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Keith Yocum
Valley of Spies
Keith Yocum, author
A missing tourist is just the beginning… When an American woman vanishes in New Zealand, it perplexes authorities. There is no body, no witness and no motive. But what looks like a sad, unfortunate case of foul play, slowly turns into something darker. The missing tourist is a female psychologist under contract from the CIA to see employees in strictest confidence. Was her disappearance a random act of violence, or an act of international espionage? Does someone want to know her patients’ dark, dirty secrets? Dennis Cunningham, the gruff but uncanny CIA investigator, is tugged out of early retirement in Western Australia to rubber stamp a foregone conclusion by the agency about the real perpetrators. A brilliant but unusual sleuth, Cunningham can’t help but pick at the agency’s scab on this case until it bleeds red all over.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 8.25 out of 10


Plot:Yocum presents a believable plot with plenty of twists and turns that will keep readers flipping the pages until they reach a conclusion that ties all of the loose ends together.

Prose/Style:Tightly written, with a smooth flow that keeps readers glued to the page, this is a compelling story by a writer who knows his craft.

Originality:Yocum's story is creative and believable; he takes readers from Perth to New Zealand with a couple of stops in the United States, adding variety and intrigue through the different settings.

Character Development:These characters are authentic and seemingly effortlessly created. The author avoids creating sex-based stereotypes - a temptation many writers would accommodate, especially when dealing with military-based characters.

Date Submitted: April 02, 2019