Cover Image: Havoc

Havoc

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Universe moves mountains or it can destroy them into rubble. It's all in the intent.

People move in such a complicated way along the lines of good and bad. The gray areas run neither hot nor cold. And what sets thoughts into actions is always back to that element of intent.

Eva Durand is back again as a Taos Police tribal officer. She serves the Taos Pueblo community in Taos, New Mexico. Eva covers a wide range in her jurisdiction under quite the challenging circumstances. Her community knows one another with families established for eons. But what really is a thorn in the side is the constant upheaval in determining who is reliable and truthful during these unsettling times. People present themselves with open faces while hiding their questionable intent.

Eva reacts quickly to the call that comes in with a bank robbery in progress. The robber was masked and wearing a long wig. Two officers were down with one severely injured. Tracking this sly lawbreaker is going to be a challenge. He's slipped out of the bank and into the oncoming traffic like a phantom. Seems like this phantom had a well planned plan.

We'll also come upon a young Pueblo boy who got his hands on a 3-D Glock. It's not going to end well. It appears that someone is flooding the market with these 3-D replicas. Eva is going to go up against an unsuspecting purveyor of these weapons. And the damage inflicted upon this Pueblo community will be huge in loss of life.

Deborah J. Ledford presents a remarkable journey into the lives of the Taos Pueblo community. She respectfully relates the challenges of today's world seeping into the reservation life. Keeping her people in check and being pro-active to their needs is an uphill battle for Eva. Havoc reads as a perfect standalone, but you may wish to pick up Redemption #1 to give yourself a feel for the character of Eva Durand. Ledford creates a wide circle with well developed characters and a timely storyline that all should take note of. Bravo, Deborah J. Ledford, just bravo.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Thomas & Mercer and to Deborah J. Ledford for the opportunity.

Was this review helpful?

Feel so lucky to be given the chance to read Havoc by @thrillerbookloversthepulse @djledford @amazonpublishing #partner #pulsepoint #thepulse

🗯️Thoughts
This was such a great change of pace and vibe from the typical “thriller” with stellar writing and a well developed plot! This is actually a sequel to Redemption, however read perfectly as a standalone. This is my second “Tribal” book I’ve read in the last year and although I can’t say I normally gravitate to them, I have enjoyed both so much! It kind of makes me reminiscent of learning new things at school back in the day. I always feel like it’s a breath of fresh air to learn about a new culture and this one was awesome! If you are a fan of crime novels, multiple sub stories within a plot, reading about other cultures and a solid mystery make sure to grab yourself a copy of this one!

📖 What it’s about:

Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran has joined the Taos Police department and is tasked with uncovering who murdered one of her own and the why behind it. A bank robbery gone bad leaves an officer gunned down and the suspect disappears into thin air. The murder weapon is a 3D printed gun and it’s Eva’s job to find out how everything is tied together and uncover who is behind this crime syndicate.

Was this review helpful?

Although I never read Redemption, the first “Lightning Dance” Duran mystery by Deborah J. Ledford, that didn’t prevent me from enjoying the second one, Havoc. Ledford easily slips readers into the landscape, rituals, and people of the Taos Pueblo reservation where Eva Duran is now with the tribal police.

A dramatic bank robbery in Taos sets the scene, and introduces a villain, the city police, and the tribal police, including Eva. She doesn’t shy away from confrontation, and she’s frustrated to be stuck checking traffic on the reservation when the action in town. However, the feds and town police are responsible for the investigation into the robbery and shooting of a police officer. But, the tribal police soon have a bigger responsibility, the shooting death of one of their own, a young boy who waved a gun on a school field trip.

Nathan Trujillo, Little Bear, will be brought home for all the funeral rituals of the Taos Pueblo. It’s agonizing for Eva and others to realize Little Bear had a gun, a 3D printed handgun, one of many that are now appearing at crime scenes. They’re determined to find the person responsible for making the guns, and distributing them.

While it’s difficult to keep all the characters straight, with the multiple points of view, Ledford excels at the descriptions of the Taos Pueblo, the people, and the rituals. Ledford’s earlier book, Snare, was nominated for the Hillerman Sky Award, best mystery capturing the landscape of the Southwest. In Havoc, she does that again with a beautiful, sometimes mystical book.

Was this review helpful?

Deb Ledford once again brings heart to the story of Eva "Lightning Dance" Duran. In Duran, Ledford has created an intriguing heroine who doesn't shy away from trouble as she investigates a crime in the Taos Pueblo community. Ledford's story is equal parts beautiful prose and character development, mixed with a compelling and twisty plot. Ledford ones again demonstrates why she is an author to be watched. This is a must read!!

Was this review helpful?

Eva Duran's character is so vivid and real that she practically leaps off the page with her deep roots in the community. I didn't read the first book, but I was able to follow this one without any issues at all with the backstory provided that didn't weigh down the plot. I also enjoyed the Taos Pueblo setting rich with the culture of the Native American Pueblo people. This book was so well-plotted, mysterious, and heartwrenching that it kept me glued to the page. I highly recommend this one to fans of mystery thrillers rich in cultural experiences.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book. The ending was awfully abrupt, enough to knock half a star off my rating, but in a 5-star system a 4.5 still rounds to a 5-star rating in this case. Ledford's book reminds me of the Hillerman series, and of Rudolfo Anaya's books. I was wishing in this book that there were recipes or plant identification info in the back of the book, especially when the characters were talking about traditional plants and their medicinal uses. . I loved that there are so many strong female characters in this novel, a shortcoming that always bugs me a bit in Tony HIllerman's and Anaya's books.

Was this review helpful?

