I just finished reading this book and want to write the review while it is fresh in my mind.
The genre for, “The Old Woman & the Mad Horse…”, by Cage Dunn and Rose Brimson, is action thriller. It takes place in the sparsely populated town of Brimpaen (that actually exists but is being used fictitiously here) in Australia. The story starts out pretty calmly, where Hella Solaris, a six-foot plus tall woman who is an “ex-operative” of a secret organization, plans on settling down from her previous top secret job. She’s had her boss find the perfect little out-of-the-way ranch for her and he’s taken care of all of the paperwork.
It doesn’t take Hella, who is a sharp, trained fighter long to start catching on that something is amiss about the property and the location itself. There is a mystery to be solved, and if it isn’t solved and solved properly, more people will die.
There is a varied cast of support characters, including the local police officer, Senior Sergeant Cameron Becher (Cam for short); Cella, Cam’s precocious 16 year-old daughter; Piotre, Hella’s ex-boss and the one who found the property for her; Reeni, The Old Woman; Big Boy Bad, the Mad Horse; and Reese, Thug, and Lump, unsavory characters Hella comes up against.
There are several things I like about this book. One is Hella herself. I like the way she thinks. The format of the book is a lot of Hella thinking inside of her head and sorting things out. Her mind doesn’t plod along the usual paths, as she has a wide variety of experiences and training that allows her to have an edge on many different circumstances. Such as staying alive. Hella has a lot of “special ops” knowledge and equipment that she uses, especially in the realm of surveillance, alarms, and encrypted communications.
Cam is a very interesting character. Big cop in a small town that I think he’s lived in all of his life. One of the things I like best about Cam, besides his tremendous love for his daughter, Cella, is that he knows the terrain and his turf in the town intimately. Knowing your turf can keep you alive when you’re being hunted.
Cella and Cella’s interactions with Hella and Cam are very enjoyable to read. Cella is a sharp teenager and she’s no pushover when it comes to being quiet and obedient when the adults talk. You might say she is the typical oppositional teenager but has a high IQ.
The final character I really enjoyed was Big Boy Bad, aka Bee Bee. There are many fun scenes around Bee-Bee, who has a mind of his own.
The chemistry between Hella and Cam is another fun part of the plot.
Without giving away too much, several lives are in danger when big corporations think there is a way to capture a market for a high tech product that will give them global dominion. The story here revolves around the frantic endeavor to obtain such dominion and the heroes trying to keep it from happening.
I thoroughly enjoyed, The Old Woman & the Mad Horse – Case File for: the Big Three Mining Investigations. Readers who like high tech equipment, thrillers, thugs, women who are smart and tough, precocious teenagers, within an interwoven romance (it is not too heavy on romance as they are too busy trying to stay alive!) will enjoy this book.
Favorite quotes from the book:
Prioritise. If it was a mission, the choices were easy.
“Don’t you know what ordinary people do to protect each other?”
“I’m not ordinary, Cella.” That should warn the girl.
“No one is truly ordinary. But you could be. You know what it takes to put on the mask of ordinary, but you don’t seem to understand that under the mask is the real thing — got one of those in your kit bag? A real person who’s more than a mask for the job?”
His brain spun out into the speckles of stars, wandered like a lost soul for a few seconds.
The first time, she’d done it off her own instincts, and he’d ripped her to shreds for not including the team in her decisions, but since then, he’d asked her what she’d have done if alone. This was why. There would always come a time when no one could help. Working alone meant making those choices, taking those chances.