Crimson Lake Road
reviewed by Pam Guynn
Crimson Lake Road by Victor Methos brings murder, suspense, police investigations, and courtroom drama to an explosive legal thriller mainly set in and around Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the second book in the Desert Plains series and my second novel by this author.
Our protagonist, Jessica Yardley, is a federal prosecutor with a dark past. She has decided to retire but takes on one last investigation where the murders seem inspired by a series of grisly paintings. What follows is an exciting combination of investigations, action, family crises, and courtroom battles.
Jessica is definitely strong in her professional career, but her personal life is another matter. A flaw or two gives some balance, but the result is somewhat stereotyped. I liked her courage and resilience, and I was definitely rooting for a satisfactory ending for the story line. But does it happen? Why doesn’t she rely on others more? Why does she make some decisions that seem out of character?
One thing that I enjoyed this time is that her daughter, Tara, plays a larger role in this book and we get a better feel for her character. The subplot around Tara added another dimension to the novel. Will she play a major role in a future book? Among the other secondary characters, readers will get more insight into FBI Special Agent Cason Baldwin. His character gained depth in this novel.
The book was well-written and was paced well and had an appropriate mix of dialogue and narrative. The plot had several twists and turns with a several surprises along the way even after readers find out a lot of the ‘who did what’. The courtroom scenes are very strong. What seemed to be the ending was very dramatic. Will you see it coming? However, I was disappointed with the last chapter which seemed like an epilogue that could have been omitted. I was disappointed with the actions taken in it.
The novel’s themes include murder, personal isolation, the line between pushing for a justified conviction and convicting an innocent person, personal relationships, ethics, heartbreak, betrayal, kidnapping, and much more. Some trigger points to consider include gruesome scenes and dealing with harm to children.
If you enjoy legal thrillers and police investigations, then I recommend this series. While there are some things that seemed somewhat implausible, overall, Crimson Lake Road is an intense book that pulls the reader into its disturbing storyline. It is certainly thought-provoking. While this does not have a cliffhanger ending, there are threads that can be pulled into the next book in the series. Which one or ones will it be? I can’t wait to find out in the next novel. This series is best read in order.
I purchased a digital copy of this novel. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and are not biased in any way. Publication date was February 9, 2021.