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FOLLOW THE RIVER HOME: A Novel ~Corran Harrington

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

“Daniel Arroyo has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old.  He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago.  When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth. Where old houses hold tired secrets.  What really happened on that steamy August afternoon?  The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home.  Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.” (Cover)

Each chapter of this book flowed a segment of Daniel’s life and each was a collection of tight, incredible, descriptive words, which just held the readers attention.  One knew the wild asparagus and the movement of water in the irrigation ditch.  This was the place where Daniel value programmed, of his best friend, of his siblings and parents.  There are roots here – deep roots.  Wild roses tapped the window and the basketball bounced on the court, it was supposed to be safe.  I think on purpose the next chapter did not flow from the last, rather it was a jump into another memory and experience and at first I found this disconcerting until I began to expect it.  I think this was to show the confusion in Daniel’s mind and it succeeded.  The psychological dimensions of the story were revealed and explained out of sequence and made the reader work a bit to integrate the life being told.

By coming back home, drawn in by the wonderful next-door neighbor, Daniel is able to find himself and his own truth and it will free his life and propel him forward.

FOLLOW THE RIVER HOME is quite the read and I think I will keep my advanced reading copy on my shelf for a future read.  At this time in my life the “death” theme was a bit tough to take and I felt sadness as I read – a loneliness that made finishing the story a release.

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review.  If you go to the link you can see all the other reader’s reviews of this book.

From the Cover:

“Corran Harrington is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Santa Fe Writing Project finalist, a Hidden River Arts Eludia Award finalist, a Bosque Fiction contest finalist, and a New Millennium Writings award semi-finalist who short fiction (written also as Connie Harrington) has appeared in number literary journals.  A former lawyer, Harrington also has a background in cultural and linguistic anthropology.  She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

NOTE: This review is several days late, I am so sorry I had a sudden illness and could not get to my computer to get the post into the schedule.  I hope this will prove to be a fine posting and not cause problems for TLC or the author.

Related:
Thirty Days With My Father
Once Upon A Lie
Water On the Moon

DUKE CITY HIT: A Thriller ~Max Austin

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

“For fans of Breaking Bad and the bestselling fiction of Don Winslow and George Pelecanos, Max Austin takes readers back to Albuquerque for another action-packed thrill ride in Duke City Hit, as an elite assassin takes aim at—well, everyone.”  (amazon’s page)

DUKE CITY HIT will be released on December 16th, 2014.  I received an uncorrected, un-proofed copy from TLC Online Booktours and have read it cover to cover.   My copy did not include information about the author or any extras or connectors.   I wanted to read the book because I had read DUKE CITY SPLIT  and I know lots of my readers enjoy this kind of story and the fast pace.   It is very – fasted paced and includes the wonderful vintage cars flying around Albuquerque, making for good drama.  It is very entertaining and it certainly takes the reader into entertainment escape mode.

I wanted to learn more about Vic this amazing hit man and maybe he will be in the third book of the trilogy along with the bank robbers in volume I?  Smooth and tense writing style that moved the 150 pages right along.

DUKE CITY HIT was not my favorite read or even mystery.   I do not like to think that contract assassins are assisting the world by “taking out” the horrible people in the area.  I know it takes skill and I am sure there are some everywhere there are evil people, but it makes me unhappy to read about all the murders.  I guess I need more decoration, like Marti Wingate’s Garden Shed Mystery Series, where the reader learns about gardens and the UK and there is some real romance.  Or T.E. Wood’s FIXER series which was revealing child abuse and sexual violence; the more interesting relationship information was in Max Austin’s first book DUKE CITY SPLIT.  Protecting family was part of the story, but it seemed more militaristic and did not touch me in the same way; there was an absence of the plotting and planning parts of the chase.

My feelings are very open right now with all the violence again people and thinking about the School shootings, children gunned down and politicians lack of response  against the powers of un-reason and greed.  I want to think of the sweet hope of a baby and not the violence of crucifixions in the darkness of winter.   Do these thrillers relieve people of stress and tension, excite readers, or just provide a great escape?

“Max Austin is a pseudonym for Steve Brewer, who has written 2 dozen books about crooks. LONELY STREET was made into a comedy movie in 2009.  A former journalist and humor columnist, Brewer teaches in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico.  He’s a frequent speaker at mystery conventions and was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in 2011.  He is married and the father of 2 adult sons, Brewer lives in Albuquerque.” – See more at: DUKE CITY SPLIT 

Steve Brewer on Facebook

Once again fun writing and I know many of my readers will enjoy this book. Please share!  Thank you

Related:
The Fixer Series 
The Red Book of Primrose Lane 
Duke City Split 
The Forever Man

DUKE CITY SPLIT: A Crime Novel ~Max Austin

Friday, April 25th, 2014

“They’d [FBI agents] taken time to drive through a Starbucks on their way to the scene, and they carried their paper cups of coffee into the bank with them” “We know the drill. Not that it’ll do you any good.  The manager says the robbers wore gloves.  She says they were in and out in under three minutes.”


DUKE CITY SPLIT was a well written story and I could imagine this Crime Novel being a hit for those  who enjoy this genre.   I had my 7th grade tutoring student get permission to read this book from his parents, and although it is a struggle for him, he loves the story – so he is motivated to read.  I received an un-proofed e-copy of the book so I am loaning my kindle to my neighbor, a doctor who loves this type of story and he is primed and ready.   It took me about 4 hours to get from cover to cover; story was just the right size.

Bud and Mick are professional bank robbers.  Bud started out as a car thief and then when Mick got out of prison they joined forces and became quite a successful team.  The team had rules and skill which enabled them to never hurt anyone and to make a comfortable living.  Bud was a day trader also; he knew how to handle the money and keep them solvent.  Bud was computer smart, but the story did not focus on computers it focused on the skill and rules of the duo.

Bud in the last few years has gotten married to Linda and they have 2 young daughters.  Linda knew about Bud’s career before they were wed, and she is now becoming nervous and worried that the teams luck might run out.  Linda works in real estate to keep the family funds stable.

Mick is approached by a young fellow who has figured out a big payoff robbery which might be possible; he does not know how to pull it off.  Mick decides to break the rules and rob a small branch bank in the city where they live.  This means he has also decided to make it a three way split.   Another rule broken.  Bud decides to go along and make this his last big heist then get out of the business.

Two unsavory criminals receive just enough information from the FBI to start figuring out who the suspects are and they begin tracking down Mick and Bud in a very ruthless manor, a Chicago mobster gets involved and havoc breaks loose.  Mick and Bud have to figure everything out, still keep the money and not get caught.  DUKE CITY SPLIT puts the focus more on how the team recovers from their broken rules and how they will stay alive.

There is quite a bit of discussion about cars and rental cars which I have decided is an aspect to this brand of story as important as the stiletto heel is to chick lit.    I would also suggest that part of the story’s theme is that if you have a tattoo, bank robbery may not be the best business for you.

“Max Austin is a pseudonym for Steve Brewer, who has written 2 dozen books about crooks. LONELY STREET was made into a comedy movie in 2009.  A former journalist and humor columnist, Brewer teaches in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico.  He’s a frequent speaker at mystery conventions and was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in 2011.  He is married and the father of 2 adult sons, Brewer lives in Albuquerque.”

Steve Brewer on Facebook

tlc logo I very much enjoyed reading this great escape book and I thank TLC Online Tours  for sending it on to me for review.  It was such a fun read – DUKE CITY SPLIT

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Related:
The Beautiful Heist 
The Condor Song
The Fixer 
The Contractors