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Micheal Jimerson
Author
White Gold

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

For thirty years, E.J. Kane exemplified perfection in law enforcement. But when he loses a son to the war on terror in Afghanistan, both his marriage and his career as a Texas Ranger are crushed. Incapable of acknowledging his daughter’s drug addiction, she ends up sex trafficked. His last chance job as head of security at an energy company pulls him into the romantic clutches of a ruthless businesswoman known as Widow Welchel. She allies with a sovereign citizen group stealing casinghead gas, also known as white gold. E.J.’s ex-wife’s skill as an attorney reveals his lover, Widow Welchel, murdered those in her path to take over the giant energy company. The killer offers her dark web trafficking connections to locate E.J.’s daughter, but her help comes at great cost. She exacts a crippling promise. E.J. may save his daughter, yet keeping his word sacrifices the personal code which has driven every part of his life. Can he hold fast to ancient notions of honor while using twenty-first century technology to end the killing and restore his family?
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: White Gold takes readers on a breakneck ride raging with murder, greed, and desperation, through the eyes of embittered lawman E.J. Kane, who stumbles into danger at every turn in his quest to survive the untimely death of his son, all while trying to save his drug-addicted daughter. The tension builds quickly, and Jimerson’s plot submerses readers in action before delivering the final unexpected, but satisfyingly complete, blow.

Prose: Despite some rough transitions, Jimerson crafts easy prose that helps readers sink into the novel’s mood. Dialogue flows naturally, and the effective writing style steadies the plot’s pace, even in high stakes moments.

Originality: Though this novel boasts a gritty crime narrative with conventional whodunit hijinks, Jimerson’s smooth approach gives it somewhat of an edge; the story’s polished prose is a standout.

Character Development/Execution: This book’s main players are well-defined, albeit stereotypical at times, and their backstories help unite them in a collective web of intrigue. Savvy mystery fans may guess the perpetrator, but the process will be entertaining enough to keep them hooked until the end.

Date Submitted: April 07, 2022

Reviews
A former Texas lawman battles to save his family, solve a murder, and make sense of his own damaged life in this gritty and gripping mystery. Working in private security for wealthy energy CEO, E.J. Kane is facing a broken marriage, a son killed in Afghanistan, and a troubled daughter. A storage tank explosion leads to a investigation involving the feds, the Texas Rangers, an untrustworthy sheriff, and the mysterious "Widow" Welchel, a femme fatale whose game isn't immediately clear. E.J. eventually discovers that a sovereign citizens group has a stake in the crime, and that he must uncover layer after layer to wrap up these complex investigations.

Jimerson has worked as a district attorney, and his knowledge of the milieu lends a powerful sense of verisimilitude, as when the aging E.J. muses over the changes over the years in law enforcement. The author does an equally fine job with the settings of his native East Texas: "The pallet of colors pouring out on the green hills and pine trees gave him pause." The sense of this tightly knit community is also strong, as a shared background connects E.J. more closely to an opponent than his supposed allies. Although the plot gets a little convoluted, individual scenes carry the story to a satisfying conclusion.

Best of all are the sharply limned characters—E.J. is no cardboard cowboy, but a complex figure with a difficult past and tangled family life. Jimerson does an especially effective job of showing E.J.'s sense of powerlessness as he watches his daughter’s life fall apart. E.J.'s relationship with his ex-wife Rebecca is both subtle and real: A series of sharp exchanges reveals both why they got married and why they got divorced. Readers will be heavily invested in E.J.'s odyssey, turning pages rapidly in hope that his journey ends in victory.

Takeaway: Richly drawn characters and a vivid East Texas setting highlight this noir-flavored murder mystery.

Great for fans of: Craig Johnson’s Longmire series, Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong series.

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

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