September 12, 2001. Four members of the Klasser family are found dead outside Dallas, Texas. In the wake of 9/11, the Klassers’ neighbor, Omar Jones―an American citizen of Arab descent―is convicted of their murder. A month before Jones’ execution, attorney Lije Evans searches for evidence that will prove the man innocent. But Evans’ quest goes deeper than solving one crime. He is determined to find the secret behind the dark history of sleepy Swope’s Ridge―and how it ties into his wife’s murder. Interlocking mysteries lead Evans and his team to the battlegrounds of former Nazi Germany, the dirt roads of Kansas, and a rusty cargo ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, they discover a secret that offers the promise of great power―and the greatest temptation they’ve ever faced. In the second book of the Lije Evans Mysteries series, bestselling author Ace Collins immerses readers in an intricate and deadly international plot. Racism, betrayal, and death-defying escapes compound an adventure that knows no bounds in this harrowing novel for suspense lovers everywhere.
Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog’s Life. Based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, He continues to publish several new titles each year, including a series of novels, the first of which is Farraday Road. Ace has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.
Ace Collins is at the top of my list for suspense authors. I read Farrraday Road a few years back and loved it. It ended with a BIG cliffhanger and begged me to go on to Swope’s Ridge. Well, I finally dug into book 2 via Audible. Its fast-paced, twisting and turning plot didn’t let me down. So my recommendation to you is get both titles and prepare yourself for some page-turning reading.
Swope’s Ridge opens with the closing action of Farraday Road. Lije Evans and his associates are still in danger from those who killed his wife. But the Nazi-era mystery exposed in book 1 gives way to a 9/11 terrorism case. How can a dead SS officer and a death row inmate possibly be connected? With clues pointing to the existence of a legendary Ark of Death, Lije and his team work to solve the case before more innocent lives are lost.
Lije Evans is an interesting character. A small-town lawyer still grieving his wife’s death and in way over his head against powerful, unknown forces, he is determined to discover the reasons surrounding the inexplicable events that have impacted his life. With a shaky faith, Lije continues on despite threats and tragedy because the truth is so important. Lije struggles with the hidden plans and purposes of God – don’t we all — making him a relatable character. The ensemble cast in Swope’s Ridge is strong, and the reader may have a hard time discerning just who the good guys are. The plot is complex and certainly suspenseful, leaving this reader just as mystified as Lije. But all comes together in a satisfying ending. The Nazi-era history was interesting and cleverly tied into the modern-day action.
I read the audiobook version of Swope’s Ridge. The narrator did a good job with pacing and voices.
A great conclusion to the two-book series, Swope’s Ridge is definitely a recommended read.
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(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)