Architect of Courage: A Review

Architect of Courage by Victoria Weisfeld was a featured Toe Tag on our podcast Mysteries to Die For. Click here to listen to the first chapter and the review.

In the book, the genre was listed as murder mystery. If you pick up this book expecting a murder mystery, you will be disappointed. This book is not a whodunnit, where the amateur sleuth Archer Landis is solving the mystery of his lover’s murder.

This book is a thriller, where the unwilling hero, Archer Landis, is being accosted personally and professionally, forcing him to chase the rabbit down its hole.

Rating Architect of Courage on a 5-point scale against the “perfect thriller”, I give this 4.25.

Strengths of the story. The pacing is fast without being aggressive or too fast to follow and has the plot twists that are the hallmark of a good thriller. Our hero is in constant mortal danger, and like so many thriller heroes, has no idea why. The setting moves between NYC, a beach house, and the south of Spain and draws in international figures from Spain, Israel, and Morocco. Having the hero be an industry leading architect sets this book apart, bringing in a world seldom explored in thrillers. This book is well written in terms of the noun-verb-noun writing and the editing. There is a lot to like.

Where the story fell short of the ideal. While the book is well written, the opening chapters were rough. The adjectives were too flowery, the cheating husband too falling on his own sword. There are also several convenient coincidences and suggestions by minor characters that felt less than organic, intentionally set to advance to the next chapter. This does clean up by about the fifth chapter, when the story really takes off.

Thriller endings are often difficult. Authors generally have created such a complex weave of plots (those twists and turns readers love) that to unravel each one in a logical and satisfying manner is a very complicated task. When you get to the end and look back over the entirety of the story, do the actions of all the players (not just the hero) hold up? Weisfeld did better than most, but she wasn’t perfect. I am not going to go into spoiler detail. These plot resolution points prevented me from scoring the book higher, but I doubt it is something that will bother the vast majority of thriller lovers.

Bottom line: Architect of Courage is for you if you are into thrillers, faster paced stories, and international flavors.

From June 20 through July 15,2022 Architect of Courage is on tour with Partners in Crime. Check out the tour link for more content and information

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