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Book Author: Jeff Abbott

AN AMBUSH OF WIDOWS by Jeff Abbott: Book Reiew

Two women–one in New Orleans, married to an almost-broke security consultant; one in Austin, married to a multi-millionaire entrepreneur.  They might seem to have nothing in common except for the fact that their husbands are found together in an empty Austin warehouse, shot to death.

When Kirsten North receives a phone call in New Orleans, saying that her husband has been shot to death in that Texas city, her immediate reaction is that it’s a sick, cruel joke.  Henry’s not even in Texas, she tells herself, he’s in New York on business.  But when she calls the hotel where he’s always stayed during his visits to the Big Apple, she’s told there’s no one by that name who has checked in.  Now she’s worried.

Still unbelieving, Kirsten buys a plane ticket to Austin, not aware that she’s being followed.  And she’s totally unaware of the man who followed her to the airport and purchased his last-minute ticket as soon as he saw her purchase hers.  In fact, he’s sitting right next to her on the plane, trying to hide behind sunglasses and and a baseball cap.  He goes by the name of Mender, and he’s following her from New Orleans to Austin to kill her.

In Austin, Flora Zang is trying to get her toddler son to stop crying while attempting to deal with the fact that her husband has been murdered.  It’s been two days since the police gave her the news, and it’s finally sinking in.

She thought she and Adam had a good marriage, not perfect but good.  Now she’s thinking about who could have had a motive to kill him.  She wonders if the police suspect her, since she stands to inherit Adam’s share of his successful businesses.  And she’s also questioning why her husband’s business partner is so eager to buy her out.  It’s all happening too fast.

Kirsten and Flora are at first suspicious of each other, each thinking that the other must know more than she’s telling.  Finally, however, they’re forced to work together in order to solve the mystery of what brought the two men together and who killed them.  

The title of Jeff Abbott’s novel had me wondering.  There’s a website that I discovered,,  that delves into “collective nouns for people and professions.”  A babble of barbers, a tabernacle of bakers, a hastiness of cooks…where did these group names come from?  Since ambush means a surprise attack, perhaps the title is meant to explain what happens when Kirsten and Flora meet and try to discover who murdered their husbands without “showing their hands” and putting themselves in danger.

Of course I have no idea if that’s what Jeff Abbott was thinking when he gave his latest thriller such an intriguing name.  But perhaps that’s part of the mystery of this excellent book.  The plot will keep you reading until the end, and Kirsten and Flora are believably human in their desire to find out who the murderer of their husbands is and the reasons for their deaths.

You can read more about Jeff Abbott at this website.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her website.  In addition to book review posts, there are sections featuring Golden OldiesPast Masters and Mistresses, and an About Marilyn column that features her opinions about everything to do with mystery novels.