A Review of Steph Post’s Lightwood

I must admit, I do judge a book by its cover, and the cover of Steph Post’s LIGHTWOOD is gorgeous.

LWood

That said, what it’s got inside is pretty damn good too.

Normally, LIGHTWOOD is not something I’d choose to read. I’m not a HUGE fan of crime fiction, but this pulpy, Florida noir enticed me (plus, I love Post’s short stories), so I gave it an eager go.

LIGHTWOOD’S main character is Judah Cannon, a man recently released from prison. With no one there to give him a ride, he heads to his hometown where he settles in at a bar where he runs into Ramey, his best friend from childhood (and my new fave character).

Later, Judah meets up with his father and brother who bring him back into the family business—the very one which put him in prison in the first place. From there, without giving too much away, LIGHTWOOD is a fast-paced Florida crime story. As Judah tries to deal with the demons of his family (and his robbery), he also has to handle a preacher named Sister Tulah and members of a motorcycle gang that all somehow intertwine with his heist.

I enjoyed LIGHTWOOD. The pace was perfect, the vibe was dark, and all the characters were nicely developed, but Ramey was especially great. She could have been just a one-dimensional love interest, but she was so much more than that. She was a strong female, one who—in my opinion—outshined Judah. I loved her back story and found myself wanting more.

Another awesome thing about LIGHTWOOD was its strong Florida setting. I’m such a fan of novels that show us small towns. Forget NYC or LA or INSERT YOUR BIG TOWN HERE. In LIGHTWOOD the rural Florida noir is hot and heavy. Literally. The weather described in the novel is so atmospheric, I almost wanted to wipe my brow in solidarity.

LIGHTWOOD will definitely be enjoyed by fans of crime fiction. So snag it now, grab a drink, and settle in for a gritty action-packed read of revenge and redemption.

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