by A. L. Sowards
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (July 1, 2019)
When Evie’s car suddenly careens off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning–the car was her father’s, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead–but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he’s involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her–and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success.
The Redgrave Murders is listed as a romance and suspense story which peaked my interest. I read almost all historical fiction, but haven’t read a lot from this time period.
Knowing the summary of the book, the first chapter did not immediately draw me in, but I became interested soon after. I am not used to stories being written in the first person, and I think it threw me off a little at first.
While the story is about the solving of murders, the characters all seem realistic and raw. My favorite character was Gary Redhawk.
Gary makes you immediately feel protective of him. Being in the Indian reform school, and then being a POW must have really been traumatic for him. Of course, this would not make him innocent of the issues that arise against him, but there is something that seems innocent and vulnerable about him from the very beginning. You slowly get to learn more about his history, and I felt even more of a connection to him.
Gary felt that he was broken after the war. He still had nightmares every night, and he worried about hurting others. My favorite scenes were when Evie was trying to break down Gary’s walls and show him he could still be loved. Everyone is broken. We are just broken in different ways.
Since the book is written in first person, I felt that I didn’t learn as much about Evie Hampton’s past. The letters from her brother at the beginning of each chapter helped some.
Evie’s father is a history professor, and I loved hearing about the decor of their house. My favorite was the suit of arms that they named. I would love to know what happened to it.
There are a lot of intense issues in this book. PTSD is a major theme. There is also a minor character who is a pedophile and continues to be non-repentant. The PTSD was especially interesting to me. During this time, many men returning from war were written off as having psychological issues if they displayed any symptoms at all. Yet there was no real help for them.
The main characters are in an interracial relationship which causes a lot of conflict with others. Gary has been through so much, and I loved the lighthearted comment he made after someone made a derogatory comment about him.
I liked the pace of the book. There were a lot of things happening, but it didn’t feel rushed. I also liked that things didn’t feel predictable. It felt like I was trying to solve the case right alongside Evie.
If you enjoy an excellent blend of romance, action and mystery, be sure to checkout The Redgrave Murders.
While I received a complimentary copy of this book, I was not required to write a positive review.