Peace River Village

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
295 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

In Peace River Village, a psychological thriller by Christopher Amato, four detectives, all retired from the force, live in Peace River Village in Florida. It should have been a relaxing time for them, but when a 17-year-old girl goes missing from their street, the police close the case quickly, convinced she left of her own accord. Not happy, the girl’s grandmother seeks help from the detectives and they decide to investigate, not convinced she ran away. The deeper they dig, the more evil they stumble over, eventually uncovering an underground sex-trafficking ring. Can they find the girl before it’s too late?

Peace River Village by Christopher Amato is anything but the quiet backwater the name implies. This is more of a crime thriller than a psychological thriller, but it is a great story with a very tight plot that deals sensitively with tough subjects. Despite the nature of the story, some humor is thrown in to lighten things just a little, but there are also scenes of violence aimed at a more mature audience. It is an entertaining story, with plenty of twists and turns and no end of action that will keep you reading from the very first page. The characters are written as real people you can relate to, the good guys are thoroughly likable, and you’ll be rooting for them to the end – the baddies, not so much. If you like police procedurals and thrillers, this is one book you won’t want to miss out on, and the author’s experience working for the FBI shines through on every page.

Keith Mbuya

If only seventeen-year-old Jennifer Duncan had known what awaited her at the stinking bar owned by Carlos and his brother Iker, perhaps she would never have agreed to enter it. Carlos lured her into the bar with the claim that he wanted her opinion on how to improve the bar, only for Jennifer to end up knocked out after downing a spiked drink. Unknown to her, Carlos and Iker were notorious sex and drug traffickers in Sunland, Florida. Now held captive in a dingy motel room, Jennifer struggles to keep her sanity with her fate in the hands of callous criminals. Jennifer’s grandmother Cora, on the other hand, has alerted her neighbors and authorities about Jennifer’s disappearance after Jennifer fails to show up at her place and is unreachable on the phone. It turns out four of Cora’s neighbors are ex-law enforcement officers. Going in pursuit after Jennifer, will the four ex-detectives find her before it’s too late? Find out in Christopher Amato’s Peace River Village.

Lovers of mystery, sleuth, and crime novels will find Christopher Amato’s Peace River Village an enthralling read. Featuring a fascinating cast, Amato forged an intriguing plot. The vivid depictions of the scenes made me feel like I was next to the characters, right in the middle of all the action. Amato pays great attention to detail, maintaining a fine line between imagination and reality. I was hurled into a world of family drama, love, deception, drugs, crime, adventure, and suspense, among so much more. The depictions of the cast’s emotions and the juxtaposing of their traits allowed me to connect with them. This is a book that makes you angry about the characters' poor choices at first, then draws you in as you helplessly watch them deal with the consequences. You hold your breath as you wait for help to come because you have already fallen in love with their appealing personalities.

Angelique Papayannopoulos

Christopher Amato's Peace River Village is a crime thriller about four retired detectives living in a retirement village. Life is fun and peaceful at Peace River Village until a neighbor’s granddaughter unexpectedly disappears and is presumed to be a runaway by the local police. While Jennifer is a bright student from an unstable home, her loving grandmother knows that something sinister is at work here and not just a teen acting out in rebellion. The retirees take it upon themselves to assist their desperate neighbors by launching their own investigation. None of them could have imagined the evil and dangerous world of drug and human trafficking lurking just around the corner. The foursome must race against time to rescue a teenage girl from the predatory claws of sex traffickers, drug lords, and corrupt police officers.

Through Christopher Amato’s background in federal law and criminology, he immerses the reader in a thrilling and powerful, yet realistic ride into the dark world of trafficking and dangerous drug lords. The plot is engaging and clever with authentic police procedures and vivid character descriptions, making it a compelling read with a realistic and well-defined cast of characters. The villains are graphically described in terms of their dark psyches and the troubled pasts that fostered their status as monsters in society. From beginning to end, the reader will be captivated by the action-packed build-up combined with the teamwork and heroic efforts of friends and neighbors to rescue the teenage girl. The title Peace River Village is serene, but brace yourself for a thrilling chain of events that will leave you tense and breathless. Fans of crime and suspense novels will find this a very entertaining and nail-biting read!