Cover Image: Down the Broken Road

Down the Broken Road

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Member Reviews

While this book starts off slow following a murder and a genuinely decent heroine it picks up the pace immensely about 30% in. There are a lot of characters... a lot, and a few times I had to stop and take a second to go back to recall a familiar but elusive name, but he “page flipping” was worth it by the end.
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One of my new favorite books! This author has such a way with words the pages flew by in no time! I can’t wait to see the next work by this author! This was such a joy to read!
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Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this arc.

Oops...  This one got past me somehow.  A couple weeks ago,  I was poking around in my local library sort of "window shopping" and spotted this on their new releases shelf.  I pulled out my kindle for a quick search (as I keep bringing home books I've already read or have in the cloud) and there it was in my ginormous TBR pile/arcs.
I left the physical book on the library shelf and moved the arc over the head of the line on my kindle.  

I thought it was a decent read.  Fast paced with a lot of action (and driving, driving, driving).  The story was complex and twisty.  I've not read the first book of this series and maybe I should have (but I didn't know it was a series).  Somehow, while I didn't dislike Rachel, she just never felt all that real to me in this book.  None of the other characters resonated with me either.  Still a decent read if one is just looking for some mindless entertainment.
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I wish I had read Among the Dead before this, the second in the Rachel Carver series. Nonetheless, this book works fine as a standalone. It is your basic mystery/thriller but done so well that you feel like it's something quite special. Characters are written well and storyline has a good pace and interesting draws. I'd recommend it!
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3.5 After a disastrous end to her last case Rachel resigns from the SBI and goes freelance. Though she hasn't forgotten what happened, still believes it was a wrong enfing, she is busy trying to rustle up enough work to make a living. Until an opportunity arrives unexpectedly, giving her the opportunity to prove she was right to have doubts.

Rachel is a strong character, aggressive many times to her own detriment, obsessive as her old boss and mentor calls her and tough, physically and mentally. This case will take her into the past, and have ties back in the past and far away. It will put her in danger, and will cost many lives. 

I didn't like this as much as the first in series, I think almost too much happened, making it more difficult for me to follow. Of course, it may just be me because this time of year when I have so much to do, makes concentration much more difficult. Still, I love her character, enjoy the way she puts things together, and liked her conversation with Pender at books end. Will definitely read the next.

ARC from Netgalley and Crooked Lane.
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Down the Broken Road by J.R. Backlund is the story of Rachel Carver, who is a former agent with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  Rachel left her SBI job after she was forced to shoot a suspect who she believed had been wrongly convicted. As a result of this incident, Rachel made the decision to leave law enforcement and become a private investigator.

This book is the second in the Rachel Carver Mystery series, the first book being Among the Dead (which I did not read). I felt this book worked as a standalone and I didn't feel like I had missed out on anything.

Just as Rachel Carver is interviewing for a job with a legal firm, a reporter from her past, Bryce Parker, contacts her about the case that ended her career.  Coincidentally, the law firm surprises Rachel with an opportunity to re-investigate that very same case when Tyler Larson was murdered.  When the discovery that one of Larson’s Army buddies has been murdered, the old case is re-opened.  Parker has also discovered a witness to Larson's murder.

Down the Broken Road is a fast-paced mystery with an interesting storyline. There are so many suspects to investigate and lots of questionable murders to solve, but Rachel presses forward in her search for the truth.I felt that the author really brought a great conclusion to this story.  This book will pull keep you engaged from start to finish. The author's creation of Rachel's character provides readers with a very believable story and believe that she is able to solve this case thanks to her law enforcement background. 

I was provided with a complimentary electronic advanced reader copy through Net Galley in exchange for my post.  I was not required to post a positive review.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. Expected publication date is Oct. 18, 2018. 

“Down the Broken Road” by J.R. Backlund is the story of Rachel Carver, former agent with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). Rachel left her job with the SBI after being forced to shoot a suspect who she believed had been wrongly convicted. As a result, Rachel decided to leave law enforcement and become a private investigator. When a reporter who had worked with Rachel in the past finds a witness supporting Rachel’s beliefs and is almost killed as a result, Rachel is pulled back into that case. As the story progresses, Rachel ends up a murder suspect and has to evade the police while trying to solve the case herself and clear her name. 

