“Why did he do it?” Rich asked Rhonda, hoping she would see the implications.
“What? Go after the mayor? He’s pissed he got the axe, that’s why.”
“No, that’s not what I meant,” Rich said, trying to get his point across. “He posted a farewell message online and drove slow enough on the freeway for us to catch up. The Mustang could have done well over a hundred seventy-five, but he kept it at one hundred, and he wasn’t wearing any armor. Wes wanted this to happen. He wanted to kill the mayor, but this looks like a classic case of ‘death by cop.’ This was a message.”
She nodded without saying anything.
Sometimes anger results in immediate action. Sometimes it sits, and festers until it boils over. Raw Vengeance, by Josh Handrich, is a novella that introduces us to Rich Fordham, and ambitious young reporter looking for his big break. The streets of Chicago have lost their appeal to him and he knows he has to get abroad if he's going to make his name in the world, but he didn't count on the spiral of anger that he would get caught in as he sought his big story. If he gets the story it could be the on that puts him on the world stage, but one wrong move and he goes from reporting the story to being the story.
Raw Vengeance is a short read with a quick pace that follows Rich Fordham along with a collection of surrounding characters that feed the story itself. I liked the story as it is, but I would have loved it in a longer format so that I could have gotten more involved with the characters instead of getting only a quick feel for who they were. The author introduces a number of characters using well-known archetypes with a splash of color that he introduces to make them something a little different from the standard. If future books in the series are going to be succesful the characters will need more fleshing out, especially Rich, who is the nominal hero of the story.
The pace moves along at a decent page and keeps the reader guessing about exactly what is going on and what is going to happen, which makes the story an enjoyable page turner. However, there are some leaps that come out of left field and left me scratching my head. As nice as it is to be surprised when reading a thriller, it is much more enjoyable when the reader is able to look back and say, "ahhh, I wondered what all of that was about," and this story falls a bit short in that sense. Raw vengeance has a wealth of surprises, but a dearth of suspense.
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