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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Taste of Blood And Ashes

When Nashville PI and horse whisperer Jared McKean is hired to investigate a suspicious barn fire, he finds evidence of soring, the practice of using painful shoeing or caustic chemicals to affect the gait of a Tennessee Walking Horse. But the owners, Zane and Carlin Underwood, are known anti-soring activists. Carlin's distress seems genuine, and Zane is confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down during an attack by a frenzied stallion. Jared believes someone else is behind the arson.

Knowing the arsonist is almost certainly someone in community of those who breed and show Walking Horses, Jared and his new assistant, his half-sister Khanh, attend a local horse show in hopes of flushing out the culprit. There are suspects aplenty, including a groom on the run from a powerful cartel, a modern day robber baron, and a beautiful gold-digger whose dreams are filled with fire.

Secrets pile on top of secrets, and as Zane's memories of the events leading to his accident begin to return, the situation becomes deadly. Jared and Khanh find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer who will do anything to keep the past in the past.

A Taste of Blood And Ashes (Mystery)
By Jaden Terrell
ISBN #978-1579624354
Permanent Press
Price $26.83 (Hardback)
296 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

After reading the first story in the Jared McKean series, I was anxious to finally get to read this fourth book. Jared and his half-sister, Khanh, a Vietnamese girl his father sired, are still together, and she brings some humor to an otherwise very dramatic story line.  Jared is investigating a suspicious fire for an insurance company that killed several Tennessee Walking Horses. The case quickly turns into a murder investigation when human bones are also found.

Anywhere there is money to be made you will also find big crime and gangsters behind much of the happenings. It doesn’t take long for Jared and Khanh to become targets in someone’s sights.

I am against all sports that use animals for man’s enjoyment, and this book was hard for me to read because of the cruelty in this regard. The scene of the barn burning and the horses screaming and dying in the flames almost forced me to quit reading. But the book and the writing are both well conceived and plotted, and the author never fails to create a good mystery. I can recommend it highly for the mystery fan, but be aware of horrific scenes that may haunt you like it did me.

Tom Johnson


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