Hit Back

Fiction - Crime
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/30/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Lesley Jones

In Hit Back by Jeffrey W. Tenney, when rodeo champion Harlen Sims is caught accidentally eavesdropping on a conversation regarding a murder, he realizes his life could be in danger. Along with his newfound friend, Ojibwa Indian Jake Pouchot, they set off on a road trip to escape the powerful and influential law firm behind the murder that now wants him silenced. As they try to evade capture, they realize the criminals have corrupt law enforcement and trained assassins on their side. When Harlen's attempt to blackmail the lawyers goes wrong, it results in his estranged wife and son becoming a target of the law firm. With murder and violence around every corner, Harlen and Jake know the only way they are going to be totally free is to deal with the lawyers once and for all.

Hit Back by Jeffrey W. Tenney has a fast-paced plot with so many surprising twists and turns. I absolutely loved the relationship dynamics between the two main characters, Harlen and Jake. Jake was cool, calm, fearless, and calculated his every move while Harlen was fiery, passionate, and straight-talking. There is lots of excitement and tension as they try to keep one step ahead of their enemy. The characters they meet along the way have all been created superbly and really add lots of interest to the story. I thought the addition of Harlen's wife and child to the mix and the customs of Native Americans gave the story lots of depth and an added layer of interest; it also showed another side to Harlen's personality. The dialogue was definitely the strength of this novel. The author captures every character's personality through their dialogue. The areas of conflict kept me totally engaged until the very end. I found myself judging the characters' motives until some piece of information was revealed which explained their actions. This was especially prevalent in the character of Cindy. This novel has everything you could wish for: tension, villains, love, crime, friendship, and action.