A nuanced, gritty mystery…
LeValley’s enthralling second Tony Harrington mystery featuring the Pulitzer Prize journalist takes Tony throughout the Midwest, from Iowa to Chicago, to Kansas City as he gets entangled in a human trafficking investigation. Still trying to come to terms with the loss of the woman he loved, Tony finds himself plunged into an underage sex trafficking investigation after one of the victims contacts him on his phone. The stakes rise after a teenage girl’s body is found in a shallow grave. With FBI already on the trail of the criminals, Tony and his fellow journalist Madeline Mueller start their own investigation. In their search for answers, the pair soon becomes the target of the powerful enemies. LeValley’s take on the usual elements of mystery and thriller genre: relentless suspense, high tension, FBI involvement, sex trafficking, drugs, brutal killings among others elevates the plot further, making it a welcome grittier take on the familiar genre tropes. The romance that develops between Tony and Madeline follows predictable lines, but the characters’ backstories are seamlessly infused into the plot, and LeValley skillfully interlaces the multiple seemingly unrelated story lines, upping the plot’s stakes. He does a masterly job capturing both the despair of the young victims and the ominous atmosphere of underage sex trafficking business. Tony as the humane, world-weary journalist makes for an apt hero. Sympathetic and humane secondary characters leave the reader rooting for them throughout. The action builds to a satisfying and heartening ending. Writing with the flair of a veteran author, LeValley has served up a moving, suspenseful thriller. This is a winner.
1 thought on “Cry from an Unknown Grave by Joseph LeValley”
I’m pleased and honored to see your reviewer enjoyed my second novel.