News of the World:
Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd has survived some of the bloodiest battles in America's short history. Now, in 1870 the widowed Captain spends his time travelling and reading news from around the world to paying audiences. In Wichita Falls, he is called into service once again; but this time he isn't carrying news. Four years earlier, the Kiowa Indians slaughtered a family and took a six-year-old girl captive. She has been raised in the Kiowa culture, forgotten most of the English language and now has been re-captured to be returned to her aunt and uncle in Castroville, Texas. Captain Kidd takes on the wild, young Johanna for the 400 mile journey. Knowing nothing of the civilized world, Johanna is confused and upset, and keeping her safe and secure proves to be a challenge during the dangerous journey. However, as they progress the Captain and Johanna form a strong bond.
I loved the premise of this book, an older and wiser Captain Kidd taking in a young captive. Johanna's story, which is based on many true accounts of captive children who are returned to their original lives, captivated me. Johanna's journey in her mind was far more dangerous than their journey on the road. Johanna went through many emotional and psychological changes. We get a few insights into what is going on in her head, but not many. I feel like Johanna's inner dialogue would have been the most interesting; however the writing was done in third person, so we only get a few snippets. One quote that did stick out to me was: "It was not worth being alive when one was alone among aliens." The Captain's gentle, compassionate and patient nature with Johanna was wonderful to read about, without him, I'm sure she would not have survived. News of the World also gave me a great sense of what life was like in post-civil war Texas as the unlikely duo traveled from North to South throughout the state. This was a wonderful overview of the dangers, the people and the landscape of Texas at the time.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Hogg County North Carolina is known for its hog production industry. In the area, Martin Farms, Inc. owned by Owen Martin contracts and controls the majority of the hog industry for smaller farmers. On the day of a violent Carolina storm, two young boys, Paulie Reavis and Hank Grier are playing in Mitchell Creek below Wallace May's hog waste lagoon. When the storm proves too fierce, the lagoon breaks and the boys are swept away in a mix of water and hog manure. Paulie Reavis dies and Hank Grier is seriously injured. For Lana Reavis, the death of her son after the suspicious death of her husband Paul Sr., is too much to handle. Especially because both deaths were suspicious accidents connected to Martin Farms. Chief Deputy Will Moser is on both cases, especially since Paulie was like a son to him, and some local folks are beginning to blame the Griers for Paulie's death due to the color of their skin. As Will begins to dig deeper and question those involved in Martin Farms, he finds a lot of new information. For Lana however, she now seeks justice in another name- revenge.
Justice By Another Name opens with the most beautiful description of the outdoor environment of eastern North Carolina and a very realistic scene of young boys at play that instantly grabbed my attention and allowed me to picture everything perfectly. Then, quickly turned into one of the most terrifying death scenes I could imagine- drowning in pig manure. From here, I was intrigued by Will's investigation into the hog production industry and Lana's involvement into the veterinary side of hogs. Learning about all of this was really interesting to me, especially about how the pigs are treated and different diseases that they carry. Will's investigation brought out the seedier side of the industry and what farmers might do in order to cover up when something goes wrong. The suspense and mystery of the book was not so much who caused Paul Sr. and Paulie's deaths, but the reasons why they were killed. Will's journey into the mind of the killer and Lana's sophisticated way of revenge lead to an exciting and thrilling ending.