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The Big Thrill Recommends: DEAD WEST by Linda L. Richards

Recommended by Ellen Quint


Thriller writers challenge their imaginations with the “what ifs.” Linda Richards has come up with an enticing rejoinder: What if a seasoned hit woman becomes emotionally involved with her assigned target, leading her to defy her instructions and lethal instincts and choose to do everything in her power to save a life instead of taking it?

The book opens with a description of a lovely, picturesque beach scene that immediately but gently draws the reader in. Everything seems so normal, so safe, until the protagonist, assassin-for-hire Katherine Eveline Ragsdill, tersely explains why she is there. By then, the reader is hooked. DEAD WEST, book 3 in The Endings series, can be enjoyed as a standalone, as enough background details have been thoughtfully woven in to satisfy both series fans and newcomers.

Ragsdill relentlessly pursues her assigned targets, that is, until she meets horse rancher Cameron Walker. Ragsdill’s instant chemistry with Walker and empathy with his mission to protect wild horses and their environment turns her world upside down. Her new mission to rescue Cameron leads her to Washington D.C. where she uncovers a criminal enterprise that adds an additional level of twists and turns.

The narrative’s first-person, present-tense perspective imparts an arresting intensity, intimately exposing the inner turmoil propelling Ragsdill’s choices. Furthermore, Richards’ meticulous research shines through as she sheds light on the controversy surrounding wild horses. Through Ragsdill’s dialogues with various characters, the author deftly presents a balanced and enlightened view on the matter.

Fans can also look forward to seeing the first book in the series, Endings, come to the screen, as it has been optioned by a major studio for a series production.


The Big Thrill Recommends: DEAD WEST by Linda L. Richards