Book Reviews

Book Review: The Silversmith by Jeff Carson – Second Novel in the Series Builds the Characters and Thrills the Reader

At the end of Foreign Deceit, the first book in this series of novels, Deputy Sheriff David Wolf returned from Italy with the body of his murdered brother to learn that the Sheriff’s position, which he’d been a shoo-in for, had just been given to Derek Connell, the son of a local power-broker who also tried to kill David in the first book. To make up for giving his son the sheriff’s position, John Connell offers David a lucrative job in the private sector, working for him.

David’s not having any of that. He’s still trying to process the loss of his brother and deal with having him buried and other family issues, but he’s making it clear he’s not for sale. Others in the sheriff’s department back him, since they don’t want to work for Connell, but they are all at a loss as to what to do.

The Silversmith is a much better book than Foreign Deceit. Where I thought that book had too much crammed into one story, this one is much better focused. There’s a mystery hidden in the town that involves David’s father and his unsolved death in the line of duty which goes back many years. What David doesn’t realize is how far some people will go to prevent the truth from coming out. It takes all of his brains, courage, and skill to survive and bring the truth into the open.

I enjoyed this thoroughly. It was action-packed with little downtime in between but in a way that made sense. It didn’t feel like events took place just to keep the action crackling along, but the action just kept happening as people tried to cover up their culpability and weave a story. The backdrop of the remote areas of Colorado was a good setting. Living in a rural resort area myself, I could picture the setting and events as they unfolded.

The characters have much more depth in the second book. There’s what we know from the first in the series, but even without that, I felt like there was more substance here. There’s a lot that happens in the story’s twists and turns that isn’t surprising, but it’s also not always expected. Jeff Carson has a good balance here with his characters behaving in consistent ways yet managing to not be too predictable.

After Foreign Deceit I wasn’t sure about continuing the series – it didn’t grab me the way many other action-driven books do. The Silversmith will keep me interested for at least a few more books in the series. If you like thriller/mystery type books I recommend it.

Previous book in the series (link): Foreign Deceit by Jeff Carson

Next book in the series (link): Alive and Killing by Jeff Carson

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