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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Under the Stones is a work of fiction penned by author Murray Pura in the historical fiction, interpersonal drama, and thriller subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Readers find themselves transported back to the roaring '20s during Prohibition, a time when law enforcement was locked in a constant battle with bootleggers and gangs. The story follows Marshal Merck ‘Wednesday’ McIntyre, a no-nonsense enforcer of Prohibition, who returns to Winston, Idaho, after a challenging month in the wilds. Waiting for him is the striking Jenny Roades, who pleads with McIntyre to confront a gang that is pressuring her father to surrender medicinal whiskey from his pharmacy. McIntyre, familiar with the notorious gang behind these threats, known by their Jack of Diamonds calling card, must now deal with the escalating situation.
Author Murray Pura has crafted a fast-paced and exciting novel that perfectly captures the essence of the Prohibition era. I found the descriptive qualities to be not only cinematic but multi-sensory, giving us the full sound and feel of the era as well as those spine-tingling moments when you know that danger is nearby. The characters are compelling and multifaceted, with unique dialogue that signifies the historical period but is also easy for modern audiences to follow and relate to. The action unfolds at a pace that keeps you eagerly turning pages, shifting scenes at key moments to shake up the plot and throw McIntyre headfirst into the next danger. The story's central themes of justice, courage, and determination are woven into the narrative seamlessly, leaving you to ponder the emotional toll on the characters long after you set the book down. Overall, Under the Stones is a gripping tale that brings the past to life with authenticity and excitement, and I’d highly recommend it for historical fiction and thriller fans everywhere.