Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review: A Fortress Defiled by Connie Johnson

Fortress Defiled

Title: A Fortress Defiled

Author: Connie Johnosn  (Author Website) (Facebook)

Genre: Mystery

Publisher:  Publish Green (May 28, 2015)

Length:  231 pages

Source:  Netgalley.com

About the Book: (from Goodreads.com)

Jillian Jax is an agent in the Special Homicide Unit, an elite division within the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. ‘Special’ in Jillian’s world, indicates murder that is excessively brutal or bizarre. Serial killings are under the purview of Special Homicide, as are mass murders. Ritual slaughter, as practice by certain cults, is also a part of their jurisdiction. There are two major theories regarding serial killings and other murderous atrocities. The first is that violence of this nature is on the increase. The second is that there has been no increase, but improved technology gives society coordinated information to a dark side of humanity that has always existed. Jillian embraces the dark side theory, as well she should.

As Jillian embarks upon each investigation, troublesome past life experiences, shared with the killers, are revealed. The murderers of today are malevolent manifestations, ghoulish beings echoing down through the ages. Jillian has shared previous existences with them, and has been victimized and abused by their heinous actions. It is now her job, both personal and professional, to break the links that have chained her to them in previous existences. She must reclaim her stolen power, and bring them to justice. Apprehension mounts as Jillian realizes the enormity of the past life involvement. She turns to Sondra, a friend from childhood, who is able to read and interpret the reincarnational past.

In A Fortress Defiled, Jillian confronts a blood-thirsty thug who is kidnapping and murdering St. Paul’s promising young men and women. The present day killer is a mirror image of his former self, a prince who preyed upon the youth of the Carpathian Mountains. Four hundred years ago, he ruled his domain with absolute authority. He was an arrogant and brutal man, who wished to maintain his vigor long past his allotted time. When his vitality began to wane, he turned to the youth in the villages, capturing and killing them so that he could consume their life force. Now, in the current time, he is repeating his past cruel actions.
Jillian knew him in the distant past. She must discover him in the present, bring justice to society, and redemption to herself.

About the Author & Narrator:  (from Author’s website http://www.conniejohnson3.com/about-the-author/)

ConnieConnie Johnson has long been a student of human behavior.  Her interest in what motivates people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions led to a lifetime career as a Social Worker.  She studied at the University of Minnesota, earning her Social Welfare degree during a time when community activism and personal empowerment were emphasized. In her extensive career as a Social Worker, Connie has worked with people who have experienced abuse and oppression, as well as those who seek to abuse and oppress.

In an effort to discover where ‘God’, or the ‘Cosmic Mind’ or ‘Universal Source Energy’ fit into the picture, she also became a student of both traditional religions, and non-traditional spiritual expressions and practices. During the course of her spiritual studies, she developed a special interest in reincarnation, karma, and past life issues.

Connie lives in St. Paul with her little dog and a good cup of coffee, happily surrounded by family and friends.

My Review: I love reading debut novels and A Fortress Defiled, A Jillian Jax Mystery by Connie Johnson is no exception.  A Fortress Defiled is set in St Paul, MN which added to my enjoyment of this book.  It is always enjoyable to read a story set in an area you are very familiar with.   A Fortress Defiled had me hooked by about 30% through the book.  I knew right there and then that I would be awake until I finished!  The story moves at a good pace and keeps the reader on edge to the very end.  

The main character, Jillian is a strong and talented agent with a special sense.  Without giving away too much, I want to say that I really found the premise of this special sense possessed by Jillian to be very unique and intriguing story element.  Jillian has many strong relationships in her life such as her family and her friend, Sondra that play an integral part in her life.    These relationships are very touching and very well developed by the author.  

I found the ending of A Fortress Defiled very satisfying.  It is evident throughout A Fortress Defiled that Connie Johnson put a lot of research into this book regarding Minnesota and Law Enforcement procedures.  The author describes herself as  a student of human behavior.  Her knowledge in this area is evident in her insightful psychological look into the thought process and actions of the characters.

My Rating: 4 – Yep, this book had me losing a bit of sleep.  I had to finish!  I will be looking forward to the next book in the Jillian Jax Mystery series.  I look forward to learning more about the key characters and their stories.  Considering, Connie Johnson’s initial development of these characters,  I don’t think I will be disappointed in future novels. 

The characters in A Fortress Defile learn first hand,  that the past always shapes our lives more than we realize.    If you are looking for a unique mystery with just the right amount of creepy, A Fortress Defiled by Connie Johnson will deliver.  

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing


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