Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Book Review: The Bus To Beulah

I have a crazy busy week this week, but not too busy to have books and more every day for you. Today's offering? A thriller, of course! 

The Bus to Beulah - E.C. Hanes

On her way to a new job in America, Maria Puente accidentally discovers a human trafficking ring. Fearing exposure, the American company that manages the operation—with the help of their Mexican partners—kidnaps Maria.

Maria’s disappearance triggers a desperate search, by her family and local law enforcement, to find her before the kidnappers can permanently dispose of her. As the investigation unfolds, long-time Hogg County high sheriff Will Moser confronts Albert Waters, a powerful businessman who Will suspects knows about Maria’s disappearance—but Albert and his Mexican cartel partners prove to be brick walls.

At the urging of his wife, Lana, Will calls on Elijah Kahn, a man he got to know while serving in Vietnam who now runs one of the largest international security firms in the world. The idea of working with men who are rightly known as mercenaries troubles Will, but he knows he’ll never find Maria without Elijah’s help—and when Lana reminds Will of the debt they owe to Tomas Delgado, Maria’s uncle, his hesitation evaporates.

Organized in an hour-by-hour structure, The Bus to Beulah is a taut thriller that culminates in a massive, heart-pounding chase to save Maria—before she disappears forever. 
When was the last time you've read a book that is written hour by hour? Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I read a book with that format and it was a refreshing change to the more traditional format. I also can't remember the last book I read about sex trafficking despite what a hotbed and relavent topic it is, so with both of those key points being the only the things I knew about this going into this, so I had high expectations. 

I won't say that my hopes were dashed, because I did enjoy this book, I will say that it wasn't quite what I thought. I was surprised that Will was mostly the key character and I really thought it would be more about Maria, given that she is our victim. I care more about the victim than I do the would be bad guy, and then the people trying to save her. I had a really hard time keeping track of characters, it's definitely not a skill I have anymore post-brain injury, so I can't really say if that is an issue others would necessarily feel. I did get Wiley Cash-vibes, he's one of my favorite North Carolina authors, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the similarities. Overall for a thriller, I did enjoy it, though it wasn't one that I raced through. I picked this up, read a couple of chapters, and then would put it down for the day. I wonder if I would have enjoyed this more as an audiobook, so if you're on the fence, I'd go for that. 

Thank you to SparkPoint Studio and author E.C. Hanes for sending me a copy for review! I think I would read another from this author, there was definitely enough promise in this one for me to go another round. 

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