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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Crooked Deals: A Rick Malone Short Story Book 1 by Russell Williams is a mystery novella that involves a high-stakes investigation that follows a string of gruesome murders. After Miami-based detectives Malone and Peterson commence the investigation of a business executive found murdered in cold blood, they uncover a money-laundering scheme orchestrated by a ruthless criminal. Malone is forced to move fast to outpace the villain who is determined to expand his operation. Fuelled by his resolve to protect upstanding citizens threatened by the illegal establishment, he confronts the culprits. Both sides face off in a deadly clash in which Malone's and his partner’s lives are threatened. No one is willing to concede defeat. Malone must work swiftly to save his life and that of Peterson.
From its onset, Crooked Deals is a gripping murder mystery that opens with the ghastly aftermath of a brutal murder. Williams’s robust storytelling moves the plot forward at a fast pace that kept me on edge. The plot maintains an impressive balance between providing enough details that develop the story and maintaining its fast pace. Crooked Deals also features grisly, rivetting scenes with descriptions of the crime scenes and the run-ins between law enforcement officers and the criminals. As the lead character, Malone is compelling and other characters, including the villains, are also skillfully developed. The main criminal’s brutality and power raise the stakes for Malone as he works to apprehend the criminals involved in the money-laundering operation. Crooked Deals by Russell Williams is a short story with striking scenes and a resolute hero who will stop at nothing to bring criminals to justice. Highly recommended to fans of murder mysteries.