Book Review-Desolation Row-Kay Kendall | Miki's Hope

Book Review-Desolation Row-Kay Kendall

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Back in the Vietnam War Era (and yes it was a war-no matter that the powers that be never declared it as such) many young Americans left for Canada to avoid the draft, never knowing whether they would ever be able to walk on American soil again. It was a tumultuous time. Bob Dylan wrote a song called Desolation Row back then-the words to that song can be found here . None of the guys I knew ever went to Canada-some went to Vietnam and came back but were never the same, others didn't make it back. Some were just plain lucky and their number never came up.

This is the story of a young couple who went to Canada as graduate students before his number came up, knowing they would never return. The young man got involved in the anti war movement with other ex-patriots. Then the unthinkable happened--one of the movements leaders was murdered and the young man was accused of it and sent to jail. Austin, his wife knows he is innocent and goes about proving it--collecting facts and very interesting people along the way. I have to admit I was caught off guard until the killer's identity was revealed! This is the first book in the Austin Starr mysteries and I really want to know where this series is headed. 5 Star for this authors first book!

About the Book: (from Amazon)

The flight to avoid the killing…
It’s 1968. The Cold War is hot, the Vietnam War is raging, and the women’s movement is beating a far-distant drum. When Austin Starr’s husband decides to protest the war by emigrating from Texas to Canada, she goes along, with the biblical dictate of “whither-thou-goest I will go” ringing in her ears.

Leads to murder…
No activist herself, Austin is homesick, drowning in culture shock, and now, her husband has been accused of murdering a fellow draft resister, the black-sheep son of a U.S. Senator. Alone and ill-equipped to negotiate in a foreign country, she is befriended by Larissa Klimenko, the daughter of Austin’s Russian history professor.

A desperate race to find the truth…
The Mounties aren’t supposed to harass draft-age boys but the truth is very different, especially when political pressure is applied by both the victim’s father and the Canadian prime minister’s office. They may have a reputation for always getting their man, but Austin is convinced this time they have the wrong one. Once courted by the CIA, and a lover of mystery and espionage novels, Austin launches her own investigation into the murder. When ominous letters warning her to stop her sleuthing turn into death threats, Austin must find the real killer or risk losing everything. Her love—and her life—are on the line.

Read a chapter or two here

Purchase the book here


About the Author: (from Amazon)


Kay Kendall is an international award-winning public relations executive who lives in Texas with her husband, five house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Growing up during the Cold War, she recalls being excited when an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) was installed near her hometown in Kansas. A fan of historical mysteries and the brilliant spy novels of John le Carré, she set her debut mystery during the Vietnam War, a key conflict of last century not already overrun with novels.

The author says her mysteries will feature women caught in their own battles during that unusual war era. "In Desolation Row I explore what life was like for a typical young woman--not a headline maker, not a Hanoi Jane or Angela Davis, but a moderate who nonetheless got swept up by history's tides during the turbulent sixties. All that turmoil lends itself to drama, intrigue, and murder." Kendall's now working on her second Austin Starr mystery, Rainy Day Women.

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I received a paperback edition of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.

20 comments :

Sharon Martin said...

Sounds like a story to definitely get pulled into, bookmarking this one to show hubbie later,

Kristi Maloney said...

This sounds like a great murder mystery that kept you guessing. It would be interesting to me to read about the anti-war movement of the Vietnam War.

Jessica said...

Ooooh! I love a good book that has you guessing right up to the very end!

Czjai Reyes-Ocampo said...

I have an uncle who's obsessed with anything that has to do with the Vietnam War. Will recommend this book to him. :)

savannah said...

I always flip to the back of these kind of books to see what happens :). I still like reading the book though to see how it lead up to that part!!

becca said...

this sounds like a really good book and something i would read.

Lalia Frolick said...

As an American that just moved back to California after 5 years in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, this would actually be a very interesting read for me! Sounds very suspenseful, I love books like that!

Danielle Royalegacy said...

Sounds like a very interesting murder thriller set against a good point in history,

Chrystal Mahan said...

I'm not usually one for books relating to war. But, this one sounds like a good tale of those who tried to avoid it and what life was like for them in another country along with the thriller portion of it all.

Maria said...

Sounds like a great way to learn more about that era!

Uplifting Families said...

This sounds like a great book especially for history lovers. Thank you for sharing.

Rebecca Swenor said...

This sounds like an awesome book indeed. I love mystery and stories written in these time eras. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie Pass said...

It sounds like a very interesting story line. I'll be checking it out on Goodreads.

Mariana said...

This book sounds like a great read! It's the kind of book that would definitely pull me in.

Katrina Gehman said...

this looks like a really good story. so far i'm drawn in. I'll be bookmarking this for sure.

Angel said...

I didn't really realize that Americans left for Canada to avoid the draft. You learn something new everyday.

Amanda McMahon said...

This sounds like something I would like. I am a bit young for the actual story line but I know stories of "Draft dodgers" and know where I went to college many stayed at school and tried to get out of going to war.

Jamie F said...

Oh man what a suspenseful book I think for me it would be lol!

Lexie Lane said...

So sad! He just couldn't avoid bad karma! Really makes me want to read this now!

Mommy 2 J.A.M. said...

This sounds like a great book! My friends and I are always up for a great read.

 
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