11/13/15

review of La Venganza by Michael Benson

La Venganza
by
Michael Benson


There are no spoilers in this review. It made for a less than satisfying experience for me
writing it. But one of the joys of reading stories like this one is not knowing how it’s going
to turn out. “La Venganza”(The Revenge) is a heart pumping story set in today’s Southwest that is
multi-dimensional and non-linear. Don’t let that turn you off. Once you understand that
each chapter opens from the POV of a young Mexican woman fleeing for her life it’s an
easy read. We learn her back-story much later in the book.
Frank Millirons adds the other dimension to the story. We are told early on that he is
dying from cancer but he’s not going gently into that good night. The opening scene is a
gun battle between him and the people chasing him. It’s a long shot that he will escape.
He does and our hopes grow that he can beat the cancer too.
It’s not immediately clear who the “good guys” and the “bad boys” are in this fast-paced,
well-written novel. The novel’s action alone is a compelling reason to read this book.
The storytelling is outstanding and the well-structured plot keeps the reader guessing.
Besides keeping us guessing about the next layer of the story to be revealed, Benson
knows of what he speaks. It’s obvious that he has done his research on how the police
work in the Southwest and the role of undercover agents.
We’re never sure what the bad guys are up to until the climax. Are they dealing drugs,
or transporting illegal immigrants from Mexico into the USA? One thing is clear
however, they are vicious and violent.
As the story unfolds the non-linear action sequence and the multiple POV’s of the
characters interact so that everything makes sense in the end. A notable achievement
by a first-time author who has written a first-rate crime thriller.

4 STARS

Bill Snyder

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