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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Hit Back by Jeffrey W. Tenney is an engrossing, action-packed crime novel with wonderful characters. Harlen Sims, a rodeo bull riding champion, and Jake Pouchot meet in a very curious manner. When Jake taps at the window of his car, Harlen wakes up with a start and imagines the big, strong Indian to be a robber. But he turns out to be another outlaw, having been in a fight where he hit a man so hard his eye popped loose. A friendship develops between the two as they go through that May night with no harm done. It is 1966, and they both have disturbed the hornet’s nest. Now a criminal syndicate operating in Wyoming is after them, and its members are relentless. There is only one way to stop them — hit back.
This is a great read, packed with action. The narrative is in the first-person and it is enthralling and humorous. The unique narrative voice turns details into elements that add to the overall humor in the story. The characters are well-developed. When we encounter the two key characters, they are like people without roots, sleeping in a car, and moving on. But these characters have depth and it deepens as the story moves forward and as the conflict gets stronger. The writing is highly descriptive and the prose crisp and enticing. Harlen Sims, a specialist in backdoor disappearances, is a character that readers will enjoy and the author does an impeccable job in capturing the important traits and details of this character and allowing them to come through the story naturally. The characters are multilayered and fun to stick around with. Hit Back is a wonderful novel that pits two strong men against a gang. You’ll find yourself rooting for these two characters.