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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Bull River Blues: A Shark Attack Thriller: Crostonverse, Book 1 is a Southern Fiction/thriller novel written by Jeremy Croston. Marine biologist Holt Walker and his tech-expert sister Shelley were convinced that there was a killer bull shark prowling the waters of the Mississippi. Holt had been on the trail of the giant creature ever since he saw it leaving the scene of the crime when The Southern Queen, an abandoned steamboat used by a drug lord, exploded during an altercation with Federal agents when he was seven years old. The fin cutting through the water incised itself in Holt’s memory. Today’s search was predicated on the news of two missing teens whose adventure swinging on a rope into the water ended in their disappearance. Holt was puzzled by this tragedy; there was no blood, no body parts, no turmoil in the water. The drone Shelley sent down into the depths had found a class ring and was on the trail of a large shadow, which raised Holt’s hopes and sent him on the chase, only to be cut off by a speedboat; his quarry lost. It was the Feds again. FBI agent Talia Bordeaux had lots of attitudes and was so close to getting Holt’s back up, but something in her story made him pause and consider.
Jeremy Croston’s Bull River Blues is one of those rare creatures, almost as rare as the killer bull shark in the Mississippi -- a book that transcends so many genres and had me enjoying every moment I spent reading it. I love Southern Fiction, and that alone made this book attractive to me, but there was so much more going on here. It’s a grand FBI investigative thriller, as well as a cryptid yarn well worth the moniker. Tech fans and lovers of James Bond’s gadgetry will find the toys Holt and Shelley encounter at the FBI lab a tasty homage to the genre, and there is the grand maritime adventure subsuming it all as Shelley, Holt and their unlikely Federal companions hunt for a massive bull shark of legendary status. And if that’s not enough, there is the urban fiction element of drug dealers, mules and corruption in government. Croston’s characters are authentic and believable, and his plot works quite well.
Croston’s got it all neatly packaged and wrapped in a well-written and seriously enthralling tall tale of epic proportions. I love this book! I’m so glad Croston included the provocative words “Book One” at the end of his title -- there’s more where this came from! I loved how he makes his characters come to life so brilliantly and how he plays out the story elegantly and seductively, teasing the reader even as his character tries to entice the great beast to grab at the lure. Bull River Blues is a marvelous, smart and entertaining read that worked for me on so many levels. It’s most highly recommended.