Hallowed Ground Review

Hallowed Ground by Lori Armstrong is the second book in the Julie Collin’s detective series and boy is it a good one! I’ve had my quirks about the first book in the series, Blood Ties, but still came away enjoying the book a whole lot. Hallowed Ground continues the adventures of private investigator Julie Collins as she does what she does best: talk a whole lot of trash and kicking butt! As I’ve stated in the first book, if you’re not into the whole loud mouth, beer drinking and cigarette smoking feminine protagonist thing, stay away from this series. I personally love the Julie Collins character because she’s just so fun to read about! The story and mystery itself is definitely better this time around but there is still one thing the author can do to really make things stand out. However, the positives most certainly outweighs the negatives here and I find myself once again recommending this book to just about anyone who wants to enjoy a good fun read.

“Grisly murders are rocking the small county of Bear Butte where Julie Collins has spent the last few months learning the PI biz without the guidance of her best friend and business partner, Kevin Wells. Enter dangerous, charismatic entrepreneur Tony Martinez, who convinces Julie to take a case involving a missing five-year-old Native American girl, the innocent pawn in her parents’ child custody dispute. Although skeptical about Martinez’ motives in hiring her, and confused by her strange attraction to him, Julie nevertheless sees the opportunity to hone her investigative skills outside her office.”

Story wise, I’m a lot happier this time around. However, one thing I would love to see the author do more is dedicate a few more chapters to the villains. I believe there’s a total of two mini chapters altogether in the book that gives us a chance to see how the bad guy behaves and thinks. The reason for doing so is obvious. In order for the readers to feel more involved with the story, we have to at least get a feel for who the villain actually is, character wise. I absolutely hate it when action heroes in video games and story books just ups and kills the bad guy at the end when we don’t even know much about the bad guy in the first place! Other than that, I’m quite satisfied with how everything else turned out. I’m praying the next book in the series will fulfill my request!

The characters this time around pits Julie Collins with Tony Martinez. Kevin does make a couple of appearances but for the most part, Martinez has taken over. This makes things interesting because Kevin was a bit too boring for a character such as Julie. Martinez is the president/leader of the Hombres bike gang and has a much more interesting persona. I do have a feeling that while Julie hooks up with Martinez here, she’ll eventually get back with Kevin in the later books. Julie is the same alcohol, cigarette smoking junkie and wise comment spewing girl we all fell in love with from the first book. Yes, she still manages to get into all sorts of trouble and gets her butt kicked a couple of times but that’s the Julie we love. The book just wouldn’t feel the same if she didn’t fell flat on her butt a couple of times throughout the story. However, she always picks herself up and gets the job done afterwards. The book I have to admit is pretty darn hilarious. Again, this is attributed to Julie’s persona. Even if you have a slight sense of humor, I’m sure you’ll read parts that will just make you laugh out loud. If not, you’ll at least give a snicker here and there due to Julie’s wits.

I’m going ahead right now and say that I find myself in love with the Julie Collins series and hope the author continues with it. However, I’m seeing on Amazon that there is only 4 books in the series so far (Blood Ties started in 2005). Not a good sign indeed. That just means I’ll have to slowly savor the next two books because there might not be another one in the future. With that being said, I can give nothing but high praises for this excellent sophomore effort by Lori Armstrong.

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