehow holds the key to a secret that will expose a decades-old scandal which will tear City Hall apart.  As Steven rides along, Quinn dispenses his savage brand of street justice while a sadistic, coked-up, crooked cop chases him and a pair of outclassed, outgunned and mismatched small town lawmen chase them all.  The action in this novel is unceasing, the trail blood-soaked and the denouement breath-taking.  The MBR’s final take: If there was a list of the world’s best hard-boiled and noir crime fiction . . . American Static by Tom Pitts would be in the top ten of all time.  Oh, yeah.  It’s that good!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

 

G-Man

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

G-Man

Mysterious Book Report No. 299

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Great Depression of the 1930s was a time of unrelenting misery, hardship and economic deprivation.  It was an era that left indelible scars upon all who lived through it, for who could forget the massive unemployment, the endless bread lines, or the dislocation and migration of tens of thousands of impoverished farmers who’d been forced off their land by the drought that spawned the dust bowl, and the aggressive foreclosures by banks throughout the south, midwest and Texas.  The bottom of the Depression—as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average—occurred in the summer of 1932, and it was during the depths of that Depression that gangs of outlaws with submachine guns began roaming the countryside, robbing banks and killing lawmen all over the midwest.  The violence and anarchy reached a crescendo in 1934, when the U.S. Division of Investigation, later called the F.B.I., hunted down and killed or captured the most notorious and violent outlaws: those designated as ‘Public Enemies,’ or ‘most-wanted: gangsters like John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonnie Parker and her cohort, Clyde Barrow, and the utterly unpredictable, savage, and the most cold-blooded  killer of them all . . . a  psychopath named Lester Gillis . . . known to all the world as Baby Face Nelson.  Those are the true historical facts.  They took place during the Great Depression in the United States.

Now, in his newest novel, G-Man, (Blue Rider Press/ Penguin Random House, $27.00, 443 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-57460-3) best-selling author Stephen Hunter melds all those facts into a modern-day mystery for Bob Lee Swagger to solve.  Swagger, a Vietnam-era U.S. Marine sniper and firearms expert, has finally sold his family’s old homestead in Arkansas.  When clearing out the property, he discovers a metal strongbox containing a Division of Investigation badge, a modified government issue 1911-A Colt .45 caliber automatic pistol, a crudely drawn treasure map, a mint-condition 1934 series $1000 bill and a curious looking precision machined part for an unknown device of some kind.  Swagger knows that the box must have been hidden by his grandfather Charles, the Sheriff in Polk County Arkansas and a hero in World War I.  Charles, a gunfighter in his own right, is a mystery to Bob Lee, whose own father refused to talk about the older lawman, who had a hint of scandal about him.  It’s unclear if he was ever a federal law officer and Bob Lee, sets off to find the truth about his grandfather.  But, as his investigation digs deeper, it becomes apparent he’s being shadowed by someone who wants the past left alone.  Thereafter, the novel alternates between the present day search for the truth,  and the momentous  events of 1934, as  Charles Swagger’s  story is reveled . . . leading to the amazing climax and unexpected conclusion of this action-packed adventure yarn.  History comes alive as Mr. Hunter skillfully weaves past and present together into a thriller that’s chock-full of heroes and villains in one of this summers most enjoyable reads!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

Lucky

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Lucky

Mysterious Book Report No. 298

by John Dwaine McKenna

New York City’s Chinatown is the home turf of NYPD Detective Jack Yu, the beleaguered serial character created by author Henry Chang, and a personal favorite of the MBR, because the pragmatic and altruistic Chinese-American crime fighter operates in one of the most violent, superstitious, drug and gang-infested, as well as racially-prejudiced environments on planet earth without losing his personal moral compass . . . or his humanity.  Jack was born and raised in Chinatown.  He knows the unwritten rules: don’t talk to outsiders, we take care of our own problems and run our own community.  By joining the round-eyed white devils in blue, Jack became—in his own father’s words—A jouh gow, a running dog, someone used by the white police department against his own people.  “A Chinatown cop, first sign of trouble you’re the one they throw under the bus,” according to Tat “Lucky” Louie, Jack Yu’s boyhood friend, blood brother and a lifelong criminal.

