by Linda L Richards
September 4 - 29, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
Taking lives has taken its toll. Her moral justifications have faltered. Do any of the the people she has killed — some of them heinous, but all of them human — deserve to die?
Her next target is Cameron Walker, a rancher in Arizona. When she arrives at his remote desert estate to carry out her orders, she discovers that he is a kind and beautiful man. After a lengthy tour of the ranch, not only has she not killed him, she’s wondering who might want him dead.
She procrastinates long enough that a vibe grows between them. At the same time, she learns that he’s passionate about wild horses and has been fighting a losing political battle to save the mustangs that live on protected land near his property. He’s even received death threats from those who oppose him.
She finds herself trying to protect the man she was sent to kill, following a trail that leads from the desert, to the Phoenix cognoscenti, to the highest offices in Washington, DC. Along the way she encounters kidnappers and killers, horse thieves and even human traffickers. Hopefully she can figure out who ordered the hit before they hire someone else to execute the assignment.
Praise for Dead West:
"Linda L. Richards delivers yet another riveting entry in her hired killer series. Set mostly in Arizona desert country, Dead West is a dust devil of a story, twisting in wildly unpredictable ways and with a powerful emotional center. But this book isn’t just a marvelously compelling thriller; it also cries out passionately for protection of the endangered wild horses of the West. Kudos to Richards for seamlessly weaving an important message into the fabric of a terrific tale."
~ William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author
"When a contract killer’s wounded conscience begins to awaken, it only heightens the dangers of her profession. In Dead West, the incomparable Linda L. Richards poses the possibility of redemption and recovery for her tragic heroine, all while sending her – and us – on a deadly thrill ride through the stunning Arizona wilderness."
~ Clea Simon, Boston Globe bestselling author
This is a surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable novel that is a really different take on the life and work of a contract assassin. Richards' writing style is a bit different in that the novel is written from the assassin's viewpoint and contains lots of character thought and long sections of prose. The text is almost one detailed character study. Readers really get into the mind of the assassin, not so much why that particular profession but mostly thoughts and feelings about what she is doing. It works pretty well and the novel is entertaining.
I always appreciate learning something from a novel and this one included information about the plight of America's wild horses. There is political corruption in this novel that threatens the horses' welfare. Richards' Author's Note at the end gives additional insight to the situation.
There is a somewhat expected twist at the end that could either signify the end of the series or be a prelude to more entertaining novels. I have enjoyed getting to know this assassin and will be watching for more from Richards.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
You can read my review of the previous novel in this series, Exit Strategy.
Genre: Thriller, Noir, Suspense
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: September 2023
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781608095124 (ISBN10: 1608095126)
Series: The Endings Series, Book 3
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Oceanview Publishing
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(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)