My first experience with a book by Kirkus MacGowan was his first novel release, The Fall of Billy Hitchings. I loved that book and found it impossible to put down. I loved the characters and the impossible situation that they found themselves in. I knew that Mr. MacGowan was writing another book and I wondered if he could pull it off. Could he write a book that rivaled "The Fall of Billy Hitchings?" Well, he not only can, but has in his new book "Wrath."
John Reeves is back! The smart-ass ex-marine returns, this time with a vengeance. He has taken work with a friend when he is plunged straight into a mystery in which people in his hometown are dying mysterious and gruesome deaths. He teams up with his brother and his childhood best-friend to solve the mystery.
Let's get into what I liked and didn't like about Wrath:
A strong suit for Mr. MacGowan. I liked John Reeves in the first novel, but felt that he played a smaller part in the novel so didn't get the best feel for him. In this book, the things that made him such a strong character in the first, came to the forefront. He is a very trustworthy and stand-up guy with a way that makes ladies swoon. Even his brother knows that he is a stand-up person. So that was enough for me.
However, I really like Alan, his brother. Also a solid man who has a good upbringing and a moral sense of right and wrong. I felt that he was a believeable character and that is tought to do when you are introducing new characters to a series. I believe that anyone who reads this book will like Alan too.
Mr. MacGowan is so so so great at building relationships that you can believe in. You really believe that Alan and John are brothers and that there is a past between these two men. There was no struggling with relationships. Even the side characters like Ruth and Eddy seemed like they had been friends with these men for years. It was really refreshing to read this book because I really cared about the main characters.
I do have to interject one thing here that I didn't like. Some of the characters seemed to be stereotypes. They were cut out of every thriller I've ever read. Ya know, the FBI agent who isn't going to allow anyone to mess with the investigation, and the mayor who is a jerk. This didn't stop me from enjoying the book, but only because their parts were small.
Mr. MacGowan did a great job of setting each of his scenes in a solid and believable place. I was home with Alan and at the station with him. I was with John as he ran for his life, trying to avoid getting caught. I was definitely in the ending (but I won't tell you about that) but it is pretty damn harrowing. The places in this novel are superb. The only thing I would say, is that characters have a tie to settings too and I would have liked to see more of that happening in this novel. It would have really made the characters pop for me.
Altogether, I LOVED Wrath! John Reeves is a character I will follow until he breathes his last breath! I would recommend this novel for anyone who likes a mystery or a good old-fashioned thriller with some bite! Kirkus MacGowan has come into his own with this novel. This one is much better than his first and I loved that book too! I would not be hesitant to recommend this book!
I give this book 5 stars. Great character development!
I'll follow Mr. MacGowan and his books. Hopefully he keeps up the great work! Thanks Kirkus!
I received a copy of this book from the author and promised him that I would give him an honest review. I believe that I have.