Lucky, (Soho Press, $24.95, 218 pages, ISBN 978-1-61695-784-1) by Henry Chang is the fifth installment in his fascinating series featuring Jack Yu.  This time, Jack’s trying to nurse a fading, but intense and complicated love affair when he gets word that Lucky Louie, his boyhood pal and one of the most feared dailos in all of Chinatown, has come out of his eighty-eight day coma and is calling for Jack.  After being shot twice in the head driving a gangland assassination attempt, Lucky wasn’t expected to live, much less overhear his former associates plotting the divvying up of his empire.  But he did.  He’s not called “Lucky” for nothing, and the fact that he emerged from his coma on the eighty-eighth day . . . a double helix, and a very fortuitous number in Chinese lore . . . proves it.  Now, as Lucky sets out to retake and rebuild his lost empire by robbing the tong and triad-protected businesses of his enemies, he’s got an SOS, shoot on sight, order on his head along with a $10,000 reward, while his lifelong friend, NYPD Detective Jack Yu, tries to convince him to enter the witness protection program.  But Lucky’s a believer in his own good luck and it’s ability to see him through any danger.  He lives by the mantra, Live big or die small.  Whichever one happens, Lucky Louie will be a gamer all the way to the end.  If you’re a fan of noir, the Jack Yu stories will enthrall, entertain and introduce you to a thriving community that’s like a small slice of a foreign land, smack-dab in the midst of America’s biggest city.  It’s a visit you won’t forget!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

Borne

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Borne

Mysterious Book Report No. 297

by John Dwaine McKenna

With their uncanny ability to somehow tap into the future, science fiction writers have been stimulating readers minds for the past hundred and fifty years . . . usually with tales of science which benefits the human race as it propels us the stars, and spreads our kind throughout the universe.  But there’s an alternative point of view, that factors in the potential for uncontrolled science to wreck havoc on all.  They fall into a category know as dystopian—the end of civilization—and this week the MBR has an absolute epic of that genre.

Borne, (MCD/Farrar, Straus and  Giroux, $26.00, 323 pages, ISBN 978-0-374-11524-1) by Jeff VanderMeer imagines a time and place that’s been utterly destroyed as a result of bio-engineering run amok when the mysterious company that produced it, fails to safeguard the creatures and loses control of them.  The result is a nightmarish world in which humans are reduced to living no better than animals, fighting for survival, existing like rats in a destroyed city where there’s less to live on every day . . . a city being terrorized by a giant Godzilla-sized bio-engineered renegade bear named Mord.  He’s stomping what’s left at the city to rubble and eating any and all life-forms, including humans . . . especially humans . . . unlucky enough to come into contact with him.  The narrative begins when we meet Rachael.  She’s a scavenger, slipping into the city, collecting anything useful, whether it’s flesh, plastic, metal or some other article which can be re-engineered or provide sustenance.  She brings everything back to the hideout she shares with Wick, her bioengineer lover and compatriot who’s somehow connected to the mysterious company that’s responsible for humanity’s plight.  He repurposes it into something more useful, like diagnostic worms that live in the human body and emerge from a wrist with health dat?? about their host, or beetles, which come in many varieties and do everything from battle to memory.  Then, in a daring raid in which she climbs into the gargantuan beast’s fur, Rachael finds a purple and green ball that changes color.  Not knowing if it’s plant or animal, alive or dead, useful or junk, Rachael takes it home where—contrary to her usual custom—she puts it on a shelf and keeps it secret from Wick, who has secrets of his own.  A few days later, she realizes that the thing has moved.  It’s not where she put it.  She names it Borne.  Notices that small things are missing from her room . . . and that Borne is getting bigger.  Then he speaks, and the world comes more unglued than ever in this compelling and fascinating piece of dystopian fiction that will make every reader think long and hard about the cutting edges of science in our own genetically modified, roboticized and bio-engineered present day world.  One last caveat: like Dante’s lost souls who are advised to abandon hope; readers of Borne will have to suspend all their ideas about rational science and accept the premise the author posits to fully enjoy it.  That said, the novel is a walk on the wild side that you’ll remember long after you’re done reading it.  It’s a masterful blend of science-fiction and conjecture that’s a compelling read and impossible to put down!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

