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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile by Lynn Hesse, when human bones and an old high school ring are discovered at the site of Deeter farm in Georgia, Warner County Police Officer JC Grey and rookie Carly Redmund are the first to arrive at the scene. The ring belongs to African-American schoolboy Terrence Williams who has been missing since 1974. Officer Grey withholds the ring, knowing it would implicate his beloved brother Derrick in the crime and stop his mayoral campaign. The only problem is, Carly has seen the ring and is determined to solve the case and end the suffering for Terrence's mother. Carly discovers a wall of silence from within the police department and becomes the victim of an Internal Affairs investigation. There are also members of a white supremacy group that want Carly to disappear. As Carly fights to solve the case and keep her job, the members of the militia group execute their plan to end her meddling for good.
Well of Rage by Lynn Hesse has an explosive, compelling plot submerged in small-mindedness, racism, and misogyny. The characters are so realistic they literally jump off the page. Their backstories were very well-written and demonstrate their values and beliefs perfectly. The dialogue exchanges, especially between the members of the militia, were shocking and powerful. I loved Carly's personality, she is the epitome of a strong female character who had many interesting layers to her character. She was so fearless, determined, and brave and the scene with Lukin was breathtakingly dramatic. One of the strengths of the storyline was the development of the female characters, especially Rose. She seemed to be the downtrodden wife of Derrick but as the story progressed, her acute intelligence and intuition really made her one of the heroines of the novel. The author does not sugar-coat the subject of racism and bigotry and this is what made the novel so gripping. I also thought the ending was fantastic and opened up the possibility that this may not be the last we hear from Carly.