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Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Thousand Bayonets by Joel Mark Harris

Published in 2011 by iUniverse

Joel Mark Harris is a young Canadian journalist and new novel writer. The advice always given to writers is to "write what you know" so Harris has done that - the main character of this novel is John Webster, an experienced investigative journalist for a Vancouver newspaper. He carries physical and emotional battle scars from covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is too old to start a blog to promote his articles and he is definitely too experienced to be playing fast and loose with the mob as the bullets start to fly and the bodies start to fall. But, he does, for reasons he doesn't quite understand his whole life has fallen apart since his horrible experiences in the war zones and he seems driven to push away his son and his ex-wife and take on ever more dangerous assignments at home.

The book begins with Webster listening in on a clandestine meeting of mobster leaders in a barn. The meeting becomes a crime scene as professional assassins shoot everyone. Webster lies still and goes unnoticed but his stories quickly grab the attention of a casino boss, mobsters and the local police (rumor has it some have been bought off) as he tries to figure out who ordered the murders and why before he is arrested or, even worse, killed.

Nice early work by a young author. Great at setting a mood and describing scenes. I have never been to Vancouver but I felt as though I had a sense of its gritty underside.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: A Thousand Bayonets by Joel Mark Harris.

Reviewed on June 16, 2012.

I received this book in a contest from Goodreads.com. The review is an honest assessment of the book.

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