TITLE: Second Cousin Once Removed
BY: KennethL. Toppell
GENRES: Mystery, Thriller
PUBLICATION: September 8th 2020 by Brown Books Publishing Group
NOTES: I received an e-copy for a blog tour.
Henry Attkinson’s life as an attorney is slow, predictable, and lonely, given his divorce and his ex-wife’s custody of the kids. He recently took up geneology as a hobby to fill the time, but it doesn’t do much to spice up his mundane routine. Until the day he prods at a dead end of one of the branches of his family tree. Who is this cousin Shelley, whom he’s never met or even heard of in years? Ignoring a warning to leave well enough alone, Henry still doesn’t find much in his deeper delve into the mystery–just a concerning criminal record for the man that finally convinces him to drop the matter. But Shelley is a man who doesn’t want to be found or even looked for. And now he knows someone has been looking. Faster than he knows what’s hit him, Henry is propelled into sudden mayhem, receiving ominous threats, meeting 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.
When I agreed to be part of the blog tour for this book, I wasn’t expecting that the concept, or the whole book really will take me back to my younger years as a reader. For those who don’t know, I started reading full-length novels at 8 years old and I started with John Grisham books. If you’re familiar with John Grisham, you’d know that his books are not at all for kids. Still because of his books, I was introduced to reading and got addicted to it. That said, I’m not new to books like Second Cousin Once Removed.
I’m not saying that this book is cliche – in fact, I found the idea of Henry following his family tree a bit refreshing compared to the concepts of mystery/thrillers I’ve read recently. Anyway, this is not cliche, what I found familiar is the storytelling itself. This book has that old-fashioned way of crime thriller that I used to reading. I enjoyed it so much.
I also enjoyed the cat-and-mouse chase that Henry found himself in along with his partner, Carolyn and of course, Shelly – the said second cousin. It is very fast-paced and the danger felt very real. It’s also filled with twist and turns, some I wasn’t expecting at all. I liked how every element became connected as the story goes on and eventually makes so much more sense at the end.
True though, there are times that I think it gets confusing because of the time-jumps throughout the story. There are times that I didn’t realize more time has passed in the story and so sometimes, I thought things happened too quickly even if they are not. But overall, I liked the story and I was immersed.
Besides, I enjoyed the POVs and Henry‘s, most of all. I found him a bit sarcastic no matter what the situation he’s in and I love it. I found his relationship with Carolyn a bit of out of nowhere but really it’s one of those time jumps thing I mentioned. And Carolyn, as a character is okay. Not a favorite but just fine. As for Shelley, I think his character is well-written. Seeing him one moment a seemingly-normal guy and the next, a psychopath is fascinating. Though I think some of the other characters do need more depths.
RATING: 3 blissful pages with lilies
Aside from the time jumps and some characters needing depths, I have no other issue about this book and I really find it enjoyable. I would recommend this book especially to those who enjoyed the kind of old-fashioned crime thrillers.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.