Book Review: Blackbird Road (Jake Caldwell #3) by James L. Weaver

Blackbird RoadAbout the Book

With his wedding day fast approaching and his PI boss heading out of town, ex-mob enforcer Jake Caldwell decides to take one more job before a much needed vacation. But in a matter of days, his client is assassinated and her six-year-old son kidnapped.

With just a few clues, Jake calls on old friends to help track down the person responsible. Only this time his fiancée Maggie, desperate for Jake to leave his violent history behind, can’t guarantee she’ll be there when, or if, he comes home.

But Jake can’t turn his back on those who need him. It’s in his blood.

A perilous plot of lies and secrets unfolds, and Jake encounters criminals more brutal than ever. And when a threat to thousands of innocent lives is uncovered, Jake once again dives back into his past, requesting favours from some unexpected and unsavoury contacts.

Jake needs to stay one step ahead of the bad guys if he’s to have any future at all.

Format: Paperback, ebook (388 pp.)    Publisher: Lakewater Press
Published: 25th September 2018   Genre: Crime, Thriller

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My Review

Having really enjoyed the first two books in the series, Poor Boy Road and Ares Road (click on the titles to read my spoiler-free reviews), I’ve been eagerly awaiting catching up again with one-time mob enforcer turned private investigator, Jake Caldwell.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my historical fiction and literary fiction but sometimes you need a book where you just sit back and let the author take you on a ride.  I’m glad to say Blackbird Road met that requirement perfectly.

“Hey, don’t mess with my bacon.”

I really enjoyed being reunited with Jake and his best buddy, bacon-loving Bear, the local county Sheriff.  I love their affectionate abuse of each other as they exchange wisecracks.  There’s also some great humour in the book such as a minder to Dexter, one of Jake’s shady contacts, who’s described as ‘a wiry, weather-beaten read-head who should have his mullet on the ballot for the Shitty Hair Styles Hall of Fame’.

As Jake seeks to find the person responsible for the murder of his client, he comes into contact with some very nasty characters.  The word ‘ruthless’ is quite inadequate to describe the lengths to which they will go.  As always for Jake, it’s a question of trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, working out who to trust and probably getting it wrong at some point.  Oh and hopefully staying alive long enough to make it to his wedding to the love of his life, Maggie.

When it comes to the plot…well, let me just say that when James L. Weaver comes up with his next storyline, I hope the intelligence agencies of the US and UK take note.

I’m not a sentimental person but I’ll admit the events of the last chapter made me slightly tearful, followed shortly by a gasp of surprise when I read the last sentence of the book.  I was sorely tempted to read the exclusive peek at the first chapter of the next book in the series, Asylum Road, but I just know I’d end up even more frustrated that I’m going to have to wait until Spring 2019 to find out what happens next.

Blackbird Road is as compelling as its two predecessors.  It has a plot full of twists and turns, moves along at a breakneck pace that reaches close to warp speed at certain points, has plenty of full-blooded action scenes and, of course, features a return visit to the ‘bromance’ that is Jake and Bear.  If you’re after a book to read for sheer enjoyment that will keep you turning the pages way after the time you meant to put it down, then look no further than Blackbird Road.

I received an advance review copy courtesy of publishers, Lakewater Press.

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In three words: Action-packed, gripping, suspenseful

Try something similar…The Mountain Man’s Badge by Gary Corbin (read my spoiler free review here)

jamesAbout the Author

James L. Weaver is the Kansas City author of the Jake Caldwell series featuring IAN Thriller of the Year finalist Poor Boy Road and the sequel Ares Road from Lakewater Press. He makes his home in Olathe, Kansas with his wife of 19 years and two children. His previous publishing credits include a six part story called “The Nuts” and his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane.

His limited free time is spent writing into the wee hours of the morning, playing parental taxi cab to his kids’ sporting endeavours, and binge watching Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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