Life Raft
by Paula Ashcraft

"Was he trying to take down a crime boss or solidify a place in his organization?"

A story of mysteries including death and recovery, the FBI, and crime syndicates, the narrative revolves around a number of players. These include Victor Ramos—who may or may not be working to reduce the mob’s hold, FBI agents Jason Kirtland and Sierra Cortez, other FBI agents who may or may not be leaking information, and Julio Torrez, an informant who may or may not be a good guy. There are also the teenaged Choate brothers who live with their aunt (since their parents may or may not be missing due to their work away from home), and Jack Winters, a seemingly good guy of a neighbor who is missing his deceased wife. Also examined are murders, stolen money, a missing yacht and its captain, and the involvement of one Juan Perrone, the seeming mastermind of all these traumas. Lastly, God plays a small role in this story.

Ashcraft’s book is well worth reading. It is an easy mystery, without too many guts but with a lot of glory, and it will keep the reader engaged to the end. The cast of characters is varied, and examining the relationships between the players will keep readers on their toes. The narrative is descriptive and, for the most part, captures the hearts of people along with the heartlessness of others. The secondary characters also add some background color. At times, while the dialogue can be too formal, and the use of four names beginning with the letter “J” (Jason, Julio, Juan, Jack) can lead to confusion, the overall concept of the mystery and the writing style are quite good. For all readers who want an engaging whodunit, this is the book for them.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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