Book Review: Aaron Cooley’s The Guns of Ridgewood: A Western of Modern America

February 20, 2017 5 out of 5, review 0 ★★★★★

Book Review: Aaron Cooley’s The Guns of Ridgewood: A Western of Modern AmericaTitle: The Guns of Ridgewood: A Western of Modern America
Author: Aaron Cooley
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
My Rating: five-stars
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Sour Manco was once the most decorated agent of the FBI's High Value Targets team, while also making a lucrative freelance living as an under-the-table fixer for US Senators. Today, he has returned to Texas a broken man, his career destroyed by scandal, his family by tragedy. When offered a chance at redemption in the horrific case of the Congressional Killers, he must face head-on the demons that destroyed his life, and delve into the darkest depths of America's gun industry.

Aaron Cooley’s The Guns of Ridgewood is a thought provoking new thriller and if you’ve never read any of his previous novels, you don’t know what you’re missing! Cooley is a favorite of mine and you’ll see why.

We have really good characterization. Sour Manco is a broken man and I wasn’t sure what to make of him. I really enjoyed getting to know him and finding out about his past. You’ll easily root for him and while I hope we’ll see more of Sour in future books, I think he’s done telling his own story. We have a wide array of secondary characters that play a role including Jill, a former Army Ranger and a Congressman, Homer Blunt. Then we have our Congressional Killers, a trio of men who were once heroes in their own right. I won’t say who they are or what profession they had, but you’ll definitely see their betrayal and yet understand why they did it.

As for the motive of the Congressional Killers, I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it certainly makes you think. America’s gun violence has been in the headlines these past few years and we can all agree that we need gun control. Cooley doesn’t make you chose a side, but he certainly makes you think and once we know what the motive is, you can’t help but feel something for the Congressional Killers. He certainly makes it difficult for the reader to side with the trio. Is it okay for us, to appreciate what they are trying to achieve? Or are we giving in and making gun violence a normal part of our lives?

What I really enjoy about Cooley’s writing are his descriptions. For example, I adore this sentence, “The gaping maw of the biker’s gun replacing his face in Jamal’s eyeline-The flare in the muzzle silent, seeming to go on forever in dramatic ’80s movie slo-mo, until its slug descended right between his eyes-and all went black.” Sure it’s a little graphic, but it’s the line about it being slow motion and you can just imagine it happening and then nothing. Talk about chills! The Guns of Ridgewood is a fast paced read and it’s easy to imagine a scene as if you were watching a film. On a quick side note, while this is his third novel, he does mention a character from his second book, Four Seats. Cooley causally brings up President Salas and what happened in Four Seats, but it’s nothing to deter you from enjoying Four Seats in the future or distract from The Guns of Ridgewood. I really liked knowing we still had President Salas.

If you’re looking for a thriller or a new author to try, I highly recommend Aaron Cooley! I personally can’t wait for his next book!

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