4 out of 4 stars
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Looking for murder, mystery and mayhem with few adult situations? I may have the book for you! Devil's Run by AR Simmons is a fictional novel in the crime/mystery genre. It has around 350 pages and is available for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. This is the 12th book in the Richard Carter series, but it works well as a stand-alone novel.
Richard Carter is a detective in a small town in Missouri. This stereotypical small town, where not much generally happens, is about to explode – literally. At 2 o'clock in the morning, Carter wakes to the sound of explosions from the downtown area. A warehouse is on fire; the canisters of gas inside causing explosions every so often. Sheriff Shug orders Carter along with detectives Kit Kittredge and Ron Guidry on crowd control; they are to keep people away from the dangerous warehouse. When the fire department is finally able to get the fire under control, the police department finds two bodies inside the warehouse. It seems, though, that these two did not die in the fire as both had their legs broken before it started. There is also a body in a car outside the warehouse; this victim was shot in the head at point-blank range. This stinks of a cover up. But who is it? And what are they covering up? Ride along with Detective Carter and find out.
The plot in this novel is fairly straightforward. Someone has been murdered, and the police must figure out the motive as well as the killer. Sounds a little too simple, right? It would be, but Mr. Simmons does a great job at adding twists and turns that make this novel unique. The plot is also fairly evenly paced. There were only a couple of times in the story that I found myself a little bit bored; however, it wasn't long before the author drew me back in with some new information or more action. As for the mystery aspect, I was at least three-quarters of the way through the book before I even began to suspect the culprit.
Even better than the twists and turns in this book are the characters. The characters were true to life; I found myself really being able to relate to them. Carter is a veteran who still has flashbacks to his time in the service. He has a tendency toward male chauvinism, but he acknowledges it (and attributes it more to chivalry, which I will leave to the reader to determine.) Yet, he is empathetic and caring. He often finds himself trying to maintain a balance between work and home life as he is married with a child. Kit is a fairly new detective. She wants to be one of the boys, but Carter tries to protect her. Kit is a strong female character who shows us that women can do anything men can. My favorite character, though, is her pit bull Champ.
As for the negative aspects of the story, there are very few. There was a small bit of repetition in the story, but it happened twice in a 350 page novel. Hardly even worth mentioning. The author claims that this is a stand-alone book; for the most part, he's right. There are things that are alluded to that I knew had to be in one of the previous stories. That being said, they were such a small part of this story that it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. For example, one of the reasons Kit has Champ is because a break-in occurred at her property some time back. We are told nothing else, but I didn't lose sleep over it.
Devil's Run is a good book that leaves me little to complain about. Therefore, I must give it 4 out of 4 stars. There are adult themes in the book, but they are handled with kid gloves. The violence is very tame, the language is mild, and sexual scenes are non-existent. So, I can not only recommend this book to adults who enjoy a good mystery but also to older teenagers. If, however, you are one that wants to get in the mind of the killer and enjoys the violence and gore, this probably isn't the book for you.
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