- Reviewed by David M. Kinchen
Lauren Carr’s “Blast from the Past” (Acorn Book Services, 258 pages) is the fourth entry in the Mac Faraday mystery series set in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, so we know from the beginning that the body count will be excessive. One target of flatnose hitmen from the mean streets of the East Coast is Mac’s girlfriend, Archie Monday, who was the researcher and assis
tant to bestselling mystery writer Robin Spencer.
I’ve read all of the three previous novels — ‘It’s Murder, My Son’, “Old Loves Die Hard” and “Shades of Murder” — so I’ve gotten to know the characters like old friends. No disrespect to Mac, his half brother Spencer Police Chief David O’Callaghan, the beautiful and intelligent Archie, and Carr’s western Maryland galaxy of fascinating people, but in my opinion Gnarly, the former Army veteran German shepherd, tops the list of unforgettable characters.
As I said in my review of “Murder, My Son,” which introduced us to Mac, Archie, David and all the rest (for my review, click: ttp://www.huntingtonnews.net/23832): “Even people who are allergic to dogs and cats will get a jolt out of this Army veteran of a dog, originally imported to Spencer and Deep Creek Lake — Maryland’s largest lake — to guard local beauty Katrina Singleton. Gnarly is unsuccessful in his task and is brutally beaten in his attempt to save the wealthy Katrina from her murderer.
Gnarly is rescued by Spencer Police Officer David O’Callaghan, who grew up with Katrina and has a history with her.”In “Blast from the Past” Mac Faraday finds himself and his upscale resort community crammed to the rafters with mobsters and federal agents. After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars — Archie Monday! Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.The romance of Mac and Archie heats up as Mac does everything he can to protect her from mobster Cruze.
Carr writes that readers want Mac Faraday and Archie Monday to be a permanent couple, even as Cruze, seeking revenge, wants Archie permanently dead. Plot twists and turns are a feature of Carr’s writing, but fans of Mac and Archie — and Gnarly — will be satisfied with the outcome.
Unlike “Murder, My Son” “Blast from the Past” features a front-of-book cast of characters, making it much easier for readers — and reviewers — to make their way through the book without unnecessary back-paging to dope out who’s who. Every mystery should have a cast of characters.
About the author
Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Erle Stanley Gardner’s “Perry Mason” novels to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries — “A Small Case of Murder” — was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.
In addition to writing the Mac Faraday Mysteries, Carr is also the author of a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with love interest homicide detective Cameron Gates. For my review of “Dead on Ice,” the first installment in the series, click: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/49692 The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series
will be published later this year.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.