Rogue the Durum (Ezra James Mystery Book One)

Rogue the Durum (Ezra James Mystery Book One)

What does an FBI Special Agent, a Chicago detective, a Rwandan Priest, and a Finnish national all have in common? Sounds like the beginning of a joke. It’s not. Rather, it’s the premise behind the entertaining mystery Rogue the Durum by Stephen J. Kolbe.

When a social network executive is found stabbed to death and a Finnish heiress go missing, Evanston PD detective Lucia Vargus and FBI Special Agent Ezra James must put their mutual attraction aside, move past their emotional baggage, and unravel the loose thread connecting the two. When they discover the deceased’s letter warning of South Pacific Islanders “roguing the drum,” it hints that his death may be tied to a horrific genocide. But has a crime been committed here? And if so, is it suicide, murder, kidnapping, or all three? Soon Ezra’s and Lucia’s paths cross with a Finnish Investigator and a priest who surprisingly have more invested in this federal inquiry than they could even imagine.

When Steven sent me his book, I was excited to dig in and discover how the series would be launched.

I soon discovered this “unputdownable” book was incredibly well-researched, with rich, compelling, and relatable characters, not to mention a plot—while expansive—with a swift pace. I love a book that promises a lost soul, down on his luck protagonist. Both Ezra and Lucia bring their own intriguing baggage to the pursuit of justice, making me long for book two so I can learn more of their backstories.

I always like to make a mini comparison when I can. So here goes it. Maybe it was the Nordic influences peppered throughout or the central sources of conflict’s disturbing proclivities and head games, but something about this book reminds me of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, The Exception by Christine Jurgesen, and Sign of the Maker by Brian Shea.

But let me be clear. Stephen has created his own path and Rogue the Durum promises the beginning of a wonderful series.

Source and Image Courtesy of Stephen J. Kolbe

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