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Monday, May 5, 2014

By Any Means: An Ash Rashid Novel

I picked this novel up on a whim because I love crime and it was well worth it. In fact, I am looking forward to grabbing a few more of Chris Culver's Ash Rashid novels. This one is By Any Means. 

Ash Rashid just wants to go home. It's Ramadan, he's hungry and tired, and now he has spied a car accident. What he doesn't know as he calls it in is that he is about to face one of the biggest, most sprawling cases of his career. A couple is dead, shot in the front seats, a young mother is missing and the 911 tape doesn't sound good at all, and Ash quickly receives a tip that human trafficking may be involved. Is it really all in a day's work?

I whipped through this sucker like nobody's business. I had such a hard time finding the will to put it down in the face of work. It was fast-paced and interesting while still being full of information and thoughtful in its story. The detail was precise while still allowing me as the reader to expand my imagination, and to explore a world that I (very thankfully) know little about. It was realistic enough for me to buy it and fascinating enough for me to stretch my own ability to believe. That is what I loved about this book.

I also found the character of Ash to be well worth coming back to in other novels that I haven't yet read. He is a human, through and through. He has flaws but he means well; his marriage faces issues like all others, and his job takes a toll on his psyche like any high-stress job does. He is a real person (although he is a fictional character--I know, I know, I haven't lost my mind), one with high points and low points, a person who faces trials and makes mistakes and is raw and real and upfront about it. I love this in my characters.

I also found it incredibly interesting that Culver has put such a strong and respectful emphasis on Ash's religion. He addresses it upfront and honestly, and Ash deals with it as a part of the story without it being a focus. It is weaved in beautifully with the narrative and gave me as the reader a real understanding of Ash's backbone and why he does what he does.

Hard copy only below. 

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