 

Bad Boy Boogie

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Bad Boy Boogie

Mysterious Book Report No. 296

by John Dwaine McKenna

For all of my adult life, New Jersey was a place I landed in and took off from at Newark International, rented a car and headed up the Garden State Parkway, bound for the family homestead in the Catskills.  Jersey was a place overcrowded with traffic, bad roads and wretched, impatient, sue-happy drivers . . . somewhere I wanted to pass through as fast and expediently as possible.  Then came The Sopranos on HBO, and years later, Boardwalk Empire, plus another network show about the Shore which showed the Garden State in a more entertaining fashion that softened my attitude and improved my feelings some.  Now, comes a new novel  that takes all that Jersey swagger  and  epic bad-assiveness to a whole new level . . . to the utter delight of every crime fiction lover who reads it.

Bad Boy Boogie, (Down and Out Books, PB, $17.95, 334 pages, ISBN 978-1-943402-59-5) by Thomas Pluck, takes place in Nutley, just across the Hudson River from New York City, and begins when forty-something Jay Desmarteaux comes back to town after a twenty-five year jolt in the Jersey State Prison at Rahway for murdering a savage, psychopathic, vicious high school bully.  Jay’s come back to the scene of the crime to pick up the pieces of his life and extract a measure of revenge by living well, in the words of Okie, his mentor while in the penitentiary.  Unfortunately for Jay however, the father of the boy he killed is now the Mayor, who burns with desire to extract a revenge . . . as does the Chief of Police and several of his officers.  Now grown-up, they were the dead boys high school posse, and all of them want to inflict some pain on their old enemy, Jay Desmarteaux.  Jay just wants to have a job, find his missing adoptive parents and tête-à-tête with his old girlfriend, but she’s married the rich kid who testified against him at the murder trial.  As if that’s not enough to deal with, there’s an organized crime captain, who wants Jay gone, or dead.  Maybe both.  All Jay has left to fight with are his wits, a tomahawk his father carried in the Viet Nam war and the friendship of Tony, a bullied follower back in high school, now a bulked up gym rat and owner of an auto repair business catering to high-end performance cars.  The task is near-impossible, the odds of Jay coming out alive slim, and the corruption bottomless in this electrifying piece of stylish and tough as tough can be, cutting edge noir.  Bad Boy Boogie lives up to every aspect of its name and carries that theme through to the end.  It’s one awesomely entertaining summer read and Thomas Pluck is a writer we’ll be on the lookout for from now on because his tough guy writing is so good and his characters are so bad!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

 

Crime Song

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Crime Song

Mysterious Book Report No. 295

by John Dwaine McKenna

Last winter, in MBR No. 275: The Second Girl, we introduced our audience to an ex-Washington D.C. cop turned crime-fiction writer named David Swinson, who’s created one of the best anti-heros to come down the pike in, I dunno, like forever.  He’s a retired D.C. cop turned private investigator named Frank “Frankie” Marrs.  The fictional character is a man with a habit, a former Narc, now a narcaholic, always jonesing for a snort or a swig, or a 1 mg Klonopin to even things out.  He’s a man who’s living a lie.  He wants to stay on the side of the angels, but he’s made a deal with the devil, and Frankie’s in league with him.  Now, we’re happy to report that Frankie’s  back, in a second installment.

