Title: They Call Me Avenged Sandra Derringer Chronicles book 3
Author: Cyndi Lord
Published by: White Bird Publications
Published Date: August 9, 2016
About the Story: When a number of people go missing in a small Northeast Texas town, Sandra Derringer becomes involved to solve the case of missing twelve-year-old twin boys. She soon learns that two common denominators exist between the people who have gone missing; abused animals, and a local animal rescue owner, Loretta Bentley. Her deep devotion to animals is overshadowed by mental illness and her belief she is getting messages from God to deliver an-eye-for-an-eye justice to anyone who neglects or abuses animals. Many have thought this penalty deserved, but Loretta is insane enough to carry it out in her isolated, large ranch where no one can hear her victims’ screams.
My Thoughts: I’ve read this series since the beginning. Each book is unique. Each is scary. Each has a message which make MY blood boil. And each of them I loved!
Keep in mind Cyndi Lord has been a private investigator so she knows her stuff. She volunteers considerable time trying to home rescue dogs and has seen the tremendous brutality people impose on animals by being irresponsible or in other cases, just plain cruel. Thirdly, she has recently lost her best friend, her old friend, Zoom. She knows the unconditional love of a canine friend.
Truly, from the first page the author would not let me put the book down. The scene was too unbelievable, yet so real, it made my skin crawl. Yes, my skin crawled!
Each chapter is prefaced with a verse from the bible which, apparently, Loretta Bentley, takes to heart–a seemingly benign personality on some occasions, and on others quite the psychotic. Her bouts of psychosis are triggered by childhood events she relives through nightmares, in addition to her guilt of not saving her own little dog and her conviction God has chosen her as his instrument to exact punishment.
The author draws the reader along as she gives us a peek into the minds of the characters, particularly the twisted mind of Loretta. Even though the woman is quite demonic, there is something in her which makes me feel sorry for her. She is not responsible for making herself who she is. Well, I should say she is to a certain extent, as her past with its horrors, provides the basis for who she is.
The rescue animals demonstrate the horrors of their young lives through timidity, shakes and hesitancy. Loretta is able to provide them love, pulling them out of the abysmal fear they live in. Conversely, she easily doles out exacting punishment to people who abuse these creatures. I cringe remembering the gore of Loretta’s brutality . In fact, the author’s book has further convinced me people should be fined and animals taken from those who care poorly for them.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
A bone-thin two-year-old, female lab crept slowly towards Loretta with her tail giving tentative wags. Poor baby’s still afraid after a month. She separated the fur growing in around the dog’s neck. Deep scarring and an open area several inches long revealed angry red flesh beginning to heal over and a hole where the veterinarian had placed a drainage tube. Loretta closed her eyes, sorrow and rage ignited raw fury. She opened them to tunnel vision. Blacky looked up into her face then lapped up the tears.
“No one will ever hurt you again or tie you up with binding wire. Never. I promise you that, and I’ll be sure you have a good home. He’s paying for what he did to you. If he’s still alive, he knows just what you went through.” She looked toward the tarp and fence. “
“You’re okay, beautiful lady. Come on. Come here and get some lovin’” She wiggled her fingers. Blacky’s tail wagged in overdrive. The dog lay her head on the woman’s lap. Loretta rubbed her boney face and wondered if she was the only person who’d ever been kind to Blacky.
Cyndi Lord is a master at painting a scene so potent with emotion and brutality, all my senses are drawn in. If you are angered by animal cruelty or want to know anything about it, a fan of the thriller genre, you enjoy a good mystery and thriller, you won’t want to miss this story where Sandra Derringer uses her investigative skills, her compassion for the down-trodden and wronged, along with gut instinct to solve this case.
Cyndi, your message was received. It was an awesome read! Never, ever, will I forget this story.
About the Author: Cyndi Lord moved to North East Texas in 2005 where she lives on a ranch with her husband, two dogs, and two cats. An award winning author, she recently decided to go into semi-retirement from her career as a private investigator and research paralegal in order to write full time. Her novels incorporate her professional experience into the plots readers love to unravel along with the investigator. She is active in a ministry to the homeless and enjoys many aspects of philosophy. As an animal lover, she is a vegan, and strong voice against cruelty to animals. Cyndi and her husband have nine adult children, sixteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. For tranquility she loves to work in the garden, and bake. Painting nature scenes is her favorite joy after writing.