The Raven by Mike Nappa

Disclaimer: The Raven, by Mike Nappa, was provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.

As part of his street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience’s pockets while they watch. It’s harmless fun—until he decides to keep the wallet of a prominent politician, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds compromising phots of the councilman and his “personal assistants,” The Raven hatches a plane to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named “Nevermore.” Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues to rescue The Traven from a wild card bent on revenge.

My rating: 3/5

I didn’t enjoy The Raven as much as I enjoyed the first Coffey and Hill novel Annabel Lee, but it was still an intense, suspenseful read. I could have done without the excessive description of every brand worn by the characters and every gun they pulled and every car they drove, though. It also seems like Nappa spends more time describing Trudi than anyone else, and it ends up seeming like a forced “you’re supposed to like this girl and oh, yeah, she’s gorgeous, too, and has good taste so there’s no reason not to like her” type of thing. No other character gets quite the amount of description that she does.

While reading Annabel Lee before this book is not necessary, there are people and events described in The Raven that were from Annabel Lee. We also learn more about Samuel’s affair, and it takes a surprising little twist at the end (though not the surprising twist I was hoping for), which left me a little confused since it didn’t seem like it followed from what Nappa had revealed to us. However, I guess Nappa needs that continuing plot thread to link the books together (though it’s not overly necessary, in my opinion).

Even though The Raven didn’t grip me as much as Annabel Lee did, and I found the brand name description annoying, I did enjoy the book, especially the character Raven. He’s characterized well and is sympathetic in all the right places. The plot is also intense and has its suspenseful moments, though some of it was a little confusing to follow at times. But my dislikes were not enough to make me stop getting more Coffey and Hill novels in the future, so here’s to the next book!

Warnings: Violence, death.

Genre: Realistic, Christian

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