Crime Song, (Mulholland Books/Little Brown and Company, $26.00, 354 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-26421-1) finds Frankie getting perilously low on cocaine, just as his addiction to it is growing larger.  He’ll have to score soon, or run out.  That’s unthinkable.  He needs to identify a dealer . . . and rob him.  But before he can do it, his Aunt Linda calls with a request for him to check up on his cousin Jeffrey, who’s been cutting classes at George Washington University, and now has to attend summer school.  Although reluctant to mix family and business, Frankie agrees, because his aunt was his surrogate mother after his own mother died and Jeffrey is like a little brother.  Although worried about replacing his rapidly diminishing stash of cocaine, Frankie focuses his attention on the nephew, tracking him to a popular nightclub run by a moonlighting cop named Willie Jasper . . . where Frankie watches his cousin Jeffrey engage in some low-level drug trafficking.  Then Frankie’s home is burglarized.  All of his electronics are stolen, including his collection of vinyl albums that belonged to his deceased mother, but worse than that a .38 caliber pistol is missing from his bedroom and used to murder Jeffrey.  His dead body left in a pool of blood on the floor of Frankie’s ransacked house.  It then becomes a race against time as Frankie tries to prove his innocence, find his cousin’s killer, defend his life against some crooked cops who’re determined to kill him, redeem himself with his Aunt Linda, girlfriend Leslie and cop buddies . . . while at the same time concealing his addictions and duplicitous double lifestyle.  And, oh yeah, somehow, somewhere, some way . . . replacing all that illegal white powdery stuff he’s been sticking up his nose like a madman.  Frank Marrs is a man without a plan, on a collision course with disaster, unless he can somehow slip out of the ever-tightening figurative noose he’s got around his neck.  If you like ‘em hard-boiled and then some, Frankie’s your guy for awesome summer reading!

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com

Sorrow Road

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Mysterious Book Report, TV Townsman Articles | 0 comments

Sorrow Road

Mysterious Book Report No. 294

by John Dwaine McKenna

The green rolling hills of West Virginia

are the nearest thing to Heaven that I know

though the times are sad and drear

and I cannot linger here

they’ll keep me and never let me go . . .

are the opening words to a song that was made famous by Emmylou Harris.  It was written by a folksinger, poet and one-time rail riding hobo named Utah Phillips—and it expresses his appreciation of, and love for, the incredible beauty of our thirty-fifth state. But, just like the rest of Appalachia, there’s another side of West Virginia, a place that’s been striped of natural resources, stripped of jobs and stripped of hope.

Sorrow Road, (Minotaur Books, PB, $15.99, 351 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-08959-5) by Julia Keller is the fourth novel in her Bell Elkins series, all of which take place in Ackers Gap, West Virginia . . . where she’s the prosecuting attorney for Rathune County.  It’s a place hemmed in by mountains, beleaguered by seemingly unending snowstorms with raw, arctic-like temperatures in the present day . . . and it’s where, back in 1938 a crime was committed and covered up and forgotten, only to resurface in the twenty-first century with the death of an old man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in an Appalachian nursing home.  That’s when an old college classmate and fellow attorney asks Bell to look into the circumstances . . . the man was her father.  He was one of three local men who served aboard a battleship at Normandy during the D-day landing in 1944, where a short conversation results in deadly consequences seventy-two years in the future.  As the bodies pile up and the mysteries deepen, this poignant tale of past deeds and modern consequences will keep you glued to the pages as the mystery unfolds while Bell juggles her job, iffy love-life and  adult daughter Carla, who’s come home suddenly . . . harboring a dark, shameful secret of the go-to-jail kind!  I promise . . . you won’t be able to put this tense and near-perfectly plotted novel down once you start reading.  Although the MBR got to Ms. Keller’s party three books late, we promise to remedy that soon.  And hey! Stay tuned, she’s got a new one, Fast Falls the Night coming in August.  We’re looking forward to it.

Like the  review . . . let your friends know, You saw it in the Mysterious Book Report . . .

The greatest compliment you can give, is to like us and share it with others on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, Goodreads, or LinkedIn.

http://www.Facebook.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.Goodreads.com/JohnDwaineMcKenna

http://www.mysteriousbookreport.com