As part of his regular street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience’s pockets while they watch. It’s harmless fun — until he decides to keep the spare wallet a city councilman doesn’t seem to miss, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds not money but compromising photos of the councilman and his “personal assistants”, The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named, “Nevermore”.
Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues — and their complicated feelings for each other — to rescue The Raven and save hundreds of lives from a wildcard bent on revenge.
Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at FamilyFans.com, as well as a bestselling and award-winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide. When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe scared him silly. Today he owns everything Poe ever wrote. A former fiction acquisitions editor, Mike earned his MA in English literature and now writes full time.
Wow! That is the one word I can use to describe Mike Nappa’s novel, The Raven. I thought his debut novel, Annabel Lee, was great, and it was. But The Raven is over-the-top good! Am I gushing? Maybe. But for those who love a fast-paced suspense with twisting plots (yes plots), this one hits all the right buttons. #2 in the Coffey & Hill series earns another very highly recommended rating from me.
Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill, ex’s with lots of unresolved baggage, are back in Atlanta working their respective cases. She’s a PI and he’s now a police detective after a stint with the CIA. Both are focused on finding the truth and when they stumble upon a mysterious plot, their radar goes up. Just what is Nevermore and what does it bode for the city of Atlanta? Along the way, they are met with Ukrainian mobsters, gangbangers and a small time deception specialist named the Raven. The clues are there, but they don’t add up to a complete picture. But that won’t stop Trudi and Samuel from digging even when their own lives are at stake.
The Raven is suspense fiction at its best. Using both first and third person perspectives, the reader is slowly let into the very complicated goings on. You never can be sure of just whom to trust. Some of the bad guys are very, very bad and have sadistic streaks. While others are just sort of bad — there may or may not be consciences behind their facades. And who knows who the good guys are, except for Trudi and Samuel. Gun-running, gang activity and political campaigns are all part of the plot making this novel’s setting of Hotlanta very apt. My oldest son lives in Atlanta and it was fun visiting familiar places throughout the novel. Characters are as complex as the plot line. You will love Mama Bliss, the 70+ year old woman who is both maternal and calculating. And the title character, the Raven, is an exasperating anti-hero that you will cheer for in the end. None of the characters, good and bad, are without flaws, a realism I very much appreciated. There is a deep spiritual theme that runs throughout the novel. Revenge and bitterness are contrasted with forgiveness and grace, and the characters must choose which they will live and die by. Trudi and Samuel have lots of seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their relationship. The last scene in the book shows just what they may be up against in the future.
A bit gritty, a bit gasp-inducing, and a lot good — that’s The Raven.
Very Highly Recommended.
To purchase this book, click HERE.
(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)