Review: The Grave Singer (Shepard & Gray #2) by Victor Methos


Print Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (April 25, 2023)

From After a traumatic injury took him off the job, prosecutor Solomon Shepard is back to work, teaming up with Sheriff Billie Gray to hunt down Utah’s most dangerous criminals. Shepard has spent years away from crime scenes and courtrooms, but one of those criminals still holds a grudge.

Alonso Ash is out of prison after eleven years, and he’s determined to prove that Shepard tried him for a crime he didn’t commit. And he’s got something special planned: kidnapping Shepard and forcing him to revisit Ash’s case in an elaborately staged retrial.

As Ash descends further into delusion, Shepard’s only choice is to play along with the ex-con’s rapidly deteriorating sense of reality. Meanwhile, Sheriff Gray is working herself to the breaking point as she races to find them before Ash’s plans take a deadly turn.

With Ash playing judge and jury, hell-bent on proving his innocence, Shepard will be the only guilty party left to execute.

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5


To begin with, whoever posted the blurb needs to go back and edit it, as the criminal's name is Alonso Hafeez, not Alonso Ash. Something that was later changed, I'm sure, but it did give me pause when I first went to post my review. 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, although this was the second book in the series, I didn't have any trouble understanding who was who or what the relationships between the characters were, so I would confidently say this one can be read as a stand-alone. 

The problem I had with this one was that it was just too over the top and unbelievable for me. It started off strong, with what on the surface appears to be a random murder, then moves on to a prisoner recently being released for "good behavior" only to immediately begin stalking the prosecuting attorney that put him away eleven years prior and his girlfriend. But does Solomon do anything about it? Does he make anyone aware of it? No. 

In fact, despite the fact we are told over and over again that Alonso is a "giant", Solomon still tries to provoke him into an altercation in the hopes of getting his parole revoked. Which makes it all too easy for Alonso to get a restraining order against Solomon. Not that it matters, considering the order is violated within twenty-four hours. That is not exactly the behavior I would expect from a prosecuting attorney who could lose his entire career over this one person. 

Fast-forward a few chapters, and this is where I find the book completely goes off the rails.

********SPOILER ALERT********

Solomon is abducted by Alfonso and badly injured in the process. All in some misguided attempt for him to clear his name. And sure, there were some instances where he did prove how the justice system is flawed and where witnesses may have been tampered with, but at the end of the day, he had to know it wasn't going to end well for him. 

Sadly, it was during this process that everything fell apart (for me, at least). We have several "key players" in this farce of a trial, all of whom are either badly injured or (in one case) has ingested a highly toxic mixture of pure snake venom. And yet, for the most part, neither injuries, venom, gunshot wounds, or burns will stop these two characters from coming at each other again and again. It just crossed the line of realism and kept on going.  The strongest example of this is when Solomon is taken to the hospital after everything (including being shot, although it was a through and through) ends up being released the same night. I'm sorry, that's just not going to happen. But of course, it needs to since you know Alfonso also escapes despite his injuries to come for him again.

******** END SPOILER ALERT********

Those things considered, I enjoyed this author's works enough in the past that I will give the first book in this series a chance before I decide whether or not to write these characters off for good or not. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                          The Grave Singer is available on
                                         (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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