River of Wrath

St. Benedict Book 2

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
272 Pages
Reviewed on 02/05/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

River of Wrath is a work of fiction in the murder mystery and suspense subgenres and it forms the second novel of the St. Benedict series. It is best suited to the mature teen and adult reading audiences and is penned by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor. Following the chilling events of River of Ashes, readers are back with Leslie Moore and her boyfriend Derek, but life is far from simple as Leslie tries to finish high school. The discovery of a body at the riverside creates panic, and when a newcomer arrives in town, another girl goes missing. Is this coincidence? Leslie intends to find out.

Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor have delivered a superb follow-up that does the impossible; it is more chilling and thrilling than the first in this eerie, highly engaging series. Although the plot contains many standard and procedural elements, the twists and turns surrounding the discovery of clues and their revelations are handled deftly and feel genuine; there are no hints about the next lead. When you combine this with the detailed description of the macabre Bogue Falaya River, the gothic elements get a chance to shine, creating an atmosphere to chill readers to the bone. I admired the emotional journey charted for Leslie, which felt natural and was narrated precisely with emotion. I would not hesitate to recommend River of Wrath to fans of the series and mystery fans everywhere.

Stephanie Chapman

Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor collaborate to create a paranormal mystery in River of Wrath. Sheriff Kent has uncovered the fourth body in a string of murders in Saint Benedict. Leslie, Kelly, Sara, and Taylor have forged friendships stemming from the secrets they hold that could ruin the Devereaux family. Gage Devereaux had paid for their silence after the girls came to him to voice their complaints against his son, Beau. They promise not to go to the police and he assures them that Beau will no longer be a problem for them. A new man has moved into town, catching the girls’ attention. Luke Cross befriends the girls, but a sudden turn of events reveals that he has a connection to the Devereaux family. Now that Beau is dead, will Luke take his place?

The amount of corruption, secrets, and a haunting legend make this an intense story for anyone. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor built suspense to epic proportions by never revealing answers to what each character is hiding. I immediately pegged Gage Devereaux as a manipulator, and I believe he would do whatever he could to win. However, money does not heal emotional wounds. At any moment, one of the girls could ruin him. This story's suspense hooked me. Whenever a dog's howl occurred, I could feel the tension that shot through everyone at the river. The cliffhanger ending had me grasping at straws as the outcome could go in any direction. The unpredictable plot, the multiple character experiences, and the smooth transitions between each person will thrill anyone who reads River of Wrath.

Alex Ndirangu

In River of Wrath by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor, a cloud of horror hangs over St. Benedict. Recently, the dark waters of the Bogue Falaya River have receded, exposing the remains of a young woman who was secretly murdered and dumped there. Though the woman's bleached bones and tattered dress indicate this atrocity most likely happened two decades ago, the evil that did it could still be lurking in Louisiana. Murders, where the victims have broken necks, have been on the rise in recent months. For many in St. Benedict, these crimes remain a mystery. But maybe Leslie Moore, the twin sister of one of the victims, knows something. Shadows of Beau, a boy who died recently, have been haunting Leslie in her sleep, and she can even hear a voice in her head that reminds her of a past she tries to forget.

River of Wrath captures readers’ attention from the start. It opens with a scene where the sheriff and his crew comb the shore along the Bogue Falaya River in search of any trace of evidence. I kept wishing they would find anything to help solve the murder mystery. The authors' ability to vividly create and describe the scenes played a major role in helping readers picture the gory scenes. Relating to the sheriff would not have been easy had I not formed a graphic mental image of the crimes. The story is also full of twists and turns, and just when you thought Leslie would not give up the truth, Luke Cross comes along, and with his charm, she can barely hold herself back from revealing everything. Whilst this is predominantly a horror mystery, interspersed humor will keep you chuckling. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor have done an excellent job with this story, and if you are searching for something to take you off the grid, this is the adventure you seek.