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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review and Tour Giveaway: Those Who Walk In Darkness (Jacks Jackson Mystery Book 1) by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene

I enjoyed this engaging mystery with good characters.
Those Who Walk In Darkness (Jacks Jackson Mystery Book 1)
by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene

File Size: 669 KB
Print Length: 282 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (March 8, 2016)
Genre: Historical Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Three years ago in 1867, Julia Jackson was a well to do young woman from Boston whose fiancé, Jonathon, was killed right before her eyes. Obsessed with finding the killer, a man whose face she saw only in a flash as he walked up and shot Jonathon, she leaves her family and her life behind. She starts a new life as ‘Jacks’ Jackson—a cigar smoking, dead eye, female Pinkerton agent…pretending to be a man.
Now Allan Pinkerton needs Jacks to find the man who kidnapped the wife and son of a railroad official, David Boyd. Their only clues are the severed finger from the man’s wife, complete with wedding ring, and a map of the Qualla boundary, the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina.
Jacks doesn’t like the way the whole thing sounds from the beginning. David Boyd isn’t important enough to target for a kidnapping. And why travel so far with two hostages?
But Pinkerton tells her that he believes the man responsible for the kidnapping worked with Jonathon’s murderer in a train robbery five years ago. Jacks agrees to go after the kidnapper with hopes of catching him before he can reach his home grounds.
Pinkerton insists that Jacks bring three men with her—Boyd, her new partner, and a Cherokee guide named Running Wolf, who’s always watching her, like he’s trying to figure it out.
Can Jacks catch the kidnapper with her secret—and her life—intact?

Julia Jackson was on the way to her wedding when her fiancé was murdered at her feet. No one could help her locate the murderer so she took matters into her own hands by going undercover as a male Pinkerton agent. Three years later she is known as the highly successful and brash Agent “Jacks” Jackson.

Jacks is assigned to pursue a Cherokee Indian who has kidnapped the wife and son of railroad official, David Boyd. Jacks prefers not to work with a partner but young Davey Hume has been paired with her. To make matters worse, Boyd insists on going along the journey and Pinkerton has also assigned a Cherokee guide, Running Wolf.

The four begin the trip from Chicago to North Carolina, following the kidnapper’s trail. Soon it appears that the kidnapper is taunting them, sending bloody fingers from Boyd’s wife, and leaving dead bodies in the towns where they stop. Running Wolf looks intently at Jacks as though he sees through her. He tries to convince Jacks to delve deeper into the facts because things are not always as they first appear.

I have long been fascinated by stories of Pinkerton agents and it is fun when the agents are women. Jacks is a good character with determination – even if it is for the negative emotion of revenge. I liked Running Wolf’s intense character and his attitude and determination to ‘rescue’ Jacks from her own obsession. I liked the spirit elements, consistent with Native American teachings, that were woven into the mystery.

The story jumped right into action and kept my interest to the end. I enjoyed the characters, the mystery and the good movement of the story. The writing flows well and is an easy read. Although the mystery is resolved, I was a little bit disappointed that there were loose threads at the end. Then again - this leaves an opening for another good installment. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a good mystery in a historical setting.

I received this through Great Escape Book Tours for an honest review. This qualifies for T on my Alphabet Soup Challenge.
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Ends 3/22/16
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Tour Participants
March 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 9 – A. Holland Reads – INTERVIEW
March 10 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 11 – Author Annette Drake’s Blog – INTERVIEW
March 12 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – Book Babble – REVIEW
March 15 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW
March 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 17 – fundinmental – REVIEW
March 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW
March 22 – Community Bookstop – CHARACTER GUEST POST


  1. This sounds interesting. I'd love to read it.

  2. It sounds interesting. I love the title. Not too fond of the cover but the premise makes up for it.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  3. Great review, I can't wait to read it.

  4. A female Pinkerton agent sounds so interesting and could get into certain places that a male one couldn't. The cover has a very vintage historical look that is so apt for the story.

  5. I'm anxious to start this new series. I think the Pinkerton tie-in should be interesting.

  6. sound interesting. I like women that are like this.


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