Speaking Volumes (2021)
Reviewed by Diana Coyle for Reader Views (10/2021)
In “Bluff” by author John DeDakis, we see Lark Chadwick setting out on a new adventure, where everywhere she turns, trouble finds her. In Book 2 of this ongoing series, Lark will stop at nothing to get some real answers people are looking for regarding how real estate mogul Shane Duran is swindling retirees out of their retirement land they purchased from him years ago. As Lark peels back the layers of this entangled web of lies and deceit, she finds herself in some deep, hot water. Unfortunately, she may not be able to get out of this mess unscathed.
Mr. John DeDakis did not disappoint in “Bluff.” Right from the first page, it took me on a roller coaster ride right beside Lark, and I didn’t get off the ride until the very last page. The author has such a way of developing his characters and storyline to be 100% believable. I was completely engrossed in the storyline and he had me guessing how things might evolve as I turned the pages. I loved that he created Lark to be a flawed character that made mistakes – plenty of them- and she never had all the answers. She constantly had to probe for the truth for not only the retirees who were swindled out of their retirement land, but also the truth that could save her own neck.
The author led me down a path in which I started making assumptions, just like Lark did, throughout the story, and I learned right along with her whether I was right or not. I also enjoyed getting to know Lionel, her boss at the Pine Bluff Standard newspaper and his wife, on a much deeper level in this book. I felt these characters all worked extremely well together and I’m eager to see what Mr. DeDakis has up his sleeve with this ongoing suspense series.
“Bluff” would be good for teens and adult mystery readers. I also want to add that although this is an ongoing mystery series, I feel that each book could be read as a standalone, but to fully enjoy it, I highly recommend reading the books in sequence.