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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Diamonds of Devil's Tail by A. W. Baldwin, when Brayden is invited on a whitewater rafting trip by his Uncle Henry, he could never have foreseen the events that would unfold in the wilderness of Devil's Tail. As they join a group of rafters on a trek into the mountains, little do they know that a trio of artifact thieves is heading their way. A reclusive hermit and moonshine maker, Relic sits in the shadows and watches as the thieves discover diamonds in a canyon stream. Meanwhile, Henry and Brayden discover the body of their colleague with diamonds in his hand. Before they can alert the other rafters, they are disturbed by the thieves and forced to flee in opposite directions to escape. When Henry is caught, he makes a dangerous deal with the thieves to share the diamonds, while using the group of rafters for his own selfish intentions. As Henry, the thieves and the rafters each try to find the source of the diamonds, Relic has found Brayden and together they hatch a cunning plan to ensure they are the first to get the treasure. Once that is accomplished, Brayden is determined to expose his uncle and all his crimes.
Diamonds of Devil's Tail by A. W. Baldwin will draw you in immediately. Beginning in 1957, we witness the heist and their exciting escape. Fast forward to the present day, we are introduced to wily Henry and his intelligent and caring nephew, Brayden. Each of the characters has depth and a unique personality. There are a lot of characters but as they are introduced gradually, the author has made following the story very easy. There are moments of humor, especially as Relic outwits the thieves but also emotional scenes. The excitement and tension are superb throughout and the areas of conflict are scattered perfectly which kept the entire plot compelling. Relic had to be my favorite character; his relationship with Brayden was heartwarming. I loved the way Relic cared for his environment and the way he encouraged Brayden to follow his dreams. The psychological game of cat and mouse between the thieves and Henry added yet another layer of interest to the story. The ending couldn't have been better. I would love to see more from Relic as he welcomes more 'guests' into Devil's Tail.