4 out of 4 stars
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Guilty Photographs, by S.I. Taylor, is a suspenseful thriller of nearly 400 pages with an intriguing plot and realistic characters that deserves nothing less than 4 out of 4 stars. The editorial team did an incredible job delivering a professional literary work with almost no grammatical errors. I only found a few missing commas, but they could be easily missed. Considering the setting of the novel, the expletives used seemed appropriate and, in some instances, brought out the emotion of the characters involved.
If you’d like to be part of a federal investigation, scanning through crime scenes for hidden clues and connecting all the dots, then this crime novel is for you. Also, those who enjoy the adrenaline rush of a good nail-biter should read this book. As a trigger warning, please be aware that some of the content relates to graphic violence, sexual scenes, and rape. Set in a perilous environment where the threat of death is everywhere, this piece introduces you to a crime-filled world of drug deals, murder, illegal narcotics, and sexual abuse.
This novel describes the challenges faced by Barbara Wolf, a minor-league thief, whose main goal is to get out of Huntersville — a city where drugs, cheap sex, and death prevail. As such, she finds herself in precarious situations, especially after planning a heist with her partner, Nixon, a computer and technology mastermind. Chances of their mission succeeding start crumbling when a federal agent, Carter McKinley, arrives in town to solve a murder case involving the son of Nicholas Trivaldi Sr., an Italian drug lord. Will McKinley solve the case? What is the link that will bring McKinley, Barbara, and Nixon together?
The genuineness of the characters made it easy to develop a connection with them while reading the novel. The images and scenes that took shape in my mind — along with the tension, the mystery, and the twists — sparked the detective in me thanks to the author’s descriptive writing style. I admire her courage in discussing a sensitive subject such as the painful and often invisible physical and mental aspects of sexual abuse. Barbara is an inspiring character with remarkable qualities. The author’s encouraging afterword to those who “fell off the right path, but eventually found it again” inspired hope. “Just know that you should take it one step at a time[;] there’s no obstacle too big to overcome,” as the author says.
Other fine details that I appreciated were the creative title and the women on the book’s cover, both of which perfectly fit the story. Huntersville is well-known for its skid row atmosphere, and it’s hard not to get caught in the web of fraud, manipulation, and lies. Who is at the center of the conspiracy? As much as it may seem like a ghost hunt with unpredictable twists and turns, agent McKinley seems determined to catch the criminals and bring them to justice. But can the feds effectively do their job going by the book? Or do they need to break some protocols to achieve true justice?
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