Shadows of the Stone Benders by K. Patrick Donoghue

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When Dr. Anlon Cully’s archaeologist uncle dies unexpectedly, Cully has to leave his Lake Tahoe home to settle his uncle’s affairs. Upon arrival in Massachusetts, Cully learns that his eccentric uncle was making some ground-breaking, ground-shaking discoveries that could change the way people understand history. Secrecy surrounds his uncle’s affairs, so when his uncle’s assistant also dies mysteriously, Cully, along with his friends Pebbles and Jennifer, will have to determine what is really going on and what his uncle’s research is really all about.

I wanted to read this book because the description said that if I like reading Steve Berry or James Rollins or Preston and Child, I’d like this story. I guess I can see why Donoghue was equated to those authors – archaeology mixed with the notion of re-writing history and tossed into a modern-day mystery – but he’s not quite up to their level, yet. This is his debut novel, after all, so he’s got time to progress.

And I hope he does, because the story did have some good points. He built the tension fairly well and kept me guessing and wanting to know how it would all wrap up. The character backstories were relatively well-developed; however, at times the dialogue was a bit stiff, making the characters seem too formal for close friends sharing their deepest secrets.

Overall, it was not a bad read. I did enjoy it and hope that the next episode of the Anlon Cully Chronicles is more smoothly written. Borrow a copy from your local library this summer and curl up on the couch in front of your air conditioner for a decent read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Leaping Leopard Enterprises, LLC, for the free copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

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