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  • Everyone needs a book like this

    What do you do if you’re tired of living the life that was entirely planned by your parents? You just smile and walk away. What do you do if you’re a new detective assigned to a missing person’s case? You search, even when you know you shouldn’t. Tired of hiding her secret and wishing to make her own way in the world, Velma Bloom blows her entire trust fund on the car of her dreams instead of attending graduate school. Much to her parents’ chagrin, she drives off to start a new life in Yonkers, New York. She quickly settles into a comforting routine working at Lonnie’s Pub as a waitress and spending time with her cat, Carrot, and her not-boyfriend, Brett. She is happy in her new life with no plans to upgrade her future. A single phone call forces Velma into action, trying to discover her father’s past and to come to terms with parts of herself that she has had to keep hidden all these years. Her sudden disappearance effects everyone and, with a possible link to a double homicide, is a case that Detective Jackson Duran is quickly consumed with solving. Overall, Smile and Walk Away by Danielle Riedel is a recommended read. While I was initially a bit disappointed with the slow pace, I had simply began reading this book while in the mood for something a bit more fast-paced. I was still caught up in the unique storyline and the interesting characters. There are even plenty of action scenes, just none ranging over several pages. This ties into my only other complaint that Velma solves her dilemma’s a bit too quickly for closeness to be developed by the reader, only admiration. Neither of these is enough of an issue to overshadow the amount of talent that Riedel displays in this novel or the amount of enjoyment I gained while reading it. This is a book to be read on a quiet rainy day when feeling a bit too lazy for anything containing extensive adrenaline, or for those times when you want to read but can’t allow yourself to get too caught up. There is a need for a book like this in everyone’s life and Danielle Riedel has written it.

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  • Excellent Read

    Everything about Velma Bloom—her taste in cars, booze, and boys— seems like a deliberate defiance of her upper-middle class upbringing. When she is reported missing, Detective Jackson Duran will learn, nothing is as it seems. Thrust onto a trail of buried secrets, CIA experiments, and Russian agents, each must decide what is truly important or risk being shattered. When it comes to thrillers, especially those with writings about the CIA, DARPA, etc., I am extremely critical. This work of fiction was superbly done and deserves some time in the spotlight. I look forward to the next books in the series.

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