The Long Run

Fiction - Thriller - General
439 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Billy Wittenberg is a native Texan and the son of a Mexican immigrant. After decades working as a engineering designer, he developed a passion for writing. He combined that passion with his interests in thriller novels, history, and the immigrant experience to craft heartfelt, suspenseful stories based in the southwest United States.

When he's not writing or working the day job, he likes to travel with his wife and two kids. Or stay home and play tug of war with his two dogs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Billy Wittenberg’s The Long Run is an array of character perspectives involving the violent abduction of an American citizen by a cartel in Mexico. Sofia, Hank, Rebekah, and André were on vacation in Cancun. While at a club, Hank had to take a work-related call and stepped outside. Sofia got up to check on him when gunshots rang out inside the club. In the confusion, Chucho kidnapped Sofia. Sofia’s cousin Israel was training in Bangz Gym when he saw the news report. He went to her parents' home, where FBI Agent Dominguez revealed that there was no ransom demand and they believed a cartel had taken Sofia. Israel called on his past affiliation with a street gang before flying to Cancun to find Sofia. For the next five days, Sofia’s abduction is seen through the eyes of both the good and bad characters.

Billy Wittenberg filled each page with intense suspense. I think Chucho’s power came from his callous lack of regard for people. The biggest shock factor was Hank. I couldn’t believe how he ignored what his friends and fiancée were going through. I became frustrated with Agent Dominguez’s prejudicial judgment of Israel. Unfortunately, despite everyone saying he was turning his life around, she kept seeing him as a criminal. The realistic portrayal of Sofia’s captivity was chilling. I wondered what the cartel’s intentions were with all the captives. The book depicted the supporting characters and their personalities in vivid detail that aligned with the plot. The climactic end of the story kept the tension high and added to the unpredictable twists. I recommend The Long Run for readers who enjoy suspenseful, dangerous stories with a hint of romance.

Alma Boucher

The Long Run by Billy Wittenberg is an outstanding thriller. Sofia Martinez was in Cancun for a vacation with her friends before college was due to start in the fall. Sofia researched Bombom Club and discovered that it was a trendy place to have fun and dance. While there, Sofia's boyfriend Hank broke his promise not to answer phone calls, which Sofia found annoying. When Sofia went looking for him, she encountered gunfire from cartel gunmen. They were looking for Hank, and when they could not find him Sofia was kidnapped by Chucho, the gangster leader. Chucho issued an ultimatum and threatened to kill Sofia if his demands were not met. Israel, a family friend, heard about her kidnapping and was determined to rescue her and bring her home safely.

The Long Run is complex and exciting. Billy Wittenberg took me on a roller coaster ride of murder, betrayal, and drugs. I was hooked from the start. The plot was fast-paced but never felt rushed. With all the twists and turns, I never knew what to expect next. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, and I turned the pages as fast as I could. The characters were well-developed and authentic. Sofia was my favorite. She is a strong woman who does not let her circumstances get her down. The story was brilliantly written, and the events were described in detail. Wittenberg's writing style brings the characters and their surroundings to life. The story was different from what I expected and exceeded my expectations.

Keith Mbuya

If only Sofia Rodriguez had known what awaited her in Cancun, she would never have traveled to Mexico. Headed for law school at UT Rio Grande later in the year, Sofia had picked Cancun as her vacation spot. Along with two friends and her boyfriend Hank, she gets lost in the night, partying at Club Bombom - a wild nightspot in Cancun. Without warning, a group of cartel gunmen storms the club demanding to see Henry Carson, alias Hank, who had left the club a moment earlier before the attack to take a phone call. The gunmen abduct Sofia and set the club ablaze. Sofia’s cousin Israel, an ex-gang member, decides to go to Mexico to rescue her before it's too late. Elsewhere, FBI agent Dominguez is tasked with investigating the connection between the business tycoon Henry Carson Senior (Hank’s dad) and the Mexican cartel in a bid to save Sofia. With Israel on a suicide mission, Agent Dominguez sinking in a pool of lies, and Sofia in the hands of the deadliest cartel group around the Mexican-American border, what will happen next? Get yourself Billy Wittenberg’s The Long Run to learn more.

Billy Wittenberg is an incredibly gifted author. I have added The Long Run to my favorites shelf. This page-turner will have you hooked from cover to cover. Lovers of action-packed, crime thriller novels laced with a gripping tale of deceit, blackmail, betrayal, love, murder, ruthless drug cartels, savage hitmen, underdogs, dirty businessmen, sleuths, boxers, money, guns, and blood will not get enough of this book. Featuring intriguing plot twists and nerve-wracking cliffhangers, Wittenberg weaves a spell-binding plot. The evocative descriptions breathed life into the action, bringing towns in Texas and Mexico to life colorfully. It felt as if I was right there next to every character watching the events unfold. This made it easy for me to connect with the main players. This is a great example of the crime fiction genre.