Patrick Kelly
Chaparral Press, LLC (2014)
ISBN: 9780991103331
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (01/15)

Article first published as Book Review: ‘Hill Country Rage: An Austin, Texas Mystery’ by Patrick Kelly on Blogcritics.

I was eager to read “Hill Country Rage” by Patrick Kelly, the second novel in the Joe Robbins mystery series as I was a huge fan of his first book, “Hill Country Greed.” As an “Austinite” the setting of the story was of particular interest to me, as I thoroughly enjoyed all the references to our fair city, which elicited an instant investment of myself in the novel. 

Joe Robbins is a freelance CFO, currently working for Hill Country Capital, a real-estate investment fund, and a man desperately trying to win back his wife and family.  Neil Blaney is a potential investor in the project, and Joe’s best friend.  When Neil is murdered suddenly, right after a phone call to Joe warning him to get out of the company, Joe finds himself once again wrapped up in a mystery, this time with even higher personal stakes that conflict with his quest for vengeance.

In “Hill Country Rage” we are reunited with a few of the characters from Robbins’ first novel through subtle references, and although one of the characters is recruited by Joe to help solve the mystery, I don’t feel that reading “Hill Country Greed” or having former insight into these characters is necessary or a prerequisite to reading “Hill Country Rage.”

That said, I found myself making quite a few comparisons to the first novel. Where “Hill Country Greed” started out and remained highly suspenseful and intense throughout, “Hill Country Rage” started out a bit slow and I had a hard time distinguishing the main plot from the many sub-plots that seemed to take the lead of the story.  The mystery, however is ultimately brought to the forefront and from that point on until the very end the pace is fast and furious.  A true race against time as Joe risks all to avenge the death of his best friend and bring the “bad guys” to justice.

I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend “Hill Country Rage” by Patrick Kelly to all who love a great mystery.  Kelly writes with seemingly great ease, and is highly entertaining.  I look forward to seeing what kind of trouble Joe Robbins gets himself into next.


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