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A Daughter's Fierce Heart

5 Stars

The 20s are roaring. Prohibition makes them roar even louder.


After a month in the wilds enforcing Prohibition, Marshal Merck (Wednesday) McIntyre returns to Winston, Idaho to find a striking woman named Jenny Roades waiting for him. She demands McIntyre put an end to the gang that is forcing her father to surrender the medicinal whiskey in his pharmacy. At the same time, Father Brynn of St. Rafael’s has been ordered to deliver up his shipments of sacramental wine to the same gang or see his church put to the torch.


McIntyre knows this gang well. He has tangled with them before. Their calling card is the Jack of Diamonds. But the problem of dealing with the gang becomes far greater when Jenny’s father is gunned down and she heads out to seek revenge. McIntyre and his posse can either ride with her or stay behind. But for Jenny Roades, a private detective badge in her pocket and a Colt pistol on her hip, there is no stopping until justice is done.


“I’m not turning back. Everyone else can do as they please. I’m not done till that killer is my prisoner or under the stones.”


Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Under the Stones is a work of fiction penned by author Murray Pura in the historical fiction, interpersonal drama, and thriller subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Readers find themselves transported back to the roaring '20s during Prohibition, a time when law enforcement was locked in a constant battle with bootleggers and gangs. The story follows Marshal Merck ‘Wednesday’ McIntyre, a no-nonsense enforcer of Prohibition, who returns to Winston, Idaho, after a challenging month in the wilds. Waiting for him is the striking Jenny Roades, who pleads with McIntyre to confront a gang that is pressuring her father to surrender medicinal whiskey from his pharmacy. McIntyre, familiar with the notorious gang behind these threats, known by their Jack of Diamonds calling card, must now deal with the escalating situation. Author Murray Pura has crafted a fast-paced and exciting novel that perfectly captures the essence of the Prohibition era. I found the descriptive qualities to be not only cinematic but multi-sensory, giving us the full sound and feel of the era as well as those spine-tingling moments when you know that danger is nearby. The characters are compelling and multifaceted, with unique dialogue that signifies the historical period but is also easy for modern audiences to follow and relate to. The action unfolds at a pace that keeps you eagerly turning pages, shifting scenes at key moments to shake up the plot and throw McIntyre headfirst into the next danger. The story's central themes of justice, courage, and determination are woven into the narrative seamlessly, leaving you to ponder the emotional toll on the characters long after you set the book down. Overall, Under the Stones is a gripping tale that brings the past to life with authenticity and excitement, and I’d highly recommend it for historical fiction and thriller fans everywhere.


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