Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (07/2022)
“The Avaricious,” continues the Howard Watson Intrigue series by JoAnn Fastoff.
In this episode, Howard and his team are called to investigate the case of two scientists who have gone missing. Shortly after they begin their investigation, two Piscataway Indigenous people find the body of one in the Chesapeake Bay. Despite the two reaching out to authorities to report their discovery, law enforcement treats them with suspicion. When the other lost scientist shows up on their tribal land, she has amnesia. Due to the initial suspicion by authorities, nobody is in a rush to report her sudden appearance. Shortly after, they realize she is in danger and try to protect her.
The two scientists were working with the army on creating microchip technology that will allow for the safe destruction of anti-personnel landmines. Black market entrepreneurs earn a great deal of wealth from collection and sale of the millions of land mines that were left behind in places like Vietnam. To find a solution to this issue will affect their financial gains, so they must put a stop to this invention. Howard Watson and his team must work quickly to find this woman and discover who is responsible for trying to stop this amazing program that will ultimately save lives. They go undercover to seek answers.
Once again, I loved stepping back into the Howard Watson Intrigue series. It is always fun to catch up with the returning characters and discover what new adventure Fastoff has in store for them. While I was aware that land mines were still an issue, I had no clue to the size of the problem that it really is. I looked for more information about this, and the numbers around the world are horrific. The illegal sale is also very real.
In addition to enjoying a great crime thriller, I also like that Fastoff introduces me to issues that are really happening in the world. I always go to the internet to look up more information so I can better educate myself. I also enjoyed that she incorporated history from the Chesapeake Bay area and discussed issues that the Indigenous People are still experiencing in this novel. Presenting these topics in a story with realistic characters really brings it to life for the reader.
I look forward to seeing where JoAnn Fastoff will take Howard Watson and his team on their next adventure. Readers can read this book without having read the others first as it stands well on its own, however, I can guarantee that they will want to go back and read the others! “The Avaricious,” intrigue is fast-paced and had me reading it in a single sitting. Highly recommended reading!