This book will pull you in from start to finish. Without giving anything away, Rachel’s background and lifestyle make her ability to solve the case and evade capture completely believable. Rachel uses her experience and her knowledge of law enforcement to her advantage. She’s smart, and I didn’t notice anything in the story that didn’t fit...nothing that made me stop and go back because it didn’t make sense. 

There are three reasons I gave this 4 stars instead of 5. Two of them can be fixed in editing but one is a plot line question that I can’t reconcile. There were a few places where Rachel’s over-the-top swearing seem out of character. We don’t see her swear a lot at all throughout the book, and while we know she’s tough, the way she reads isn’t as someone who drops the word “mother****er” in a conversation. That one caught me by surprise. The second issue is that I think the narration got a little too cumbersome in places and it slows down the read. Example: “Another rain had swept through town, cleansing the air. It was cool now, and wet. Everything seemed saturated. The soil was like a soaked sponge. Her first step off the pavement forced black water up around her trainers. Normally, they saw use only on her visits to the gym, so they had stayed perfectly clean until this very moment. When she heard the squishing of her steps and felt her feet turn cold, she decided she would need a new pair.”

***SPOILER***
The final reason for the 4, once the actual murderer (Colin) knows that he’s going to be caught, he is still on his quest to kill the witness. This just didn’t make sense to me because at this point, everyone involved is either going to die or go to jail. I can’t reconcile his need to still kill the witness. That said, it didn’t ruin anything for me...just not the resolution I expected. 

Definitely a book you should pick up when it’s available. This is a good start to what I hope will be a Rachel Carver series of books.
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The second book in the series harkens back to Rachel’s initial backstory regarding her decision to quit the NC SBI. Here, a reporter who was investigating that story is found dumped in the country, moments away from dying from a drug overdose.  Rachel is also offered an opportunity to investigate the story herself.  

The story is straightforward mystery, with a strong female lead.  She’s a bit obsessed, well more than a bit.  She really has no life outside of whatever crime she’s working on.  

At the same time that Rachel is pursuing her leads, Bryce Parker, the reporter,  is coming at it from a different angle.  Then things get wild and bodies start piling up.  Rachel comes under suspicion as the murderer. 

I can’t say this story held together as well as I would liked.  It was fast paced and exciting, with little down time.  There were several ways the story could have gone which kept me guessing as to how it would end.  In the end, it was decent but not great.  

My thanks to netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy of this book
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Rachel Carver’s career with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) ended when her last case led to the death of Lauren Bailey who was accused of killing her boyfriend Tyler Larsen. A cover-up by her superiors led to Rachel resigning from the SBI and she is now working as a PI. Her current case involves the brutal murder of two former soldiers turned junkies. Rachel soon finds a link between this murder and Larsen/Bailey case that ruined her career. Reporter friend Bryce Parker is found OD on heroin. Parker calls Rachel and tells her she was right about Lauren's innocence for Larsen's murder and has proof. But before he can contact the surprise witness, a double murder occurs, and Rachel is framed for the deaths. Now on the run and desperate for answers, Rachel finds a tragic link to the soldiers' time in Afghanistan that someone is desperate to keep secret. 

This was a thrilling read and Rachel is a doggedly determined investigator. 

I received an eARC via Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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4.5 stars.

  Down the Broken Road by J.R. Backlund is an adrenaline-laced mystery. Although this newest release is the second installment in the Rachel Carver series, it can be read as a standalone. However I also recommend the previous novel as well.

  Rachel Carver is a former SBI Agent who is now working as a legal investigator. Just as she interviewing for a job with a legal firm, reporter Bryce Parker reaches about to her about the case that ended her career.  Then the law firm surprises her with the opportunity to re-investigate the same case in which veteran Tyler Larson was murdered. Despite Rachel’s doubts, her boss at the SBI believed his girlfriend was his killer.  The discovery that another one of Larson’s Army buddies has been murdered breathes new life into the old case. In addition, Bryce has discovered a witness Larson’s murder. Rachel’s work on both cases has barely begun when she finds herself on the run from local law enforcement. Trusting no one except for her former partner Danny Braddock, will Rachel uncover the truth about who killed Tyler and his friend, Adam Hubbard?

