A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

Publication Date: May 27, 2015

 

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery, mystery book reviewThe Amtrak Sunset Limited crashes in the desert under mysterious circumstances. In the area of the crash is a pregnant teen, a soldier suffering from PTSD, a group of Pentecostal zealots waiting for the events foretold in Revelations surely soon to happen. A Light in the Desert is the story of the people surrounding the event.

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

A Light in the Desert is a fictional story based on the true event of the derailing of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a train that travels between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angles, California, on October 9, 1995, in Hyder, Arizona. Railway ties had been removed to cause the accident and though the actual culprits were never caught, A Light in the Desert is a fictionalized version of the events.

A Light in the Desert is a character-driven novel imbued with social commentary. There are a number of focus characters including a pregnant teen, a traumatized Vietnam veteran, a battered teen repeating the cycle and a group of Pentecostal zealots calling themselves “The Children of Light” waiting for the world to end. Montgomery’s writing technique involves short chapters of slowly released experiences, highlighting the characters. We meet the pregnant teen when she’s in a cemetery leaving flowers on the graves of babies and we meet the Vietnam veteran as he’s saving a dog that had been tortured. There are hints that draw us in before the characters really start to connect.

I was especially interested to read “The Children of Light” as I was raised Pentecostal. In the church in which I grew up, members referred to each other as “brother” and “sister.” In A Light in the Desert their title is “Elect” and that title crosses gender lines. There is a reverence for religion in the piece, but one that connects with reality in a way that radical Christianity often does not. A Light in the Desert is a book about humanity, and the author clearly sees faith and those of extreme faith as a part of that humanity though she in no way backs away from the darker elements and that scars that darkness leaves.

Montgomery’s style of prose is economical but lyrical which, I believe, is perhaps what lets the piece down. Our looks into the lives are quick shots, and people that need to put the book down and pick it up again may find A Light in the Desert somewhat difficult to follow. Motivations are unveiled as a payoff for continuing to read. Montgomery is a very good writer who seems very conscious; she is an observer of technical rules of writing. A Light in the Desert is above all else a work of literary fiction and an example of proper techniques to writers aspiring to the genre. The story itself flows quite rapidly. The setting was natural to the true story on which A Light in the Desert is based but brilliant for the isolated feel for the characters.

A Light in the Desert is a great read. If you’re looking for a great story about human nature, pick A Light in the Desert up today.

Read an excerpt and buy A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery on

Amazon U.S.   Amazon U.K.   Amazon CA

About Anne Montgomery
For more information about Anne Montgomery, visit her website. You can connect with her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @amontgomery8.

Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries Book 7) by Leslie Langtry

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

 

Nani Johnson is settling into her life in Hawaii playing the ukulele for events. When she goes to pick up food for a last-minute dinner, a man dies behind her car. Turns out, the man is from the same super-small Kansas town that Nani and her ultra-nutty mom left a few years before. As the body count climbs and Nani and her mom hit the suspect list, can she solve the mystery of the murders before she finds herself playing ukulele behind bars for the rest of her life?

Ukulele Deadly is the 7th book in the Aloha Lagoon Mystery Series.

Continue reading Ukulele Deadly (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries Book 7) by Leslie Langtry

The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery Novella by J.B. Lynn

Publication Date: May 15, 2014

 

The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery Novella by J.B. Lynn, book reviewTom Hanlon is a private investigator. As a favor to his elderly neighbor, he takes her dog out for some exercise and meets Armani Vazquez, an eccentric matchmaker who wants to set him up with his prime suspect in a serious crime, Jane Bly and her aptly named foster dog, Calamity. While Tom is looking for his thief will Jane steal his heart?

The Mutt and the Matchmaker is the first book in the Matchmaker Mystery series.

 

 

Continue reading The Mutt and the Matchmaker: A Matchmaker Mystery Novella by J.B. Lynn

Murder on the Page (Harley Hill Mysteries Book 2) by Kennedy Chase

Publication Date: October 2, 2016

 

Book Review: Murder on the Page, A Harley Hill Mystery by Kennedy ChaseHarley Hill and her finder agency partner, Cordelia, are hired to find a diary written by John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. When their search leads them to a dead body, they find themselves thrust into the English underworld and into a plot that could end the monarchy.

Murder on the Page is the second book in the Harley Hill series.

 

 

 

Continue reading Murder on the Page (Harley Hill Mysteries Book 2) by Kennedy Chase

Who Killed Vivien Morse (DCI Hatherall Book 4) by Diana J. Febry

Publication Date: August 1, 2016

 

Who Killed Vivien Morse by Diane J. Febry, mystery book reviewWhen Vivian Morse, a social worker, is found beaten to death in the woods, it seems an open and shut case. Obviously, Vivian’s estranged husband is her killer. What seems to be isn’t always the case when one of Vivian’s co-workers goes missing. Can D.C.I. Hatherall solve the case of Who Killed Vivien Morse?

 

 

 

Continue reading Who Killed Vivien Morse (DCI Hatherall Book 4) by Diana J. Febry

Rising Tide by Susan Roebuck

Publication Date: May 19, 2015

 

Rising Tide by Susan Roebuck, romance, mystery book reviewLuminosa, Portugal is a small sea-side community with deep secrets. Leo Shines and Piper Pines arrive from vastly different areas of the world each with the goal of discovering more about their mothers. Can they break the ice of the furtive town and find the information they seek?

