Second Cousins Once removed
Author: Kenneth L Toppell
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Hi everyone, another blog tour today for the new mystery Second Cousins Once Removed by Kenneth L Toppell. Thank you Dave from @The_WriteReads for letting me join this tour and also the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Henry Attkinson’s life as an attorney is slow, predictable, and lonely, given his divorce and his ex-wife’s custody of the kids. He recently took up genealogy as a hobby to fill the time, but it doesn’t do much to spice up his mundane routine.
Until the day he prods at a dead end of one of the branches of his family tree. Who is this cousin Shelley, whom he’s never met or even heard of in years? Ignoring a warning to leave well enough alone, Henry still doesn’t find much in his deeper delve into the mystery–just a concerning criminal record for the man that finally convinces him to drop the matter.
But Shelley is a man who doesn’t want to be found or even looked for. And now he knows someone has been looking. Faster than he knows what’s hit him, Henry is propelled into sudden mayhem, receiving ominous threats, meeting mysterious strangers, and running for his life. Second Cousin Once Removed is a fast-paced, sweaty-palm thriller that will keep you hooked until the last page.
When I first picked up this book, I was really intrigued to keep reading. We meet the main protagonist Henry, trying to contact a distant family member so he can finally finish his family tree. I thought this was quite unique and nothing like I read before. Especially once we found out Shelley is a mysterious, secretive criminal that no one seems to know anything about.
The plot consists of a cat and mouse-like chase between Henry, his partner Carolyn and Shelley. It was quite entertaining to read what Henry and Carolyn have to do in order to stay unnoticed. Passing through various towns and cities, they have to think about who they could trust and who they couldn’t. It makes it very difficult when friends and family around you are being killed.
This book is full of twists and turns that you would find in any mystery. But I’m happy to say I didn’t see all of them coming! In the end, everything came together quite nicely, and just when I thought I had finished, there was just that bit more explaining the rest of the story!
I did get a little bit confused throughout the book as it was incredibly fast-paced. This could have been because I was reading so late at night and didn’t have my full attention on the book.
Also, Carolyn’s character is introduced very suddenly and it took me a while to grasp who she was. Although I like her, I feel like her relationship with Henry is pushed too quickly. However, I didn’t really mind this too much as I was more involved in Shelley’s story.
Overall, I enjoyed the majority of the book. I thought the plot was well thought out but some of the characters lacked depth for me and were kind of brushed over. Whereas I prefer more character-driven stories, if you love your mystery and thrillers that are plot-driven this might be a good read for you!