Layla's Song by Paul McCracken
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Thank you to Paul McCracken for giving me a copy of Layla's Song in exchange for an honest review!
Michael left his criminal past behind him and started an honest life. But the one act he did to free himself, will put his family in danger. His daughter is kidnapped by his old gang, and they refuse to return her unless he pays a ransom. Michael has five days to come up with the money. His wife has left him and the only help he can find is his estranged brother. But will five days be enough time for the two of them to save Layla?
Paul McCracken chose the perfect structure for his story. Each chapter was another day Layla was missing and one step closer to her fate. Michael’s actions became increasingly more risky and desperate as the days wore on, and it helped ramp up the tension the reader felt as the book raced to its conclusion. However, even though there was plenty of action and the allure of a dark past for the main character, there needed to be more development around the secondary characters.
Michael’s wife is more of a stand in than an actual character. While the story doesn’t revolve around their relationship, I would have liked to see more of her in the beginning. And more of a struggle with them trying to deal with Layla’s kidnapping together. There was plenty of room for conflict between the two of them, but she left abruptly in anger. And Carl, Michael’s estranged brother, is another character the reader doesn’t know much about. Despite him being beside Michael for most of the story, the reader doesn’t see below the surface of his character. I also found quite a few grammatical errors while reading. Unfortunately, when I encounter these, they do pull me out of the narrative.
Despite its downfalls, Layla’s Song is a plot-driven story filled with gun battles and daring escapes. Michael isn’t afraid to dive back into his past, and do whatever he has to save his daughter. And expect to be thrown some twists and turns as Michael tries to navigate the shifty waters of the criminal world. This is one book that will keep you on your toes.
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