Alaska Deadly

Fiction - Thriller - General
380 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Alaska Deadly is a work of fiction in the crime thriller, mystery, and suspense subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience for its theming and content and was penned by author J. L. Askew. In this excellent crime novel that packs a lot of storylines into its fast-paced plot, we meet private eye Race Warren as his caseload takes him to Alaska to track down a missing person. Whilst out in the deadly wilds, Warren uncovers a strange cult devoted to shapeshifting, a former cop hungry for justice, and a sinister sex trafficking ring headed by a dangerous Russian with an impenetrable fortress on a mountaintop.

Author J. L. Askew has crafted a fast-paced crime thriller that never lets up on clues, danger, and intrigue from cover to cover. One of the features I most enjoyed about the work was the relationship between Warren and Billings, who are well-crafted to be complementary allies but with very different approaches to getting what they want. This gives the novel a dynamic feel thanks to a lot of sharp dialogue and intelligent conversation, moving the converging storylines forward at a pace but still keeping readers involved in all the details of the cases at play. I really enjoyed the Alaskan setting, and I felt that it was more than just a backdrop, serving as an interesting cultural layer to the story and a moody, atmospheric place that added physical challenges to the mystery itself. Overall, Alaska Deadly is a highly recommended read for mystery fans everywhere, and I can’t wait to see what more this talented author has in store.

Ronél Steyn

J.L. Askew brings us a thrilling novel in Alaska Deadly. Private Investigator Race Warren has gone to Alaska in search of his client’s missing husband. This is his first real case. Just shy of 30, Race studied psychology and gained much experience before changing direction completely. His search for the estranged husband leads him to the small village of Ataqsut on the North Slope of Alaska. This should be easy, right? But, when an attempt on his life is made in Anchorage, he realizes that finding Ron Billings and delivering his message might be harder than initially thought. Before long, Race is caught in the middle of a sex trafficking operation, a dangerous native religion, and a series of murders.

This is on the edge-of-your-seat reading. J.L. Askew has brought to life a thriller that will keep you awake from start to finish. Characters are relatable, with a strong emphasis placed on the male characters. This novel is fast-paced with loads of information. There is a steady rhythm that carries the pace without a dull moment. The author has woven an intricate web with a full assembly of other characters that all fall into place perfectly. Great detail is given to the scenery, and the action sequences are meticulously detailed. All your senses will feel alive. This book is recommended for a more mature audience due to the sensitive nature of certain scenes. This is the perfect thriller to get lost in.

Keith Mbuya

If only private investigator Race Warren had known what he was getting himself into, he would never have taken on his current case. A client had asked him to find her estranged husband Ron Billings and deliver a message to him. Investigating Billings’s whereabouts, Warren found himself in Anchorage, Alaska. It was believed that Billings had last moved to Ataqsut, a remote settlement. Things seemed promising when Warren met an oil worker who had information about the village, but the man was mysteriously murdered before Warren could get anything out of him. After narrowly surviving a public assassination attempt, Warren had to focus more clearly. Someone either wanted him dead or did not want Billings found. Warren put his life on the line as he followed a dangerous path to uncover something big and evil. Get yourself J. L. Askew’s Alaska Deadly to learn more.

J. L. Askew’s Alaska Deadly will have lovers of murder mystery and sleuth novels with a touch of action flipping through this page-turner from cover to cover. Askew pays great attention to detail, yet just enough not to bog down the pace of the intriguing plot. The accompanying vivid descriptions made the reading experience feel like watching a Hollywood mystery and action movie. The well-crafted role players include stealthy sleuths, assassins, shamans, curious pundits, native tribesmen, and ex-convicts all giving life to a tale of jilted love, a cult, evil, murder, and abduction. Askew depicts the feelings of the cast, expertly bringing out their qualities. This made it easy for me to connect with them. Warren is that type of instinctive, savvy, and observant detective who will always connect the dots. There is hair-raising action, adventure, thrills, and suspense for fans of the genres.

Jamie Michele

In Alaska Deadly by J. L. Askew, Memphis private detective Race Warren is hired to find Ron Billings in Alaska, unaware that Billings is on a mission to rescue his daughter from Russian human traffickers. In Anchorage, Warren encounters an oil worker who informs him about a suspicious murder in Ataqsut. As the bodies pile up, with signs of wild animal attacks, Warren teams up with Dr. Mark Dunbar, a biologist fascinated by wolf behavior and shape-shifting folklore. Their investigation intensifies, leading them to Billings and embarking on a search for his daughter. The quest for the truth behind the brutal Alaskan deaths reaches a climax, pushing Warren and his team to uncover the dark secrets lurking within.

I love a good shoot-out and J.L. Askew offers up one of the most exciting in a gripping scene that's complete with a plane, an SUV, rainfall from an AK-47, hostages, and a spilled barrel of oil that happens to come with a beautifully lit match. It's no wonder the novel is called Alaska Deadly...the body count in this gem is high. Rolling around the main plot is a collection of subplots that stretch out like the branches of a white spruce. The characters are well-developed and I felt like I knew them, and that they were real. The alternating point of view allows us to see what is happening from many different angles, including that of a missing girl in a horrific situation. As for the pacing, Billings is chasing his daughter, Warren is chasing Billings, Dunbar is chasing mythological wolves and as readers, we are sprinting behind, just super grateful to have been invited along for the ride. Very highly recommended.

Alma Boucher

Alaska Deadly is a crime thriller and mystery by J.L. Askew. Claire Billings hired private detective Race Warren to find Ron Billings, her ex. Ron is a former police officer who works undercover at a bar while looking for clues to find his missing daughter. Ron’s estranged wife left their daughter with a long-lost boyfriend who is tied to the Russian mob and involved in human trafficking. Warren meets academics on the plane to Ataqsut who want to learn about the myth of local people shape-shifting into wolves. In Anchorage, Warren had heard about the mysterious death of a woman in Ataqsut whose body had claw marks like those of an animal. Warren and Ron team up to rescue Ron’s daughter and risk their lives to save another girl from the trafficking ring.

Alaska Deadly is an excellent crime novel by J.L. Askew. It is fast-paced and full of action. There are a few subplots, and everything flowed into each other. Askew captured the beauty of Alaska with his descriptions of the surroundings, especially the mountains. It was easy to visualize and become part of that world. The fights were described in detail and left nothing to the imagination. They were vivid and action-packed. The characters were brilliantly developed and authentic. The relationship between Warren and Ron was interesting. They were allies but had differing approaches to getting what they wanted. The story is well-written, and I was hooked from the start. The book exceeded my expectations and had a satisfying ending.