Jim Riley’s book, Murder in the Atchafalya, is the story of treasury agent, Kristi Blocker who bravely delves into the swamps of Louisiana to solve the murders of her two fellow agents. Things go bottom side up relatively quickly for Kristi. Some villainous figures force her hand, and she defends herself. Subsequently, she flees deeper into the unfamiliar bayou. She finds herself literally up a tree in order to survive the elements and alligators. Lucky for Kristi, Federal Agent, Hawk Theriot shows up on the scene none too soon.
The book begins with Kristi looking for answers about the murdered agents. As quick as a blink, tables turn and turn back as there is a power struggle between the agent and a man who could be involved in the murders. Quick-witted Kristi proves over and over that she will never give up without a fight, and she can generally outsmart anyone in her path. With a new teammate in Agent Theriot, the pair seems like an unstoppable duo.
This is a great book that will keep readers interested from the very first page. The agents always have tough and dangerous work to do. It feels like there is danger around every corner. Tackling, gunslinging, and dodging bullets paired with the already dangerous Louisiana bayou compounds the hazard. This builds the excitement level and keeps things interesting. There is hardly a dull moment. All of these things make the book a real page-turner with the makings of an action movie. I did notice a few (very few) errors in the book. Over all, though, it was very well-written, exciting, and an enjoyable read.
Readers will likely notice the good vs. evil sort of theme that is prominent in age old tales present in Atchafalaya. Our hero figures are met early in the book as they are fighting the forces of evil from the jump. We are thrown into the good guys fighting the bad, and the bad fighting back. The main characters are likeable, and there are corrupt, menacing characters that readers will love to hate. It doesn’t hurt that the agents are smart, capable, tough, and charismatic.
I also love the use of local color in the book. I can just see the store called T-Bob’s Grocery that is frequently mentioned. The language of the Louisiana natives, as well as their customs and cuisine are present throughout the book. Hawk shops for crawfish and shrimp boudin in the store, helping to bring that undeniable Louisiana basin feel.
Riley made a fan of me. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and would love to see where they go from here. I enjoyed Riley’s writing style and the southern influence that crept in. I highly recommend it.
Pages: 209 | ASIN: B084SPW5G6