Monday, May 30, 2011

REVENGE: A Travis Mays Novel: Review


When a trained killer threatens ex-cop Travis Mays - and those Travis loves - he finds a skilled adversary and an unexpected fight. 

Travis Mays starts a new life and a new career, teaching criminology at the university and building a cabin in the idyllic Idaho Mountains. He hires a beautiful river guide, Jessie White Eagle from the Nez Perce tribe, to steer him safely through raging whitewater, only to find that this trip changes everything—for Travis, for Jessie, and for those they hold dear. In the shadows lurks a man—calling himself Creasy—driven to make sure Travis pay for past sins. 

This fast-paced thriller takes readers on a wild ride down Idaho’s whitewater rivers, along the historic Lolo Trails once tread by the Nez Perce nation, and onto the city streets of California. Tighten your helmet. This ride never stops until the last shot is fired and the final body falls. 

My Review:

One of the reasons I'm happy that I finally started this book blog, and that I'm getting more and more review requests by authors I've never heard of, is because I am reading a lot of novels that I never would have looked twice at. I have never been interested in crime, mystery, or suspense novels, but by accepting review requests I've realized what I have been missing out on by not expanding my reading to a wider variety of genres before now.

I really did like REVENGE: A Travis Mays Novel. I'm not going to say it's one of the best books I've ever read, but it did keep my interest piqued, and for the most part I had no clue what was going to happen next or who the killer was throughout the novel. 

Travis Mays was a well-rounded character who had a lot of depth, and who I was immediately rooting for as a reader. Creasy was obviously the bad guy from the start, who was mysterious until the last half of the book when Travis and others starting putting things together. I really enjoyed Frank White Eagle and Jessie White Eagle. I wish that Jessie would have had more depth as a character. I think that she could have been a heroine of her own in this novel, but it seemed like she fell into the typical female role in suspense/cop drama books, in that she was bull-headed, had to be included in everything, and inevitably ended up getting herself into situations where she needed to be rescued. Also, I kept wondering when there would be some kind of physical connection between Jessie and Travis. It was obvious that there was something there, but they never so much as kissed. I'm not talking about a passionate sex scene, but something to break the sexual tension up a little would have been nice!

Another thing that bothered me a little bit was the fact that these people were so accommodating of Travis. He wasn't well known at all in this small town in Idaho, but after Tommy White Eagle (Frank's son) was murdered, they put all their trust in him because of his stellar background as a cop. Even when the people found out that Travis was actually the one who had inadvertently brought all the problems to this town, and that Tommy's murder was in a way connected to him, they still stood by and rallied around him. If it had been me, I would be keeping my distance from a guy who all of a sudden had a lot of connections to his past life ending up dead! Also, a small thing that bothered me was that there were a few editing errors throughout the ebook. It probably had to do with the book not being a finished copy, and the errors weren't so pervasive that they distracted me, but there were enough that I noticed and highlighted them.

I did like the different twists that happened towards the end of the book. You would think the book was about to be over, and everything solved, and all of a sudden someone else would end up dead, and you would realize there was another criminal out there with Travis in their crosshairs! It did get a little ridiculous in the last  couple of chapters, because it seemed like Travis kept putting himself in bad situations and ending up with a gun to his head. I kept thinking, "He's supposed to be a great cop??" Also, at the end when the the "bad guy" had the upper hand, they started giving the whole story about why they killed certain people, and their motive for what they were doing; it just struck me as a little cliche. It seems that in all cop dramas, the criminal has a gun pointed at the cops head, or is about to kill someone, and then they start going on about why they did what they did, and telling the person the reason they have to die.  

I know it seems like I had a lot of negative things to say about this book, but it's not that I didn't like it, I think that it's just not a genre that I am very familiar with or that I necessarily am drawn to. I know people who absolutely love crime and mystery books, and while I enjoyed reading this book; books about police and murder-suspense just really aren't my "cup of tea." 

All in all it was definitely a page turner. I read the book in two days because I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know who the killer was, and I wanted to the characters to solve the case! I also was shocked several times by how things turned out. If you happen to be a fan of crime/mystery/police/suspense novels, then by all means get this book, because it is for you, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys this type of suspense novel.

I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 Stars.


Mark Young is a former police officer with the Santa Rosa Police Department in California for twenty-six years; an award-winning journalist; and a Vietnam combat veteran. He served with several law enforcement task force operations, including the presidential Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force targeting major drug traffickers, and the federal Organized Crime Task Force charged with identifying and prosecuting prison gang leaders. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family. Visit for more information about Mark Young and his writing. Readers may also connect with him at where mystery readers, writers and law enforcement connect.


  1. Thanks for the review! I am awarding your blog The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. Please head over to my blog to pick it up and read the post on how to pass the award along to other deserving blogs. Congratulations! Donna

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I have read several books that I know for certain I would have never taken a second look at, so I am super happy that I started reviewing books. Reading a book that is outside of your comfort zone exposes new parts of's like meeting a new you!

    I thought your review was honest (not at all negative) which is exactly what blog readers need so that they can make an informed decision when choosing whether or not they will read the book or not.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    I'm following from Book Blogs.