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Lynn Lipinski
Stalked By Revenge

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

In book three of the Zane Clearwater Mystery series, a young man and his teenage sister take steps to protect themselves when the man they put behind bars has his conviction overturned. Clyde Doom vows to seek revenge on Zane and his sister. Will they run or will they fight?
The third in Lipinski’s Zane Clearwater Mystery series continues the story of Zane, his pregnant sister Lettie, and their loved ones as their mobile-home lives balance on a razor’s edge. After holding Lettie prisoner, Zane’s half brother Clyde was sent to prison, and the family thought they could move on. But ominous signs emerge, starting with Zane being suspended from his police training program on fabricated accusations, followed by Lettie receiving a baby rattle with sinister messages. These suspenseful portents precede an upcoming new trial for Clyde—after his previous one was overturned—leading Zane, Lettie (and her boyfriend Angel), and Zane and Lettie’s grandmother Verda to fear for their lives. When Clyde escapes after his bail hearing, others presume he’ll want to get as far away from Oklahoma as possible, but Zane and Lettie know that nothing less than a showdown is coming.

Readers accustomed to slick spy or law enforcement novels may be surprised to find themselves in the middle of an urgent blue-collar fight for survival. Both Zane and Lettie have been in trouble with the law in the past, Lettie is expecting a baby at sixteen, and they (and Angel) live with Verda in a mobile home park. But Lipinski shows that not having much doesn’t stop this family; they love each other deeply and will improvise from what they have to survive and stick together.

The story references events that occur in previous books, but Lipinski takes care to ensure everything that matters most is clear, so Stalked by Revenge can work for new readers. The compelling family dynamics at the heart of the story remain easy to relate to, despite all the thriller-novel tragedy this family has endured, and the thrills are enriched by Lipinski’s firm grounding in class, milieu, and life as it’s actually lived. Each character exhibits convincing strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives that make them vulnerable and resonant. The showdown’s gripping, but it’s the people that power this humane nailbiter.

Takeaway: This character-rich rural noir finds a family facing a revenge-minded half sibling’s jailbreak.

Great for fans of: Vicki Hendricks, Harry Crews.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B