Last Updated on March 17, 2016
What a great hidden gem this book was! Ochoco Reach by J.R. Stewart truly surprised me. I sort of put off reading it because I’m weary of reading book related to drug cartels. It’s just not a topic that is close to my heart.
However this novel was so much more than that, and in fact it came much closer to another genre that I truly enjoy reading – military thriller, mixed in with just enough mysticism and spirituality to make me curious enough to want to read it to the last page.
Mike Ironwood is an ex-cop, currently a private investigator whose life gets turned upside down the day Willimina (call me Willy) enters his office asking for his help. She is smart, beautiful and very attractive, so how can he say no? She claims that some strange things are happening at her ranch and that someone is too persistent in wanting to buy her home, despite her not wanting to sell at any costs.
As the story unfolds Mike realizes that things are way more complicated than he initially thought, and soon things become personal for him because there is just something about Willy that he can’t let go of – especially not when she goes missing. So while deciding and planning to rescue her he realizes in his heart that she might just be The One.
Mike is a very odd character. Charming and kind, but also lethal and extremely dangerous to his enemies. As a Vietnam vet he has all the tools and knowledge necessary to make the life of his enemies a living hell. And let’s not forget about his elusive half-brother, the Native American Daniel. That guy needs a book all too himself and I bet he’d have a real interesting story to tell. A story full of spirituality, mysticism and a lethal charm.
But then again it seems this runs in the family because Mike has his own ‘weird’ moments as well, when the voices in his head start to chant and make him do things that might almost seem super-human at times.
Half action, half adventure and modern commando story, the book has it all. Appealing characters, great dynamics between the main ones and a fun narrative with at times chuckling dialogue which left me wanting for more. Crooked officials, millions of dollars burning to ashes, an Indian girl which is way wiser than her age call for, and of course Bucket, Mike’s beloved dog. Gosh I love that dog!
My only confusion with the book was that I thought Mike and Daniel should be way older than they are, considering that they’re Vietnam veterans. The commando rescue action from the Son Tay prison that Mike took part in was in 1970, so he should be now and old man, not someone in his mid 40s. Until I realized that oh wait, the book takes place in 1995. Then all became clear, since Mike must have been in his 20s back then.
And my only true gripe with the book – the fact that it has no sequel – yet. Mike and Daniel (ok Willy too) deserve further adventures, their stories should not end here. Afterall I can’t imagine Mike simply settling down at a ranch to deal with cattle. Action, running after bad guys and killing those that deserve it are in his blood. Although methinks the way the book ended definitely leaves it open for a new narrative. Maybe disguised in a new case that comes knocking on his office doors sometimes soon?