  Rachel is resourceful and laser focused as she tries to make sense of the events unfolding in the present. Although the police are certain they have arrested the person responsible for Adam’s brutal murder, Rachel is convinced his death is linked to Tyler’s. When she takes a second look at Tyler’s journals which detail his wartime deployments, she has new avenues to explore.  Rachel realizes her previous investigation into Tyler’s murder was incomplete so she begins searching for the other men who were also deployed with him.  With a possible motive beginning to emerge,Rachel inadvertently puts herself in harm’s way as she begins to close in on the suspects in the murders.

 Down the Broken Road is a fast-paced mystery with an intriguing storyline. With puzzling murders to solve and quite a few suspects to investigate, Rachel is absolutely relentless in her quest for the truth. J.R. Backlund brings this newest addition to the Rachel Carver series to an action-packed, electrifying conclusion.
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#Down the Broken Road# NetGalley#

I enjoyed this book. It started a little slow for me, but then it ramped up a bit as the action starting moving faster. The author did a good job 👍🏼 with the characters. It was easy to see them for who the author intended.. if fact, a couple of them where downright scary! I ❤️ the character of Rachel Carver. She is an independent, spunky woman, and I like that in a character. I thought several times she had gotten herself into situations of which she wasn’t going to get out. But, of course, she always found a way. A little bit of romance sprinkled in with lots of mystery made it fun. The ending was okay, but I thought there were several situations not finalized like I would have liked. Maybe the author is saving those for his next sequel?? I rate this a solid 4 stars and would recommend it to all of my mystery loving friends. I was given a free advance copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley.
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This book grabbed me and pulled me in from the first page. Well drawn characters and an excellent story line kept me reading well past bed time. Don't miss this one!
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The never say die attitude in this book exhibited by the main character is the pedestal for all women to obtain.
Down the Broken Road is an amazing journey into Rachel Carver's heroism.
A shameful cover up after a wrongful death case is front and center as Rachel took the heat for it all.
She uncovers the truth between a horrific murder and her past case that will blow it out of the water.
Can she prove her innocence and save her life before the killer strikes again?
An amazing powerful read from JR Backlund.
Thank you to JR, his publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review
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The second in the Rachel Carver mystery series, this book answers a lot of the questions unanswered in Among the Dead. Readers should start with the first book to fully grasp the storyline. Rachel is an excellent investigator who is having a difficult time with her past. Readers will enjoy seeing her in action as she seeks answers in her own personal way. Recommended!
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I absolutely enjoyed this book. It took me a while to get into it. This is the first book I'm reading in the series with the never say die attitude of Rachel Carver. I think the author did a fantastic job on her. There's so much depth and the crime makes you keep turning pages. I was up till 4 finishing this book. Just when you think everything's resolved, there's another plot twist.  I thought the relationship between Rachel and Braddock was bittersweet and sad. There seemed to be no reward for her despite all the hard work she put in solving a crime and helping the military finding the perp.
The author needs to be commended for research. This book is much better than watching a TV show. 
If I had any issues, it was with the number of characters. Because I didn't know the series, i felt the first 50 pages had too many characters and I had a hard time keeping track of them.  Once you know them the book is a thrilling ride. I would love to read more in this series.
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I enjoyed this new book about Rachel Carver. It continues the plot lines from "Among the Dead" so I'd recommend reading that excellent mystery first.  I did find the plethora of suspects a bit confusing, which is why I only gave it 4 stars. I did NOT anticipate the twist at the end! I look forward to more books by this author.
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I would recommend this mystery novel to those who enjoy the cop genre because it follows a FBI agent.
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Rachel Carver had to give up her badge and her career at the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation when an operation when south, leaving an innocent woman dead. Rachel was the scapegoat for her powerful superiors and paid the ultimate price while they walked away. Now she’s a legal investigator and her newest case involving a brutal murder has close connections with the case that cost Rachel her career. Someone out there knows the truth and they are bound and determined that it comes out, no matter what the cost
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