Serenity by Craig Hart – Book Review
Serenity by Craig Hart – Book Reviewed by Lisa
The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series Volume One
Publisher – CreateSpace Independent Pub
Pages – 220
Release Date – 12th October 2016
ISBN-13 – 978-1539311881
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
A woman dies in his arms…a drug dealer offers him $10,000…a gunman is determined to kill him. And then everything went to hell.
Shelby Alexander is an aging ex-boxer and retired fixer, whose activities often flirted with the wrong side of the law. Looking for a little peace and a slower pace of life, he moved to Serenity, the small Michigan town where he grew up. But trouble follows men like Shelby, and he finds himself embroiled in an underworld of drugs and violence that may prove to be his undoing.
It seemed so simple: ten grand to ask a few questions. He should have known money complicates everything, especially when the infamous Ellis family is involved, and when a small army of downstate dealers and a shadowy gunman all turn their sights on him, Shelby decides things have gone far enough. And he won’t let the law stand in his way.
The first book in the new Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, Serenity is an action-packed read with a lovingly rendered cast, witty dialogue, and a main character who doesn’t know when to quit.
Shelby, an ex-boxer, is looking out his window and sees a pile of rags however they aren’t rags they are a woman. He brings her into the house and she dies in her arms. Turns out she is the sister of a well-known drug dealing family and they end up offering him $10,000 to find out who killed her, they believe it is part of a drug turf war. His cop friend comes to stay with him and together they investigate what is going on.
There is a new sheriff in town and he doesn’t care what two ‘old men’ have to say and in turn, they end up getting into all sorts of situations….of course with drug dealers there has to be gunfire involved! To add to the problems Shelby has a very young girlfriend who he is trying to hide everything from.
We are following Shelby as he tries to get to the bottom of everything and watching two ageing men getting up to all sorts of things that you would normally see as reserved for the younger protagonist. I really enjoyed that they were, in fact, older characters. Made me think of the film Tough Guys, yes I know it is about older gangsters but had the same feel to it, two older men trying to recapture their youth. They dig into everything and uncover things they didn’t expect, plot twists and turns at every possible occasion.
I loved the pace of this book. It was fantastic how not only was there the main story but there was a love interest, friendship and family issues to make the character realistic. The story kept me gripped, I actually felt pained to put it down if I had to and I mean only if it was a MUST would I stop reading. This is a great first book in a series and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series when it is published.
I give this book a 4 star rating, and completely recommend it!
Book reviewed by Lisa
Craig A. Hart is the stay-at-home father of twin boys, a writer, editor, Amazon bestselling author, lover of the arts, and only human. He served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine and as manager for Sweatshoppe Media. He also served as director for Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, an outreach that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired.
He has been published in The Orange Room Review, Voices, The Stray Branch, Red Poppy Review, The Mindful Word, Inclement, Right Hand Pointing, 7×20 Magazine, and others.
In 2015, Kindle Press published his novel Becoming Moon. NPR affiliate Northern Public Radio featured Becoming Moon in their Winter Book Series.
Besides his award-winning novel, Craig is the author of The Writer’s Tune-Up Manual, The Busy Writer, and The Girl Who Read Hemingway. He is a weekly columnist for Five 2 One Magazine. He is also the author of the new Shelby Alexander Thriller Series.
Craig lives and writes in Iowa City with his wife, sons, and two cats.