Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review: 19 Souls by J. D. Allen

Kerry Hammond is here today to review the first book in a new series by author J.D. Allen.

19 Souls by J. D. Allen is the first book in the new Sin City series featuring private investigator Jim Bean; no relation to the bourbon. The book was released on February 8 by Midnight Ink and Allen’s short stories have appeared in the 2015 Murder Under the Oaks Bouchercon Anthology and the upcoming Carolina Crimes. This is her first full length novel and she definitely jumped right in with both feet.

In 19 Souls, Las Vegas private investigator, Jim Bean, is hired by a woman to find her missing brother. He begins what he thinks will be a simple case, only to find out that it is anything but. His client isn’t who she says she is, she’s way more dangerous that he thought she was, and he may have inadvertently put the lives of several innocent people in danger. He sets out to try and make up for his mistake, finding it hard not to take it personally.

The story is quite a thrill ride and has a higher body count than a lot of books I’ve read—this is by no means a bad thing. Told with chapters that alternate between the investigation and the killer, the reader frequently sees inside the head of the person responsible for the carnage. There’s no surprise or whodunit, but a thriller that takes the reader on a wild ride to see if the good guys will prevail and how many will perish as they fight. It is soon clear that the book’s title is telltale and knowing this only ramps up the tension.

I had a hard time putting it down, even if I was a bit squeamish at times. I found that I really liked Bean as a character and it’s obvious that there is more to learn about his backstory. I look forward to the next book in the series.

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