Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Westobou Gold by Hawk MacKinney : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Westobou Gold

AUTHOR: Hawk MacKinney

ISBN/ASIN: B01M59CHRC

GENRE: Adult Fiction

NUMBER OF PAGES: 224

FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series Book 2

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura of iRead Book Tours for this review copy

SUMMARY:

The Indian Queen would risk torture and worse to keep her secrets from these barbarians in suits of metal and their search for cities of gold. They never found the gold. Empires rose; empires fell, the centuries passed. Legend became fireside myths, but no treasure was ever found. Yet, among the grey-green drapes of wisteria and wild jasmine along the misty shrouded lowlands of bayous and marshes of the Westo River, the folktales persist.

In the lazed creep of a near-tropical dawn lit the pungent Turkish coffee permeates Moccasin Hollow. Beyond the kitchen door Lucky, Craige Ingram’s German shepherd gnaws a favorite bone. Looted burial mounds seem a world away until plundered mounds on Moccasin Hollow land brings amateur archaeologist PI Craige Ingram into the cross-hairs of kidnapping. Stealthy hideaways are concealed in old colonial brick-lined river grottoes beneath the big house of Ardochy plantation. Sex-tape underage blackmail and thrill killings on federal land spur a medical examiner’s preliminary postmortem to more than a hired cleaner’s quickie cover-up passed off as drug deals gone sour. Greed tangles a witch’s pigswill of illicit affairs and murder-to-hide-murder. Shady investigators and shadier politics stir an unexpected concoction that threatens the lives of those at Moccasin Hollow in a spiteful plot against ex-SEAL Craige Ingram and the woman he loves.

FIRST IMPRESSION:

The book is part of a review tour and the main reason I opted to review this was the Summary. It spoke of a lot of things bundled up together, and is also longer than the average summary. Using the choicest of words, it connects a lot of seemingly disjointed points of interest and hopefully brings them all to a common story line. I was also very fond of the particular line where the 'legends became fireside myths' because that is true of many stories that have been passed on from generation to generation and are still considered myths while there is a thin smoky line of truth in the whole story. The second part of the summary mentions the modern methods of coercion and blackmail and tastefully brings the myths and modern world to a fine blend.

I had not read the first book in the series and therefore had a mild apprehension about the characters and how I would relate with them. But I was sure the story would not need my extensive knowledge on the characters to be understandable.

REVIEW:

If the summary was anything to go by, the book does not disappoint either. The words are so descriptive and are often the main reason I kept going. Before I begin, I will have to mention that not reading book one had minimal impact on my understanding of the second book and this is a point in favour of the book. Think myth and legends from long forgotten lands that are shrouded in secrecy and mist. Think of some people taking it seriously. Think of the modern twists this scenario can take especially when exceptional greed and a ruthless conscience come into play. You have the perfect racy read that can easily span centuries and still not let your interest wane for any reason.

The story begins in the historical time of Native people, the Indian Queen hides a gold treasure from the White invaders. But from the next part, the book is back to the present and is a huge net of modern vices and despicable trades including poaching, pornography and murders. The man at the middle of the rackets is one of the most brutal villains ever written about. Craige Ingram is called to investigate.

But surprisingly, his involvement in the overall issue brings him into the focus of people who want his reputation ruined and his life gone. As Craige goes deeper and deeper into the mess, the more twisted the scenario becomes. It is not long before Craige finds his life and that of his love endangered. His experience with the Navy Seals and his life as a PI and archeologist brings him to the place where it is all happening, and then slowly pull him to the main epicentre of the racket.

The author has used the common stereotypes required for this genre. A bold hero, an intricate plot, greedy villains and the life of loved ones being endangered. But he has made all this into one huge page turner by his narrative style. The story is totally new, and the descriptive narration brings the scenes to the fore, and it is easier to follow the story as it traverses across plot twists and suspense. The best part of the novel is how all the individual, seeminly unconnected plot tangents come together and blend into a very interesting story, as the summary seemed to promise.

The characterisation is another major plus (at least according to me) and the characters are developed well. For so many details, the story is not confusing as the plot elements travel together in harmony. I initally had doubts about how the book was going to bring all the individual lines together but the author did not disappoint. This is the book for all the bookworms who are ready for a detailed and descriptive narrative. That being said, tighter editing could have helped the story even better.

Overall, I loved the book for the story and the characterisation and for the fact that it maintained the suspense element well, surprising me at places.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The long worded summary that promised an exciting novel
  • The descriptive narrative
  • The characterisation - some characters are memorable
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:

  • The book could have used some tighter editing
  • There are some parts that seem to deviate from the main plot line and have no impact on the story line itself. Those could have been avoided
  • The cover design could be a bit more appealing. I hesitated at the WordArt font of the book's title and author name before choosing this book for review.
VERDICT:

An amazing story if you are a fan of the genre

RATING: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. He served in the US Navy Reserve for over 20 years, and was a tenured faculty member at several state medical facilities, teaching postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. Since retiring Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. The Cairns of Sainctuarie, his science fiction series, includes The Bleikovat Event and The Missing Planets, with a third book in the works. Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was released early 2016.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Kindle, Paperback

PRICE $3.85 for Kindle, $11.95 for Paperback

BOOK LINKS: Amazon

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