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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
The Walls: A Becker Gray Novel by Chris Wendel is a gripping thriller with a strong appeal for fans of crime and sleuth novels, a story that weaves strong elements of conflict into the narrative — murder, a powerful drug cartel, and corruption in the justice system — to create an exciting ride for readers. When the mayor and his wife are murdered, Detective Becker Gray is hardest hit because the mayor's wife, Morgan Beringer, had been a friend, one of the closest people to him. But their murder is just one in a series of murders ripping through the city. The trail of blood leads to a Mexican drug cartel that might be behind the massacre of eight members of a local gang. But what is the connection between these murders? His investigation will put both his life and that of his partner, Jeffrey Parker, in grave danger. And can he apprehend the murderer?
Chris Wendel shows great skill in storytelling and character development. Becker isn't an outgoing kind of person, but then he opens his heart to someone who gets murdered and that constitutes a crisis point, a strong premise for the conflict — the case is personal. The conflict is brilliantly handled, developed at multiple levels, but what had me following the story is the psychological level of conflict, the one taking place in the mind of the protagonist. It is enriched with well-crafted streams of consciousness and descriptions that allow readers clear peeks into the protagonist's pain. Each chapter is designed to end with an invitation that pushes the reader into the next one. The narrative is filled with action, red herrings that add to the excitement of the ride, and strong plot points. The Walls: A Becker Gray Novel is gripping, featuring prose that is clear and enjoyable and characters that are memorable. It is great entertainment for fans of thrillers and crime novels, with a flawed and deeply human protagonist that readers will stick with.