Right here, in my own home state of Minnesota, I open the pages to meet James Becker, recently retired government official, who has made his way back to his home town of Red Wing, Minnesota with his wife Beth. While James “Beck” may be ready for retirement – he soon finds out retirement is not ready for him. In short time he finds himself helping out a friend and Chief Sheriff Deputy on a crime of a missing woman.
Seems Katherine Whitson, a Minneapolis computer whiz, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances and Beck offers his help to see what he can find out. What follows within the pages of this book is a masterful read of intelligence, intrigue, and enough humor mixed in to keep things Minnesota nice, and this Minnesotan laughing out loud.
I have to admit this book was not a hard sell for me to review. First of all it is set in my home state and I do love to be able to picture the areas described, the roads traveled, and the sites seen. Secondly, I do love a good mystery and it didn’t take me very many pages to realize that was exactly what I held in my hands.
John Betcher has created a character I found to be fully rounded – a retired Government Agent, a good guy, incredibly wise and good at what he does and fully in love with his wife.
Ok – stating that he is fully in love with his wife might seem like an odd statement, but I have to mention this because this is one of the thee in the book that really impressed me. So often our detective/ crime fighter characters are either single, divorced, or married but you never actually get to see the wife as a fully developed character. In John Betcher’s book, not only is Beth fully present – she is fully active in this book. Beth is smart and completely in love with her husband and I loved how they had each others back. Maybe this is just me seeing this, but I felt having such a wonderfully functioning couple was – well… refreshing.
I was impressed all the way around with the writing, the plot, the whole story. As I finished the last pages I closed the book very satisfied that all the loose ends had been tied and hopeful that I could follow the roads that Beck travels again…
(Oh – and I was not disappointed to discover that Beck, does make an appearance in John Betcher’s newest release: The 19th Element )
Book Journey has updated the 2010 read map to include The Missing Element
When in Red Wing Minnesota, stop in at Best Of Times Book Store for a wonderful experience and a complimentary cup of coffee!
Cover Story: This is a cover that would not cause me to pick up this book. I hate to say that, because it is truly a wonderful read – but this cover does not sell the book for me. I had to hear about the book from other sources, and still wondered about it once I seen this very plain cover. I am here to tell you friends – do not judge this one by its cover – this is a wonderful read!
I received my copy of this book for review from Author John Betcher