Hearts of Stone: A Carl Burns Thriller

Brad Smith. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8579-1
Smith’s absorbing, if downbeat, second thriller featuring ex-con Carl Burns (after 2016’s Rough Justice) opens on a lovely autumn day at River Road Farm outside Talbotville, Ontario. Carl is working in the barn; Frances Rourke, Carl’s partner who owns the farm, is preparing for the local TV cooking show she hosts; and Stacy Fulton, who runs the online sales for the farm’s organic products, is throwing a Frisbee for Boomer, the farm’s border collie pup. Meanwhile, three lowlife thugs are about to raid River Road. The subsequent horrific attack leaves Frances in a coma. With Carl’s help the police manage to catch the culprits, but legal wrangling puts the prosecution of the guilty parties at risk. The courtroom action builds to a surprising denouement. In the aftermath of the terrifying ordeal, Carl copes as best he can with depression and numbing helplessness, until he finally decides to take things into his own hands. Readers will wonder where Carl will land in his next outing. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-7278-9324-6
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-78010-855-1
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