 

 

 

Continue reading Rising Tide by Susan Roebuck

Rabid Reader’s Valentine’s Day book recommendations

Over the past years, we reviewed tons of romance, chick-lit and cozy mystery books and we would like to take the opportunity to present and share some book reviews for Valentine’s day 2017. This is just a short list of books that readers may enjoy. Don’t forget to check out our other book reviews. Check out our romance, chick-lit and cozy mystery reviews.

 

 

Veronica Scott, science fiction, romance and a U.S. Today best-selling author, released Trapped on Talonque last year. Be sure to check out the latest review of the Sector series.

 

 

 

A classic everyone that enjoys adventure mixed with romance will like A Kiss at Kilhali by the New York Times best-selling author, Ruth Harris.

 

 

 

If you are into romantic suspense, try out The Rigid Rules by Christina Thompson. Readers with a passion for mysteries that contain elements of romance novels will enjoy Thompson’s Chemical Attraction series.

 

 

 

If you’re a fan of romance, particularly Regency, try out Sense and Sensuality by Alicia Quigley. This is a well-polished novel Quigley’s characters are witty, fast and wonderfully framed.

 

 

 

Andrea Weir’s A Foolish Consistency is a high-octane drama piece that gives readers the impression they are reading a real-life story. If you love reading romance novels with lots of ups and downs, this is the book for you.

 

 

 

Readers that have a knack for typical cozy mystery books should check out Hide nor Hair by Jo-Anne Lamon Reccoppa. The story takes place in New Jersey and contains everything that makes up a great cozy mystery. Also, check out the review of the first book, New Math is Murder.

 

 

Another cozy mystery series worth reading is Chef Maurice Series by J.A. Lang. If you are seeking a culinarian cozy mystery series with a dash of humor, be sure to check out Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by the New York Times best-selling author Julia Quinn, is a fun and interesting historical story. This book is the fourth one in a series. If you love Regency novels, be sure not to miss out on this series.

 

 

 

Playing Charlie Cool is a charming romance novel and the third book in the Trager Family Secrets series by the best-selling author, Laurie Boris. A smooth flow, great writing, clever plotting and wonderfully, fleshed-out characters make this book endearing to read.

 

 

 

What would a romantic recommendation reading list be without the author Ellie Campbell? In Meddling With Murder Cathy O’Farrell and her band of Crouch End crazies from Looking for La La are finally back. Cozy mystery readers that are looking for a book with beautifully ridiculous plot elements and a touch of humor will not want to pass up on this series.

Clownfish Blues (Serge Storms Book 21) by Tim Dorsey

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

 

Clownfish Blues: A Novel (Serge Storms) by Tim DorseySerge and Coleman are on the road in a Route 66 homage-type expedition. Their plan is to go town, taking temporary jobs at leisure, making sure they hit all of the high points including the bedding of a local that everyone knows happens during the commercial breaks. They soon notice a lottery manipulating scheme with everyone involved from small town convenience store owners to the big guys. In keeping with their quest, it’s time to get in on the action.

 

 

Continue reading Clownfish Blues (Serge Storms Book 21) by Tim Dorsey

Dead Man Talking (Dead Man Mysteries Book 1) by T.M. Simmons

Publication Date: June 13, 2011

 

Author and ghost hunter, Alice Carpenter, has been living with 10 ghosts. Alice’s cousin, Katy, calls her to the family home to help with demanding and destructive resident ghost who is desperate to know who killed him. Soon after arriving Alice meets a new ghost and Katy becomes a suspect in that ghost’s murder. Can Alice hope her cousin and stop a killer? She’ll need help from another world to solve this one.

 

 

Continue reading Dead Man Talking (Dead Man Mysteries Book 1) by T.M. Simmons

Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2016

We took the opportunity to review books and movies for the 2016 Christmas season. Be sure to check out our reviews:

 

Books

If you are you enjoy mysteries by the author Mary Higgins Clark, we recommend her holiday detective stories. In The Christmas Thief, the amateur sleuth, Alvirah Meehan, once again teams up with the private investigator Regan Reilly.

 

 

 

 

David Baldacci, known for his Will Robie and Amos Decker series, departs from his typical thriller books and takes a dive into the contemporary in The Christmas Train.

 

 

 

 

Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye, book reviewIf you are looking for is a cute story that is a little cheeky with an off-the-wall humor, try Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye.

 

 

 

 

Movies

Movie Review: A Nightmare before ChristmasTim Burton’s dark Christmas movie brings in Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who is totally fed up with screaming and scaring. Instead, accompany Jack Skellington as he spreads Christmas joy. The Nightmare before Christmas has been digitally remastered and is Amazon choice.

 

 

 

 

This movie is based on John Grisham’s book, “Skipping Christmas” and it became on instant family classic. If you looking for a humorous movie, enjoy Christmas with the Kranks.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for more holiday reviews, check out Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2014 for more.

We wish all of our readers and subscribers a great 2017 and want to thank you for regularly visiting our Rabid Reader’s Reviews site.