With Wanton Disregard

Fiction - Crime
309 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2019
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography


Born in Binghamton, NY, Gwen Banta received B.A. and M.S. degrees from Butler University and earned a language certification from The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Her first novel, “The Fly Strip,” is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the racial and social unrest of rural Indiana in 1960. Filled with humor as well as pathos, “The Fly Strip," published in 2016, has received great critical acclaim.

The author has received numerous awards for her fiction, including the Opus Magnum Discovery Award for New Literature-Honorable Mention. She is the winner in the Unpublished Stories category in multiple book festivals throughout the nation and abroad: Great Northwest Book Festival, Los Angeles Book Festival, Pacific Rim Book Festival, San Francisco Book Festival, and the Great Southeast Book Festival. The author has also written several screenplays and has placed in the Writer’s Project, Columbine International Screenwriting Competition, Ohio Film Festival and the People’s Pilot project.

An award-winning actress of stage, screen, and television, Gwen is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Equity. When not writing, Gwen is a top producing Global Advisor and real estate specialist for Sotheby’s International Realty, where she represents many major musicians. Gwen is an avid supporter of Global Green International and resides in Los Angeles with her dog, Buddy, who is a major fan of all her books.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

With Wanton Disregard is a graphic and gripping crime novel by author Gwen Banta. The plot takes place in the exclusive Long Beach area of Belmont Shore, where the high-gloss lives of the well to do people mask a seedy underbelly filled with crime and secrets. Our hard boiled detective is Tim Mulrooney, a grisly but likeable figure who has reached a challenging point in his life after many years working on cases. Everything changes for Tim when he begins investigating the death of prominent physician Scott Connolly, particularly when Tim meets Lauren, Scott’s wife. The grieving widow is the prime suspect, but Tim’s instant attraction to her gives him cause to doubt. What follows is a twisting, sexy mystery as we wonder whether we’re following our hero to his own doom, or his salvation.

I adored With Wanton Disregard from cover to cover. I’m not usually one for crime novels, especially those which are quite explicit, but Gwen Banta’s character work kept me riveted from start to finish. Tim Mulrooney was a somewhat tragic action hero, likeable in spite of his flaws and believably capable in his capacity as a detective. I also found the plots of the crime and murder themselves to be really credible, interesting and genuinely unpredictable. And, although Lauren began the book as a certain type of character, which I didn’t think I would like, her development and the place she takes within the story as a whole were really satisfying elements. Overall, a highly recommended read for crime and mystery fans.