The Elizabeth Walker Affair
Mason Alley Publishing (2020)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (1/2021)
The fact that “The Elizabeth Walker Affair” is the seventh book in the Jake Travis novel series is a testament to the author’s way with words and story crafting. The intricate details of the setting and character descriptions loll the reader into the Florida climate and scenery Lane creates.
Bookended by love, this winding tale kicks off with a private murder investigation ignited by a visit from a US Marshal. “The Elizabeth Walker Affair” is delightfully and heartbreakingly romantic while shrouded in the mystery of death and killing. Rocketing into action within the first twenty pages, readers are kept firmly within the plot’s grasp until the very last page.
Author, Robert Lane, enchants readers as we explore different cities within the Florida corridor, attending several lobbyist fundraisers and confronting several characters with checkered pasts. “The Elizabeth Walker Affair” simultaneously feels like a murder mystery while remaining wholly within the illusion of a lost romance; readers will delight in Jake Travis’ unwinding of the robbery-gone-wrong killing of his old military buddy, just days after he approaches Jake for help.
Successfully reading as a standalone, there is a clear history between our protagonist, Jake, and his “friends.” From alluding to a murder charge our lead character was cleared of, to the Harbor House he set up with Morgan, the author injects Jake’s past throughout this book without making new readers feel left out. We are even given a look at Jake’s romantic interest and future wife, Kathleen, as Lane weaves Jake’s personal life into the story in an attempt to keep the read from becoming too murder heavy, thus maintaining its romantic feel.
However, perhaps the author’s greatest talent, is his ability to lyrically illustrate, in uncanny detail, Jake’s surroundings while crafting an attention-grabbing plot of lost romance and disguised murder. He is able to accomplish all this while never straying from taking on the heavy topics such as gun control, adultery, and adoption, as readers enter a world of NRA lobbyists, school shooting victims and Florida’s unique gun laws.
“The Elizabeth Walker Affair” may be the seventh in the series, but Lane provides a compelling argument to curl up and begin with book one, savoring every last lyrical detail of Jake Travis’ world.