Well of Rage

Murder in Mobile

Fiction - Crime
274 Pages
Reviewed on 02/12/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Susan Sewell

A female rookie cop confronts bigotry when she stumbles across the unexplained death of an African American student who died decades earlier in the intense crime fiction novel, Well of Rage (Murder in Mobile) by Lynn Hesse. Carly Redmund has just started her new job in the Mobile police department. As a new recruit, Carly is placed on probation under J.C. Grey, her Field Training Officer. It doesn't take long for her to realize that her misogynistic colleagues, including J.C., want her gone. While on a call involving a suspicious death, J.C. jeopardizes Carly's career when he deliberately withholds physical evidence found at the scene and blames her for losing it. Worse yet, the coroner deliberately ignores the conclusive evidence of murder and rules the cause of death as a suicide. The bones are identified as a young black student who disappeared in the mid-1970s. When it is apparent someone who has clout within the police is behind the cover-up, Carly joins forces with the assistant coroner and a newspaper journalist to uncover the mystery of the young man's death. However, as they delve into the past, someone from the present is threatening their future. Can they survive long enough to unmask the killer? Or will one or all of them meet the same fate as the victim?

Provocative and intense, Well of Rage (Murder in Mobile) by Lynn Hesse is a thrilling suspense novel that realistically portrays the toxic effects of prejudice. Filled with drama and suspense, it is an eye-opening story with an intricate plot and well-rounded characters. The protagonists are courageous and admirable in contrast to the egotistical murdering antagonists. Realistically portrayed, the antagonists' personality traits had a sociopathic quality that was disturbing, keeping the apprehension within the storyline alive. It is an intense and emotional story that had me on the edge of my seat from the first paragraph to the last sentence, and I recommend it to everyone who relishes a crime story suffused in realism. The mystery, drama, crime, and questionable moral ethics create a thrilling story that promises to entertain and intrigue everyone who enjoys suspense novels and thrillers with a southern flavor.

Pikasho Deka

Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile is a pulsating crime drama set in Mobile, Alabama. Tackling some major issues of racial injustice and blatant sexism in contemporary America, Lynn Hesse's gripping tale follows Carly Redmund, a tenacious young woman, as she joins the Warner County Police Department and finds herself entangled in a 26-year-old case involving the disappearance of a star high school football quarterback named Terrence Williams. When Terrence's bones are recovered from a well belonging to the farm owned by a prominent white supremacist organization, powerful people feel threatened and that poses a grave danger to the investigators. Complicating matters is Carly's training partner J.C. Grey whose brother Derrick, the mayoral candidate, is one of the prime suspects. But Carly soon forms her own circle of friends to bring the perpetrators to justice.

A powerful, brutally honest rendition of racial inequality, sexism, and corruption prevailing in US law enforcement agencies, Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile is a must-read crime drama that feels like an amalgamation of some real-life events over the years. Lynn Hesse's novel moves at a breakneck pace showcasing events through multiple POVs that masterfully capture both the essence of racism and misogyny as well as the willpower of honest, hard-working people driven by their desire to pursue justice against all odds. I appreciated all the characters, but Carly, Tim, and Marci were my favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile. I think the current political climate only adds another layer of depth to the story.

Vincent Dublado

A brilliant crime novel from Lynn Hesse, Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile brings a touchy social issue into focus. It begins when a Mexican construction worker finds a few bones and a high school ring in a well. Investigation revealed that the ring belonged to Terence Washington Williams, an African-American teenage football star who disappeared in 1974. Field Training Officer J.C. Grey takes the ring and does not log it as evidence. The department’s new recruit, Carly Redmund, hopes to get to the bottom of the murder, especially that the law enforcers she works with lack the enthusiasm to solve the case. She puts herself in harm’s way, as she is hounded by a white supremacist group and discovers a high-level conspiracy to cover up a hate crime.

Well of Rage will stir your emotions and make your pulse pound, as it combines a hard-hitting commentary on social and political evils that persisted in the past and still persist today, and would probably persist along with the march of time. Hesse succeeds in creating a humane and realistic character in Officer Redmund. She is primarily good and knows how to hold her ground. The men in the story equally come across as raw and genuine, as they are distinctly identified by their values and motives. The straightforward narrative and plot will hit you hard and make you play detective along the way. It gives you an idea of potential suspects as you read, and it gives you a feeling of closure when you come to the end. If you love an investigative crime novel with bold social commentary or are simply looking for a gripping novel, Well of Rage has a great story to tell.

Tammy Ruggles

Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile by Lynn Hesse is a compelling crime novel to keep you reading long into the night. This immediately-engaging story jumps out the gate on the first page, when an undocumented worker discovers a class ring and some bones down inside a well. Cut to a passage about Billy Ray and descriptions of the local racists and KKK operations. A bit later you'll meet the main character, rookie police officer Carly Redmund, who just moved to Mobile to start her new job. In this case, Carly finds it's one step forward, two steps back as she is greeted with resistance from her superior and others. But she isn't easily intimidated, and this trait is a double-edged sword. She becomes a target in more ways than one as she tries to get to the bottom of her first big case, the one involving the bones and class ring found in the well. It turns out that the remains belong to an African American teenager, and the more Carly digs into the case, the more she uncovers, and the darker it gets. This 26-year-old cold case was badly handled from the beginning, and all she wants is for justice and truth to win out, but powerful forces want to stop this from happening, leaving her vulnerable to danger.

Hesse has crafted a well-paced suspense novel with an insider's touch. The plot, details, and characters feel realistic (too realistic in some places, as the racist behaviors and language really got to me), and there are plenty of unexpected events to hold your interest. The author covers strong themes and situations and handles them well. Hesse's personal experience as a former officer lends to the authenticity of the work, but her natural talent as a novelist elevates this book to the level of a well-made film. Fans of police thrillers and crime dramas involving corruption and triggering social issues will enjoy Well of Rage: Murder in Mobile by Lynn Hesse.