About the Book
Val’s toughest adversary yet is someone she hardly knows: her mother.
As part of a prostitution sting operation, rookie cop Val Dawes uncovers a national sex trafficking ring operating out of Clayton, one with ties to a violent shadowy right-wing splinter group. Her investigation reveals the group may be planning a violent attack in a matter of days.
Just when the investigation heats up, her estranged mother, who left without a trace a decade before, suddenly reappears on the scene, with a nine-year-old brother Val never knew she had. Manipulative and cunning, her mother divides Val’s attention and loyalties, seemingly intent on disrupting both Val’s promising career and her rekindled relationship with her father.
As Val the group’s violent plans near, Val tries to safeguard her family, leading to shocking discoveries about why her mother returned – and why she left in the first place.
Can Val keep her community safe without destroying her family?
Format: ebook (440 pages) Publisher: Double Diamond Publishing
Publication date: 6th December 2022 Genre: Crime
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I’ve read a quite a few of Gary Corbin’s novels including the book that preceded this one, A Better of Valor, the third in his crime series featuring rookie cop Valorie Daws. Mother of Valor can definitely be read as a standalone because the author includes key details of previous events in Val’s life. In fact, certain plot lines in the book relate back to her childhood experiences.
For Val, her mother is the woman who abandoned her and her brother, Chad, the woman who failed to believe Val’s version of an event that took place when she was thirteen, and the woman who has made no effort to contact them since. In fact, Val wonders if her mother is even still alive. It turns out to be much more complicated than that. The reader learns, well before Val does, that there is something much more sinister about Val’s mother than just the fact she abandoned her husband and children. It injects a real sense of tension and unease into the story.
Val’s family history becomes entwined with the investigation into the activities of far right extremist groups who exist in a shadowy world and are prepared to manipulate others to achieve their aims. As the book progresses, the reader knows Val is about to learn some unpleasant truths about her mother and at the same find herself on the front line in some dangerous situations – and faced with some difficult choices.
Although courageous, resilient and highly competent in her professional life, Val’s past experiences have left her vulnerable in other respects, fearful of physical relationships. Up until now, that is, because she is in the first tentative stages of a relationship with Gil Kryzinski, her former partner/boss. Gil is a wonderful character and I loved the tender, undemanding way he approaches their relationship.
In case you think this is all getting a bit lovey-dovey, I can reassure you Mother of Valor has an exciting, fast-moving plot involving political intrigue, corruption and some really ruthless, unhinged individuals. It all feels scarily realistic and contemporary. And there are some breathless ‘race against time’ scenes towards the end of the book in which Val and her police colleagues confront the individuals behind a despicable plot that threatens many lives.
If you’re looking for a skilfully crafted police procedural with a strong female character, then Mother of Valor will tick all your boxes.
My thanks to the author for my digital review copy.
In three words: Gripping, pacy, chilling
About the Author
Gary is an award-winning author, editor, and playwright in Camas, WA, a suburb of Portland, OR.
Lying in Judgment, his Amazon.com best-selling legal thriller, was released in early 2016, was selected as Bookworks.com “Book of the Week” in July 2016, and is one of six novels worldwide featured in the Literary Lightbox “Indie Spotlight” for Autumn/Winter 2016-17. His current series, the Valorie Dawes Thrillers, consists of three published books, the most recent, A Better Part of Valor, was released on September 21, 2021. The fourth book in the series, Mother of Valor, will release in November, 2022.
Gary is a member of PDX Playwrights, the Willamette Writers Group, the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, the Portland Area Theater Alliance, and the Bar Noir Writers Workshop, and participates in workshops and conferences in the Portland, Oregon area.
A homebrewer as well as a maker of wine, mead, cider, and soft drinks, Gary is a member of the Oregon Brew Crew and a BJCP National Beer Judge. He loves to ski, cook, and garden, and hopes someday to train his dogs to obey. And when that doesn’t work, there’s always Renegade’s Paradise. (Photo/bio: Author website)