Review: A Voice from the Field: A Newberg Novel

A Voice from the Field: A Newberg Novel
A Voice from the Field: A Newberg Novel by Neal Griffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Voice From The Field
By Neal Griffin

Reviewed by Jay Gilbertson

It’s nearly summer, so, it’s beach reading review time. I recently zipped through a crime-thriller-novel a friend from my Eau Claire Memorial High School wrote and boy was it a page-turner! Perfect for the cottage porch, women as well as men have been devouring it and it’s a must-read for book clubs. One of the main focuses, human trafficking, is one author Griffin knows of only too well and the book is filled with many facets related to this horrible dilemma to discuss and chew and debate.
A little background on Griffin first as it gives his writing a hefty dose of significant gravity, not to mention the guy is a real life crime solving expert. He’s been involved in many aspects of police work for over twenty-seven years. Growing up, he was a huge fan of author Joseph Wambaugh and episodes of Police Story and One Adam Twelve. After serving eight years in the Marines fresh out of high School, he’s worked on a number of police beats from patrol, narcotics to homicide investigations and he attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Soon to retire from the force in Escondido, California, he will hang up one hat and take on another—full time author!
Out of Griffin’s extensive exposure to all things cop, he has created a cast of characters that had me flying through the pages. One of his stars is Tia Suarez. A first-rate detective who carries a past filled with her own demons that not only gives her street cred, but shows how the many sides of police work can rub away the Hollywood glamour and expose the raw humanness underneath. Her love interest, and a character I hope Griffin expands, is Connor Anderson.
“She didn’t see him again until three years later, on the Medevac chopper that carried them both out of Helmond Province. Tia with a flesh wound from a nasty fall that took a dozen sutures to close; Connor with his right leg shredded from the hip down and his left gone at the knee.”
Together they make an unlikely pair, in other words, they’re perfect for one another and through their combination of inner and outer obstacles, Griffin has created a true power-couple. This is one of those rare pairings that once set free on the page, will long linger in your imagination. Within this story is another, a sub-plot, a compelling truth about the silent ones. Meet Angelica Mendez-Ruiz. A seventeen year-old Mexican girl who came to America as an illegal. Snatched from what she thought to be a safe house, she was forced into becoming a prostitute. And so much worse.
“She could picture the green hills surrounding the farm where her family worked the fields and lived in a small mud shack. She could recall their faces, but they faded a little more every day…The promise of a life beyond had been many and they had been happy. Poor, but happy.”

This story will wake you up and make you realize that walls are not the answer, that boundaries can’t divide us, that the earth and the sky are everyone’s.

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