Dos Perro Press
Paperback, ISBN-13: 978-1735275147, pgs 276
June 14, 2022
“The problem with lies was that more of them are needed to cover up the first ones, and before you knew it, maintenance of the subterfuge became a huge burden.”
In the world of love and law, money, power, and lies often go hand in hand, leaving a trail of destruction and broken promises in their wake. While Belinda “Lyn” Larkin is unhappy about her impending forced retirement from her law firm in Houston, Texas, she is starting to see the benefits of leaving such a cutthroat and corrupt rat race. Jay Jackson, on the other hand, has already left the law and the CIA, but can anyone really completely exit the legal or spy game with no regrets or consequences?
Belinda by Mark Zvonkovic is an intricate study in manipulating high-stake legal deals, unraveling the secrets good friends leave behind, and navigating a new romantic relationship at the cusp of the next phase of life. Lyn and Jay are quite the burgeoning power couple, but is Jay ready to reveal a covert past that refuses to release its hold on him? Is Lyn ready to leave the fast-paced law behind and tumble headlong into the ranch life – or beach life -- with Jay? A few characters in this interesting story will certainly say no, not in the least, because sometimes the past becomes an anchor that keeps you from stepping into the future and finally shedding the artifice and armor that have long since lost their luster.
Zvonkovic delivers a provocative tale about a man who always seems to land on his feet and a woman who can hold her own in a room full of powerful, egotistical men. Put the two together, and the story quickly takes off, taking the reader on quite the intriguing international journey. While the overall action only occasionally reaches top speed, Belinda does have several propulsive characters that carry the story forward to an ending that is neither too explosive, nor too sedate. The story simply ends on a satisfying note, leaving the reader wanting a bit more. In fact, Belinda is the third book in The Raymond Hatcher Stories, with several main characters and supporting players mired in complex layers just waiting to be explored.
Belinda is a great choice for readers looking for a Texas-sized tale filled with a diverse cast of both likable and despicable characters and has a plot that does not give up its secrets too early or too easily. The author’s prose is altogether engaging throughout, piquing the reader’s interest from the start, when Lyn Larkin is grappling with an uncertain future, all the way to the end, when Lyn is smiling and staring at a truly promising future. When the story ends, however, a big question remains. Leaving readers imagining the next steps in the lives of their favorite characters long after the story ends takes great authorial skill and is an expert way to keep readers demanding more terrific stories.
“One didn’t need to travel a thousand miles to discover something new.”
Mark Zvonkovic is a writer who lives in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico with his wife Nancy and their two dogs, Finn and Cooper. He has written two novels. He also writes book reviews and essays that have appeared in several online publications. Before retiring to Mexico, Mark practiced law in Houston, Texas and in New York City. He attended college at Southern Methodist University and at Boston University, and his law degree is from SMU School of Law.