A Novel

Fiction - Crime
271 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Keith Mbuya for Readers' Favorite

Perhaps to ease his pain or start his life all over again, Samuel Thibeau decides to move with his son from California to Windekind - a village in Vermont - after his wife’s demise. If only Sam had known what awaited him in Vermont, he would never have left California. It had all started with the mysterious death of Fred Pederson, Sam’s eighty-four-year-old neighbor in Windekind. Then came the strange book he stumbled on at the library, which leads him to find buried treasure on his Windekind property. Before Sam knows it, he is receiving messages and threats from an anonymous contact demanding a lot of money. On the other hand, Detective Cindy Yates who is investigating Fred’s demise gets a lead in the case. Her first suspect is a notorious drug trafficker with strong connections to the Mexican cartel and a Canadian crime syndicate. Is Fred’s death connected to Sam’s plight? Will detective Yates solve the mystery of Fred’s death? Get yourself Mark Lavine’s Windekind: A Novel to discover more.

If you love mystery murder novels laced with an unraveling tale of crime, drugs, cartels, diamonds, money, music, family, threats, blackmail, and espionage, Mark Lavine’s Windekind is a must-read for you. This book is compelling and kept me on edge. The author hatches an intriguing plot, incorporating remarkable plot twists and ingenious cliffhangers. He describes the characters’ qualities, contrasting them at the same time to illustrate their complexity. He adds feeling to the narration, allowing me to experience his cast’s emotions. All these made it easy for me to connect with his wonderfully developed cast and empathize with them. Harry was quite intelligent for his age and is a hilarious character. Lavine depicts the situations vividly, making them tremendously dramatic and witty. This is a magnificent piece of work and I loved it. I’m looking forward to reading more of Lavine’s works.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Windekind: A Novel by Mark Lavine is a crime mystery drama set in a forest community. After the sudden death of his wife, Sam moves to Windekind, Vermont. His wish is to find peace and healing and make a new start. Sam's new life is different. He tries to fit in and get along with these odd people. To find his place in the community, Sam decides to get a job to support his eight-year-old son Harry and to find something to distract him from thoughts of his past. He decides to utilize his musical skills to make a living. In his search for a job, he goes to the library. Here he runs into a mysterious person wearing a trapper hat and leaving treasure hunt-like clues for Sam. What Sam finds during this hunt proves to be more than what he bargained for. To make matters worse, one of Sam's neighbors is shot dead, and a police investigation into the murder ensues. Suddenly, Sam's peaceful escape turns into a lot of drama.

Windekind by Mark Lavine is a beautifully written crime mystery drama. Sam's life before all the crazy happenings was both ordinary and relatable. It was logical for him to move and make a fresh start. This storyline fused with current facts made the plot feel like a real-life story. The author gave a good description of the forest, fields, and small-town life. What I loved the most about this novel were the characters, not only the main protagonists but also the supporting cast The author created such great characters that it kept me invested in the book. They all had interesting backstories and complex personalities. The story was easy to follow, and I recommend it to all lovers of crime mystery and investigation novels. Great story.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Windekind: A Novel by Mark Lavine is a riveting story that unravels in a co-housing community in the Vermont woods. Together with his eight-year-old son Harry, Sam Thibeau leaves San Diego, California after the tragic death of his wife Amelia. Still grieving, he looks forward to starting a new and quiet life. With a group of eight families, their new home is on a two-acre lot, sharing hundreds of acres of wilderness with the others. A strange incident at the Howe Library leads to his discovery of a large diamond stash that puts him in the middle of a clash between a Mexican cartel and a drug-running syndicate based in Canada. He meets Detective Cindy Yates when a murder occurs in the community and with her help, Sam tries to extricate himself from the clutches of the dangerous syndicates as well as heal old wounds.

Mark Lavine’s Windekind is a fast-paced thriller with unexpected twists and turns. Sam’s hope of a quiet rural life is shattered when Fred Pederson, one of the founders of the Windekind co-housing community is murdered. What follows is a series of events that begin with an investigation, point to bewildering motives, reveal interesting characters, and eventually arrive at a resolution. Lavine pulls his readers into the drama from the first chapter of his novel until the end. The mystery is not overly complicated in itself and is easy to follow but it keeps the reader intrigued the whole time. If you also like a nice touch of romance, this book is for you!