The title of this one says it all, Havoc! If you are looking for a multicast thriller novel, then this is your series. Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran is back to duty and it is getting right back into the saddle for her. Now a member of the Taos Pueblo tribal police, she has her hands full with a bank robbery, a few murders and plastic 3D printed guns that keep turning up at the different scenes. But with there being other departments a part of these cases as well, she keeps getting pushed out but Eva is determined to connect the dots and bring justice for one of their own that was killed. Although there was a lot of characters and a few story lines going on, the novel flowed well and the author did an amazing job bringing it all together in a very realistic way. I also really enjoyed learning about some of the beliefs and rituals on the reservation as well as the everyday struggles they deal with. I will be looking forward to reading more in this series and now I need to go back and read the first book so I can learn more about Eva and her past. Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the complementary ebook. I am excited to be a part of show casing this novel with Thriller Book Lovers the Pulse this summer. This review is of my own opinion and accord.

Was this review helpful?

An easy to read mystery set in the beautiful state of New Mexico with the majority of the characters residents of the Taos Pueblo. Rich in native traditions and ceremonies, I felt the mystery took a back seat to the treasures contained in the book.

An okay read.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.

I LOVE THIS Series,!

"Havoc," the second book in the Eva "Lightning Dance" Duran series by Deborah J Ledford, is a riveting thriller that delves deep into the heart of Taos Pueblo. The protagonist, Eva Duran, returns to the tribal police force to investigate a murder that threatens to fracture her community. With a backdrop of rising racial tensions and the introduction of untraceable 3D-printed guns, the stakes are higher than ever.

Ledford's writing is sharp and immersive, capturing the essence of the Taos Pueblo with vivid descriptions and complex characters that bring the story to life. The novel's pacing is tight, with each chapter ratcheting up the tension as Eva uncovers layer after layer of conspiracy.

What sets "Havoc" apart is its authentic representation of Native American culture and the nuanced portrayal of community dynamics. The book doesn't shy away from addressing the challenges faced by the Taos Pueblo people, weaving social commentary into a fast-paced narrative.

Eva Duran is a compelling lead—resilient, determined, and deeply connected to her heritage. Her journey is not just one of solving a crime but also of personal redemption and growth. The supporting cast is equally well-developed, from fellow tribal cops to the victim's family, each adding depth to the unfolding drama.

In conclusion, "Havoc" is a must-read for fans of the genre. It's a thought-provoking thriller that combines cultural richness with a gripping plot. Deborah J Ledford has crafted a story that is both entertaining and enlightening, solidifying her place as a skilled storyteller in the realm of suspense fiction.

Was this review helpful?

This was a strong sequel to Redemption, it has everything that I was looking for based on this book. The characters were everything that I was hoping for and thought they worked in this universe. I was never bored when reading this and glad it was so well done. Deborah J Ledford writes strong characters and had a great plot going through this. I can't wait to read more from this series.

Was this review helpful?

The second in this series has Eva Duran in a new position with the tribal police. Eva is part of the Pueblo tribe in Taos New Mexico. She has family, friends and strong ties to the community, including some complicated relationships. 3D printed handguns are surfacing in the latest crimes. The resulting deaths will be needless, unfathomable and heartbreaking. I liked learning about the customs and burial rites of the tribe, even as the theme was solemn, emotional and difficult to think about. I enjoyed the setting and descriptive vistas. The characters are all distinct and unique. I’m happy to have discovered this author and look forward to reading more in the series.
An uncorrected advance reader copy of “Havoc” Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran Series #2, by Deborah J Ledford, Published by Thomas & Mercer, expected publication date 07/30/2024, was provided by NetGalley. These are all my own honest personal thoughts and opinions given voluntarily without compensation.

Was this review helpful?

For the briefest of moments, Eva wondered if the man on the floor would still be grateful for her and Cruz's intervention after...

I very much enjoyed Redemption so it was a no-brainer I needed to get my hands on Havoc! Eva is such a strong literary character and I find it fascinating to read about the Taos Pueblo people. I still adore Kai, who is gentle and wise beyond his years.

It seemed as though there were more points of view in Havoc than there had been in Redemption. I appreciated that the chapter titles gave the name of the person speaking but I had a bit of trouble keeping track of the people who weren't main characters. (On the other hand, I've possibly reached the age of needing to make notes as I read!) I'm eager to see what happens next in this series!

Many thanks to both #ThomasAndMercer and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of Havoc! This book is #2 in the Eva "Lightning Dance" Duran series and the expected publication date is July 30th, 2024.

#TaosPuebloPeople #DeborahJLedford

Was this review helpful?

This was my first experience with author Ledford, and I'm happy to say it won't be my last. It takes a lot to hold my interest, yet this novel did so brilliantly. "Havoc" is the follow-up to "Redemption" and even though I didn't read the first book, it didn't affect my enjoyment of this sequel. Ledford gives enough background on previous events so that one doesn't have to read "Redemption" first in order to understand what's going on in the story.

I seek out stories featuring New Mexico because I live here in Northern NM, and oftentimes they ring a bit inauthentic and stereotypical. Ledford portrayed Taos and Taos Pueblo realistically, along with Pueblo native culture and life. The story was fast paced and had enough suspense to keep me reading long into the night. I will be looking to read "Redemption" and hope Ledford will continue this series. 4.5 stars

Was this review helpful?

The book is emotional and it has multiple POVs. The characters were mysterious. The world building is perilous and full of conspiracies and mysteries. So many unthinkable things happens in the plot including bank robbery, killing people with 3d printed guns. Somehow robbery and Killing has some connection. The author has shared insight of the law. Eva gets tangled in murders, conspiracies and mystery of the 3D Printed Guns, Will she be able to find a way to stop all the unexpected happenings? Will she be able to find the killer?

Many Thanks to the Author, Publisher and Netgalley.

Was this review helpful?