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by H. Terrell Griffin
Oceanview Publishing, August 2009
256 pages
ISBN: 1933515538

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Matt Royal has a life he likes: Living on Longboat Key, enjoying the Florida sun and water, surrounded by a community of friends and acquaintances, Matt is content. This blissful life as a beach bum (once lawyer) is suddenly shattered when his close friend, Laurence Wyatt is discovered dead, shot execution-style. It's clear that someone was trying to stop him, but from doing what?

What follows is a trail backward from the hired hit man operating out of Florida to the middle man who took the order for the killing to the person or group who wanted Wyatt out of the picture. Following the trail, there are plenty of bloodbaths along the way, as Matt Royal seeks revenge for his friend's death. One thing is certain, this story is not for the squeamish.

Things begin to get truly interesting in this mystery when the reason for the murder becomes clearer. Wyatt was a history professor at a Florida college and, when it turns out that another colleague (a history professor at a different university) is murdered in the same fashion on the same day, it becomes evident that it was their joint research into Vichy France under the Nazis that holds the key.

With death threats of his own now coming at him, Matt Royal realizes that to get some real answers, it would be helpful to go to Germany and see what clues the archives there may hold. Along the way, Matt Royal teams up with a historian and a military attache (an old Special Forces buddy), as well as some loyal friends from his past, who support him despite the risks involved.

The body count continues to build until the story's end, and the last couple of deaths seem unnecessary and redundant. What is more likely to keep readers involved with this novel are the engaging dialogue and the friendship that exist between Matt and his friends. Author H Terrell Griffin notes that he was motivated to write the story based on his own recent experience of the death of a close friend, and those emotions (written into this story) are stronger and more interesting than the endless string of violent acts exacted as revenge. Once the plot is traced back to the perpetrators and their motivation for killing the history professor, Laurence Wyatt, the blood lust has waned, and just seems overdone. Overall, WYATT'S REVENGE is an interesting story, with heartfelt characters and nonstop action. Just don't keep track of the body count along the way.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, November 2009

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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