Author: Henry McLaughlin
Series: Riverbend Saga #2
Release Date: January 6, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
With more action and suspense than the first, this new installment is sure to be a hit with readers.
Michael Archer is having a hard time getting over the guilt of having taken a life, even if it was to try and save another. Before dying, Sam Carstairs asked Michael to clear the name of his son Ben, the original reason for Michael coming to Riverbend. After dealing with his demons, he and a few new friends head to try and clear Ben’s name. It is going to be harder than they could have imagined, records are missing and more bodies keep turning up. It takes Michael being shot and beaten up, a young girl kidnapped, and hurting the girl he is falling in love with to make him put aside all his pain and fears to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Henry McLaughlin has followed up his hit debut novel with an even better, more suspenseful sequel, Riverbend Justice. At first, I got a little tired of Michael and his attitude of self-pity; luckily, it quickly changed and he became the man he should be. The mystery of what Michael was trying to solve was even more interesting here than the first. The characters flowed well with each other and the entire story. There is a faith message throughout, but also a lot of action. I do feel this book is more developed than the first in several ways. Even though it is independently published instead of with a publishing house, the story touches a nerve and keeps you into the story because of the feelings and emotions it brings up. McLaughlin does a great job bringing you back to the old west with the language he uses to set up the scenes and the characters. Michael and Rachel are right for each other, that is obvious from the first book. In Riverbend Justice, I found myself connecting more and more with Rachel; she has had a hard past but has turned herself into a strong, independent woman that is not only capable of taking care of herself but also helping to take care of those around her, my kind of lady. Overall this was a very enjoyable read that I will recommend to lovers of western romances with a nice dose of suspense thrown in for good measure.