"In the Crosshairs" By Terry Odell: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook or print copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

The Quiet Life of a Cowboy…Not Hardly!

The Triple-D Ranch has belonged to the Cooper family for three generations and currently is in the hands of Derek Cooper, the “D-man,” who is a former Army Ranger that had also worked for a time with the private covert ops firm Blackthorne, Inc. His ranch hands are also former Rangers, who, after the intensity of military duty, found life on a Colorado ranch the change they needed. However, Derek’s “peace” is elusive with the arrival of an attractive woman and discovery of a possible bioterrorism plot (In Hot Water). Bryce Barrett, an ex K-9 handler, finds handling animals easier than people, so he’s reluctant to help out with Derek’s sister’s Helping Through Horses program that offers troubled kids a second chance by working on local ranches. He becomes suspicious when cattle from all over the area start coming up dead (In Deep Trouble). Tim Halloran, too, was seeking a less stressful life and a way to put behind him the horrors he experienced as an Army sniper, but when a new acquaintance has conflicts with her ex-spouse, he steps in to help (In Dire Straits). Frank Wembly, ex-Army Scout, accepted an invitation from Derek to work at the ranch, and is dubbed “Sherlock” for his tracking skills. He also desires a quiet, uncomplicated life along with no entanglements, but he, too, becomes involved with a woman and the case of the missing cattle (In the Crosshairs).

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In the Crosshairs
Earns 5/5 Wire Cutters…Engaging Entertainment!

Frank Wembly was expecting to enjoy his day off, until the D-man, Derek Cooper, his boss and owner of the Triple-D cattle ranch, called at five o’clock in the morning demanding he come to the ranch and use his “magic” to track down dozens of cattle that got loose from the pen…although, in this case, “got loose” might be more accurately described as “cattle rustling.” The fence wires were deliberately cut, but evidence at the scene is circumstantial at best. Most of the cattle is rounded up, but four cows are still missing.

Kiera O’Leary is a financial advisor who refused to sleep her way to a promotion. With the evidence she’s collected thru emails and phone records detailing her bosses indiscretions, she figures Stu Thurman would not fight her when he learns she’s not returning to work after her vacation. Driving along, enjoying the beautiful Colorado morning, eager to capture it all on her camera, she’s shocked to see a bovine blockade. Braked. Swerved. Air bags deployed. She sees the blurry image of a man in a gray cowboy hat, “Hi, I’m Frank.”

Neither Frank or Kiera are interested in getting personal, but both are having feelings that seem to be “worming into their hearts.” Kiera had her own struggle about what to do with sleaze-ball Stu, and after speaking to her contacts at work, it seems Stu is neck deep in more than harassing women. But, she’s not there, so she picked up a burner phone to make it easier, and more private, to keep abreast of what was going on. The Triple-D’s investigation into the missing cattle has hit a few roadblocks, and the phone calls threatening Derek and curious accounting issues are complicating the matter. Both have become invested in each other’s predicament, and what do they say? Two heads are better than one.

In”triguing Fun! Terry Odell has penned an engaging suspense with a lovely, slow-building or fast-braking romance added to a few twists, entertaining connections, a bit of redemption, second chances, second careers, and the joint effort to solve two very different problems. The two issues are compelling in their interest, but vary in how much direct involvement the main characters have. Kiera relies on emails and contacts by a burner phone with some insiders at her work to provide updates, but it still gets intense when a friend is put in deadly jeopardy. Frank is more hands on finding information from footprints, searches for similar incidents, and hidden cameras. Both final results are surprises, but one requires compassion and the other a slap of the handcuffs. It’s not quite love at first sight for the two, but it is romantic, and the reluctance to start a relationship, even a “vacation fling,” has realistic motives for both with which many can easily identify: past failures, incompatible lifestyles, just plain fear. The resolution is perfect for both personalities; no one, especially the female character, is sacrificing dreams for love. Odell’s descriptive narrative offers additional insights into the ins and out of a working cattle ranch, managing predators, and camaraderie and cowboy codes along with the ins and outs of photography from composition to lighting to publishing. Well-developed. Realistic characters and conflicts. Satisfying conclusion. Loved it!

Be a Big Terry Odell fan!
“Romance, with a twist of mystery” Terry Odell is the author of four series offering something for every fan of good writing: Triple-D Ranch, Mapleton Mystery, Blackthorne Inc. and Pine Hills Police series.

Facebook-Author Terry Odell Website-Terry OdellBlog-Terry’s Place

To enter to win an ebook or print copy (winner's choice) of In the Crosshairs, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "crosshairs,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 2, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter.  If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK AND IF PRINT AND ENTERING VIA EMAIL PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS. 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 just went up.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
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. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. Remance and intrigue - all in one book.
    Sounds interesting. Print copy, please.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. Would love to get a print copy! tWarner419@aol.com

  4. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading. I prefer a print copy.


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