Many thanks to TheWriteReads and Kenneth L. Toppell for giving me a free e-book in exchange for an honest review.
About the book.
Henry Atkinson’s life as an attorney is slow, predictable, and lonely, to boot, since their divorce left his ex-wife with custody of the kids. To fill the time, he’s taken up a hobby of genealogy, but it doesn’t do much to spice up his mundane routine.
Until the day he prods at a dead end on one of the branches of his family tree. Who is Shelley–a cousin he’s never met nor even heard of in years? Despite being warned to leave well enough alone, Henry continues his investigation of the man, though it yields little more than a disturbing criminal record that finally convinces him to drop the matter.
But Shelley is a man who doesn’t appreciate being looked for . . . and now he knows someone has been looking. Before he knows what’s hit him, Henry is propelled suddenly into a mayhem of ominous threats, mysterious strangers, and running for his life. Second Cousin Once Removed is a fast-paced sweaty-palm thriller that will keep you hooked until the last page.
This was a fast paced read that I read within a day or so. I was drawn to Henry’s character particularly because he came across as an average, one might almost say boring guy, instead of the usual hot, exciting heartthrob we normally get in thrillers. Fast forward to the realization that he’s wanted by Shelly, a deranged cousin he’s never connected with or even met in real life and Henry’s lifestyle and outlook on life changes in the blink of an eye.
We get to see Henry’s, Shelly’s and Henry’s love interest Carolyn’s perspective in different chapters which opened the story up more for me. I particularly enjoyed Shelly’s POV as from the start he was pegged as being the heartless bad guy.
There’s something old school about the story, part of me feels it could have been set in the Fifties. Henry definitely gave off a vibe of being the type of man who like women to wear lipstick and look good at all times. I feel this may not have sat well with some readers. For me, I’d give this book three stars. It was gritty, gripping and something different from the norm. Not my favorite book ever, but a solid enough read.