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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
A River of Ill Wind by Christopher Baird tells a tale of love, betrayal, loyalty, and courage. It's 1968. Paul Bennett heads off to a whitewater river in northern Wisconsin for a late summer trip with five of his friends. Melvin Hoskins is the father of one of the boys; he is abusive and he needs the money his son stole from his office so he follows them. A violent encounter leaves two of the boys missing, along with Melvin, and while a full investigation ensues, there is no trace of them. The other boys return home, only to find they are being blamed for the disappearance and the only person who can save Paul from his feelings of guilt is his surrogate father. Eight years on and interest in the disappearance flares up again but, with two dead bodies on their hands, law enforcement has a decision to make. Tragedy rips through the lives of these people but one man will stand to benefit from it all.
A River of Ill Wind by Christopher Baird is a gripping tale that will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s incredibly well-written, a story where there is no single outcome to any action, and where one person falls, another will gain. The character development is second to none; each person has their own story which, as it begins to emerge, weaves delicately with those of the other characters. This has the right mix of light and full-on action, with lots of twists and turns, much like the river the boys went canoeing on. The twist at the end is a neat surprise and you will read this in a couple of sittings – it’s a page-turner that won’t let you put it down. If you love twisty mystery stories with a real backstory and lots of real-life lessons, then this is the book for you.