Book Notes: The Bitter Past

Thanks to Minotaur Books for providing an e-copy of the book. All opinions are my own. 


Book Cover

The Bitter Past
A Porter Beck mystery, Book One.

By Bruce Borgos

One Sentencer Summary

In a case that unfolds in the past (the 1950s) and the present, it seems that a Russian spy infiltrated the nuclear testing site and now someone is looking for that long-ago, all-but forgotten person, who holds the key to what happened then and to the deadly goings on now.

My Thoughts

I almost put this book down immediately after starting it. The description of the murder scene was graphic and something I wasn’t prepared for. But I didn’t, and I’m glad I stuck with it, for the most part. Here’s what I liked about the novel.
The sheriff is a flawed character, devoted to his family and his job. His supporting cast are well-written characters. The mystery is complex, involving past nuclear tests, foreign agents, and FBI. The chapters alternate between past and present, weaving together a complicated plot.
What I didn’t like was the way the female federal agent was written. She came across as a stereotype—a female agent more interested in sleeping with the sheriff than doing her job. It came off, to me, as a woman not able to act professionally, and I almost stopped reading. But I didn’t. I needed the mystery solved and so I finished the book. All in all, this is a solid debut novel.

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