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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
North of the Killing Hand is another brilliant entry in the Compass Crimes Series by Joni M Fisher, a compelling and intricately woven story for fans of crime fiction. The plot centers on Nefi Jenkins, whose experience of murder will shape her future in unimaginable ways. She is just fourteen when she witnesses the murder of her parents. Rescued from Brazil and brought to the US, she learns a new way of life, and connects deeply with those who have stood by her. As she grows up, the desire to join the law enforcement service becomes an obsession for her. But is it for the sheer desire to serve her new country or the thirst for revenge? The answer will surprise readers and it’s worth finding out.
Joni M Fisher’s work reminded me powerfully of the movie Colombiana, but there is nothing that makes the 2011 film close to this well-imagined and masterfully executed story. Witnessing one’s parents being murdered is a powerful premise for a psychologically absorbing story and the author has used this premise as a springboard to create a character that is rock-solid and with great psychological depth. The international setting is equally fascinating and readers will enjoy the way the author establishes the contrast between two worlds, building a powerful conflict around it as the protagonist adjusts and evolves. The themes are well explored, including crime, love and devotion, the sense of justice and revenge. North of the Killing Hand is a beautifully paced, absorbing story that keeps readers’ eyes on its pages.