"Hellfire" By John Gilstrap: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Jonathan Grave and the Big Guy usually do hostage recovery work, hired by those who are paying the ransom. This time, it’s personal. 

 Resurrection House, a home for kids whose parents are incarcerated, is funded by Jonathan. Ryder and Geoff, ages thirteen and eleven, are on their way to the home now that their father was killed and mom taken away by federal agents. The kids are sure of only one thing—their lives are going to suck big time from now on. 

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The kids aren’t sure what their parents did to get into so much trouble, and no one’s telling them. When their van is stopped enroute, things go from scary to terrifying as the boys are kidnapped. 

 Connie, their mom, agrees to a plea deal: testify against a drug cartel, get into witness protection, be with her kids again. She’s sure the cartel will never stop looking for her, but it’s better than life in prison—until she gets word things are not what they seem. Meanwhile, the boys are guarded by two men: one scary, the other a psychopath who loves to hurt people. 

 Jonathan’s problem is how do you find two kids when you have no idea where they are, who took them, and can’t count on government help? He’s sure of one thing. Connie’s between the proverbial rock and a hard place while trying to protect her life, the lives of her kids, and dealing with multiple threats. The more he learns, the more he’s afraid, the threat is not just to the lives of Connie and the kids but to the American public. Now he has to save them all. 

This is book twelve of the thriller series. Jonathan is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goal which is always go to the rescue, no matter the cost. In this case, readers will see there’s more to Big Guy than intimidation—we’re treated to a look into his home as well as what happens when an adult hurts a child. Gail is along as the voice of reason—to the extent she can be. 

Gilstrap provides a well-thought out tale of bravery, multiple threads that weave a tight story with bits of humor throughout. His knowledge of weaponry is shown without distracting from the plot. As always, the closer the reader gets to the end of the book, the faster the pages turn to see how it ends, with reluctance to know it will. The amount of suspense results in breath being held, right up to the last word. This is a series I never miss. 

 Look for Gilstrap’s new thriller series (in addition to Jonathan Grave, not instead of!) coming in February 2021. Find a teaser chapter in this book to whet appetites for Crimson Phoenix, pre-orders available now. 

To enter to win a copy of Hellfire, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "hellfire,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 10, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see 

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Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I've read some of the books in this series. Count me in!

  2. New author and series for me, sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  3. Sounds like an interesting book. Looking forward to reading.

  4. I have already purchased and read this book. John Gilstrap is a terrific author who keeps me on the edge of my seat every time! I highly recommend this author and everyone of his books!

  5. This sounds really good. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  6. Sounds like an interesting series. Hadn't heard of it before
    but I'm ready to try it out. thanks txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com


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