Revenge!: A Natalie McMasters Mystery

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Natalie McMasters is 20, short and blonde (okay, it’s bleached), a way cute former stripper, and a pre-law student at State. Nattie also works as a private detective at her uncle’s 3M Detective Agency. She’s deeply in love with her girlfriend, Lupe, also a former stripper and undocumented immigrant, who’s now a pole-dancing instructor at a local gym. They’ve finally gotten Lupe’s eight-year-old son, Eduardo, into public school, and it looks like the American Dream may soon become a reality for their little family.

That is until a steamy video of Nattie and Lupe appears on the campus-wide closed-circuit TV system. The video is only the first of a series of distressing events that affects every aspect of Nattie’s life and threatens the well-being of her family and friends as well. What could Nattie have possibly done in her short life to deserve the callous revenge her unseen tormentor is so brutally exacting?

Revenge! is ripped from today’s headlines and full of the unexpected plot twists and non-stop action that Nattie’s fans have come to expect. It has a shocking ending that you won’t see coming, even though all the clues are there.

©2018 Thomas A. Burns, Jr. (P)2020 Thomas A. Burns, Jr.

1 review for Revenge!: A Natalie McMasters Mystery

  1. Kara

    “Revenge! (Natalie McMasters Mysteries #2)” is an intense mystery/thriller. And when I use the word “intense” here, I mean “OMG the despicable evils that people are capable are the center of Natalie’s life”.

    If you like thrillers with graphic descriptions of rape, torture, animal cruelty, arson and murder, you’re going to love this book. I considered book 1 intense, but the intensity was dialed up from 10 to 10,000 here, and it was for me, frankly, too intense. I enjoy graphic violence occasionally, but in sci-fi or paranormal contexts, where it rarely feels “real”. As the blurb for this book says, though, book 2 is “ripped from today’s headlines”, and the violence feels very very real.

    Ok, trigger warnings etc are now done. The story is very realistic, and very well written. The narrator did an excellent job, once again.

    MC Natalie is very likable, as is her girlfriend, later wife, Lupe, and many of the other characters, including her mom, uncle, the two PI’s working at 3M (Danny and former Detective Kidd), and her wonderful counselor, Rebecca. Even the street gang leader is presented as a surprisingly likable, and realistic, character who is capable of loyalty and something close to friendship, as well as unspeakable cruelty. Just by knowing Natalie, everyone she knows becomes targeted.

    The evil characters aren’t as complex as Natalie’s friends and family. They’re evil.

    Throughout the story, the pressures put on many people to do unthinkable things by people in positions of authority are heartbreakingly realistic. As I write this, thinking of police corruption in this book, the all-too-real story of a retired detective and his son being arrested months after they killed a black man…months during which police and the DA did nothing until a video became available…makes it clear that so many of the violent things in this book truly are drawn from today’s headlines.

    “Revenge!” will make you uncomfortable, as does the news, but it’s like driving by an accident or walking near a crime scene….you just have to listen to Natalie’s story. The book ends on a minor cliffhanger – read the blurb for book 3 and you’ll understand. Also, while Natalie realized in book 1 that she loved Lupe far more than any man she’d dated, or even been engaged to, in book 2 we get several hints that she may be more fluid than lesbian. I was curious, and read the blurb for book 4. So for reviewers who are angry that a lesbian is expressing attraction to a man; in Natalie’s case this is not a lesbian being “fixed”, this is a woman who is passionate for people she loves and body parts aren’t a critical issue for her love.

    I listen to very few thrillers because of the dark realism, but every now and then I like to try something different. While I’m glad I did, I realize that dark realism isn’t something I’ll listen to lots of, but for those who enjoy it – this is a terrific book with, as I said, excellent narration. 4* for “Revenge!”.

    I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

    My rating and my review was not in anyway affected by my having been provided a review copy.

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